Lower Valley Energy’s Hooper Springs 138-115 kV Substation consists of a three position 115 kV ring bus, three single phase (one per phase) 138-115 kV transformer units (200 MVA total), and one 138 kV line position. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) chartered the Hooper Springs Transmission Project in 2009 to improve system reliability in the southern portion of Lower Valley Energy’s transmission system and to address ongoing load growth in southeast Idaho and in northwestern Wyoming. In addition to the substation, the project consists of 24 miles of new double circuit 115 kV transmission line to provide final connectivity of LVE’s Tincup and Dry Creek Substations. The short 0.2 mile 138 kV transmission line connects to PacifiCorp’s Three Mile Knoll Substation. BPA performed all necessary permitting and siting for the project. In 2018, the project was formally turned over to LVE for engineering and construction. LVE retained ECI’s fully-owned subsidiary, EPC Services (EPCS), to construct the substation and transmission line under a full turnkey arrangement.
For the substation, ECI was responsible for survey (with in-house crews), geotechnical surveys, detailed design, procurement support, engineering support during construction, and close-out. Detailed design consisted of physical design, protection & control design, civil design, and communication design. Procurement support consisted of development of all equipment specifications, review and technical recommendations of supplier equipment proposals, review/approval of all equipment designs and shop drawings, and technical coordination during the procurement process. During construction, ECI supported a fast-tracked approach for installation of as much below-grade construction as possible before the winter season, 2018. This approach requires document control and identification of IFC components (through the use of “Hold” clouds) on drawings to efficiently support installation.
EPCS was responsible for procurement of all materials and equipment, construction through the use of several of our labor partners, commissioning/start-up, and full Project Management Construction Management (PMCM). EPCS utilizes our in-house testing crews to develop the project’s test plan and for actual commissioning and testing activities. Though unusual for a traditional cooperative, the application of the design-build model to deliver the project was a key solution to meeting project schedule requirements. ECI’s strong engineering experience in serving cooperatives for over 30 years ensured LVE that its RUS based design approach would be fully integrated into the project. To see a video of the project’s process and ribbon cutting ceremony, click here.