Two courses, sent to you by Energy Newswatch

Cost Estimating Methodologies for Substation and Transmission Projects

October 20-21, 2022 | Online

Sponsored by EUCI

Click Here to register $1595.00 (Course and Cost Estimating 201 Workshop)

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Throughout North America, the need for new utility projects is projected to grow to improve electricity delivery, increase capacities, improve reliability, and meet new standards associated with incorporating renewable energy generation into the smart grid.

In order to effectively utilize allocated and dedicated funding, it is critical for utilities, developers, subcontractors, project managers, and suppliers to fully understand efficient utility project cost estimation, as this new infrastructure has substantial costs and risks associated with each project. In fact, new overhead transmission lines can cost $1 million or more per mile. The process of building transmission level projects often takes many years—even in the most streamlined process.

In this course, attendees will recognize the critical components to consider in a transmission project estimate. Key components of the course include all factors that impact the final cost of building this infrastructure, including permitting and siting, materials and engineering, construction, and project management.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Discuss utility project planning process and budget considerations utilizing industry samples of typical industry projects
  2. Discuss the environmental and siting processes and the impact on schedules and costs
  3. Analyze engineering, material cost, and construction considerations for transmission lines and substations
  4. Compare and contrast contracting methods to include design-bid-build vs. OE/EPC
  5. Identify strategies to mitigate risks across the spectrum of project types and sizes



9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

Session I: Costs for Major Utility Projects: Substations, Overhead Transmission, and Underground Transmission

Group discussion of major components, including materials and construction

Project Begins at the Substation

  • Planning
  • Site development

Conduit & Grounding Plan

  • Foundations
  • Materials
  • Substation bus
  • Conductor/cables Overhead

Transmission Lines

  • Plan & profile
  • Staking
  • Foundations
  • Structures
  • Hardware

Underground Transmission Lines

  • Plan & profile
  • Duct bank
  • Line splice and pull-through vault
  • Line cable
  • Line substation riser details

Session II: Permitting, Siting, and Right of Way Considerations and Costs

  • Overview of environmental siting process
  • Potential impacts to project timelines and costs
  • Urban vs. rural considerations
  • Construction considerations
  • Strategies to minimize schedule obstacles

Session III: Utility Cost Estimation Process

  • Developing budget parameters and the project plan
  • Utility estimate components
  • Cost estimating best practices during the project life cycle
  • Cost reference development
  • Risk management
  • Expected accuracy ranges
  • Measuring performance
  • Project cost estimate example


9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Central Time

Session IV: Methods of Contracting

  • Identify common types of contracts and contract delivery methods and understand the risks and advantages and disadvantages associated with each:
    • Fixed price/lump sum
    • Cost plus
    • Time and material
    • Traditional arrangement/design-bid-build
    • EPC arrangements and risk management
    • Open book EPC variations
  • Impacts to Construction Process

Session V: Project Cost Estimate Case Study

Class exercise to estimate major categories of project costs compared to actual costs on two real life projects.


Cost Estimating 201


This workshop is geared towards those who would like a further understanding of the cost estimating process and experience a more in-depth teaching session after they attended the Cost Estimating Methodologies course. Attendees will learn more of the guidelines for different types of estimating projects, as well as how to use these guides. Attendees will also be working with real-life examples so they can dig deeper into the process and gain a full understanding of cost estimating for substation and transmission projects.

Learning Outcomes  

  • Navigate how to apply AACE guides to major power projects and how the guides can be used to provide meaningful information to utility managers
  • Calculate risk management parameters based on known project information
  • Explore different Estimating tools currently available to the industry
  • Participate in exercises in developing revised cost estimates throughout the project life cycle  

Who Should Attend 

Transmission and substation project managers, estimators, engineers, and contract managers who would like to get an advanced understanding of cost estimating.


12:45 – 1:00 p.m.
Log In

1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Course Timing

  • Review of Cost Estimating Principles
  • Types of Cost Estimates and How They are Used
  • Cost Estimating Guidelines – The Application of AACE Recommended Practices to Major Power Projects and How They Can be Used to Provide Meaningful Information to Utility Managers
    • AACE 96R, 69R, 56R, etc.
    • How to use the guides for different types of projects
    • Application of contingency
    • Expected accuracy range
    • Confidence interval
  • Identification of Critical Project Elements
    • Substation
    • Transmission
    • Distribution
    • Generation
  • Cost Estimating Tools Commonly Used in the Industry
  • Class Exercise – Building a Cost Estimating from the Bottom Up For:
    • Solar garden
    • Gas turbine
    • Transmission line