TRC

Recent News & Press Releases

Press Release

TRC’s California Highway Rehabilitation Project Honored with Engineering Industry Awards

LOWELL, Mass. and ANAHEIM, Calif. - March 3, 2017 - TRC Companies, Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting and construction-management services, has been honored for its role in the pavement rehabilitation and sign replacement on the State Route 91 Express Lanes in Anaheim, California. The work received an “Outstanding Construction Project” award from the Orange County Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the “Transportation Project of the Year” award from the Orange County Engineering Council (OCEC).

The $12 million project involved replacing degraded pavement along this toll road (called express lanes) and upgrading six changeable message signs to LED technology with new sign structures, while minimizing delays and disruptions on the heavily traveled SR 91. TRC was selected by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to prepare design plans, specifications and estimate for the extensive rehabilitation of the roadway, the first such project of its kind that OCTA has ever procured. The toll facility was built 20 years ago, and since its inception, the lanes had never been repaved.

“By mitigating traffic congestion on this high-density freeway, the project provided a tangible benefit to commuters on a daily basis and has made the roads much safer,” said Raja Mitwasi, TRC Vice President and Transportation Practice Leader. “Our success is the result of a proactive and longstanding partnership with OCTA. We are committed to supporting OCTA as it advances projects to improve safety and road conditions for drivers throughout the state.”

To complete the construction work as quickly and smoothly as possible, with minimal disruption to commuters, TRC designed and implemented a plan that conducted the work during 55- and 56-hour-long shutdowns, on less-trafficked weekends, of the 10-mile segment of express lanes in the middle of the SR 91 layout, while also managing traffic detours during these times. This construction staging strategy allowed TRC to complete the project on schedule and under budget.

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TRC Names Jeremy Pratt Market Director for Hydropower Permitting and Licensing

Pratt joins new office in Seattle to improve service to clients in Western U.S.

Seattle and Lowell, Mass. – Feb. 28, 2017 - TRC Companies, Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting and construction-management services, announced today that Jeremy Pratt has joined the Company as a Market Director focused on Hydropower Licensing in TRC’s newly opened Seattle office. In this role, he will help develop and lead hydro and environmental regulatory compliance projects, support the growth of TRC’s presence in the Pacific Northwest and help expand the Company’s hydro practice nationally.

Pratt is joined in Seattle by Kimberly Demuth, a NEPA and cultural resources expert, as well as Jeff Deason and Shannon Luoma, experienced hydro licensing and environmental permitting project managers.

“We are excited to welcome Jeremy as part of a new Seattle-based team that will allow us to better serve our clients in the region,” said Michael Murphy, National Market Director for Hydropower. “TRC is proud of its reputation for hydropower excellence across the country. We look forward to building on that foundation as we expand our presence in the Pacific Northwest.”

Pratt has more than 30 years of experience in hydro licensing and license compliance in California and the Pacific Northwest. Throughout his career, he has led large-scale projects in complex regulatory environments under NEPA, FERC and other major federal and state environmental permitting processes. He also has participated in reviews of other energy facilities and programs, including coal, gas, nuclear and wind-powered generation. Pratt has led the development of major watershed plans and water supply management plans, and is an expert in Washington state water rights.

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TRC’s Wendy Bley Elected to Board of Directors of the National Hydropower Association

LOWELL, Mass. and RICHMOND, Va. – February 16, 2017 – TRC Companies, Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting, and construction-management services, today announced that Senior Consultant Wendy Bley has been elected to the National Hydropower Association (NHA) Board of Directors. NHA is the hydropower industry’s primary advocacy organization with a membership of more than 225 companies, including project owners, operators, developers, manufacturers, vendors and service providers. 

“Wendy is a hydropower industry veteran, whose dedication to helping her clients save time and money is unparalleled,” said Michael Murphy, TRC’s National Market Director of Hydropower Licensing. “Her commitment and skill have supported the growth and success of TRC’s hydropower practice. We are excited for Wendy to share her knowledge and strategic skills with the hydropower industry as a whole through her involvement as an NHA Board member.” 

