Oil pipeline giant’s 164 MW solar project is underway


Buckeye Partners, L.P. announced it selected Burns & McDonnell as engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm for a 164 MW solar project. Construction is currently taking place between Waco and Dallas, Texas.

Buckeye, a long-standing oil pipeline company, has an aggregate oil tank capacity of 125 million barrels. However,  the oil giant has a growing affinity to solar, announcing earlier this year it was planning another solar project with a capacity of 270 MW.

For the 164 MW solar project, Burns & McDonnell will cover design, construction, startup, and commissioning. The scope of the project includes the buildout of a new 345 kV interconnection substation. Transmission constraints are a hot issue for utility scale solar projects in Texas, and the buildout of the substation will better prepare energy to be distributed by the utility transmission system.

The project will include more than 360,000 First Solar modules and is expected to generate power equivalent to the load of 28,000 homes annually. Construction began mid-April and is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2023.

“We are fortunate to be working with forward-thinking innovators in our industry, like Buckeye, to uniquely capture market opportunities in the renewables space,” said Mark Swanson, vice president for refining, logistics, midstream and chemicals in the Oil, Gas & Chemical Group at Burns & McDonnell.

“This new solar energy site demonstrates Buckeye’s continued focus on energy diversity and lower-carbon solutions to enhance our long-term sustainability while meeting our customers’ evolving needs,” said Todd Russo, CEO of Buckeye. “As a world-class EPC contractor, Burns & McDonnell is the right partner to help us advance this critical initiative.”

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies with a team of 10,000 engineers, construction, and craft professionals, and is 100% employee owned.

Buckeye invests in alternatives

Buckeye has been actively investing in alternative energies as the global transition from fossil fuels continues. It has an alternative energy branch that invests in hydrogen, wind, and solar solutions.

In January 2021, the company made an equity investment in OneH2, a provider of hydrogen fuel supply and logistics solutions, currently representing approximately 20% ownership interest in the entity. OneH2 provides scalable hydrogen fuel production systems coupled with delivered hydrogen fuel for use in transportation markets.

In March 2021, Buckeye invested in Swift Current Energy, a renewable energy project development company, representing a 60% ownership interest. Swift Current Energy develops, acquires, finances, and builds solar and wind projects across the United States. The company’s current portfolio includes fourteen advanced-stage renewable energy development projects in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

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