FPUD awards manual transfer switch contract to Berg Electric

The Fallbrook Public Utility District awarded a contract to Berg Electrical to furnish and install a manual transfer switch for FPUD’s portable generator.

FPUD’s 4-1 vote Jan. 28, with Archie McPhee in opposition, authorizes a contract of $99,710.

“We have a portable generator, but we can’t connect it right now at our office,” said FPUD engineering and planning manager Jack Bebee. “We have nothing to plug it into.”

The district’s main office was identified as a critical facility to maintain power during an outage, as remote operation of water and sewer pump stations and reservoirs are monitored and controlled from the office and the loss of power would eliminate remote monitoring and control. In order to utilize the emergency generator at the main office, a manual transfer switch is needed to disconnect the office from the main incoming San Diego Gas & Electric service.

“They can disconnect from SDG&E and connect to the generator,” Bebee said.

FPUD completed the electrical design for modifications to the incoming power system. FPUD issued the design to 11 electrical contractors and requested cost proposals. Due to the specialized experience needed because of the space constraints associated with the incoming power service and electrical connections, only two companies responded. Berg Electric submitted its $99,710 bid while Sloan Electric provided a bid of $178,651. Due to the price discrepancy FPUD staff spoke with Berg Electric representatives to determine whether the bidder understood the scope of the work, and FPUD determined that Berg Electric understood the work required and had extensive experience with similar projects.

McPhee voted against the bid because he felt that an automatic transfer switch was preferable. Bebee noted that the portable generator is moved between multiple facilities.

“They’ve got to connect the generator anyway,” he said.

FPUD’s wastewater treatment plant has an automatic switch, as that facility is not always staffed and the automatic switch allows the transfer to power from the backup stationary generator without the physical presence of an FPUD employee.

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