Construction of the Ontonagon County REA’s new Boston Substation has started, and the project is on-target to have contract work completed by Oct. 16. Wolverine Power Cooperative is managing the project, which involves design and construction of the substation and related distribution facilities.

“This project would never have happened without Wolverine,” says Debbie Miles, Ontonagon’s general manager. “The substation and related upgrades were needed to get the capacity to the Airpark so it can be promoted, and that will help bring on new load.”

Right-of-way clearing for the transmission lines are currently underway and structure foundations, concrete pads, ground grids and fencing should be done by the end of August. The transformer installation, assembly and testing is slated for mid-September. It will interconnect with the American Transmission Company system, and official transfer of the load to the Boston Substation is scheduled for Nov. 13, says Bob Siekas, Wolverine project manager.

Designing and constructing the new substation has meant cooperation among four utilities, and coordination with several local, state and federal agencies. The substation, ATC transmission tap and distribution facilities have an estimated cost of $3 million, Siekas reports.

The project will provide increased service reliability to over 700 existing OCREA member-consumers, such as Keweenaw Research Center/MTU and other Houghton County Airpark tenants, Miles says, including a new account that signed up recently – Lamer’s Bus Line. The new substation is on Boston Road, 1.5 miles northwest of the Airpark, and is strategically positioned to accommodate future growth.