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Reliability enhances with 2019 system improvements  

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As part of  a larger system upgrade, Corn Belt Power Cooperative electrical maintenance crews completed regulator replacements at the Ackley and Kesley Substations.

Regulators are an electronically controlled devices that maintain a set voltage output. Mike Finnegan, system electrical superintendent, Corn Belt Power, said it was time to replace the regulators.

“The regulators have been in service for more than 30 years,” he said. “They are subject to wear and tear over time. Wear and tear can lead to mechanical failure which can lead to unexpected co-op member outages. This is part of  our 2019 workplan and will improve system reliability.”

Humboldt electrical maintenance crews are currently upgrading the 161 kilovolt switches from 1,600 to 2,000 ampere switches at Burt Substation. At
the same time, coupling capacitor voltage transformers are also being replaced (CCVTs). CCVTs are the devices on Corn Belt Power’s system that transform higher voltage to a lower voltage for metering.

“Over time, CCVTs lose accuracy,” Finnegan said. “We’re replacing these and
also adding line disconnect switches to all three lines. This will allow us to isolate each line when needed for maintenance while keeping the rest of  the station energized at the same time.”

In July, Hampton and Humboldt electrical maintenance crews upgraded the Melrose Substation from 2,500 to 7,500 kilo-volt-amperes, in preparation for new load coming onto Corn Belt Power’s system.

Line conductor replacement is ongoing on Corn Belt Power’s system. Corn Belt
Power linemen are completing a 23-mile reconductoring project from Klemme to
Sheffield Substations. Crews have finished the first 10 miles of transmission line modification and retirement. New 336.4 aluminum conductor steel reinforced wire will replace old lower capacity ACSR conductor. Optical ground wire (OPGW) will replace the static wire providing a fiber path between substations.  

Highline Construction is rebuilding the Wellsburg to Dinsdale transmission line - which includes new ductile iron poles. This job is slated for completion the first week of  August. The contractor is replacing the 27-mile stretch-of-line with larger capacity 477 ACSR oval (motion resistant) conductor and installing OPGW (fiber).  

The new larger conductor will help Corn Belt Power serve existing load and prepare for future load growth and expansion.

“The Wellsburg to Dinsdale job is our first using the new ductile iron poles,” says Jeremy Stattelman, transmission superintendent, Corn Belt Power. “These poles are much stronger than existing wood poles. As we install larger conductor across our system, stronger poles will be important.”

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