New electricity infrastructures in buildings and throughout the grid are getting “smarter,” achieving greater cost savings, efficiency, reliability, and resilience. These new technologies hold promise for reducing energy costs and carbon emissions, while improving power reliability and energy security. But these new technologies are only part of the answer. Although they provide necessary advances in how we generate and use electricity, they also require a specialized team with expertise and insight into appropriate applications, business models, multi-stakeholder agreements, and equally important, training and technical support.
Given the complexity and uncertainty inherent in energy technology disruption, how can decision makers, such as public officials of towns and cities, utility company executives, or managers of large industrial or commercial assets, stay ahead of the curve? How can they take advantage of this transition to a more distributed “digital grid”? Doing nothing is clearly not an option; inaction carries real risk. But action is also risky, as committing to the wrong investments in fixed assets, business models, or policy structures can be as damaging as ignoring new technologies.
Fortunately, the focus and resources needed to solve these challenges has arrived. To drastically simplify the process of adopting new energy technologies, Advisian, the advisory arm of WorleyParsons, and UpGrid LLC, a Boston-based start-up specializing in smart grid development and energy policy, are announcing a new partnership to deliver comprehensive smart energy solutions.
Advisian/WorleyParsons brings to this partnership a 130+ year history in the power sector and global presence with extensive expertise in engineering, project management, construction, operations & maintenance of energy systems, and consulting on energy infrastructure. UpGrid founding member Andrea Ruotolo has taken part in managing the stakeholder engagement process and new policy development for New York State’s REV (Reforming the Energy Vision) Proceeding, one of the nation’s leading smart grid initiatives. Following work in REV, UpGrid advised microgrid pilot projects and managed smart grid initiatives in New York, New England, and Latin America.
According to Ruotolo, “The opportunity to address the challenges of grid disruption with the expertise and capacity of Advisian (part of the WorleyParsons Group) is the most exciting development in our young company’s development. Using the approaches that we have developed with the REV Proceeding and ‘NY Prize,’ and with strategic innovation management, backed by WorleyParsons’ capacity to deliver everything from technical advisory services to complete turnkey solutions, we have brought under one roof the full suite of services needed to fully implement smart grid projects, from the initial concept all the way through operations of a completed project, whether large scale or distributed.”
Why is a single, streamlined process so important? Smartening the grid and integrating Distributed Energy Systems (DES) in buildings is not a simple process. For instance, microgrids are recognized as an important part of the grid of the future, but today there’s an average of 5 or more different companies needed for the construction of a single microgrid. At the level of townships and cities, utilities, and large buildings, significant changes in the electricity systems impact multiple actors, and aligning interests across the various stakeholders is the key to capturing the full benefits these new technologies offer.
As important as the social, business, and electrical benefits of a microgrid system are, arriving at fully aligned interests is not always an easy task. According to Steve Schwartz, Practice Lead at Advisian, “In working with UpGrid, we are now able to provide an experienced and qualified team who can offer everything from needs assessment, including financial, environmental and energy, financial modeling and business review, through the design, procurement, construction, installation and O&M processes, along with providing training – all under one management team. This eliminates the difficulties found in dealing with multiple organizations.”
The new Advisian-UpGrid partnership offers those with energy infrastructure challenges their first real opportunity to engage with a one-stop-shop entity dedicated to addressing their specific needs, making the entire process simple, seamless and easy. Notes Ruotolo, “One of the main findings of New York’s REV Proceeding was that a single provider to manage the full process of energy infrastructure innovation did not exist, and that there is a strong demand for a provider of comprehensive solutions. By teaming up with Advisian, we are now able to meet that need.”
Advisian provides management and strategy advisory services, coupled with technical consulting and deep domain expertise. We leverage the real world practical experience and technical depth of our consultants. What makes us different is our ‘line of sight’ from assignment inception, through creating new assets, to sustaining and enhancing operating assets. We cover the full project lifecycle in the traditional hydrocarbons, minerals and metals, chemicals and infrastructure sectors. Within the Power sector we support all technologies from advanced natural gas generation through all forms of renewable energy generation supporting distributed energy resources, microgrids, and energy storage. Our resources and energy are focused on responding to and meeting the needs of our clients over the long term and thereby creating value for our stakeholders.
Inquiries may be addressed to:
Steve Schwartz, Practice Lead, Distributed Energy Resources
UpGrid LLC’s global team of experts in energy system improvement, focusing on microgrids and smart grid technologies, environmental policy, business, and engineering provides integral process support to utilities, governments, and companies seeking to improve and optimize energy infrastructure. We recognize that the energy transition is not a purely technical challenge. We design stakeholder engagement processes to help align interests and efforts, and we guide strategic innovation processes to develop customized solutions.