As a senior consultant at TRC with more than 25 years of hydropower experience, Bley serves as a project manager and senior advisor on hydropower project licensing and compliance initiatives. She assists clients with the development of FERC applications for new projects, as well as relicensing and license amendments for existing projects. Currently, she is assisting clients with FERC licensing and compliance initiatives at hydropower projects in Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Virginia.

“I look forward to participating on the board to advocate for hydropower as a clean, renewable and valuable source of electric power generation,” said Bley. “By working closely with my colleagues in the industry, I’m confident we can help ensure that hydropower remains a reliable source of renewable, carbon-free energy well into the future.” 

Bley has been an active member of NHA since 1989, participating in several NHA committees, councils and conferences. She currently serves as Chair for the Small Hydro Council and is also on the Board of the Hydro Research Foundation. Bley holds a B.S. in Biology from George Mason University and an M.S. in Natural Resource Economics from the University of New Hampshire. She resides in Richmond, Virginia.

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Santa Fe Trail Project Receives Award from California Government Association

Tulare project recognized for improving transportation, safety, mobility

LOWELL, Mass. and TULARE, Calif. - [Feb. 10, 2017] - TRC Companies Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting and construction-management services, today announced that its work to upgrade the Santa Fe Trail Rail Crossing in Tulare, California, has been recognized as a Best Project by the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) as part of its 6th Annual Local Motion Awards.

The project created a new, grade-separated crossing for the bicycle/pedestrian Santa Fe Trail, maintained by the city parks department, over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks between the highly trafficked Cross and San Joaquin Avenues. In addition to improving safety, the new crossing has improved connections between neighborhoods on either side of the tracks and has encouraged additional economic development in the area.

“As Tulare grew up around the Union Pacific tracks, it became a challenge for residents to access goods and services that became bifurcated by the railroad,” said Mark Imbriani, TRC Vice President and Project Manager. “The improvements we made to the crossing have dramatically bridged that divide and made the trail more attractive and useful, which really gets to the heart of what we do: make communities all across America, like Tulare, better places to live, one project at a time.”

TRC prepared the structure design plans, specifications and an estimate for the overpass structure and approach ramping structures, and performed bidding and construction assistance as well. TRC also secured a Construction, Maintenance and Use Agreement from Union Pacific, access rights on Union Pacific property, authorization to construct from the California Public Utilities Commission, and prepared the required baseline agreements and progress reports to the California Transportation Commission as the project proceeded.

Groundbreaking for the project was in February 2015, and the new crossing opened for public use in July 2016. It was funded by a combination of Local Sales Tax Measure ‘R’ and State Proposition 1B Highway-Railway Crossing Safety Account funds. 

TCAG’s 6th Annual Local Motion Awards ceremony is one of a yearly event that recognizes the projects, citizens, public officials and plans that have contributed to the improvement of mobility and the transportation system in in Tulare County, California. 


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TRC Client Wins Prestigious Award for Wisconsin Solar Development

Dairyland Power Cooperative/SoCore’s 14-site project honored by SEIA, SEPA

LOWELL, Mass., and MADISON, Wis. - [February 6, 2017] - TRC Companies, Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting, and construction-management services, today announced that SoCore Energy’s development of 18 megawatts of  solar energy for Dairyland Power Cooperative won a prestigious award. TRC served as a key development consultant to SoCore.  

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) named the Dairyland/SoCore project, which encompasses 14 sites in Wisconsin and Iowa, one of four recipients of 2016 Project of Distinction Awards. The Dairyland/SoCore project includes solar arrays ranging from 600 kilowatts to 2.75 megawatts and can produce enough electricity to power 2,500 homes. Notable details include:

  • It has singlehandedly doubled the total deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation in Wisconsin.
  • It was the first large-scale deployment in Wisconsin of single-axis tracker arrays, with panels that turn with the sun all day long to maximize electric output.
  • All 14 solar sites double as “pollinator gardens,” sustaining and growing bee and butterfly populations that benefit crops, flowers and trees through planting of native seed mixes of grasses and flowering plants. The pollinator gardens also reduce storm water runoff and erosion.
  • Dairyland member distribution cooperatives are offering member-consumers the opportunity to invest in or own community solar gardens adjacent to the 14 sites, maximizing the use and cost-effectiveness of new power grid interconnections.

