In the plains of Minnesota stands more than 2,400 wind turbines, making the state the 7th largest producer of wind power in the United States. Today, the country as a whole has nearly 60,000 wind turbines operating in 41 states and two U.S. territories.

As environmental concerns over climate change and resource scarcity grow, organizations like Minnesota Power are finding newer and better ways to generate power using renewable resources. By the year 2021, under their EnergyForward initiative, Minnesota Power expects to be at 50 percent renewable energy – up from about 30 percent renewable today.

The first step in achieving this goal involves adding more wind, hydro, and solar generators while using natural gas to ensure 24/7 access to power. The initiative will generate around 500 additional megawatts using hydroelectric generators and wind turbines, and around 23 megawatts from solar.

Idaho Power is setting equally ambitious clean energy goals. In 2019, Idaho Power unveiled a goal to provide 100 percent clean energy by 2045. While this goal may seem a reach, those who are familiar with the company’s successes in this area understand their potential. In the same year, the organization demonstrated its commitment by agreeing to purchase up to 120 megawatts of solar power from a generation facility owned by Jackpot Holdings, LLC.

For energy companies, the management of multiple corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives can be difficult, given the plethora of projects implemented for maintenance alone. Since their function is to provide electrical power to entire cities, their employees must work around the clock to respond to emergencies quickly and diligently.

Recently, Idaho Power issued a warning to residents that power outages may occur due to the wildfires in the region. Natural disasters are some of the many challenges that energy companies face on a semiregular basis, as they require an abundance of maintenance and expensive repairs. All the while, these companies continue to do their part to combat climate change and to help prevent natural disasters from occurring.

In August of this year, Idaho Power proposed they reinvest money formally spent on coal-fired power plants in renewable energy as a part of their 100 percent clean energy initiative. The company requested a decrease of $3.9 million related to its exit from the coal plant and an increase of $3.7 million towards renewable energy.

Takeaway

Transitioning to clean and sustainable energy is an arduous task requiring a great deal of capital, innovation, and creativity. To complete their objectives, energy and utilities companies must explore state-of-the-art solutions for managing the complex projects that lie ahead.

With these large projects (especially in engineering) comes the need for CAD file management. Energy companies, similar to manufacturing, require vast numbers of drawings and documents to build, renovate, and maintain their facilities.

Minnesota Power and Idaho Power use eQuorum to meet these challenges, using software ranging from PlotStation (eQuorum’s printing and plotting solution) to ImageSite (eQuorum’s comprehensive workflow and engineering document management solution) to manage CAD file distribution, workflows, and more.

These solutions help their engineering and maintenance departments better manage programs, initiatives, and maintenance of critical assets, from substations to generation facilities, wind farms, and more. It is essential for these organizations to progress projects according to plan by clearly and quickly communicating markups and ensuring their drawings are current.

eQuorum has been serving companies for more than 25 years, offering value-driven solutions that give companies the tools they need to complete their objectives. If you would like to learn more about eQuorum’s engineering workflow and document management solutions please click here. If you want to learn more about how you can fight climate change and help in the efforts to move towards renewable energy click here.