PG&E upgrading Colusa Substation to improve reliability, enhance capacity

PG&E will be rebuilding the Colusa Substation over the next two years. 


To provide greater reliability and increased capacity, Pacific Gas and Electric Company will be upgrading the Substation located in Colusa.

Over the next two years, work to rebuild the Substation will include replacing the two substation transformers and all associated major equipment in addition to replacing the perimeter fence on the north and east sides with a wall, according to a release issued by the utility. 

“Once completed in 2022, the upgraded substation will better serve future electric demand while providing more reliable power to the Colusa area,” said Jim Monninger, senior manager of PG&E’s Sacramento and Sierra divisions. “The new equipment includes state-of-the-art remote monitoring and operating capabilities and protective devices, which will mean fewer power outages and faster restoration times for customers.”

The rebuild, which will be done in multiple phases, began earlier this year when PG&E removed intact and damaged equipment from the substation. 

“With equipment out of the way, PG&E completed a second phase of soil remediation from historical manufactured gas plant operations,” it was stated in the release. “The remediation work began in August and continues through October, with substation equipment upgrades starting in early November.”

According to the release, a previous transformer suffered damage in the early morning of Dec. 2, 2019. 

“Within hours PG&E restored power to all customers using an auxiliary transformer at the substation and a mobile transformer was brought in to provide added backup,” it was stated in the release.

The Substation property was once a manufactured gas plant from about 1886 to 1940, according to the utility, with the gas used for the lighting, heating and cooking needs of the Colusa community until PG&E built natural gas transmission lines. 

PG&E has since retained the land for a substation and work yard, and has made the voluntary effort to remediate soils at former manufactured gas plants including this location. Soil on part of the Colusa property was removed in 2013 in the first phase of remediation.

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