Archive

Employee Development - Pathways to Success

By Ally Endicott, Employee Development Manager | Video by Hilde Baumann, Creative Project Manager

You're in the drivers seat!

Your career has taken many twists and turns along the road that landed you at EDF Renewables. Perhaps you’ve had some planned stops that benefitted your growth and development, and other stops you would have preferred to skip altogether. Wherever you are on your pathway to success, the Employee Development team is here to help you grow and go farther as you take the wheel and navigate your path at EDF.

Click to watch the video below to learn more.

 

Stay tuned for information on our upcoming website featuring additional resources and support.

IT Update: Next Windows Patching -- Tuesday, Aug 21

By Matthew McColm, Manager IT Support Services

This will impact ALL EMPLOYEES:

As part of EDF Renewables’ commitment to securing our end user machines and maintaining our end user infrastructure, we will be patching your system. Windows patching will begin after hours Tuesday, August 21 at 6pm PT and will be rolled out to EDF Laptops and Desktops. This should cause 30 minutes of down time during which your system will prompt and warn you of a pending reboot. Some systems will experience longer down times depending on the device. As a reminder, these patches come over the internet and could take a few days to download depending on the speed of your internet connection.

What to expect:

You may see a pop-up indicating that patches are being installed. There will also be a pop-up from the system asking for a restart within five minutes. After five minutes, the workstations will restart automatically to ensure that the patches are applied correctly to the system. There may be a 2nd and 3rd restart depending on your system and its required updates.

What you need to do:

Save all your work before you leave for the day, optimally using OneDrive.
The system will warn you with a pop-up before reboot. You will have the opportunity to delay for a few minutes but eventually, the machine will reboot.

Setup Business Hours for SCCM:

We have switched patching tools and are now using Microsoft SCCM. This gives the user base some choice about when the reboots happen and provides convenience to all. To set your business hours to have the patches reboot after hours please use the following steps:

  1. Search for “Software Center” in the windows start bar and launch the program:
  1. Select the “Options” tab and then set your business hours. When possible, the system will install software and perform reboots outside of the hours you normally work.
    Note: This will not stop reboots if the install has passed the 5 day threshold.

For Questions or Concerns:
Contact the IT Support Service Desk at 858-521-3400.

New Website Blocking Tool Pilot at Innovation Campus

By Matthew McColm, Manager IT Support Services

Your Information Security team, in partnership with IT, is piloting a tool that will help better protect our company from threats associated with Internet usage. This tool is being piloted on the corporate wired network in the 15435 Innovation building in San Diego as well as the guest wireless network across the whole San Diego campus.

This tool will be blocking web sites and network communications that have been associated with known or potential security threats. Categories of web sites that pose a risk or potential risk to EDF Renewables will also be blocked by the tool. The enforcement of this security policy will be enabled on the pilot networks for the week of August 17th at 8am through August 24th at 8am.

If you receive notification of a blocked web site that is necessary for your job, please contact the Service Desk to request that the web site be white listed. Please feel free to contact the Richard Clark with any constructive feedback regarding your experience with the pilot.

Example of blocked site:

 

Pilot Hill Bat Deterrent Study

By Michael Azeka, Director, Environmental Strategy, Generation

The Pilot Hill Bat Deterrent and Informed Minimization study is a 75-day test to identify solutions to minimize wind project impact on endangered and non-endangered bats, an issue that concerns nearly 1/3 of all US and Canada wind projects. The bats being deterred include the Eastern Red, Silver Haired, Hoary, and Big Brown Bats.

The experiment is a collaboration led by EDF Renewables, with key participation by NRG Systems, WEST (Bio-consultants), American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI), and seven large wind energy companies who contributed $260k. AWWI’s involvement is pivotal, with their organization serving as an independent scientific reviewer, manager of 3rd-party participation, manager of the science peer review, and working with other funders.

The test began on August 1st, with the installation of the new 3rd Generation NRGS Bat Deterrent Systems on 15 of the GE wind turbine generators (WTGs) at Pilot Hill, in combination with raised night-time cut-in speed. The results will be compared to fifteen control turbines that will be operated normally. The Bat Deterrent Systems were installed, commissioned, and are being maintained by the EDF Renewables team lead by Pilot Hill Site Manager Cody Hemann. EDF Renewables Performance and Reliability Engineering group (PRE) implemented the automatic 5.0 m/sec cut-in speed curtailment and blade feathering below cut-in during specific conditions on the 15 test WTGs.

