January 11, 2011

Learning the Inner Workings of a Large-Scale Construction Project

Tyler Medeiros at the Brayton Point Power Station

It's been a great way to learn about various types of construction...

Tyler Medeiros, Construction Management, '11

Co-op Employer:  Dominion Energy

Co-op Position:  Construction Manager Intern

Hometown:  unknown

The two 497-foot-tall cooling towers of the Brayton Point Power Station have provided Tyler Medeiros, BCMT ’11, with some big responsibilities.

Medeiros returned for his second co-op semester working at the Somerset, Mass., power plant—New England’s largest fossil fuel-generating facility—and his work on the cooling towers is part of an effort to lessen the environmental impact of the plant.

Currently, Brayton Point uses a cooling system which recycles water from Mount Hope Bay through the plant, sending warm water back into the bay. The solution: a closed-cycle cooling system, where the warm water is recycled through large cooling towers.

This $620 million project has allowed Medeiros to learn the inner workings of a large-scale construction project. “I am included in the meetings that plant owners have between the owner and the general contractor before they do anything,” says Medeiros. “It’s been a great way to learn about various types of construction and ways to do things.”

Those who live near Somerset would be hard pressed to miss the sizeable cooling towers. But, as Medeiros explains, the project is not yet complete. While the exterior is complete, there is still a lot of work to be done inside. Dominion Energy, who owns the plant, has allowed Medeiros to manage some small projects as well, like installing portable water lines for the Unit Three Dry Scrubber—a system that removes sulfur dioxide from the flue gas. He writes up a proposal for the projects, talks to the engineers, sends them to his boss for review, and then puts them out for bid.

“Being able to follow such a substantial project for more than three years, learning directly from general contractors, and having significant responsibilities has really prepared me for the future,” says Medeiros.

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