Burns & McDonnell finalizes 9-project, 764-MW solar portfolio

Burns & McDonnell finalizes 9-project, 764-MW solar portfolio
A photo voltaic contractor drives an all-terrain automobile via an accomplished photo voltaic challenge in Wisconsin. Burns & McDonnell


Burns & McDonnell has accomplished engineer-procure-construct (EPC) and self-perform building providers for 9 photo voltaic tasks throughout Wisconsin. The tasks — a part of Alliant Power’s Clear Power Blueprint — will energy roughly 170,000 houses in their first year of manufacturing.

Burns & McDonnell began building on these websites in 2021 with tasks accomplished in phases. All websites had been delivered on time amid COVID-19, labor and provide chain challenges which have troubled the trade.



“If you take a look at all that’s occurred within the photo voltaic trade over the previous three to 4 years, it’s a big achievement to finish these tasks on schedule,” stated Chad Cotter, VP of photo voltaic building, Burns & McDonnell. “Having our EPC staff, self-perform crews, environmental and allowing specialists and substation and interconnection assist groups built-in with Alliant Power and the native union halls early within the challenge was essential to reaching certainty in result and delivering on time. However, I feel most essential was Alliant Power’s daring imaginative, and prescient to maneuver ahead with these tasks regardless of the unstable interval that paused many different tasks throughout the nation.”

The photo voltaic program employed over 1,300 craft staff. As a part of a dedication to assisting the native employment base, an apprenticeship program was instituted via AZCO, the union-building subsidiary of Burns & McDonnell. This system offered field-based coaching and hands-on expertise within the trades for 230 apprentices working to develop into carpenters, electricians, laborers, operators, and millwrights. Of the overall craft workforce for this system, over 75% had been Wisconsin residents. Moreover, several excursions had been performed for native high school and secondary commerce college students, emphasizing professional alternatives and pathways for coming into the trades.

“Working carefully with Alliant Power, the native union halls, and contractor companions, we had been in a position to assist Alliant Power ship distinctive worth to prospects throughout Wisconsin whereas conserving challenge {dollars} in the neighborhood,” says Josh Ronk, building challenge supervisor, AZCO. “When you’ll be able to prepare craft and provide them the instruments and sources to proceed on to the subsequent job website, it’s fulfilling.”

Burns & McDonnell offered the agency’s Blue Coronary Heart Security Award to seven Wooden County Photo voltaic Venture workers whose fast pondering and CPR helped save the lifetime of an operator who skilled a coronary heart assault on the job website.

“‘Everybody goes dwelling safer’ is the mentality we apply every day on these websites,” stated Seth Hanebutt, program supervisor, at Burns & McDonnell.

From the outset, Alliant Power sought to develop and assemble these tasks in a method that might profit the setting. To do that, Burns & McDonnell labored with Alliant Power to observe its Envision Sustainability Framework. The Bear Creek, Wooden County, and North Rock websites had been awarded Platinum Envision ISI verification – the best award stage – in recognition of their contributions to sustainable growth and clear and renewable vitality. Certification purposes for the other six websites are awaiting the last choice.

“Planting native grasses and pollinator plant species permits the websites to function multiuse land, fostering biodiversity and supporting Alliant Power’s sustainability initiatives,” stated Allison Chapin, environmental challenge supervisor, Burns & McDonnell.

9 greenfield substations had been additionally constructed throughout this challenge, with six gen-tie strains consisting of roughly 8 miles of 69-kV and 138-kV transmission to get the ability to the grid. To alleviate provide chain points, the staff used nonpermanent high-voltage fuel circuit breakers decommissioned from an Alliant Power coal plant to keep up the challenge schedule while ready for high-voltage fuel circuit breakers to reach.

“Giant packages like this include giant challenges, and our built-in challenge staff rose to satisfy them,” stated Josh Ahrens, supervisor of photo voltaic engineering, at Burns & McDonnell. “By having engineering built-in inside our self-perform staff, we created efficiencies that helped us establish the essential path and work collectively to satisfy the schedule whereas additionally permitting us to be taught from challenges that arose and construct a greater mousetrap for future tasks.”

The 9 photo voltaic services span practically 5,000 acres and collectively add 764 MW of photo voltaic capability to Alliant Power’s numerous era portfolio:

  • Albany Photo Voltaic Venture, a 50-MW website.
  • Bear Creek Photo Voltaic Venture, a 50-MW website.
  • Beaver Dam Photo Voltaic Venture, a 50-MW website.
  • Cassville Photo Voltaic Venture, a 50-MW website.
  • North Rock Photo Voltaic Venture, a 50-MW website.
  • Paddock Photo Voltaic Venture, a 65-MW website.
  • Springfield Photo Voltaic Venture, a 100-MW website.
  • Wautoma Photo Voltaic Venture, a 99-MW website.
  • Wooden County Photo Voltaic Venture, a 150-MW website.

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