Xcel Energy Accurately Predicts Resource Requirements Five Years in Advance with Enterprise Project Management
 
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Xcel Energy Accurately Predicts Resource Requirements Five Years in Advance with Enterprise Project Management

  • Oracle Customer:  Xcel Energy
    Location:  Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Industry:  Utilities
    Employees:  11,300
    Annual Revenue:  Over $5 Billion

Xcel Energy distributes electricity to 3.4 million customers and natural gas to 1.9 million in eight Midwestern and Western states, through four regulated utilities, which have the combined capacity to produce more than 17,000 megawatts of electricity. The company also owns transmission and distribution lines, as well as natural gas pipelines, and it is the top wind power provider in the United States.

Xcel Energy’s transmission business is growing rapidly―and its investment in transmission projects grew tenfold in 10 years. The energy provider is in the midst of one of the largest transmission construction projects in the Midwest―CapX2020. The joint transmission expansion initiative involves 11 partner utilities, of which Xcel Energy is contributing nearly half of its approximate budget of US$2 billion.

To effectively manage the CapX2020 project, as well as the company’s growing portfolio of more than 2,500 projects with a budget of more than US$4 billion over the next five years, Xcel Energy relies on Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management. Using the solution, Xcel Energy can predict the future by using Primavera P6 to forecast detailed resource utilization five years ahead. This capability enables it to plan for and make resource allocation and staffing decisions well in advance to avoid delays and potential overages. As a result, the company has predicted within plus or minus 2% of its forecast for the last five years’ capital spend, avoiding significant carryover and ensuring executive management’s confidence.

 
Changing Times, New Requirements

A word from Xcel Energy

  • "Without Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, we could not effectively manage our capital project load, which today tops US$1 billion annually. Management, customers, landowners, community stakeholders, shareholders and regulators all count on us to complete our capital projects on time and on budget. Primavera P6 gives us the insight we need to deliver on our promises." – Greg Chamberlain, Director of Transmission Portfolio Delivery, Xcel Energy

As the company’s capital project budget grew rapidly to nearly US$1 billion annually from the low hundreds of millions, Xcel Energy found that it could no longer rely on a disparate, spreadsheet-based approach to project management. For example, the project management team could not accurately project capital spend. In addition, the company had made a series of strategic acquisitions―with each company using its own project management model―which further hindered project visibility across the enterprise.

It was time for Xcel Energy to rethink its approach to project management, and the company began the search for a replacement to its legacy Microsoft-based solution. Xcel Energy required a highly scalable solution on which it could standardize to achieve enterprise visibility and manage a growing budget and upwards of 100,000 activities associated with 2,500 annual projects. The company selected and standardized, companywide, on Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and created a project controls group to gain better visibility into and control over future resource needs.

 
Managing Exponential Growth with Ease

 
Creating an Integrated Schedule

 
Resource Projection Perfection

 
Outage Coordination

 
New Horizons

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Ensure on-time, on-budget completion of capital projects, including large transmission expansion initiatives
  • Accurately project capital spend, especially during the resource-intensive construction phase of large projects
  • Gain the ability to effectively plan for the specialized resources―including engineers and the trades―required to complete infrastructure projects, including the CapX2020 transmission expansion initiative

Solutions

  • Enabled the company to effectively manage a rapidly growing capital project budget and upwards of 100,000 activities associated with its 2,500 annual projects
  • Allowed the company to identify well in advance that it would require 1,000 resources over the next five years―and the specific types of resources required in engineering, siting, permitting, controls, and construction―and plan ahead to avoid delays and overages
  • Projected capital spend within plus or minus 2% of forecasts for the last five years
  • Created an enterprisewide, integrated project schedule that enables the team to effectively coordinate resources and tasks to avoid delays and overages and successfully manage grid outages

Why Oracle

Xcel Energy selected Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management because the industry standard best met its requirements for a robust solution that could span multiple operating companies and provide visibility into projects, enterprisewide. The solution also delivers advanced resource load and management capabilities, which were also essential to Xcel Energy. Further, many of the company’s partners were already using the industry-leading system, accelerating onboarding and collaboration.