Overhead Wire Replacement
Freeport Electric is progressing designs and plans to upgrade several overhead primary feeders in three areas of the system. Work is focusing on improvements to Guy Lombardo Blvd., South Ocean Ave., and Ray Street to replace antiquated construction that was completed in the period of 1950’s through 1960 and is reaching its anticipated “end of life” by adversely affecting system reliability. These three areas contain multiple cross arms, and open wire configurations with bare #4/0 copper conductors. Over time, this arrangement has been shown to be extremely susceptible to damage from falling trees and weather related wind and storms that is prevalent on the Freeport distribution network.
To remedy this situation, a plan has been completed for installing insulated 397.4 KcMil aluminum conductors in a spacer cable configuration that will significantly increase reliability by virtue of its inherent design. This system is specifically designed for high reliability, low operating costs, and weather resiliency. UV protected polymer covered conductors allow intermittent contact with tree branches and ground points without causing an outage or nuisance tripping. The polymer is resistant to UV degradation, electrical tracking and abrasion. Conductors are supported by a high tensile strength messenger providing superior mechanical support; and the neutral conductor acts as a shield wire against lightning. The conductors are hung loosely beneath the messenger and supported by "spacers." That facilitates the messenger and the conductors to be bundled into a compact area providing great flexibility, ease of installation, and less damage from falling trees. In addition, material upgrades will be provided to enhance switching by incorporating three phase SCADA capable sectionalizing switches, new primary fused cutouts, and improved lightning arrestors to further minimize potential outages.
These advancements in material and design will continue to promote increased reliability and safety of the Freeport Electric network while continuing FE’s goal of superior customer service.