Company History

A History of Industry Leadership
Sargent & Lundy shares its history with that of the electric power industry itself. The industry was just emerging when engineers Frederick Sargent and Ayres Lundy formed an independent engineering and consulting company in 1891, dedicated to working with clients in the electric power business.

Individually, they had earned recognition for their technical talent and foresight. Sargent was one of Thomas Edison’s most capable early associates, while Lundy was a highly regarded colleague of electric railway innovator Frank Sprague. Together they collaborated on power generation and transmission projects that advanced the industry and set the company’s course.

World-Class Fossil Fuel and Power Transmission Beginnings
The firm’s first project was the Harrison Street Station in 1892, which received worldwide attention for its power generation and transmission innovations. It was the largest plant in the United States, and its innovative design using condensing engines slashed the coal needed to produce a kWh in half. Output was carried over transmission lines for a revolutionary length of 3,340 feet.

This project was the first of many bold explorations of diverse technologies that have helped Sargent & Lundy clients succeed through each era of power industry change.

Nuclear Leadership
Sargent & Lundy’s nuclear power leadership began in the mid-1950s, with the design for the world’s first boiling water reactor installation at Argonne National Laboratory and the conversion of the Arco Borax III research reactor to an electricity producer.

Today, Sargent & Lundy has designed more than 30 increasingly advanced nuclear units and has been continuously engaged in nuclear power work since this beginning.

Moving Renewable Energy Forward
Pioneering work in renewable energy began in the mid-1980s with Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) in the Mojave Desert. SEGS VIII and IX were the largest solar thermal power plants in the world when they went on line in 1989 and 1990 at 80 MW each. They continue to be among the world’s largest solar thermal power plants.

A Record of Accomplishment That Continues Today
Overall, we have engineered 958 power plant units and more than 6,200 circuit miles of power delivery systems. Many authorizations have been innovative power generation and transmission “firsts.” Many more weren’t milestone undertakings, but instead were simply good, solid projects carefully engineered to meet the needs of their owners. We also have worked extensively to help our clients improve their existing assets, providing engineering as well as professional consulting services for several thousand installations.

Our focus on the power business remains unchanged. We’re still working with our first client as well as with many other long-time clients. We have earned this extensive repeat business through our technical and project management know-how, our agility in meeting clients’ evolving needs, and our integrity for acting in the best interests of each client.

With our comprehensive services, we have worked with more than 1,600 clients in 91 countries… and still counting.