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National Grid substation to open soon in Amherst

A new $16 million electric substation that will improve reliability and handle the rising demand for power in a growing portion of the Town of Amherst is expected to open next month, National Grid officials said Friday.

The new substation, located at the end of Frankhauser Road near the intersection of Millersport and Youngmann highways, is expected to improve the utility’s service in portions of Amherst that have experienced a 10 percent increase in electricity demand over the past five years.

As part of the project, National Grid added the substation and installed new power lines to improve the capacity of its electricity grid that serves Eggertsville, Snyder, North Bailey, Getzville, Swormville, East Amherst and Williamsville, National Grid said.

The new substation will be the 10th that National Grid operates in Amherst, and it also will ease the demands on seven of the company’s other nearby substations that are at or near capacity. The substations reduce the voltage of the electricity carried on the utility’s high-voltage lines so that it then can be carried on the lower-voltage feeder lines that run through neighborhoods, sometimes serving more than 1,000 customers at a time.

The new substation is part of a much larger, $1.6 billion program by National Grid to upgrade its electricity transmission and distribution network across the state over the next three years. The new substation was celebrated with a ceremony Friday with company and elected officials.

Focusing on ‘New Buffalo’

The Black Capital Network will be hosting its second “Have You Heard About the New Buffalo?” networking series Thursday.

The events are designed to offer business owners an opportunity to network with local leaders and get a glimpse into the “New Buffalo.” The series visits key development locations in Buffalo with the goal of updating and connecting professionals and minority and women business owners to the project decision makers.

The event will be held at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Innovation Center, 640 Ellicott St.

The cost is $20 per person and includes hors d’oeuvres, drinks, a presentation and a tour of the medical campus. For information, call 881-6066.

Amazon seeks drone OK

NEW YORK – Amazon is asking the Federal Aviation Administration permission to use drones as part of its plan to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.

Following the announcement, Amazon’s shares closed up $18.28, or 5.57 percent, Friday.

The online retailer created a media frenzy in December when it outlined a plan on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to deliver packages with self-guided aircraft that seemed straight out of science fiction.

In a letter to the FAA dated Wednesday, Amazon said it is developing aerial vehicles as part of Amazon Prime Air. The aircraft can travel more than 50 mph and carry loads of up to 5 pounds. About 86 percent of Amazon’s deliveries are 5 pounds or less, the company said.

Fuel economy holds line

For the fifth straight month, the average fuel economy for new vehicles sold in the U.S. remained above 25 miles per gallon.

The average in June, weighted for sales, was 25.5 mpg, down slightly from 25.6 mpg in May, according to a monthly report by the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan. That average is 27 percent higher since October 2007, when the institute began recording fleet fuel-economy numbers.

However, automakers face a federal fuel-economy requirement of 54.5 mpg by model year 2025.

– Dallas Morning News