Blog   |   Mar 22nd, 2016 Substation Project Recognized by New Jersey Alliance for Action

West Wharton 1

TRC is proud to have been part of the team honored by the New Jersey Alliance for Action for our work on the West Wharton Substation Enhancement Project.

The Alliance’s “New Jersey’s Leading Infrastructure Projects” award program highlights innovative, pioneering and landmark construction initiatives that positively impact the State’s economy and honors businesses and organizations that work together as partners to ensure a project’s success.

Working with Alstom Grid, TRC supported the civil/structural engineering and environmental permitting aspects of the effort to build a new static var compensation (SVC) substation for First Energy (Jersey Central Power & Light) in Jefferson Township, New Jersey.  The West Wharton Substation serves the I-80 corridor west of New York City, supporting greater reliability for customers. SVCs are part of a family of Flexible AC Transmission System (FACTS) devices used for dynamic power system control.

As part of the project, TRC:

  • Conducted a Geotechnical Investigation of 4 borings within the proposed footprint of the SVC substation
  • Conducted a comprehensive topographical survey of the project site including establishment of GPS survey control.
  • Conducted a limited boundary survey of the abutting southerly boundary of the Interstate 80 Right-Of-Way to ensure that no encroachments would result from the project.
  • Prepared the permitting applications necessary to gain regulatory approvals for a unique yard expansion that spanned 4 separate townships. 
  • Finalized the site, grading, and drainage designs to be within compliance of all regulatory approvals as well as meeting all JCP&L and Alstom design and construction standards.
  • Designed foundations for 21 unique pieces of electrical equipment and control enclosures. These included drilled pier foundations, pier and footing foundations, and slab on grade foundations.
  • Designed 12 unique steel structures/components.

Every project is unique, and this engagement was not without its challenges. The project site was small and tree removal was very restricted. As a result, the use of stormwater detention ponds was not practical. Due to TRC’s innovative understanding of stormwater runoff and management, the over 4 acre yard addition was accomplished without the use of a detention pond. Our innovative site grading design also incorporated earthen sound berms that reduced the amount of excessive soil that needed to be disposed of off-site.

TRC provided soup-to-nuts permitting and civil engineering services from initial site selection, to filing and obtaining proper permits from 6 different local and state entities, stormwater management, balancing six thousand yards of fill, foundation and structure design, and through to successful construction. Because our team included the full breadth of environmental and civil/structural design capabilities under one roof, we were able to streamline the permitting process for this complicated project and deliver greater efficiencies and cost savings. The design blueprint developed here can be applied to similar substation sites across New Jersey. 

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Kevin Veilleux


Scott Lizotte, PE