Aging transmission and distribution infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges power utilities face. An ever-growing number of U.S. transmission lines and substations have exceeded their intended 50-year lifespan, threatening companies’ ability to consistently provide reliable power.
Barr has been helping the Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA), a regional division of the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrade transmission line assets. We recently completed design of two 161kV transmission line segments totaling more than 40 miles of reconductoring and structure replacement.
Barr provided design, technical specifications, construction cost estimate, bidding and construction support to upgrade these segments with larger conductors, additional optical ground wire (OPGW) communication line, and new steel structures. The structures consisted of H-Frame tangent structures and 3-pole guyed running angle and dead-end structures. To accommodate undulating topography, Barr worked closely with subcontractors to obtain additional survey and geotechnical data where new and existing guy wires would be anchored. These services were not originally requested by the client but provided value added engineering to the projects through a more streamlined design.
Due to the additional OPGW, work was performed to design the fiber optic upgrades inside multiple substations. Barr provided new and revised substation drawings, including material and construction costs for the additional infrastructure.