Georgia Power, the largest of Southern Company’s five electric utilities, has been providing electricity to residents of Georgia for more than 100 years and has about 8,800 employees to keep things running smoothly. All of Southern Company’s subsidiaries, including Georgia Power, place environmental compliance as a top priority; and recently the Enviance System was implemented to fill in the gaps within Georgia Power’s environmental management system.
With six employees responsible for environmental compliance oversight at 90 transmission and distribution (T&D) service and maintenance centers, Georgia Power decided that they needed to provide tools for these employees to manage their workload more efficiently. They received positive feedback from another Southern Company affiliate using the Enviance System to track compliance through tasking, reminders, reports, and calculations. And, in 2004, Enviance was selected as Georgia Power’s environmental information management system.
Like all companies that have been in operation for more than a century, Georgia Power had many different systems for managing compliance. Ranging from paper checklists to desktop computers and internal networks – the older systems worked but did not provide a central compliance system.
The Enviance System immediately addressed two needs: replacement of a legacy system for reporting of oil spills which was no longer supported by IT, and tracking tasks and data related to underground storage tank compliance across the entire state.
Many of Georgia Power’s service centers have underground storage tanks for vehicle fuel storage. Monthly tank volume reconciliation reports are required to verify that a tank is not leaking. This involves Enviance users at 50 sites entering data from tank monitors; several data points are collected on a daily basis and also when fuel deliveries are made. All of this data is entered into the Enviance System, where at the end of a calendar month, the System then performs the required calculations to determine if the tank is operating in compliance or if a discrepancy is noted.
The Enviance System allows mobility – with access anywhere there is an Internet connection – to those users who are responsible for regulatory compliance. Enviance users at the 90 service centers enter data when there is an oil or hazardous material spill or release. The System triggers certain tasks for events that exceed a reportable quantity or for oil spills that enter a waterway.
Georgia Power faced another obstacle – having more than 50% of all employees eligible to retire within the next 10 years. Enviance helps to bridge the potential gap when an experienced employee leaves by providing a central repository for compliance data and institutional knowledge.
Operating a large electrical utility comes with demands from all ends of the spectrum: a corporate parent, customers, and regulatory agencies. Having an environmental management system with the ability to save time and money, all while assuring compliance, eases those demands.
“At Georgia Power, our T & D organization is only beginning to ‘scratch the surface’ of all the potential applications of Enviance.”