CapX2020, a joint initiative of 11 transmission-owning utilities in Minnesota and the surrounding region, was formed to expand the power grid and help ensure a continued supply of reliable, affordable electricity. Barr has provided environmental services for all five lines that make up the CapX2020 transmission system.
For the Xcel Energy line that stretches from Fargo, North Dakota, to Monticello, Minnesota, we provided third-party environmental monitoring for compliance with both the construction environmental-control plan (for Xcel), and the state-issued route permit (for the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission). In addition, we prepared a stormwater pollution-prevention plan (SWPPP), conducted stormwater inspections, and delineated wetlands.
Barr also developed protocols for SWPPP implementation; organic-farm construction oversight; pavement assessment; vegetation clearing and management; work near wetlands and public waters; work on steep slopes and highly erodible soils; and work near impaired waters.
In addition, for this project—which involved nearly 1,300 transmission poles—we created two new compliance-inspection tools. One was an electronic database and reporting system that offered access to real-time information via a secure website. The system housed all inspection forms and instructions for correcting accidental environmental infractions and enabled instant report generation.
The second tool was an online mapping system that used Esri ArcGIS on iPads carried by inspectors in the field. The application stored, organized, and linked thousands of documents, transferred information quickly, and was easily accessible by Xcel, regulators, and the multiple parties involved in construction.