Progress on Rainey Street Substation Continues, Expected to be Ready Early 2023

August 3, 2022

Progress on Rainey Street Substation

The Austin Energy construction team continues to make progress on the Rainey Street Substation, completing structural work and installing new transformers and transmission poles with an eye on bringing the substation online by early 2023.

The completed project – part of Austin Energy’s “Repowering Downtown” initiative – will add to electrical distribution capacity in Austin, improve walkability, beautify a previously unused parcel of land, and help tie the property into the neighboring natural features such as Lady Bird Lake and Waller Creek. You can view and download photos of the project here.

Why is a New Substation Needed Downtown?

  • Downtown growth — Downtown Austin has experienced tremendous growth since the system was first built. The rapid pace of development downtown is now close to exceeding the electrical facility requirements for the near- and long-term future.
  • Increased capacity — The additional development and fast-growing population of Downtown Austin requires increased energy capacity. The new substation will increase reliability and help Austin Energy meet customer energy needs.

A Unique Design for the Rainey Neighborhood

The Rainey Street Substation is uniquely designed to complement and enhance the local character of the Rainey Neighborhood.

More than 600 Rainey Street neighbors helped select the name and design of the Rainey Street Substation over the course of three public meetings in 2018 and 2019. The community chose a modern design and expressed support to preserve four on-site heritage trees and enhance the streetscape with native landscaping, lighting, benches, trash cans and electric vehicle charging stations.

Construction of the Rainey Street Substation includes:

  • Work to move existing water and wastewater lines from the property into the existing City of Austin street right of way. This portion of the project was completed in Spring 2020.
  • Construction of both underground and overhead power lines to tie the new substation to the downtown grid. This work will continue through early 2023.
  • The Downtown Repowering Project also includes the upgrade of current transmission lines that power downtown to increase their capacity so they can bring in more power and improve reliability for the entire downtown network grid.