Engineering Partner’s Incorporated (EPI) is San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) overall Owner’s Engineer for both the FiRM and SUG programs. EPI is responsible for many facets of the program including but not limited to:
- Project Management
- Technical Direction
- Engineering QA/QC
- Design QA/QC
- Metric Development & Tracking
- Stakeholder Coordination
SDG&E Fire Risk Mitigation Program (FiRM) Owner’s Engineering Services
Since 2007, SDG&E has invested $1.5 billion in fire risk mitigation. This includes robust efforts to fire-harden the power grid with programs such as the Fire Risk Mitigation (FiRM)program which modernizes critical and aging infrastructure. Since 2014, our team has been and continues to provide owner’s engineering services for this program as well as other overhead distribution projects including engineering and design quality reviews and document control services. Our team has developed and documented processes, procedures, and metrics for PLS-CADD and design reviews ensuring construction packages meet GO95, SDG&E, and program expectations for overhead, underground, and SCADA jobs. As needed, EPI meets with the various contract design and engineering firms to provide feedback, discuss improvement opportunities, and share knowledge. In addition, as Owner’s Engineer, EPI facilitates and manages the construction RFI process, coordinates with SDG&E’s Electrical Design Engineering (EDE) group to discuss standards updates or deviations, provides written summaries to SDGE for program direction, provides technical direction and QA/QC for post construction true up and true up remediation processes, and develops explicit scope of work for contract designer to carry out projects. To assist the SDG&E with management, our team developed QC metrics comparing various contractor’s submittal quality and identifying process improvements to increase productivity and reduce confusion. EPI also provides project coordination and management scope including managing the true up and true-up remediation processes, managing aft the various submittals and transmittals ensuring completeness and revision control, assisting in developing RFP scope of work, and tracking and issuing of FCOs.
SDG&E Strategic Undergrounding (SUG) Owner’s Engineering Services
In 2020, SDG&E updated its Wildfire Mitigation Plan which outlines a suite of programs and initiatives that the utility is undertaking to advance wildfire safety. One of the initiatives is the strategic undergrounding of overhead power lines. Burying power lines removes the risk of these lines sparking fires during adverse weather events, but more importantly, buried lines can remain energized during Public Safety PSPS events, reducing the impact of power outages to many communities. For the past two years, EPI has served as the Owner’s Engineer for the SUG program. In this role, our team has successfully developed and published technical program direction to ensure a consistent design product meeting the utility’s technical and construction standards from five engineering and design firms. To date, our team has performed quality reviews of over 80 miles of conversion work. In addition, EPI attends alt job walks, and all designs are reviewed and ultimately approved by EPI. When complicated issues arise with agencies, customers, or permits, our team leads the collaborative effort to identify the best possible solutions. Throughout EPI’s time on SUG, we have proposed and executed numerous initiatives that resulted in significant schedule improvements and program cost reductions while maintaining safety and infrastructure reliability.