Burns & McDonnell completes 65MW Texas solar project

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Burns & McDonnell announced that it has completed construction of a 65MW solar project at Vistra’s Brightside Solar Facility in Live Oak County, Texas, just south of San Antonio.

The project, which will generate enough clean energy to power more than 25,000 residences, is comprised of First Solar’s 440W Series 6 solar modules mounted on a single-axis tracking system. In all, more than 250 construction professionals contributed to the project, including the construction of the project substation, which is a 34.5-kV to 69-kV interconnection. The interconnecting substation design incorporated a future utility upgrade to the generating voltages, approximately 12 months after commercial operation date, as the existing 69-kV transmission line will upgrade to a 138-kV transmission line.

“This project provided a unique opportunity for us to deploy our integrated EPC execution method by designing and self-performing the construction of both the PV and interconnecting substation,” says Matt Dickey, construction project manager at Burns & McDonnell. “By aligning the critical procurement packages with the construction packages and engineering packages we were able to procure equipment based on when the schedule called for it to be installed. This helped alleviate some of the supply chain issues and better plan the logistics of getting material to the site.”

The project also supports the Vistra Zero Initiative, under which Vistra looks to generate zero-carbon electricity while investing in new technologies. According to Vistra, the company has more than 2,800MW of zero-carbon generation online, with nearly 2,000MW of solar or battery storage under construction or in development and more than 3,000MW of zero-carbon assets in the development pipeline.

Burns & McDonnell, an engineering firm founded in 1898, is 100% employee-owned by over 7,600 engineers, construction professionals, architects, planners, technologists, scientists, and more.

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