Energy Power Marketing Program Recovery and Program Management

Case Study:

Energy Power Marketing Program Recovery and Program Management

Project Mission and Background

A group of Pacific Northwest Public Utilities that own and operate generating resources, proposed an arrangement for obtaining power and capabilities from the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). "Slice of the System" (Slice) established a program whereby a purchaser would pay a fixed percent of Bonneville Power Administration (BPA's) power costs in exchange for a fixed percent of FCRPS generation and capabilities.  Each utility needed to develop a technology solution that allowed them to forecast the available Slice they would receive from BPA each month.  The Utilities recognized the need for program leadership to develop the right solution after a brief engagement with a single vendor, and Lewis Fowler was engaged. After assessing the existing vendor, the recommendation was to capture requirements and launch an RFP for vendors to bid on. The Utilities each pursued slightly different solutions to work with BPA to obtain the need information related to Slice.  Because the new contract was a twenty year contract with BPA, our clients had an overarching strategic goal to choose the right solution and implement that solution in a timely manner. 

 

Challenges

Each client had slightly different need in their ultimate solution, and desire for how they wanted to use the BPA generation capabilities. The replication of what the generation might be each month was a complex mathematical system. The clients needed a third party independent leader to help them drive to a solution among the Utilities, as well as working with BPA. Specifically, the clients sought a team who could assess the current program and recommendation corrective actions, and support implementation of the new solutions.  The clients’ engagement of diverse technology teams and multiple vendors, in conjunction with slightly different requirements, added complexity to the program. Program Leadership was required to clearly define roles and responsibilities, and drive the program toward a timely completion. 

Our Approach

Lewis Fowler’s team applied our Program Recovery Assessment methodology to first evaluate key areas of the program. Results of the assessment identified the Utilities needed to redirect all efforts to a new RFP and vendor/solution. Lewis Fowler consultants quickly moved the group to capturing RFP requirements, launching and monitoring the RFP responses, and facilitating a new pilot solution. The result for each of the Utilities was a slightly different solution, from outsourcing the work to a third party, to building custom solutions. Using our proprietary Deliverables Based Planningsm, program management methodology allowed our team to quickly turn the program around. Lewis Fowler provided diligent vendor management and oversight to coordinate on-time program delivery and mitigate the risks associated with the vendors’ unique issues and varying goals for the program. Additionally, our knowledge of the Slice Program and BPA practices helped to reduce the overall costs and time to solution. 

Direct Benefits

By taking corrective action on this program, we helped our clients not only avoid a relationship with the wrong vendor that could have lasted over 20 years, but saved millions of dollars in application fees, as well as market savings on energy utilization. We were also able to help each Utility come to the right solution for their specific needs, and guide the Utilities through an effectively run program. The vendor oversight provided by our Program Manager alleviated miscommunications and conflicting priorities, while providing our clients with a single point of contact and accountability for all program deliverables. This kept the program in alignment with the defined scope and timelines. 

Summary

Lewis Fowler helped our client reach their strategic objective of identifying the right solution to support a 20 year relationship with BPA related to Slice by re-directing their program and providing critical vendor management oversight.

 

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