The Tennessee Valley Authority has invested nearly $100 million over the last year to shore up coal waste disposal facilities at its powerplant sites, and will spend up to $2 billion more to convert wet coal-ash storage sites to dry ash storage. But it’s not likely other utilities will follow suit until federal requirements become clearer. In the wake of the 2008 coal-ash spill at TVA’s Kingston, Tenn., plant site—the biggest environmental disaster of its kind in U.S. history—most utilities have inspected their coal- ash waste ponds to make sure they are not a hazard to life or property. But
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.