Station E substation

The Station E substation will improve the reliability and capacity of midtown and downtown. 

 Aerial map of the location of the station E substation
Click for larger view of map

SMUD is constructing a new substation in Sacramento at the north end of 20th Street, north of C Street and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. The new Station E Substation will replace the North City Substation. Constructed in the 1950s, the North City Substation is nearing the end of its planned operational use.

Substations are critical links in the electrical distribution system. Electricity travels through SMUD’s transmission system to substations where it can be converted to a lower voltage before safely being delivered to homes and businesses. The Station E Substation will directly serve the midtown and downtown areas, improving energy reliability and capacity.

Anticipated activities

The scope of work for Final Construction includes:

  • Grading and surfacing
  • Construction of concrete foundations and control building

 Installation of:

  • Underground conduit and grounding
  • Steel structures and equipment (transformers, circuit breakers, switches)
  • Electrical buss and wiring
  • Testing and commissioning
  • Cutover of overhead and underground transmission and distribution lines from the existing North City Substation

Environmental enhancements and management

Environmental leadership is one of SMUD’s core values. SMUD has invested over $16 million to haul away waste and contamination that had been on the site for decades to prepare it for substation construction which begins May 2019. 

The portion of the site where Substation E will be constructed is now much cleaner and safer and meets environmental and geotechnical requirements for construction.

Learn more about the project site and view original CEQA documents.

Learn who will remove the waste and how it will be removed.


Call us at 1-916-732-5715 or email us at with your questions or comments.

Additional information

SMUD and its construction contractor will monitor air quality during substation construction keeping an eye on dust emissions from the site. Air quality monitoring data will be made available here and updated once a week.

View current air monitoring report     Get weather conditions

For previous air quality reports, please email

Learn how to reduce your exposure and protect your health from harmful particle pollution.

SMUD’s contractor is required to implement dust control measures that include the following:

  • Wetting travel areas with water trucks
  • Stockpile management BMPs
  • Onsite speed limit
  • Limited soil disturbance during high winds
  • Dust monitoring
  • Track out control measures
  • Wet power vacuum street sweeping

November 2020 Update

The construction phase is now nearing the final stretch; it’s been a productive 18 months!  SMUD and our contractor are now finalizing the major construction including paving roadways, and preparing for interconnections to the electric grid and control systems.

Station E project update photo

SMUD crews continue to test systems and are preparing to begin a phased energization (we call cut-over) that will complete in early Spring 2021.  During this period, systems will be turned up and run for a test period before we switch to transfer load from North City substation in a phased coordinated process.

We are continuing to work 6 days per week work (Monday-Saturdays), scheduled completion is Spring 2021

August 2020 Update

Site construction is now over 80% complete. We are currently heavily into electrical fit up, wiring and testing of equipment within the site and control building.Shown below are many several examples of the progress and work going on in the site.

Station E August 2020 project update

Substation Yard as seen from the 2nd floor stairs of the control building.

Station E August 2020 project update

Inspection, verification and testing is a critical step in energizing a substation.  Here you see one of our, crew trucks near the transformer, buss wiring and switches. We have 6-8 staff and contractors dedicated to testing and commissioning of the systems.

Station E August 2020 project update

Miles and miles of electrical inter connections being installed and carefully labeled as it feeds to equipment in the control building and yard.


Other Items:

  • Underground civil construction work continues near the UPRR tracks.
  • November we will begin preparing for the first of several stages of electrical cutover from existing North City substation to new Station E substation that will continue through Q1 of 2021.
  • We are continuing to work 6 days per week work (Monday-Saturdays), scheduled completion is Spring 2021.

Project status archive

In 2013, SMUD purchased land next to the North City Substation from Blue Diamond Growers for a new substation. In 2013 and 2014, SMUD held CEQA meetings and conducted environmental analysis for the new project. The City of Sacramento approved the Station E substation project and design in 2014, and Station E construction began in July of 2015.

SMUD halted construction in October of 2015 after waste was discovered in the Station E construction site soil. This included municipal waste, burn waste, scrap metal and construction and demolition debris (Phase 1A).

SMUD conducted extensive testing, site monitoring and revised the project to include a waste mitigation plan (Phase 1B) that prepared the site for construction (Phase 2). Construction is scheduled to begin May 2019.

Project timeline

  • 1960's and 1970's Property Owned by Southern Pacific (now UPRR)
  • 1987-1996 Diamond Operates Co-Generation Plant
  • 2013 SMUD purchased land from Blue Diamond 
  • 2013-2014 SMUD conducted CEQA meetings and environmental review 
  • 2014 City of Sacramento approves Station E Project and Design 
  • 2015 Station E construction began. Burn waste discovered; construction halted
  • 2018 Station E construction May-Oct completed 
  • 2019-2021 Station E construction 
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