T&D World Magazine

PacifiCorp Awards Construction Contract for Populus-to-Terminal Transmission Project

PacifiCorp has awarded a contract to build its Populus-to-Terminal 345-kV transmission project to Populus-Terminal Transmission Partners, A.J.V., which is a partnership of Black & Veatch Construction Inc., Henkels & McCoy, Inc. and Kiewit Western Co. The joint venture will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for this major transmission project, planned and permitted to deliver additional power into the region to meet the growing electrical needs of customers served by PacifiCorp’s retail operating companies, Rocky Mountain Power and Pacific Power.

“We are pleased to announce this important step in the project,” said Greg Abel, chief executive officer of PacifiCorp. “With electrical demand increasing each year, together with increasing reliability requirements, these new facilities are critical to providing reliable and economic service to Rocky Mountain Power’s and Pacific Power’s growing customer base. This project represents our commitment to investing in energy infrastructure that will benefit customers today and into the future.”

Originally announced in 2007 as part of the $6 billion Energy Gateway Transmission Expansion project, the Populus to Terminal segment consists of a new 345-kV substation to be built near Downey, Idaho, and a 135-mi, double-circuit 345-kV transmission line between the new substation and the existing Terminal substation near the Salt Lake City International Airport. The project will be built in several segments, beginning concurrently on the south and north ends of the project route.

“PacifiCorp is undertaking this project as part of our overall commitment toward meeting the long-term needs of our customers, while improving the transmission infrastructure of the Western United States,” said John Cupparo, PacifiCorp vice president, transmission. “The Energy Gateway transmission investment has been validated in regional studies as critical to access remote generation, increase reliability and serve growing demand for energy. This segment from Populus to Terminal represents a major step in delivering the Energy Gateway plan.”

Populus-Terminal Transmission Partners, A.J.V. will be headquartered near Ogden, Utah. Preliminary site preparation work and material orders will begin this fall. Construction work will commence in early 2009, starting with the Ben Lomond to Terminal line segment from the southern Box Elder County line into Weber and Davis counties and ultimately Salt Lake County. On the north end, work will begin on the Idaho section of line and construction of the Populus substation. The contractor will contact property owners before any construction activities begin. Estimated completion is by year-end 2010.

“With many existing transmission facilities at, or projected to reach, full capacity by 2010, along with the need to integrate new generating facilities including renewable energy resources, significant new transmission transfer capability is critical,” said Richard Walje, president of Rocky Mountain Power. “This new segment will provide the means to reliably serve customers by moving larger electrical supplies throughout the Rocky Mountain Power and Pacific Power systems.”

Walje credited local and state officials in Utah and Idaho for their thorough public consideration of the siting permits that allow construction to go forward.

“Transmission infrastructure is an essential link in connecting high-demand areas to current and future generating resources,” said Dean Oskvig, president and chief executive officer of Black & Veatch’s global energy business. “New transmission projects and updating existing infrastructure ensure continued reliability of our nation’s electric delivery.”

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