A guest post by Gerrud Wallaert, Chair of the ACP Operations Steering Committee
The clean power industry is experiencing significant growth and challenges placing Operations in clear focus. A brief review of the current headlines will draw your attention to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Change 2021 Report, U.S. Infrastructure Bill, Climate Plan, and the increased scrutiny of renewable generation during extreme weather events that occurred in Texas earlier this year. The list is far from exhaustive; however, it does showcase the current opportunities and challenges that we are and will continue to face as an industry. Development and Construction are consistent pillars of the industry’s priority as growth is necessary to achieve our targets and will be supplemented with a growing focus on Operations. Our operational track record can either help or hurt our future growth story and this will remain a main focus as our story continues.
The American Clean Power Association (ACP) and its member companies will play a key role in leading the way into this growth and addressing industry challenges. The underpinning belief is that we are stronger together as an industry to tackle the key Operational themes of safety, workforce development, and operational performance. The ACP Operations Committee is currently investing considerable time and effort to create a 2032 vision that inspires the industry towards a common trajectory. A sneak peek:
Draft 2032 Vision for the American Clear Power (ACP) Operations Committee
- Successfully transitioned from an Onshore Wind focused organization to a multi-technology industry group.
- Data Driven Safety Strategy and Industry Culture addressing key trends, growing number of positions, and confronting the safety challenges of the future to ensure that we continue to take care of our current and future workforce.
- Workforce Development including a training program and competency measurements helping the industry to address current challenges, future growth, and the development of next generation leaders.
- Recognized as THE place for addressing the opportunities and challenges through platforms of best practice sharing, continuous improvement, and innovative ideas, as well as benchmarking of critical reliability and operational information that can be used for a data driven approach.
- Partner with the ACP Board to grow our Operational fleet correctly.
During my personal journey over the past months, it is clear that there is an overall industry “Call to Action” bringing us together to create and implement a clear road map that will power us to achieve the required growth to address climate change, the infrastructure needs of our country, and sustainable success of this industry and our companies. How can you join this journey?
- Join us at the American Clean Power O&M and Safety Virtual Summit on August 23 – 25th. And while you are there, join us for the Operations Committee tailgate networking sessions.
- Join or become more active in the ACP operations committees to bring your personal and company values and perspectives to the industry table. We are in the midst of shaping our 2032 vision as outlined above and would welcome your insight and passion into the discussion.
Clean Energy Operations currently has an installed base of more than 150 gigawatts. Wind turbine technicians and solar installers are considered two of the top three fastest growing jobs in the country, with a growth trajectory that is going to require the bar being raised for the operations side of the industry. The opportunity is clear, and I look forward to addressing together as a broader industry.
Gerrud Wallaert is Senior Vice President, Asset Engineering Americas (US), Head of Asset Engineering Americas (EU) at RWE Renewables and is Chair of the ACP Operations Steering Committee