The voltage of the transmission lines was to be converted from 23,000 volts (23kV) to 69,000 volts (69kV) and the distribution system was to be converted from 2,400 volts to 12,470 volts. Additional substations would be required to be constructed in the valley and West Juneau areas and the existing substations would require complete reconstruction, including transformers, breakers, and cables.
One of the major difficulties to overcome was to make the necessary modifications with the minimum amount of disturbance to the customers. This required many of the substation and distribution transformers to be designed to operate under both systems. First the transmission line was converted and the substations energized at 69kV with the distribution system remaining at 2,400 volts. Once the entire transmission system was converted, the distribution system could be converted one feeder at a time.
The project started in the 1970's under the supervision of Hugh Macaulay, who worked night and day to keep the lights on, and was completed in 1990, several years after Hugh Macaulay's retirement.
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