Major Development Management going strong

It has been six months since we have rolled out our first MDM service to our largest customers and the feedback has been great. We knew the development industry wanted more from electrical consulting providers, particularly in design and project management (PM2) services, driven by a need to achieve Statement of Compliance within planned timeframes, so we have been tailoring services to suit the individual developer to assist in delivering on these expectations. Leading this service is our Manager Major Developments, Matt Doggett, who works directly with developers and consultants to manage the project from end to end.

The service is built on overall management of the electrical design at a development level including early identification and management of risks, stakeholder management, increased site presence and coaching during construction, and greater transparency and reporting.

We offer tailored additional services packages for large developments that offer value whether taken up from the planning stage of the development, or once construction is underway.

Some of these inclusions which represent the additional services are below and are considered most effective in enhancing the success of the construction of electrical infrastructure.

  • Perform role as Network Account Manager – arranging regular meetings with and engaging at various levels of network authority as required.
  • Attendance at Project Control Group (PCG) meetings.
  • Attendance at Site meetings based on what is required to influence the construction process and optimise the electrical compliance.
  • Provide strategic advice and support to streamline the attainment of SoC and electrical connections.
  • A site inspection by Powerplant ahead of the Network Final Audit (a Pre-Audit) to identify potential non-conformances that will be identified in the Audit.
  • Provision of a detailed report with photos to all stakeholders to enable rectification, and active facilitation of the required rectification.
  • A review of As Built drawings against the approved plan to ensure compliance and management of rectifications required.
  • Attendance by Powerplant at the Network Final Audit to engage with the Auditor throughout.
  • Regular and proactive project tracking and reporting using status reporting templates and also utilising Powerplant’s web based project management solution, Wrike.

If you would like to know more about how these services could benefit your project, please speak with us and we can prepare a tailored proposal.

What it’s like to be part of Powerplant’s graduate program?

Our director, Greg, talks with Jordan Redburn, one of our 2018 graduates, about his journey at Powerplant so far, the challenges, highlights and how he hopes to contribute to our industry in the future.

Video here.

Read the interview transcript below.

Jordan Redburn

  1. What is it about Powerplant that enticed you to apply for the graduate program?

The opportunity to rotate through numerous roles and departments to broaden my area of knowledge. It gave me the best chance to find a position within the company that suited both Powerplant an myself.


  1. Was the program as you expected coming in to Powerplant?

The rotation section of the program was just as expected. The chance to take control and responsibility really surprised me.


  1. Tell us a little about each vocation where you spent your time?

Public Lighting – Worked on VESI AS3000 and VicRoads work. Had a chance to complete spacing calcs, luxe plots, NST, etc.

Project Management – Completed time responsible for Major Project delivery.

URD – Design supply of new greenfield lots.

Asset Relocation – Both underground and overhead including surveying.


  1. What have you enjoyed most about the program?

Flexibility to direct my learning and being given sufficient time to develop skills. Learning is always encouraged.

  1. What achievement have you been most proud of over the past 24 months?

The first grad project implemented was an audit app. I was able to gain a great understanding of the construction issues presented onsite. It also enabled me to create something that made a lasting impression on the business.


  1. What has been your biggest challenge through the program?

Being a consultant and understanding external roles, responsibilities and requirements. Dealing with different needs through Authorities, Councils or Developers can be tough.


  1. You had to deliver a project as part of the program, tell us a little about that.

The audit app was a highlight, but I also created an Asset Catalogue which is used throughout the business to enable continuity and clarification in what we discuss as engineers.


  1. Did you find the mentoring program beneficial?

This was great. It gave me time to reflect on what we had learnt and how I was progressing. It also gave me a friendly face to answer any queries.


  1. What’s next for you? Do you have a 5-year plan regarding where you want to be and what you want to be doing?

I plan to complete a PM Diploma, advance into AIPM Accreditation then hopefully become a Team Leader.


Detailing and auditing services continue to grow

Detailing and auditing has been a growth area for our business since we began offering auditing services in 2018.

We now have several accredited auditors, performing a range of civil, electrical (underground and overhead) and cable hauling audits and inspections.

Our detailing capacity has also grown in the past 12 months, with four new members joining the team. This function offers proven value to projects by assisting the delivery team achieve project compliance as promptly as possible. Our detailers can provide:

    • Site works to collect ‘as constructed’ detail
    • Preparation of As Built drawings in utility format
    • Facilitating network approval of As Built plans

We continue to use the best available technology to streamline both the auditing and detailing processes and improve quality, supported by our recently implemented works management system.

Cherry Tree Wind Farm

We recently kicked off our involvement in the development of Infigen Energy’s Cherry Tree Wind Farm near Seymour, with initial site visit and project meetings with the client completed.

The 57.6MW wind farm requires a new 66kV line running for approximately 7km to connect the farm’s 16 turbines to the AusNet Services grid. Preliminary design drawings and commissioning, operation and maintenance report have been submitted, to be followed shortly by the detailed survey. The expected annual generation output from the wind farm will equate to powering 37,000 average Victorian households, avoiding the emission of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

This is a large, strategic project, requiring liaison and negotiations with multiple stakeholders and our team has impressed the client in presentations to stakeholders and subsequent communications. We look forward to continuing to deliver on this exciting project.

20 years of Powerplant

In 1999 our Director, Greg Plant, launched a small (very small!) electrical design consultancy, working hard to provide the very best designs and project management possible. Building trust with clients was key, as was navigating relationships with networks and contractors, but the goal was always to solve problems as effectively and economically as possible and impact positively on the electricity supply industry.

We are now 20 years into our story but in many ways we’ve got ourselves to a whole new starting point. As Greg says, with each step we take, more possibilities come into view. It is no accident that we find ourselves in the in the right place, at the right time and in the right shape to do what we are here for – we really are building a better industry.

The last two years have been particularly transformative.

  • We have hired a CEO and established an Executive.
  • We won the premier award for Business of the Year in our region.
  • We have established support contracts with all Victorian distribution networks.
  • We’ve emerged as the only company with Rating 1 Accreditation across all disciplines.
  • We have almost 100 staff on board and implemented an industry leading graduate program.
  • We’ve opened new markets and are offering new services.
  • We have delivered services to major project works all over the state and are quoting now on interstate opportunities.
  • Most of all we’ve kept the same things in mind as we did 20 years ago – happy customers, happy networks, happy contractors, and a happy team.

We are proud of our achievements in the industry and know that we still have a lot to give. We continue to live our Values – People, Performance, and Pride. We have a great team and welcome talented people into our business. We embrace technology to streamline our work and aim high in the solutions we offer, and we constantly seek feedback on how we can do things better.

Thank you for your support and here’s to next 20 years!