In a rural, mountainous area known as Topaz Ranch Estates in Wellington, NV, a line crew from NV Energy was tasked with upgrading a transformer on the 204 line out of Anaconda substation in Yerington, about 30 miles northeast.
“We’re taking down a CSP [completely self-protected] transformer, which used to be internally fused, and we’re replacing it with a new transformer,” explained NV Energy Line Foreman Aaron Van Winkle. “We’re upgrading it from a 15kva to 25kva and adding some protection, fusing it for troubleshooting purposes later so it’ll be a lot easier. We also upgraded it for multiple services, for load.”
Although transformer replacement is a fairly basic and commonplace task, Van Winkle and his crew recognized that the job, like most that they do, came with its fair share of challenges, from the oncoming traffic to the fact that the line remained energized while they were working.
“You always gotta keep your head in the game,” he said, “whether your climbing, setting poles… it all has its risks.”
But Van Winkle appreciates the fact that he has the union to look after his safety and provide him with the necessary training.
“I love the union. I’ve been in for 15 years, and it’s done good for me, provided me a good living, and great training,” said Van Winkle. “When we see people coming here from other places, and it makes us realize what 1245 actually does for us.”
Photos by John Storey