Fast-Tracked Conversion

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The Cricket Valley power plant in Dover Plains, N.Y., promotes a highly efficient and environmentally responsible process that converts clean-burning natural gas into electricity. E-J Electric Installation Co. was responsible for the installation of all electrical and instrumentation components of the new three-by-three combined- cycle power plant for the Cricket Valley Energy Center.

Cricket Valley Energy Center comprises three GE 7F.05 gas turbines, three GE steam turbines and three GE heat recovery steam generators with advanced emissions-control technology.

The gas turbines and steam turbines are configured together in a combined cycle to provide clean and efficient power generation. Ultimately, Cricket Valley will generate upward of 1,100 megawatt (MW), which is enough electricity to power more than 1.1 million homes across New York state.

E-J Electric is headquartered in New York, with offices in Connecticut and New Jersey, and has established international joint ventures with several organizations. Founded in 1899, it is the oldest independent electrical contractor in the country. The company’s work on the project was fast-tracked.

“Power plants are always fast-tracked,” said Anthony Mann, E-J Electric president and chief executive officer. “The sooner they can be completed, the sooner they can be-come an electrical benefit to the surrounding community.”

Mann said the fast-track process required substantial planning and involved all facets of E-J’s management teams.

“On a project of this size, we start with safety and utilize resources from our project management, engineering and prefabrication departments working together to deliver a safety-conscious project on time and within budget,” Mann said.

The scope of work included all electrical installation for the 1,100 MW power plant, said Brendon Bergin, vice president/general manager of power construction services at E-J Electric.

The company installed more than 150,000 feet of underground duct bank, 1.8 million feet of cable, 70,000 feet of conduit, 50,000 feet of tubing bundle and 2,000 instruments.

E-J Electric also was responsible for the installation of the 345-kilovolt gas insulated switchgear on the property that connected to the New York Independent System Operator transmission system. In order to achieve the required system turnovers and achieve substantial completion on time, prefabrication was done at E-J Electric’s 30,000-sq.-ft. prefab facility in the Bronx.

Prefabrication drives safety, quality and scheduling, said Thomas Kregel, executive vice president of E-J Electric.

“E-J’s prefabrication department collaborates closely with our project and engineering staff to review projects, target work opportunities through the design documents, as well as working closely with the engineering staff and drawings to execute and deliver products,” Kregel said. “These principles and lessons were incorporated into the Cricket Valley Energy project where we centrally located a prefabrication facility within two miles of the site to deliver prefabricated assemblies in a time frame that drove the project.”

Safety starts at the top of the company.

“E-J has undertaken a proactive strategy to establish systems, methods and safety controls. At Cricket Valley, E-J supervised a peak staff of over 200 electricians and instrument technicians logging more than 300,000 hours without a lost time incident,” Mann said.

E-J Electric received the Building Trades Employers’ Association of New York City 2018 Safety Award.

Working with engineering, construction and project management partner Bechtel, E-J Electric delivered the Cricket Valley Energy project on time and budget. It used its knowledge of power plant and substation experience that includes more than 5,000 MW of installed generation.

“The collaboration between E-J and Bechtel was the key that made the project successful,” Mann said. “Bechtel brought E-J in early to the engineering process and the teams traded ideas in order to make a plan that was safe, cost-effective and could be implemented into the coordination and schedule of the project.”

“E-J is dedicated to providing customers with innovative, unequaled and indispensable services, which result in continuing relationships, satisfied clients and expanded operations. Through teamwork, experienced supervision, dedicated management, engineering and new technologies, we aspire to achieve maximum productivity, the highest quality product and financial strength. E-J’s employees’ personal and professional growth and pride in themselves and in the company is critical to success and is accomplished by an ethic of hard work, technical proficiency, innovation and continuous improvement,” Mann said.

About the Author

Jeff Griffin

Freelance Writer

Jeff Griffin, a construction and tools writer from Oklahoma City, can be reached at up-front@cox.net.

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