Save the most challenging worksite for last

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Antti Puuska, who began working at Fingrid’s predecessor, Imatran Voima, in 1976, discusses how substation construction has changed over the last decades.

“Imatran Voima used to do everything itself with its own personnel. When competitive tendering came into the frame in the 1980s, other uniforms began to appear at our substations. That is when we began wondering whether other people could do these jobs,” Antti Puuska smiles as he recalls the early years of his career.

Over the years, the operating models and solutions for substation construction have become more and more standardised. This has sped up projects, improved quality, and made the costs more manageable.

In the past, maintenance followed a predetermined schedule. Today, equipment is increasingly maintained according to genuine needs based on real-time data from sensors.

“The introduction of remote control systems in the 1970s was a major change. They made it possible to centralise substation monitoring and control the substation equipment from different control centres.”

One of the biggest changes has been the attitude to occupational safety. Puuska describes the dizzying pace of development in personal protective equipment.

At the moment, the largest project in Antti Puuska’s area of responsibility is in Tammisto, Vantaa, where a 40-year-old 110-kilovolt open-air switchgear plant is being replaced by equivalent indoor switchgear.

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As a specialist in grid operation, Puuska is responsible for electrical safety and outage arrangements. The work also includes project supervision.

“Monitoring and attending worksite meetings have meant weekly visits to worksites. I contribute to ensuring that the work is done safely and according to the regulations. I have always firmly believed that everyone needs to get home healthy after a day’s work on Fingrid’s worksites.”

Puuska says that the Tammisto project, which began in summer 2020, is one of the most demanding projects of his career due to its scope, location, and related electrical and occupational safety challenges. As Tammisto acts as one of the transformer substations supplying the Helsinki metropolitan area, transmission network reliability has needed to be as high as possible.

Antti Puuska will not be involved in commissioning the Tammisto substation. His long career, spanning six
decades, is drawing to a close, and he will retire at the start of summer.

“My successors have busy times ahead of them. Just over 20 years ago, almost everyone in the company knew what stage the project was at, but today it is hard even to keep track of the number of projects. However, despite the mass of projects, we should not forget about maintenance,” Puuska emphasises.

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