As a full-service power delivery contractor, Edison Power Constructors’ jobs run the gamut from overhead and underground distribution for residential and commercial clients, to major long-haul 525 EHV transmission lines and up. Edison Power, along with its sister companies within PLH Group, has the capacity to design, construct and service a broad range of light, medium and heavy transmission and switchyard substation projects throughout North America.
The company is a member of PLH Group of Irving, Texas, a $1 billion construction and specialty contractor that serves the electric power line, pipeline, oilfield electrical services and industrial markets. Formed in 2009, PLH Group has assembled a North American team of top-quality companies that service its customers’ needs. Those needs range from pipeline construction and related directional drilling, right-of-way clearing/restoration and engineering to electric transmission, distribution and substation construction, including specialized foundations and helicopter airborne operations.
PLH is, in turn, owned by Energy Capital Partners of Short Hills, N.J. The $13 billion firm invests in the power generation, midstream oil and gas, electric transmission, environmental infrastructure and energy services sectors of North America’s energy infrastructure. “We have tremendous financial backing,” says Mike Stefanik, president of Edison Power, who has worked for more than three decades in the energy business.
Phoenix-based Edison Power was established as a viable national operation more than one year ago. With excellent ongoing support from its parent organization along with its industry leading management, the company is rapidly growing to be a recognized leader in the power delivery industry.
Throughout their careers, Stefanik and his team have overseen numerous projects throughout North America, across a wide variety of terrain and customers such as CenterPoint Energy, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., General Electric, the Bonneville Power Administration and the Western Area Power Administration. Others include Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Salt River Project, Kansas City Power and Light Co., PacifiCorp, Public Service Electric and Gas Co., Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Xcel Energy Inc., American Transmission Co., American Electric Power, PPL Electric Utilities and CPL Retail Energy, to name a few.
Challenging and Difficult Projects
A major part of these projects have utilized helicopter operations which can range from fairly straightforward to extremely complex and difficult. Prior to forming Edison Power, Stefanik recalls a project where he utilized a AS332 Super Puma helicopter for medium lift operations along with an Erikson S-64F Air-Crane for a large number of exceedingly complex sectionalized heavy lifts for lattice structures on the Public Service Electric and Gas Co. section of the Susquehanna to Roseland 500KV Electric Transmission Line project.
“This simply was one of the most challenging and difficult projects imaginable due to not only the technical difficulties we encountered, but the environmental aspects and adverse weather conditions we endured,” Stefanik says. “If fact, right at the start of the project, we had Hurricane Sandy hit and it went from there. Fortunately we had the backing of an excellent team with PSEG and the helicopter operations were a true success.”
Through this period “we were able to cultivate and build an excellent team who are now at Edison Power. We have been able to build on this core group and develop tremendous capacities regarding planning and oversight of helicopter operations,” he says. Edison Power provides this service throughout the country, often as a consultant, Stefanik explains.
Edison Power has worked on other large projects including the Path 42 Transmission Line Rebuilding Project in California’s Coachella Valley, which it is currently engaged in.
Edison Power has also completed many projects in the Houston area. “We are looking to manage projects throughout the country both large and small,” Stefanik says. “Business is good, really good. We see tremendous growth not only in the U.S. but also in Canada.”
The company is currently recruiting new talent, including community liaisons because it is focused on good community relations. “We build power lines with the community in mind and do all we can to establish as many partners as possible within the local community and with minimal impact to the environment,” Stefanik says. “We are not a typical contractor who leaves a big scar on the environment. We don’t believe in slash and burn; we make the least possible impact on the environment and community.” For example, Edison Power emphasizes the non-destruction of plant life on its projects, and when that is impossible, it replants affected greenery.
Safety is a top priority at Edison Power. So much so that it hired a highly regarded and experienced professional who previously worked for Kiewit Corp. as Director of Safety. “As far as we are concerned, [Kiewit] sets the standard for construction safety across a wide range of industries,” Stefanik says. The bottom line is that Edison Power recognizes that safety stems from proper training. “You don’t just send someone out there to figure it out,” Stefanik says. “We have an extremely robust safety training program.” Edison Power also believes that hiring experienced personnel contributes to greater safety on the job.
The company certainly has its work cut out for it. As Stefanik describes it, the country’s power infrastructure is “a robust, living machine in dire need of repair.”
Edison Power, therefore, will continue to find creative ways to do business that are economical and environmentally sensitive.