Contest #619: Church Street Electrical Substation, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Approximate location: 30°19’59.71″ N 81°40’08.62″ W

Sorry, best picture I could come up with — electric companies like JEA are pretty tight-lipped about their infrastructure and they don’t post a lot of details or pictures — this is one of the reasons this was a pretty hard one.

This is an electric substation, used to change voltages in an electric grid, in this case, since it is in the middle of a city, probably from either a transmission grade line (200KV and above) to a distribution grade (less than 200KV) voltage or from one distribution grade to a smaller one. Then, smaller transformers near the houses/businesses step it down further, in this case to the US standard of around 120KV at 60hz.

As many of you know, my day job is in the electrical generation and transmission industry. While I don’t work in substation construction or engineering, I know folks who do, and I asked them about this. None of them had ever heard of a round (or oval) substation before. Subsequently, I’ve been told this isn’t the only one out there, but it is quite rare.

As to Garfield’s question about why I didn’t use the other one (the oval one), until Phil Ower pointed it out, I hadn’t seen it.

Those who found it before the hint:

  • Paul Voestermans
  • Martin de Bock
  • Lighthouse
  • Eloy Cano
  • Phil Ower
  • Walter_V_R
  • hhgygy
  • Nancy Barbato

and after:

  • Rob de Wolff
  • Farceur
  • Wista
  • Garfield
  • David Kozina