Spotlight - Value-Added O&M

By using proven programs, industry best practices and our core guiding principles, IPSC strives to provide world-class service to each facility and project it manages.
By Biomass Magazine | August 26, 2020

IHI Power Services Corp. was formed in 2012 to provide operations, maintenance, management and power plant support services to the U.S. power generation industry—plants owned by sister company IHI Power Generation Corp., and third party-owned facilities as well. IPSC currently provides O&M services to over 13.5 gigawatts in the U.S., 87.1 MW of which is biomass, and owned and/or operated by IPSC. This owner/operator model has been advantageous to the company, says Rick Spurlock, IHI Power Corp.’s west region director of operations, enabling it to approach each scenario with the mindset of a plant owner. “IPSC is unique in the fact that we started as an owner/operator in 2012, with three biomass and two coal plants in California,” he says. “Since then, we’ve expanded across the U.S. to 14 states and now also operate combined cycle, simple cycle, wind, pumped hydro, and battery storage facilities. We believe our experience and approach puts us in the shoes of the owner.”

Spurlock has served as California biomass power plant Rio Bravo Fresno’s manager for the past 12-plus years. With power industry experience spanning back nearly three decades, Spurlock, a staunch advocate for California’s biomass industry, is a natural fit at the company. He highlights IPSC’S “value-added” service, resulting from years of hands-on experience in the power generation industry, and, despite the company’s relatively small size, the ability to respond quickly to owners’ needs. “That’s part of our culture, and a well-known trait of ours,” he says. “We have a lean management team, but our network runs deep with several decades of industry experience. When needed, we can call on subject matter experts to complement our teams.”

On the biomass power industry specifically, Spurlock says while all power generation technologies come with challenges, these plants are more labor- and maintenance-intensive than most other types of energy the company operates. Thus, they require sufficient knowledge and experience to keep plants operating to expectations and in line with regulations, as well as efficiently and safely.

A major component in IPSC’s core guiding principles is safety and health, which Spurlock says is integrated into every aspect of work culture at IPSC.  “Some examples include our energy-initiated hazard training, and our focus on utilizing the safety hierarchy of controls to eliminate or reduce the hazards that we deal with daily,” he says. “IPSC’s philosophy regarding safety and health is that success is not measured by the absence of injuries or incidents, but by the system that we have built, which has multiple layers of protection in the event something does not go as planned. We view every situation at work or home with a safety lens.”

By using proven programs, industry best practices and our core guiding principles, IPSC strives to provide world-class service to each facility and project it manages. This, Spurlock adds, “ensures that all IPSC team of service providers work together to operate plants safely and in compliance, while maximizing financial performance. “