Industry expert will deepen company’s expertise, help clients navigate a rapidly changing power market
The rise of distributed energy resources (DER) is changing power distribution as policy makers, regulators and the public press for decarbonization, energy independence, resiliency and sustainability. Amidst this transformation, Black & Veatch, a global leader in power infrastructure services, announces Rob Wilhite has been named Vice President of Global Distributed Energy within the company’s power business.
With more than 35 years’ experience in the energy industry, Wilhite assumes a role focused on assisting electric industry clients with repowering and the continued integration of generation, transmission and distribution resources. The distributed energy market is growing at an accelerating pace, both in-front of and behind the meter. As a result, the industry is facing new questions around what the distributed grid landscape will look like, and the challenges it will present to incumbent and new service providers as the market develops and matures.
According to Black & Veatch’s upcoming 2020 Strategic Directions: Electric Report, which launches this month, one-third of the electric utility industry is actively engaged in DER investment and grid modernization. Slightly more than 39 percent are investing more money in distribution over last year, an investment trend that supports the expansion of DER as transmission and distribution loads shift network stress points and capabilities.
Wilhite, who joined the company last year as senior managing director for Black & Veatch Management Consulting, LLC’s global power industry segment, brings deep expertise in competitive energy markets, grid modernization, distributed energy and operational efficiency for utility, commercial, industrial and municipal clients.
“Clients are increasingly looking for an integrated solutions provider who can guide them through sweeping changes and help them address the fluctuations underway in the power industry, particularly when it comes to executing and delivering distributed energy projects,” said Mario Azar, President of Black & Veatch’s power business. “Rob’s knowledge of new technologies, changing regulations and integrated resource planning further enables us to meet our clients’ growing need to achieve their reliability and resiliency goals.”
Before joining Black & Veatch in 2019, Wilhite held leadership positions with Navigant Consulting, KEMA, Accenture and the Electric Power Research Institute. He has had numerous P&L responsibilities, driving growth and profitability for global consulting practices focused on business strategy, policy and regulations, grid modernization, DER and operational performance. Wilhite started his career at Florida Power & Light.
■ Wilhite serves as a board director and executive committee member for GridWise Alliance, as a vice-chairman for the City of Belmont’s Environmental Sustainability Board in North Carolina, and as co-chair of the technology & innovation pillar for Dentons’ Smart Cities & Community Think Tank. He also co-authored KEMA’s first book, Utility of the Future: Directions for Enhancing Sustainability, Reliability and Profitability.
■ His career includes recognition as one of the Top 25 consultants in the U.S. by Consulting Magazine and participation on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
■ Learn more about the Strategic Directions Report series.
■ Click here for a high-resolution headshot of Rob Wilhite.
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries by addressing the resilience and reliability of our world's most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2019 were US$3.7 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.
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