“TRC is proud to be part of the team that assisted Dairyland and SoCore on this innovative, award-winning solar project,” said Chris Vincze, TRC’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Every day, across all kinds of electric power generation and transmission and development of renewable energy sources, TRC experts are consistently delivering our clients innovative solutions.’’

TRC has Wisconsin offices in Brookfield and Madison and a laboratory in Madison, as well.

Dairyland’s solar projects were developed under power purchase agreements with SoCore Energy, which installed, owns, operates and maintains the facilities. TRC provided SoCore professional consulting services including: geotechnical investigations, topographic and American Land Title Association surveys, wetland surveys, sensitive-species reviews, storm water permits, Phase I environmental site assessments, and Karner blue butterfly habitat surveys. (Wisconsin is home to some of the country’s most abundant habitats supporting the world’s largest remaining populations of the Karner blue butterfly, which has been listed federally as an endangered species since 1992.)

Key criteria for SEIA and SEPA in choosing winners were: Innovation in use of technology, design, financing, and collaboration; the benefits they provide to multiple stakeholders across their communities; and their replicability and development of best practices for the Midwest region.

“SoCore is honored to be part of such a unique project in Wisconsin,” said Laura Caspari, Director of Development at SoCore Energy. “The Project of Distinction Award was a reflection of the great collaboration between SoCore, Dairyland, TRC and the communities with whom we worked. We are excited about the contribution these developments have made to increasingly clean, reliable and cost effective energy for Co-op members.”

About SoCore Energy

SoCore Energy (www.SoCoreEnergy.com) offers companies, electric cooperatives and communities solar solutions that provide reliable, lower carbon and cost effective energy. SoCore is a subsidiary of Edison International. SoCore works together with the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) to support the development of solar for rural electric cooperatives and their members.

About Dairyland Power Cooperative

With headquarters in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Dairyland (www.dairylandpower.com) provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. A Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Dairyland’s service area encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Dairyland’s resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, solar, wind and landfill gas.

About TRC

A pioneer in groundbreaking scientific and engineering developments since the 1960s, TRC (www.TRCsolutions.com) is a national engineering, environmental consulting and construction management firm that provides integrated services to the power, environmental, infrastructure and oil and gas markets. TRC serves a broad range of commercial, industrial and government clients, implementing complex projects from initial concept to delivery and operation. TRC delivers results that enable clients to achieve success in a complex and changing world. TRC trades on the NYSE under the symbol TRR. For more information, visit TRC's website at www.TRCsolutions.com, follow us on Twitter at @TRC_Companies or find us on LinkedIn.

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TRC Appoints Doug Massih as SVP, Infrastructure Sector Leader

Massih to manage 500 professional and technical colleagues across multiple engineering disciplines

LOWELL, MA. -  TRC Companies Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting and construction-management services, today announced that Doug Massih, Senior Vice President, has been appointed as the new leader for the firm’s Infrastructure sector. Massih was previously the Infrastructure sector Deputy Director and SVP.

“Doug has been absolutely instrumental in transforming our infrastructure business from a regional model to our now successful nationally integrated practice,” said Chris Vincze, TRC's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Doug is a born leader and is also generous in giving the next generation of leaders the support they need through our project management training program and through less formal mentoring relationships. We’re extremely lucky to have a well-rounded asset like Doug at the firm, and we know in this new role he will continue to help the company grow.”

Massih has more than 30 years of technical services and comprehensive business-related experience. He has worked with clients ranging from public agencies to Fortune 500 companies on projects that have exceeded $2.0 billion in the transportation market.

He has overseen notable growth in TRC’s Construction Engineering & Inspection, Materials Inspection and Geotechnical Drilling capabilities. His team specializes in planning, design and construction engineering services for high profile bridge and roadway projects and has gained recognition as a pioneer in Seismic Structural Engineering for bridges in active earthquake zones. 

