According to an article published in Electric Light & Power, utilities are investing billions of dollars in the power grid to ward off attacks on America’s hyper-connected society. Just last month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security detailed how Russian hackers could have caused major blackouts had they not been more focused on reconnaissance. Meanwhile, power companies are also focusing their investments on software upgrades, switches and wires to enable flexibility. After decades of conservation, the need for big generation projects has fallen. Coal-fired plants will more likely be replaced with cleaner-burning natural gas. Read more at EL&P.
Utility Dive’s article jumps into the positive efforts Florida has made to build up their grid infrastructure to stand up against future storms. According to the state’s Public Service Commission’s report (PSC), there is still more to be done. This report sheds light on the grid improvements made and how well the infrastructure stood up against Irma compared to the outages reported in the 2004-2005 storm season. Read the full article here.
An article on the U.S. Energy Information Administration website reports that spending on electric distribution systems by U.S. electric utilities has increased more than 50% in the last 20 years. The estimated investment has risen from $31 billion to $51 billion annually. Electric distribution spending is impacted by the amount of electricity sold, the miles of electric distribution wire installed, and peak load. The article goes on to outline geographic areas and specific equipment installations where spending is growing fastest. Learn more at eia.gov.
T&D World magazine featured a brief story on Quanta Services’ acquisition of Northwest Lineman College on July 10. The story covers the school’s mission to “recruit and train the next generation of linemen.” As a Quanta Services Company, Irby Construction is excited about the opportunity this acquisition presents for our collective workforce. Aaron Howell, CEO Of Northwest LInmean College says, “Our trade is America’s best-kept secret. Our jobs can’t be exported like in manufacturing, and we need linemen here in America.”
The story includes a slideshow tour of the college and directs readers to the 2018 Linemen Supplement for a more in-depth look at the history of NLC and its future plans with Quanta Services. The supplement will be mailed to magazine subscribers and posted online. It will also be available at the T&D World booth at the 2018 International Lineman’s Expo.
T&D World’s mission is to provide utility executives, managers, engineers, supervisors, operators and linemen with must-read information on the design, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of the electric power-delivery system.
There are many creative ways to describe the summer heat in Texas. Central Texas had 100-degree days in May, breaking records before summer even officially began. In June, the heat wave continued and Texans can most certainly expect more of the same as the Summer swelters on in July. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, is ready to manage demand that peaks with summer temps and consumer air conditioning use. Learn more from this article and visit the ERCOT website for daily demand updates.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Predication Center is forecasting an active hurricane season for 2018. Perhaps there is a new normal but according to existing data, the upcoming season will be near- or above-normal. The season begins June 1 and ends November 30. We will most likely see 10-15 named storms, of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes. Irby crews will be keeping a close eye on the weather all season long. As always, Irby will be ready to mobilize for restoration efforts. For more details on the predictions for this hurricane season, visit noaa.gov