Observing substations up close can be utterly dizzying with their vast number of oversized electrical components. An array of lightning arresters, air-break switches, transformers, and distribution buses, interconnect in these high-voltage mazes of metal.
Though often hidden from public view, substations play a critical role in our daily lives, enabling electricity to travel from power plants and into our homes, businesses and neighborhoods. There are over 55,000 substations dotting the American landscape, and no two substations are alike.
“You see buildings going up all the time, so we are constantly creating new substations or upgrading existing ones to meet the electricity demand of our customers,” says Jack Walsh, manager, Substation Engineering & Design at National Grid, the Waltham-based energy company serving Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.