Connections

We are constantly seeking new ways to improve the way work is performed. A recent Ulteig innovation involves the integration of 360-degree video with GIS. We call it 360 VMI: Video & Mapping Integration. We’re using 360-degree cameras to collect videos of project areas by attaching the camera to a vehicle or walking down a corridor.  This video is then integrated into our web mapping system to allow the user to click on a map and start the video at the time stamp of that exact point. This application reduces the number of return trips to the field and gives us yet another innovative tool to communicate more difficult design situations with our internal staff and clients. Because innovation has no finish line.

6 tips to get the most out of Geographic Information Systems

Ulteig has a long history of providing centralized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) solutions to support our key Lifeline Sectors® of Power, Renewables, Transportation and Water. These GIS solutions are invaluable to the success of our projects. GIS technology supports engineering projects by combining the visual benefits of mapping with the power of a database.  The technology contributes to data asset management and project status tracking, and enhance communications between stakeholders throughout the project.

More Efficiency, Less Cost

One of Ulteig’s benchmarks for the value of GIS is a project developed for a Midwest electric utility company. This project received a National Recognition Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies for its design excellence.

While the designs developed by our engineering team were very accurate and met the client’s expectations, the team felt the project could be more efficient. Using GIS-based databases, workflows and applications, the team completely revamped the process to improve efficiency and deliver additional benefits from a new workflow. The Ulteig project team created a plan to meet project requirements by using GIS in field mapping applications integrated with centimeter-accurate GPS antennas and efficient GIS workflows for client deliverables creation.

Drawing on our experience with this project and others, here are six learnings for using GIS on your next project:

  • Don’t be afraid to question a good process. We had a good process in place and met the expectations of our client, but we realized it could be even better with the use of GIS technology. Challenging traditional thinking led to the development of a revamped approach to energy distribution design. By utilizing GIS technology, we increased the efficiency of this particular energy distribution design project, and now we look forward to leveraging GIS to other projects involving other industries to enhance project efficiencies. At Ulteig, we are continuously seeking new ways to shorten project timelines and enhance real-time project updates with fewer paper markups and corrections.
  • Choosing the right hardware and software is imperative. In incorporating GIS technology into the project, our Midwest Electric Utility team at Ulteig carefully considered the hardware and software with an eye toward efficiency. Of course we wanted to obtain the right data and of course we wanted to obtain as much useful data as possible. But what about the most relevant data? And what about data that can easily be shared and combined with data from other sources and make the entire work flow smoother? So, again, with an eye toward efficiency, we combined ESRI Collector for ArcGIS with Trimble survey-grade GPS receivers connected to ruggedized tablets to collect field data. The data created became an interactive inventory-map of the client’s existing utilities (poles, transformers, junction boxes, etc.), which was accurate to the centimeter and provided the data necessary to begin and carry out the design process. Pictures also were taken and attached to the collected features for later reference. Through integration with the utility’s GIS, the team could overlay available GIS data from city, county and utility databases. Using the collected existing utilities data and background data from other entities, we created a better design within the GIS application.
  • Leverage cloud-based web services to share real-time data. Leveraging cloud-based web services made it possible to share real-time design and right-of-way (ROW) easement acquisition data and project updates among all participants. This eliminated the need for redlined paper maps and minimized time-intensive conversations about design corrections. The inventory database and project updates were immediately accessible to designers, field engineers, surveyors, ROW agents and project managers, all connected by the application and its data, keeping all participants informed and on the same page.
  • Communicate early and often with key stakeholders, such as landowners. By proactively communicating early and often with landowners about acquiring easements and informing residents of proposed new equipment, we built trust. This was essential to the project’s success. To facilitate this communication, we created landowner communication maps. Live ROW and distribution data was incorporated into these maps, which allowed adjustments to be made on the fly when there were design changes or landowners refused easements. ROW, survey and design could use GIS to collaborate as a single team instead of independent silos. Addressing landowner concerns early in the process allowed for adjustments and prevented unnecessary and costly construction delays.
  • Leverage technology to better manage your time. All construction projects are driven by the proper management of time. Good time management can increase efficiencies, improve consistency and reduce costs. The Ulteig team developed a proprietary scripting process, which created final design PDF maps, ensuring a consistent and cost-effective product. The interactive GIS applications used throughout the project not only kept a constantly updated and accurate inventory of existing utilities, but also decreased in-field survey and in-office design time.
  • Never reach the finish line. Continue to find new ways to improve the way work is performed. For example, Ulteig recently added the use of 360-degree video cameras to collect videos of project areas by attaching the camera to a vehicle or walking down a corridor.  This video is then integrated into our web mapping system to allow the user to click on a map and start the video at the time stamp of that exact point. This application reduces the number of return trips to the field and gives us yet another tool to communicate more difficult design situations with our internal staff and clients.

