EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA), a developer, owner, and operator of 28 wind farms, is the 3rd largest renewable energy company in the United States. Based in Houston, Texas, EDPR NA is committed to enabling a clean energy future for the U.S. The parent company, which operates facilities in Europe and South America, is the third largest wind energy company in the world. Current market trends, including increasing economic efficiency and acceleration of technological developments in renewable energy, support that vision.
Like most wind energy companies, EDPR NA’s assets are in very remote locations dispersed across the United States. Modern technology enables companies to accurately forecast wind speeds and generation potential, but the industry as a whole must still grapple with prioritizing performance issues based on severity and wind patterns, communicating knowledge across a geographically dispersed organization, and the challenge of working around the availability of resources to schedule maintenance – a more dynamic process than what traditional energy generation sources face.
To transform the industry-standard approach to case and process management, EDPR NA designed the COBRA (short for “COllaBoRAtion”) system using the Appian BPM platform. Appian provides comprehensive process, rules, events and analytics capabilities, combined with native mobility and social business collaboration for fast and intelligent resolution of dynamic case scenarios. The application captured $100 million worth of turbine issue solutions in the first 9 months.
Since that first application, EDP has deployed nearly two dozen Appian applications, covering energy procurement and new wind farm development, energy transmission to the grid, wind farm insurance policies, multiple compliance requirements, environmental, health & safety, equipment procurement, energy sales, finance, corporate performance improvement, and obligation management. Each application had a rapid deployment time ranging from just one week to a couple of months. More than 20 business areas are involved with the program, including Development, Construction, Operations, Maintenance, Asset Management, Procurement, Energy Sales, Finance, Tax, Legal, Engineering, Health & Safety, IT, Risk, Accounting, and Senior Leadership. EDP’s Appian program touches 80% of EDP’s North American headcount, from executives to field service personnel. The financial impact is $200,000 saved per year by creating custom applications instead of purchasing COTS solutions, plus $200,000 saved per year in increased productivity.