Following months of speculation among Westside neighborhoods, Georgia Power officials have detailed what a major construction project next to Atlanta’s most celebrated new greenspace will entail.
Excavation work and changes to power-line infrastructure began last fall on acreage owned by Georgia Power between Proctor Creek Greenway, a scenic multi-use trail, and Marietta Boulevard. The location is of high interest because it borders both Westside Park’s recently unveiled first phase and the 90 acres where Microsoft is planning a sprawling Atlanta campus connected to the Bankhead MARTA station.
The ongoing construction project is known as the “Northwest Substation Extensive Rebuild,” and its goal is to improve the utility provider’s services to the area and prep the Westside to better handle expected growth, as Georgia Power spokesperson John Kraft tells Urbanize Atlanta.
The final substation configuration is expected to cover about 11 acres, or roughly one-sixth of property Georgia Power owns along the park’s southern edge, Kraft said.
The site’s existing substation has operated for decades, providing electricity to commercial, industrial, residential, and other customers. Construction involves rebuilding and expanding that facility, its high-voltage transmission lines, and the smaller distribution circuits that tentacle out from the substation into Westside neighborhoods.
“The project is designed to improve the reliability and resiliency of the localized electric grid, accommodate electrical load growth in the area, and replace aging equipment, among other factors,” Kraft wrote via email.
Following a barrage of reader inquiries, our attempts to gather information on the project three months ago were less successful. Theories went that a parking lot was being constructed that Grove Park residents have discussed, or that Georgia Power was moving its infrastructure in the area to allow for a southward expansion of the park soon.
According to Kraft, grading and other site work is expected to continue for a few months until substation construction starts this spring. Georgia Power expects the new facility will go into service in spring 2024.
No official renderings or other visuals that lend an idea what the larger substation will look like are currently available, Kraft said.
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