Engineers and constructors adapt to serve an industry in transition.
Michael T. Burr
From gas pipelines to PV arrays, the nation’s contractors are seeing growth in utility infrastructure. Fortnightly talks with executives at engineering and construction firms to learn what kinds of projects are moving forward, where they’re located, and what lies over the horizon.
Georgia Power completed placing basemat structural concrete for the nuclear island at its Vogtle Unit 3 nuclear project. The utility is building two new reactors at the Plant Vogtle site near Waynesboro, Ga. The full outlines of both nuclear islands have been completed to grade level. The first components for erecting the Unit 3 containment vessel are completed and staged for installation once the basemat concrete has cured, including the Unit 3 containment vessel bottom head.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, will retire the Crystal River nuclear plant in Citrus County, Fla. The company is reviewing alternatives to replace the power produced by the unit, including the potential construction of a new natural gas-fueled plant. The nuclear unit, which began operating in 1977, was shut down in the fall of 2009 for refueling and replacement of its steam generators when a delamination was discovered in the outer layer of the containment building’s concrete wall.
The jurisdictional battle rages on, with FERC and EPA squaring off against the states.
Bruce W. Radford and Michael T. Burr
When Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led an attack on the federal Springfield Armory in January 1787—the spark that ignited the federalist movement—he scarcely could’ve guessed that now, 225 years later, his spiritual descendants would still be fighting that very same battle.
PUCs are concerned that a rapid shutdown of coal-fired plants will start a full-tilt dash to gas—similar to the one that caused bankruptcies among independent power producers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But this time around, ratepayers and not IPP investors will be stuck with the risk, if utilities rush to add all that new gas-fired capacity to rate base.
(May 2012) Entergy Louisiana starts construction on gas-fired power project; Virginia Commonwealth University and Dominion partner on a test site for efficient energy technologies; Burlington Electric Department selects Siemens for meter data management platform; IKEA commissions four Blink electric vehicle charging stations; Edison Mission Energy, TIAA-CREF and Cook Inlet Region Inc. form partnership, and others.
(May 2012) Lewis “Lew” Hay III intends to retire from NextEra Energy at the end of 2013 as part of a planned leadership succession process. Hay will serve as executive chairman from July 1, 2012, until his retirement, and James L. Robo, currently president and CEO of NextEra Energy, will succeed Hay as CEO, effective July 1.
(April 2012) MidAmerican Energy awarded a contract to Siemens Energy to supply wind turbines for its 407-MW project expansion. American Electric Power began operating the 580-MW Dresden natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant. Duke Energy and ChinaHuaneng Group signed a three-year agreement expanding their research cooperation to include coal and carbon capture and sequestration technologies. And others...
(April 2012) Anne R. Pramaggiore became president and CEO of ComEd, following the retirement of Frank M. Clark, chairman and CEO since 2005. Pramaggiore joined ComEd in 1998 and most recently held the position of president and COO. In addition, ComEd named Tracie Morris v.p. of human resources. Morris previously served as v.p. of human resources for DeVry Inc.
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