Bids for the Erie Street substation upgrade project came in under budget and were approved Monday by Wellington village council.
Steve Schaub, an electrical engineer with GPD Group, attended the utility committee meeting to present the bids he thought best met the village’s needs.
The initial estimate for the project exceeded $1.5 million.
After analyzing the bids, Schaub told council members the total price tag for the six major equipment items was more than $550,000 less than expected.
The total cost is now $994, 966.86.
“When we opened up bids we were excited,” Schaub said. “We received a lot of bids, which made it competitive, and we ending up getting a good price. It was good there were so many because we were able to evaluate and choose the best bid.”
Electric superintendent Dave Bealer said the next step is to do an assessment and see how much work village employees will be able to complete in-house. “Because of the location we need to further evaluate the soil studies and see what needs done,” he said.
The substation will go in at the end of Erie Street.
The village already has two substations, but the oldest was built in 1978 and is 37 years old.
Schaub said most transformers last 25 to 30 years if they are well-maintained.
“We do a really good job with maintaining, ” Bealer said. “Building another substation will extend the life of the other substations in the village.”
Bealer said the village considered the necessity of a third substation two years ago when one of the transformers went down a couple weeks before the Lorain County Fair.
His workers were able to fix the problem in-house, but it opened the village’s eyes to problems that could crop up in the future.
The third substation will give the village redundancy so another can be shut down for repairs if necessary without impacting service.
Bealer couldn’t provide a number for how much energy the new substation will generate, but noted that it is significant. “Essentially the goal is that the substation will be able to run all of Wellington on a normal day,” he said.
Once the new station is constructed, he hopes the village will be able rebuild the oldest substation five to 10 years down the road.
Schaub began looking at the Erie Street project about a year and a half ago and said he will see it all the way through to construction.
“We hope to have all the materials here in the spring,” he said. “Construction will start this winter.”
He’s hopeful that the substation will be energized by late summer or early fall next year if all goes well.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.