To meet growing demands, NYSEG needed to reinforce the electrical system capacity for Westchester County by installing a new sub transmission line that would connect the grid to a regional distribution substation.
O’Connell was prime contractor for NYSEG’s $2 million project to install a 46kV transmission line near Katonah and Cross River, New York.
The project consisted of constructing six miles of pre-assembled aerial cable transmission line, one and a half miles of overhead construction to 115kV standards, and a quarter mile open crossing over the heavily traveled I-684 corridor. Completing the highway crossing with only a 14 minute traffic stoppage was a notable achievement—especially on Mother’s Day morning. The project was completed in four months.
Energy East (formerly Rochester Gas & Electric) provides electricity to over 350,000 customers in a region centered around the City of Rochester in Upstate New York. With industry deregulation, Energy East shifted its focus from power generation to power distribution. In decommissioning a major generating station in Rochester, the company needed to update and improve transmission/distribution facilities as it brought outside power into the area.
To meet the needs of Energy East’s massive $115 million transmission/distribution project, O’Connell formed a joint venture partnership, Rochester Power Delivery, with two other companies. O’Connell provided new and updated transmission lines for the project which included installation of 40 circuit miles overhead, 50 circuit miles underground for 34.5kV and 115kV capacity. O’Connell reinforced the transmission loop surrounding the City of Rochester as well as the region’s connections to the cross-state transmission tie-line.
When Energy East (formerly Rochester Gas & Electric) shifted its focus in Upstate New York from power generation to power distribution it had to shut down a major power generating station in Rochester. To replace the station’s electrical generating capacity, the company needed new and updated transmission/distribution facilities to serve the area. A major piece of the project was to test and commission new and upgraded substations without interrupting power to customers.
O’Connell was awarded a $2 million subcontract to perform testing and commissioning services at eleven active substations. The facilities included a new 115kV switchyard and 115kV to 34.5kV substation as well as nine substations that were upgraded from 115kV to 345kV capacity. To maintain power across the region throughout the commissioning process, O’Connell utilized Doble 3-phase power simulator, satellite, and GPS technology to synchronize and simultaneously test substations in different locations. The project was successfully completed over a period of 20 months without a power outage to the service area. O’Connell also performed acceptance testing across 53 circuit miles of underground 34.5kV cable for the project.
South of Buffalo, New York, on an abandoned Bethlehem Steel plant site, eight 2.5MW Clipper wind turbines are producing power for the New York State Independent System Operator grid. Called “Steel Winds”, it was a $40 million clean energy project developed and owned jointly by BQ Energy and UPC Wind. The wind turbines (the largest manufactured in the U.S.) can produce 57,000 MW-Hours of electricity a year with the power sold both to individual companies and utilities. Steel Winds is said to be the largest U.S. wind farm developed in an urban setting and the first sited on the shores of Lake Erie.
What started as a small condition assessment job on a retired substation by O’Connell’s Technical Services Group led to our getting the complete electrical construction package at Steel Winds, subcontracted from the Tennessee Valley Infrastructure Group. We repaired and modified the existing substation to accept power generated by the wind turbines, installed the underground collection systems and overhead transmission lines, tower wiring and grounding, and ran fiber optics for all data communications. We wrapped up the project where it all began—at the substation—by providing final systems acceptance testing and commissioning. Today, we provide preventative maintenance services to the new site owners.
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is a utility serving approximately 300,000 electric and about 74,000 natural gas customers in an eight county area of New York State’s Mid-Hudson River Valley, including the suburbs of metropolitan New York City north to the capital district at Albany.
O’Connell Electric successfully completed the project to replace existing Steel and Wood “H” Frame and single pole structures with New Single Steel Structures for Overhead Transmission and related work.
Developer Noble Environmental Power, sells the electric power generated at the Wethersfield Wind Farm into the New York power market as well as renewable energy credits to green energy marketers. The wind park has 84 General Electric 1.5MW wind turbines capable of producing 126MW of power. The wind farm’s substation steps-up the 34,500 voltage to 230KV for transmission while the switchyard connects the wind farm’s power to New York State Gas & Electric’s 230KV utility grid via a ring bus configuration.
On the Wethersfield project O’Connell contracted with Noble for $6.5 million of electrical construction and testing work. We demonstrated our strength in several areas key to successful wind park operation: power grid Point of Interconnect (POI), switchyard construction, overhead transmission line construction, and total system testing and commissioning.
Construction services included a 230KV POI ring bus switchyard and the six miles of overhead 230KV transmission line. O’Connell’s Technical Services Division conducted end-to-end testing from the collection substation to the switchyard along with functional testing and commissioning of the switchyard.
The project was completed on schedule.
Casella Waste Systems owns and operates a methane gas-to-energy plant at their landfill operations in Angelica, New York—the company’s fourth LFGTE project. Energy East contracted with Casella to tap into this renewable energy power generating source. At full capacity the site is expected to produce 4.8 megawatts per hour of clean energy.
As an industry leader in environmental stewardship, O’Connell Electric actively pursues renewable and alternative energy projects where our expertise can be utilized. For this project we were awarded two contracts totaling $3.2 million. The work involved constructing six miles of overhead 34.5kV sub transmission line and a 34.5kV switchyard substation with point of interconnect (POI) to tie the Casella power generating facility into Energy East’s transmission system.
Bliss Wind Farm, a 100.5 megawatt wind power generation site, was the first of several wind farms recently developed in the Greater Niagra Region of Upstate New York. The site features 67 GE 1.5 megawatt turbines and represents a $200 million investment in clean, renewable energy funded by G.E. Energy Services and operated by Noble Environmental Power.
O’Connell’s contribution spanned three diverse aspects of the Noble Bliss project—testing, power line construction, and data communications.
Prior to breaking ground, Nobel contracted with our Technical Services Division to provide acceptance testing for the project’s underground cable while it was still on spools at their warehouse. After construction, we performed all acceptance testing for the site’s overhead collection and tower grounding systems and on each of the 67 turbine tower transformers. We also provided site energization and start-up support.
O’Connell’s Power Line Division sealed a deal with Noble for $3.6 million to do their part. Line work involved running 115kV overhead transmission line between the site’s 34.5/115kV substation and grid interconnection substation, 14 miles away, and 25 miles of overhead collection system, single, double, and triple 34.5kV circuit Hendrix Cable construction. All line work was completed within 10 months.
Our Communications Division was awarded the fiber optics portion of the project. Fiber cable carries crucial operation and performance data from instrumentation on each turbine to a single collection point at the site. From there it is transmitted to a commercial processing center where it is monitored and analyzed. O’Connell reel tested and installed 90,000 feet of fiber optic cable, performing 1600 terminations, 110 aerial and pedestal splice points, and all final post-termination fiber testing