Global Specialized Services (GSS), now TAKKION, and Colt Whisenhunt receive high honors!

Global Specialized Services (GSS), now TAKKION, and Colt Whisenhunt receive high honors!

TAKKION team member, Colt Whisenhunt, received a Crane Operator Safety Award for exhibiting exemplary work achievements! 

He was one of 85 individuals representing 16 member companies to receive this award. Requirements included: Certified by a nationally accredited certification body; 10,000 consecutive man hours; Zero accidents or incidents; Zero lost calendar days; and zero failed random or post-accident drug test during the program year.

GSS was one of eight (8) companies to achieve a SC&RA Transportation Safety Award for having no recordable accidents! 

Zero Accident Awards are awarded to companies that meet the Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) criteria, plus zero recordable accidents as defined by the National Safety Council.

We are so proud of Colt and the GSS teams for their commitment to safety and these well-deserved awards!

Exciting News: Legacy Brand Realignment to Takkion Operating LLC

Exciting News: Legacy Brand Realignment to Takkion Operating LLC

We have an exciting development that designates a significant realignment of our legacy brands to a unified entity – Takkion Operating LLC.

This strategic decision is rooted in our commitment to streamline our operations, enhance efficiency, and provide you with an even more cohesive and integrated experience. Takkion Operating LLC will serve as the umbrella for our established brands, ensuring a seamless transition that aligns with our ongoing efforts to optimize our services.

Takkion Operating LLC embodies the values that have always been at the core of our business: safety, integrity, transparency and a dedication to providing you, our esteemed customers, with the highest quality products and services.

Please note that while our name is changing, our commitment to you remains unwavering. You can continue to expect the same level of professionalism, expertise, and customer service that you have come to rely on. Our team remains unchanged, and we are excited about the opportunities this realignment brings to further enhance our offerings and strengthen our partnership with you.

The official realignment will take effect on January 1st, 2024. Throughout this period, you may observe updates to our branding, communications, and online platforms to reflect the cohesive integration of our legacy brands of Transportation Partners & Logistics, Global Specialized Services, Renew Energy & Airway Services under the Takkion Operating LLC umbrella.

We genuinely appreciate your continued support and trust in our company. We look forward to the future as Takkion Operating LLC and are excited about the opportunities to serve you even better under our realigned name.
Thank you for your understanding and continued partnership.

Takkion Operating LLC

GSS Durango Project

GSS Durango Project

Global Specialized Services recently completed a major crane and transportation project in Durango, Colorado. This was the first project that GSS utilized its 500-ton crane, constructing a parking structure for a hotel that is currently in the process of being built. 

GSS was awarded the project in April of 2023 by a longtime partner who continually utilizes TAKKION for various projects, large and small. 

“We developed this relationship with the client a couple of years ago when we did a job for them in Jackson Hole with one of our Demag AC250-5(300 ton),” said Michael Orr, the Crane Operations Manager for GSS. “It was the same type of work – precast concrete – but the job in Jackson was a lot smaller and didn’t require the same type of crane we used with this most recent job. But we developed such a good working relationship with these guys because of that job that they rely heavily on us now for all of their crane and transportation needs.” 

Orr stated that GSS was provided the opportunity to work with this client due to the fact that the company continues to prove itself as the industry leader in providing solutions for heavy haul transportation and crane services.  

“When they first called us about a job in Jackson, Wyoming, it was really short notice,” Orr said. “The guy that contacted me asked if I could come and look at the job in Jackson that very same day. And I did. I went down there and jumped on it on a moment’s notice. I got together with him and went over it with him, and we did some pre-planning for the job right there, on-site. And he told me, ‘Honestly, I didn’t expect you to come down here and look at this job, but since you jumped through some hoops and made it happen, we’re probably not going to ever shop for another crane company. We’re just going to use you guys.’” 

And that’s exactly what they’ve done ever since. 

That’s what led to the most recent project. GSS, for the very first time, utilized its AC7.450 

The AC7.450 is a 500-ton crane with 7-axles. It has the longest reach of any 6 or 7-axle crane and it has a 410’max tip height. It’s got a 262’ main boom, and it is the only crane in its class that can mobilize with the boom attached under standard allowable DOT axle weights. The AC7.450 is as compact as any 6-axle crane, but it has the capacity of many 8-axle cranes, with new features like the SSL (Sideways Superlift) Design. 

