Suncrest Substation

San Diego, California
BETA Engineering


Geotechnical Engineering
Engineering Geology

Geocon Leaders

Dave Evans


“Geocon’s geotechnical expertise and experience in mass grading of rock at the Suncrest Substation project was a key element in the successful completion of this difficult construction project. The ability to work with our grading contractor to achieve the highest level of quality control without sacrificing production was essential in maintaining our aggressive schedule. Geocon was very professional and responsive during the entire project.”

The 1.9-billion-dollar Sunrise Powerlink project supplies 1000 megawatts of power (enough for 650,000 homes) over a 117-mile 230/500Kv high power transmission line bringing much needed renewable energy to the San Diego region and beyond. Construction of the transmission line reached a significant milestone on April 17, 2012, when crews officially completed the new Suncrest Substation which is a critical facility for the Powerlink. This facility, located 8 miles east of Alpine, is the third 500,000-volt substation in San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) system.

With one of the most aggressive work schedules in local history, the project worked six 11-hour-days per week with the grading contractor moving over a million cubic yards of rock in 12 months creating a 40-acre substation pad to support the most important component of the Sunrise Powerlink. The rectangular-shaped site is located in rugged mountainous terrain which required significant excavations and rock embankments to create the relatively level pad and storm water control facilities.  A 2-mile-long access road was also graded as part of the project.

Geocon provided geotechnical engineering services on the project including development of the rock embankment grading specifications, field testing and observations services and geologic/engineering analysis of steep rock cut slopes in excess of 150 feet high. Geocon also provided quality control laboratory testing during the production of crushed aggregate base which caps the upper 12 inches of the 40-acre pad. Geocon’s efforts to provide the highest quality service earned praise from SDG&E and the project contractor Beta Engineering from Pineville, Louisiana.

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