- Electric Power Grid Restoration
Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, with 155 mph winds, torrential rains and widespread flooding, destroying everything in the path. Burns & McDonnell and our network of Puerto Rican employee-owners across the U.S. immediately began forming plans to help the island.
We were hired by PowerSecure, one of three major grid restoration contractors deployed on the island by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), to provide engineering and construction management support. The overall scope of work included reconstruction of 230-kV, 115-kV and 38-kV transmission lines and distribution circuits at various voltage levels. We provided PowerSecure with its first transmission engineer just weeks after the hurricane. This support was especially critical during the initial deployment stage to provide the necessary technical support and coordination between the USACE and PowerSecure, facilitating contractual requirements to begin reconstruction.The PowerSecure and Burns & McDonnell team was initially assigned to the western side of the island; however, as a result of team’s great success in restoring power very efficiently and expeditiously, USACE expanded its restoration territory to cover two-thirds of the island, including the extremely challenging mountainous region.
Heavy helicopter support was required for reconstruction of portions of the transmission lines and distribution circuits across rugged terrain, including tower and pole erection and conductor installation. Additionally, some of the rebuild transmission lines and distribution circuits transversed many sensitive environmental areas and reserves, requiring extremely close coordination with several permitting agencies. The remote location of the project also required detailed coordination of tower, material and conductor deliveries to confirm on-time availability to support construction.
This emergency restoration effort required Burns & McDonnell personnel to support a 12 hour day and 7 days a week work schedule for several months.
- Professional services
- In-field engineering reconstruction support
- 230-kV and 115-kV transmission lines
- 38-kV sub-transmission
- 13-kV and 8-kV distribution lines
- 4-kV secondary
- Detailed damage assessments
- Construction activity coordination
- Material orders
- Progress reports