(August 2011) Shaw Group completes 500 MW combined cycle plant; Pattern Energy begins building Spring Valley wind farm; AEP, Duke and TVA team up on interstate transmission line; AEP and MidAmerican contract for Texas transmission projects; Alliant contracts Open Systems International for volt-VAR control system; Alstom buys into AWS Ocean Energy; Siemens acquires shares in PV manufacturer Semprius; Lockheed Martin introduces cyber security system; plus contracts and announcements involving Elster, Itron, Suzlon, Solon, Sensus, Westinghouse Electric, Morgan Lewis and others.
Utility infrastructure projects face high costs, labor shortages and global competition for resources.
A huge backlog exists for utility infrastructure projects. Major players in the construction industry—ABB, Black & Veatch, Siemens, The Shaw Group and WorleyParsons—discuss the trends, both good and bad, and how they are getting the job done on badly needed projects.
Increasing prices for materials, equipment and services are driving utility infrastructure costs into uncharted territory.
Greg Basheda and Marc Chupka
The evidence is overwhelming: After a decade of relatively stable, or even declining, construction costs, the industry is now facing a prolonged period of elevated construction price tags. What are the causes behind this trend, and how might the cost increases translate into higher rates?
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The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) named Steve Larson executive director. Larson most recently was executive director of the California Energy Commission and chief deputy director of the department of finance.
PG&E Corp. elected Leslie H. Everett senior vice president and assistant to the chairman. PG&E Corp. also elected Russell M. Jackson senior vice president, human resources.
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President Bush named Dr. Nils J. Diaz chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), succeeding Richard A. Meserve. Diaz's current NRC term expires in 2006. Diaz also is professor-emeritus of Nuclear Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida.
Pantellos named Jim Neikirk president and CEO. Neikirk spent five years at Entergy Corp. as vice president and chief procurement officer.
FERC Docket ER00-3583, protest filed Sept. 22, 2000, letter order issued Oct. 5, 2000