“We bought this crane envisioning doing a lot of up-tower windmill work,” Orr stated. “When this job came up, they wanted us to use a crawler [crane], but I went down there and looked at the site and realized that the crawler just wasn’t a good option. So I talked to them, and we came to a mutual agreement that the AC-450 was a much better option because the maneuverability of it allows us to fit into tight spots a lot better than the crawler would.” 

Orr stated that three or four different people worked on the Durango job, including an on-site manager, a rigger, and an on-site transportation trucker. Orr himself would oversee the project a few days a week as well. During the project, the AC-7.450 lifted over 369 panels, and transported every one of them from the origin. 

“When the loads are delivered on time, it saves a lot of headache and it also saves a lot of money because the crane’s not sitting there, waiting on loads to arrive,” Orr offered. “With that being said, the client knows that there’s not going to be a lot of downtime for the crane, because we’re managing the trucking as well. So it’s really a win-win for the customer and for us.” 

Speaking of win-win, this project as a whole was a big win for all parties involved, and it continued to prove that GSS is an industry leader when it comes to transportation and material handling of major structures. By doing such an incredible job building the parking structure outside of a hotel in Durango, the owner of said hotel immediately took notice and asked to work with GSS as well. 

“After completing this project, there was another project that followed that didn’t have anything to do with our previous client,” Orr said. “The owner of the hotel where we built the lot saw the way that we worked, and saw our equipment and our professionalism, and he came up to me and asked if we would be interested in setting the hotel modulars. This is going to end up being a four-story hotel, which will make it the tallest building in Durango. So I told him we were absolutely interested, and we will be going back to set all those modulars.” 

GSS was offered a new, different project simply because the client saw just how well they performed. This is yet another example of GSS setting the standard in this industry. They will begin working on the modulars in December of this year. Orr also stated that because of this project and because of Ashley Thrun’s trucking management skills, GSS now handles 90% of this customer’s transportation needs. 

“This new job shows off our diversity too,” Orr beamed. “We’re going from a precast job right into a modular job, which are two totally different sectors. But we can handle it all. And, right now, our 450 [crane] is actually on a wind farm, working on a generator swapt. So we’re going from a wind job, to a compressor job, and then back to this modular job in Durango.” 

There is a lot that the AC7.450 crane can do and a lot that GSS as a whole can do. The Durango project was proof of that. 

“I think this project really demonstrated our diversity and what our capabilities are,” Orr said. “It showed that our capabilities are basically limitless. We’re able to jump from one sector into another without missing a beat. And it also demonstrated our dependability. We prove ourselves with each and every project we complete.”

TAKKION Named RAP Sponsor

TAKKION Named RAP Sponsor

TAKKION Management Co., LLC was recently recognized as a U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor. 

TAKKION is recognized by both the State of Wyoming and the State of Texas. They will now be pursuing a National registration. 

TAKKION has opened itself up to working with countless apprentices, all of whom put in thousands of hours of work to become certified wind turbine service technicians. 

“Being a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor allows us to hire new employees or move current employees into the apprenticeship, and it allows them the opportunity to become a certified apprentice in our program, which is that of a wind turbine service technician,” said Kayla Allen, the Learning and Development Manager for Transportation Partners and Logistics. “Within the RAP, it is 2,000 hours each year of on-the-job learning, and we measure competencies based off of our work process schedule.” 

Within the RAP, TAKKION has a work process schedule with multiple different competencies that apprentices have to meet at the end of the apprenticeship program. The journey workers and the managers at the sites where the apprentices are working are the ones who measure the competencies and ensure that they are completed. Apprentices must also complete 144 hours per year of related instruction, made up of in-person training in any of TAKKION’s three training centers or online courses.

This is a major accomplishment for TAKKION, and it’s one that benefits TAKKION’s customers as well. 

“We have customers all across the country that we provide services for, and because we are now a RAP Sponsor, our customers are eligible for tax credits through the Inflation Reduction Act,” Allen stated. “The Inflation Reduction Act has a requirement for registered apprentices to be working on the job site, so in order for customers to be eligible for these credits, we have to be able to provide the apprenticeship labor for them.” 

Being a RAP Sponsor benefits TAKKION and its customers. But it also offers opportunities to those looking to begin a career in the wind industry. 