Benefits of a GIS App

In summary, GIS has become a critical part of the Ulteig planning process. It’s a technology that we believe should be considered for most projects. Here are the benefits that we’ve identified:

  • Creating interactive inventory-maps
  • Sharing updated data in real-time with staff in the field and in the office
  • Decreasing survey and design time
  • Flexibility to scale data to the project parameters
  • Eliminating separate copies and versions of designs and data from a centralized database
  • Referencing facilities data such as size and type, and pictures from the office
  • Increasing accessibility to data
  • Tracking the status of design, construction, and easement acquisition
  • Connecting with intuitive modern smartphone apps and web apps

The Bottom Line: Consider GIS to Enhance Your Next Project

GIS technology is one of many innovative surveying services that Ulteig tailors to meet the unique needs of our clients. Our team uses the most advanced GIS software in the industry to provide customized geospatial solutions built around your business requirements. Ulteig’s wide-ranging GIS solutions range from data collection and custom mapping to GIS server solutions and technical support for utilities, commercial organizations and various levels of government. Our GIS service offerings include:

  • GIS Implementation Planning
  • GPS utility data collection
  • As-built document scanning and map data integration
  • Web and mobile GIS applications
  • ArcGIS Online Setup and Training
  • Site Selection Analysis 
  • 3D Modeling

If you’ve wondered if GIS should be incorporated into your next project, contact our GIS team at Ulteig. We can help you better understand the advantages of GIS both in the planning and building of your project, but also for the long term, when your project will need maintenance, retrofitting or repowering.

By Dan Haglund, Distribution, Ulteig

Dan Haglund is Ulteig’s Distribution Design Supervisor as part of the Field Services Team. He has more than 20 years of experience in implementing GIS solutions. He takes pride in finding ways to utilize GIS in practical and beneficial ways to improve efficiency, communicate better, and effectively manage projects.

Xcel Energy’s Michael Lamb shares insights about renewable energy and the power it has to transform our world and our lives.

Imagine that you’ve been working in the same industry for 20 years – and you’re more excited today about the potential your industry has to change the world – than when you started in the industry two decades ago.

As our world faces an omni-crisis consisting of multiple challenges, including COVID-19 virus, confronting systemic racism, climate change, and technological changes, there’s one person who sees his work and the company for which he works as a means to making the world a better place for all.

In episode 4 of the Ulteig Energy & Infrastructure Podcast series, Aaron Lauinger, Market Director–Transportation and Water for Ulteig, is joined by Michael Lamb, Senior Vice President, Transmission Systems for Xcel Energy, who shares his passion for clean, reliable, affordable energy and the transformational power it can have in improving our lives. Lauinger and Lamb are joined by Doug Jaeger, President and CEO of Ulteig, who provides an additional perspective on how renewable energy is converging with other Lifeline sectors, such as transportation and water, in creating change.

LISTEN NOW: Episode 5, Ulteig Energy and Infrastructure Podcast featuring guest Michael Lamb, senior vice president of transmission systems for Xcel Energy

If there’s one takeaway from this episode that you’ll remember it’s that power companies such as Xcel Energy, engineering firms such as Ulteig, and the construction firms that build and maintain our energy infrastructure, are on the front lines of immense change. In embracing a cleaner energy future, where we seek out a mix of renewables and clean energy sources, as well as better systems to transmit and distribute that energy, we are all having a powerful impact on the daily lives of people and businesses, as well as our world’s environment.

“We’re not a boring old utility,” said Lamb, who believes that his company is making a difference in solving climate change, while providing reliable, secure, affordable and environmentally clean energy. In addition to its focus on renewables, Xcel Energy, which has a large company footprint in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has made strong commitments to diversity and inclusiveness within its workplace.

Xcel Energy, like most companies, has not been immune to the economic effects of the COVID-19  pandemic. But if there’s a silver lining behind this crisis, it’s that Xcel Energy and its people have learned to be even more agile and flexible, bot in how the company serves customers and manages its workforce. It’s that kind of agility that will be needed in the years to come as the power industry embraces new ways of thinking, and new technology to achieving more affordable, reliable, secure, and cleaner energy.

