Irby CEO Lee Jones Honored by Mississippi Business Journal

Irby CEO Lee Jones Honored by Mississippi Business Journal

Friday, March 29 the Mississippi Business Journal will publish the Top CEO’s for 2019. Irby Construction is proud to have our President, Lee Jones, recognized for this honor. Lee was among several prominent recipients in this year’s class including Mississippi Power’s President, Anthony Wilson, and Atmos Energy Mississippi’s President, David Gates. Congratulations Lee!

As President of Irby Construction, Lee Jones drives the operations of the largest, nonunion, specialized contractor of electric power for Quanta Services. Prior to his current role, he served as Director of Project Management at Quanta Services. In this position he oversaw the Project Management Office, providing key insight for the successful execution of major electric power transmission projects across Quanta’s 56 Operating Units.

Mr. Jones began his career at Irby in 2002. In 2008, Mr. Jones went on to work for another Quanta subsidiary, North Houston Pole Line, where he participated in the execution of several large electric power projects in the state of Texas. Mr. Jones worked his way up to Vice President at North Houston Pole Line participating in several important projects working directly with Quanta Services management and many of Quanta’s subsidiaries. In December of 2015, Quanta Services announced its appointment of Mr. Jones as President of Irby Construction Company which was effective on March 1, 2016.

 

 

Transmission Project Growth on the Horizon

Transmission Project Growth on the Horizon

WIRES released a new report earlier this month, titled The Coming Electrification of the North American Economy: Why We Need A Robust Transmission Grid. The details of the report project that investments of $30-to-$90 billion will be needed by the year 2030, and significantly more than that by 2050 in order to keep up with demand created by transportation, heating, and data application sectors.

According to the report, the number of electric vehicles on the road and other electricity used are slated to increase exponentially, placing stress on the existing grid. Expanded transmission infrastructure will be necessary to support a fundamentally different energy economy anticipated. Read the WIRES press release here or check out the full report and all the details here. 

The new WIRES report prediction is good news for Irby Construction, a company that has a reputation a premier electric transmission contractor.

Planning for the Impact of Climate Change

Planning for the Impact of Climate Change

Utilities across the country are facing the reality of climate change. This scenario that presents some very real challenges for our infrastructure and electric delivery process.

The Fourth National Climate Assessment published an article in November 2018 by the U.S. government. They found that “the nation’s energy system will be increasingly affected by extreme weather events due to climate change. This will likely cause increasingly frequent and longer-lasting power outages.”

According to a recent article at utilitydive.com states that climate assessment and the frequency and intensity of the floods will increase. The more frequent drought can be expected, and rising temperatures are a reality which will impact demand a great deal as well. 

The story entitled, Extreme weather alert: How utilities are adapting to a changing, goes on to highlight what some utilities are doing to stay ahead of the curve and some specifics of the challenges presented.

The fact of the matter is that utilities must adapt and Irby Construction is ready to be a part of that process. We are ready to plan, expand infrastructure, address regulations, and doing whatever else is deemed necessary to be proactive.

To learn more about this subject, read the story entitled, Extreme weather alert: How utilities are adapting to a changing climate at www.utlitydive.com

Cyber Security is a Critical Safety Topic

Cyber Security is a Critical Safety Topic

Last month the Wall Street Journal published a story entitled, “America’s Electric Grid has a Vulnerable Back Door and Russian Walked Through it.” The piece written by Rebecca Smith and Rob Barry details how contractors working for utilities were targeted directly by hackers and inadvertently provided access to those hackers targeting the power grid. The story tells the tale of unassuming companies floored when FBI and Homeland Security officers showed up at their offices to investigate what they had unknowingly been a part of. California-based cybersecurity firm Symantec Corp. is cited in the article as confirming at least 60 utilities were targeted and about two dozen of those were breached in the attack. The story is not only a page-turning read but also a clear calling for those of us in the industry to take cybersecurity most seriously. Being hacked has consequences that can reach well beyond your desktop’s ability to function (or not). This is a safety lesson we must as seriously as any other safety message in our industry. 

 

Electric Power Trends for 2019

Electric Power Trends for 2019

In a recent article, Utility Dive lays out the 10 trends projected to fuel the electricity sector in 2019. From renewable energy to distributed energy, here’s what’s to come:

  1. A Trump bailout will continue to be a threat.
  2. FERC will remain focused on wholesale pricing issues, resilience, and fuel security.
  3. The federal environmental regulation rollback will continue.
  4. States will increasingly push clean energy and climate policies.
  5. Grid modernization and performance-based utility metrics will become commonplace.
  6. Gas generation will continue to dominate.
  7. Energy storage will have its biggest year yet.
  8. Electrification will become a central power sector issue.
  9. DERs will become trusted bulk power resources.
  10. Renewable energy will increasingly replace coal.

Learn more by reading the full story here. 

 

Hawaii is Modernizing its Grid

Hawaii is Modernizing its Grid

In a recent article, T&D World Magazine featured Hawaiian Electric Company and their sister companies, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light for their work together to improve the two-way flow of energy from customer-sited generation. Together the companies serve approximately 80,000 privately-owned rooftop solar generation systems.

The Hawaiian Electric grid modernization renewable portfolio standard is the most ambitious clean energy goal in the U.S. The companies believe working together will be essential to reaching the state’s goal of transitioning to 100% renewable resources for power generation by 2045. They have become adept at identifying cost-effective alternatives to infrastructure upgrades and encouraging customer-sited solar power. They’ve also changed the way voltage is managed and overcome challenges unique to their system.

What’s most exciting as they’re on their well on their way to achieving this audacious goal. Regulators approved implementation of the first phase early this year. The plan is called “Modernizing Hawaii’s Grid for Our Customers.” Learn more by reading the full story here.