Red Lion Energy Center

Location New Castle, DE

Client Diamond State Generation

Services Construction Management

Project Value $350 million

Hill provided project pre-construction and construction management services for this electricity generating station that uses innovative fuel cell technology. The project also included a natural gas regulating station, a well, a deionized water plant and water storage, a stormwater management system, and an administration and control building.

“Bloom Boxes” use single or grouped solid-oxide, natural gas-powered fuel cells to generate energy for myriad projects. Each fuel cell, slightly larger than a postcard, generates 25 watts of power. When grouped together in Bloom Boxes, fuel cells can either solely provide or supplement electricity for a variety of uses.

Located four miles south of Delaware’s state capital, the 200,000 SF Red Lion Energy Center project includes a grouping of 130 Bloom Boxes and was designed to be the highest-output fuel-cell power-generating facility in the world. Today, it is producing 23 MW of clean, reliable power for use by Delmarva Electric of Delaware.

The Red Lion Energy Center was Bloom Energy’s largest installation to-date, and was designed to be a highly publicized, highly visibly flagship site for the company. Challenges included a highly constrained project schedule, the need to define project deliverables and manage an existing team of design professionals, and the need to create trade-specific procurements that maximized local participation. Although the local power company had told Bloom that planning and engineering alone would take more than a year, the project was scheduled to be engineered, procured, and constructed in nine months, demanding around-the-clock work to meet the aggressive schedule.

In addition, coordination and logistics of the project were highly complex. Internal and external stakeholders included the client’s manufacturing supply chain and internal manufacturing resources, its product delivery network, electrical and construction regulators, utility companies, local contractors, and material vendors. Adding to the project’s complexity was the fact that the client’s manufacturing and engineering base was in Silicon Valley, CA, while construction took place on the East Coast in New Castle, DE.

To meet the challenge of stakeholders’ disparate locations, Hill employed the use of multiple web-based management systems to effectively interface, and used web-based information sharing tools to catalog, store, and share pertinent information during the bid, design, and procurement phases. Web-based tools also were used for all bid package procurements, and to conduct collaborative schedule reviews among reviewers in various locations throughout the U.S. The construction management staff also used tablets to facilitate communication. In addition, Hill developed an enhanced project schedule to keep the project on track and all stakeholders informed. This schedule integrated all known owner, supplier, designer, and contractor issues, and helped to define critical action items and guide performance.

The Red Lion project was recognized with a national Project Achievement Award by CMAA in the category of “Infrastructure Project with Constructed Value Greater Than $150 Million.” The project was also named “2014 Best Project – Energy/Industrial” by ENR MidAtlantic.

“I want to let you know how pleased I am with the help I’ve gotten from Hill. Your team in the Philadelphia office has been great to work with. The group was what I had hoped it would be… a good, all-purpose owner’s rep. Hill has been able to help us with scheduling, estimating, contractor sourcing, administering the bid process, construction management, evaluating project delivery methods, and even locating project finance. Every individual I have worked with has been first-rate.” -Bill Brockenborough, General Manager