Fermilab’s original Master Substation Control Building was built nearly 50 years ago. The current Utilities Upgrade Project was developed in part to rebuild the Master Substation with modern and safer equipment to support the current and future electrical requirements of the lab.
Construction started in March 2015 with the fabrication of the control building and internal equipment by electrical equipment manufacturer ABB. While the building was being fabricated at a factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Master Substation yard underwent reconstruction with electrical site contractor Meade Electric, including the demolition and construction of a new building basement vault, electrical yard equipment and underground facilities.
The 120-by-40-foot control building was shipped in eight sections and arrived at Fermilab in June 2016. The building was placed, one section at a time, on the new concrete basement vault over a two-week period. ABB is now performing final assembly of all electrical, mechanical and architectural components. Once final assembly is complete, quality control testing and final acceptance of the building and components will take place.
The next steps will include the integration of the building into the substation by Meade Electric with the connecting of all of the equipment in the yard, external controls and sitewide communications to the new control building. Programming of all equipment followed by full functional testing will complete the installation, scheduled for December 2016. At that time, we will be able to energize the newly upgraded substation and reintegrate the Master Substation back into the Fermilab electrical system.
Randy Wielgos of FESS is the electrical project manager for the Utilities Upgrade Project.