“This is an opportunity for anybody that is transitioning out of the military into civilian careers,” Allen shared. “We’re able to advertise our apprenticeship program with the Veterans Commission. It also offers an opportunity to graduating high school seniors, giving them the chance to enter into a trade and learn those skills, as opposed to taking out loans and going to college. They can immediately enter the workforce, get the training they need, provided by us, and also get paid while they’re doing it.” 

Becoming a RAP Sponsor is an incredible achievement for TAKKION; it’s one that benefits all parties involved, and it just further proves that TAKKION is committed to being one of the most successful, innovative companies in the wind industry. 

“It shows that TAKKION as a whole is leading the industry,” Allen said. “We strive to be an industry leader, and by becoming recognized as a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor in two states, we are one of the first companies in our industry that is able to offer apprenticeship labor to our customers.”

RENEW Energy Electrical and Maintenance Divisions Win South Dakota Safety Council/ Governor’s Awards

RENEW Energy Electrical and Maintenance Divisions Win South Dakota Safety Council/ Governor’s Awards

Two divisions of RENEW Energy were recently named as recipients of the South Dakota Safety Council: Governor’s Awards. 

The South Dakota Safety Council is an organization that, since 1949, has provided programs and services to employees and workers, as well as entire communities, to prevent injuries and keep people safe. 

Per the SDSC website, the organization provides “information, education, and training in workplace and traffic safety, as well as programs and resources for home and community.” 

While primarily based in Sioux Falls, SDSC offers on-site and regional training sessions.

“We place particular emphasis on helping our members reduce injuries and costly claims, increase productivity, and stay competitive,” the website continued. “Our members know that protecting their organizations and protecting their people go hand in hand – and that we are here with them for the long haul.” 

The SDSC provides a variety of services, including motorcycle safety training, workplace safety training and consultation, First Aid/CPR/AED training, traffic safety training, family/community safety resources, and more. 

They also put on annual conferences and partner with the Governor of South Dakota to present the annual Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards, which recognize South Dakota employers for excellence in Safety. 

RENEW Energy was one of those employers. 

“As a contractor that’s based out of Sioux Falls, we are a member of the South Dakota Safety Council, which is a chapter of a larger national organization known as the National Safety Council, or NSC,” said Kyle Bernhardt, the Director of Safety, Health, and Environment for RENEW Energy. “Every year, the SDSC offers the Governor’s Awards and we apply based on our location and by our industry classification.”

RENEW is also based out of Sioux Falls, so they applied using that location. But they also applied via their industry classification. This is known as an N-A-I-C-S Code, and RENEW submitted applications for two different entities – RENEW Energy Maintenance and RENEW Energy Electrical. 

Both sectors won the Outstanding Achievement Award. 

These awards are given based on a number of different criteria focusing on safety statistics. SDSC reviewed the past three years of safety data, focusing on RENEW’s statistics from 2020, 2021, and 2022. 

“We have a very comprehensive safety program,” Bernhardt stated. “The industry that we work in, the wind turbine industry, is a highly hazardous industry. With that, we have to have a good, comprehensive safety program, as well as a good, strong, comprehensive safety culture. I believe that we have that. And these awards proved it.” 

Bernhardt was quick to acknowledge the RENEW Training Department, which, he said, played a pivotal role in this accomplishment.

“Without proper employee training, we would all be at a greater risk,” he stated. “The culture at RENEW is really important as well. One of the really great things about RENEW is that the COO, Travis Harkins, really holds his frontline managers and service line managers accountable. He also holds his employees accountable when it comes to working safely. And he is always there to allocate resources in order to support the safety functions of the organization.” 

Safety, Bernhardt said, is one of the most critical aspects of the organization. 

“Our employees are our most important assets,” he shared. “Not because of what they provide to the company, but because they are actual human beings. As an employer, we are ultimately responsible for providing them with a safe and helpful working environment.” 

Safety is at the forefront of each and every project that RENEW Energy takes on. Because of the company’s commitment to safety, it came as no surprise to anybody that they were honored with these Outstanding Achievement Awards. 

“These awards reflect RENEW’s stance that we are the best in class,” Bernhardt said. “Not only in what we do and what we offer to our customers, but also in terms of safety and quality. So the fact that we’re winning these awards is just indicative of a larger picture – that we’re promoting a safe culture, and we’re keeping our people safe.” 

