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 NYSEG: If Castle Gardens Substation Is Flooded Again, Those Customers Served by It Can Rest Easier

Binghamton, NY – NYSEG, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, has completed work on a package of three projects that will enable the company to continue to provide service to customers in parts of the Town of Vestal and Town of Owego in the event flood waters again inundate the Castle Gardens Substation.

“Moving the substation was cost prohibitive and would have taken years to complete, so our people developed and implemented plans to bypass the substation in the event that it is out of service because of flooding,” said Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “Barring damage to the new facilities or to the circuits originating at Castle Gardens that directly serve customers, we expect to be able to provide quick and efficient restoration of service in the event the substation is flooded.”

Lynch said that after the devastating flooding in 2006, NYSEG raised critical components in the Castle Gardens Substation hoping to keep them high and dry and keep the substation in operation during floods. “In what some have called a 500-year flood in 2011, it became clear that we couldn’t raise those components high enough to avoid potential flooding, so another solution was in order,” Lynch said.

NYSEG has completed the following projects to bypass the Castle Garden Substation in an emergency situation:

• Construction of a tie that enables NYSEG to use a West Union distribution circuit as a backup for either of the two distribution circuits (621 and 622) that originate at Castle Gardens Substation.

• Installation of a transformer that enables NYSEG to tap its 34.5-kilovolt sub-transmission system to provide a backup for one of the distribution circuits that originates at Castle Gardens Substation.

• Converting Vestal distribution circuit 714 to 12.5 kilovolts (from 4.8 kilovolts) and tying it into distribution circuit 621 that originates at Castle Gardens Substation so there is an alternate source of power for that circuit.

“While it’s comforting to know that we now have options, we are not at all eager to have to implement the options because of an emergency,” Lynch said. “This is definitely a case of being prepared for the worst and hoping for the best.” 

Circuit 621 serves approximately 1,200 customers in the Town of Vestal; Circuit 622 serves approximately 900 customers in Vestal and 1,600 customers in the Town of Owego.