Mears Group Inc. Installed Power Distribution System After Hurricane Ida
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida (Category 4, 2021), energy company Entergy began restoring and strengthening the power distribution system in the hard-hit coastal communities of Port Fourchon and Grand Isle, Louisiana, U.S.A.
The new distribution system includes two power feeds providing redundancy within the network. Entergy opted to install this section underground looking for mitigating damage risk in future storms. Quanta Infrastructure Solutions Group (QISG) selected Mears Group, Inc. to design and install a total of 12.5 miles (20 km) of 34.5 kV underground cable conduit using HDD and plowing method. Very restricted working widths alongside the two-lane highway and tidal marsh wetlands, combined with factoring in the available cable lengths, created complexity in the selection of entry and exit sites for the HDD crossings.
Additional temporary workspaces were designed and constructed to provide an adequate footprint for staging the equipment. Plowing method provided advantages when dealing with sections where uneven ground surface, high water table, and tight working space would have been problematic for trenching or HDD. A total of 27,000 feet (8,230 m) of underground conduit and cable was installed utilising plowing method and the remaining 38,500 feet (11,735 m) was installed via twenty HDD installations of 10-inch HDPE conduit.