This is one of the most comprehensive bat mortality and risk minimization studies conducted at a wind project and involves technologies and treatments that have never been incorporated together. In addition to bat deterrence, several other areas are being studied and modeled including:

  • NRG Systems’ BAMM video-based automatic carcass detection technology will be tested on 10 of the WTGs. The system can pinpoint the time of individual bat fatalities enabling analysis of the exact environmental conditions at the time. It can also greatly reduce the uncertainty by alerting searchers where to look for carcasses the next morning before scavengers, water, mud, snow, farming activity, and other factors make it difficult.
  • Acoustic bat monitoring using an advanced isolation and filter system developed by Mike Azeka. This will be the largest rotor zone data set of bat activity collected in North America and can be used to determine exactly when bats arrive at rotors, the wind speed, air temperature, and wind direction leading up to their arrival. The aim is to better model and predict the relationship between acoustic activity and fatalities.
  • The effect of wind speed, wind direction, rising and falling barometric pressure data on and off-site to determine risk factors affecting bats arriving at the turbines rotors and to minimize unnecessary cut-in curtailment.
  • On-site air temperature, and night-time illumination level at the control turbines to see if patterns associated with risk can be identified. The field monitoring equipment for bat acoustic activity and moonlight levels was developed by Mike Azeka and installed at the turbines.

The field work will conclude October 15th, and the statistics, data analysis, report preparation, and science review will continue until February 2019. After that, results will be published to help other EDF businesses, and the wind industry, reduce the impacts to the species most often impacted by wind turbines. Stay tuned!

NRGS equipment

 

Monitoring system designed and installed by Mike Azeka

Mid-year USA Policy Update

By Virinder Singh, Director Legislative and Regulatory Affairs

The U.S. energy policy world continues to be busy at the federal and state level, with ongoing material implications for our business. Our Regulatory and Legislative Team of Virinder Singh, Lynnae Willette and Tom Carlson cover state legislatures, the U.S. Congress and numerous regulatory agencies, with resources such as lobbyists, legal consultants, political contributions (including the EDF Renewables Political Action Committee), media (including social media), and employees like you who can provide invaluable help with making your voice and expertise heard.

Here are some highlights from the first half of 2018:

Federal

2017 ended with an intense effort by EDF Renewables and the industry to avoid negative impacts from tax reform. A big thank you to all employees who made phone calls and sent emails to specific members of Congress to send the message of our economic benefits. It made a big difference!

In January the Trump Administration levied tariffs on imported solar modules, starting at 30% in the first year and dropping by 5% each year through the fourth year, after which the tariffs end. The first 2.5 GW of module imports are exempted in each of the four years.

There were numerous filings with the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for exclusions from the tariffs. EDF Renewables, with the utility-scale solar industry, requested one such exclusion and supports several others. However, the USTR has not yet granted exclusions and, given the large volume of other tariffs on other industries, the effort to exclude modules is challenging as many other industries also seek relief. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) expects the USTR to start to issue exclusion decisions soon.

On the tax front, the U.S. Department of Treasury provided guidance on how to qualify for the “commence construction” provision for the extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). In addition to its being important to know the rules of the road, the design of the guidance was well received by EDF Renewables and the solar industry. The guidance requires that to earn the full (30%) ITC, construction must begin on a project before January 1, 2020 and be completed by the end of 2023, with projects begun the following year earning the 26% ITC if completed by the end of 2023, and further declines for projects the next two years, again as long as completion occurs by the end of 2023. Many of the details mirror that of the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) guidance including purchase of equipment and allocation to projects to accord ITC status on those projects (safe harbor provision).

On siting and permitting, we work hard with military bases and operations to ensure that our projects are compatible with the military’s readiness. Such compatibility is subject to the review and approval of the Department of Defense Clearinghouse. However, there have been ongoing efforts within the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) process in Congress to add further requirements on new wind projects. Some proposals create an imbalance that would make building many new projects extremely difficult, with questionable benefit to military operations, and to the detriment of landowners and communities that benefit from the investment. In this year’s NDAA process for FY2019 defense spending, we worked with Congress and ensured open dialogue with the military services to preserve that balance. President Trump signed the 2019 NDAA on Monday, August 13th.

