Powering the energy transition: Confronting grid modernization challenges  

Increasing costs and the impacts of electrification, climate change, and rapid distributed energy resources (DERs) expansion are driving the need for a modernized grid and its digital transformation.

Utilities and system operators are expected to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable electricity and are asked to be more resilient, secure, and sustainable with aging systems and asset bases that were originally designed for a less complex world and simpler grid operations. 

At the same time, shifting load profiles, increasing regulatory pressures, a loss of institutional knowledge, changing workforce expectations, and complex customer relationships compete for attention.

To thrive in this environment, your business model, operational control, data and asset management systems, and technology adoption must be agile, integrated, and collaborative.

We partner with you to update strategies, roadmaps, and business transformation systems. We implement the required projects and programs needed to build a modern, innovative, intelligent, and more flexible grid.

Ask us how this experience relates to your specific challenges.

Distribution and smart grid specialized delivery teams

Our distribution and smart grid offerings are delivered through focused specialist teams that have specific expertise and the experience required to deliver each right-sized solution. These teams are extensively supported by each other and by our global network of professionals.

Grid modernization

In a world where aging infrastructure, climate change impacts, and the evolution of prosumer dynamics are reshaping the energy landscape, the need for strategic grid modernization and digital transformation has never been more urgent and complex. Regulatory landscapes are also evolving, increasingly favoring non-wires solutions over traditional infrastructure expansion and alternate rate structures to encourage conservation and demand reductions.

With more than a century of expertise advancing transmission and distribution (T&D) systems, we are uniquely equipped to guide utilities through the complexities of modernizing their grids. Our services encompass the selection and implementation of cutting-edge systems like Advanced Distribution Management Systems (ADMS), Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS), and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). We also support the modernization and grid hardening of T&D assets such as conversions of electromechanical to digital relays within substations or increased distribution/feeder automation.

At the core of our approach is the performance-based grid modernization model—a refined foundation in our strategy and roadmap development. We focus on enhancing grid observability, controllability, and automation through a capacity-building driven approach, executing projects through equipment specification, detailed design, and construction/commissioning management.

Let Hatch be your partner in driving innovation and resilience while navigating the complexities of grid modernization.

Grid electrification

Electrification of transportation, heating, infrastructure development, and other energy intense industrial processes represents a significant opportunity to decarbonize global emissions for a sustainable future. From green buildings to electric vehicles (EVs) to industrial processes, electrification plays a critical role in meeting climate goals.

At Hatch, we support utilities and power industry clients with gap assessments, capital planning and socio-economic impacts of EV and electric heating load proliferation.  We also support multi-year electrification strategies and roadmaps, business case development for roadmap initiatives, program development, technology evaluation, and project implementation including owner’s engineering, detailed design, and program and project management.

We leverage in-house tools such as our distribution grid-load impact tool, which assesses the impact of EV charging infrastructure growth across specific distribution system feeders, and our grid capacity calculator, which utilities leverage to understand the available capacity on feeder segments for DER connections.

Distributed energy resource (DER) solutions & microgrids

DERs can transform the way power is generated, stored, and distributed by using a combination of both physical and virtual assets that can be deployed across electric grids. As the challenges of operating complex distribution systems grows, one of the key drivers will be an increasing penetration of DERs.

Some of the particular difficulties being faced include meeting the uncertain growth demands of EV charging; the impact of behind-the-meter energy storage systems; moving away from traditional poles and wires offerings by incorporating non-wires alternatives into the modernization of the grid; and finding ways to accommodate bi-directional power flows on feeders. From technology selection, business case evaluation, and system design through to construction management, operational analysis, and system asset planning, let us help you navigate the process of integrating DERs within your network.

Utility asset management

We have been supporting electric utilities with asset management services since the 1990s. Through early industry engagements in understanding asset condition, asset integrity, and creating asset health indices (AHI) for nearly 100 asset classes, we’ve gained immense experience.  The launch of our AHI models formed the basis of our services, creating the foundation of asset performance management (APM) ecosystems across the utility sector, where we act as solution integrator or implementation owner’s engineer.  

Our utility asset management offerings are designed to help you optimize value from your operations. Our risk-aware asset management framework uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) while leveraging asset data, health indices, failure probabilities, asset criticality, and system reliability to recommend whether the optimal action for each asset is to maintain, upgrade, retire, replace, or delay action altogether.

We provide a single source solution that integrates disparate data sources and systems with work and change management processes, to align software tools and resource expectations for integrated performance. Our offerings range from program maturity assessments, roadmaps to strengthen your framework, leveraging your asset failure data, to developing customized failure curves through machine learning algorithms.  We can also translate quantified predictive asset health into actionable recommendations using value frameworks and data-driven asset investment planning tools.

As an Institute of Asset Management (IAM) endorsed assessor, our experts work with our clients to align with ISO55000 family of standards and optimize the performance of their physical assets.

