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10:30 PM Thu, Oct. 18th

Citizens announces Sunday power cut

Citizens Communications Company's Arizona Electric Division announced Wednesday a planned outage of its Hilltop substation from midnight to 3 a.m.

Sunday, according to Citizens' Arizona Director of Electrical Operations Tom Ferry.

Citizens is scheduling the work during the early morning hours to minimize impact on its customers, Ferry said.

During the three-hour down time, Citizens has arranged for delivery of power from alternative sources and does not expect that service to individual customers will be interrupted, he said.

While the substation is out, service to customers in the area will be maintained using connection to the new Griffith substation, an interconnection to Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) facilities at Davis Dam and an interconnection with Nevada Power, he said.

These interconnections have limited capacity compared to Citizens Hilltop facility and Citizens request assistance of its customers in Kingman, Golden Valley, Dolan Springs and Bullhead City areas to minimize their electric usage during the planned outage.

This will help reduce the chance of unexpected service interruptions, he said.

The work at Hilltop substation will add circuit breakers and a new control building to improve service reliability to the company's customers.

Construction of the $3.7 million project began in October.

Citizens expects to complete the entire project by April.

Temporary transmission service lines have been constructed to serve the load from the Hilltop substation while the 230,000-volt portion of the substation is removed and replaced with new equipment, Ferry said.

Installation and removal of these temporary facilities will require workers to be in direct contact to the high voltage transmission line.

To ensure safety for work crews, it will be necessary to de-energize the Hilltop substation twice before completion of the project, once next Sunday and again near the end of construction, he said.

The Hilltop substation receives power from WAPA's high voltage transmission line at 230,000 volts and reduces down to 69,000 volts.

State of the art equipment is being installed at the substation, which will automatically sense power interruptions and quickly redirect the flow of electrical power to compensate for these abnormalities, he said.

The improvements at the substation will help minimize outages caused by storms and other problems, which occur on WAPA's 230,000-volt line

"We believe the improvements we are making to the Hilltop substation will significantly benefit our electric customers in Kingman and surrounding areas," Ferry said.

"This is another example of our efforts to improve our service quality and reliability, which we know is of great importance to our customers."

The work at the Hilltop substation is similar to work completed at the Black Mesa substation last year.

Citizens has also placed in service it 24-hour Statewide Dispatch Center, which allows it to efficiently monitor and respond quickly to service interruptions.

"We will have our crews on standby while power is interrupted to the Hilltop substation so that we can quickly respond to any unexpected system outages," Ferry said.

"Should problems occur, our customers may reach us by calling 757-2194 and we'll do all we can to minimize any problems that may occur as a result of our work on the substation."