The last of Perry’s seven former electricity substations was demolished this week, marking the end of a two-year Alliant Energy project to rewire Perry.
Mike Ryan, traveling substation foreman with Alliant Energy, led the dismantling crew at the substation at the south end of Grove Street near Iowa Highway 141. Ryan led the job of decommissioning seven obsolete substations scattered around in Perry.
The first substations were taken out of service a year ago, one near the Bar-Jac Mobile Estates on the city’s northern boundary and at the Alliant Energy facility east of Pattee Park in Perry.
The step-down transformations that used to occur at the seven substations now all happen at the new substation located just south of Tyson Fresh Meats at Iowa Highway 141 and I Court. The new substation doubles Perry’s power capacity, from 12.5 kilovolts to 25 kilovolts, and standardizes the power voltage distributed in Perry and the surrounding area.
Marty Mensen, Alliant Energy manager of customer operations, said electric power can be moved a much longer distance at 25 kilovolts, so the substation on Perry’s western boundary also sends power to consumers in Woodward, Bagley and Bayard.
Rewiring Perry cost Alliant Energy $15 million and took two years, with the demolition of the Grove Street substation marking very nearly the end of the process. The electricity infrastructure upgrade included the placement of 889 new power poles and 16 miles of new wire in Perry.
Much of the electric power Perry’s factories, businesses and residences use is generated at a coal-fired power plant in Marshalltown, Mensen said. Coal is gradually being phased out and replaced by cleaner-burning natural gas, with wind and solar power taking coal’s place.