Like most structures, utility substations don’t last forever.
NV Energy’s Brunswick substation is a prime example. Located just outside of Carson City, Brunswick has been serving the region for decades, but the time has come for a fresh start for the facility.
“The equipment here was old and archaic,” said NV Energy Substation Electrician and fill-in foreman Eric Czeczok. “So we’re starting from the ground up, and expanding it to make it bigger. It’s going to make for a much better substation, and more reliable service for the Carson area.”
Rebuilding a substation is no small task. In fact, this is one of the largest jobs to come through NV Energy’s substation department in the last decade, and another crew from the Vegas area is being called in to assist Czeczok’s crew in the coming weeks. They expect to complete the new substation in early 2018.
While the job itself is relatively straight-forward, the torrential rainstorms that walloped northwestern Nevada in recent weeks have made the ground conditions less than desirable.
“Weather’s been a challenge … we’ve had standing water out here until just the last two weeks, and that’s made for a muddy mess,” said Czeczok. “But with spring and summer breaking, we’re hoping we’ll have some good [weather].”
The break from the rain certainly seems to have put the crew in bright spirits, with smiles abounding on the jobsite. But Czeczok, a 22-year IBEW member, credits the union, more than the weather, for his co-workers’ sunny disposition.
“The union is … what’s keeping spirits up with the guys,” he said. “And they’re keeping us working, and keeping us safe. They just do wonderful things for us.”
Photos by John Storey