In addition, Massih initiated and manages the Infrastructure Sector’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) discipline, which provides consulting and advisory services for Infrastructure Development clients. P3 projects utilize a combination of private and public financing, including multi-billion dollar transportation concessions and greenfield development work, and Massih has been key in fueling the company’s growth in this area while increasing project backlog.

“The infrastructure market is poised for exponential growth,” Massih said. “TRC is well-positioned to help our clients design major upgrades to critical infrastructure, manage and administer their construction projects, navigate alternative project delivery models and implement technology solutions that support our communities’ transportation systems. A lot has changed in this industry during the past 30 years, but what stayed the same might be more important — our team’s focus on listening to our clients, getting to know them and their needs, and delivering creative, cost-effective solutions to their challenges as quickly as possible through a variety of project delivery methods.”

Massih earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Lafayette College in Easton, Penn. He is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Highway Engineers.


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TRC Acquires New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program Contract and Assumes Program Administrator Role

Plan to build on success and enhance energy efficiency benefits

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ and LOWELL, MA. - Jan. 17, 2017 - TRC Companies Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting and construction-management services, today announced it has acquired the contract to serve as Program Administrator of New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program™ (NJCEP), which has provided more than $300 million annually in support to homeowners, businesses and government entities upgrading to high-efficiency and renewable energy technology.

“The acquisition of New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program contract supports TRC’s strategy of enhancing our leadership position in the energy efficiency services market,” said TRC Chief Strategy Officer James Stephenson. “In order to prepare for evolving energy policies and economic drivers, TRC continues to broaden its capabilities to support a diverse portfolio of energy sources, including Power, Oil & Gas and Clean Energy.”

All the staff who have been working for the prior NJCEP Administrator, Ameresco Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Applied Energy Group Inc. (AEG), will be joining TRC. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We at TRC are honored to assume our expanded role as the Program Administrator of this exciting program,” said Frank Reilly, TRC Senior Vice President of Energy Efficiency. “We look forward to the opportunity to expand participation in NJCEP, improve cost-effectiveness and deliver excellent service and economic and environmental benefits to New Jersey homeowners, businesses and government entities.”

TRC and AEG anticipate the transition will be seamless, with the same team continuing in its existing role without interruption. TRC’s Energy Efficiency practice is a growing, national leader in the design and implementation of state energy efficiency programs and provides services similar to the administration of NJCEP in several other states.

About New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP)
NJCEP, established on January 22, 2003 in accordance with the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act (EDECA), provides financial and other incentives to the state’s residential customers, businesses and schools that install high-efficiency or renewable energy technologies, thereby reducing energy usage, lowering customers’ energy bills and reducing environmental impacts. The program is authorized and overseen by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), and its website is www.NJCleanEnergy.com.

About TRC
A pioneer in groundbreaking scientific and engineering developments since the 1960s, TRC is a national engineering, environmental consulting and construction management firm that provides integrated services to the power, environmental, infrastructure and oil and gas markets. TRC serves a broad range of commercial, industrial and government clients, implementing complex projects from initial concept to delivery and operation. TRC delivers results that enable clients to achieve success in a complex and changing world. TRC trades on the NYSE under the symbol TRR. For more information, visit TRC's website at www.TRCsolutions.com, follow us on Twitter @TRC_Companies or find us on LinkedIn.

TRC Media Contact  
Nicole Collins  
Director, Marketing and Communications 
978.656.3594
ncollins@trcsolutions.com

Investor Contact
Sharon Merrill Associates
(617) 542-5300
trr@investorrelations.com


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TRC Names Kimberly Demuth as Market Director of Environmental Planning, Permitting and Licensing

Woodinville, WA and Lowell, MA – [January 3, 2017] – TRC Companies Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting and construction management services, announced today that Kimberly Demuth has joined as Market Director of Environmental Planning. In this role, she will lead the development of the Pacific Northwest Region with the establishment of a Seattle office, as well expanding the environmental planning and permitting services of TRC on a national level.

