News Flash

Waukesha Service Helps Restore Power to California Community Following Earthquake

Tankers and degassifiers staged on the job site for efficiency.

July 21, 2010 – On Easter Sunday of this year, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the town of Mexicali, California, just 45 miles southeast of El Centro. The very next day, April 5th, Waukesha Service received a request from a customer seeking assistance with restoring numerous transformers on their 500kV transmission system that sustained bushing damage due to the quake. When the porcelains shifted, the bushings began to leak, causing a significant loss of transformer oil. Within 24 hours of the call for assistance, Waukesha Service began marshalling vacuum oil processors, 15 oil tankers (90,000 gallons of oil storage), secondary containment units, lighting towers, cranes and aerial lifts to support the repair effort.

Working in conjunction with the customer's warehouse personnel and other suppliers, replacement bushings were gathered from spare equipment currently on the system and vendors to replace the damaged components. Waukesha Service operations planner, Steve Cooley, and lead field service technician, Spencer Setty, then worked around the clock along with electricians from Chula Vista Electric and specialists from Reinhausen Manufacturing for the next 19 days to restore six 500/230kV autotransformers that connected two 500kV transmission lines and 1800 MW of capacity to the customer's system. The job consisted of replacing bushings and internal insulation, fixing clamps, inspecting and repairing in-tank LTCs along with all associated oil handling and electrical testing. All work was completed without any safety incidents, in accordance with local labor agreements and ahead of preliminary restoration schedules.

Upon conclusion of the job, the substation construction and maintenance manager commented as follows:

Spencer, Steve and Ed -
We would like to thank you and the people at Waukesha for making this happen for us. Your expertise in
taking on such a large job on such short notice put us on the right path to get these critical banks back on-line. The
transformer crews tell me that they enjoyed working side-by-side with you because of the knowledge
they gained from you. With one unit already on-line and the other coming on-line next week, our predicted restoration
time has been improved upon. We look forward to working with you in the future.

Earthquake_2 Earthquake_3
New bushing being lowered into position by Chula Vista personnel under Waukesha direction and supervision.
INSET: Dislodged porcelain on transformer bushings at
substation in California.
“Safety First” — always our motto!


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