With 7 transmission lines and 2 distribution transformers, Pequonnock is key to electricity reliability across New England
New Pequonnock is set 700 feet away from Long Island Sound and 5 feet above the 100-year flood level, ensuring resiliency in wake of climate change
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — July 19, 2023 — Today, United Illuminating, a subsidiary of Avangrid (NYSE: AGR), unveiled significant progress on the rebuild of Pequonnock Substation, a cornerstone of fulfilling UI’s commitment to providing reliable electricity to the greater Bridgeport region. In addition to serving Bridgeport customers through its distribution network, Pequonnock connects to the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE) system with seven transmission lines that service the electric grid from New York to Maine. Because of significant flood risk to Old Pequonnock, the newly rebuilt substation was moved 700 feet southwest of Old Pequonnock, away from the Pequonnock River, and set five feet above the 100-year flood level.
“Pequonnock Substation is essential to our most important commitment: providing access to reliable electricity for all our customers, no matter the circumstances,” said Pedro Azagra, CEO of Avangrid. “As we face the historic challenge of climate change, it is essential that we invest in our infrastructure to protect it from the impacts of increasingly severe storms and flood risk, especially for substations like Pequonnock that serve both the local distribution grid and the entire regional transmission system. I am proud our team recognized the urgent need to invest in relocating and rebuilding the Pequonnock Substation, and I look forward to it becoming fully operational next year.”
United Illuminating energized Old Pequonnock in 1956. The substation is located on the banks of the Pequonnock River at the mouth of the Long Island Sound. During Hurricane Irene (2011) and Superstorm Sandy (2012), significant storm surge threatened to a cause a long-lasting catastrophic outage for both transmission and distribution customers. As a result, UI proactively deenergized Pequonnock Substation, which preserved the transmission system but resulted in outages for approximately 40,000 customers in the greater Bridgeport region.
“Rebuilding Pequonnock Substation has been a long time coming, and I am pleased that after years of work, the UI team is approaching the finish line on this historic project,” said Frank Reynolds, President and CEO of United Illuminating. “It has been clear for a decade now that despite physical barriers protecting Old Pequonnock in the short term, the only long-term solution to sea level rise and flood risk is a complete rebuild of the substation. Bringing this new substation online is an urgent priority, and I am proud of all the hard work that has gone into making that mission a reality.”
In addition to ensuring reliable access to electricity for tens of thousands of UI customers in the greater Bridgeport region and millions of New Englanders connected to its transmission system, the construction of the new Pequonnock Substation has also benefitted the local Bridgeport economy. Approximately 30 workers are on-site six days a week constructing and testing the new substation, in addition to dozens of off-site support staff. UI has also engaged at least three other local Connecticut companies to help bring the project to completion .
"As a member of the legislature's Energy and Technology Committee and the Chair of the Environment Committee, I'm glad to see the commitment to not only resiliency, but updating our electric grid as we transition away from fossil fuels," said State Representative Joe Gresko, who also serves as the Green/Energy Coordinator for the City of Bridgeport. "I'm hopeful this substation can be a connection point for the energy generated by offshore wind."
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About UI: The United Illuminating Company (UI) is a subsidiary of Avangrid, Inc. Established in 1899, UI operates approximately 3,600 miles of electric distribution lines and 138 miles of transmission lines. It serves approximately 341,000 customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas of Connecticut. UI received the Edison Electric Institute’s Emergency Recovery Award in 2019 and 2021. For more information, visit www.uinet.com.
About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $41 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs more than 7,500 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022 and 2023 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2023, Avangrid ranked first within the utility sector for its commitment to the environment. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2023 for the fifth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.