Saturday morning, the hum of electric power stopped to about 12,000 homes and businesses in Cumberland County.

For the next five hours, dozens of workers were busy installing new equipment at the Crossville electrical substation — the culmination of a two-year project to change out all circuit breakers at the 50-year-old facility. 

“The employees did an outstanding job in completing the transfer of the new circuits,” said Bobby Randolph, Crossville area manager for Volunteer Energy Cooperative. “Typically this type of work would take around 12 hours to complete. Our VEC employees and contractors completed the task in five hours and 10 minutes.”

The substation is one of the oldest and largest substations within the VEC system.

The outage impacted the Lantana, Crab Orchard and Homesteads areas. Although 24,000 customers could have been affected, good weather on Saturday morning allowed VEC to back feed power and keep most commercial customers and the downtown area energized. 

The project also included an upgrade to the circuit for Crab Orchard and Lantana.

Randolph offered special thanks to Matthew Teague, VEC vice president of engineering, and Mark Evans, superintendent of operations for Crossville.

“Again, I’d like to emphasize the expertise of our employees during this crucial time,” Randolph said. “This is definitely a tremendous improvement to the continuity of our service.”