“Like other companies, we’ve learned to be agile through this crisis,” said  Lamb. “More than 50% of our workforce are working from their homes, and we’ve taken a number of steps to keep our field staff safe while they perform their work.”

As noted by Jaeger, Xcel also has made a commitment to step up its support for communities in the areas it serves to bolster economic opportunities and help create jobs in light of the damaging effects that COVID-19 has had on the nation’s economy.

As Lamb explained during the podcast conversation, “We all want the same thing: reliable, secure, affordable, competitively priced and environmentally clean energy.” With incredible advances in new technology, everyone involved in the power industry has the potential to make a difference and have a real impact on our nation’s energy system.

In fact, Xcel Energy is the first major U.S. power provider to announce a goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% (from 2005 levels) by 2030, with a vision of providing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. And the company is well on its way, having reduced carbon emissions 44% in 2019, a record ten percent drop over 2018.

However, as noted by Lamb, achieving that ideal state, isn’t going to be easy. Why? It comes down to mindset.

“Change is hard,” Lamb said. “Our nation’s electrical grid was labeled one of the most important technological marvels of the 20th Century by the National Institute of Science. However, it’s 75-year-old technology.”

Jaeger added that the U.S. electrical grid was built for the transmission of electricity over short distances. The grid wasn’t designed for today’s modern day clean energy – where wind and solar is produced primarily in the Midwest and the West and sent over multiple state lines to the Coasts where it is most needed.

Looking ahead, Lamb said the U.S. power industry needs to continue to innovate, in order to produce the clean, reliable energy we all want, while keeping customer bills low. He sees the following changes necessary to achieve more affordable, reliable and cleaner energy:

  • Modernize electrical grids throughout the U.S. by upgrading the distribution system to increase 2-way power flows and increasing the ability for generation to be connected to it.
  • Invest in micro-grids that allow portions of the main grid to be isolated for security purposes.
  • Invest in scalable battery storage will be critical to making renewable energy more reliable.
  • Invest in infrastructure to support the growth of electric vehicles (EVs), which eventually be the predominant mode of transportation in the years to come.  EVs, noted Lamb, have the ability to both take energy from the grid, and to return energy back. Xcel Energy strongly supports EVs as one of many solutions to eliminating carbon from our environment.
  • Explore new fuel sources, such as hydrogen, which could be moved through existing pipeline structures, and advanced nuclear.

For many of these changes to happen, public policy at the state and federal levels will need to be reshaped, which includes more state and federal funding for renewable energy and grid modernization, and mandates that endorse clean, renewable energy.

In the meantime, Xcel Energy is forging ahead with its program, Steel for Fuel, the nation’s largest multi-state wind expansion, for instance, is an important step towards achieving its carbon reduction goals.

“Our vision of delivering 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 is both an ambitious and an aspirational goal,” said Lamb. “We need new technology to develop and we are confident that it will.”

Launched in March 2020, the Ulteig Energy & Infrastructure Podcast spans Ulteig’s Lifeline Sectors® of Power, Renewables, Transportation and Water. It offers thought-provoking and engaging conversations with key industry stakeholders on technology, innovation, policy and funding. Click here to listen to the current podcast or download it through AppleGoogle Play, or Spotify.

From Aug. 9 through Aug. 15, 2020, the wind energy industry celebrates American Wind Week. It’s a time to celebrate accomplishments and to reflect on what’s ahead as our country shifts from legacy coal energy to cleaner alternatives such as wind and solar. These stunning facts, offered by AWEA, reveal the potential of future wind energy development:

  • There are now 59,300 wind turbines operating in the U.S. The industry added 3,581 wind turbines in 2019, with an average capacity rating of 2.55 MW.
  • Wind power has been one of the single largest sources of new electric power capacity in the U.S. over the last decade, representing 30% of all new generating capacity installed during that time.
  • U.S. wind power capacity has tripled in the last decade and quadrupled since 2008.
  • The 300 million MWh of wind electricity generated in 2019 is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of roughly 27.5 million American homes, or enough electricity to power all the residential households in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Wisconsin combined.

Amid the excitement of seeing new wind farms going up across the United States and the stories about America’s growing utilization of renewable energy, there’s another story – the growing trend of repowering older wind energy facilities.   

Since Ulteig worked on its first large scale wind energy project in 2006, great strides have been made in wind energy technology. New designs, new materials, larger blades, and improved interconnections with power grids — all add up to more power generated at a lower cost.

