The Puget Sound Energy (PSE) service territory includes 11 counties in the state of Washington, covering 6,000 square miles and ranging from the Canadian border to the south end of Puget Sound. To serve its customers, PSE maintains 45,000 miles of electric and natural gas lines, more than 400 electric substations, a dozen power plants and the Northwest’s largest underground natural gas storage facility.
To meet the narrowbanding mandate of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), PSE hired Black & Veatch to upgrade its mobile radio system by helping it develop or enhance more than half of its 60 communications sites. Black & Veatch is helping PSE prepare the sites for the new radio system to ensure that it is reliable and efficient when it goes operational.
This mobile radio communications system will allow PSE employees across the service territory to communicate with each other. This is very beneficial to PSE in terms of not only system maintenance but also outage restoration efforts. This type of consolidated radio communications system will allow PSE to speed up the restoration effort and provide a safer environment for field employees.
The client needed to overcome significant challenges in order to meet an aggressive schedule with geographically dispersed sites. The project was further complicated by the remoteness of many of the sites and seasonal weather conditions.
Black & Veatch designed and installed grounding and surge suppression to bring the sites up to Motorola R56 communication site standards. Black & Veatch engineers understand the technology and the need to do this complex work with minimal PSE staff involvement. Black & Veatch professionals are working through tough challenges and coming up with solutions on an ongoing basis, whether it’s schedule, cost, internal approvals or site accessibility issues.
Black & Veatch continues to receive additional assignments because its resources allow PSE to meet critical time lines at multiple locations simultaneously.