Ampjack:Turnkey Solutions for Upgrading Transmission Line Assets
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Luke Chaput, President
The replacement, repair, and refurbishment of transmission line assets is not an easy task. Transmission line outages, significant budgets, and environmental aspects emerge as major hindrances. This is where Ampjack makes a world of difference. The company is dedicated to offering utilities and transmission line owners innovative, cost-effective, eco-friendly, and safe transmission line upgrade solutions. “Spending more than two decades in the utility industry, I have witnessed how businesses, irrespective of their geographical location, struggle to enhance the capacity of transmission lines or extend its’ lifecycle. I set the foundation of Ampjack to address this quandary,” mentions Luke Chaput, President at Ampjack.
Ampjack is widely recognized in the market today for the AMPJACK® Tower Raising System. The fully modular system can lift any tower design, be it a simple, single circuit tower or a complicated, multi-circuit structure. “We have engineered a ‘Crane in a Box’ lift system that allows us to pick up an energized structure and increase the height infive-footsections to increase the capacity,” says Chaput. In fact, the company has raised over a thousand towers for almost 6,000 feet in total of height increase since inception and over 95% of transmission tower raises have been done without de-energizing the existing line.
Ampjack can helicopter-lift all its’ equipment onto a mountainside where towers aren’t accessible by road. The AMPJACK®solution is proven to be significantly effective in areas such as California, where forestry groups monitor all the actions in national forests and have stringent regulations. It is often challenging to maintain existing lines and build new ones in these areas due to unfavorable terrain and stringent work permits. The company collaborates with these groups to demonstrate how environment-friendly its’ solutions are with negligible carbon footprint compared to traditional tower raising.
Ampjack has successfully completed hundreds ofprojects to date with a one hundred percent safety record. Its’ first-ever project was in the New York state area. The client had a ten-mile line that they needed to de-energize if not repaired by a specific date.Ampjack analyzed the ground clearances and determined that by raising 14 structures, they could get the line back to the safe operating condition.
The company engineered and fabricated the extension steel and installed all 14 extensions within a few months. This way, Ampjack saved the client from ISO and NERC penalties. Also, with the complete upgrade, the line achieved its’ original design capacity. As a result, the client could continue to supply electricity properly to their customers and make additional revenuewhile maintaining reliability of their system.
Ampjack’s multi-disciplined service group capable of handling extremely challenging projects enabled them to offer such comprehensive services.
Apart from being a leader in raising energized transmission lines, Ampjack is also a full EPC style company that focuses predominantly on tower repairs, refurbishments, and life extensions, including upgrading towers and foundations, tower coatings, and cathodic protection. The company conducts specialized in-house engineering, fabrication, and project management—be it tower design, tower analysis, foundation analysis, or corrosion mitigation services. What enables Ampjack to offer such comprehensive services is its’ multi-disciplined service group that is capable of handling extremely challenging projects.
Going forward, Ampjack plans to expand its’ footprint into the U.K. and other countries in Europe. In Europe, the company will specifically focus on remediating, upgrading, life-extending structures, and obtaining more capacity for utilities—a stressed transmission asset market at present. Also, in the US,utilities are trying to interconnect several renewable resources such as solar and offshore wind along the east coast with the existing infrastructure. However, the existing infrastructure is incapable of handling the additional capacity. Ampjack’spredominant focusnow is line rerating, to help utilities quickly interconnect the renewable resources with existing lines. While strengthening the structures to gain extra capacity in the lines, wecan be the difference in meeting the goals of sustainable electrification everywhere in the world.