APS: More Electrical Substations Needed In Downtown Phoenix

Published: Monday, January 29, 2018 - 5:00am
Updated: Monday, January 29, 2018 - 4:08pm
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(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Downtown Phoenix.

As downtown Phoenix grows, so does demand for power. A representative for Arizona Public Service recently told the City Council that APS needs to build a number of substations in the downtown area.

“If we don’t have the power we can’t do what we’re trying to accomplish down here,” said Dan Klocke, executive director of Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

The council approved changes to the downtown code to allow public utility facilities. The plan calls for community input and a focus on design.

Klocke said there are creative ways to incorporate substations into a dense, urban setting.

“Sometimes it’s just really funky, cool art. Sometimes it’s designed to make it literally look like a building. Sometimes they — with bigger settings — they’ve included parks and stuff like that," Klocke said.

Without the substations, Klocke said Phoenix’s downtown cannot support new commercial and residential buildings.

“The good thing about this is APS understands that in a urban context you need to have some pretty good design because, you know, not a lot of people like walking by a substation,” he said. “But in downtowns they’re critically important because everyone’s walking to a lot of different places and so the feel of a block is really important.”

APS representative Kendra Lee told council members the company had originally looked at property between First and Second streets on the south side of McKinley Street but is no longer pursuing the city-owned site. Lee said APS will focus on public outreach to identify feasible sites with construction expected to begin in 2019.

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