Back then, the average wind turbine generated 1.5 megawatts of energy per year. Today, with newer technology and equipment, wind turbines can output 5+ megawatts — nearly 4 times as much energy per turbine.

Let me put it another way: A single, typical wind turbine installed in 2019 can generate enough electricity to power 900 average American homes for an entire year — a significant increase over the average wind turbine built in 2015 that could power approximately 610 homes.

These results are not just limited to newly built wind farms using the latest technology.

Factors to Consider for Repowering

An important part of our wind energy business is consulting with project owners on the efficacy of repowering older turbines with the latest wind energy technology, which, in our opinion is night and day compared to what was available even five or 10 years ago.

So how do you know it’s time to repower your wind farm with the latest technology? Here are some considerations, assuming wind patterns have continued to remain consistent in the area where you built your wind farm:

  • Age – If your wind farm was built 10 years or more ago, it’s highly likely that the turbines are smaller than what is available today. Larger turbines capture more wind, and therefore, can generate more power. If you have been contacted by a manufacturer of wind technology about upgrading your facility, you should conduct an analysis on the performance of your existing turbines before you consider repowering.
  • Performance patterns – If you see the power generated by your wind farm decreasing over time, it may mean there are some issues with your wind turbines.
  • Maintenance costs – If you notice a trend in the rising costs of maintaining your wind turbines — cracked or damaged blades, mechanical issues — it may be time to analyze all of your turbines to determine if it would be more cost effective to repower the turbines.

When we conduct an analysis to determine whether to repower a wind farm or not, we often look at several factors:

  • Maintenance costs — rate of maintenance costs compared to the aging of the infrastructure
  • Replacement costs — cost of replacing parts
  • Opportunity costs — analysis of generating more power and income with newer equipment vs. maintaining existing equipment
  • Interconnect agreement assessment (if you produce more power with newer technology, a new interconnect agreement is likely needed)

Repowering wind farms is one of the most economic and environmentally friendly strategies wind farm operators should consider as they build and maintain their portfolio of wind energy assets. Periodically assessing their performance is a smart approach to reducing costs and understanding the value of when to upgrade to newer and more profitable technology. As one of the pioneers in wind energy development, the Ulteig renewables team has the experience and expertise to help owners and operators better understand their options.

The future is here, now. Ulteig engineers are experts in planning and solving complex problems. Allow us to put our expertise to work in creating well-designed plans for implementing improvements to your wind power facilities using modern wind energy technology.

By Jake Hermanson, Technical Manager, Ulteig

Jake Hermanson is Ulteig’s leading expert on the repowering of wind energy facilities and Technical Manager of Ulteig’s Renewables team that performs collection system design and electrical studies. Hermanson has more than 18-years of experience in renewable energy and has worked with Ulteig clients across the United States on designing over 30 GW of underground collection for wind projects across the United States.  

One of the most common questions we receive from our clients is: What’s the value of doing additional evaluations during the preliminary design stage?

We understand why we’re often asked this question. When developers are doing preliminary designs for renewable projects, they want to get into the interconnection queue as quickly as possible. Feeling pressured to get their project moving without delay, developers make fast decisions on what equipment to use, what reactive power compensation equipment to install, and other preliminary design strategies. That’s when they turn to what they’ve done in the past, which may not necessarily be what’s best for their next project.

The decisions made in the preliminary design of a wind, solar, or energy storage project — even the small decisions — can have big and potentially negative consequences later in the project. Because all projects are unique, Ulteig strongly recommends conducting additional evaluations in the preliminary design stage to head off more extensive and costly changes that could negatively impact your schedule down the road. These evaluations can be completed quickly with little disruption to a developer’s timetable.

When our team works with developers in the preliminary design stages of a new project, we consider several factors as part of that evaluation process:

  • Technology: Evaluate different technologies such as inverter manufacturers or models and purchased options to determine its potential impact on the project.
  • Design Strategy: Evaluate choices such as overhead vs. underground cable, AC vs. DC coupling, optimal substation location and project layout decisions.
  • Reactive Power Flow: Perform load flow calculations to determine a good estimate for the number of inverters necessary or the sizing of capacitor/reactor banks based on selected equipment technology.
  • Equipment Selection: Compare options for equipment, such as main power transformer, transmission line conductors, load tap changer, and others to determine the impact on things like electrical losses, project cost, and schedule.

