Idaho Power expands use of Cascade
Idaho Power started using Cascade utility asset management software in 2000, mainly for inspections. The use of Cascade has since expanded to management of the database, in-depth reporting, analysis of equipment, maintenance orders and procedures. The latest step forward is their use of Cascade Insight for statistical reporting and dashboards on maintenance and risk for their fleet of assets.
“Cascade helps our engineers accomplish their goals to manage our maintenance,” says Janis Harmon, Technical Advisor in the Apparatus Group at Idaho Power.
“Right now, our biggest challenge is to fine-tune our budgeting for the maintenance we carry out and replacement of our assets,” she says. “In order to do that, that we’ve had to analyse our timekeeping for procedures. We create specialized reports out of Cascade that help us achieve those goals.”
The use of Cascade has grown extensively in the 19 years since the company started using the software solution, with an initial successful implementation.
Working together to expand the capabilities
Idaho Power chose DNV GL as a trusted vendor. “They came to us, they were open and honest with what their product could do. But they were also very willing to expand on that and to listen to what we wanted Cascade to do. They’ve always been very open to our suggestions, working with us on what we want to accomplish,” says Harmon. “Over the years, that’s been a big benefit.” The scope of use has changed during nearly two decades of reliance on Cascade. “We started with the inspections, then the maintenance inspections, which included the procedures and the inspections themselves,” says Harmon. “From there we’ve added the triggers and made those more extensive. We started at a very high level, then got more granular as we went through time to be able to really pinpoint some areas of interest. And then over the years we have re-analysed our procedures and what we do. Now we encompass timekeeping. I have brought in other departments and the data that they have. We’ve added the reporting feature, and quite a few things.”
Key challenges in the industry
“Because of the data we have in Cascade, the historical information, the maintenance history on equipment, we can justify and decide what our good performers and bad performers are – and when we want to replace those,” she says.
The scope of assets with data in Cascade is broad, ranging from facilities, including buildings and fences, to anything that’s encompassed in a substation – from transformers to breakers to bushings.
According to Harmon, Cascade helps with key challenges, such as the replacement of the workforce due to retirement and changing staff. “The fact that you’ve got older people retiring, newer folks coming on – being able to train them and do things on-the-fly and quickly. You need to get them their information and get it to them in the field, have it available to them on as-needed basis and be able to act on it quickly,” she says.
“The technicians today are much more digitally knowledgeable than they were, say, 10 or 20 years ago,” she says. “Having all the data available to them now at this point has been invaluable. I don’t have to contact them and train them. They’re more intuitive as to how it works.”
“In our 19 years of using Cascade, none of our workforce has increased in any of the areas or departments. That, in itself, shows that as we’ve added more equipment to our fleet and added more work procedures, we’ve still managed the workload,” says Harmon. The next step for Idaho Power Company is the implementation of Cascade Insight, following a planned road map. This will give the management a more transparent look at what the database is telling them.
IDAHO POWER IN BRIEF:
Idaho Power is a US energy company engaged in the generation, transmission, delivery, sale and purchase of electricity and is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the state regulatory commissions of Idaho and Oregon.
With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects as the core of the energy mix, their residential, business and agricultural customers pay some of the lowest prices for electricity in the United States. Idaho Power has set a goal of providing 100% clean energy by 2045 while continuing to keep prices low and reliability high.
- Customer name: Idaho Power
- Website: www.idahopower.com
- Market: Electric power utility
- Solution/Product: Cascade
Why we chose DNV GL - Digital Solutions:
- Comprehensive capabilities in Cascade
- Very good working relationship with DNV GL
- DNV GL is always open to enhancing product and listens to our suggestions
This is what we gained:
- Helps engineers accomplish goals to manage maintenance
- Database management, in-depth reporting, analysis of equipment, maintenance orders and procedures
- With Cascade's data we can differentiate between good and bad performing assets, and justify when to replace them
- Working smarter and more efficiently with data; managing more assets and work procedures without increasing the workforce