Picture of substation

Word of the Month: Electrical Substation

Currently, UC Davis obtains two forms of energy: natural gas and electricity. Natural gas is purchased directly from PG&E and is routed onto campus through pipelines. But electricity comes from a variety of sources and must be funneled through an electrical substation before being distributed to across campus. 

What is an electrical substation?

An electrical substation plays a key role in transforming electricity for use before it’s delivered to the consumer, which is you! UC Davis owns and operates its own substation, which is connected to reliable high voltage PG&E lines. Through specialized electrical equipment, the substation transforms electricity from transmission voltage (115kV) to distribution voltage (12kV) for delivery to campus buildings (Figure 1). As of 2020, the university purchases electricity from three main sources: hydropower, solar power, and the grid.

Joules the Cow with high voltage sign
Figure 1