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Amplified Perspectives

Today’s trending topics explored by key industry leaders.

Surviving Another Ride on the Solar Coaster

The effects of mass isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have been far-reaching, causing a general downturn in the economy and adversely impacting almost all major industries. As the crisis continues, organizations begin to look toward the future, seeking out ways to continue operating...

Investing in a Post-Pandemic Future

The COVID-19 crisis has forced everyone, including our public agencies, to face new and unexpected challenges. Our communities are learning, adapting and innovating every day. One day, hopefully soon, our world will appear more like it did before the pandemic, but we will be changed. With...

A Pandemic Doesn’t Change the Need to Engage Communities

Even though our in-person interactions are significantly decreased with ongoing social distancing measures, project teams must still work hard to develop long-term plans and projects that respectfully engage the public and key stakeholders. This includes working with communities at the very...

Advancing the Circular Economy of Plastics

Nearly every aspect of our lives involves plastic, the benefits of which are so firmly ingrained into our daily routine that we sometimes take them for granted. Due to its lightweight nature and ability to provide an effective and durable barrier to air, moisture and bacteria, plastics are...

A Steadfast Workforce Delivers Responsive Power

With a long history of serving the public, electric utilities have weathered a variety of crises, from hurricanes to tornados and fires. Utility personnel have worked around the clock for weeks after hurricanes have devastated communities. Crews from across the U.S. are accustomed to mobilizing...

Recorded Environmental Training Sessions Initiate Smooth Operations

Federal, state and local permitting agencies; siting boards; public utilities commissions; stakeholders — you name it — numerous organizations and regulations dictate the actions and commitments required for approval of a project. In states like California, for example, there could be hundreds...

Managing Utility Reliability and Service Through a Public Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the world around us as large portions of economic and social activities have shut down or been curtailed. Some things people often take for granted are absent.

Virtual Project Kickoffs Require New Creative Direction

Despite today’s many global disruptions, the oil and gas industry is focused on business as usual, as much as possible, which is inspiring creative, clever solutions that can do just that. Though not revolutionary, these reimagined approaches are kicking off big, multiyear projects, from various...

Harnessing Actionable Data Through Integrated Solutions

Utilities that rely on efficient capital portfolios for their bottom line also depend on efficient project management to make their projects successful. Until recently, operating in accordance with market limitations and proven business practices allowed utilities to thrive. Now, seismic changes...

Beginning the Journey to Project Management Excellence

From huge data centers and the growth of electric vehicle usage to renewable integration and distributed energy storage, the demand and operating dynamics for delivering sufficient and reliable electricity have never been greater. Utilities that embrace strategic project management principles...

Now Is the Time to Implement a Utility Project Management Office

Utilities excel in operations, but project management may present a significant challenge for utilities learning to adapt to today’s changing utility landscape.

Three Critical Elements for PMO Success

Utilities understand that their operating climate has undergone major change in recent years. From emerging competitive markets to retiring in-house knowledge and nonstop energy demands, infrastructure and investment projects must be efficient, on time and add value. One area that offers...

Guiding the Management of Organizational Change

Change management refers to the many approaches used to prepare and support a business in making organizational change. Unfortunately, it’s usually associated with convincing people to shift from where they are to somewhere they don’t necessarily want to be. The entire concept is predicated on...

Playing Chess With Your Portfolio

As utilities continue to operate within increasingly competitive environments, using a project portfolio management tool to identify project value, leverage resources and evaluate project risk may offer the winning move.

PMOs Support Successful Data Governance Initiatives

Many factors are increasing the awareness of and need for data governance in the electric power industry. Internally, utilities want to increase operating effectiveness and reduce costs while making self-service analytics available across the organization.

Extending the Life of Hydroelectric Facilities

As populations grow and regulations tighten, owners and operators of utilities feel the pressure and work to keep pace. When it comes to updating their plants and facilities to meet new standards, a total overhaul can be intimidating. Space and budget concerns create significant challenges. With...

Understanding Aging Infrastructure Conditions With Modern Technology

Approaching a plant retrofit without first understanding the condition of the plant’s assets is like buying a 50-year-old house without an inspection: There’s no guarantee that things will be in working order. Having a precise understanding of the condition and location of existing...

Using Asset Health Data to Increase Utility Reliability

Infrastructure assets in the power industry are the lifeblood that keeps the power on. The data these assets generate is key to understanding how to make the most of them. But often utilities struggle to proactively monitor assets, making it difficult to prioritize projects and predict...

A Community Outreach Strategy Can Drive Project Success

Vehicle traffic, pedestrians, underground utilities and limited space make urban infrastructure improvement projects complex, but failing to properly engage utility customers and community stakeholders in the process risks stopping a program before it begins.

Navigating Urban Infrastructure Project Constraints

Vehicle traffic, pedestrians, underground utilities and limited space make urban infrastructure improvement projects complex, but failing to properly engage utility customers and community stakeholders in the process risks stopping a program before it begins.

Should Urban Planners Focus on Water First?

It’s possible — or at least worth considering — that we have been doing urban planning backwards.

Three Steps to Tackle Urban Infrastructure Project Complexity

Accelerated gas main replacement programs (MRPs) are in progress throughout the U.S. as utilities across the country work to upgrade, replace and repair aging underground distribution infrastructure. While all projects can be complex, programs in urban areas face some specific challenges.

Transportation Planning Must Head in New Directions

You can’t get the right answers if you’re asking the wrong questions. So to get the answers our cities need to plan their roadways’ futures, those of us involved in transportation planning must start asking different questions.

Embracing Alternative Funding for Airport Infrastructure

In our society, technology, climate and social norms are changing rapidly. Project delivery methods are changing as well — more rapidly than at any point in history. These changing delivery methods have the potential to provide new options for funding improvements to our nation’s infrastructure....

The Resurgence of Regionalization for Water Infrastructure

Regionalization was on the road to becoming a trend in the 1980s, but cities throughout the U.S. never fully embraced the regionalization of wastewater treatment facilities. What started out as a great way to share costs ended up with few of either regional assets or supersized plants being...

Public-Private Partnership Funding Benefits Communities, Supports Environmental Goals

For many communities, limited capital budgets result in using creativity to find funding for environmental programs. Often, this means dipping into reserve funds or looking for other options. For some, a public-private partnership is the best option for funding infrastructure needs. In a...

Securing Grant Funding for the Green Omni Terminal Project

Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals, the third-largest independent West Coast terminal operator, had something specific in mind for its new terminal. The company wanted the capability to operate independent of the grid, to be able to provide emergency goods and services to the region in the event of a...

Using Asset Health to Assist in Grid Planning

When you think of asset health, you may not instantly make a connection between its uses and the efforts of utilities to develop grid planning processes. However, utilities can easily apply the benefits to track the condition of components and equipment related to the distribution of power to...

Using Technology to Advance Grid Planning, Design and Operation

The transmission and distribution of power from generation to customer requires a jigsaw puzzle of physical assets. Keeping track of these assets and the data related to each is increasingly challenging, especially for a utility with hundreds of substations and thousands of miles of lines.

Grid Planning: Preparing for Customer Impacts on the Grid

Forty years ago, ARPANET was just getting off the ground. At that time, grid planning was built on the assumption that current and voltage decrease as power moves away from a substation. In this model, there was time for transformers and other equipment to cool overnight. Power flowed in one...

Guard Against Cybersecurity Risks by Understanding Weaknesses

It’s not easy to protect something you don’t know you have. And yet, many power utilities have been attempting to do just that for years.

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