As Sussex County continues to grow, DEC is excited to announce the coming completion of its Dorey Substation. Located on Zoar Road in Georgetown, the Co-op’s newest substation will replace the longstanding Zoar Switching Station to provide improved reliability to members in the area. According to manager of substations and system protection Tony Rutherford, Dorey Substation was developed in partnership with Delmarva Power out of necessity to meet the needs of rising electrical demands.
“The existing Zoar Station is a 69 kv tap off of the Delmarva transmission lines, and DEC owns that transmission from the Zoar Switching Station to the Fairmount Substation,” Rutherford says. “With all the growth that is happening in the Long Neck and Millsboro areas, the existing Zoar Switching Station was at a point where the circuit switcher was going to need to be changed out. So we contacted Delmarva Power, we told them what type of load we were going to have, and they decided to build what is called a ring bus off the existing Delmarva transmission line.”
As it stood, the Zoar Switching Station was not an active source of power to the surrounding area. Serving only as a tap line from Delmarva’s transmission, it didn’t house a transformer, making it incapable of distributing energy to members. Dorey Substation, with its transformer and the addition of the ring bus, will provide roughly 4.5 MW of load upon energization. Rutherford says that building Dorey between existing Pepper and Fairmount substations will bolster the current voltage to enhance the reliable electric service members have come to depend on from DEC.
“Pepper Substation and Fairmount Substation are about 10 miles apart, and when you’re back feeding long distances like that, you’re going to have a lot of voltage drops,” Rutherford says. “Dorey Substation is a new source, so that’s going to be your strongest point of voltage because that’s where your substation transformer is at. This will allow us to break the load up and provide a stronger, stiffer voltage source right in the middle of the two existing substations.”
As with any project, the construction process of Dorey Substation has not been without its challenges, including delays due to changes in design as well as handling the typical paperwork aspects of such an undertaking.
“We had to go through all the various permitting agencies and get the rights from Delmarva Power to build the station,” Rutherford says. “You have to be able to present to them a certain amount of load before they will consider building the ring bus. This took about two or three years of discussions with Delmarva Power, to not only prove our load growth so that they would build the ring bus for us, but also to make sure for ourselves that we have the future anticipated growth coming for us to justify spending the money to build a substation.”
Now in the final stages of construction, Rutherford says Dorey Substation is set for completion later this fall.
“We’re at the point now where we’re making all final connections,” Rutherford says. “We are doing testing on breakers, testing on the relays; at some point soon the transformer manufacturer will be out to do a final inspection and make some wiring changes for us. We are landing and terminating all our control wires and distribution wires and basically getting it ready to the point where we will be able to energize it.”
Delmarva Power plans to officially energize Dorey Substation on October 19.