Dear Valued United Power Member,
Three weeks ago, our wholesale power supplier (Tri-State Generation and Transmission) experienced a major failure when a piece of their equipment malfunctioned at the substation that serves United Power members living in Erie. As a result, the equipment must be replaced; however, this is not expected to happen until mid-March.
Because of this equipment failure and delayed replacement, the substation is out of operation – meaning the cooperative is picking up the load normally served from this location by switching it over to other substations in the area. This switching function presented a challenge to our operations team during the most recent outage on Feb. 24 as well as the earlier Feb. 10 outage which was caused by the Tri-State equipment failure.
It is important to understand that when this substation was in the planning stages, United Power asked our wholesale power supplier to build it with additional back-up equipment due to anticipated load growth in the area. This request did not meet their substation construction standards, and the substation was built as originally planned. Although these recent outages were not caused by the lack of upgraded equipment, they would have been much smaller and the restoration time much faster had the substation been constructed as we requested.
United Power will take over all substations in our service territory now owned by Tri-State in 2024. One of the first priorities at this critical substation will be to install a second transformer to improve reliability. We understand the importance of a reliable system, and appreciate your patience as we continue our work to improve service in your area. Please let us know if we can answer any questions by contacting us via our website at www.unitedpower.com/contact.