RENEW Energy will continue to distinguish itself as a company that is committed to safety. These awards will continue to come in, simply because RENEW providing a safe workplace for its people is the most important thing that it does. That commitment to safety, that commitment to excellence, is something that reverberates from the top of the company right down to the bottom. Every single person under the RENEW label, under the TAKKION label, knows how important safety is, and they will not settle for anything less than the best. 

“Here’s the thing,” Bernhardt shared. “I got up there and accepted the award, but this award really goes to our frontline people that are out there performing the work. Because without them, RENEW doesn’t exist. So this award is really for them, at the end of the day. Obviously, our management team, our stakeholders, and our customers share recognition for accepting this award, but I really believe this award is for our technicians who climb the towers every day. RENEW, and TAKKION as a whole is committed to protecting our employees and providing them with a safe work environment while also delivering the best possible product to our customers.”

TP&L SCR Retrofit 

TP&L SCR Retrofit 

Transportation Partners and Logistics recently completed a major project involving the installation of thousands of retrofit kits throughout the country.  

The project is called the SCR Retrofit, and the purpose of it was to install silicon-controlled rectifiers within pitch cabinets of wind turbines.

TP&L was awarded the project in December of 2021. They began the project on January 12, 2022, and completed it on July 19, 2023, compiling more than 35,000 man-hours throughout the project. It is one of the largest projects TP&L has ever completed, and it further exemplifies the standard of excellence that Transportation Partners and Logistics, as well as all of the Takkion companies, is known for. 

“We were working on another retro project referred to as the YA Plunger Retro project,” said Tyson Petersen, the Uptower Division Manager for TP&L. “That was another large campaign that we were awarded prior to the SCR Retro. And what we discovered was that we were able to perform this retro at the same time as the other one. So we kind of combined those projects together, considering the fact that our technicians were already working on one.” 

Petersen said they simply added an additional team member and were able to work on the projects simultaneously. 

“When we were awarded the SCR Retro in January of ‘22, we started to utilize people that we already had in the field,” he stated. “So it wasn’t that large of an endeavor to try to start staffing up this project. So, that was a smooth kickoff to the project. What this retrofit required was some qualified electrical workers to perform the task while up tower.” 

The task itself was relatively extensive in regards to how it applied to the turbine. Once technicians ascended the wind turbine and got inside what’s known as the hub – that’s the part the blades are attached to – they entered what are known as pitch cabinets. There were three pitch cabinets for each blade. The pitch cabinets control the angles of the blades, and the purpose of the SCR Retrofit, as mentioned, was to install the silicon-controlled rectifier within those pitch cabinets in order to alleviate some of the overages in voltage that were occurring, which would cause certain fuses within the circuitry of the cabinet. 

In total, 8,778 retrofit kits were installed in 2,926 turbines. 

“For each turbine, it requires the installation of three of those SCR’s,” Petersen stated. “And that gives a lot of context to how many retrofit kits were installed – 8,778. This was a project that was awarded when our Uptower division was still very early on in its growth and its development. And this was one of the projects that was a huge milestone for us to not only be awarded, but for the work of the technicians that they put into it. This was a project that was well out of any scope that we’ve ever performed previously, so not only did it present new challenges – but the technicians did an amazing job in regards to learning the task and building a new skill set.” 

The project, from start to finish, took 554 days, and the scope of the project included 45 different sites and 15 different states. The technicians did learn a new skill set, and each and every one of them further exemplified TP&L’s commitment to excellence. 

“They took it on, full force,” Petersen remarked. “Full force and full involvement. Ultimately, the success of this project – and there were so many different achievements – rests solely with our technicians.”

Petersen reiterated that this project was one of the biggest, if not the biggest project TP&L ever worked on, and it paved the way for future projects because the results of it were so successful. 

“This was something that we hadn’t necessarily ever taken part in before,” Petersen stated. “And it was definitely a door-opener into the industry and allowed us to really show customers that we’re able to perform and take on new tasks and challenges. All of that being said, all credit goes to the technicians and the work they performed on this. It’s very humbling to see where we are now compared to then, but I think this project, along with a few others, have really shown the industry what we’re capable of.” 

This project, the SCR Retrofit, is the latest project that truly exemplifies what Transportation Partners & Logistics can do. 

“The true success of the SCR Retro Campaign is solely attributed to all the technicians who took part and for all of their hard work on this extensive project,” Petersen said. “I am humbled to have been given the opportunity to lead such extraordinary men and women whose capabilities are a true representation of the Takkion brand.”

