Holy Cross Energy Communications Infrastructure Master Plan
- Private Sector
- Private Utilities
- Fiber + Broadband
- Fiber + Broadband Planning
- Utilities + Cooperatives
- Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Challenge: Holy Cross Energy (HCE) is an electric cooperative in Colorado that covers a large area that includes communities and rural residences. The most immediate questions they faced (which most electric cooperatives are asking) were what are the best ways to connect their critical communications infrastructure assets. In an age when more and more data is being used, the capacity, latency, and reliability of connectivity are important.
Holy Cross Energy Communications Master Plan
Based on the fiber strategy developed by HR Green, HCE identified 101 miles of backbone infrastructure (aerial and underground) to build over four years. Initially, this has involved undertaking the design and construction of a section between Glenwood Springs, CO, and Aspen, CO, known as Priority 1 – Phase 1.
HCE’s service area is very rural and based on the needs of some of the municipalities along the proposed route. HCE amended its original plan to build laterals to serve some of these communities with fiber to facilitate broadband service. This included laterals to the Town of Snowmass Village, Pitkin County, Avon, Colorado Mountain College, and Basalt.
Holy Cross Energy engaged HR Green to help them with the following steps:
- Define and clarify their current communications infrastructure assets.
- Coordinate discussions with their departments to define their current needs as well as plans for asset investment in broadband-related infrastructure.
- Clarify the gaps between current and future needs and current connectivity.
- Provide options for ways to fill those gaps, including costs to construct the options.
- Guide discussions to prioritize the identified options.
Fiber Implementation and Deployment
Solution: Holy Cross Energy has moved forward with the plans that were developed and has begun implementation. HR Green is managing the construction of a fiber backbone network and completing the field verification and design of the Priority 1 fiber deployment identified in the Strategic Plan. The creation of an area-specific High-Level Design (HLD), Mid-Level Design (MLD), and Low-Level Design(s) (LLD) was necessary to create associated construction and permitting plan sets.
There are many difficulties in designing and constructing Fiber infrastructure in the mountainous terrain that comprises the area served by HCE. HR Green leveraged our local experts and extensive knowledge of engineering to overcome the challenges of maintaining the schedule while incorporating additional scope. Holy Cross Electric continues to expand its critical communications infrastructure which the region desperately needs.
“We are highly satisfied with HR Green and have recommended them to other entities. They have been highly responsive, engaged, and proactive in helping us with our projects. The communication has been great. The project costs matched the proposal estimates.”
– Vice-President, Information Technology I Holy Cross Energy