Electric crews reach new heights with Convention Center project

How will the lights come on for the soon-to-be expanded Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center? With more than two miles of electric cable and over a dozen 24,000-pound electric transformers. Nearly every inch and pound of that equipment was hand-crafted, lifted and placed by our underground construction crews. Even better, the unique power project was completed on time and under budget.

The downtown convention center is undergoing a $325 million transformation to help meet the needs of San Antonio’s growing visitor industry. The facility will expand to 1.5 million square feet and include a variety of modern convention amenities. CPS Energy recently installed three brand new, custom electric vaults to meet the center’s needs. It was no small task. Similar vaults, especially in our downtown network, are often built underground. To save valuable exhibit space, one of the new vaults had to be elevated and built three stories off the ground.

[youtube_sc url=””]

The transformers inside these vaults are used to take a high volume of electric power from the outside and step it down to a usable voltage for commercial needs. That power is then sent over thousands of feet of coated copper cable. That cable is carried from the vault into the convention center by a sophisticated copper “bus” that required old-fashioned, hand craftsmanship versus modern technology to complete the job.

Over the course of just 11 months, as many as 60 dedicated professionals took their turn at cutting, splicing, bending and mounting every piece and part needed to complete the project. The vaults are already energized and providing the limited amount of power needed for the current project. Power will be ramped up in early 2016 when the expanded center is set to open to visitors and support San Antonio’s $13 billion hospitality industry.

Scott Wudel

Scott was part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

One thought on “Electric crews reach new heights with Convention Center project

  • I am excited to hear that the Gonzalez Convention Center has been such a success for the community of San Antonio. New expansion is a great idea so everyone has room to visit. Population is increasing rapidly so this project is just on time; however, will this new change increase the energy cost for the community? will it affect traffic and parking by limiting parking? and cause more congestion downtown? it seems to me that there isn’t enough room for traffic passer by vehicles to move forward when Convention ctr. is having an event. What can be done about this? in my opinion parking needs to be more available and needs to expand as well without raising cost to park. What you think?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *