power lines against orange sky


Xcel Energy logo


Southeast New Mexico and West Texas


cost effective icon

Cost Reduction

damage assessment icon

Improved Efficiency

safety icon

Improved Compliance

Enhancing Material and Construction Management for Xcel Energy

The Challenge

Xcel Energy SPS experienced a rapid increase in capital spending (Capex), rising from $20M to $300M per year due to essential projects aimed at enhancing regional transmission reliability and supporting utility infrastructure for the Oil Patch boom in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas. With this surge in Capex, Xcel Energy sought to develop a comprehensive Material Management and Construction Management program for their transmission line and substation construction projects. The key challenge was to reduce the impact of material issues on construction, improve collaboration between field teams and the engineering department, and enhance communication to minimize construction delays.

The Solution

Xcel Energy enlisted Think Power Solutions to address these challenges by providing construction management, material management, and software services. Think Power Solutions implemented the following strategies:

  • Material Defect Identification: Identified material defects to be approximately 20%, significantly higher than the contractual standard of less than 1%. Think Power Solutions leveraged data collected in the field and automated analytics to help Xcel Energy enforce contract standards, reducing material issues and associated costs.
  • Real-time Project Progress Tracking: Think Power personnel tracked real-time project progress using advanced technology , a data collection system in the field. Collected data was automatically fed into customized dashboards, providing project managers with immediate visibility into project status and enabling timely decision-making.
  • QA/QC Feedback: Classified material issues identified in the field provided valuable QA/QC feedback to material vendors, allowing them to improve their quality control processes in manufacturing plants and mitigate future defects.
  • Cost Savings: Through efficient field progress tracking and communication, coupled with adherence to company standards by outside contractors and vendors, Think Power Solutions helped Xcel Energy achieve cost savings of approximately $4.75M in 2015.

Key Benefits

  1. Cost Reduction: By addressing material defects and streamlining project management processes, Xcel Energy realized significant cost savings, demonstrating the effectiveness of Think Power Solutions’ approach.
  2. Improved Efficiency: Real-time project progress tracking and improved communication facilitated efficient collaboration between field teams and the engineering department, reducing construction delays and enhancing overall project efficiency.
  3. Improved Compliance: By enforcing contractual standards and providing QA/QC feedback to material vendors, Xcel Energy ensured that construction materials met quality standards, enhancing project reliability and performance.

The Results

Think Power Solutions’ tailored approach to material and construction management empowered Xcel Energy SPS to overcome challenges associated with rapid Capex growth. By leveraging innovative technology, efficient data collection, and strategic collaboration, Xcel Energy achieved significant cost savings, improved project efficiency, and enhanced compliance with quality standards, contributing to the overall success of their transmission line and substation construction projects.