GSS Repower Projects

GSS Repower Projects

Global Specialized Services was recently awarded and completed three Repower projects for a brand-new customer.

The projects – Community Wind South(CWS), Elk Wind, and Hawkeye Wind Farm – involved the transportation of multiple wind tower components across the country. 

The three projects consisted of transporting all above-tower components from the V110 turbine from multiple TP&L locations to project locations in Minnesota and Northeast Iowa. The components were transported over 700 miles, and their successful delivery set the tone for the remaining two projects. All turbines were delivered within the initial budget, on schedule, and most importantly without any incidents or injuries.

“It was a really good, really successful project,” said Aaron Nirider, the Senior Project Manager for GSS. “It really set us up for the next two projects that we did for them.”

The next projects were the Elk Wind Project and the Hawkeye Project. 

The Elk Wind Project involved the transportation of 17 Nacells, Hubs, Blade sets, DTA’s, and Generators – from O’Neill, Nebraska, to Greeley, Iowa; over 400 miles. 

The Hawkeye Project, as the name suggests, was another 400-mile project in which 15 Nacelles, Hubs, Blade sets, DTA’s, and Generators were also loaded out of O’Neill, Nebraska, and delivered to Hawkeye, Iowa. 

All three Repower Projects proved that GSS continues to deliver in more ways than one. 

“We received all three jobs at the same time,” Nirider shared. “But the first project we completed really set the tone. Especially with them being a new customer, it was really good to show them, especially on that first project, what we’re all about and how we do business.” 

Nirider stated that he spoke with the customer shortly after the completion of the CWS project to get feedback on the company’s performance. 

“They were very impressed with us,” he said. “They were very excited for us to start the remaining projects, and afterward, they said they were impressed with those too. Each project kind of compounded on itself and helped the next one. By the end of it, they were extremely pleased with our work and, hopefully, some future work will come out of it.” 

Nirider stated that each project had 12 drivers, as well as a site manager. Nirider said the site manager, Bob Marino, oversaw all three projects and did an incredible job. 

“A lot of the credit is given to Bob for his work on these,” he stated. “With the logistics onsite, keeping good face with the customer, and everything else he did. He did a great job.” 

As did the drivers. Each of the 12 drivers operated efficiently, effectively, and, most of all, safely. Safety, as is always the case with Takkion companies, was the number one priority. 

“It’s the most important aspect of any project we do,” Nirider said. “Everything in our company is dependent on how we put our safety procedures in place. We ran route surveys prior to loading the components to make sure that there were no obstructions, such as power lines hanging low, bridges, construction, and to make sure all the turns could be made safely.

Safety is the number one consideration on any and every project Takkion takes on, and one of the most important aspects of safety and of the success of the project as a whole is communication.

“Another important part of any successful project is communication. These three projects specifically had great lines of communication between the trucks, the site, and the office. There are many reasons why these projects were successful, and the fact that the communication was streamlined was a big driver of that success”, Nirider said.

Altogether, these three projects – CWS, Elk Wind, and Hawkeye – were a big victory for GSS and for Takkion as a whole. They completed all three projects with only two minor incidents. Most importantly, they were a victory for the customer. GSS strives to deliver consistent customer service in each and every project they complete. These latest projects were just further examples of that.

RENEW Energy’s Partnership with Technical Colleges and Universities

RENEW Energy’s Partnership with Technical Colleges and Universities

Strategic workforce planning involves having the right people with the right skills at the right time.  Partnering with technical colleges and universities throughout the nation has proven to be a successful talent acquisition strategy for RENEW, opening a large and diverse applicant pool. 

Tasia Dass, Senior Recruiter, and Micah Noteboom, Technical Recruiter, are two of RENEW’s “People Leaders” dedicated to expanding these relationships and programs. 

Tasia and Micah partner with operations managers to develop a recruitment calendar, where they divide and conquer to attend career fairs, give employer introductions, conduct on-site interviews, host shop tours, and sponsor events across a network of schools.  These activities allow students to get to know the brands, comprehensive service offerings, and career opportunities across all TAKKION companies. 

Having both human resources and operations present at these events sets RENEW up for successful interactions.  HR can tell the story, showcase key openings, and get students excited about the differences they can make in the energy sector, while operations can speak to the technical specifics and what “a day in the life of a wind (or) solar technician” really looks like.   

