Covington Substation Expansion

Transmission Investments

Reliability is a responsibility that Duke Energy takes very seriously. To keep that commitment, we are upgrading the transmission system in a growing and historic section of Covington, Ky., which will provide continued reliability of the area’s energy.

Duke Energy is expanding an existing substation located at W. 13th Street in Covington, an area that is proudly enjoying a renaissance in entrepreneurship, culture, revitalization and preservation of the city’s rich history. Duke Energy has funded several revitalization efforts in this neighborhood, such as past funding to the historic Linden Grove Cemetery, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and our Urban Revitalization funding for the Hellman Lumber site (which now houses the offices for The Center for Great Neighborhoods), along with other projects in the core downtown district.

Pre-construction activities on the substation expansion began in May 2017. The expansion is expected to be completed by November 2017.

Project Need

The need for energy has grown in Northern Kentucky as a result of the area’s growth in population and businesses, including this historic section of Covington. That growth includes the opening of the new St. Elizabeth Medical Center (St. E. North) facility in 2009, a modern facility with state-of-the-art equipment whose operation depends on a safe and reliable energy source.

Duke Energy first identified the need to address energy capacity in the area by building the substation at W. 13th Street in 2008. The structure addressed the reliability and need for energy without adding extensive overhead transmission lines through this historical community.

More recently, efforts to save the early 1900s Bavarian Brewery Building – a landmark seen every day by hundreds of drivers on I-75 – are leading to a massive restoration to make way for the iconic structure to become the new Kenton County Administration Building, adding more business to the area. The widening of W. 12th Street/Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is attracting the arts and entrepreneurship. It’s a unique approach that has gained attention around the tri-state for blending and complementing the past, the present and the future.

As part of Duke Energy’s commitment to power the lives of our customers and our communities, the substation expansion will help ensure continued reliability for businesses and customers in the years ahead and supports city efforts to attract new businesses to the area.

Project Timeline

May 2017 – Demolition of a home at 402 W. 13th St. that Duke Energy purchased for the expansion.

May 2017 – Vegetation clearing such as mowing, trimming, tree and shrub removal on the borders of Lee and Watkins streets allowed the expansion of the fence around the substation. The new fencing continues to reflect the fencing around the historical Linden Grove Cemetery.

Summer 2017 – Fencing and foundation work got underway, with plans to relocate two gates to the substation. The gates border 13th and Lee streets. The substation will continue to have a total of four gates.

August 2017– The new transformer was installed.

November 2017 – New protection systems and wiring are installed.

December 2017 – Construction equipment and materials are scheduled to be removed. Installation is scheduled to begin on the new driveway, as well as sidewalk repair and completion of grading.

January 2018 – All substation work is scheduled to be completed, opening the schedule for landscaping when weather becomes favorable (spring at the earliest).


Community engagement allows us to receive input and share information about this project. A letter announcing the plans for the substation expansion was sent to 131 property owners and businesses in the vicinity of the substation on April 20, 2017.

Duke Energy representatives also presented on the need for the substation expansion and ideas/options for vegetation as part of a May 22, 2017, meeting held by the Linden Gateway Small Area Study Group. The group supports growth in development resulting from the hospital and the widening of W. 12th Street/Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. 

The meeting was attended by 20 members of the local community. The Duke Energy presentation invited input on approved landscaping that would adhere to requirements involving landscaping around transmission lines and substations.

The meeting was held at The Center for Great Neighborhoods, located in the refurbished Hellmann Lumber building on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The building is a 130-year-old landmark that was renovated as part of an incentive to attract artists and community organizations.

The City of Covington, local neighborhoods and The Center for Great Neighborhoods developed their landscaping plan and continue to work with the Duke Energy team on implementation when planting becomes favorable in the spring.

A letter updating the project, its planned completion and future restoration plans was sent to property owners in October 2017.

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Covington Substation Expansion

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