Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) ~ Westside Energy Station

Rochester, Minnesota

Project Description

The Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) Westside Energy Station is a new natural gas-fired power plant consisting of five reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE) that are supplied by Finland's Wärtsilä manufacturing company. The RICE units are a newer technology that provide quick-start emergency backup power generation. The units can go from sitting idle to providing power to the grid within two and a half minutes. The plant is capable of generating 47 MW of power and will serve as a peaking plant for RPU, providing electricity when there is a high demand.

The plant completes the replacement of RPU's 1949-vintage Silver Lake coal-fired plant. It provides double the efficiency and significantly less carbon emissions than the former plant.

Boldt worked alongside Sargent & Lundy, a design firm that focuses primarily on the power industry, as a joint venture named Westside Energy Partners (WEP) providing the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) for the balance of the plant (BOP). Self-perform services provided by Boldt included the installation of concrete substructures, structural steel, equipment installation, and rough and finished carpentry. Boldt also oversaw site safety, quality control and assurance, subcontractors and materials management of
more than 70 containers of equipment. The project was completed in March 2018. It received a 2018 Best Projects Award of Merit from Engineering News-Record Midwest.

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Learn more about our work in the Rochester office.

Architect/Engineer

Sargent Lundy

Boldt Role

Construction Manager/General Contractor

Key Points

  • The plant’s site was below the floodplain, so construction teams drove over 900 gravel-filled pilings deep into the soil to create a stable foundation five feet above grade.
  • The structure features a building envelope around the engine hall that reduces sound impact to the adjacent community.
  • Construction was completed two months ahead of schedule.

PROJECT AWARDS

  • 2018 ENR Best Regional Projects, Midwest - Merit Winner