The Energy Alternatives Division of San Jose, Calif.-based Black Hills Corp. announced recently that subsidiaries Black Hills Energy – Colorado Electric and Black Hills Colorado IPP have awarded the electrical package contract to FPD Power Development for the Pueblo Airport Generation Station projects. FPD will work with IBEW Local 12 and Larkin Enterprises to hire qualified professionals to perform all of the electrical, instrumentation and controls construction work on these projects.

“We have a long history of working in Pueblo and are excited to continue sharing our 40-plus years of experience to make southern Colorado an energy epicenter,” says Jeff Gale, executive VP of FPD Power Development. “We are pleased to be working with Black Hills on these exciting projects and look forward to working closely with local, experienced professionals to successfully complete this contract.”

“This electrical package includes approximately 1.5 million ft. of cable between the two projects, is the third largest contract awarded and represents nearly 30% of the entire workload for the new generation projects under construction,” says Christopher Burke, VP of operations for Black Hills Energy – Colorado Electric. “We continue our commitment to competitively soliciting qualified, least-cost resources, and we are particularly pleased that much of this additional work will be awarded to local companies and craft labor.”

FPD will work about 200,000 man-hours on this project and plans to hire qualified electricians from IBEW Local 12. FPD subcontractor Larkin Enterprises will also hire pipefitters from Local 58. In addition, FPD will be sourcing the majority of the materials from local distributors. The Pueblo Airport Generation Station currently has more than 350 contractors and craft labor onsite. As of August, when the official ground-breaking ceremony occurred, both utility-owned LMS100s have been delivered and set on their respective foundations by mechanical contractor Fagen, Inc. and Pueblo-based subcontractor Vision Mechanical. Additionally, the switchyard access road and site grading construction services were completed by Rice and Rice, and the waterline construction was completed by K.R. Swerdfeger. Planning is in full swing for the cooling tower erection, planned for January 2011. Colorado-based Cooling Tower Depot will subcontract the erection work with Kirk Erectors, Inc. Kirk Erectors will use local carpenters, pipefitters, operators, millwrights, and laborers union halls. The project will take approximately 18 weeks and will employ 15 people. Additionally, the gas line and compression facility are almost complete, and work has begun on the pre-engineered buildings.

The Black Hills Pueblo Airport Generation Station will consist of four units, two utility-owned natural gas-fired LMS100 units and two Black Hills Colorado IPP-owned high efficiency combined cycle units. Each of the combined cycle units will consist of two 40MW natural gas-fired LM6000 turbines and one 20MW steam turbine. The generation facility is expected to be in service by Jan. 1, 2012.