Black & Veatch: Decarbonization Driving Repowering of the Power Industry

·4-min read

Calls for zero-carbon energy are increasing, fueling the need for cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy portfolios.

The global power industry is in a state of transformation and needs to accelerate the path to net zero as many companies, communities and stakeholders forge ahead with commitments to lower carbon emissions.

To address the challenge of maintaining grid reliability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Black & Veatch, a global leader in the engineering and construction industry, for the past decade has been increasing its focus on advancing renewable energy and energy storage technologies, as well as furthering the deployment of hydrogen as a carbon-free fuel and advanced technologies for carbon capture. Within its power delivery portfolio, the company is also investing in grid modernization solutions to accommodate a more diverse power generation landscape of base load and intermittent sources.

Recognizing the timeline its clients need to reliably achieve varying decarbonization targets, the company today announced it will cease participation in any further coal-based power design and construction. This shift allows its talented workforce to further accelerate the creation of solutions that help transform the industry, including helping clients reduce dependence on coal power assets and minimize the impact of those assets to the environment.

"The transition away from any coal-related activity is about our commitment as a company to sustainability and accelerating our efforts to lead the emerging carbon-free energy future," said Steve Edwards, CEO of Black & Veatch.

The company will fulfill current project commitments to completion in the coming months. Its efforts will focus on supporting clients through their transition to a balanced energy portfolio with cleaner energy sources and towards achieving their decarbonization and sustainability goals.

"At the same time the industry wrestles with its transformation, global communities continue to have demand for safe, reliable and cost-effective power," added Mario Azar, President of Black & Veatch’s Power business. "These forces create a delicate balance that requires deep engineering and technology expertise to help guide the complex transition of power generation and delivery infrastructure."

Reflecting the accelerating pace of market disruption, earlier this year, the Intermountain Power Agency selected Black & Veatch as Owner’s Engineer on its Intermountain Power Project Renewal Project, one of the earliest installations of combustion turbine technology designed to use a high percentage of green hydrogen.

For more information about the energy transformation, Black & Veatch’s new 2020 Strategic Directions: Electric Report details an industry focused on pursuit of a lower-carbon footprint and integration of renewable energy into the grid to ensure increased resilience and reliability.

Editor’s Notes:

  • The company’s survey of more than 600 leaders in the industry offers deep perspective on a power sector where "new energy" in the form of renewables drawn from solar and wind, both on land and increasingly offshore, continues to accelerate.

  • More than three-quarters of respondents to the company's survey indicated that they are devoting more of their capital spending to clean energy.

  • Eight of 10 respondents forecast that over the next five years, more of their spending in new generation capacity will be directed at solar arrays on land, followed closely by energy storage and eventually microgrids and other distributed energy resources (DERs).

  • The company has stated its commitment to supporting its clients' emissions reduction and decarbonization objectives as it is its own. By 2023, Black & Veatch plans to have reduced its overall emissions by 20 percent and fleet and building emissions by 40 percent (compared to 2019).

About Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries by addressing the resilience and reliability of our world's most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2019 were US$3.7 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.

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