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Grid Modernization Goes Mainstream, Reliability Is Primary Goal
Power sector players got a jolt in January 2019 when Virginia utility regulators rejected the $6 billion grid modernization rate case proposed by Dominion Energy. This “no” followed similar decisions in Kentucky and North Carolina from the previous year. Despite such setbacks, results from Black & Veatch’s 2020 Strategic Directions: Smart Utilities Report survey show that utilities are “all in” on grid modernization plans, and it looks like regulators are moving that way, too.
Perspectives
2020 STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS: MEGATRENDS

Black & Veatch is proud to release its first 2020 Strategic Directions: Megatrends report, which analyzes years of survey data to explore and illuminate some of the most striking and consistent trends across the water, power, telecommunications, natural gas, commercial and industrial

Perspectives
Game-Changing Business Model: Private LTE for AMI and Smart Utility Programs
The landscape of telecommunications options available to support utilities’ OT solutions is rapidly evolving - at a pace compared only by the changing needs of the OT requirements themselves. The movement towards 5G and even greater use of LTE is imminent. But how to take advantage of this evolution is less certain.
Perspectives
Are we creating a postcode lottery for digital water services?
The more you can spend to achieve successful outcomes, the greater the likelihood of success. Since the 2013 Australian Grand Prix, no F1 team other than Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes has won grand prix. The ‘big three’s’ spending power consistently outstrips the rest of the pack. During the 2018 season, won by Mercedes – with Ferrari second and Red Bull third – the big three spent more money than the other seven teams combined.
Projects
Reliability Reboot: AEP and PSE&G Digitize Underground Systems
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Utilities are hardening their distribution systems to become more reliable. To do this, many are moving their aboveground systems to underground vaults to protect transformers and other components from damaging weather. Other utilities, such as American Electric Power (AEP) and Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), are modernizing their existing underground systems to make field data visible and actionable.

Perspectives
Emerging Trends in the Commercial and Industrial Sector
In an effort to explore some of the factors reshaping business, Black & Veatch recently polled hundreds of professionals in the commercial and industrial sector to identify emerging trends in resource use with a focus on sustainability, capital spending and energy and water management trends within their organizations.
Perspectives
Master Planning for a Smarter Grid
Creating a grid master plan is the first step in the evolution of a more intelligent grid. In this new perspective piece by Black & Veatch Management Consulting Managing Director, Rick Schmidt explores such topics as smart utility migration, infrastructure modernization, technology adoption lifecycle and introduces our 8-stage master planning methodology. The desired goal of the master planning activity is to provide a documented path that provides a roadmap for current focus and future investments.
Perspectives
UK Electricity Market: An Imbalance of Power
The power generation market is awash with misconceptions. Not the least of which is the misconception about who “invented” electricity — noting, of course, that electricity is a form of energy and it occurs in nature. Technically, it was never “invented” but rather “discovered.”
Perspectives
Integrated Infrastructure Accelerates Asia Energy Transition
Governments across Asia are tapping innovations in generation, transmission and distribution technologies in the power grid to meet increasing energy demand in a sustainable manner. The increased energy demand is a result of rapid population and economic growth in the region. The International Renewable Energy Agency's (IRENA) 2018 Renewable Energy Market Analysis of existing Asia power grid demands shows that energy consumption in Southeast Asia, for example, has doubled in the past two decades. Industry analysts expect the demand for energy to continue growing throughout Asia in the next few years. In anticipation of this growth, an in-depth examination of Asia power grid needs as well as generation potential is urgent.
Projects
Thermal power plant helps reduce power deficit in northern India
Bhilai Thermal Power Project
The Bhilai Thermal Power Plant is a 2x250 megawatt coal-fired plant that uses local coal sponsored by NSPCL, a joint venture between SAIL and NTPC. It is located on the Bhilai Steel Plant site and supplies power for the expansion of the steel plant, with excess power sold to the local grid through NTPC.
Perspectives
Energy as a Service: Power Without the ‘Plant’
When ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft began disrupting the taxi business a decade ago, taxi operators scoffed and said consumers weren’t ready for such a radical approach to their entrenched business model.
Perspectives
Finding the Right Power Generation Mix
As ratepayers continue to seek more renewable energy integration, the electric industry is struggling to create the optimal mix of fuels that will economically meet sustainability goals. Boosted by a slew of factors – including decreasing costs, advancing technologies, new carbon-reduction policies, consumer pressure and regulatory support – renewables show no sign of slowing down. But their ability to provide reliable, consistent baseload power remains firmly in doubt because of the inherent intermittency of wind and solar photovoltaic.
Perspectives
The Importance of Corporate Reputation Management

Smart organizations today undertake all reasonable actions to manage risk. There are safety and security protocols, maintenance requirements, monitoring and diagnostics, quality control, regulatory standards and more.

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