The Hanna Region Transmission Development project in Alberta, completed for ATCO Electric by Bechtel, was extensive. Nearly 220 miles (354 kilometers) of new transmission lines were constructed, which included 153 miles (246 kilometers) of 240-kilovolt lines and lattice structures (both single and double circuit); 69 miles (111 kilometers) of new 144-kilovolt transmission lines, wood pole, lattice tower, and steel monopole structures (both single and double circuit); six new substations and modifications to 12 existing substations.
Delivering energy and protecting the environment
The project has helped us meet the increased demand for electricity in the Hanna region due to industrial growth in the area.—Sett Policicchio, president, ATCO Electric Transmission Division.
About the project
We provided ATCO project management, procurement management, construction management, contracts management, and environmental, safety, and health management services from contract formation through construction, commissioning, and closeout. Bechtel used time-tested project management tools coupled with a sophisticated geographic information system (GIS) to help manage risk, automate processes, and comply with historical and environmental guidelines. The project team:
- Completed the project on time and under budget
- Helped customer meet forecasted load growth (demand expected to double in the province by 2017)
- Used innovative mobile technologies to manage environmental requirements, guide right-of-way layout, and automate processes―saving both time and money
Bechtel’s value is really the process they bring to the project―from cost estimating to scheduling to managing the people and managing the project. —Quyen Nguyen. vice president, high-voltage direct current projects, ATCO Electric’s Transmission Division
Innovations to manage environmental concerns
About 60 percent of the area where the project was built passed through protected pasture, native grasses, and wetlands that are also popular wildlife breeding grounds. To minimize the impact to the sensitive areas, the project team used a mobile app to ensure that the field team had customized information about accessing land parcels and environmental regulations.
We had automated checklists built into the mobile app, which allowed us to conduct environmental and safety checks while we continued to monitor the project for quality compliance. The automation and integration of the information across the project meant fewer trips back to the office for field personnel and more time in the field focusing on executing the work. We also had special GIS handheld devices that allowed workers to easily see the boundaries of the environmentally sensitive areas and make decisions about next steps right in the field.
Despite working miles apart, the Bechtel and ATCO Electric team worked in unison to develop innovative and sustainable solutions that ensured the safe delivery of the project with minimal environmental impact. We undertook extensive measures to minimize environmental impacts on soil and wetlands, and to protect wildlife habitats.