NORWALK, Conn. – Looking to ultimately generate more revenue and better control its own destiny, the Third Taxing District Electric Co. will build a new electrical substation in East Norwalk, according to General Manager Jim Smith.
The substation will cost about $7 million to build. Construction is scheduled to begin Monday in the now vacant lot on Fitch, and it is slated to be completed by mid- to late-December.
On Thursday, company, district and city officials held a brief groundbreaking ceremony at 6 Fitch St. at the substation site. The district bought the property a few years ago and razed the house on it in anticipation of building the substation.
“The district saved up for this over about 10 years,” said Smith. The property backs up to the Metro-North Railroad tracks.
The new substation will allow the local power company, one of three that serves residents of Norwalk, to become a transmission owner. It will be able to jack directly into the New England electric grid and sell power back to other utilities.
“Our board and management decided that we were not getting enough value from the transmission service we were receiving from Connecticut Light & Power,” said Smith. “Once the substation is completed, we will begin to generate revenue from the New England grid.”
Smith estimates that the company will save about $250,000 annually and generate another $250,000 each year – or a $500,000 swing – through transmission ownership.
Additionally, the new substation will make the district's already reliable service even more reliable, according to Smith. The district will not be vulnerable to an outage from another company, he said.
"The only way we'll lose power is if the grid goes down, and if that happens then all the power companies tied into the grid will go down, too," said Smith.
The company is paying for the substation's $7 million in construction costs in cash and will not incur any debt. It should take about 12 or 13 years to essentially pay for the construction costs, which eventually could lead to savings for ratepayers.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.