69 K V Aep Ec Source Sargent And Lundy Texas (1)

EC Source Rebuilds and Upgrades AEP Transmission Lines in Texas

May 15, 2020
The 69 kV line stretches 40 miles between two substations in San Antonio.

Through a recently formed joint venture named ECSL, Houston-based EC Source and Chicago-headquartered Sargent & Lundy completed construction upgrades on an aging 40.5-mile, 69-kV transmission line south of San Antonio, Texas, in March to help AEP ensure reliability for customers. 

The 69-kV line project stretched from one substation in Pleasanton to another in Three Rivers and is among several projects AEP has awarded ECSL in Texas. The project involved three, scheduled outages during which ECSL replaced 70-year-old wooden structures and decades-old line with 372 steel monopoles or H-frame structures. At several points, the remoteness of the line meant bringing in equipment to build access for construction crews. ECSL also engineered and constructed line clearances (including crossing under existing high-voltage lines) and structures to the current design standard to provide AEP with the option to energize the line in the future at 138 kV.

According to Jim Nivens, senior project manager for transmission projects at American Electric Power, the utility’s EPC group sought a turnkey solution, including scope and a finished project, through ECSL.

As part of ECSL, Sargent & Lundy provides the engineering and project management in addition to liaising with the utility, while EC Source handles the construction. During the project, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) had to shorten one of the planned outage construction windows, ECSL compensated by adjusting its schedules and repositioning equipment to deliver the project one week ahead of schedule and within budget.

“EC Source brings crews and construction management practices to a project, and they’re collaborative when it comes to working with engineers; that kind of professionalism played a role in delivering this project as expected,” adds Cade Womack, manager for Sargent & Lundy.

“When the ECSL team comes up against challenges or risks, we take the proactive measures to mitigate those risks and manage it for a successful outcome,” says Jerry Kirby, manager for EC Source.

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