“The opportunities for these students are endless, but the schools themselves benefit from the partnership as well,” Dass said. “Our leadership team has served on a number of advisory boards and helped provide industry-specific standards to be incorporated into their curriculum.  Our summer industry event raises between $10-$15K annually to give back to local technical colleges for workforce development.”

Through these social connections across the nation, RENEW averages 20-30 interns per year. Noteboom shared, “Our internship program is mutually beneficial to the student and our company.  We are able to see if they would be a good cultural and technical fit once they finish school.  While on the flip side, the student can also get a feel for our industry, the job scope, and determine whether that’s a career fit for them in the long run.”

Interns get paired with seasoned technicians for mentorship, safety, and hands-on experience.  Once the internship (typically three (3) months in duration or coinciding with the respective school schedule) is complete, managers work with HR to determine which individuals will receive a full-time offer.  “We have multiple team members in managerial roles that have started as interns with our company.  It’s exciting to see their growth and development first-hand,” Dass said.  “Our strong and positive reputation in the industry, along with our employee referrals, helps spark a ton of interest in our internship and career opportunities.”

As customer needs change, so does workforce planning.  As new facilities are built, new potential partnerships are identified.  Most recently, the addition of RENEW Enid Remanufacturing has created some new, exciting partnerships for building the future workforce in Oklahoma. 

GSS and TP&L Partner Together on Foote Creek Wind Farm Project

GSS and TP&L Partner Together on Foote Creek Wind Farm Project

When Takkion acquired Transportation Partners & Logistics, Global Specialized Services, Airway Services, and RENEW Energy, the overarching goal was to become an all-in-one service provider in the wind industry. Since these acquisitions, several key projects have been just that, with the Foote Creek Wind Farm being one of the most recent examples of the partnership between the companies.

Recently, GSS and TP&L worked together to offload, store, complete maintenance on, transport, offload, and erect all necessary components of the Foote Creek Wind Farm – a 41.4-megawatt renewable energy project located in Carbon County, Wyoming.

“In 2020, we transported 10 wind turbines from Colorado to Casper, and they went into storage,” said Dylan Wisroth, the Senior Operations Manager for Global Specialized Services. “They were stored and maintained by TP&L for three years, leading up to the Foote Creek Project. 10 of the 11 wind turbines used in that project were stored by TP&L.”

“All the maintenance was complete for the turbines prior to them going out into the field,” he stated. “And it’s a really cool project because it is one of the first ones that we handled together from start to finish – from transportation, to maintenance, to storage, and then to final offload and erection.”

The Foote Creek project, which is scheduled to be up and fully functional by the end of 2023, isn’t just a victory for TP&L and GSS – it’s a victory for all of the Takkion companies, and it’s a prime example of just what can be accomplished when these teams work together.

“This is a special project for all of us at Takkion,” Wisroth said. “It’s definitely the first time we’ve done a full, turnkey project like this.”

It’s been stated that the turbine technology of this wind farm will increase the energy output of the entire facility by 60 percent, producing enough energy to power 19,500 “typical” homes throughout this region in Wyoming. It’s an important project, and it wouldn’t have happened the way it did without the combined efforts of TP&L and GSS.

“When Takkion was built, our dream from day one has been to strategically acquire other companies and position ourselves as a one-stop-shop,” Wisroth said. “This is full-scope, from start to finish. It wasn’t necessarily awarded to us as a full-scope project at the very beginning due to the services being separated between multiple customers, but it became full-scope by the end of it, which is really special and is an accolade for Takkion in and of itself. This project is a monumental project that everyone within Takkion is proud of.“

That success will continue to present itself in the coming weeks, months, and years, and it is a testament to a motto, a mindset, that everybody throughout all Takkion companies exemplifies.

“It’s something we bring up in every senior management meeting when we’re all sitting around the same table talking about growth and future opportunities,” Wisroth revealed. The motto is ‘One team, one goal, one standard.’ We’re one team, we have one goal in mind, and we’re offering the same high-quality standard across the board.”

The Foote Creek Wind Farm project is proof of that.

The Benefits of Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage Systems in the United States

The Benefits of Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage Systems in the United States

In recent years, the United States has witnessed a remarkable surge in the deployment of utility-scale Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). As the demand for renewable energy sources increases and the grid infrastructure evolves, BESS emerges as a crucial solution to address the intermittency and reliability challenges associated with renewable energy generation. 

