Update on Pepco’s Harvard Substation Upgrade Project

Pepco Substation No. 13, at Harvard and Sherman Avenue, with 2914 Sherman in the background.

Pepco Substation No. 13, at Harvard and Sherman Avenue.

Pepco is currently in the process of improving reliability of electrical service and preparing for a growth in demand for electricity in Ward 1. Their efforts to do this are largely centered on the Pepco substation located at Harvard Street and Sherman Avenue.

To accomplish this, Pepco plans to meet future electrical needs by converting the 4kV underground distributions cables in the area to 13kV cables to enhance service and the system’s reliability. Prior to the work currently being undertaken, Pepco crews have installed nearly 17,600 feet of new conduit and 45,000 feet of new cable. They have also replaced 83 transformers. For their current phase of the project, crews will install/replace approximately 18,000 feet of cable, along with 45 transformers, 4 manholes, 4 switches and additional electrical equipment. The construction began in March 2016 and is scheduled for completion by December 2016. A more detailed fact sheet is available here, and includes the map below:

Harvard Conversion distribution map Spring 2016

In addition to the underground power network upgrades, the Harvard Substation also needs to be upgraded. The building contains aging equipment that must be replaced by 2022 in order to meet increased demands for electricity in the area. To facilitate the substation upgrade, Pepco purchased the property to the north (2914 Sherman) and razed it in order to install temporary electric equipment that will continue to provide electrical service while the main substation is off line and being upgraded. The work that still needs to be undertaken is as follows:

  1. Establish temporary electric equipment: The temporary equipment will provide electric service in the area for the entire period the existing substation is out of service during the upgrade. Work to install the temporary equipment will likely start in 2018.
  2. Transfer electric load to temporary equipment: Once established, Pepco will transfer the electric load from the Harvard Substation to the temporary equipment.
  3. Upgrade Harvard Substation: Pepco anticipates the upgrade of the Harvard Substation will begin immediately following the electric load transfer to the temporary equipment and will work with the community to ensure the design of the upgraded Harvard Substation is harmonized with neighboring architectural themes.
  4. Transfer electric load back to the Harvard Substation: After upgrades are completed, the electric load will be transferred back to the upgraded Harvard Substation from the temporary equipment and the Harvard Substation will resume providing electric service in 2022.
  5. Disassemble the temporary equipment. Following the load transfers back to the upgraded Harvard Substation, the temporary equipment will be disassembled.

Additional and future information on the Harvard Substation project — as well as other Pepco reliability projects — is available on the Pepco Web site here.

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2 Comments on “Update on Pepco’s Harvard Substation Upgrade Project”

  1. J Says:

    Has there been any engagement with Pepco to try make the site less of an eyesore in the process? A mural or some landscaping or even a coat of paint with a nice trim would go a long way in making that stretch more attractive/less bleak.

  2. Gentrify-u Says:

    Where’s the parking? And affordable units?


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