More than 45 years. That’s how long it’s been since Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative added a substation to its system. The co-op’s last substation was constructed in 1976.

October 15 became a monumental day for the New Castle, Va.-based co-op. Several community leaders and others attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at CBEC’s new 10-megavolt-ampere (peak demand of 12 MVA) Ironto substation in Elliston.

CEO Jeff Ahearn welcomed guests and explained the significance of the new structure. “This station is 25 miles from the substation that originally served the region,” said Ahearn. “It was proposed and constructed to resolve power quality issues.”

Virginia Transformer in Roanoke, only 30 minutes from the new substation, constructed the power transformer. Some of its employees on the project were also CBEC members.

The great distance between the feeder and the Stone Coal Gap substation, previously serving this area, caused voltage issues and significant outage frequency and duration.

“The new substation reduces this exposure and serves as a back-up to several other substations,” said Ahearn. “We now have the ability to pick up load from Meadow Creek substation in New Castle and Stone Coal Gap substation in Botetourt County.”

Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative thanks local businesses Let’s Graze Charcuterie By Kristen and Cupcakes and Canines, as well as co-hosts Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce for their contributions to the successful event.

—Report by Jim Robertson, Staff Writer, VMDAEC