[TOP 10]: Articles for your Weekend, 8/15
It's Friday here in the U.S. and almost time for the weekend. Stay in touch with the industry with our Top 10 news stories. They make a great reading companion to a comfy chair (even if it's your office chair) and some coffee.
“Renewable Energy Companies to Invest $7 Billion in Chile Power”—Bloomberg New Energy Finance
“Renewable-energy developers plan to invest $7 billion for wind and solar projects in Chile.
The government awarded 70 concessions for solar power projects and six for wind farms, the country’s Energy Minister Maximo Pacheco told reporters today in Santiago. There were more than 30 recipients.”
“100% Electric Taxi Firm Signs Up to Renewable Energy”—Fleet World
“eConnect cars, an all-electric chauffeuring service based in London, has claimed they are now running the Capital’s first fleet of chauffeur-driven cars powered purely by renewable energy after switching to GoldPower.”
“Con Edison’s Post-Sandy Storm Hardening Efforts are Paying Off”—Smart Grid News
“Con Edison’s post-Sandy storm hardening improvements have spared customers 20,000 outages so far this year, including 5,000 of them in Westchester over the July 4 weekend.
‘The post-Sandy storm hardening improvements are paying service reliability dividends for our customers,’ said Robert Schimmenti, Con Edison’s vice president of Engineering and Planning. ‘Devices installed on our overhead system isolate damage on our lines so that when outages occur, fewer customers are affected.’”
“Case Study: U.S. Waste to Energy Plant Cuts Downtime with New Fan Bearing Seals”—Waste Management World
“Connecticut’s Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) has installed Centritec Seals into its 2850 ton (2585 tonne) per day waste to energy facility’s combustion fan system to improve efficiency and reduce downtime.
The seals, manufactured by Bolton Connecticut based shaft seal specialist, Centritec Seals – a part of the Carlyle Johnson Machine Company – are claimed to improve bearing lubrication and reduce parasitic drag.”
“Ontario, Canada, U.S. And Africa: Energy Philosophies are Worlds Apart”—Forbes
“Ontario, Canada’s announcement last April that it had closed the last of its remaining coal-fired power plants and that it has vowed to never build another one rippled throughout the world community — even in Africa, which despite its acceptance of climate change has said that it still needs coal plants.”
“States with the Best Solar Policies also have Healthy Job Growth”—Clean Energy Authority
“It’s not exactly Earth-shattering news that states with more progressive solar policies have more solar energy capacity than states that don’t. But there are a few correlations between solar policy and economic health that might be worth noting.”
“Enphase Energy and Vivint Solar Sign Three-Year Strategic Agreement”—MarketWatch
“Enphase Energy announced today the renewal of its strategic inverter agreement with an affiliate of Vivint Solar, Inc., a leading provider of residential solar energy systems in the United States. The new multi-year agreement expands on the existing relationship between the two companies.”
“Suniva Starts Construction on 200 MW Solar Factory in Michigan”—CleanTechnica
“When you think of hot solar manufacturing markets, Michigan probably isn’t the first place that jumps to mind. Honestly, I don’t remember reading or writing anything about solar power in Michigan. Apparently, however, the former manufacturing-heavy state is getting a decently sized solar factory.”
“The City that Made Solar Power Illegal”—Next City
“The rainy season coincides with summer in Dakar, which means it’s the power-cut days. The heat goes up, A/Cs kick into gear and the power utility, Senelec, cannot cope. The minute the lights go out, old-fashioned diesel generators fire up. Pharmacies, restaurants, shops that sell perishable goods – all have a generator on stand-by these days. It eats away at their profits but letting stuff go to waste is even more costly.”
“Trina Solar Acquires 49.9-MW British Solar Power Project”—Zacks.com
Trina Solar Limited announced that it has acquired a U.K.-based 49.9-megawatt (MW) utility-scale ground-mounted power project from Good Energy Group PLC (Good Energy).
Top 10 ways to prepare for COVID-19
Energy Digital sets out Gartner’s Top 10 ways organisations can prepare for a pandemic, via effective operational risk management.
As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, many businesses are left uncertain as to whether their risk mitigation plan is sufficient.
In a recent webinar conducted by the research and advisory firm just 12% of 1,500 people believe that their business is highly prepared for the impact of COVID-19, while 56% believed themselves to be somewhat prepared, and 11% believed themselves to be very unprepared.
“Most organizations have done some pandemic planning but still have many unanswered questions about whether they have done everything they can to manage risks,” says Jim Mello, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner.
Establish a preparedness framework
Establish a team that represents all critical business functions. These people will report directly to executive management and are responsible for prioritising the importance of business activities and organise them in tiers for response and recovery.
Monitor the situation
It is important to ensure that organisations monitor the rate in which the infection is spreading and its severity. Many rely on the World Health Organisation for information.
Be sure to revise revenue forecasts and communicate with investors, as well as suppliers in regards to any potential finance issues. It is important to ensure that the business has the working capital to ride it out.
Ways to ensure this include: working capital checks, seeking loans or government-sponsored financial relief.
Extend personal hygiene and cleaning protocols
It is important to comply with any changes to workplace regulations. In addition, it is important to establish protocols for staff returning from infected areas, as well as extending existing hygiene activities.
Ensure close monitoring of absenteeism rates for signs of problems. It is important to identify critical staff in order to make sure the company can continue to function in their absence and be prepared for up to 40% absentee rates.
In addition to reviewing HR policies and procedures, it is important to maintain a level of sensitivity when it comes to engaging with employees and workplace preferences.
Establish a communication programme
People can feel out of the loop quickly. Establish a spokesperson appropriate for the situation who can maintain lines of communication. In addition, organisations should establish pre-approved messages and scripts for various stakeholders.
Review the impact on the operation
Although this may seem overwhelming, the team established to represent all critical business functions should identify key areas to consider. It is important to maintain a connection with the reality on the ground in countries affected.
Key questions to consider: is transport functioning? Have holidays been extended? Where can operation continue and where do they need to stop?
IT business functions tend to be relatively well-prepared for business continuity. However, it is important to assess the supply chain for critical equipment and keep extra inventory if required.
In addition, organisations should keep in mind remote data centre management and cloud options for critical systems as well as enabling remote working programs and rescheduling any non-essential IT work prioritising key applications.
Review pandemic plans to identify any gaps in response
Conduct a preparedness exercise by validating roles and responsibilities as well as recovery requirements and procedures, in order to identify any gaps in the recover capabilities and resource needs.
Following the establishment of a pandemic plan, identify three lessons learned, key observations or improvements for the exercise. After establishing these organisations should priorities the short and long term follow up actions.