Quick, raise your hand if you’ve ever thought about the complexity of power plant operations. I’d venture to say that, unless you have actually worked in a plant, or have some corporate oversight of generation, this is not a top-of-mind topic for you. But it’s actually relatively basic stuff – or at least, more basic than what you might expect on the surface. Let’s take a look at some of the more pressing challenges, all of which directly impact emergency preparedness.
3 Key Challenges of Power Plant Operations
First and foremost, maintaining the equipment is an absolute must-do. Power plants, like anything, are subject to degradation over time from normal wear and tear. This is why the industry is filled with “wear-prevention” products and materials. Failure to keep the equipment properly maintained will certainly lead to incremental outages sooner or later.
Second, the regulatory landscape is in a constant state of flux. Every new edition of Congress tweaks energy regulations, forcing plant operators to make adjustments on the fly. The net effect of this is near constant uncertainty around long term capital investment plans and strategies.
Third, succession planning is a tricky proposition. I have previously written about the Baby Boomer retirement wave, and how this makes acquiring new talent an urgent proposition. And unfortunately, power plant operations do not represent a particularly sexy career path for younger people, which makes recruiting particularly difficult.
Obviously, these are not the only pain points, but they are clearly the most painful of them! For more information on the challenges of running power plants, click here.