Subject Matter Experts: John Rector, Forest Rong, and Ian Grant
The increasing demand for renewable power creates subsequent demand for transmission infrastructure to connect clean energy with load centers. While much of this new infrastructure will be overhead lines, portions may be required to go underground as new lines are located near communities and within cities.
In a recent project, Black & Veatch designed the first installation of 500-kV cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cable in North America and the first installation of the cable in the world within a duct and manhole system. But what truly made this project unique was the creation of a new engineering record for underground transmission lines traversing steep terrain.
“The terrain for this particular segment of the project included slopes with up to 40 percent grades in some areas,” said John Rector, Associate Vice President and Senior Project Manager for Black & Veatch. “We worked with stakeholders to not only create new cable standards for this type of application, but also the support system and restraints, among other unique construction requirements.”
No cable standards existed that met the needs of this unique project. Black & Veatch worked closely with the client to develop requirements that addressed temperature restriction and circuit ampacity requirements, and allowed for real-time temperature and partial discharge monitoring.
The team also worked closely with the client and vendors to develop a flexible cable racking and support system that allowed for heat expansion and other potential movement with an innovative design approach using finite element analysis.
Other key project elements involved the design and construction of permanent roads to provide crews with access to splice and restraint vaults and temporary roads for construction. Two transition stations, featuring cast-in-place concrete cable trenches, were also constructed along the hilly terrain.
“This project broke new ground and created a frame of reference for users worldwide in the design and construction of high-voltage underground transmission lines.” Rector said. “This is just one example of why Black & Veatch is a global leader in providing critical transmission and distribution infrastructure.”
Full project details are available on T&D World (free registration required).
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This year’s report investigates the progress made by the industry as it continues to evolve into its future self, while also addresses new areas: a rapidly changing customer base, commercial defection from the grid, advanced technologies and a changing regulatory landscape, to name but a few.
The energy ecosystem is changing, driven by the advent of distributed clean energy, increased competition from new technologies and service providers, the evolving expectations of customers, and new opportunities for serving those customers.
The concept of “new energy” has ushered in a global movement dedicated to cost-effective sustainability, clean energy technology and grid innovation.
Renewable energy has achieved a level of integration in the U.S. power grid that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. Two recent milestones illustrate how this progress came about.
It’s been a headache-inducing nexus of active regulation, distributed energy and environmentalism for some electric utilities.
Black & Veatch provided engineering, procurement and construction services, including permitting, for the new Cassava Substation, enabling AEP to prepare for future growth by providing greater capacity and higher voltage to support area oilfields.
Near the shore of Lake Erie, in Oregon, Ohio, an 869-megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant, known as the Oregon Clean Energy Center, is now providing critical baseload power to the PJM regional transmission organization and delivering value to virtually all stakeholders.
The Grand River Dam Authority chose Black & Veatch as its owner’s engineer to help develop bid strategy, prepare bid specifications, oversee technical negotiations, and perform follow-up construction management for the new natural gas-fuled, 1x1 combined-cycle generating facility.
What Black & Veatch does isn’t always visible to people and communities where we work. But today and in the future, families and businesses in Southern Maryland enjoy the highest standard of reliable electric service without having to think about it.
The combined cycle project involves adding heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) on each combustion turbine to capture the waste heat and convert it to steam, which powers a new steam turbine generator and adds to the features of the plant.