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 region served by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) has a rapidly growing population and a high demand for electricity. In order to enhance system reliability, Black & Veatch was chosen to complete the 230,000-volt loop through the SMECO service area. The final 30-mile segment consisted of 28 miles of overhead transmission and 2 miles of underground transmission. The challenge was the 4,500-foot crossing under the Patuxent River at a depth of 160 feet at the deepest point.
Horizontal Directional Drilling
Black & Veatch’s innovative solution to this problem was to use fusible polyvinyl chloride (FPVC) conduits installed with horizontal directional drilling (HDD) techniques. To date, this is the longest FPVC bundle installed successfully.
Throughout the project, there was rigorous protection of the sensitive environment of the river and the wetlands traversed by the overhead transmission lines.
Communities in Southern Maryland will benefit from significant improvement in electric reliability and enhanced emergency preparedness thanks to the partnership of SMECO and Black & Veatch.
25.5 miles of PVC conduit and 6.9 miles of cable were used to complete the river crossing.