Lviv’s first municipal electric station of direct current (DC) was built to power the electric tram, which was introduced ahead of the General Regional Exhibition of 1894 to bring visitors from the main train station to the site of the exhibition. The competition for the construction of the tram network was won by the Vienna branch of Siemens & Halske, who had the exclusive right to use it for two years. In 1896 the power station and the tram network were bought by the city.
Widespread electrification of Lviv began after the construction of an electric power station of alternating current (AC) in 1909. From this station, located in Persenkówka, electricity was channeled to three central distribution points, to which 72 electrical transformer substations were connected. Of the 72, 40 were located in special booths, while the rest were housed in basements or semi-basements of public buildings. From the substations, electricity was supplied to consumers via electrical panels, which, along with 170 km of cables, were installed by Zygmunt Rodakowski’s firm together with Siemens-Schuckert.
The electrical substation booths were metal kiosk-like structures, the design of which was made in 1908. Some of these booths still remain and are in service. However, these original transformers are not oil immersed, but the dry type, which limits their power. Furthermore, this design does not meet modern safety requirements.
Later, additional booths were installed to locate oil immersed transformers next to the existing booths. This is why paired metal booths can be found in some places, like on Soborna Square and on Kostia Levytskoho Street.
Over time, many of these electrical substations booths were dismantled.
Prewar Images of the Booths
The Booths Today
Several of the original substations stand around Lviv. However, they are slowly be replaced with safer electrical substation booths.