In 1962, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) opened the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), which has served as the base for all U.S. human space flight operations. In the early 1990s, Congress approved funding for a major electrical restoration at KSC, which had operated on the original electrical power equipment for 30 years. NASA selected FW&A to provide exclusive ongoing electrical engineering services for the massive restoration process.

The following projects reflect the diversity of FW&A’s engineering history at KSC.

Design of Rebuilt 115kV C5 and Orsino Substations

NASA began the electrical restoration by rebuilding KSC’s C5 and Orsino substations, each of which connects to a Florida Power & Light 115kV closed-loop system. FW&A designed more than $7 million in substation upgrades, including significant 115kV bus modifications and replacement of all transformers, 115kV SF6 circuit breakers and 15kV vacuum breakers. The project also included installation of a new SEL microprocessor-based relay system.

Design of System-wide Underground Cable and Equipment Replacement

An extensive underground distribution network emerges from the C5 and Orsino substations, feeding power to the 6,000-acre section of KSC that supports shuttle launch operations. FW&A designed a complete renovation of this medium-voltage cable/ductbank system, replacing all electrical equipment and modifying the duct and manhole configurations. Construction costs for the multi-phase endeavor exceeded $20 million.

Design of Electrical Restoration in Various Facilities

In addition to campus-wide power distribution, FW&A has designed more than $20 million in electrical upgrades for buildings as diverse as the 129-million-cubic-foot Vehicle Assembly Building and the KSC Visitor Complex. Most of the facility restoration projects involved extensive power system design for voltages up to 13.8kV. FW&A also designed reliability and safety measures such as backup, emergency and uninterruptible power systems, lightning protection and grounding and fire detection and alarms. Miscellaneous electrical designs included interior and exterior facility lighting, fiber-optic communications and elevator controls.