It is Cooperative Principle #6, Cooperation Among Cooperatives, and Wolverine recently adhered to it when they jumped on board to help build the very first substation for Ontonagon County REA. Wolverine’s Transmission Line Project Manager Bob Siekas and Electrical Engineer Jon Johnson were project managers for the new Boston Substation, which was officially energized on November 5, 2015.
Wolverine designed the substation in the fall of 2014, but agreements with American Transmission Company (ATC) for interconnection stalled, delaying construction until the end of July 2015. “Once the agreements fell into place, the project really moved quickly”, stated Siekas. “The Hydaker-Wheatlake Company was awarded the construction contract and it took only three months and one week to complete the project”.
According to Johnson, there were several challenges that had to be dealt with. “The property had an old mine shaft on it and there were protected wetlands that we had to be mindful of,” explained Johnson. “The ground was also solid bedrock that started ten feet down from the surface, which really posed a challenge.” Johnson said the eight hour drive was also trying at times, especially if they forgot to bring something they needed with them.
Overall, Siekas and Johnson agree that it was a project they are proud to say they were a part of. “It was a co-op helping a co-op, nothing else,” Johnson said. Siekas said he really enjoyed training the team at Ontonagon. “They were hungry for knowledge, which made it very worthwhile.”
Along with Siekas and Johnson, Wolverine sent three different sets of crews to the Boston Substation to assist, including: Bob Smith, Scott Smith, Brian Wolak, Jeremy Fortier, Jason Juntunen, David Moore, Pete Shankland, Dan VanSlembrouck, Rusty Holmes, Justin Lail, Steve Robbins, Mike Lovelace, Ron Rowe, John Hayka, Jerry Galer, Klint Weaver, and Pat Spalding. Jim Dietlin also assisted with coordinating materials.