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Grid-lock in West Warwick

July 10, 2013

A pair of National Grid trucks bracket a utility pole on Prospect Street yesterday morning, where the transformer atop the pole was replaced with a new one. Jessica Boisclair. Daily Times.

WEST WARWICK— Because of the high demand for electricity during the summer months, National Grid is making it their priority to replace and upgrade transformers in order to maintain service. Yesterday, one in West Warwick got an upgrade.

David Graves, Media Relations Representative for National Grid, explained that this project is part of the Infrastructure and Safety Reliability (ISR) plan the company draws up every year.

“Reliability is always a question during hot weather,” he added. “People are using more and more electricity.”

National Grid has spent approximately $65 million on improvements to infrastructure, he said.

“That includes everything from new wires to new poles to new transformers,” he added.

During the past several years, the National Grid in Rhode Island has been working to replace and upgrade numerous transformers throughout the state.

Each year, he said, a specific goal is set; a target goal for this fiscal year is 550 transformers system-wide.

Last fiscal year, which ended on March 31, he said the company was able to replace 568 transformers.

These important structures help to reduce electricity, taken from the substations, to meet the needs of individual residences.

In heat waves, such as the most recent last weekend, the transformers get overworked if they are not at capacity.

Employee of National Grid Ray Turner explained that the transformer replaced yesterday at 73 Prospect Hill Ave. in West Warwick was running just below 100 percent capacity.

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