Paul DeCotis will be speaking at August's EUCI sponsored conference: The Communication Strategies for Transmission Project Management.

Paul DeCotis, director in West Monroe Partners' Energy & Utilities practice, will be speaking at August's EUCI sponsored conference: The Communication Strategies for Transmission Project Management.

When: August 19th – 20th, 2014

Where: New York, NY

What: EUCI sponsored conference: The Communication Strategies for Transmission Project Management. The target audience for this event is senior level Public Affairs and Communication Directors, Transmission Project Managers, and Transmission Construction Contractors and Consultants. The purpose of this conference is to take a more in-depth look at strategic communication issues throughout all aspects of a transmission project, from pre-permitting to post construction. Attendees want to learn, in laymen terms, about the complex issues of a transmission project in order to communicate effectively to all of the stakeholders involved (the public, municipalities and regulators).  Proposed topics include:

  • Pre-permitting - what are regulators looking for?  How do you describe construction impact to the public? When do you begin speaking with public?
  • Integrating ROW acquisition and communication outreach
  • Undergrounding 101
  • Overall project cost – how do you explain cost to regulators, municipalities, and public?
  • Real estate value impact
  • Electric magnetic fields
  • Cultural resource impact
  • Environmental impact
  • Construction – how do you minimize impact on surrounding businesses and residents?
  • Post Construction -  visual impact mitigation

Topic: Overall project cost – how do you explain cost to regulators, municipalities, and public?
Estimating the costs and conveying the concept and plan for siting new transmission projects while complicated, does not have to be a communications nightmare. Regulators have to approve projects and cost recovery, local governments have to grant permits, and citizens’ will have to accept or at least tolerate local impacts, including construction, potential road disruption, noise, and long-lasting visual impacts. All parties have a right to know what is involved. Communication strategies for transmission project management need to be characterized by openness, transparency, accuracy, and the realistic assessments of impacts. Impacts must include reliability, visual, land, and cost, and must be compared to the next best alternative. Communications need to answer the question “if not this, then what” provided that a real “need” for this or some other alternative or substitute project exists. Examples, case studies, and best practices will be discussed and presented to improve communications and involve a multitude of stakeholders in successful project design and delivery.