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Co-op celebrates completion of substation project

Co-op employees and guests prepare to cut a green ribbon in front of the South Olive substation


Washington Electric Cooperative, Inc. celebrated the completion of its South Olive substation rebuild project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 26.


AEP Ohio, AEP Ohio Transmission Company Inc., Buckeye Power, and Washington Electric reached an agreement in 2014 to improve electric service reliability in Monroe, Noble, and Washington counties. As part of the effort, called the Southeast Ohio Area Improvement Project, AEP is replacing and upgrading its aged 23-kilovolt (kV) infrastructure by constructing a new 138-kV transmission grid on new and existing right-of-way.


South Olive is the first of four Washington Electric Cooperative substations to be rebuilt to accommodate the upgrades. Construction on the South Olive substation began in April and concluded this month. The total investment for the substation was $2.5 million.


The upgraded system will result in fewer power outages for electric consumers across the region. It will also better position the area for economic growth, said Jack Bragg, Washington Electric’s general manager and CEO.


“This was the culmination of years of planning and effort by many people across multiple organizations,” Bragg said. “Today is a great day for our co-op members, the community, and their quality of life.”


Washington Electric Cooperative owns a total of 11 substations and delivery points serving 10,500 consumers across six counties in southeastern Ohio, and maintains just over 1,700 miles of electric distribution line.


The co-op’s Rinard Mills substation in Monroe County and the Marietta substation in Washington County will be rebuilt in 2019, and the Dart substation in Washington County will be rebuilt in 2020. Each of these is expected to cost $2.5 million, for a total project investment of $10 million for all four substations.

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