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Power Production

Key words are People & Purpose, and shows man in hardhat monitoring equipment with this quote:  “I was attracted to Associated by the challenge of shaping a predictive maintenance program, and just Associated itself. It’s a large enough company to offer great benefits, small enough to have a family feel, but big enough to offer personal challenges and opportunities to use knowledge you have and to expand it.”

Meet Robert, the mojo behind our mission

As part of Associated’s reliability-centered maintenance initiative, Robert’s mission is to develop and steer a predictive maintenance program for the generating fleet that ensures power plant reliability. That means increasing run times, improving efficiencies and lowering costs for the member.

His tools range from vibration analyzers to ultrasound guns to the newest motion analyzers, and he applies his expertise to diverse equipment – big stuff like turbines, forced-draft air fans, pumps, motors and more – and works with various departments. The tools allow him to see motion, or a swing, that cannot be seen with the naked eye. “It’s a challenging role and interesting role, so it tends to keep me on my toes.”

Robert served in the U.S. Navy’s nuclear power program, then earned his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering. He worked in the power industry, joining Associated about six years ago. His favorite parts of the job continue to be solving problems, learning new ways to use analysis tools, and showing others the benefits of predictive maintenance.

 

We oversee the creation of electricity

That begins with the arrival of fuel at our power plants through the time electricity is generated and transmitted.

Our team constructs, operates and maintains generating resources, which include two coal-based generation facilities and six combined-cycle and peaking gas units; manages environmental controls and stewardship; drives plant efficiency and improvements; plans construction for future generation; and oversees all safety activities. We also collaborate with state and federal agencies to maintain established compliance standards.

Staff at the Springfield office in the departments of engineering, technical services, reliability-centered maintenance, coal fleet engineering, plant engineering and environmental, health and safety, work closely with engineers and staff at the power plants to meet Associated's mission.

Power plant operations

  • More than 5,100 megawatts of owned generating capacity. Check out our resources page on www.aeci.org.
  • Manages operation and maintenance of eight power plants sites: two coal-based facilities with five units; three simple-cycle gas plants; three combined-cycle gas plants.
  • Provides wholesale power that serves 910,000 homes, farms and businesses – which is equal to about 2 million rural members.
  • Maintains boilers, generators and balance of plant equipment.
  • Monitors and improves power plant and equipment performance.
  • Plans plant engineering and improvements between $2 million and $3 million each quarter.
  • Manages environmental, health and safety programs for all staffed facilities.
  • Plans, engineers and constructs various projects, including environmental compliance projects.
  • Oversees boiler code compliance efforts to ensure boiler safety.
  • Continuously evaluates best practices and new technology applications.

Safety

  • Works safely to ensure an accident-free workplace.
  • Develops programs to eliminate employee and facility risk.
  • Works with local agencies to prevent and respond to emergencies.
  • Maintains company response capabilities for facility spills, releases and emergencies.

Environmental

  • Monitors and reports environmental impacts and performance.
  • Evaluates and analyzes new environmental regulations.
  • Secures regulatory environmental permits and monitors compliance.
  • Works with environmental agencies to develop sound environmental policy.
  • Develops programs to reduce impact of environmental requirements on generating stations.

New grads: Gain hands-on experience

Associated's rotational engineering development program puts an engineering graduate in its Power Production Division to gain hands-on project experience and exposure to the power industry. Selected candidates who finish 24-month program successfully are eligible to remain employed at one of the cooperative's locations. 

The program is a unique opportunity for engineers starting their careers, said Landon Pollard, engineer and program mentor. "It will provide multiple experiences working on plant projects and the opportunity to work with several different groups within Power Production. 

Download flier about program launched in 2017 (PDF).

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The mix matters

We use a mix of generating resources to ensure a reliable, responsible and affordable power supply for members.