Josh Maddox, O&M Technician at our Lackawanna Energy Center

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, Invenergy Services remains dedicated to the work we do as a power provider and has created a multi-phase approach to resuming a normal work schedule and workload. Our response to the outbreak is built on our commitment to safety, professional development, the health and wellbeing of our team members, and the continued delivery of clean power for customers and communities.

Our previous blog post outlined the procedures we put into place in Phase I of our COVID-19 response in early April, which augmented standard health and safety protocols such as cleaning all common areas with disinfectant wipes and providing hand sanitizer, nitrile gloves, and face masks to all employees. Invenergy Services has been successful in keeping our facilities safe and our employees healthy thanks to the engagement and cooperation of our staff.

“We’ve gotten great responses and feedback about these extra precautions and great buy-in from the technicians,” said Eric Kline, Director, Wind Regional Operations & Maintenance (O&M). “If the technicians are looking out for their own health, they’re looking out for that of their colleagues and their sites.”

Expanded Safety Measures at Operating Sites and Control Centers

Building upon Phase I initiatives, in early May we implemented the below measures at all our operating sites as Phase II of our response plan:

  • Keeping technicians split into two teams to minimize exposure amongst site teams
  • Staggering start times for the two teams at each site
  • Implementing daily temperature checks for employees and contractors
  • Wearing face coverings when physical distancing requirements are unable to be met; face coverings are also to be worn in common spaces of O&M buildings
  • Minimizing technician time in the O&M building to the extent possible
  • Reviewing and applying recommended HVAC enhancements if applicable

Safety measures have also been in effect at our Illinois control centers, which are staffed 24 hours a day and monitor the operations of the fleet across the country. Staff work from two separate control centers to limit exposure, and access is restricted to only assigned individuals. The facilities are deep cleaned daily by janitorial contractors. Staff are provided with masks and non-contact thermometers. Shared devices and workstations are disinfected at the start and end of each 12-hour shift, essential visitors are pre-screened, and backup staff members are on standby.

Providing Continued Training Opportunities for Technicians

In addition to developing and implementing safety procedures, the Operations Management team has adapted robust at-home training opportunities for our technicians to ensure continued professional development despite the challenges presented during this time.

These sessions are developed by our training specialists and are typically attended by 80 to 90 technicians. Sessions cover many aspects of the technicians’ duties, from insulation resistance testing to the specifics of new turbine installations.

“Through these training sessions, Invenergy Services can reach more technicians at once, and we’ve been able to collect a library of material that technicians can access any time they want,” said Invenergy Services’ Lead Training Specialist Shannon Langley. “The collaborative trainings have also made procedures more streamlined as we collectively develop new troubleshooting guides for different aspects of our work.”

Some of these trainings are conducted by other groups within Invenergy, such as the Engineering team, giving technicians the opportunity to go in-depth into an even wider range of topics such as drive train repair, lubrication techniques, and turbine foundations. 

“Invenergy Services is known for our high-quality work, culture of safety, professionalism, and efficiency,” said Langley. “Our emphasis on training not only demonstrates our commitment to these values, but also our commitment to the professional progression of our technicians.”

We maintain our dedication to keeping our workforce safe, always but especially during this time, and appreciate our team members’ commitment to keeping the power on for our communities.