State

On the East Coast, we’ve seen expansions of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) or renewable programs in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, and New Jersey – along with expanded commitments for offshore wind energy. We are active in regional trade associations that supported these initiatives in each state. Connecticut expanded their renewable requirement to 40% by 2030, Massachusetts to 35% by 2030, and New Jersey to 50% by 2030. Virginia enacted legislation that establishes 5,050 megawatts of renewable energy to be in the public interest.

New Jersey is looking to get back into the offshore wind race after years of delay under the previous governor by implementing an existing 1100-megawatt program and a new law that increases their offshore wind target to 3500 megawatts. This month, EDFR submitted a joint application along with Fishermen’s Energy for a small-scale (up to 25 MW) offshore wind project in state waters off the coast of Atlantic City. Such a project can jump start the state industry and provide valuable lessons learned ahead of larger procurements. New Jersey also enacted a new law that directs the state Board of Public Utilities to provide a 90-day review of the project, which is important to expedite the potential construction of the project. The state follows Massachusetts, which recently expanded authority for their Department of Energy Resources to expand offshore wind procurement by an additional 1600 megawatts.

In California, we have less than a month before the Legislature ends for the year, and there are many energy-related bills in play with uncertain prospects for them all. The big picture issue is how to deal with the multi-billion dollar liability of Pacific Gas and Electric related to fire damages late last year. But also in play are bills or bill language on how to expand the state’s independent system operator, additional mandates for energy storage, expansion of direct access for large customers, additional bird protections relative to energy projects, and (of particular interest to us) procurement of wind and solar generation.

In Oklahoma, an important state for our wind assets and future development, we fended off an onslaught of legislative attacks including a gross production tax, an attempt to terminate our earned tax credits and wind’s manufacturing sales tax exemption, and onerous sighting bills. There is however a potential change in the politics in Oklahoma City, as nearly 20% of the legislature lost their seat or are in a run-off election, another 20 members termed out. Regardless of the potential for a changing political landscape, our industry is taking nothing to chance. AWEA, regional partners, EDF Renewables and member companies are implementing wind advocacy stakeholder engagement plans to situate our industry better for the upcoming 2019 sessions in Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas.

In the Southeast, we anticipate more opportunities for solar on the horizon in the region and are actively engaged implementation of North Carolina House Bill 589, which sets a competitive renewables procurement program by Duke Energy, and the 2019 Georgia Public Service Commission integrated resource plan. We continue to highlight the key aspects of solar that appeal to a broad base of electricity consumers in the Southeast, and enjoy strong support from their federal colleagues representing those states in the U.S. Congress.

Our small team truly appreciates all the support we receive from our leadership and the front lines. Your calls, emails and visits to legislators really make a difference.

Please stay tuned or contact us for ways you can get engaged- your voice and vote matters!

Barlow Solar Energy Center Begins Construction

10 MWp Solar Project in Ontario, Canada

The construction of Barlow Solar Energy Center in Ontario, Canada, is underway, and the first row of panels were completed this week. The long galvanized piles with dense vegetation make it an interesting installation, with 2091 piles installed. The project team took the opportunity to visit the site for their first monthly meeting. In general, the work is going well and there are no major delays.

Selected by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) under the Large Renewable Procurement I Request for Proposals (“LRP I RFP”), Barlow Solar Energy Centre is being developed by a partnership between EDF Renewables Canada and the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation. The project is situated on privately-owned land located within the Township of South Stormont and utilizes a right of way within the City of Cornwall to connect to the existing electricity distribution grid. Barlow Solar Energy Centre will have a capacity of 10 megawatts alternating current (MWac) and will generate enough power to meet the demand of about 2,000 homes.

Barlow construction trailers and pile drivers.

Dr. Jim Walker Honored as a Clean Power Champion

CEERT 16th Annual Awards

On August 9, Dr. Jim Walker, Senior Advisor for Political and Policy Strategy, was honored by the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT) in Sacramento. CEERT is a partnership of major environmental groups and private-sector clean energy companies. They design and fight for policies that promote global warming solutions and increased reliance on clean, renewable energy sources for California and the West.