 “Kimberly is a seasoned professional with more than 35 years of experience in the oil & gas, transportation and energy industries, and her expertise will be invaluable as we build our footprint in the Northwest,” said John Cowdery, TRC’s Environmental Sector Leader. “Kimberly has worked directly with a number of key federal agencies on significant projects, and her knowledge of cultural resources, NEPA and FERC permitting will help us to expand our offerings in those areas. We’re thrilled to have her on the team.”

Throughout her career, Ms. Demuth has managed National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Impact Statements (NEPA EIS) projects, and has successfully completed federal and state permitting for oil and natural-gas pipeline projects. These include the Keystone, Keystone XL, and Alberta Clipper EIS Pipelines projects. Ms. Demuth led tribal and agency NEPA and Section 106 consultation process for the Department of State on each of these projects. She also developed Programmatic Agreement Documents, for each project while working closely with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

 “TRC is widely recognized throughout the industry for their unwavering commitment to environmental preservation,” said Demuth. “I’m looking forward to helping continue this tradition while delivering clients the high level of service that TRC is known for.”

Demuth is a University of California graduate and also holds a Master’s in Historic Preservation of Architecture from the University of Oregon.

About TRC
A pioneer in groundbreaking scientific and engineering developments since the 1960s, TRC is a national engineering, environmental consulting and construction management firm that provides integrated services to the power, environmental, infrastructure and oil and gas markets. TRC serves a broad range of commercial, industrial and government clients, implementing complex projects from initial concept to delivery and operation. TRC delivers results that enable clients to achieve success in a complex and changing world. TRC trades on the NYSE under the symbol TRR. For more information, visit TRC's website at www.TRCsolutions.com, follow us on Twitter @TRC_Companies or find us on LinkedIn.

TRC Media Contact 
Nicole Collins 
Director, Marketing and Communications 
978.656.3594 


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TRC Predicts Big U.S. Infrastructure Push in 2017

Innovative funding mechanisms, project delivery methods will support increased investment

LOWELL, Mass. TRC Companies Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting and construction-management services, today released its top predictions for the infrastructure sector in 2017, including a significant expansion of investment supported by new financing sources and alternative project delivery methods.

President-elect Trump has backed a $1 trillion, ten-year U.S. infrastructure upgrade program and promised on the night of his election victory the country will be served by “second to none” roads, bridges, tunnels, transit, airports, schools, hospitals, and more.

TRC infrastructure experts anticipate three major trends driving the market in the coming year:

  1. Expect a big – and differently funded – push for infrastructure upgrades. While details will need time to be worked out between the new administration and Congress, all signs indicate Washington is ready to back the first major, multi-year omnibus infrastructure program in years. We see a high likelihood the new administration and Congress will look to some innovative ways of financing projects, including new tax breaks to incentivize private funding of infrastructure, a national Infrastructure Bank providing seed capital for project development, or a combination of both, to complement traditional tax- and toll-funded government and authority bonding.
  2. More than one way to fix a bridge. We foresee interest continuing to grow in 2017 for alternative delivery methods to get projects built more quickly and less expensively: design-build contracts, public-private partnerships, construction manager/general contractor, and hybrid approaches combining elements of all of those. The traditional and time-tested design-bid-build approach will continue to be a robust and primary approach to managing projects. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s innovative 25-year PPP to design, replace, and maintain 558 Keystone State bridges with strict limits on how long they can be closed during work –- no more than 60 to 110 days depending on size -- will be closely monitored by other states where motorists and taxpayers have been frustrated with long delays and disruptions associated with bridge work.
  3. Hot technologies will heat up basic infrastructure management. Though it could be years or decades before driverless cars and trucks are widely adopted, 2017 will see more breakthroughs from driverless transportation research and development reshaping transportation systems. Technology developed to support autonomous vehicles –- and the operational challenges of current highway design they’ve brought scrutiny to –- will propel efforts to improve the layout and operations of today’s roads, such as technology-enhanced systems that make on-ramp merging safer and manage vehicle spacing in places and times of heavy congestion. At the same time, use of drones for oversight of construction projects, inspections, and day-to-day highway operations will grow rapidly in 2017 as more governments and transportation authorities quantify the benefits and design protocols for drone use with the Federal Aviation Administration.

