geoAMPS Blog

Implementing an alternative energy asset management system

Increasing responsiveness and maximizing resources are important factors in how alternative energy companies improve their business in today’s data-driven, performance-based markets. The ability to deliver projects on time and within budget is one measure of that performance. Another is how efficiently operations and maintenance are managed and achieved. The effective delivery and maintenance of property and assets are fundamental to achieving a company’s objectives in any project that involves real land assets and property stakeholders. A well designed and implemented land asset and royalty management system can substantially improve these capabilities.

Major benefits of an alternative energy management system can be found throughout the lifecycleof a project.This blog will briefly review the benefits that an alternative energy management system will achieve when implemented properly.

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Ways to simplify ongoing payments for wind farms

In the development and operation of a wind farm, several issues enter the discussion quickly, issues that are critical to determining project costs. These issues include availability of wind, siting of the wind farm and its turbines, land use in the area, transmission of the electricity to the power grid, access roads, and power generation capacity of the turbines.

But there is another issue that gets little attention outside the wind industry world. Managing lease and royalty payments to landowners can be a time-consuming, labor-intensive task. Absent an effective strategy and the right technology, wind companies struggle with this necessary aspect of doing business.

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How to navigate changing winds in tax credits debate

Delta Wind Farm / flickr

The Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit have been political footballs in recent years. Extensions have been approved, then left to expire, brewing uncertainty within renewable energy industries.

This remains the case. This summer, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted 23-3 to extend a number of renewable energy tax credits through the end of 2016. That measure would allow developers of wind, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, incremental hydroelectric and ocean energy to take advantage of federal tax credits for projects begun before Dec. 31, 2016. Among those are the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC). If passed, wind farms could receive a 2.3-cent-per-kilowatt-hour credit through the end of 2016.

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Technology aids development of public transportation

Andy Tucker / flickr

Cities across the United States are completing and planning improvements to their public transportation systems. These improvements are efforts by metropolitan transit agencies, in concert with local, state and federal governments, to relieve congestion on city streets and provide a transportation alternative that will save money for individual citizens and reduce fuel usage.

The federal government pumps billions of dollars each year into public transportation improvements. Local and state sources provide funding, too. The improvements include bus, streetcar and light-rail projects.

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Visualizing the utility crossing conflict matrix with GIS

Congested right of ways complicate completion of infrastructure projects. Utility and telecommunications systems, and water and sewer lines are examples of existing infrastructure that can create nightmares for transportation project engineers.

Historically, the lack of good records and technology has been the contributor to timeline overruns, accidents and, in some cases, loss of life when dealing with subsurface obstructions. To counter these dangers, the rise and adoption of subsurface utility engineering (SUE) makes projects safer, especially when paired with the conflict matrix. Absent of taking these steps, critical issues would not be addressed before the first shovels hit the ground.

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Helping DOTs achieve 'effective control' of outdoor advertising

By Yogesh Khandelwal and Dan Liggett

Advertising billboards, for better or worse, are part of the American landscape. Commonly seen from our many miles of interstates and national highways, billboards are considered an essential marketing tool of business. Some motorists feel they provide useful information, while others regard them as eyesores or unnecessary distractions from the nation’s natural beauty.

As usage and popularity of billboards began to escalate in the 1950s, the federal government took initial steps toward regulation. Signed into law by President Dwight Eisenhower, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1958, commonly known as the “Bonus Program,” was an incentive for states to establish control of ODA within 660 feet of the right of way along interstates. States that did so received an additional one half of one percent of their interstate construction costs.

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How DOTs can address utility crossings in projects

When planning new transportation projects or improvements to existing infrastructure, the state department of transportation (DOT) not only must focus on the project at ground level, but also the impacts below and above ground.

That is because this is where existing utilities are located. Proper inventory and tracking of these utility crossings is essential to the success of the transportation project, maintenance of utility infrastructure and the continuation of utility service. It also is necessary to receive full reimbursement of funds that the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) deems the state agency is eligible for the project.

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Technology to help utilities with transmission tower siting

circulatiing / flickr

Siting electric utility infrastructure and transmission lines can seem mind-boggling without the right project planning tools. Utility organizations must plan new transmission line projects carefully, accounting for multiple factors, from proximity to the grid, to existing infrastructure and property ownership. All the while, the utility must plan the expensive project in the most efficient way possible.

New technological advancements, including Web-based, utilities infrastructure management software and geographic information systems (GIS), are available to help power companies efficiently navigate the multitude of challenges in transmission tower siting.

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Efficiently manage utility inspections and maintenance

Karl Baron / flickr

An ongoing challenge for large electric utilities is inspection and maintenance of ageing infrastructure. Towers and power lines stretch scores, sometimes hundreds of miles. There can be a wide disparity in the age of towers and lines. These factors, combined with the tough decisions or where to send limited crews, present a unique and difficult challenge.

Establishing a centralized Web database of project and organizational information, accessible by a Web-based software system allows utilities to manage infrastructure inspections and maintenance accurately and efficiently.

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5 Mobility Answers to Real Estate Management

When it comes to keeping the power flowing, challenges emerge from every direction. Limbs falling onto lines, vehicles hitting poles, or strong winds disrupting service to a neighborhood are only a small sample of the things that can call our crews out to restore power.

Mounting a new pole, removing the limb or installing a new power line are usually simple challenges. Linemen are professionals and have the experience needed to complete the job.

What I have seen, though, as a regular challenge throughout the industry is that accessing information about the infrastructure and real estate property management.

There are solutions that are on the market thought to handle this test, providing field agents with on-the-go access to real estate management information that they need while in the field. Not only that, but other information from infrastructure to payments can also be accessed remotely from wireless devices like smart pads and smart phones. The industry’s reliance upon mobile technology continues to grow especially as real estate management and right of way management software solutions continue to advance.

Here are five benefits mobile technology provide when dealing with real estate management in the field:

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