Grid Information, Communication, and Security

In an era where the robustness of grid infrastructure is paramount, our grid information, communication, and security (ICS) services are tailored to ensure resiliency, efficiency, and security. Our strategic approach to ICS encompasses four foundational pillars: strategic formation; governance, risk, and compliance (GRC); capacity building; and operation optimization.

Our strategy formation services lay the groundwork for a future-ready grid, focusing on developing comprehensive information strategies and roadmaps, optimizing processes, and spearheading digital transformation.

We navigate the complexities of GRC with an emphasis on data governance, compliance, and best practices, ensuring that disaster recovery planning is foolproof and up to date.

We support capacity building through fortifying IT/OT system implementation, providing actionable data analysis and insights. This includes enhancing hosting capacities and leveraging advanced analytics to predict and respond to load fluctuations.

Optimization services include streamlining communication networks and enhancing cybersecurity. Our expertise toward network infrastructure design ensures reliable security of the grid, and a comprehensive shield for DERs against potential threats.

Our services span the entire spectrum of utility ICS operations, from the grid edge to the control center, ensuring every layer is addressed with precision. Working with Hatch, utilities can confidently navigate the transformation of their ICS frameworks.

Advanced Grid Operations

The heart of any reliable grid is its control room. Our advanced grid operations team ensures that control room operators have the right information available, displayed in useful means, with systems that can automatically identify issues, suggest corrective actions, and automatically take action to resolve.  

We have a long history of designing and implementing Integrated Remote Operations Centers (IROCs) for clients in numerous sectors such as mining, aviation, transit, and rail. This cross-sector knowledge has provided us with the unique benefit to bring best practices to the utility sector. These experts partner with utility grid operations specialists to provide the insights and knowledge required to set your grid operators up for success.

We provide services in grid modeling, state estimation, system observability, advanced grid applications such as volt/VAR optimization (VVO) and conservation voltage reduction (CVR), control room modernization or integrations, and network model refinements.

Hatch can also provide tools and services to support emergency preparedness, outage management, and systems to prioritize repairs following damaging weather events.

Distribution Design Programs

Since 1924, we have been designing T&D systems around the world. Our distribution design team leverages this century of experience to deliver program level distribution system design and engineering services for electric utilities. Our services are generally delivered under multi-year master services or on-call agreements for a series of similar projects across a program or multi-year initiative.

We provide similar services for programs that include utility relocations for infrastructure megaprojects, 4 kv box conversations, third party attachment/joint-use program management, standards refinement and harmonization, and new greenfield substations or brownfield substation upgrade designs.

Our strategy and implementation services include road mapping, automation, physical and cybersecurity, and regulatory services.

Road mapping

Whether you are upgrading your operations to meet industry standards or updating your practices to be best-in-class, our experience with maturity assessments of transmission and distribution infrastructure, grid modernization, grid electrification, and utility asset management systems has you covered. From industry benchmark comparisons and recommendations to the development or review of your specific roadmap, our experts provide tangible value to your planning and the subsequent implementation.

We leverage our proprietary performance based grid modernization (PBGM) model to guide utilities along the modernization journey. The PBGM model includes 14 stages from the initial strategic alignment of a grid modernization’s objectives with the corporate vision, through the creation of an all-encompassing roadmap and supporting business case validation for each identified initiative, to the grid architecture alignment and project execution. Along the way, critical KPIs are monitored to demonstrate performance expectations while a business transformation and change management track is delivered.


As smart devices continue to be deployed throughout transmission, distribution, and substation systems, there is a greater need for intelligent and automated controls, as well as communications mediums to manage how power is transmitted and delivered. Our planning, implementation, and integration services ensure every aspect of your operation can acclimate to an intelligent and automated network, including complex bi-directional distribution configurations.

From internet of things devices, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), VVO control and optimization, automatic switching devices, conservation voltage reduction and fault location, isolation, and service restoration systems, we provide the team to plan, select, and implement solutions to modernize your power delivery services.

Physical and cybersecurity

Electric utilities are one of the most targeted industries by cyber attackers. One breach could stifle your business processes, lead to the loss of sensitive data, or cause physical asset damage and service interruptions, which is why it’s crucial to ensure that your systems are designed and configured to withstand such disruptions.

Our experts can design, develop, build, and implement a security strategy that will safeguard your operations.  We assess potential exposures while improving your cyber awareness and resilience and support your regulatory compliance needs while meeting obligations for NERC, cybersecurity, electrical safety, and privacy.

Regulatory services

Regulated utilities continue to face challenges: the lack of a standardized business case and cost allocation for grid modernization investments, advancements in distribution system structure and evolving utility roles, and complex funding applications with increased performance tracking requirements all contribute toward these issues.

We help utilities manage the complexity of the dynamic regulatory landscape. We offer technical and economic advisory services, decarbonization roadmaps that account for regulatory reporting expectations, and ratemaking and regulatory support for traditional and modern rate-setting mechanisms, such as performance-based regulation (PBR). We support KPI development and performance tracking for grid modernization investments.

Our specialists help with expert testing to determine what rates to propose, how to present information during the regulatory process, and how to generate the technical and financial supporting documentation to defend expenditure.



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