Burns & McDonnell managed and designed Vectren’s first 345-kV project, a pair of 345-kV lines out of the AB Brown plant, one circuit north to Duke Energy’s Gibson Generating Station (37 miles), and the other south to Big Rivers Electric Corp.'s Reid facility (28 miles). We performed a detailed route study on the front end, selecting three routes and scoring them in a range of categories.
We also performed detailed engineering for the entire 65-mile transmission line, including steel structure design, PLS-CADD modeling and plan-and-profile drawings. Since this was Vectren’s first 345-kV undertaking, they also hired Burns & McDonnell to perform program management tasks that included two transmission segments (including one crossing of the Ohio River) and three large substation projects. Program management responsibilities included preparation of cost and schedule estimates based on client’s long-range plan, and creation of annual budget comparison report to illustrate discrepancies between proposed budgets and estimated costs. Also executed month-by-month tracking of purchase orders and expenditures to help forecast future costs and evaluate budgets. The final project included 65 miles of 345-kV transmission line and three 345-kV substations.
The Ohio River crossing was longer than a mile and included three large lattice structures more than 250 feet tall, using an island in the middle of the river to span the crossing. Due to the extreme tower height and a nearby municipal airport in Henderson, Kentucky, all towers had to meet FAA regulations with respect to markings and lighting. Helicopters were used for installation of these towers in inaccessible areas.