PECO has completed a $22 million upgrade of its electric substation in the Grays Ferry section of Philadelphia, which added another transmission feed within the utility’s Center City system to meet increased electric demand and ensure reliability for the city.
Grays Ferry is one of 11 electric substations that form the backbone of the utility’s electric transmission and distribution network serving Center City and South Philadelphia. The project involved about five months of construction work, in addition to engineering and design.

As part of a major modernization initiative, PECO also rebuilt its nearby Schuylkill substation earlier this year at a cost of $18 million. The Schuylkill substation has been serving Center City and South Philadelphia since the late 1920s. It was essentially dismantled and re-built on the same site on Christian Street.. See photos of PECO projects in the city at www.slideshare.net/PECOEnergy.

John McDonald, PECO vice president, Technical Services, said the company has been making substantial capital investments in the city to ensure the company has increased electric capacity to meet current and future energy needs. The Grays Ferry and Schuylkill upgrades, for instance, addressed potential operational issues identified during the summer of 2006. Now, the increased capacity can ensure PECO can meet increased demand without impact on customers.

PECO has invested more than $160 million over the past five years in building four new electric substations in Philadelphia – one in Northern Liberties (Tuna), two in South Philadelphia (Waverly and Southwark), and one in University City (Tunnel), in addition to the Grays Ferry and Schuylkill facilities. These electric substations, which serve as hubs for electric distribution, ensure sufficient electric capacity and reliable operations to serve thousands of commercial, industrial and residential customers in the area.

The Grays Ferry project involved installation of a new 69- kV transmission line, a new high-voltage power transformer, four new 230-kV breakers, upgrades to two existing 230-kV breakers, reconfiguration of existing facilities, and new controls and switchgear. Kenny Construction, Matrix Services Inc., American Electrical Testing Co. (AETCO), Henkels & McCoy; and Power Engineers Inc. supported PECO personnel on the project.