The Greater Springfield Reliability Project (GSRP) was recognized as part of ENR magazine’s Regional Best Projects 2014 Awards program. Independent juries of industry leaders in design and construction judged projects using five criteria, including safety, innovation and teamwork.
“It’s exciting to receive this level of recognition within the industry for a project that will continue to bring long-term system reliability benefits to our region,” said Kathy Shea, Vice President of Transmission Project Development at Northeast Utilities. “The project faced engineering and construction challenges that were extraordinary. The combined team efforts by our project team, including Program Manager Burns & McDonnell, have yielded an end result that will support our customers’ energy needs and the region’s economic health for many years to come.”
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Construction of the project began in late 2010 and was fully energized on November 20, 2013. The project was finished on time and approximately $40 million under budget, totaling $676 million, despite challenging weather events that included Superstorm Sandy and the blizzard of 2013.
Construction spanned 39 corridor miles passing through Ludlow, Chicopee, West Springfield, Springfield, and Agawam, Massachusetts, as well as Suffield, East Granby, and Bloomfield, Connecticut. Highlights included installing more than 600 new transmission structures and 13 new or rebuilt substations and switching stations.
In Massachusetts, the project included 23 miles of new 345-kV overhead transmission lines, and four miles of new and reconstructed 115-kV lines, as well as three major substation upgrades and two new switching stations. In Connecticut, the project included 12 miles of new 345-kV overhead transmission lines as well as a major substation upgrade in Bloomfield.
GSRP achieved an impressive safety record that is second to none in the industry. More than 2.9 million man-hours were logged over the duration of the project without one day away from work restricted/transferred (DART) case.
“It is rewarding to see the collaborative team effort recognized by ENR,” said Burns & McDonnell Vice President Jerry Fan. “The civil engineering and construction techniques utilized on this local project will serve as a manual for similar large-scale electric reliability projects throughout the country for years to come. That, along with the remarkable safety record achieved, is something to be very proud of.”
As one of the largest construction undertakings of its type in the country, GSRP created more than 350 direct construction jobs and helped to support or create more than 1,400 jobs in construction, design, governmental oversight, health care, food service and accommodations, real estate and retail.
GSRP accomplished its goal of strengthening the region’s electrical grid and delivering more reliable power to the area.
Engineering News-Record has also nominated the project for Best Overall Construction Project in New England. ENR will announce the winner in that category at an awards ceremony in December.
Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU) is a Fortune 500 diversified energy company located in Connecticut with operations throughout the Northeast. Through its competitive and regulated subsidiaries, NU provides Energy for a Changing World, with a full range of energy products and services to millions of residential and business customers from Maine to Maryland. From delivering electricity and natural gas, to marketing energy commodities, to operating and maintaining power plant facilities, NU is committed to safety, reliability and expanding consumers' energy options. For more information on Northeast Utilities and its subsidiaries, visit the NU family of Web sites at www.nu.com.
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