ACP 2023 Operations Management and Safety Takeaways Blog

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Posted on March 14

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The recent American Clean Power 2023 Operations, Maintenance and Safety conference in Orlando, Florida, brought together industry leaders to discuss current challenges and emerging opportunities in the energy sector. The HUVR team was on-site with our ears open to find out the main topics on everyone’s minds.

One major theme of the conference was the need to manage the massive amounts of data created by inspections, sensors, IoT, and other technologies. Industry leaders stressed the importance of factoring this data in from the start of the construction phase so there is a complete digital history of the asset. This can be particularly useful if the owner/operator decides to sell the asset, as investors and potential buyers can access the asset’s performance history and feel more confident in predicting its future performance.

Another important topic discussed was the opportunity costs of turbine “down time;” it’s climbing. As turbines become more complex, downtime tends to increase, leading to lost revenue and increased operating costs. Also, aging turbines require more maintenance to ensure optimum throughput. Speakers and attendees discussed the need to find ways to minimize downtime and maximize uptime to ensure profitability to find the right balance between refurbishing existing turbines and investing in new technology to ensure long-term profitability.

The conference highlighted the urgent need for attracting and retaining a talented workforce to handle the demand of new jobs. Industry leaders emphasized the need to solve this challenge quickly. The industry is facing a significant risk if talented operators leave for other opportunities, leading to a loss of knowledge and expertise.

None of these are new topics of discussion, and talent retention is a concern in almost every industry. To a certain extent (as we’ve said before), new technology can help solve many of these issues. Capturing valuable institutional knowledge via any means necessary and making it available to new hires is one way to nullify the effects of the Great Crew Change. Understanding young workers and what they want and need for a job is another–they are technology natives who can adopt new tools and software far more quickly than people even ten or twenty years older. We just need experienced mentors to point them in the right direction.

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