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Rochester Public Utilities – Westside Energy Station

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. Each unit is 9 MW, totaling 45 MW for the plant. The new facility serves 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, and subcontractors and materials management of more than 70 containers of equipment. Project completion was March 2018.

Client
Rochester Public Utilities
Location
Rochester, Minnesota
Architect/Engineer
Sargent & Lundy
Boldt Role
  • General Contractor
  • Construction Manager
Project Type
New Construction
Project Size
45 MW

Project Highlights

  • 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.