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Riazzi Substation Rendering


The Oakland community is home to vibrant neighborhoods, a host of celebrated cultural destinations, and some of the world’s most renowned hospitals, universities, and research facilities. A study in contrasts, Oakland is both densely populated and yet features expansive park amenities, serving as one of the most dynamic communities in southwestern Pennsylvania. As the community continues to grow and thrive, Duquesne Light is committed to providing the level of service and reliability customers have come to expect, while increasing the overall resiliency of the electric grid.

The Riazzi Substation will be located at the corner of Boundary and Joncaire streets in Panther Hollow, set back from those roadways. A neighborhood with longstanding roots, Panther Hollow remains an appealing place to live, with convenient trail access, proximity to cultural and educational amenities, and homeowners who have called this corner of Oakland home for decades. Duquesne Light has an important role to play in the communities we serve; not least of which is to be a good, safe neighbor. The Riazzi Substation is more than critical infrastructure, it is an investment in the community. It will feature proven technology, industry-leading safety measures, and a façade that incorporates an aesthetic design to appeal visually to those passing by. Most important, this substation will enable Duquesne Light to continue to maintain reliable, affordable and safe delivery of energy to the residents and businesses in the area.



Construction for the substation structure and property is expected to begin in December 2019 and to end in February 2021 – with some associated underground work in the area continuing through July of 2021. Traffic on Boundary and Joncaire streets may be impacted. We’re working to ensure this impact is as minimal as possible. The latest construction and traffic updates are below.


The construction work schedule can be found here

As the Riazzi Substation project enters its final phase of construction, for the safety of the general public, Boundary Street (also known as S. Neville St.) will be closed north of Joncaire St. to Filmore St. to all thru traffic beginning on Jan. 11 through March 31 as crews perform underground work associated with the project as quickly and safely as possible.

For your safety, please be advised this is an active construction site and as such, there are workers, trucks and other equipment accessing the property and surrounding area. Please use caution as you travel through the area.

Please check back for the latest construction and traffic updates.


Substations are key to providing resiliency and redundancy to the electric grid. They function as a ‘step down,’ converting higher voltage electricity from our transmission system to lower voltage electricity that can be used in homes and businesses through our distribution lines. Adding a substation to Panther Hollow will allow Duquesne Light to support the increasing need for electricity in the Oakland area.

The facility footprint will be approximately 8,000 square feet and approximately 55 feet tall. 

Yes, please view the site plan drawing here.

We’re working with the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to explore the challenges of attempting to build a pedestrian walkway in the area, considering the slope of the property and the space available. Duquesne Light is committed to ensuring a safe environment for the pedestrians and bicyclists traveling through this area.

Yes. Any stonework removed during construction of the substation will be replaced by Duquesne Light.

During the project, most of the site’s currently existing asphalt surface will be replaced with a stone surface. The stone surfacing will not ‘sheet flow’ the stormwater like the previous asphalt surfacing and will instead retain more storm water – resulting in slower flow rates and less volume of stormwater being sent to the existing sewer system. This project also will include an underdrain to capture storm water before conveying it through the sewer system to the designated outlets. Finally, as part of this project, a geopolymer lining will be added to the existing sewer system, improving its structural integrity. The stormwater infrastructure investment that Duquesne Light is making in this project is an important improvement to the drainage and overflows during heavy storms that cross our property. It is another way Duquesne Light is committed to being a good neighbor.

Like any facility of this type – of which there are many throughout the City of Pittsburgh and in neighborhoods across the Duquesne Light service territory – the Riazzi Substation will emit sound at a low level, which will be unobtrusive to those living and passing through the area. While the substation will include exterior security lighting, it will not spill over the substation’s property line.

This site will be a secured facility, including safety features such as a perimeter fence, security cameras, lighting, and two-hour fire-rated walls. Those interested in learning more about EMF should visit here.

As part of the design and planning phase of this project, Duquesne Light hired an independent third-party arborist to conduct a study that identified the number and size of key plant species that could be impacted. This study was reviewed by the City of Pittsburgh Department of Forestry. Duquesne Light is committed to replacing all identified impacted plants as part of the project.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to Peter Francis, Project Manager, at or 412-393-7841.
The construction management plan is available upon request.