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EBI News for June 22, 2022 – Global offshore wind capacity nearly doubles in 2021

EBI News for June 22, 2022 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Global offshore wind capacity nearly doubles in 2021, acquisitions, and more!

WSP expands Earth and Environment franchise by acquiring John Wood Group’s E&I business

WSP Global Inc. (Montreal, Canada) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the environment and infrastructure (E&I) business of John Wood Group plc (Aberdeen, UK) for aggregate cash consideration of US$1.810 billion. The deal adds US$830 million of net revenue, expanding on WSP’s stated goal of achieving greater than C$10 billion in net revenue by 2024. It also more than doubles WSP’s Earth & Environment practice in the United States and enhances WSP’s scale and capabilities in the water sector, which is now expected to represent a total of C$830 million in annual revenues globally. E&I has 6,000 environmental consulting staff across more than 10 countries and provides engineering, remediation consulting, environmental permitting, inspection and monitoring, and environmental management services. The E&I business was formed through various acquisitions under Amec and Foster Wheeler between 2008 and 2014 and was later acquired through Wood’s purchase of Amec Foster Wheeler.


Global offshore wind capacity nearly doubles in 2021

Global offshore wind development capacity grew 89% in 2021, according to a market report by Renewables Consulting Group (RCG), an ERM Group company. More than 200 GW of new offshore wind projects were announced in both established and new markets. Brazil moved to first place in the global ranking with a total surpassing 97 GW – all in development. The United Kingdom, with 10.5 GW operational and 9.8 GW secured, ranked second with 83.6 GW total. Vietnam ranked third followed by China, which installed nearly 8 GW of capacity in 2021 and surpassed the United Kingdom to become the largest operational offshore wind market. RCG noted that Australia (#10), Italy (#15) and Finland (#16) are new entrants among the world leaders and “signify the growing popularity of offshore wind as a viable option to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.” The predominant theme, however, was leasing activity: “Several leasing opportunities have culminated in developers securing routes-to-market – bolstering marketplace confidence amongst governments, institutions, investors and developers,” noted Andrew Cole, RCG partner and global practice lead.


U.S. solar industry sees worst quarter since 2020

The U.S. solar industry had its lowest quarter of installations since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to U.S. Solar Market Insight, a report by the Solar Energy Industries Assn. and Wood Mackenzie. In Q1 2022, price increases and supply-chain constraints continued to suppress the solar market as the industry installed 24% less solar capacity than in Q1 2021. “The White House’s executive action to provide a two-year suspension of any new solar tariffs gives businesses certainty to accelerate projects delayed by the Department of Commerce’s anti-circumvention investigation,” SEIA said. “Without this action, massive project delays and cancellations would have continued throughout 2022.” Since the case was initiated in March 2022, most solar module manufacturers have halted shipments to the United States, causing an industry-wide module shortage. However, supply constraints are expected to ease as manufacturers ramp up shipments in the coming months. 


Ecobot adds mitigation banking to software platform

Ecobot (Ashville, N.C.), a construction software company specializing in preconstruction environmental permitting, announced the integration of mitigation banking data into its platform. Ecobot customers can now view mitigation banks by list or interactive map, along with their approval status, type, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district. Ecobot automatically generates a list of banks nearby each project area, as well as a downloadable vegetation species list. “Mitigation banking is becoming an increasingly large part of the development process,” said Lee Lance, Ecobot co-founder and CEO. In a review of U.S. Army Corps Data, the National Environmental Banking Assn. stated that “use of credits from a mitigation bank may cut permitting timelines by as much as 50%.”


Global water utilities forecast to spend $387.5B on digital solutions

Globally, water and wastewater utility sector expenditure on digital solutions is forecast to grow 8.8% annually from $25.9 billion in 2021 to $55.2 billion in 2030, according to a recent Insight Report by Bluefield Research. Utilities will spend a combined $387.5 billion on associated technology and services over the course of this decade. The analysis looks at digital water hardware, software, services, and connectivity. Core/legacy digital water segments such as SCADA, mechanical meters, and billing software account for over 75% of total global spend. Double-digit growth is expected for emerging IoT and analytics solutions in areas like operational optimization, data integration, and strategic asset management. With almost 25% of total global digital water spending, the United States is “the epicenter” of the digital water revolution, but emerging markets like India, Vietnam, and Turkey are expected to see the fastest growth.


Jacobs builds robot to support Fukushima cleanup

Jacobs (Dallas) has designed and built a robotic tool to obtain crucial information about the state of a damaged nuclear power reactor at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan.

The remotely operated device will collect pebble-like debris that was deposited at the bottom of the reactor containment vessel after the meltdown caused by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. A prototype has met the requirements of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), which is leading the project to develop the tool. It is expected that, following selection in Japan, a radiation resistant version will be built that will be able to retrieve samples from the highly contaminated reactor.


AECOM to develop environmental master plan for Toronto airport

AECOM (Dallas) has been selected by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) to develop a long-term environmental master plan for Toronto Pearson International Airport. The plan will focus on six key areas in support of GTAA’s environmental policy: climate change, carbon neutrality and emissions, strategic energy use, water management, natural environment, and waste management. In this role, AECOM will suggest high level capital projects and operational changes to help GTAA meet its environmental goals.


Bowman expands along Gulf Coast with Fabre Engineering 

Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. (Reston, Va.) has purchased Fabre Engineering Inc. (Pensacola, Fla.), a civil and environmental engineering firm specializing in water, stormwater and wastewater, airports, land use planning, and broad-based geomatics and land surveying. Founded in 1981, Fabre is expected to contribute to Bowman’s growth along the Gulf Coast and throughout the greater southeast, contributing approximately $1.5 million of annualized net service billing initially. It is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Bowman, which reported gross revenue of $52.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022, up 65% over the prior year period.


Stanley Consultants acquires climate science firm

Stanley Consultants (Broomfield, Colo.) announced the acquisition of Resilient Analytics (RA, Boulder, Colo.), a specialist in the analysis and application of climate science to the built and natural environments. In alignment with Stanley’s strategic plan, the acquisition adds specialist adaptation and resiliency capabilities, services, and technologies to the firm’s current service offerings and underpins its commitment to providing data-driven environmental, social and governance (ESG) services.


SCS Engineers to construct regional landfill gas system

SCS Engineers (Long Beach, Calif.) will construct the first gas collection and control system (GCCS) and flare station at the WM (formerly Waste Management) Gray Wolf Regional Landfill. The facility is located in Dewey, Ariz. and provides disposal services for Yavapai County and Northern Arizona. The GCCS serves as a critical component to keep Gray Wolf compliant with federal emissions standards. The system collects gases that are a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills and directs them to a central point where they are processed and treated via flare.


Companies face billions in PFAS damages

More than 6,400 PFAS-related lawsuits have been filed since 2005, according to Bloomberg Law in a recent “PFAS Project” article. For years, PFAS lawsuits focused on E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., but Bloomberg Law analysis finds that corporations including 3M Co., Chemguard Inc., Kidde-Fenwal Inc., National Foam Inc., and Dynax Corp. are now being sued at roughly the same rate as DuPont. While DuPont has been named as a defendant in more than 6,100 PFAS lawsuits since 2005, “no company’s degree of legal jeopardy may be rising faster than 3M’s. It was named in an average of more than three PFAS-related lawsuits a day last year according to the analysis,” the article noted. 


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