Conrad Transformer Addition


Project Name |  Conrad Transformer Addition

Owner | AltaLink

Client’s Name | AltaLink

Location | Near Wrentham, AB

Date / Project Timeline / Delivery | September 2018 to August 2019, completed on time. The project took a total of 8 months to complete, as there was a project lull over the winter months.

Market Sector | Utilities

BACKGROUND (Pre-Project Commencement)

The project scope for the Conrad substation includes installing a new transformer and switchgear and control building combo at Conrad 135s substation.

ICONIC was contracted to upgrade the Conrad substation. The objective was to provide enhanced reliability to the Fortis 25 KV distribution system in the greater Wrentham area. The work required the installation of a new transformer, switchgear and control building combo. Due to the age of the station, there was some uncertainty as to the accuracy of the previously recorded drawings. This posed ongoing challenges to the engineering team.

The single biggest project constraint was the limited availability of outages. The site was on a radial feed on the 138 KV system – leaving a small window of opportunity for outages until the new transformer could be installed as a redundant feed. To further complicate this project, all work needed to proceed with extreme care due to the nesting birds in the area. On top of that, there were issues with manufacturer lead times on the 138 KV and 25 KV switches.

The combination of these challenges, along with winter construction, threatened to set the project back.

ACTION (ICONIC’s Scope & Delivery)

Initially, ICONIC’s project scope was limited to the installation, connection and commissioning of all power system upgrades. This was expanded to include civil services on the pad expansion, as ICONIC was able to demonstrate how we could complete the work more efficiently, without cutting corners. The scope included:

  • Expansion of the existing station pad
  • Installation a new 138/25 KV LTC transformer with a 25 KV switchgear
  • The addition of the Fortis AMI was added to ICONIC’s scope
  • Installation of two (2) new 138 KV breakers for the new and existing transformer
  • One (1) new 7-cell switchgear building with two new feeders
  • Salvage existing 25 KV feeder


This was a project that put ICONIC’s problem-solving abilities to the test. AltaLink’s Project Manager was approachable, easy to coordinate with, and extremely open to solutions.

AltaLink’s flexibility to allow us to execute the project outside of winter months led to better cost control. Defined outage planning ensured that key scopes were completed in a timely manner. To work around procurement delays, arrangements were made to purchase units from AltaLink’s emergency stores until the equipment procured by ICONIC arrived. We were also able to propose alternate material solutions to achieve ISD dates.

ICONIC was able to truly add value to this project by offering up the services of our newly formed earthworks team. We were able to stage portions of the project to aid in electrical execution without the change orders that you would see from an external civil entity. This resulted in a better final product – with no escalated costs to the client.

Finally, we closely monitored the surrounding area to identify and avoid active nesting sites.

Despite the challenges on this project, there were no significant incidents or lost time issues on this project. Regular one-on-one meetings with the client allowed us to maintain progress and arrive at the best path forward.