CARILEC Joins MHI to Study Utility Best Practices

During the week of Sept. 14, Manitoba Hydro International Ltd. (MHI) hosted a delegation of senior representatives from member utilities of the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) at its home office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Key personnel from the Jamaica Public Service Co. Ltd. (JPS), Grenada Electricity Services Ltd. (GRENLEC), St. Vincent Electricity Services Ltd. (VINLEC), and Nevis Electricity Company Ltd. (NEVLEC) visited Manitoba for a study tour of MHI and Manitoba Hydro’s facilities and operations.

“From its inception, the study tour started exceeding expectations when we were met with exceptional hospitality by MHI,” says Peter Baker (Maintenance Manager, Renewables, JPS). “To have discussions with Manitoba Hydro’s specialists and pioneers, and examine the policies and strong energy programs they have in place and continue to build on, was most rewarding.”

During the tour, attendees studied utility best practices, participated in meetings and demonstrations, and observed the proven methods and technologies that have been mastered in one of North America’s most efficient and best-managed energy utilities. In addition, participants toured Manitoba Hydro’s generating plants, HVDC transmission stations, the state of the art System Control Centre, and the award winning, energy efficient head office building.

“These tours enable MHI to showcase Manitoba Hydro’s capabilities and experience, while at the same time provide attendees with a vision of best practices to strive for,” says Alisa Kreynes (Business Development Manager, MHI).

For each study tour, MHI works with the utility to create a focused program and agenda that purposely addresses the company’s areas of interest. The programs are based on extensive technical and commercial expertise in all aspects of utility operations. These tours are typically focused on specific topics, and are used to train and build capacity within the utility’s organization.

“Manitoba Hydro’s focus on employee core competence and development made a real impression when we visited the Stonewall Training Centre,” says Mr. Baker. “Such clear emphasis on development of employees ascertain our own values of ensuring our greatest assets, our people, are enabled to perform optimally.”

The CARILEC study tour was largely focused on the topics of critical importance to the Caribbean utilities, such as the optimization and integration of renewable generation, system operations, technical and commercial loss reductions, energy efficiency and demand side management, and disaster preparedness.

“It was satisfying to see a utility that has addressed challenges that we now face and continue to tackle, such as technical losses, renewable penetration, grid integration, and response to natural disasters,” adds Mr. Baker.

MHI has been working closely with CARILEC, their member utilities, and other related groups in the Caribbean region to form a collaborative relationship. The study tour was an excellent opportunity for MHI to work with CARILEC, delve deeper into the challenges that Caribbean utilities face, and provide guests with an opportunity to consult with Manitoba Hydro’s technical experts.

“As a member utility of CARILEC, MHI is dedicated to continue strengthening its relationship with the utility, and supporting its programs and initiatives targeted at the development of renewable energy in the Caribbean,” adds Ms. Kreynes.