By considering these factors in the very early stages of project design, the project will be better poised for success by minimizing the chances of restudy by the ISO or utility, which could create big delays later in the project schedule.

The key here is to eliminate surprises. For the short amount of time it takes to complete a preliminary evaluation on a new project, the value far exceeds the perceived costs of adding an extra step to the project design process. Fewer rounds of re-design and re-engineering, lower design costs, more accurate bids, and better materials and equipment selection will produce a more effective and more profitable product that is built to last longer.

Project development is fast-paced, and we understand that very well. At Ulteig, we help you evaluate your options using the time and money available to perform critical evaluations that we mutually agree to be of the highest priority, so you can be confident that your project design is heading on the right path.

Ulteig engineers are experts in planning and solving complex problems. Allow us to put our expertise to work in creating well-designed plans for your next transmission and distribution project.

By Tahnee Miller, Engineering Supervisor in Transmission & Distribution, Ulteig

Tahnee Miller is an Engineering Supervisor in Transmission & Distribution Division of Ulteig. Ms. Miller has more than 11 years of experience in electrical engineering. She received her BSEE and Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Ulteig is optimizing utility-scale solar development with a new, extremely flexible and highly collaborative one-stop process. This pioneering approach combines all early-phase development services under one roof, which allows you – the developer – to reap the time- and cost-savings benefits of operational efficiencies and collaborative synergies. Because every phase is integrated into one seamless process, your interests and ultimate vision aren’t compromised by multiple competing vendors.

Solar development is a journey. We want to be with you every step of the way.

To learn more about our unique process, download our utility-scale solar development one-pager.

Amid COVID-19, businesses are learning to operate in a “new reality.” Employees work remotely from home. Corporate travel has been reduced or eliminated, and face-to-face meetings now happen over video calls. Even conferences, trade shows and workshops have been canceled, postponed or are being hosted virtually through the end of the year.

This void comes at a time when industry leaders are eager to share knowledge and strategize with colleagues and clients about critical trends and innovations that could help shape the national conversation. Recent research from McKinsey & Company suggests that “without fundamental change, it will be difficult to return to the attractive industry performance that has historically prevailed.” The COVID-19 nationwide stay-at-home order triggered a digital transformation that created new opportunities and channels for collaboration and sharing information.

 Many industry leaders, including Ulteig, are leveraging digital channels like podcasts, blogs, and social media to spark conversation and drive change. As partners are looking to learn more about Smart Transportation, SCADA, Grid Mod, DES and other Lifeline Sectors® solutions, we want to make it easy to share with industry colleagues. In the past few weeks, Ulteig experts have covered topics on:

Ulteig’s eight-part Podcast series on Energy & Infrastructure spans our Lifeline Sectors® of Power, Renewables, Transportation and Water. Each episode offers thought-provoking and engaging conversations with key industry stakeholders on technology, innovation, policy and funding, along with some lively discussion on issues facing our industry. Our Connections Blog helps keep readers up-to-date on industry trends, topics and events.

No one knows when this pandemic will be over, or what the new normal will be. One thing’s for sure: Ulteig will continue sharing innovative solutions with the industry at large, identifying and commercializing innovative concepts that could profoundly impact our Lifeline Sectors®.  

Understanding the Implications of President Trump’s Two Recent Executive Orders Limiting the Purchase of Communications and Bulk Power Supply Equipment for U.S. Utilities from Countries Adverse to the U.S.

What does China have to do with America’s power grid? As it turns out, plenty.

On May 1, the Trump administration issued an executive order prohibiting the acquisition and installation of “bulk-power system electric equipment” from our nation’s foreign adversaries.

In episode 3 of our ongoing podcast series, Aaron Lauinger, Market Director–Transportation and Water for Ulteig, is joined by Mark Scheid, Senior Program Manager–Key Clients, and special guests, Mike Crawford, Vice President of Operations for NLS Engineering and Energy, Greg Brunke, Director–Energy, NLS, and McKenzie Santin, Associate Director–Energy, NLS, in dissecting the implications of this latest executive order as well as a previous executive order involving the procurement of communications equipment for utilities from certain foreign countries.

For more than a decade, bulk power system owners and developers have been deeply concerned with the threat of cybersecurity both within the U.S. and from state-run cyberterrorism organizations across the globe. However, with this latest executive order from President Trump, issued in early May, utilities face new complexities in navigating the development, maintenance and modernization of their power generation and distribution systems.

