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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities

T.B. Simon Power Plant - upgrade utility substation

Project phase: Archived

MSU's co-generation steam and electrical power plant meets the power and steam needs for a majority of the developed campus north of Mt. Hope Road.

Starting in approximately 2019, an additional 18-20 megawatts of electrical power will be needed to operate the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). The University is also actively expanding its research capacity, which will require additional electrical power and heat.

At present, the T.B. Simon Power Plant can reliably meet the peak electrical needs of the campus. In addition to the Power Plant's self-generation facilities, an electrical substation provides a connection between the Power Plant and the local utility electric grid. The substation makes it possible for the University to purchase electric power from the local utility and provides firming capacity for the Power Plant. With the development of the FRIB project and projected growth of the campus infrastructure, however, the production capabilities and the current capacity of the substation are insufficient to meet the University's increasing need for electric power.

The location of the new switching station is along Power Line Drive approximately 400 yards east of College Road.  The total area is estimated at approximately 1.5 acres, with less than one acre needed in addition to the existing easement.  This location reduces the length of the new transmission lines and will result in savings related to duct bank construction costs.  The switching station includes the installation of new breakers and related equipment necessary to connect the new 138kV duct bank to the supply grid.  The project included an access road around the switching station to provide entry and exit to the farm management facilities located in this area.   Evergreen plantings have been installed between the switch station and College Road to enhance both security and aesthetics.


  • Start of construction: January 2016
  • End of construction: May 2017

Questions, comments, concerns?

Construction representative