Conservation will meet almost 60% of added energy demand over the next five years in the Pacific Northwest if a draft plan released on Sept. 4 by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council is adopted. Over the next 20 years, that figures jumps to 85%. The council devises a new plan every five years to guide power development in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Each state’s governor appoints two members. Electricity demand will grow 2,058 MW between 2010 and 2014, says the plan. It suggests that 1,200 MW could come from conservation measures such as smart-grid energy management, power-storage improvements,
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.