The new executive order, which focuses on the acquisition and installation of bulk power equipment (generators, circuit breakers, metering equipment, generation turbines, etc.) builds on a previous executive order issued on May 15, 2019 regarding the acquisition and use of certain information and communications technology manufactured by companies in countries adverse to the United States, such as China.

According to an article published by the international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, the latest executive order “requires the secretary of energy to conduct rulemaking within the next 150 days to implement the president’s direction and could ultimately have a major impact on the power industry’s ability to use China-sourced equipment. Under its broadest reading, the executive order would allow the Department of Energy to prohibit transactions involving bulk-power system electric equipment manufactured or supplied by ‘persons subject to the jurisdiction of’ a foreign adversary if such use ‘poses an unacceptable risk’ to U.S. national security.”

Episode 3 in the Ulteig Energy & Infrastructure Podcast is fueled with an incredible amount of insights and opinions as our expert panel explores the numerous controversies around President Trump’s two most recent executive orders targeting the utility industry. This is one podcast that you won’t want to miss. Our panel of experts address a number of concerns, including:

  • The impact of President Trump’s executive order on the power generation and utility industries.
  • Implications of the executive orders on other utilities, such as water and sewage.
  • Why now? Utilities have been concerned about cybersecurity for at least 10 years. How does this new executive order elevate those concerns?
  • The role of China in supplying equipment to the U.S. bulk power supply system.
  • The potential for malicious code being built into equipment purchased from companies that manufacture in countries adverse to the U.S., which could be used to take over the control of a utility plant or a water treatment plant.
  • Steps utilities can take to secure their systems from malicious players.
  • Alternatives to procuring bulk power supply equipment from China and other foreign adversaries.
  • Why the low-bidding process is considered a vulnerability for securing bulk power supply equipment. Will the traditional low bid process be replaced with a different procurement method?
  • The short-term and long-term impact of an expected list of bulk power supply equipment to be put out by the Department of Energy that can no longer be used in U.S. systems – impacts such as delays in procuring alternative products, delays in construction, financial costs, etc.
  • Why utilities must double down on their plans to prevent a cybersecurity event and their plans to recover from such as event.

The Ulteig Energy & Infrastructure Podcast spans Ulteig’s Lifeline Sectors® of Power, Renewables, Transportation and Water. It offers thought-provoking and engaging conversations with key industry stakeholders on technology, innovation, policy and funding. There will also be lively discussion mixed in about the latest hot button issues facing our industries.

We invite you to join us — click here to listen to the current podcast or download it through AppleGoogle Play, or Spotify.

Through the decades, Ulteig has expanded our presence and adapted our expertise in industries that maintain infrastructure vital to everyday life. Our ability to create solutions to challenging project disruptions was one of the reasons why we were contracted as the project owner’s representative on a wind farm construction site in rural Texas.

Construction of the 160MW wind farm nearly halted when a contractor was unable to meet its obligation to install fiber optic lines at the site. This $150 million project, featuring 57 turbines, was at risk of being derailed. Ulteig started researching viable solutions to keep the project on track.

The local exchange carrier (LEC) available for the project was in bankruptcy, so their ability to perform and pay their subcontractors was difficult. After numerous failed attempts by the developer to contact the LEC vendor, the COD was at risk. Due to the relentless follow up and added pressure by an Ulteig Senior Project Manager, we were able to connect with the LEC and schedule installation of the fiber optic line with only a minor schedule disruption.

But that would not be the only problem our Ulteig team helped rectify on this enormous project. Compaction testing under one of the turbine foundations failed. Since tearing it out and doing it over was not a viable option, they once again reached out to Ulteig engineers for a solution. Using new technology with additional testing allowed the foundation to pass, keeping the wind farm project on track without any additional costs. The project was 97% completed at COD, with only one turbine needing re-machining for full functionality.

We meet the needs of our clients by offering a legacy of listening and solving as a vital strategic partner. That’s why owners and developers keep coming to Ulteig for solutions. We’re not just engineers or project managers—we’re consultants who can help solve your unique problems.  And that includes dealing with force majeure events like COVID-19. We can help you develop risk mitigation and response protocols for situations like a coronavirus outbreak at a project site by developing process maps that outline how to respond to vendors or contractors who issue force majeure claims.

Ulteig’s dedication, integrity and commitment to excellence make us the partner of choice for technical solutions in Lifeline Sectors® for public and private clients throughout the country.

Author: Craig Couch, PgMP, PMP