Cressey Substation

Greater Sudbury Hydro is committed to continually modernizing and upgrading the local distribution system to better serve you, our customer.

As part of our Distribution System Plan Capital program for 2021, we will be renewing the 70-year old Cressey Substation, located between Cressey Street and Haig Street, off the end of Buchanan Street.  We will be installing two new transformers to increase capacity, adding new controls to enable more remote operation now and in the future, and will replace the overhead structure with pad-mounted equipment. The familiar building, commissioned in 1951, is solid and will remain in place, however the facility will be upgraded to adhere to modern standards and clearance requirements.  These changes will improve the reliability and resilience of the distribution system in the entire West End/ Gatchell area of Greater Sudbury.

This project is part of a multi-year Distribution System Capital Plan which began in 2018 with the renovation of the Kathleen Substation, and includes an extensive power line and transformer conversion component, modernizing the current 4kV configuration to 12kV.  While some preparatory work has been done during the 2020 construction season, decommissioning on site is scheduled to begin in Spring of 2021 and to be completed by November 30, 2021.



Why is the Cressey Substation being updated?

It’s time to upgrade this equipment; it has reached “End of Life”. Cressey Substation is 70 years old. It was built in 1951 during the Post World War II building boom and it is the oldest of our substations not yet renewed.

What is going to be updated?

  • The overhead structure at the east side of the property will be replaced with ground level equipment
  • New equipment will be installed, inside and out, including transformers, switches, controls, etc.
  • We are also converting to 12kV distribution service from 4kV, building redundancy.
  • In subsequent years, the station built on the west side of the building and property will be removed from service.

What are the benefits of these changes?

These changes will improve the power supply stability and reliability, as well as enable us to more quickly reroute power during unplanned outages.

The Cressey renewal is another step in a long-term project which began with the upgrade of the Kathleen Substation in 2018. Upgrading Cressey enables Greater Sudbury Hydro to eliminate three smaller substations of the same vintage which are also due for replacement.

How will this renewal affect my neighborhood?

Your power supply will be more stable and reliable. You will also notice some external, physical changes to the existing substation:

  • The overhead structure on the property will be replaced by safer, pad-mounted equipment
  • A new fence will be installed around the property perimeter.
  • The historic building will be preserved and continue to house control equipment
  • In Spring 2021, some neighbours will receive a visit from our engineering contractor, Nordmin Engineering, in order to conduct a preconstruction assessment prior to the start of demolition.

During the 2021 construction season, residents may notice some drilling and blasting to prepare the site for civil work, as well as an increase in heavy truck traffic near the substation.

Be assured that all work will be conducted in accordance with the City of Greater Sudbury Construction and Noise by-laws, and any landscaping reparations necessary will be made as soon as practicable.

When will I notice things happening?

You may have already noticed some activity!

  • “Prep work” began on the site in 2020, though mostly inside the building.
  • Line crews have also been replacing 4kV lines with modernized, higher voltage 12kV lines and poles where necessary. Most of this conversion work should be completed by the end of 2020, however, some poles in the immediate vicinity of the Cressey substation will be placed in Spring 2021.
  • Some planned power interruptions may be necessary to safely proceed with the upgrades, particularly during the 2021 construction season, but affected customers will be notified in advance.
  • We have already begun converting transformers in the area to 12kV, from their current 4kV configuration.
  • In April 2021, we will start decommissioning the old aerial equipment and the civil work will begin in late May-early June. It should take about two months to complete.

When will the project be completed?

The expected completion is November 2021 with all equipment expected to be in service and functioning by that time.

How many customers will be affected?

Approximately 2750 customers receive their electricity directly from Cressey, however the whole project, which included the Kathleen substation upgrade in 2018 and the voltage conversion we have been working on since then, affects about 12 thousand customers overall.

How much will the project cost?  

The renovation of Cressey Substation is a major Capital project with a budget of approx. $4.6 million, which is part of Greater Sudbury Hydro’s regular annual capital budget.

GSH invests between $9-10M annually on Capital, which is included in the distribution rate structure approved by the Ontario Energy Board.

Will the new transformers be noisy?

No. As a matter of fact, the new transformers will be quieter than what is currently in place.

Is there anything controversial about this project?

Not really. We know people don’t like power interruptions, but they are necessary to do the work safely.  We try to give as much notice as possible.

We need to renew assets on a regular basis in order to ensure our customers have a consistent, reliable power supply. Planning the work well helps us avoid infrastructure deficits and Capital budget “bulges”.

Project Timeline

  • Engineering services Award Date: October 2020
  • Preliminary Design: November 2020
  • Detailed Design completion: February 2021
  • Construction Start Date: May 2021
  • Proposed energization date: November 30 2021

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