Decades Old Big Tree Substation Gets Massive Upgrades to Ensure Growing Population Has More Reliable Power

The newly expanded substation brings increased reliability to nearly 4,000 NYSEG customers in Western New York, including new Bills stadium. 

NYSEG continues commitment to modernize and upgrade substations.

Orchard Park, NY — February 3, 2023 —  A four-year expansion project for New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) in its Lancaster division, which includes portions of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Wyoming Counties, is complete. The newly expanded substation, which powers homes and businesses, replaces a system that had been in place since the 1940s and will provide the necessary capabilities and efficiencies required to support the thriving region – including a new Buffalo Bills stadium being built for the 2026 season.

Expansion of the existing Big Tree Substation in Orchard Park, NY was vital. The project was part of a multi-year NYSEG electric transmission system upgrade program. As the population in the Western New York Region has grown, so has the area’s electricity usage. Homes that had one television set, now have one in every room, along with other devices. This new substation supports the safe and reliable distribution of power to meet the growing demands in the area and help to avoid outages. 

“The Big Tree project is an essential part of our strategy to improve network reliability, investing in existing asset upgrades and new high voltage substations and lines,” said Imanol Zúñiga Elejabeitia, senior director of Integrated Projects at AVANGRID. “We’ve been working for years to develop and install high voltage substations and lines, and this project is a result of all that effort to continue improving our performance and efficiency.” 

Area residents will now enjoy improved reliability and resiliency because of this extensive upgrade project. These additional capabilities will encourage, and support expanded economic development in the region. 

Planning for the project began in 2018, with construction commencing in July 2020, despite significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overcoming staffing challenges and supply chain concerns, implementing social distancing requirements, were necessary shifts to the project’s successful completion.

The expansion continues NYSEG’s efforts to modernize equipment in the communities we serve. 

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