Engineering CSR News

Key Risk Evaluations of Assets by Utilities Focus on Regulation, Evolving Customer Expectations

These factors and many more are driving risk for utilities
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With great power comes great responsibility, meaning it falls to utilities to ensure that their transmission  and  distribution  (T&D)  assets can — and will — perform at the appropriate reliability and safety levels while continuing to meet regulatory and environmental standards.

Utilities Must Constantly Be on Offense in Cat-and-Mouse Game Against Hackers

Facing increased risk by hackers, utilities are ramping up cybersecurity
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For power suppliers wanting to be vigilant about the threat that hackers pose to the grid, a March 2019 intrusion may have been a benign warning about vulnerability. When hackers disabled a Utah-based  renewable  energy  developer’s control system for about a dozen solar and wind farms in the  West, the grid’s operators were left blinded for more than 10 hours to those 500 megawatts of generation sites. Thankfully, no outages  resulted.

For Utilities, the Road Map to Resilience Must Be Focused, Holistic

With greater technological dependency comes greater responsibiilty
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As climate change continues to flex its catastrophic muscle, a storm is brewing for U.S. utilities. The scourge of extreme weather events — prolonged droughts, pounding hurricanes and deluges blamed for unprecedented flooding — are joining wildfires as challenges that have utilities scrambling to harden their assets to provide the resilience that consumers and regulators demand. Unrelenting threats of cyberattacks and the rising number of technologies that increase the load and strain on infrastructure assets add to the complexity.

5G Implementation Comes Down to Communication, Collaboration

The lure of 5G is strong, but implementing at scale will require extensive collaboration
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There’s no doubt that the lure of 5G digitalization is strong. This wave of next-generation connectivity is expected to usher in exciting new opportunities such as wide-scale adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), along with all its innovative new technologies that promise to change how we live, work and play.

The Call Is Coming From Inside the House: Private Utility Networks Bring Efficiency, Control and Reliability

Private Networks Promise Utilities Giant Step Towards Reliability
Article

Reliable communications networks are crucial to allow utilities to deliver an uninterrupted supply of power to customers. With high-speed wireless technology at the fore, and the addition of hundreds of new field applications that  require  communications  networks  —  including  Long-Term Evolution (LTE) — a digital utility is built on communications that extend to the edge. Converged networks employing IP-advanced private   wireless   networks   enable   these   systems   to   become more efficient and extend deeper into the distribution system, where   they’re   most needed.

Advanced Distribution Modernization Can Smooth the “Changing Physics” of the Grid

Utilities see advanced distribution modernization giving them more control
Article

Let’s face it: The old days were much simpler, when the flow of power from the utility to end-user was, for the most part, a straight line. There were challenges, but there wasn’t much getting in the way between baseload power generation and the light switch.

United They Stand: DER and Non-Wire Alternatives Are Pulling Utility Teams Together

Utility Managers are Working to Break Down Silos and Overcome Barriers
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Ask anyone who’s been in the utility world for a while, and they’ll assuredly tell you: most utilities have operated in silos, separate groups focused squarely on their own little corner of the business. The silo mentality thrives when members of one department don’t share information with other departments, operate with separate goals, use different tools, and follow different processes than those folks across the hall.

Grid Modernization Goes Mainstream, Reliability Is Primary Goal

Utilities are doubling down on distribution investments to boost resilience
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Power sector players got a jolt in January 2019 when Virginia utility regulators rejected the $6 billion grid modernization rate case proposed by Dominion Energy. This “no” followed similar decisions in Kentucky and North Carolina from the previous year. Despite such setbacks, results from Black & Veatch’s 2020 Strategic Directions: Smart Utilities Report survey show that utilities are “all in” on grid modernization plans, and it looks like regulators are moving that way, too. 

Communication Networks Are Key to Delivering the Grid of the Future

New Black & Veatch Smart Utilities Report analyzes major trends reshaping the grid
Article

Distribution modernization is inevitable as advances in energy production, storage and control give rise to a new energy marketplace happening at the local distribution level. This evolving landscape leaves utilities questioning how they can maintain the reliability, efficiency and security of their operations, while managing two-way power flows and the influx of digital devices and distributed energy resources (DER).

Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ Is Creating the Next Generation of Inventors

By Matt Parke
Summary: 

Qualcomm for Good STEM initiatives are designed to promote a​nd improve STEM education at all levels and to expand upon opportunities for underrepresented students. Our Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ inspires students of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to imagine future careers in STEM by designing an invention that uses an Internet of Things solution to solve real-world problems.

Article

Qualcomm for Good STEM initiatives are designed to promote a​nd improve STEM education at all levels and to expand upon opportunities for underrepresented students. Our Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ inspires students of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to imagine future careers in STEM by designing an invention that uses an Internet of Things solution to solve real-world problems.

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