Holistic and scalable smart systems depend on two major moves—embracing technology to make systems as efficient as they can be and increasing stakeholder engagement. To fully realize the smart city and smart utility promise, cities and utilities need to create a network of digital infrastructure. It is only by embracing advanced technologies and communications that operations will become more reliable, efficient and secure and allow for a maximum return on investment.
These advanced systems are the foundation that will lead to the applications, services and processes that will enhance citizen experience by elevating our cities and utilities to optimal production and service levels. Understanding data—how to collect it, how to use it and how to monetize it—will also be a crucial component to unlocking the full potential of smart integrated infrastructure.
According to respondents in the 2018-2019 50 Largest Cities Water & Wastewater Rate Survey, utilities are modifying how they charge for services to address revenue stability and affordability concerns.
The annual Strategic Directions Report series offers analysis and insights into key issues and trends facing the smart cities and utilities, electric, natural gas, and water utility sectors.
It was roughly a decade ago when the initial introduction of floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) solutions sought to help bring uneconomic gas reserves offshore, such as those in remote locations, to the market. Over the past few years, however, we’ve watched as offshore FLNG capabilities have moved closer to the mainland, offering a very flexible and economical solution to operators looking to offload their supply around the world.
Major energy shifts are afoot, and the United States will play a critical role going forward. The EIA projects that by 2022, the U.S. will become a net energy exporter, according to its newly released Annual Energy Outlook 2018. For natural gas, this shift will happen even earlier, around 2020, the EIA says.
As if the persistent low-price environment wasn’t enough, rampant natural gas production in the Appalachian and Permian Basins is ramping up concern that pipeline take-away capacity can’t keep up. This comes as the United States natural gas industry prepares to enter one of its strongest growth periods to date, driven by increasing global demand for low cost natural gas supplies and growing domestic demand for cleaner energy sources.
Black & Veatch and software subsidiary Atonix Digital are working with the City of San Diego to implement a strategy that could bring smart city technologies to underserved areas of the city.
For more than 20 years, Black & Veatch worked with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission to upgrade its wastewater treatment system on a project-by-project basis. There were many short-term wins, but resilience dated master plan made the long-term a bit less clear. The real win, and biggest cost savings, required a different approach.
A coalition led by Black & Veatch donated tens of thousands of dollars in technology along with the manpower to provide a new, solar-driven power source for the SU Manuel Ortiz in Yabucoa, ground zero of Hurricane Maria.
Black & Veatch partnered with the State of Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to go beyond their initial cleanup assignment to develop a solution that focuses on long-term sustainability and natural resource management for all living creatures in the Yorklyn Valley region.
The City of Chula Vista, California selected Black & Veatch to deliver an analysis of sensor technologies.