Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

News Feed Item

Creating a Corporate-Based Outage Strategy for Power Plants

Interview With Mike Crosson, Director of Planning & Scheduling at Calpine Corporation

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/01/14 -- Year after year, power plants come out of their outage seasons looking for ways to strengthen their planning and scheduling tools and strategies. Technology, communication, and a management approach are some of the factors that affect how power generation professionals achieve the best possible outage results.

Mike Crosson, Director of Planning & Scheduling at Calpine Corporation recently spoke with marcus evans about key topics to be discussed at their upcoming 13th Annual Outage Management for Power Plants (OMPP) Conference, July 29-31, 2014 at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans, LA.

What does your Planning/Scheduling group look like at the corporate level?

MC: The planning and scheduling efforts at the corporate level are similar to at the plant level only multiplied. Outage Services has responsibility for the turbine and generator major maintenance portions of the outages or most work on the turbine and generator proper. The plants are responsible for the HRSGs and other equipment or auxiliary systems. Most plants have some type of outage every few months. Some are very short and require little corporate involvement except to track the events. Some require extensive planning and coordination between the turbine and other site work. A large combined cycle plant has a turbine outage once or maybe twice a year and a smaller or peaking type plant may have a turbine outage every 2-5 years.

At the fleet level, there are 60+ forecasted outages per year. Our fleet consists of 30+ makes and models and as many different configurations as there are plants. The magnitude of volume and variability make managing the fleet a different exercise than that faced by a plant team managing only their own facility. The main difference between a plant planning project and corporate planning project is the intimacy factor. A plant becomes very familiar with the issues and details of their facility. Corporate planning is much more dependent on others and system information.

Cost efficiency for outage management is a major topic of discussion in the industry. Do you incorporate real-time budget tracking into your planning/scheduling system? If so, what does the process look like?

MC: Tracking in and of itself does not lead to efficiency during an outage. However, tracking repeatable scopes can lead to efficiency improvements. I've found tracking costs are primarily for a control function or after-the-fact accounting function -- both are needed, but tracking is not typically used effectively to reduce costs. If effort does not reduce outage cost or increase sales, then by definition it is not a high value activity. To estimate the level of tracking to be effective, it should be set to the minimal amount to meet regulations and increased proportional to the level of opportunity of making cost or sales improvements.

A corporate-based outage group deals with multiple plants that are managed by different entities. How do you go about collaborating with plant employees who answer to a different authority?

MC: Both the corporate and plant outage teams have the same ultimate goal of getting the unit operating quickly and well. There are budgetary concerns that sometimes arise, but Calpine has internal Divisions of Responsibility (DOR) that address most of these concerns. Also the turbine work is typically critical path for the plant so this helps us to focus on the issues and resolutions with minimal consternation.

How has new software and other technology affected your planning process?

MC: There are a couple aspects to this that apply to planning as well as business in general. I'll speak to the use of technology such as texting & e-mails. Electronic messaging has replaced conversation and traditional meetings with agendas, notes and summary action items. It has made the passing of information much easier but in many ways it has hindered communication.

  • A single issue can generate 20 or more e-mails with different conversation lines. The time to read, understand, file and comment via typing either on the computer or smart phone is time-consuming and singularly effective.
  • High volume electronic traffic leads to some e-mails not being read in a timely manner, if at all.
  • Facial and body language is missing and leads to misunderstanding a situation, intent or instruction.
  • Long e-mail trains can have buried details that can be missed.
  • Finally, there are the always present errors caused by poor typing, auto correction features, and texting language creeping into business applications.

All of these can lead to errors in scoping and other planning functions that can be avoided with meetings or even conference calls (provided that people are not multi-tasking during the conversation).

Once outage season ends each year, what is your process to plan for the next year? From past outage seasons, what are some takeaways that have been implemented into your strategy for the following year?

MC: At the fleet level, there are two outage seasons a year, the spring and fall. Therefore, Calpine is in constant planning mode. Calpine is organized with an Outage Operations group and Planning & Scheduling group. The Planning and Scheduling group is focused on the next season and the 5-year forecast, while the Outage Operations group is focused on executing the immediate season's work. Both groups work closely together throughout the year and this has led to multiple improvement initiatives.

The Operations group conducts post-season reviews of selected outages in order to perform a "deep dive" into the project's performance including resources, tools, parts, finance, schedule and quality. Calpine recently initiated a customer feedback loop to understand the customer's perspective more thoroughly. With a couple hundred events being performed annually, it is difficult to improve every shortcoming. Therefore, this data is being captured, categorized, assessed for value/impact and used to develop improvement projects that will have the highest impact to the company.

Michael has been in the turbine/generator maintenance industry for 16 years with both Siemens and Calpine Corporation starting as a Field Engineer, Project Manager, Service Manager and now Director. His experience has involved Nuclear, Coal and Gas Turbine outages both domestically and abroad. Calpine Corporation is a power producer with approximately 29 Gigawatt portfolio of operating plants throughout the US. Michael is responsible for the tools, processes and people who perform outage forecasting, scheduling and planning for approximately 50 major maintenance outages annually as well as various outage related fleet programs.

For more information regarding the highly anticipated marcus evans 13th Annual OMPP Conference, please check out the conference website or contact Tyler Kelch, Marketing Coordinator, Media & PR, marcus evans at 312-894-6310 or [email protected].

About marcus evans

Marcus evans conferences annually produce over 2,000 high quality events designed to provide key strategic business information, best practice and networking opportunities for senior industry decision-makers. Our global reach is utilized to attract over 30,000 speakers annually; ensuring niche focused subject matter presented directly by practitioners and a diversity of information to assist our clients in adopting best practice in all business disciplines.

Join fellow Power Generation Professionals in the marcus evans Energy LinkedIn Group!

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
In their session at 17th Cloud Expo, Hal Schwartz, CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), and Chuck Paolillo, CTO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), provide a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. In his role as CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), Hal Schwartz provides leadership and direction for the company.
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Com...
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
Scrum Alliance has announced the release of its 2015 State of Scrum Report. Almost 5,000 individuals and companies worldwide participated in this year's survey. Most organizations in the market today are still leading and managing under an Industrial Age model. Not only is the speed of change growing exponentially, Agile and Scrum frameworks are showing companies how to draw on the full talents and capabilities of those doing the work in order to continue innovating for success.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by your analysts and designers, and the resulting application built by your developers, there is a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral out of control, and applications fall short of requirements. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, presented a new approach where business and development users collaborate – each using tools appropriate to their goals and expertise – to build mocku...
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Graylog, Inc., has added the capability to collect, centralize and analyze application container logs from within Docker. The Graylog logging driver for Docker addresses the challenges of extracting intelligence from within Docker containers, where most workloads are dynamic and log data is not persisted or stored. Using Graylog, DevOps and IT Ops teams can pinpoint the root cause of problems to deliver new applications faster and minimize downtime.
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
Learn how you can use the CoSN SEND II Decision Tree for Education Technology to make sure that your K–12 technology initiatives create a more engaging learning experience that empowers students, teachers, and administrators alike.
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.