TRC CEO Chris Vincze said: “As more infrastructure in major U.S. metropolitan areas reaches the end of its useful life, TRC is well positioned to play a key role in facilitating upgrades across the country. Today’s ‘road and bridge contractors’ are working with or right next to so many other kinds of infrastructure: Gas, electric, and fiber-optic telecommunications, transmission, and distribution lines; water and sewer pipes; railroad and transit lines; and long-distance oil and gas pipelines. As a recognized leader in managing all aspects of linear construction, TRC provides a fully integrated approach to meet the challenges posed by the kinds of large-scale, complex infrastructure initiatives we expect to grow rapidly next year and beyond.”

TRC’s 4,100 professionals working from 120 locations in the U.S. and United Kingdom include hundreds of engineers and consultants with deep experience in delivering integrated infrastructure projects. The company’s expertise includes highway, roadway, railway and bridge engineering and design, construction management, civil site work engineering geotechnical engineering and drilling, and other related fields critical to successful infrastructure delivery.



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TRC’s Top 12 Predictions for The Energy Industry in 2017

Robust Dealmaking and Investment, Increased Pipeline Safety and Grid Security

LOWELL, MA, TRC Companies Inc., a recognized leader in engineering, environmental consulting and construction-management services, today released its top 12 predictions for the energy, utility, and oil and gas sectors for 2017, including robust funding for utility mergers and acquisitions and infrastructure upgrades as well as big shifts in power plant and pipeline construction focus.

TRC CEO Chris Vincze said: “Even as oil and gas prices fluctuate and regulatory policies evolve, we see market drivers remaining very strong for investment in energy system upgrades and environmental and infrastructure work for the ongoing expansion of renewables. Our country has a tremendous need to update antiquated and deficient infrastructure, and that combined with available capital means investment will remain robust in 2017 for everything from renewable power and energy efficiency to utility consolidation and upgrading distribution systems.’’

With national emissions and climate-change regulations likely to change significantly under the new president and Congress, TRC’s energy/utility/oil and gas predictions for 2017 include:

  1. Robust power-generation deal making and M&A activity. Private equity funds have billions of dollars looking for returns, and slow load growth has investor-owned utilities interested in expanding both geographically and from electricity into gas and vice versa. “Interest will remain high in deals for gas-fired generation, wind and solar projects, and even existing coal-fired generation when the price and potential returns are right,’’ said Mark Hall, TRC vice president of power development.

