Rochester Public Utilities Westside Energy
Rochester, Minn.
Award of Merit

Owner: Rochester Public Utilities
Construction Manager/General Contractor: The Boldt Co.
Lead Design/Engineering Firm: Sargent & Lundy
Engine Manufacturer: Wärtsilä
Key Subcontractors: ABB; August Winter; Hayward Baker Inc.; Himec Mechanical; Hooper Corp.; Parsons Electric

Rochester Public Utilities’ largest, most technologically advanced power development project was a study in team-wide coordination. The facility’s planned location within an unmapped floodplain required a rapid search for the most cost-effective design alternative for supporting the heavy equipment. A 5-ft foundation elevation using more than 900 gravel piles not only mitigated the floodplain issue, but also saved the owner time and money by eliminating the need to purchase additional steel.

The location’s unexpected stabilization needs forced sitework to be performed throughout the winter in order to meet the planned spring 2017 start of construction, which was staged and planned entirely around the delivery of five 150-ton engines from Finland. Each engine arrived fully assembled on flatbed transports with 16 40-ft shipping containers of support equipment. With collaborative critical path planning, the foundations and balance of plant tie-ins were completed in time to set the massive engines upon their arrival.

Now operational, the natural-gas-fired plant is capable of generating 47 MW of power for use during periods of high demand or emergencies.