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On Saturday, Oct. 20, Duquesne Light successfully facilitated the replacement of three multi-ton transformers on the roof of 1 PPG Place. The Company worked closely with Highwoods Properties, who manages the PPG building.

DLC Riggers transported the transformers from Preble Service Center to the Boulevard of the Allies the morning of Oct. 20, where a large helicopter contracted by Highwoods Properties lifted the transformers 41 stories to the top of the building. Each transformer weighs more than 5 tons (10,550 pounds), and stands approximately 6 feet high, 9 feet long and 4 feet wide. 

Working together, DLC Underground Splicers, Network Operators and Riggers then assisted with the installation of the transformers in a roof-top equipment vault.

Teamwork, Customer Collaboration Critical to Safe and Successful Outcome
The PPG transformer replacement project dates back to late May of this year, when one of the transformers on the 41st floor of 1 PPG Place failed. While the customer still had full power to the building based on other redundant feeds and transformers, a replacement strategy still needed to be determined.

To this end, DLC and Highwood Properties established weekly meetings to determine the appropriate next steps. Prior to the failure, the building housed four transformers. Following the failure, DLC examined historical load data which revealed the four transformers were too large for the building, and that only three total transformers were needed. Because the existing transformers were as antiquated as the one that failed, and coupled with their size and the complexity involved in replacing them, DLC and the customer ultimately made the decision to simultaneously replace all three transformers and remove the failed fourth transformer.

A critical factor in replacement was transporting the transformers to the roof, which the customer was responsible for. After a long search for a crane and potential other methods of transportation, it was decided that the use of a helicopter would be the best way to get the transformers to the roof. This was primarily due to the height of the building.

“The transformer vault on the 41st floor of 1 PPG Place was a unique and challenging location for transformer replacements,” said Russ Profaizer, General Manager, Underground. “Working together, Major Accounts, Asset Management, Underground and Riggers attended several meetings with the customer to ultimately accomplish this complex replacement project. Thanks to all of the groups involved that helped make this a safe and successful job.”

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