JCPB planning for new substation near ETSU, Jonesborough

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – There should be some relief coming soon to the loaded power grid in one growing part of Johnson City.

At Tuesday night’s monthly board meeting at the Johnson City Power Board, board members took the first step toward building a new substation in an area near East Tennessee State University and Jonesborough.

JCPB CEO Jeff Dykes said when deciding to build a new substation, they have to look at growth on the systems and future project growth.

“We see a lot of stuff going on with ETSU, with the VA (Medical) Center, State of Franklin, just tremendous amount of growth,” Dykes said. “So, we take that and analyze it and we look at where is the best place to put a substation. Right now, there are three substations we have that are tremendously loaded from the standpoint of the growth that has occurred and the future growth we’ll see.”

Power board officials hope to begin searching for the right site for the new substation soon, and hope to begin construction in the spring. The $3.3 million project should take twelve to eighteen months to complete.

“It was a capital project that was budgeted for this year. It’s really going to take a two-year project through purchase of land, materials and grading and then the actual construction,” Dykes said. “We do a lot of analysis and a lot of strategic planning and this is part of the strategic plan as far as substations now and future and this is the one that is really needed first and so we’ve got that in line and we hope to be getting started.”

The growth in that area of Johnson City as well as the new things going on at ETSU as well as the VA at Mountain Home along with the growth in the Jonesborough area is projected to continue really made the need for a new substation a priority for the utility.

Dykes said, “We’re trying to centralize a new substation in a place that will allow us to balance the loads on those stations and also at times that we need to do maintenance work or something, we can shift loads to other places. So, that’s one of the things that we’re looking at to establish this new substation.”

JCPB currently has around 78,000 customers on its system and 30 different substations.

“This puts us really ahead because once we …(are) able to balance all of these substations out, it allows us to be ahead of the game when some additional growth comes,” Dykes said.

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