BenchMark is an award-winning, quarterly, general interest engineering magazine that covers a broad range of trends, topics and engineering disciplines.

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Environmental, economic and market factors are driving the need to evaluate coal-fired power plants for potential decommissioning. More than 180 units are slated for retirement, totaling more than 27 gigawatts of generation capacity. And that is likely to grow. Plus: Redevelopment of the Newport Chemical Weapons Depot; new facility ready for the Arkansas Army National Guard; the TresAmigas SuperStation prepares to transfer power between grids; Georgia Power substation relay improvements make way for smarter energy solutions; new water security regulations; and a design-build solution for a Belgian chocolate confection.

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Articles In This Issue

Changing Power for the Future

The landscape of America's electric power production is changing: new technologies, new regulations, evolving fuel sources. Coal-fired power plants have been a mainstay for over a century, but as we transition to a new era of power generation, decommissioning of coal-fired plants is a reality.

Technical Q&A: Dynamic Pricing for Electric Utilities

Dynamic pricing reflects utilities' actual costs more accurately than traditional rates. With dynamic pricing, electric rates can aim to recover costs and meet defined goals.

How It Works: Lean Six Sigma

Lean and Six Sigma are two of the most common disciplines in the business management practice of continuous improvement. They can generate substantial transformational performance improvement.

In-House News: Focus on Transportation, Water

Burns & McDonnell is shifting its resources to help solve the nation's growing problem with aging and unreliable water and transportation systems.

From Tortoises to Transmission Lines

The project manager in the Burns & McDonnell Environmental Studies & Permitting Group specializes in an unexpected field: transmission line routing, finding the optimal route to connect power generation sources to the point of consumption via the national power grid.

Vermillion Rises Again

Former chemical weapons depot has been redeveloped into a developer's dream, ready-made with utilites, a water supply and transportation access, all from a single owner.

Power Plant Decommissioning: A Noble Past, Many Possible Futures

Changes to the U.S. power generation fleet are being driven by environmental, economic and market factors.

Decommissioning Drivers: New and Pending Regulations

A look at the regulatory picture for the U.S. power generation fleet.

Making the (Rate) Case: Tampa Electric

A look at how one utility put its required regular decommissioning report to support a change in depreciation rates.

Mission: Honor and Respect

The Armed Forces Reserve Center, Bentonville, Ark., is an energy efficient, consolidated facility.

Transferring Green Power Between Grids

The TresAmigas SuperStation, Clovis, N.M., will be the first power transmission hub to link the country's three primary electric grids.

Power for the Ages

Georgia Power substation relay improvements make way for smarter energy solutions.

New Water Security Regulations

Utilities urged to communicate with state agencies, federal representatives regarding risk reduction.

The Chocolate Room

Design-build team meets the Belgian-chocolate challenge for frozen confection from Unilever: the Magnum brand ice cream bar.