WASHINGTON, DC  – CHA Consultants, Inc., of Albany, N.Y., has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 53rd annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for the Lake Champlain PV-20 Submarine Cable Replacement project in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

CHA represented the New York Power Authority in the complex effort to safely replace seven half-century-old, oil-filled underwater cables connecting electric transmission systems in New York and Vermont. Four 230kV new transmission cables were installed using multiple installation methods to minimize environmental impacts while protecting the transmission system. In addition to the direct burial of the cables on land, the underwater methods included horizontal direct drilling and a barge-towed jet plow that installed the cables four feet into the lake bottom for protection. At the route’s deepest levels—100 feet below the surface—the cable was laid across the lake bottom.

Removal and replacement of the underwater cables and obsolete components will ensure long-term reliability for the vital electrical interconnection. A sudden failure of one or two cables could have resulted in lengthy outages and an expensive repair effort and compromised the lake’s water quality. The cable replacement also expands the region’s access to low-cost renewable energy.

CHA Consulting, Inc. provides a wide range of technology-enhanced planning and design services to public, private, and institutional clients

The project is among a record 203 entries this year representing engineering excellence from throughout the nation and the world. Judging for the awards program—known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”– took place in February and was conducted by a national 35-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia. Award criteria focused on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

Recognition of all award winners including top winners—20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement—will take place at the annual EEA Dinner and Gala, a black-tie event to be held in September on a date and location to be determined.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,200 independent engineering firms and more than 600,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities. Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.

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