 

Weekly Safety Message

Playground Safety

At EDF Renewables North America, the Health and Safety of our team members is our first priority. We encourage you to spend 5-10 minutes during at least one meeting of your choice during the week discussing this topic with meeting attendees.

Discover the Weekly Safety Message about Playground Safety.

Click here to read more about Playground Safety on the ECRM Safety Always Page!

FIVE TIPS TO SAVE ON CAR INSURANCE

By Laura Malinowski, Risk Management Analyst

  1. Drive Safely! That’s a no brainer, BUT many of us are guilty of occasional texting, or looking through the music directory, or just plain spacing out. Be present when you’re driving, pay attention to what’s going around you on the road, and don’t get upset over other drivers’ lack of skills. If you have a long commute, use that time to listen to relaxing music or a good audio book. If you MUST text, get off the road and park first. A Virginia Tech study found that when drivers text, their collision risk is 23 times greater than when not texting. You are rewarded for safe driving through lower insurance rates, so it’s worth it to slow down and be present.
  2. Bundle, Bundle, Bundle. When you buy two or more types of insurance products with one company you will be rewarded for your customer loyalty with lower rates and discounts that can vary from 3 to 22 percent per www.Insure.com. So, go ahead and bundle your cars, motorcycle, boat, RV, home and life insurance policies with the one company that offers the best rates and discounts.
  3. Ask about Additional Discounts. Every state is different and may have additional discounts available. You may inquire about a Safe Driver, Good Student, New Drivers who have taken driver-training course, Older Drivers who have taken a refresher course, taking a defensive-driving course, being a member of an affinity group or certain occupations or professions, anti-theft and safety equipment.
  4. Report Reduced Mileage. The average mileage is 12,000/year, but if you’re driving a lot less than normal because of a job change or retirement, let your insurer know. Your reduced driving could significantly drop your premium.
  5. Choose a Higher Deductible. When you choose a higher deductible, you are assuming more financial risk behind the wheel. Having high comprehensive and collision deductibles on your car insurance policy will mean paying more out of pocket should you have an accident. But high deductibles also mean lower rates on your policy.
  6. BONUS TIP. Shop around every few years to make sure your insurance company offers you competitive pricing on your program.

US Senator Tina Smith, Minnesota, Visits Red Pine Wind Project

On August 2, US Senator Tina Smith and staff members toured Red Pine Wind Project.

 

EDF Renewables acquired the Red Pine Wind project in 2015 from Infinity Wind,LLC while it was in the early stages of development. The 200 MW project is comprised of 100, 2.0 MW Vestas turbines with approximately 140 landowners involved in the project. Read more about Red Pine.

EDF Renewables University Presents

Summer Innovation Series: The Agile Framework

On August 14, Alice Herbert, Senior Manager, Digital Platforms presented about the Agile Framework.
Topics covered included:

  • Agile – what it IS and IS Not
  • How Agile differs from typical project lifecycle development
  • When it makes sense to use the Agile Framework
  • Team structure and work flow
  • How your team can benefit from leveraging some Agile principles

If you missed it, you can listen to the WebEx recording here, and download the presentation here.

In Case You Missed It…

Important Reminders from Past Wires

Dayforce is Coming
SAP Self-Service Blackout Period

IT Training Courses August 27-30
List of Classes & enrollment.

Values in Action
Links for Training and other information

O&M August Training
Courses and how to enroll.

Upcoming Events

Energy Exchange / Better Building Summit

Aug 20-24 | Cleveland, OH

CanWEA Golf Tournament

Aug 22 | Calgary, AB

Texas Renewable Energy Summit

Sep 5-7 | Austin, TX

Offshore Wind Implementation

Sep 5-7 | Teaneck, NJ

Energy Storage in Canada

Sep 19-20 | Toronto, ON

NAEMA Fall Conference

Sep 19-21 | Denver, CO

Offshore Wind Executive Summit

Sep 24-25 | Houston, TX

Solar Power International

Sep 24-27 | Anaheim, CA

NCPA Annual Conference

Sep 26-28 | Monterey, CA