Several challenges were identified in the construction of a new 20/115 kV substation, along with adding the associated telecommunications and distribution lines.They also needed to replace a portion of an existing 115 kV line with a 35-mile double-circuit 220 kV transmission line. At the request of the community, only brick walls could be used, but these were susceptible to copper thieves hopping the fences. Not only was that a risk, but brick walls pose a greater challenge from a grounding perspective since the metal perimeter spike plates must be bonded for IEEE safety requirements, which is difficult and unattractive using traditional wire and lugs.
A series of “castle spike” plates were placed around the perimeter of the substation along the brick walls. Each of these castle spikes were then bonded together using mutli layer braids.
This solution has been approved for use in future substations with a similar challenge, as is common in California communities. Having a planned solution to this leads to a more efficient process for the construction of these substations – from ordering the product solution to installing a safe, efficient grounding system.