As community members and state officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Liberty’s new electrical substation in Greenfield, Missouri, the real focus was on the future.
Greenfield Mayor Dave Engroff said that as the project got underway, he would often drive out to the site to observe the progress being made.
“From an empty field to what we have now is amazing,” Engroff said. “We’re thankful Liberty had the foresight to invest millions of dollars into our community. They see a small community that is growing and has a strong future.”
The previous substation – with equipment and structures dating back to the 1950s – had become increasingly difficult to maintain due to age and utility standards. Liberty’s Engineering Department began studying the transmission and distribution system looking for ways to modernize the substation. When one of the transformers failed, it became apparent that options for the system were limited.
For the last two years, a mobile transformer with temporary fencing has been serving parts of Greenfield.
A pole yard was relocated to behind Liberty’s storeroom north of town and construction began on a new substation, which was completed this spring.
“Technology has come a long way,” said Shaen Rooney, Liberty’s Director of Strategic Projects. “There are two different distribution voltages used here in the city of Greenfield, which limited our options for restoring service during outages. The new substation has the ability to have everyone in Greenfield on the same voltage. That portion of the project (aligning the two voltages) will be starting up at the first of the year.”
Among those on hand to speak to how the new substation will contribute to the city and region’s growth were State Rep. Ann Kelley; State Sen. Curtis Trent; Dr. Chris Kell, superintendent of the Greenfield R-IV School District; and Missy Netzer, President of the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
Ultimately, the new substation will help Liberty achieve its goals of delivering safe, reliable, and affordable service to customers, said Kevin Noblet, President of Liberty’s Central Region.
“This substation is going to help modernize the grid, and it’s going to make the grid more resilient,” he said. “And because of that, it’s going to help us meet these goals.”