Mortenson breaks ground on Rio Bravo Wind Project in Texas


Mortenson announced the start of construction at the Rio Bravo Wind Project located in Starr County, Texas. Rio Bravo is Mortenson’s 34th wind project in the Lone Star State. Longroad Energy selected Mortenson based on its portfolio of wind projects in Texas, exceptional performance on past projects, and the integration with Mortenson’s Engineering Services for much of the project’s design engineering.

“The addition of in-house design engineering on the project enables us to unlock the best value for the customer by further ensuring system performance and optimized costs throughout the design phase. This is an important and strategic component that we can offer to improve our customers’ business results on energy projects,” said James Phaneuf, director of engineering services for Mortenson’s High Voltage Transmission Group.

The Rio Bravo Wind Project, located in Starr County, Texas, is Mortenson’s 34th wind project in the Lone Star State. (Courtesy: Mortenson)

As the Engineer of Record, Mortenson’s Engineering Services team designed Rio Bravo’s 345kV Cabezon substation, which is the primary energy transmission “hub” for the project. The integration of engineering and construction services by Mortenson provides for significant design optimization and enhances construction coordination, which ensures a higher quality asset installation for the customer — saving the project time and money.

Mortenson has completed 33 projects in Texas totaling 4,658 MW. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Texas leads the nation in wind-powered generation capacity, and, since 2014, Texas wind turbines have produced more electricity than the state’s two nuclear power plants.

“As a proud partner of Longroad Energy, we are excited to add 237 MW of wind energy to Texas’ clean energy portfolio and engage Mortenson’s design resources in the process,” said Tim Maag, vice president and general manager for Mortenson’s Wind Energy Group.

Rio Bravo includes (66) V136 Vestas turbines with tower hub heights of 105 meters, totaling 237.6 MW of output. The scope of work includes access roads, foundations, collection system installation, MET towers, O&M building, substation, transmission line and erection of the turbines. Mortenson will self-perform all civil, erection and high voltage work.