In 2010, the Southwest Power Pool approved “priority” high voltage electric transmission projects estimated to bring benefits of at least $3.7 billion to the Southwest Power Pool region over the next 40 years. As a part of this approval, three 345 kV transmission lines were identified as being the responsibility of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (OGE) to design, construct and maintain. OG&E hired ECI to provide a complete suite of services for this project portfolio as an overall program.
To efficiently direct the multi-disciplinary team, ECI provided a dedicated, full-time Program Manager responsible for orchestrating project communications, tracking schedules and budgets and monitoring risks through to project energization similar to that proposed for this APS OA program. The Program Manager managed multiple engineering teams across three ECI offices as well as multiple subcontractors including geotechnical, survey and environmental studies in addition to independent construction contractors.
As a part of the Owner’s Agent role in construction, ECI developed a complete construction bidders list and all necessary RFP documents for bidding contractors. Our team solicited bids, actively managed the RFI process providing comprehensive responses and documentation during open bidding, organized and managed the pre-bid meetings for each of three independent projects and subsequently received contractor bids. Independent bids were verified for three nearly concurrent transmission project schedules with a total of over 230 miles; the bids were ranked in accordance with developed criteria and weighting with recommendations made to OG&E for selection by the ECI management team.
At the initiation of the construction process, the Program Manager was relocated to the project site to provide direct coordination as three concurrent projects began differing phases of construction. This allowed the construction inspection team to develop a positive relationship and continued focused communication with the project stakeholders.
The program was energized on schedule at over $10 million dollars under budget. This was done despite losing schedule time as the contractor was redirected to repair storm damaged lines not associated with the project. These successes were due to careful attention placed on identifying risks and offering detailed risk mitigation recommendations developed by the ECI team.