Providing Turnkey Solutions in Power Delivery AEP needed a complete design-build solution, and so it brought Black & Veatch on board as an EPC contractor to provide engineering, procurement and construction services, including permitting, for the new Cassava Substation. The project involved building a new 138/69kV substation from the ground up in a remote corner of Texas. The station utilizes a three-breaker 69kV ring bus with a 138/69kV transformer and 138kV breaker. The project also built 13 miles of new 138kV overhead transmission line to replace the old existing 69kV line. With over 40,000 miles of transmission lines, AEP has the largest transmission system in the U.S. Thus, it was critical that Black & Veatch manage the project at a level that would minimize AEP involvement, freeing up the utility’s internal resources to focus on other efforts. Jason Bryant EPC Project Manager for American Electric Power It’s important for AEP to have a single point of contact for execution of these projects because we are growing at a rapid pace. It allows us to execute our portfolio and effectively manage our growth. Benefits of Self-Performing EPC The Cassava Project is a great example of how Black & Veatch’s non-union substation construction self-perform capabilities directly benefit a client. Overland Contracting, Inc. (OCI), a Black & Veatch company, served as construction contractor, responsible for construction management and safety for the entirety of the project. “We were able to bring those crews into West Texas and do all the foundation work, the electrical work, the substation work, all in-house to deliver our product,” said Andrew Sijon, OCI Construction Site Manager. We were able to provide a full product for our client from start to finish, working hand-in-hand with AEP to make sure we’re giving them the best product, communicating with them on a daily basis, and making sure we meet our deadline.” Safety the No. 1 Priority Black & Veatch had an outstanding safety record on the project, with zero recordable injuries while logging more than 51,000 man-hours. “We had zero recordables and this was attributed to the strong safety culture that was implemented on the project, meeting the goals of both AEP and Black & Veatch,” Bryant said. × Addressing & Overcoming Challenges The project was not without its challenges. Black & Veatch overcame delays in the production schedule to complete the project both on time and on budget. “One of the main challenges of the Cassava Project was the tough drilling conditions; there’s a rock layer (limestone) under the earth here,” Sijon said. “That’s something we had to overcome through larger equipment and more manpower, and we were able to do that.” The project also involved addressing environmental concerns, from using weed wash stations to prevent the spread of noxious weeds to following best management practices for low-water stream crossings. And the presence of red-tailed hawks nesting in existing structures required close coordination with local environmental agencies. Because the project butted up against private land, the project required heavy coordination between the team and area landowners to ensure minimal impact to the day-to-day operations for the landowners. “This project shows that Black & Veatch is able to execute complex projects in remote locations—no matter the scale,” Sijon said. Image Gallery Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you. 0 Related Insights Water Meets "New Energy": Surging Renewables Has Utilities Eyeing Alternative Power Sources Amid Climate Change Worries, the Question: What to do With Too Much Water? The Data to Water Connection The annual Strategic Directions Report series offers analysis and insights into key issues and trends facing the smart cities and utilities, electric, natural gas, and water utility sectors. 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