Location: LaSalle, Colorado
Client: Heartland Biogas
Size: $5.6 Million
In many ways the Heartland Biogas production plant in La Salle Colorado represented a research and development project in the renewable energy sector. Designed to serve the area agriculture industry as an animal waste processing center, the plant represented a “new to the world” approach to alternative energy production, turning animal waste and manure into pipeline-grade natural gas. For Guarantee Electrical Company’s (GECO) Colorado branch, the twenty-four month Heartland Biogas project exemplified the company’s robust capabilities as an industrial design-assist partner, providing electrical design, value engineering, as well as full service installation services in delivering electrical power and distribution as well as industrial production control data systems.
As an alternative energy production project, Guarantee’s electrical design and management team had to contend with the limitations of a 60 percent complete design at bid time. The consequences of this involved a more or less continuous preconstruction analysis and value engineering with numerous adjustments on the construction side in response to design changes with their potential to impact the schedule.
In many ways biogas production resembles wastewater processing, involving similar engineering challenges with respect to powering an industrial process and wiring the motor controls serving industrial pumps and process control systems associated with biochemical process management, waste processing and containment, including safely contending with the presence of hazardous, Class I Division 1 methane and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gases, etc.
GECO’s familiarity with waste processing and industrial process related electrical design and construction proved useful in contending with what in many respects was a “pilot” project, involving numerous design changes that impacted the scope of work, etc. in an environment that involved flammable natural gas, elevated hydrogen sulfide concentrations, high temperature steam and high pressure (4,000psi) piping.
GECO’s design assist and construction team was able to complete construction within General Contractor, HDR’s aggressive schedule. Successful startup with gas production was achieved and delivered to the California-based Heartland Company, all without injury or lost time incident.