City Approves $10 Million Loan for Electric System Improvements for the Next Three Years

September 6, 2018, Green Cove Springs - In April the Green Cove Springs City Council approved a $10.7 million loan from CenterState Bank in Jacksonville to complete major upgrades to the city’s electrical system. Hooper Corporation, the city’s electric contractor, gave a PowerPoint presentation to the City Council in August detailing the scope of projects within the $10.7 million loan. All of the projects—which are listed in Hooper Corporation’s PowerPoint presentation—are included in the Capital Improvement Projects of the city budget through fiscal year 2023.

The goal of the $10.7 million loan is to accelerate 10 years’ worth of electric utilities projects to be completed in 3 years. The projects listed will increase reliability of the city’s electric system through major repair, rehabilitation and upgrades.

Below are major projects that are included to be completed through the city’s $10.7 million loan:

Grounding Improvements: Grounding rods help redirect lighting strikes or any outside electrical surges to electric power poles directly to the ground. These rods are located on every two to three poles in an electric system. Many of these grounding rods in the city’s electric system are currently either missing or in need of repair. This project will be testing the grounding rods and equipment associated with them currently on poles, and the electric utility will make necessary repairs and replacements to this equipment based on testing results.

Pole Inspection Program: The city’s electric utility recently completed an inspection of 25 percent of the city’s electric power poles—a total of 1,400 poles—and are now in the process of replacing 77 poles that failed inspection. These replacements are expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The city’s electric utility will continue inspecting electric power poles in the city for the next three years—dividing inspections in sections of 1,400 poles—and replace poles that fail inspection. The city is also addressing any additional repairs or replacements that are highlighted in these pole inspections.

Underground Cable Replacement: Underground cable in some areas of the city are over 30 years old. Over the next three years, the city’s electric utility will be testing underground cable and replacing cable as needed.

Substation Inspections and Maintenance: This loan also jump starts annual thorough and detailed inspections of all four substations in the city. Based on the inspection results, the city’s electric utility will make replacements and repairs to its substations. These inspections will continue past the three-year timeline of loan projects.

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) Improvements: Over the next three years, the city’s electric utility will be making SCADA improvements at its substations and various points in the city electric system. This will allow electric utility employees to monitor the system more regularly and be able to remotely access controls to electric equipment when needed. This will help the electric utility pinpoint problems in the electric system faster, which will reduce the duration of future power outages and how long it takes employees to locate and repair the source of an outage.

Fuse Coordination: The city’s electric utility will inspect fuses that connect sections of the city to the main power line, and will be replacing current fuses as well as installing new fuses throughout the system as needed. This will help minimize the scope of future power outages.

Lightning Arrestors: Lightning arresters are devices on electric power poles that protects insulation and conductors of the electric system from lightning strikes. The city’s electric utility will be inspecting the lightning arrestors installed in the city’s electric system and making replacements as needed, as well as analyzing the entire electric system to make sure that the city has an adequate number of lightning arrestors and that they are installed in the best locations.  

Pole Top Switch Inspections and Replacement: Pole top switches help to open and close the feed of electricity within the city’s electric system. The city’s electric utility will inspect these switches and make replacements as needed. This will help with faster response times in future outages.

County Road 209 Rebuild: A half-mile of power lines will be replaced with concrete poles and stronger cables that can withstand falling trees or tree limbs. As CR 209 is an area with a heavy tree canopy, this replacement will help minimize the damage of falling trees or limbs to power lines during severe storms.

Forbes Street Rebuilding: The city’s electric utility will be rebuilding a section of power lines on Forbes Street and either rebuilding or replacing old infrastructure. A portion of the street will also be converted from 13 KVa (kilovolt) to 23 KVa.

Pine and Cypress Rebuilding: The city’s electric utility will also be rebuilding and replacing two blocks of power cable on each street, for a total of four blocks of cable in this project.

Third Feed to Magnolia Point: The city’s electric utility will be installing a third feed in the Magnolia Point area to better distribute electricity in the area, as well as provide alternate routes of electricity to the north end of the city. This additional feed will also help relieve the currently overloaded circuit in the two feeds in Magnolia Point.  

Chapman Circuit 2 Feeder Rebuild: The city’s electric utility will be rebuilding circuits, replacing power lines and replacing and relocating poles as necessary from north to south on Roberts Street.

Highway 17 Rebuild: The city’s electric utility will be replacing power lines on Highway 17 over the next three years.

Conversion of Core City Voltage: The city’s electric utility will be converting the majority of core city customers (from Governors Creek to SR 16 East) from 13 KVa (kilovolts) to 23 KVa.

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