Physical Attacks on Substations Are on the Rise

Physical Attacks on Substations Are on the Rise

Physical Attacks on Substations Are on the Rise

in 2022 alone, the United States power grid experienced more than 100 physical attacks. These outages and the damage that followed affected tens of thousands of Americans. It is important to note that these attacks are only expected to increase with time. 

Utility Dive interviewed Jason Christopher, director of cyber risk at Dragos Cybersecurity, who said, “Unfortunately, with 55,000 substations nationally, there are obvious risk-based limitations on addressing physical threats that need to be managed. The industry should expect further regulatory inquiries and potential actions from the federal government in response.”

Irby Construction Company’s Executive Vice President, Rick Shouse, also weighed in for the Irby Insider by saying: “These physical attacks on substations are a relatively new threat and challenge that can be very serious and expensive for our clients. As with any power infrastructure issue, Irby stands ready to help our clients however we can with the security and integrity of the grid.”

You can read more about this important topic in the articles linked below: 

Politico – Physical Attacks on Power Grid Surge to New Peak

Utility Dive – Substation Attacks May Lead to New Energy Security Rules in 2023, Experts Say

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Irby Construction Company Year in Review: 2022

Irby Construction Company Year in Review: 2022

Irby Construction Company Year in Review: 2022

As we enter into a new year filled with possibilities, here is a glimpse of some of the bright spots from 2022.

Jason Clayton Named President
In January, Jason Clayton was promoted from Vice President of Operations to President of Irby Construction Company. Jason started working for Irby in 2013 as Director of Risk Management and Corporate Counsel. In 2018, he moved into Operations where he led distribution, transmission, and Legend Foundation Services. It has been a great year for Irby under Jason’s leadership, and we are excited for another successful year. 

Irby Ranked #16 in Mississippi 100 List
In February, the Mississippi Business Journal named Irby Construction #16 among the top 100 Mississippi companies based on total sales revenue. Irby has been steadily moving up the ranks in recent years. We are honored to be recognized! 

Irby Expanded into Battery Energy Storage in Texas and Florida
Irby is proud to diversify its service offerings, and in 2022, we took a major interest in Battery Energy Storage Solutions (BESS). As the utility construction industry is heading toward more sustainable sources of energy, Irby began and completed construction on multiple BESS projects in both Texas and Florida last year. We are looking forward to expanding this line of service. 

Lineman Appreciation Day Celebrated
April 18 is a special day in the construction industry: It’s National Lineman Appreciation Day. This nationally recognized day honors linemen all over America for their hard work, bravery, and commitment to safety. Last year, Irby encouraged everyone to #lookuptolinemen not only as they work on towering power lines, but also as individuals. We distributed gifts to all linemen in the field, featured them on social media throughout the day, and thanked them on our online guestbook here.

Irby Leaders Gathered for Annual Superintendent’s Meeting
Irby hosted its annual Superintendents’ Meeting on August 12-13 in Biloxi, MS, where more than 120 leaders from across the organization attended. The theme for the meeting was “Leading Change. Reaching New Heights.” Project management and safety were big topics at the meeting and are significant focus areas for the new year. Click here to read more.

Irby Oklahoma Crews Receive Recognition from AEP
Irby Oklahoma crews on Jobs 2806, 2833, and 3075 received recognition, an award, and qualification into the Zero Harm Safety Club from our customer, American Electric Power (AEP). To earn this recognition, Irby crews completed more than 69,000 consecutive hours without an OSHA recordable incident. We are proud of our crews for keeping safety top of mind in all they do. 

Irby Completed River Crossing Restoration Project
Entergy New Orleans contracted with Irby to manage the emergency storm restoration project after Hurricane Ida damaged a 475-foot lattice transmission tower in the Harahan-Avondale area of Louisiana. With the fallen tower’s conductor lines landing in the Mississippi River, removal was a national priority. Irby is proud to have been a part of this project. Read more and watch related videos here

Entergy Recognized Irby as Premier Vendor
Entergy, a longtime customer of Irby, recognized Irby as its Premier Vendor in Customer Centricity. Our strong safety culture and quality construction along with our management and coordinated efforts on the Harahan-Avondale river crossing project earned us this prestigious award. We look forward to many more successful projects with Entergy for years to come. Watch the Premier Vendor Award video here

Hurricane Ian Storm Response
Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a category 4 hurricane on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. Irby crews began to assemble well before the storm and initially assigned more than 600 linemen across the state of Florida to join in assisting power restoration efforts. Irby’s efforts were featured in ADSC Magazine in an article titled “The Power to Make a Difference.” Read the article here.

