Best Practices for Outage Season

Planning and preparation is key for outages season

Seasonal planned outages are an important piece to the power puzzle, typically done in the spring or autumn when electricity is in lower demand. They require a lot of planning, resources and budget but outages allow for routine maintenance, updates and fixes to keep the plant operating at maximum capacity and ensure successful utility performance.

Planning and preparation is key. Here are some things to consider:

Site-specific plan in place

An outage takes a lot of coordination and the details are meticulous. Articulate and document the plan and outline clearly structured outage organization details from start to finish: outage planning and pre; outage execution; post-outage review. A clearly-defined scope and process leaves little room for interpretation so the outage can go smoothly and efficiently.

Equipment solutions at the ready 

Equipment solutions and applications aren’t one size fits all. Consider every element of the plan to ensure the right equipment is ready and in-place at the right time. Don’t forget things like safety checkpoints, training areas, spaces that need cooling / heating or emergency services. Temporary or owned, equipment is essential.

Safety & training

Plant safety is critical and when it comes to outages, there is even more to consider. Ensure your team is up to date on the latest certifications and address any permit requests plus any potential hazards. Then communicate that to the team. Defer to your plan for any additional training requirements. For example: is there a confined space planned? Those extra safety requirements and considerations could add time and dollars to your bottom line if they aren’t part of the plan.  

Track costs & equipment

Even with all of the planning and preparation, last-minute line items could make their way to your budget. Tracking equipment utilization is one way to keep costs down and to optimize craft worker hours.

Emergency plan 

Part of ensuring the outage goes as planned is preparing for the unplanned. Have an emergency plan in place and ensure it is clearly articulated to the team.

Post-outage review 

Similar to a project post-mortem, take the time to assess the outage from start to finish. What worked well, what could be optimized for next time? Continue to evolve the plan each outage season to maximize efforts of the team and ensure the best possible output from the plant.

Fall outage season is critical to plant maintenance. And consulting with experts regarding specific circumstances, applicable rules, regulations related to a planned outage is always recommended.

For information on solutions and training to help prepare for an upcoming outage, call 866.URP.WRGN.

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