Burns & McDonnell, a family of companies that designs and builds critical infrastructure, has completed construction of the CenterPoint Energy utility-scale solar project.
The 50 MW AC / 65 MW DC project near Troy, Indiana, marks another step towards the utility's goal of reducing operating emissions by 70% by 2035, based on 2005 emissions .
The solar field consists of approximately 150,000 solar modules, each mounted on a single-axis NEXTracker tracker, so the modules can be tracked with the sun to maximize energy production as the sun's rays move naturally throughout the day. Burns & McDonnell worked with local construction companies and other subcontractors to support the local workforce. Hiring local traders and subcontractors also fueled employment growth in the region during a difficult economic downturn as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The customer is very excited about the launch of this solar project,” said Doug Riedel, senior vice president of renewable energies at Burns & McDonnell. “The customer recognizes the challenges the team faced during construction, the COVID-19 pandemic and the adverse weather, and is enthusiastic about the finished project.”
Burns & McDonnell was discontinued after the project's original EPC contractor (Engineer Procure-Construct) left the EPC market. CenterPoint Energy turned to Burns & McDonnell, the company who was the current engineer on the project, to provide engineering, detailed electrical, civil and structural designs, procurement specifications and construction services. Using an integrated team enabled consistency and effective communication at every stage of the project. Safety remained a top priority every step of the way. More than 164,000 safe working hours were logged, no days removed, and no downtime incidents.
Photo: Doug Riedel