Emergency Mobile Substations Help Keep the Lights On, No Matter What

It’s easy to take our utilities for granted, especially when it comes to electricity. Technological advances and improvements to our grid have made it so that, short of a severe storm, most of us rarely experience what it is like to be left without power. It can be difficult to imagine just how truly catastrophic widespread blackouts can be. The hope is that we will not have to deal with a major grid blackout, but it is important to be prepared, nonetheless. 

Congress clearly agrees. In 2015, they signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. They realized that even outside of natural events like severe weather or seismic activity, the nation’s infrastructure is susceptible to cyber-attacks, electromagnetic pulses, and physical attacks from those wishing to cause large scale disruption and panic. The act ensures that long-term funding will be available to protect vulnerable areas of our infrastructure, from surface transportation to our electric grid. 

AZZ Inc. wanted to find a way to contribute to the FAST Act’s goal of making the nation’s grid system ready for anything. Of particular interest was a portion of the legislation that called for a strategic buildup of emergency transmission equipment. This was of note as AZZ’s Emergency Mobile Substation is a tried and true solution for restoring power as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Consisting of a trailer, skid, and mounted Medium Voltage Switchgear, the mobile substation allows for a temporary restoration of grid service, giving operators and repair crews the time they need to repair any damage. In addition, a congressional study found these types of mobile units to be highly effective for temporary replacements to traditional grid systems. 

Even outside of emergency use, mobile substations can be valuable assets for utility companies. Whether it be for routine maintenance, a minor outage repair, or a temporary increase in substation capacity, these units can be rolled out immediately so that end-users do not experience a lapse in service. In addition, the build of the substation can be customized to fit a provider’s exact specifications. The switchgear can be setup to provide anywhere from 5 to 38 kV and can be metal-enclosed, MEI, or even multi-rated, depending on what suits your needs.

With on-site generation and an innovative construction, AZZ’s transportable substations are highway ready and designed to help our grid continue to be stronger than ever. There are certainly risks out there, and it is important to be aware of our grid’s vulnerabilities. Through the actions set in motion by the FAST Act, however, and through efforts by companies like AZZ to outfit our nation’s infrastructure with the backups and safety nets it needs, our electric grid is prepared to handle whatever comes its way. To learn more about emergency mobile substations, or to see what else AZZ has to offer, visit them online today!