Throughout their lifetimes, a vital activity for utilities is the periodic filing of rate cases. The key word here is “periodic,” as utilities may go several years or even a decade between rate cases. That can make it a major ordeal when the time does arrive for the utility to approach the state utility regulatory commission or municipal board and plead its case. In short, it can be a very intense and nerve-racking process.
With thousands around the globe, dams play an integral part in providing the world with irrigation, hydropower, flood control and water supply. In tackling water scarcity challenges, the role of dams and the reservoirs they create is intertwined with the broader portfolio of solutions for watershed planning and water management.
Electric utilities are facing a need and opportunity to transform their business due to the bidirectional nature of distributed generation and energy storage. This is just one of several fundamental changes that the smart cities movement is driving to reshape how fundamental services are delivered and managed.
Efforts to convert shipping vessels to LNG are advancing rapidly across the marine industry. There are approximately 40 marine vessels (not counting LNG dual-fuel carriers) in use today currently powered by LNG. This number is expected to grow exponentially, to 1,800 vessels by 2020. While emissions regulations are the primary catalyst for the change, the bottom-line benefits of LNG as a fuel source are also propelling the switch.
IT’S NO SECRET – infrastructure in locations around the world isn’t getting any younger. Population growth and migration, urbanization and climate change put further strains on the assets required to deliver clean water, dispose of wastewater and provide needed electricity.
Earning ISO certification is a major accomplishment for a company. The designation instills confidence that the ISO-certified supplier provides services that meet wide international acceptance and can back up its claims about quality. After all, ISO 9000 is a globally recognized standard for quality management systems that is maintained by the International Organization for Standardization.
Wireless data radio manufacturers are not unlike data networking equipment manufacturers in that they all claim to have the fastest data transmission speeds and lowest latency. Each will boast their unique design is superior and faster than everyone else’s. But experienced networking professionals know that such performance claims are based on artificial laboratory conditions using minimally configured boxes, fed with simple, repetitive data streams
When the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) first published regulations to combine the construction license and operating license of nuclear new-build plants into a single permit, the process of preparing a submittal represented a moving target, to say the least.
Water and wastewater utilities considering the use of public-private partnerships (PPP) often express concerns that such arrangements could lead to rate increases and diminished service. However, it is possible to provide ratepayer safeguards and allow reasonable returns on private investments under PPP models through the implementation of an asset management framework.
With the recent EPA proposal concerning strict carbon levels from existing power plants, owners with facilities out of compliance generally have three options – retrofit to meet emissions standards, convert to an alternative fuel or close the plant. While natural gas conversion is a strong option for some plants, another alternative is either biomass co-firing or making a complete biomass conversion.
Energy price volatility is the bane of gas and electric utilities. Price spikes will trigger howls of outrage from customers, often with the attendant political fallout. If there is one thing that customers and regulators do not like, it is nasty surprises on the gas or electric bill.
Pre-construction best practices should be implemented from the earliest stages of a power project, even when putting together financial packages. In fact, an owner’s or developer’s most important decision in the entire process may rest with the selection of the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor. Experienced owner’s and lenders’ engineers can guide developers in Asia through the financing and bidding process.