Western Area Power Administration (WAPA)

Los Banos To Gates 500kV Transmission Line (PATH 15)

Location: California, USA

Falcon Steel America’s Contribution

Falcon Steel America was invited to participate in the construction of 84 miles of 500 kV EHV Transmission lines.

Falcon Steel America supplied 245 galvanized lattice towers with stub angles and assembly bolts. The bundled and shipped the towers to the jobsite for assembly in the field. On-time delivery and fit were critical on this project because it was all helicopter-lifted in place.

Upon completion of the project, Falcon Steel America received an appreciation award from Western Area Power Administration for its outstanding contribution to this project.

Project Description

Path 15 is located in the southern portion of Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s service area and in the middle of the California Independent System Operator’s control area. The path is rated at 3,900 MW and consists of two 500kV transmission lines and four 230kV transmission lines. Through a series of system studies performed previously, it was determined that capacity through this major north-south transmission corridor was insufficient to carry the necessary electricity.

As an EPC project, the schedule had been compressed to less than 18 months to complete all design, procurement and construction of over 84 miles of 500 kV transmission line.

Completion of this highly politicized project was met in November 2004, design and construction being more than six weeks ahead of schedule; a feat that simply could not be accomplished under a standard design-bid-build contract.

Since this project is the first of its kind, it is garnering a lot of local and nationwide publicity and was being carefully watched by other utilities.

  • First of its kind public-private financed EHV project for D.O.E.
  • 84 miles of 500 kV EHV line
  • Compressed design & construction schedule of 14 months
  • 98 monopole steel structures of up to 218 feet in height
  • 245 lattice steel towers
  • 3-bundle 1590 KCM conductor
  • Design of up to 12’-0” x 48’-0” piers
  • Helicopter setting of towers
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