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Diagnosing Power Utility Resilience to Navigate the Energy Transition

A transmission tower and power lines with lightning against a dramatic sky at sunset

Tetra Tech’s utility management consulting team discusses how our resilience diagnostic service enables power utilities to quickly gain meaningful and actionable insights to maximize investments.

Extreme weather is the new normal. Some 25 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters struck the United States in 2023, the most of any year on record. A previously unheard-of scale of weather, asset failure, and new demand for electricity is sweeping across utility service territories faster than we are prepared to adapt. As these challenges continue to grow, power utilities will need targeted, well-justified investments to recover capital and manage exponentially rising operational costs.

Resilience Diagnostic Approach

Tetra Tech’s management engineers have been directly involved in utility operations, using our resilience diagnostic to help clients respond to historic weather events. We have supported clients to respond to storms and floods in Canada; the Thomas Fire in California; and Hurricanes Irma, Maria, Katrina, and Rita in the southern United States and Puerto Rico.

Extreme weather is just one of many resilience hurdles utilities face as they navigate the energy transition. Tetra Tech has identified five primary challenges and designed a resilience diagnostic to help utilities maximize return on investment using our proven utility maturity assessment approach. We help clients address resilience challenges, including:

  1. Greater power demand for electric vehicles, heating, and cooling
  2. Variability from renewable sources, like solar and wind
  3. Additional grid complexity from two-way energy flow
  4. Compounded impacts of extreme weather events
  5. Maintaining aging infrastructure while investing in modernization

Our resilience diagnostic process provides clients with comprehensive risk assessments and actionable insights to prioritize investments in resilience. The resilience diagnostic process is quick, producing a report of findings and a tailored resilience roadmap in just 6–7 weeks.

Kick off

In the first 1–2 weeks, Tetra Tech will conduct a joint kick-off workshop to identify the business challenge, project objectives, and expectations. We will assess and analyze existing plans and initiatives to drive resilience, define the project plan, and interview experts.

Deliverable: Project plan subject to sponsor approval


Following the project plan, our team will conduct interviews and workshops to gather key insights from utility stakeholders and identify areas of improvement. We will conduct follow-up interviews as necessary. This will take approximately 2–3 weeks.

Deliverable: Draft analysis for stakeholder review and consultation


Tetra Tech will conduct a workshop with stakeholder groups to validate findings. Our team will facilitate prioritization and timing of initiatives to build the resilience improvement roadmap. This will take approximately 1–2 weeks.

Deliverable: Actionable final report guiding resilience improvements

During the assignment, we work with the utility to evaluate processes, technology, and resources that support emergency management by testing dozens of hypotheses. Industry challenges as well as each utility’s unique context will determine the greatest return on investment to maintain safe, reliable, and affordable operations.

As a result, greater coordination and restoration operations can be realized within a year. Immediate improvements to procedures, systems configuration, or investments are made to kick off the utility’s multi-phase resilience roadmap. Once implemented, utilities may achieve shorter restoration times, greater customer satisfaction with service and communications, acknowledgement from regulators and shareholders, and confidence in how the utility will address emerging challenges.


  • Appropriate equipment standards
  • Comprehensive asset register
  • Accurate digital twin
  • Funded maintenance plan
  • System visibility and control


  • Risk-specific response plans
  • Implementation of Incident Command System (ICS) (or equivalent)
  • Mutual assistance agreements
  • Regular drills and training
  • Effective media and customer communications


  • Early damage assessment
  • Common operating picture
  • Regular media briefings
  • Effective two-way customer communications
  • Lessons identified and applied

Learn more about how Tetra Tech can improve your utility’s resilience.

About the authors

Headshot of Dr.Michael Hartmann, Senior Director – Utility Management Consulting

Dr. Michael Hartmann

Dr. Michael Hartmann has more than 15 years of global experience providing consulting services to government-owned and publicly traded utilities.

He has worked with some of the largest utilities in the world, including national water companies, power producers, oil and gas companies, food producers, and government entities. Michael advises energy utilities with a focus on the development of new corporate strategies, operating models, performance improvement, and the wider sector on capacity planning and investment decisions. He is passionate about leveraging data and analytics, and digital technologies to drive the performance and modernization of utility operations. He holds a doctorate degree from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany and is fluent in English and German.

Headshot of Andre van Dijk, Senior Advisor – Utility Management Consulting

Andre van Dijk

Andre van Dijk has more than 30 years of experience managing operations and improvements in power utilities in Canada, South Africa, and Nigeria. 

Most recently, he spent 15 years at the ENMAX Power Corporation in Canada, 10 of which were in vice president roles where he led innovative renewable energy and smart infrastructure projects. His team reduced interruptions by 40 million customer minutes and consistently achieved first-rate SAIDI and SAIFI performance. He has a strong understanding of utility financial sustainability and a record of building strong and collaborative relationships with stakeholders. He has consistently built high-performing teams and held them accountable for performance against targets, securing performance improvements and building staff capacity through mentorship. He holds an MBA in Executive Management from Stellenbosch University.

Headshot of Sebastian Walter Young, Utility Management Senior Associate

Sebastian Walter Young

Sebastian Walter Young specializes in promoting resilience and information governance for regulated utilities.

He has coordinated power procurement to meet renewable portfolio and reliability standards. He developed organizational data gathering and assurance systems to track key performance indicators and establish compliance controls. He has designed innovative data tools to leverage open-source information and load data in multiple formats. Sebastian has supported legislative and regulatory policy to decarbonize generation and manage novel energy research and development at climate education and advocacy organizations. He holds a Master of Studies in Law and a bachelor’s in physics and is conversant in Spanish.

Headshot of Matthew Maiers, Energy Sector Director

Matthew Maiers

Matthew Maiers has more than 20 years of experience in the development, financing, and operations of renewable energy technologies.

He has supported the development and implementation of more than 100 megawatts of both distributed and utility scale energy and renewable energy projects globally. He has provided financial modeling and analysis to support various contracting mechanisms. Matthew has worked with international corporations, government institutions, energy utilities, and financial institutions to deliver renewable energy solutions that support decarbonization goals and grid reliability. He holds an MBA in International Business from Oakland University.

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