DTE Energy Fermi 2 Transformer Interchange

DTE Energy
Newport, Michigan
884,000 pounds
Equipment Installation

When a main power transformer failed at DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant in Newport, Mich., the company hired Walbridge Industrial Process (WIP) to remove it and install a new 884,000-pound Elin/Siemens transformer in a critically short timeframe.

WIP mobilized immediately, draining 160,000 pounds of oil from the replacement transformer, temporarily positioned at an offsite storage area, before prepping it for relocation in DTE’s protected area at Fermi 2. The team jacked up the unit and installed slider beams to load it onto a 128-wheel dolly system.

The transformer was then transported a half-mile through the DTE’s facility before being lifted with a heavy-duty hydraulic turntable, rotated 90 degrees, placed and refilled with oil.

DTE then took the old transformer offline and prepped it for WIP to extract and complete interchange of the new transformer. The interchange required jacking up the failed transformer by 42 inches, installing a jack-and-slider system and moving it approximately 150 feet to the west to make room for its replacement, which was immediately connected to all power systems upon reaching its final position. WIP installed the original 997,000-pound Hyundai power transformer back in 2010.

WIP finished the job under budget and five days ahead of schedule, having completed the interchange process in just 48 hours. The project was successfully carried out with no operational interruptions or safety issues.