Mesa won the contract to replace a 26-mile, 138kV transmission run from Sealy to East Bernard – consisting primarily of 40+ -year-old wooden poles and glass conductors. Why? Because even in a summer of record breaking heat when ERCOT told Texas utilities there’d be no planned outages, Mesa could do the work while the lines stayed energized. And everyone could keep their cool!
Not far from the Fred Hartman Bridge spanning the busy Houston Ship Channel lies Alexander Island, basically a dredging depository. It also serves as the crossing point for a major transmission line. The towers were sinking, however, and CenterPoint asks Mesa not only to move the lines’ path and build new towers (all the while avoiding the multiple pipelines buried below), but to re-cable to support the change from 69kv to 138kv transmission. And haul off the old towers. And hold the line from the mainland in place over the Ship Channel the entire time.
As “master planned communities” continue to develop in the Greater Houston area, electricity demand grows along with them. Near Sugar Land, neighborhood distribution lines were getting perilously close to nearby transmission lines. Working a 12-mile, 138kv line, Mesa gets to work. One side of the system is de-energized, allowing the other side to carry the load. Mesa builds new foundations for the transmission towers to add 10 feet of height to each. The lines are removed from the main tower and placed on temporary towers. The process repeats on the other side until, one by one, the 138kv lines are reattached to their home towers with an additional 10 feet of clearance.