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BidPrime Research Blog

Bill Culhane
Tuesday, November 14 2017

BidPrime Quarterly

In our quarterly newsletter, we take a look at recent issues that are important to public sector business. Also, we take the opportunity to introduce our BidPrime team.

What's Trending

One-Stop Shopping for State Services On Its Way

Georgia's chief digital officer discusses how his state is making its digital strategy more user friendly.

Any Hope in Sight as U.S. Bridges Crumble?

So many questions. Is President Trump's pledge to improve the U.S. infrastructure a bridge to nowhere?

Is the U.S. arranging things so Trump can walk away from NAFTA?

Is a series of untenable U.S. bargaining positions part of a plan to lay groundwork so Trump can walk away from NAFTA?

Exciting Eight Years Behind Us. Much More to Come!

BidPrime celebrates another year of changing the bid service industry.

Who's Afraid of Artificial Intelligence?

Can artificial intelligence replace the human brain? What role for humans in the future?

House Small Business Committee Prepares for Fair and Simple Tax Plan Hearing

The U.S. House Small Business committee met to discuss President Trump's call for a major tax overhaul.

Renting and Leasing Isn't Just Real Estate for U.S. and Canadian Agencies

In this analysis, we're reporting on solicitation activity by goverments for renting and leasing of equipment, services, and solutions.

How to Make Private Investment in Infrastructure Really Work

PPPs hold big promise for projects in urban America--if Congress eliminates regulations and perverse incentives.

Industry Analysis

Auction, Auctioneer, Auction Services

Government agencies are actively involved in conducting auctions. Full report.

Trump Sign Executive Order

President Trump takes steps to address failing infrastructure in the United States. Full report.

Governments Need To Fuel Up

Governments aren't fooling around when it comes to fueling. Full report.

Maximize BidPrime

RFP Insights

With RFP Insights, we will file anonymous FOIA discovery requests, on your behalf, for awarded bids and contracts. For you, the process is simple. Contact your account manager, we will verify the nature of your request and send you a quote.

While remaining 100% anonymous, you receive: Final contract, proposal(s) submitted, agency scoring criteria, and valuable pricing information.

Use this information to appeal an award. Learn from your competitors' wins. Make better sense of agency decision making through proposal scoring sheets and tabulations.

Learn more about this service:

BidPrime Spotlight

What is Our Why?

In conjunction with our recent 8th anniversary celebration, we thought it would be interesting to hear from some of our team members. A number of our dedicated, talented professionals each shared why they enjoy helping our clients and being a part of our team.

Here are their stories.

A Friend of BidPrime

Watch as the incomparable Gary Gallegos, truly a man for all seasons, stopped by our Austin headquarters to discuss success and share an intriguing invitation.

'The Big Bid Theory' on Freedom of Information.

In a recent episode of 'The Big Bid Theory', our podcast hosted on iHeart and iTunes, we visited with David Snyder, Executive Director of the First Amendment Coalition. David covered the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), "predatory" activity, and transparency in government. Jim Ward shared his latest installment of 'Crazy Bids' you can win.

For more information on government purchasing activity, BidPrime, or to discuss the newsletter, please call us at 888.808.5356, or visit: BidPrime.
Kevin Henderson
Thursday, November 9 2017

U.S. Power Grid. Who Will Keep the Lights On?

How important is the power grid to your daily life? What about your business? Count governments, throughout the United States, among those who rely on a reliable, secure power grid.

Earlier this year, I reported on U.S. public sector purchasing activity related to renewable energy. There has been, and continues to be, indisputable advancements and implementation growth in these assets. In this report, I delve into the critically important, and hotly debated, U.S. electric grid.


In the U.S., there are actually three power grids: Western Interconnection, Eastern Interconnection, and here in the Texas, we have our own power grid. You ask, "Why do we have our own power grid in the Lonestar State?" As noted in the Texas Tribune we have our own grid “to avoid dealing with the feds.” I suppose that is as good a reason as any.

Over the past handful of decades, there have been some notable power outages:

  • Northeast U.S. and northern Canada. 1965
  • New York City. 1977
  • West coast blackout. 1982
  • Western North America blackout. 1996
  • North central U.S.. 1998
  • Northeast blackout. 2003
  • Southwest blackout. 2011
  • Derecho blackout. 2012
  • Hurrican Sandy. 2012

Along with losses of $millions to businesses and individuals, the impact from immeasurables is enormous. As noted, a few of these outages are directly attributed to unpreventable weather-related events. However, the question exists, "Is the U.S. energy system sufficiently built and maintained to withstand the wrath of Mother Nature?" On the other end of things, what is being done to improve a system first envisioned by Thomas Edison in the '80s, as in, 1880s?

Throughout the U.S., there are transmission and distribution lines in place, supporting power grids which are running at full capacity. Make note, many of these lines were first installed anywhere from the 1950s to 1960s. Under the heading of "nothing lasts forever", the lines were projected to last for 50 years. A glance at a nearby calendar confirms that the suspense date for action has passed.

With the goal of determining the level of activity underway, to address some of these deficiencies, I tasked two of our data analysts to query our database. Over the past twelve months, we have identified 1,681 bid requests/RFPs for equipment, solutions, and services related to the power grid. 75.7% of the requests originated from U.S. state and local entities. Here are the states with the highest number of soliciations over the time period considered.

As we indicate in the above video, the requests and purchases involve a lengthy list of equipment, solutions, and services. As a reminder, here are the keywords, by which the data analysts compiled the bid activity information:

  • electrical grid
  • power grid
  • high voltage
  • generating station
  • transmission line
  • distribution line
  • power station
  • power transmission
  • substation
  • electric power distribution
  • direct current
  • smart grid
  • distributed generation
  • transformer
  • power plant
  • energy storage
  • transmission system
  • terminal station
  • power security


As Bill noted in the above video, power grid security has been, and continues to be, an important consideration for administrators, law enforcement, and government agencies. In the history of the U.S. power grid, security has long been an important concern. However, with the rise in terrorism, cyber-terrorism, and even the potential for a lone wolf intent on doing harm and wreaking havoc, the power grid continues to be a significant target. Without question, any action that negatively impacts the power grid could inflict severe consequences. Just over two months ago, Wired published an article, 'Hackers Gain Direct Access to US Power Grid Controls'.

Noted expert, Greg DiLoreto, former American Socirty of Civil Engineers (ASCE) President, discussed with us the impact 9/11 had on U.S. infrastructure security and what is being done within the utility industry. LISTEN to hear what Mr. DiLoreto said specifically regarding security.

Fueled by this reality, we have detected a number of bids/RFPs for security solutions, directly linked to the power grid, and associated assets and property. Information technology, security forces, construction techniques, are amongst the activity we have witnessed.

Sample active bids / RFPs

Power Grid

INVITATION TO BID Sealed Proposals for the Construction of 46kV Transmission Line Updates TN
Electrical Equipment, High Voltage Maintenance & Repair Service AZ
Three-Phase Substation Style Transformers CA
Carmen Power Plant Generator Switchgear & Bus OR
Portable Power Station WV

Want more information on this bid/RFP activity, including review of the bid documents? Please call us at 888.808.5356, or visit: BidPrime.