Interconnecting a 180MW Solar Project in Texas

Project Scope:

EPC of 138/34.5kV collector substation

Project Type:

Factory-Built Substation Projects

BESS & Renewable Interconnections

Location:
Texas
Year Completed:
2022

After using the Agile by Beta® project approach successfully on a 138/34.5kV collector substation project, a renewable developer returned to Beta for a solution on another project: interconnecting a 180MW solar farm to the grid in Texas. The Agile solution offered the safety and cost savings the customer was looking for and a team they could trust to get the job done.

One of the primary goals of the solar project was to improve grid resiliency. This solar farm will produce enough power for approximately 117,000 homes, as well as provide renewable energy credits to businesses in the area.

This project had several unique characteristics. First, Beta used helical anchors instead of concrete foundations. The Factory-Built Substation (FBS) skids that are a hallmark of Agile’s project approach were placed on helical anchors, as was the control building. We also worked with the customer to find an alternative to a traditional concrete oil containment pit. Instead, we designed a liner-based oil containment pit. The use of helical anchors and a liner-based pit reduced onsite construction time and labor costs and nearly eliminated concrete from the project. Another unique characteristic of the project was the relay solution Beta’s team offered, which saved the customer in conduit and cabling costs.

During construction, Beta’s team faced several challenges, from procurement delays due to the unpredictable supply chain to the wettest summer in the region in more than 50 years. The steep grade of the access road to the site and muddy conditions made heavy equipment deliveries especially challenging.

When it came time to receive the 156MVA power transformer that weighed almost 125 tons, Beta’s construction manager worked over the weekend to quickly develop a solution. He worked with the transportation company and recruited help from the other project subcontractors to move the transformer up the access road ramp and into position for a successful crane lift. After discovering oil leaking from the transformer due to issues with the weld quality, Beta handled warranty issues with the vendor and ensured the transformer was properly repaired.

Despite these challenges, we met our customer’s goals and had the substation and feeder lines ready for the solar field energization. Our team delivered a safe project with no recordable injuries or lost time, and we helped the customer successfully interconnect this renewable project to the grid while reducing onsite costs and ensuring project quality.

Detailed Scope of Work

• Helical foundations for the Factory-Built Substation skids and control building

• Steep grade to reach jobsite

• Installation of liner-based oil containment pit

• Procurement and supply chain delays

• Wettest summer in the region in over 50 years

Related Projects
©2022 Beta Engineering. All rights reserved.