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Weekly Briefing: Feb. 12-16, 2024

Week of February 12, 2024

DOE Announces $2.7B Funding for Clean Energy Projects

  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nearly $2.7 billion in new and potential funding for clean energy projects, including transmission expansion, geothermal energy systems, tidal energy projects, and hydroelectric power system upgrades.

  • Large-scale transmission projects can compete for a second solicitation to accelerate the buildout of the grid, with up to $1.2 billion for capacity contracts. This support comes from a $2.5-billion revolving fund established under the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

  • DOE has selected 46 hydroelectric projects to receive up to $72 million in incentive payments to increase efficiency of plants in 19 states. This is the largest ever single federal investment in that power sector.

  • The DOE has earmarked $60 million to fund projects set to boost scalability and cut costs of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) in the U.S. Advancing EGS could provide 90 GW of flexible power to the grid by 2050.

  • The DOE is also supporting the development of tidal energy projects. These are the first of $35 million in total investment to support projects that can be transitioned to a commercial development.


Unexpected Inflation Rise Clouds Federal Reserve’s Rate Cut Plans

  • Inflation eased in January but was above Wall Street’s expectations, with consumer prices rising 3.1% from a year earlier, higher than the predicted 2.9%.

  • The higher-than-expected inflation clouds the Federal Reserve’s path to rate cuts, potentially giving the central bank breathing space to wait until mid-year.

  • The latest data showed that price declines accelerated for goods while price increases accelerated for services.

  • The inflation data release led to a sharp fall in stocks and a rise in bond yields. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid more than 500 points, marking its worst one-day decline since March. The market should, however, respond favorably if the Federal Reserve signals rate decreases in the future.

February 12, 2024

J-U-B Engineers (J-U-B), an Idaho-based, civil engineering and planning firm, acquired AEI Engineering (AEI), an Idaho-based electrical and control systems engineering firm. The acquisition expands J-U-B’s reach and enhances their suite of solutions. Tim Haener, Chairman and Risk Manager at J-U-B, said of the partnership, “This merger is all about client service and opportunities for AEI employees. It supports J-U-B’s strategy to enhance service delivery and growth in all our markets and locations”.


February 15, 2024

Alta Planning + Design (Alta), an Oregon-based sustainable transportation firm backed by Trilon Group, has acquired UrbanTrans North America (UrbanTrans), a Georgia-based transportation planning and behavior change firm. The acquisition of UrbanTrans expands Alta’s transportation demand management (TDM) practice, along with other services including mode shift programs, behavior change campaigns, and community outreach projects that promote alternatives to driving alone including transit, ridesharing, active modes, and micromobility. Alta CEO Brett Hondorp commented on the transaction, “UrbanTrans’ values and focus on sustainable transportation is perfectly aligned with Alta’s mission and we are thrilled to have them join Alta Planning + Design to expand our TDM Practice. Together we will be able to provide the industry’s most innovative TDM services as we help our clients deliver mobility options using behavior change and data-supported solutions”.


February 15, 2024

SAM Companies (SAM), a Texas-based geospatial and inspection services firm backed by Peak Rock Capital, acquired PrecisionPoint, Inc. (PPI), an Indiana-based 3D laser scanning-to-Building Information Model (BIM) firm. The acquisition strategically aligns with SAM’s existing portfolio of Managed Geospatial Services and enhances their resources and presence in the Midwest region. Chris Solomon, SAM President and CEO, said of the acquisition, “We are thrilled to welcome PrecisionPoint into the SAM family. This strategic integration is poised to create new opportunities to leverage state-of-the-art scanning and BIM services that enhance informed decisions that support our clients’ strategic business objectives”.

Earlier this year, Kimley-Horn sponsored Girls in Aviation Day organized by the Puerto Rico chapter of Women in Aviation International (WAI). The firm's consistent support of this event over the past five years underscores its enduring commitment to fostering diversity within the industry and encouraging young women to explore opportunities in aviation and related fields. During the event, representatives from Kimley-Horn's Fort Lauderdale and Puerto Rico offices hosted an informative booth, showcasing pavement samples and safety clothing while providing insights into the firm's work in the field. Their involvement empowered young women by offering valuable information about potential careers in aviation and allowing them to glean insights from the professional experiences of Kimley-Horn employees.


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