Irby Chosen as a Finalist for Quanta Services Innovation Award
Quanta recently selected Irby as one of four finalists for its annual CEO Innovation & Entrepreneurial Award which showcases the brightest ideas and business innovations/systems throughout its organization. Two winners will be chosen at Quanta’s Presidents Meeting in late January. Irby was selected for its development of a Lineman Calculator, which is a collaborative effort between Irby’s technology, safety, and operations teams. Read more here.

Community Spirit throughout the Year
In true Irby fashion, employees gave back to the communities in which they live and work throughout the year. In 2022, we participated in the Richland Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, Pink Day for breast cancer awareness, blood drives, high school career fairs, youth safety events, and more. We donated coats and toys for kids, Christmas stockings for seniors, and food and water after Hurricane Ian. These are just a few of the ways employees served their communities last year.

 We’re looking forward to another year filled with many successes. Happy 2023!

Irby Wins Quanta Innovation Award

Irby Wins Quanta Innovation Award

Irby Wins Quanta Innovation Award

Quanta Services, Irby’s parent company, recently selected Irby as a winner for its annual CEO Innovation & Entrepreneurial Award, which showcases the brightest ideas and business innovations/systems throughout its organization.

Irby was selected for its development of a Lineman Calculator, which is a collaborative effort between Irby’s technology, safety, and operations teams. The calculator is an iOS application that takes the most commonly used equations by our linemen and simplifies them.

By simply inputting the requested data, Irby’s linemen can quickly compute the answer to complex calculations at their fingertips. It’s as easy as answering the questions and filling in the blanks.

In addition to the calculator, training materials have been updated by Irby’s safety team to explain the calculator inputs. Irby is currently working to determine the order of implementation in the field and future development of the tool.

Congratulations to the Irby team for this significant recognition and on this huge accomplishment and innovation that will benefit Irby for years to come!

T&D World Article: Harahan-Avondale Feature

T&D World Article: Harahan-Avondale Feature

T&D World Article: Harahan-Avondale Feature

Irby Construction Company is proud to have been featured in T&D World Magazine’s recent article, “One Year Rebuild of a River Crossing,” highlighting the Harahan-Avondale Mississippi River Crossing project in response to the devastation of Hurricane Ida.

Irby Construction was able to contract with Entergy New Orleans to build new, improved, and reliable structures for this complex river crossing in order to restore power to the people of Louisiana. The article is quoted as saying, “…when faced with rebuilding a critical piece of infrastructure after a natural disaster, the foremost goal should be focused on what can be built safely into the new solution to preclude the infrastructure from ever failing again in a similar scenario.”

To learn more about the Harahan-Avondale project and Irby’s role, click HERE.

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Industry Publication Features Irby’s Storm Restoration Work

Industry Publication Features Irby’s Storm Restoration Work

Industry Publication Features Irby’s Storm Restoration Work

ADSC Magazine recently published an article titled “The Power to Make a Difference.” This article honors the amazing things ADSC members, readers, and constituents have been doing throughout Hurricane Ian restoration efforts.

Irby’s Marketing and Communications Specialist Tina Richardson sat down with ADSC and told them all about Irby’s vast restoration efforts. “Several crews consisting of hundreds of vehicles and linemen were standing by and ready to go days before the storm hit. Once in the field, they immediately assessed and began repairing damage to systems. We know that restoring power as quickly as possible is what matters most to our clients and their customers,” Tina said.

To learn more about Irby’s Hurricane Ian restoration efforts, read the full article HERE.

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Why Clean Energy Growth Requires More Transmission

Why Clean Energy Growth Requires More Transmission

Why Clean Energy Growth Requires More Transmission

While expanding clean energy is essential, it is important to note that it would not be possible without first restoring and expanding transmission. It is no secret that the transmission grid is aging; recent natural disasters have shown us that our grid is not as strong as it once was, and it is time for a reboot.

A recently published Forbes article expands on this hot topic of conversation, and is quoted as saying, “We’re looking at a significant expansion of the transmission system. A recent report indicates that it’s at least 60% growth by 2030. We might even need to triple our existing systems by 2050 to meet the larger growing clean electricity demands,” says Maria Robinson, director, grid employment office at the U.S. Department of Energy…”

To learn more about transmission’s role in the race toward clean energy growth, click HERE.

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