Rio Grande Electric Cooperative (RGEC) is always planning ways to improve your electric service and system reliability. Each year, we identify projects which will help accomplish these goals. The following are some of the projects identified for 2021. All projects identified are tentative, subject to approval, and priorities identified as the most critical at any given point in time. Though tentative now, we thought you would like to know about the advance planning that goes into work projects identified in each operations area. Just like the previews you see at the movies, the premiere dates for these “Coming Attractions” could change.
Alpine Under Construction
The most sparsely populated, but largest operations area in the RGEC system, the Alpine Operations Area covers over 10,000 sq. miles and contains nearly 2,000 miles of line. Approximately 10 miles of single-phase line will be relocated along the Pinto Canyon Road in the rugged Big Bend area. Relocation involves the setting of approximately 126 wood poles and an additional 13 steel poles, as well as upgrading to a more durable conductor (line). The new line location will create easier access for repairs and maintenance, as the existing infrastructure is often inaccessible, due to terrain/weather. This line provides power to approximately 25 meters in a remote area. Also in this area is the expansion of the Persimmon Gap Substation, which includes a new transformer bay and power transformer. The line serving Big Bend National Park will be retired, and service transitioned to underground, which includes extensive trenching, and the installation of new conductor, and padmount transformer. Across from Panther Junction, existing service to be retired and existing voltage converted to larger load, which includes installation of new junction boxes and conductor.
Bracketville Under Construction
The replacement of substation relays is high on the list of projects for the Brackettville Operations Area. Identified as in need are the Brackettville Substation, Comstock Substation, and Del Rio Substation Relays. The Comstock and Del Rio Substations are also tentatively slated to receive new control houses, which protect sensitive electronics.
Carrizo Springs Under Construction
The Carrizo Springs area will be enhancing the Rosita Creek Substation in the Eagle Pass area. This includes a new power transformer, expanded feeder bays with the ability to backfeed the power transformer, and to allow for future growth. Additionally, this facility will have expanded transmission interconnection, and will include a variety of new switches and relay controls.
Dell City Under Construction
Planned projects for the Dell City area include a major overhaul at the Dell City Substation, to replace insulators and connectors, as well as the replacement of regulators, and the installation of a variety of new switching equipment. Additionally, the Hueco Tanks substation will receive an upgraded breaker and metering equipment. Also in the Dell City Operations area, approximately 30 to 40 transmission structures are due for maintenance and will be replaced.
Fort Stockton Under Construction
The Conoco Transmission line in the Fort Stockton area is scheduled for the replacement of 20 to 25 transmission structures. Also in this area, is Phase II of the New Hayter Ranch Substation, which will expand the distribution bays at this site.
Military Under Construction
Rio Grande continues updating and expanding facilities at Fort Bliss, El Paso, to better serve the needs of the military. While we’re not at liberty to divulge exactly which projects and what they involve, suffice it to say that RGEC is powering the growth. Government-funded projects at the base include the North Bliss Substation Transmission, Blood Processing Center, Power Water Storage Tanks for new hospital, and automatic transfer switches for an identified building, as well as sectionalized supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) switching system.
At Laughlin Air Force Base, a major focus, as identified as a priority by the Air Force, is on enhanced base lighting. Additionally, RGEC is scheduled to convert nearly three miles of overhead infrastructure to underground service.