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RPU chooses Boldt to build new $62 million plant

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Wally Schlink, SMMPA Alternate Representative & Director of Power Resources at RPU
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The Rochester Public Utility Board flipped the switch Tuesday to fire up the construction of a new peaking power plant in the northwest quadrant.

The board chose Boldt Co.'s $32.2 million bid to engineer and build the new plant to be called Westside Energy Station.

Wisconsin-based Boldt, working with Sargent & Lundy, was selected as the top bidder. The peaking power plant is slated to be built at 5846 19th St. NW.

Wally Schlink, RPU's director of power resources, said the "aggressive schedule" calls for the new plant to be operational by May 1, 2018.

Factoring the rest of the costs for the Westside Energy Station, Schlink told the board the total cost should be $62.6 million. That's below the estimated $75 million budgeted for the project.


The board previously approved buying five reciprocating engine generators from the U.S. arm of the Finland-based Wartsila for $22.5 million. The engines run on natural gas.

Boldt, which has had a large office in Rochester since 2008, beat out four other bidders for the contract. Boldt's proposal breaks down as $3,798,289 as "a firm price" for engineering and

construction management, $28,437,922 for the balance of the project and $6,447,242 for

contingency to cover variables such as material costs or changes.

Boldt formed a team with power plant experts Sargent & Lundy of Chicago to bid the project as the Westside Energy Partners.

Of the bidders that RPU staff deemed suited to handle the project, the other top competitor for the bid was Burns & McDonnell of Kansas City, Mo. Burns & McDonnell did the preliminary engineering study on the project for RPU.

"Boldt and Burns were neck and neck," Schlink said.

In the end, the difference came down to cost. Burns bid a total of $37.2 million to build the Westside plant.

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