May 11, 2023

A Year of Firsts for Cianbro Power & Energy

Cianbro's Power & Energy team has seen tremendous growth in 2022, working with new clients in the South East and taking on milestone projects that break new ground for Cianbro. In May, the team was awarded a 100 kV rebuild in North Carolina and the company's first project for Central Electric Cooperative in South Carolina. Later in the summer, Cianbro was awarded its first 230 kV bundle job for a client in Virginia. To wrap up the year, the team was awarded Cianbro's first-ever 500 kV transmission line project.

"This has certainly been an exciting year for our team," says Josh Gale, General Manager for Cianbro's Transmission, Distribution, and Substation group. "Our team has tackled complex Power & Energy projects, remaining committed to delivering quality outcomes to our clients, both familiar and new. They've done great throughout 2022, and we're excited to see what 2023 has in store for us."

100 kV rebuild in North Carolina

The existing line was built in 1930 utilizing lattice tower structures and 4/0 copper conductor. Cianbro is rebuilding 11.3 miles of the single circuit line with a mix of 42 lattice tower structures and 39 concrete monopoles. To date, this is our largest transmission job for this particular client.

Construction began in a dense residential area in central North Carolina with several primary road crossings and a railroad crossing, which required extensive planning and preparation. The project is broken up into three phases. Phase 1 is 7 miles, Phase 2 is 2.5 miles, and Phase 3 is 1.8 miles. Cianbro just recently completed the first 5 miles of phase 1. As of February, the team has installed 29 new concrete monopole structures, 24 new lattice tower structures, and approximately 300,000 feet of new wire, fiber, and static.

Central Electric Power Cooperative – Exit 27 Tap & Red Hill Tap

This project consisted of two greenfield line taps, one in Horry County and the other in Anderson County, South Carolina. Exit 27 Tap consisted of approximately .2 miles of single circuit 100kV transmission line, with four direct embed monopole structures and two direct embed three-pole dead-end structures. Crews began construction on Exit 27 on August 21 and completed it on September 4, 2022. Red Hill Tap consisted of approximately .4 miles of single circuit 115kV transmission line with one fiber and six monopoles on pipe pile foundations. The team began construction on September 18 and completed it on October 9. While working on the Red Hill portion of the project, due to the location, Cianbro transmission crews were on standby for public utility company Santee Cooper in South Carolina during Hurricane Ian.

230 kV Bundle in Virginia  

Under a critical outage schedule, the team executed the first 1.5 miles of the 230 kV bundle project in just under 14 weeks, finishing the first 1.5 miles just before Thanksgiving. Currently, the team is working on the project's second phase, which encompasses 16.5 miles of the rebuild. The project's overall scope included demolishing 142 wood H-Frame structures and 471,000 feet of existing single conductor and replacing it with 139 new steel H-Frame structures and 480,000 feet of new bundled conductor. The team also had to devise a safe and efficient plan to pull in two fiber communication wires while one remained active. Cianbro and its subcontractor partners also installed 18 miles of temporary access to all structure locations, which included two complex river crossings where specialty Emtek floating mats were utilized to access those structure locations.

First 500 kV transmission line project

In the fall, Cianbro's Power & Energy team embarked on its first-ever 500 kV transmission line project outside of Greensboro, North Carolina. The team is rerouting roughly three miles of an existing 500 kV line around a major building project, then connecting it back to the existing line.

With a 500kV transmission line, the team is working with larger lattice towers that are relatively uncommon in the region. Everything is magnified by the voltage class, including the conductor size and the hardware. The team began the project in October and anticipates completing the work in the spring.

"It's a feather in the cap for Cianbro," says Nate Lancaster, Project Manager. "I know we have a lot of team members who were excited to say that they've worked on 500 lines, and a lot of transmission line workers who wanted to be part of this project."


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