Operation & Maintenance: “Everyday” Challenges

Published on Friday, 13 October 2017

“Working 24 hours a day, our O&M teams took just two days to bring 4 out of 5 plants back into full operation and to restore their 321 MW of power.”

Working 7 days a week, they returned the solar fields to their pre-flood conditions in about two months.

The role of teamwork in emergency conditions

In Atacama, people and a well-run intervention plan made all the difference. First and foremost, the teams of O&M Chile were involved, with key support from Central O&M.

The first step was to create parallel working groups and coordinate 24/7 efforts. The teams focused on the most affected areas, to get power back as soon as possible.

Activities on the ground were supported by other functions, such as Health, Safety, Environment & Quality and Procurement. Only because we knew the market and our strategic partners well, we were able to reach out to the contractors most suitable to the needs of the moment.

“The torrential rains that sthe arid desert of the Antofagasta region are an example of the unpredictable conditions nature can cause at our facilities every day.”

The list of unexpected events that happen in Latin America, like in Europe, is long and varies from place to place. In particular, it includes the flooding that hits the Mato Grosso, where the Apiacás hydroelectric complex is located, winds that exceed 200 Km/h blowing through our wind turbines in Oklahoma and heavy snowfall coming down on our dams in the Italian Alps.

O&M teams in Chile were able to respond to the May flooding in record times because they have the skills and experience that are common in our O&M teams around the world.

Every place has its own story and different challenges for our O&M teams. Every extraordinary event caused by natural events requires extraordinary effort and skills to respond to it.