October 13, 2022

Grid Power Project
By Orren Whiddon

1MapThe Grid Power Project of 2022.
4,500 feet of buried 3" High Voltage conduit, six transformers running at 15,000 volts, 1,800  Amps of power.
Yellow line marks the route. This became a monsterr project, begun in late Winter/early Spring of 2022.


2PipeJust a small part of the conduit, fittings and transformer bases used in the project. Almost $20,000 just for conduit.

We began with the most difficult section first, passing the 15,000 volt conduit underneath our existing sewer, water and low voltage power lines
at the Upper Shower House. It was ticklish backhoe work, finished by hand with shovels.

6ShwrHouseNo less difficult is excavating for the Upper Shower house transformer. Two connecting 15,000 volt lines meet at this transformer and two 240 volt lines exit the transformer, feeding the Shower House and the In-Camp Food Court. All in all, a lot of dirt to move and tree roots to avoid.

 High voltage conduit set and back-filled allows us to connect to the meter-base panel for the Shower House,
while beginning to bury the low voltage line that will feed the Food Court and In-Camp Parking. What a mess!

Our ancient and much loved Ditch Witch is a dirt eating termite, slowly gnawing it's way through 4,500 feet of trench.

 Rinse and repeat as we dig trench, set conduit, back-fill and locate transformer bases on six locations through camp.

Yes, it is still late winter and we work through the rain, mud and snow. Here we have the conduit laid as far as the West end of The Stone Circle, and after a week of sun, the transformer base and meter panel installed.

And more snow!

A bit oif spring allows for the heavy wiring of the low voltage meter base.

And now the season of mud. Everywhere! Can warm Sun and green grass ever return? YES!

 We started in late March, working through late winter and early spring.
Finally a warm, green, blue skied day in early June arrived... and brought with it the folks who would truly "Light it Up."

The Power crew pulling line into the box that splits Upper Camp from The Bottoms. And placing the Upper Shower House transformer. 

And hooking up the cables for the Upper Shower House. Green grass and no mud!

 And this is how you flip a 15,000 volt switch, turning on the power to Main Camp. 

Just checking, it all works!

And here comes the real payoff.
Evening beauty in The Stone Circle for Stones Rising!

                          For almost 27 years all electrical power at Four Quarters was made on site with generators. In fact we became quite skilled in their repair, having purchased all of our equipment used. So it is with a certain sadness that we say farewell to those years of "make it do or do without."

This was a huge project for us. Three months of outdoor work in inclement weather, and at least $80,000 in materials.
We have patched the new grid into our pre-existing generator based system, but there is much more
of that work to do. And we have plans for new buried runs, especially to give Rainbow Bridge a tracery of light.

    Much thanks goes to the crew that made this project possible. Mike and Orren, the Shank Family -Tina, Eddie and Brad.
Michal Lehmueller aka The Wizard. Nick. And Pam and Pati` for keeping the home fires burning.