MaxGen counts on Power Factors to deliver next-generation field service
Founded in 2009, MaxGen™ Energy Services is the world’s largest independent service provider for renewables with expertise in solar, wind and energy storage systems as well as the development, design and maintenance of electric vehicle service equipment. With over 3.1 GW under management, a critical piece of MaxGen’s rapid growth has been a commitment not only to their skilled technicians but also substantial investment in technology to support next-generation operations and maintenance, including a NERC-certified control center in Costa Mesa, Ca. With plans to double their growth, Jay Grafton, VP of Customer Operations, Caley Bryant, Director of Service Enablement and Billy Wang, President of MaxGen Energy Services discuss why Power Factors™ is at the heart of their operations.
“The whole industry is maturing, and customers are demanding more from O&M. Power Factors is critical for us to drive real business outcomes.”
- Jay Grafton, VP of Customer Operations, MaxGen
Renewables operations v2.0
When MaxGen first pioneered its O&M services for renewable energy in 2009, commercial, operational and technology landscapes looked substantially different. As the industry has matured, MaxGen has evolved with it.
“At present, there are multiple factors in play for O&M providers,“ says Billy Wang. “First, asset portfolios are growing larger either through organic growth or acquisitions. Second, with the market price of energy dropping, owners’ priorities are shifting from rapid growth to driving value from their assets. For us to be competitive in today’s market, we need tools to make our technicians as efficient as possible so we can deliver cost-effective services even as labor prices are rising. We see no alternative to implementing a technology platform like Power Factors as the foundation of our operations.”
Grafton noted that, “If we were to rely on native DAS and SCADA for our remote operating center (ROC), we would have to depend on operators working through the nuances of each system, then searching through multiple screens and interfaces to try to find outages or performance issues. We’ve built our business around Power Factors to remove unnecessary complexity, enabling our ROC operators to focus on plant performance rather than navigating through multiple technology environments.”
Meeting challenges of scale
Although creating a single, trusted data foundation is critical to working with large-scale portfolios, MaxGen’s decision to work with Power Factors was not limited to its capacity to normalize operational data. The native integration between operational environments and maintenance workflows increased efficiency of their staff while reducing overhead and process complexity.
A one-stop shop
According to both Grafton and Bryant, the biggest advantage to using Power Factors is the seamless integration between a rich field service management system and the data and event engine. In 2017, MaxGen generated on average, 550 workorders/week and through its national field service team. “For our ROC staff, creating a workorder directly from the monitoring software is very powerful,” says Bryant. “One person can easily manage more workflows without errors. It improves employee experience and enables us to be more timely and efficient without sacrificing quality.”
Finally, the field service management tool is event- and contract-aware. MaxGen uses one tool for dispatch, billing and invoicing. It also helps them be more transparent with customers, especially those with large portfolios. The ability to combine operational events with systems data provides MaxGen with a complete picture of portfolio performance.
With plans to double their growth, MaxGen will count on Power Factors to deliver a sophisticated toolset to manage larger portfolios, including those with mixed assets. Grafton summarized by saying, “We use Power Factors to set up one process to serve many customers. It makes each person more effective and also lets us create economies of scale to offer cost-effective services even as the market continues to evolve.”