Electric Loan Projects Update

July 29, 2020 – In April 2018 Green Cove Springs City Council approved a $10.7 million  loan from CenterState bank in Jacksonville to complete 10 years’ worth of electrical system upgrades by 2023. The City provided an overview of those projects in September 2018.

Below is an update of these projects since September 2018. Projects are grouped under “Completed” and “Current.”

Completed

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. COMPLETED MAY 2019

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. COMPLETED MARCH 2019

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. COMPLETED OCTOBER 2019

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.  COMPLETED MAY 2019

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. COMPLETED DECEMBER 2018

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. COMPLETED MARCH 2019

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. COMPLETED AUGUST 2019

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. This project was taken out of the loan and moved to the annual operating budget.  This project should be done annually and should be supported by the annual operating budget.

Current

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. After looking at the cable, the City determined that the underground electric system in Magnolia Point needed to be replaced, as the electric cable and transformers are over 40 years old and well past their expected service life. This project is currently in design, with the equipment for the new system ordered and on its way. Construction is estimated to start in December 2020 and should be complete by December 2021. 

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. The SCADA system is currently being designed with other upgrades to the Chapman substation, which includes installing a third transformer and third main circuit into the City. All upgrades are expected to be complete by Spring 2021.

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. This project was started in October 2019 and is estimated to be completed by Summer 2021.

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.   This project has been designed utilizing a FEMA grant that paid for 75%.  The City anticipates receiving another 75% in FEMA grant funding to complete this project.  This additional funding has allowed the City to expand the scope of this project to include relocating additional cable underground, increasing reliability by extending an additional circuit to Harbor Road (supporting both Magnolia Point and the CR 209 area) and reducing outage restoration efforts.

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