2014, utility Southern California Edison (SCE)
completed one of the largest battery energy
storage projects in North America, a US$50 million, 32-megawatt-hour lithium-ion facility in
Tehachapi, California, USA.
The company’s next step toward compliance, the
US$5 million Distributed Energy Storage Integration (DESI) project, was its first distribution-level
energy storage project. The Orange, California-based project, which was scheduled to finish in
June 2015, will help harness energy on a local level
and improve reliability during hotter months.
Identifying key stakeholders such as local government agencies and establishing major milestones for DESI was new territory for the company.
“We didn’t really have a good feel for that when
we were planning the project, and there’s been a
few hiccups along the road,” says Darcy Skaggs,
PMP, Electric Vehicle Technical Center operations
manager, SCE, Los Angeles, California, USA. “It’s
definitely been a learning process.”
One of the critical milestone tasks, Mr. Skaggs
says, was the geotechnical engineering analysis.
“Whenever we’re doing civil engineering work, we
need to know the environmental impact. We need
to have a clear understanding of any regulatory
requirements before we start out there digging and
preparing the site,” he says.
That involves taking core samples and sound-
ings of the area and having that data analyzed
and mapped out. Civil engineers need to have all
those geotechnical parameters so they know how
to design the site, Mr. Skaggs says. “That was one
of the key critical tasks that we didn’t realize was
going to take as long as it did.”
As energy storage projects at utilities become
more common, sharing lessons learned will play
a critical role in future success. Mr. Skaggs has
been working as a consultant on a second per-
manent SCE installation with hopes that future
projects will be more timely, cost-efficient and
streamlined, he says.
“One of the key takeaways is to involve all the
groups affected by the project early in the planning process and to discuss potential issues,” Mr.
Skaggs says. “Do a lot of ‘what ifs?’ to mitigate
risk. Early communication is essential to the
process.” –Matt Schur
RECIPE FOR SOFTWARE SUCCESS
With mobile, social and cloud platforms being rapidly adopted around the
world, software development capabilities are increasingly valuable—even
at organizations outside of the technology sector. What sets some companies apart from the laggards when it comes to software success?
For starters, a more agile approach to project management. —Imani Mixon
CREAM OF THE CROP
Source: 3Pillar Global and the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, Product
Development Success Index Study, 2015. Results based on a survey of 204 U. S. software product development
managers, directors and executives across a variety of sectors in 2014.
37% of software development professionals at
all companies are very confident in their organization’s
the average annual investment in research and development by a company
of all companies exhibit at least one
defining characteristic of agile
17% of all companies have over
1,000 employees in new software
76% of software developers at highly successful companies
are very confident in their organization’s technology investments
the average annual investment in R&D by a highly successful organization
of companies highly successful at software
development demonstrate at least five
34% of highly successful companies
have over 1,000 employees in new
*Agile characteristics include doing the following every three weeks
or more often: moving from idea to working software, review and
re-planning, end-user testing and process improvement.