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December 12, 2022

ENMAX Power invests in powering Calgary’s future with replacement of city’s first substation


Calgary, Alta. – Construction has begun on ENMAX Power’s new Substation No. 1 to ensure many more decades of safe, reliable power.

Located downtown, the new substation will replace the century-old substation which currently powers the heart of Calgary’s downtown. The new substation will be rebuilt on a new site just across the street. Construction includes a new 35,000 square foot substation building, housing medium and high voltage electrical equipment and control room, and six high voltage transmission lines and 24 medium voltage network feeder lines.

"Rebuilding Substation No. 1 is a significant undertaking and will be the largest project in ENMAX Power’s history," said Jana Mosley, President, ENMAX Power. "It’s part of ENMAX’s continued investment in building a strong and resilient grid to ensure the continued delivery of safe, reliable power -- now and into the future."

Most of the building construction will occur on site, however, re-connecting the transmission and network lines from the existing substation to the new substation will require trenching on 9 Avenue S.W., 7 Street S.W. and 8 Street S.W. beginning in early 2023.

Construction is expected to take over two years. The new substation is expected to be complete and operational by early 2025.

About Calgary’s Original Substation No. 1

True to its name, Substation No. 1 is Calgary’s original substation, built in 1912 to power the early streetlights and streetcar rail system in the city.

Substation No.1 has evolved over more than 100 years and supplies power to approximately 45 per cent of the downtown Calgary geographic area. This equals more than half of ENMAX Power’s downtown customers—approximately 19,500—including high-rise residential buildings, commercial customers, data centres and health-care facilities.

Substation No. 1 has evolved alongside the needs of a growing city – from the turn of the 20th century when Calgary was "The City of Opportunities" to when the population expanded along with the streetcar, to the spread of substations across the region to keep up with the city’s expansion.

"Substation No. 1 has played a crucial role in the history of our city and this replacement ensures it will play an equally important role in our future," said Kurtis Hildebrandt, Director, Regulatory Reporting and Strategy at ENMAX Power, who has studied the history of electricity in Calgary.