The transformer doubles the electrical capacity of Tombigbee Electric Power Association's Endville Road substation. It serves about 4,000 customers in the Tupelo Country Club, Dogwood Hills, McCullough Boulevard, Sherman, Belden and Macedonia areas.
TEPA, a nonprofit, customer-owned utility headquartered in Tupelo, provides power to about 41,300 residential, commercial, industrial and public customers in a more than 1,000-square-mile service area.
"In case we lose one (transformer) due to trouble, then we'll have another one," said TEPA Manager Bill Long. "We're also adding an additional six circuits at that station to be able to serve the growing load in the west Tupelo area."
The number of customers feeding off the substation has doubled in the past decade, Long said. With the new transformer and other upgrades, the site will be able to power the area for the foreseeable future.
Customers won't notice major changes because of the work, which began in early 2009. But Long said service should be more reliable.
TEPA still must add circuit breakers and perform other maintenance to the site before the project is complete. Everything is scheduled to wrap up by Thanksgiving.
TEPA's service area is predominantly in Lee and Itawamba counties but includes portions of the six adjoining counties as well. It experienced slight growth in the fiscal year that ended in June, primarily in the small business and commercial sector. Total electric sales exceeded $96 million.
TEPA paid more than $75 million in wholesale power costs to TVA in FY 2010. Any net revenue realized by TEPA is used to meet system growth. In the last year, that totaled more than $4.9 million.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.