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5G Implementation Comes Down to Communication, Collaboration
There’s no doubt that the lure of 5G digitalization is strong. This wave of next-generation connectivity is expected to usher in exciting new opportunities such as wide-scale adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), along with all its innovative new technologies that promise to change how we live, work and play.
The Call Is Coming from Inside the House: Private Utility Networks Bring Efficiency, Control and Reliability
Reliable communications networks are crucial to allow utilities to deliver an uninterrupted supply of power to customers. With high-speed wireless technology at the fore, and the addition of hundreds of new field applications that require communications networks — including Long-Term Evolution (LTE) — a digital utility is built on communications that extend to the edge. Converged networks employing IP-advanced private wireless networks enable these systems to become more efficient and extend deeper into the distribution system, where they’re most needed.
Integration Is Key From Data Management to Construction, But Can It Happen?
The answer, of course, depends on who you ask, but as they evolve from century-old (and occasionally millennia-old) roots, today’s critical infrastructure service providers are grappling with a range of forces that can redefine their businesses and the world we live in. Adapting their organizations to a more distributed, data-driven world is key to their futures, if they can harness new, integrated approaches to asset management, data quality management, capital planning and how things get built with improved IPD construction data.
United They Stand: DER and Non-Wire Alternatives Are Pulling Utility Teams Together
Ask anyone who’s been in the utility world for a while, and they’ll assuredly tell you: most utilities have operated in silos, separate groups focused squarely on their own little corner of the business. The silo mentality thrives when members of one department don’t share information with other departments, operate with separate goals, use different tools, and follow different processes than those folks across the hall.
Delivering Resiliency as a Service
When it comes to grid modernization, where utilities want to spend money — and where they have approval to spend money — are not the same thing. Under today’s regulatory models, utilities typically do not have a way to recapture all the fixed costs required for critical upgrades. This can mean the choice between keeping the lights on today and preparing the grid for the challenges of the future.
For Utilities, the Road Map to Resilience Must Be Focused, Holistic
As climate change continues to flex its catastrophic muscle, a storm is brewing for U.S. utilities. The scourge of extreme weather events — prolonged droughts, pounding hurricanes and deluges blamed for unprecedented flooding — are joining wildfires as challenges that have utilities scrambling to harden their assets to provide the resilience that consumers and regulators demand. Unrelenting threats of cyberattacks and the rising number of technologies that increase the load and strain on infrastructure assets add to the complexity.
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.
2020 Strategic Directions: Megatrends Report

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

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.
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.

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.

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