Airway Services knows this. Airway offers a variety of services within the renewable energy industry. Along with services in Wind and Solar Energy, Airway offers Battery Storage options to its customers as well. 

Brad Gryder, the Director of Business Development for Airway Services stated that Airway began really taking notice of battery energy a few years ago. 

“We were already providing services in wind and solar, and we just wanted to look at diversifying our services,” Gryder said. “Some of our customers, who are asset owners, were actually looking at purchasing battery storage equipment for their wind and solar sites. So, with that, we thought it might be a good transition, with the expertise that our technicians already possess, to transfer from wind and solar over to battery storage.”

Airway seized the opportunity to offer battery storage services two years ago and started providing BESS services to battery storage manufactures and asset owners. Now, they have around 30 battery storage technicians working throughout the US, led by Bradley Overholser, the Operations Manager for Airway Services. 

“Right now, a lot of our manpower is based in Southern California,” Overholser stated. “Right at the border of Arizona, we’ve got two sites there and we also have other technicians currently assigned to the west Texas area and Nevada. Previously, we’ve done most of our battery storage work in Texas, Arizona, California, and the northeast.” 

In short, Airway is focused on providing battery storage services all across the country, and it makes sense because there are several benefits to Battery Energy Storage Systems, both for asset owners and utility companies. Some of those benefits include: 

Enhancing Grid Stability

Utility-scale BESS plays a pivotal role in ensuring grid stability in the United States. The renewable energy sector, including wind and solar, heavily relies on weather conditions and time of day, which results in intermittent power generation. By storing excess energy during periods of high generation and releasing it during peak demand, BESS mitigates the effects of this intermittency, thereby reducing the likelihood of blackouts and voltage fluctuations. The ability of BESS to provide fast-response power injections also enhances grid resiliency, enabling a reliable and stable electricity supply to consumers.

Fostering Renewable Integration

One of the primary benefits of utility-scale BESS lies in its ability to facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid. The intermittent nature of renewables poses challenges to their widespread adoption, as excess energy during peak generation times often goes to waste. BESS effectively addresses this issue by storing surplus renewable energy and releasing it during periods of high demand or low generation. This process, known as load shifting, helps to optimize the utilization of renewable energy sources, reducing curtailment and increasing their overall effectiveness in meeting energy demands.

Reducing Reliance on Fossil Fuels

Utility-scale BESS also plays a crucial role in reducing the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, fossil fuels have been the backbone of energy generation due to their reliability and consistent supply. However, with the urgent need to combat climate change and transition towards cleaner energy sources, BESS offers an ideal solution. By storing excess renewable energy, BESS enables the grid to rely less on fossil fuel-based power plants during peak demand, thus reducing carbon emissions and promoting a more sustainable energy landscape.

Grid Infrastructure Optimization

The deployment of utility-scale BESS offers additional benefits beyond stabilizing the grid and facilitating renewable integration. By providing ancillary services such as frequency regulation and voltage support, BESS can optimize the existing grid infrastructure. This reduces the need for costly grid expansions and upgrades, ultimately leading to cost savings for utilities and consumers alike. Additionally, BESS can act as a backup power source during emergencies, providing critical electricity supply during outages or natural disasters.

Airway Services continues to learn, grow, and evolve within renewables. The world of battery energy storage is a relatively new one that Airway is excited to be part of. 

“As a company, as we continue to learn more about this field, I think it provides a great opportunity for our technicians to broaden their skillsets,” Overholser shared. “What we’re able to provide is not just an introduction into the BESS system, but also what it has led us to currently, and that’s doing inverter work for customers, getting some other training, and really just broadening ourselves and making sure that we’re well-rounded in all aspects of renewables.”

Gryder agreed. “This actually gives us a broader array of services to provide, because a lot of the asset owners own wind and solar and now they’re going to own battery storage,” he said. “So this gives us more services to provide to our customers on different aspects of their renewable portfolio.”

Utility-scale battery energy storage systems bring numerous benefits to the United States, ranging from enhancing grid stability and fostering renewable integration to reducing reliance on fossil fuels. The deployment of BESS not only ensures a more reliable and resilient electricity supply but also contributes to the overall sustainability and decarbonization goals of the nation. As the country continues to prioritize renewable energy sources, investing in utility-scale BESS becomes increasingly crucial, propelling the United States towards a cleaner, more efficient, and sustainable energy future.