Heavy snow blanketed the transformer at the Drummond substation near the Idaho-Wyoming state line and the access roads BPA crews use to reach it. A local landowner and Transmission Line Maintenance crews cleared the roads with a snow blower. Crews set up a canvas tent around the failed transformer to shelter it while they worked.
The transformer is now on the verge of returning to service, thanks to a quick response by TLM, Operations, System Protection Control and Substation Maintenance. Prompt assistance from Transmission Technical Services, the Warehouse, Transportation and Specialty Services cooperated to get oil, pumps, tanks and other parts to the site and keep repairs going smoothly said Joe Gribble, BPA electrician Foreman II in Idaho Falls.
"Anything we've needed, they've been Johnny-on-the-spot in getting us what we've needed," he said. "In transformer time, we're addressing this in a very timely manner."
Crews traced the failure to internal fault related to spacing inside the transformer. The failure caused minor local outages, but crews quickly shifted the load to a spare bank that can handle the job during lower winter demands for power, Gribble said.
The canvas tent protected crews and the transformer as they worked on it amid freezing temperatures at the elevation of about 5,600 feet. Hyundai, the transformer manufacturer, also sent representatives to the scene. The transformer should now be back in service by the start of March.
"Considering the conditions, it has all come together very well," he said. "The response really benefited from how much support we've had throughout the organization."