State officials recently approved a $1.5 million loan that will help the City of Powell pay for renovations to the Vining Substation. The State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) — made up of the …
State officials recently approved a $1.5 million loan that will help the City of Powell pay for renovations to the Vining Substation. The State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) — made up of the five statewide elected officials — approved the loan earlier this month.
“Staff believes this project is a good project and will contribute to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City Powell,” SLIB staff had written in a board report, recommending approval.
The first phase of the $2.9 million expansion and upgrade project will be paid for with reserves from the city’s electrical enterprise fund, which is filled by revenues generated from providing city residents electricity.
The SLIB loan will cover the second phase of the project. The city can accept the loan any time before June 2021 and won’t begin accruing interest until it’s accepted.
The entire project will take two years to complete, and construction on the first phase will begin in May of next year.
“This will drastically improve the electrical grid and reliability even before the second phase is complete,” said City Administrator Zack Thorington.
The need to rebuild the 30-year-old substation became apparent when a fire at the facility shut down power to the city for several hours last summer. The city performed some improvements in August to help stabilize the city’s grid until a full rebuild could be done, which required a few planned outages. Thorington said the rebuild project will likely require more planned outages next summer.
State documents say the project will include adding “a third, larger 20 MVA transformer, control building, steel structure for primary conductors and a steel structure for secondary conductors and equipment.”
The SLIB loan is for 10 years at 1.6% interest.