Southwest Transmission Upgrade

Client: Xcel Energy
Completion Date: 2009
Location: Minnesota and South Dakota


Burns & McDonnell and the MYR Group worked together to execute a the SWTU Project for Xcel Energy consisting of 86 miles of 345-kV and 38 miles of 115-kV transmission line. The project also included two greenfield substations and expansion of three existing substations. Xcel Energy also awarded Burns & McDonnell and MYR Group the subsequent BRIGO project, which was an EPC effort that included a 23-mile extension of the 115-kV transmission line. 

The team worked seamlessly through all phases of both projects, from land acquisition and detailed engineering through construction and commissioning. The two companies jointly supported Xcel’s community involvement, landowner relations and governmental interactions, as well as negotiation of final settlements with landowners on behalf of Xcel Energy.

SWTU and BRIGO combined for more than 1 million work hours without a single lost time safety incident. Burns & McDonnell and MYR Group shared a level of commitment to safety and quality that was among the industry's highest.

The main challenge of the project was a requirement to change from delta to vertical configuration structures after engineering and procurement had been completed due to Department of Transportation permitting requirements. The teams worked together to purchase and install the new structures mitigating much of the delay.


  • EPC delivery
  • Detailed engineering
  • Procurement
  • Permitting
  • Land acquisition
  • Environmental
  • Right-of-way
  • Project controls
  • Construction management
  • Testing and commissioning