Sliding Into Place: Moving a Transformer at a Portland Substation
- Jack-and-slide system
- 6-1 line SPMT
Portland General Electric (PGE) is in the midst of a substantial, 5-year project: modernizing and strengthening the energy grid in the northwest Portland area. The multi-phased project includes making upgrades to power lines and substations around the city–an important part of the plan that will help PGE continue providing reliable energy service to the area. And as the population continues to expand, this infrastructure will be critical.
As part of this project, PGE needed a transformer relocated during the rebuild of one of their substations. They called on Omega Morgan’s heavy lift and rigging crews out of Portland to assist with the move. The job ended up being a joint effort between our cross-trained heavy lift and rigging team and machinery moving specialists–a strong combination of heavy equipment movers with just the expertise needed for this relocation.
All Dressed Up With Somewhere to Go
Since PGE was planning on adding a 230 kilovolt transmission line to this substation, our crews would need to move the existing transformer to a staging area while the work to add the line was being done. Then, once the work was complete, our crews would return the transformer to its new foundation.
The transformer weighed approximately 156,000 pounds and it was left fully dressed–meaning both the radiators and bushings remained attached to the transformer. This would help cut down on time and labor costs–the accessories would not need to be reattached and the transformer would not need to be drained of oil–but it did make the transformer very wide, tall and heavy to move.
The first step was for our machinery moving crew to get the heavyweight equipment onto the staging area while the work was done to add the 230kV transmission line and pour a new foundation pad for the transformer to return to.
Bridging Over Pits and Trenches
Our heavy lift and rigging crews used a jack-and-slide system and a 6-line self-propelled modular transporter to remove the transformer, place it onto the line trailer and return it back onto the new pad. There were a few tricky spots of terrain to manage; while moving the transformer, our crews had to block out and plate over a utility trench in order to safely get across. Our heavy lift and rigging team also needed to bridge an open pit using crib ties when it was time to return the transformer to the new foundation.
In the end, our machinery moving and heavy lift and rigging services teams completed this interesting project on time, on budget, and without incident. PGE was very satisfied with the end result. Our Omega Morgan crew is grateful for the opportunity to support Portland General Electric with their efforts to create a reliable and modernized platform for the future of the area’s energy needs.