​By Lisa Meiman

On June 4 Sierra Nevada celebrated the successful energization of the new Folsom transformer, on time and under budget.

The new transformer supports the reliability of the grid and Folsom Dam in northern California and also helps avoid future maintenance costs associated with the old transformer.

“The existing transformer was about 35 years old,” said Project Manager Zia Islam. “Periodic maintenance by our electricians and Asset Management team revealed signs of poor health in addition to the asset coming to the end of its expected service life.”

SN began planning to replace the old transformer around 2015, working with WAPA’s Design and Procurement offices, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Central Valley Project Governing Board and construction contractors.

“We needed concurrence from Reclamation as a partner as they operate Folsom Dam,” said Islam. “We had a series of meetings and discussions and came up with a plan in 2017 that was a compromise to replace the existing transformer with new one. Because of Reclamation’s need to operate the pumps 24/7, we could not take the transformer out of service without a backup. An emergency backup consisting of large temporary generators was brought in during construction.”

SN staff celebrated the project with a pizza party June 13.

Note: Meiman is a public affairs specialist.

Last modified on September 12th, 2023