Brochure - Cypress Creek

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Operational excellence within utility solar

P R O J E C T PA R T N E R S



ENERGY

Powering the US solar agenda THE DEMAND FOR SOLAR PROJECTS CONTINUES TO GROW APACE ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. JOE BROTHERTON, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE, DISCUSSES HOW CYPRESS CREEK RENEWABLES DELIVERS A ONE-STOP-SHOP WITHIN THE UTILITYSCALE SOLAR INDUSTRY

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CY P R E S S C R E E K R E N E WA B L E S

T

he solar energy market is booming across the United States. Americans are increasingly demanding access to cleaner sources of energy, driving utilities and large corporate electricity consumers to turn their attention towards renewable energy projects.

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built,” explains Joe Brotherton, Executive Vice President of Operations and Maintenance. “Because we have this integrated approach to project development, construction and operations, our Operations & Maintenance team is able to be involved in the upfront work, whereas a traditional operator would not be.”

Upgrading facilities

With such high demand, inte-

In April, Cypress Creek opened its

grated utility-scale solar

national solar control center at its

developer Cypress Creek

flagship Research Triangle Park,

Renewables has been behind

North Carolina office. The new con-

the development, construction

trol center marks a significant

and operation of an array of pro-

milestone for Cypress Creek as the

jects across a dozen states,

company expands its operations

including North Carolina, New

and maintenance services for third-

York, and Oregon. The company

party customers and signals its

has placed focus on working

unique ability to operate secure

alongside community, utility and

solar sites and maximise produc-

commercial clients to undertake

tion.

all the required work.

The C4 is just one of a handful of

“Cypress Creek is unique. While

North American Electric Reliability

we find and develop land for

Corporation (NERC) – Critical Infra-

solar farms, we also have a

structure Protection (CIP) compliant

group that builds projects. I run

control centres in the country oper-

the operations team. Projects

ated by a solar-only company. The

are handed to us after they are

C4 was designed to meet North


“Cypress Creek is unique. While we find and develop land for solar farms, we also have a group that builds projects” — Joe Brotherton, Executive Vice President of Operations and Maintenance

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American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC’s) most stringent cyber security and reliability requirements. To meet the new compliance level, Cypress Creek hired 22 people over the past three months. Partnering with Power Factors to implement a robust data collection system across its 230 operating power plants, data is now pulled from each plant and centralised into one core platform inside of Cypress Creek’s new control center. Through this investment, the business has gained w w w. c c r e n e w . c o m


GridSME is a team of subject matter experts who work collaboratively with clients to reduce risk and adapt to an ever-changing power industry. Think of us as your insurance policy for NERC, cyber security, engineering, and wholesale electricity markets. LEARN MORE 1847 Iron Point Rd, Suite 140 Folsom, CA 95630 P: 916-800-4545 E: customerservice@gridsme.com

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FACT

increased visibility across its entire portfolio. Additionally, it

CULTIVATING SMALL UTILITY SCALE, GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR FARMS HAS ADHERED TO CYPRESS’ AMBITION TO SUPPORT COMMUNITIES WHEN DEVELOPING LAND

has allowed teams to gain direct access to a site to look at any potential issues.

in the operation centre.

“We want to undertake as much

“When an alarm goes off, it generates a work

work ahead of time so that we

ticket which automatically goes to a techni-

can tell a technician where to go,

cian. As we have undertaken all this upfront

take the required parts and rele-

work, the responsible technician will reach it

vant tools to undertake a specific

in (almost) real time and fix the issue,” he

repair,” says Brotherton.

continues.

“Reducing plant or component

“We’ve automated our entire monitoring pro-

downtime is our O&M team’s

cess. From a data analysis standpoint, we

main goal; to produce as much

can get into granular detail around site per-

as we can so smart repairs and

formance.

efficiency all starts with my team

“With data analysis we can see that the plant w w w. c c r e n e w . c o m

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“We have this integrated approach to project development, construction and operations, so our Operations & Maintenance team is able to be involved in the upfront work” — Joe Brotherton, Executive Vice President of Operations and Maintenance

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Operations and Maintenance team member at Tracy solar farm in in Nash County, NC

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FACT

CULTIVATING SMALL UTILITY SCALE, GROUND-MOUNTED SOLAR FARMS HAS ADHERED TO CYPRESS’ AMBITION TO SUPPORT COMMUNITIES WHEN DEVELOPING LAND

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Cypress Creek’s Control Center in its Research Triangle Park office


is on, but it’s not performing as best

solar is popular and there are a lot of

that it could be. We can see what

projects. Having qualified personnel

we can gain by either fixing some-

allows us to build cheaper, quicker

thing; being predictive in our

and more efficiently.

maintenance, analysing data and

“From construction jobs to the oper-

seeing trends to resolve issues

ations side, we have licensed

before they happen.”

electricians, medium and high voltage experts, which all come with a

Enhancing opportunities for communities

level of training. We’re moving so

With extensive experience in both

can partner and build a curriculum

operations and maintenance (O&M)

to create more opportunities,” com-

and the semiconductor space,

ments Brotherton.

Brotherton is aware of how partner-

“If we know labour is available,

ing with communities can benefit all

that’s great from a construction

parties.

standpoint. From the operation side,

“When we go into a new area, we

having people that know electrical

show the community how we’re

or solar-specific components ben-

going to build these projects and

efit my group specifically. We also

illustrate how a solar project will

have an internal training pro-

benefit them,” he says.

gramme where we can bring

One of the ways that Cypress Creek

individuals up to speed,” he contin-

shows its commitment to the com-

ues.

quickly and have looked at who we

munity is through workforce development. The company has

Supporting industry growth

collaborated with five community

By operating across the entire life

and technical colleges across the

cycle, Cypress Creek offers excep-

country, including Cape Fear Com-

tional, seamless performance

munity College in North Carolina to

across its development, construc-

train future solar workers.

tion and O&M capabilities. With all

“We’re doing this in areas where

three groups working in sync, any w w w. c c r e n e w . c o m

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Cypress Creek’s Control Center in its Research Triangle Park office

FACT

• CYPRESS CREEK HAS PARTNERED WITH POWER FACTORS TO IMPLEMENT A ROBUST DATA COLLECTION SYSTEM ACROSS ITS 230 POWER PLANTS • CYPRESS CREEK HAS COLLABORATED WITH A NUMBER OF COLLEGES TO PROVIDE AN ARRAY OF PROGRAMS


Tracy solar farm in Nash County, NC

issues can be mitigated or reduced,

Such is the company’s success, it

guaranteeing world-class results.

has now looks to incorporate differ-

“If a project is going to have high

ent initiatives at its solar farms.

operational costs or it’s in the terri-

“We now have our first project in

tory that we have some special

Maryland where we’re putting in

vegetation requirement, we can

pollinator habitats and beehives on

start those conversations at the

site as part of our pollinator pro-

front end,” adds Brotherton.

gram,” he concludes. w w w. c c r e n e w . c o m

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Located in: • Asheville • Durham • Sacramento • San Francisco • Santa Monica

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