Two large government-owned utilities have announced that they will use some of the funding in the president’s $787-billion stimulus package to move forward with "smart grid" transmission projects. Portland, Ore.-based Bonneville Power Administration announced Feb. 19 that it would move forward with a $246-million, 500-kV transmission line that will provide more than 870 Mw of energy, including 700 Mw of wind capacity. Work on the project begins this spring and is expected at its peak to create 700 jobs. Lakewood, Colo.-based Western Area Power Administration also plans to build "smart" transmission lines, although it has not yet identified any specific
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.