  2. Pipeline construction and maintenance focus shifts. Given current oil and gas supplies and prices, expect pipeline construction activity in the U.S. in 2017 to focus much more on optimization than unbridled expansion: 30-, 40-, and 50-mile projects in various areas to improve the efficiency of delivery networks or meet the needs of specific end-use customers (“demand pull”), not proposals for 300-, 400-, and 500-mile projects to open major new supply flows. Two exceptions: We anticipate a big push to increase gas pipeline capacity from the U.S. Southwest to and through Mexico as the country continues to replace oil-burning electric generating stations with units fired by U.S.-exported gas. Also, with the new White House administration, the Keystone XL pipeline will likely be back on the table. Finally, 2016 incidents will drive stricter regulations (like the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration “Mega Rule”) and more aggressive inspection regimes by pipeline operators in 2017.
  3. For pipeline developers, new rules for public engagement.  As dramatized by the protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline Project and environmentalist backlash against pipeline projects generally, we anticipate more proactive public outreach and engagement during the pipeline development process, along with greater adoption of pipeline routing optimization technology to identify the least controversial, most buildable pipeline routes. “Regulatory agencies are under more scrutiny and litigation pressure, so pipeline developers and their technical consultants will have to back up routing optimization with smarter, more proactive communication and education efforts to win public and regulatory support to get projects built,’’ said Scott Reed, TRC vice president of oil and gas.
  4. States are the drivers for efficiency and renewables. With the new administration in Washington taking energy policy in a new direction, look for most momentum for green energy/energy efficiency/demand response policy change to come from states like California, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey in 2017.
  5. Microgrids go social, buildings go all-electric. As the transition to an advanced energy system accelerates, we expect to see growing numbers of end users team up in community microgrids that combine multiple, diverse customers – municipal, commercial, residential, and institutional – as unified “islands” of electric load to improve overall reliability, increase the impact of shared energy and efficiency sources, and reduce energy costs. ““Another emerging energy trend in 2017 is with technology maturing and costs declining, more developers of high-performance and zero-net-energy buildings will consider making them all-electric, using solar PV as a major energy source, evaluating integrating energy storage and using heat pumps to replace fossil fuels for heating needs,’’said Carmen Hendrickson, Associate Vice President, TRC Energy Services.
  6. Some regional gas generation plateaus. With gigawatts of new gas-fired generation under construction and development in markets including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas, look for proposals for new gas generation in the PJM and ERCOT grids to taper down by the end of 2017.  As this wave of new capacity there taking advantage of abundant shale gas comes on line, installed generation is approaching economic oversaturation.
  7. More program partners for utility upgrades. In the year ahead, more utilities will recognize they need to turn to a program partner to manage massive upgrade/modernization programs, including replacement of aging infrastructure, compliance with regulatory and emissions mandates, and securing the grid against terrorism and sabotage. The top 15 utilities face $30 billion worth of necessary upgrades, well beyond their in-house capabilities to manage. Partnerships with entities that have deep program management experience will be critical.
  8. On the grid, communication is key. Next year will see significantly increased investment in communications capabilities on the grid, at both the system and substation level, to enable more kinds of electrical equipment to report problems and communicate with other devices to address heightened concerns about grid vulnerability to terrorism and sabotage. Expertise in managing the integration of these devices and technologies into electrical facility design will become more important than ever in 2017.
  9. Decommissioned generator site redevelopment. As more communities see former power plant sites successfully redeveloped into industrial, commercial, retail, maritime and recreational facilities, interest will grow in 2017 in reforms –- like what’s now under way in Pennsylvania –- to define and cap the environmental legal liability for successor plant site owners for contamination related to past generation activity.
  10. Coal ash cleanups. As the EPA’s final rule on “management of coal combustion residuals from electric utilities” has taken effect, lawsuits challenging utilities on their self-certification plans to secure and close coal ash ponds and other disposal facilities have increased. We expect to see a growing chorus in 2017 calling for more uniform and predictable federal and state regulations that can lead to faster, more successful and cost-effective closures without the uncertainty, expense, and delay of litigation.
  11. Forecasting the price of oil will remain an uncertain science: The anticipated production cuts by OPEC and Russia in late 2016 will have a small but positive impact on oil prices. Domestically, U.S. crude oil will likely remain close to $50 per barrel in 2017, barring major geopolitical events that traditionally have caused significant price volatility.
  12. Energy storage. Many electric utilities will ramp up work in 2017 with microgrids and battery storage. But the major factor limiting widespread adoption will be whether and when utilities can get regulators’ approval for ratepayer-funded investments in the technology. “Energy storage raises so many questions for rate design, cost-shifting, impacts on generators, integration with grid operations, and technical compatibility issues that we do not see 2017 being the year of widespread utility-scale adoption, although we do foresee continued pilot storage projects to gain operational experience,’’ said Steve Persutti, TRC vice president of utility development.

TRC and its over 4,000 employees in 120 U.S. and U.K. offices are excited about what promises to be a busy, innovative year for the utility, generation, and oil and gas sectors. Vincze said, “TRC enters 2017 with strong capabilities to deliver solutions for clients throughout the power and oil and gas markets, and we’re continuing to invest in strategic hiring, evolve our service offerings, and identify acquisition opportunities that enhance our technical capabilities and geographical footprint.’’

www.TRCsolutions.com,  follow us on Twitter @TRC_Companies or find us on LinkedIn.


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