T&D World Magazine

Burns & McDonnell Awarded Contract for World’s Largest Wind Power Facility Including Transmission

Burns & McDonnell has been awarded a contract to provide initial development and conceptual engineering support for a proposed 4,000-MW wind energy facility combined with conventional generating facilities to be located on up to 200,000 acres in five Texas Panhandle counties. Burns & McDonnell will provide engineering and technical services with JD Consulting, the prime contractor for Mesa Power, a company created by T. Boone Pickens, a legendary Texas oil and gas entrepreneur.

The project will be constructed in phases beginning in 2009 with power deliveries beginning in 2011. When complete, the Mesa Power wind energy facility would be the world’s largest wind energy facility, contributing up to 4,000 MW of power to the Texas power grid from thousands of wind turbines. Total project costs, including transmission facilities, are estimated at $10 billion.

Among the work engaged in the initial phase of the project, Burns & McDonnell will provide a technical and operational analysis of delivering the power with high voltage direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) technology to the power system managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

“We are excited to be a part of this project,” Jeff Greig, General Manager of Burns & McDonnell’s Business & Technology Services Division, “It is a challenging project that represents a new vision for delivering renewable energy.”.

Burns & McDonnell and JD Consulting are providing assistance as Mesa Power negotiates wind lease and easement agreements with landowners in Roberts County and adjacent counties in the Texas Panhandle. Mr. Pickens, in partnership with other Texas Panhandle landowners, is also pursuing the sale of 200,000 acre-feet of groundwater from the Panhandle area that would augment water supplies to the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. The electric transmission lines would potentially follow the same easement route as the water groundwater pipeline to the DFW metroplex.

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