This is the second of a two-part blog series about Mayflower Wind’s development of an offshore wind farm in New England and their use of Oracle Aconex for collaboration and information management during project development.
Read part one to learn how they reduced the time needed to route and track their permitting reviews by 60%.
In December 2018, Mayflower Wind was awarded a federal offshore lease located over 30 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 20 miles south of Nantucket. The lease area has the potential to generate over 1,600 megawatts (MW) of low-cost clean energy, or enough to power over half a million homes.
Mayflower Wind executed a 20-year power purchase agreement in January 2020 with the Massachusetts electric distribution companies to meet state residents’ needs. The developer expects to deliver clean energy from the project by the mid-2020s.
In addition to clean energy, Mayflower Wind plans to provide over 10,000 good-paying new jobs and supply chain growth across all phases from development to construction, and throughout operations.
“Oracle Construction and Engineering embraces the opportunity to work with Mayflower Wind to advance their initiative and address critical environmental challenges,” says Craig Stavert, area vice president, Oracle Construction and Engineering.*
Decisions are the cornerstone of development companies. The better the decision-making process and information availability, the better the outcome for the project. The quality of decisions impacts every facet of an asset lifecycle - from planning, design, and procurement through execution, handover, and operations.
Mayflower Wind takes their responsibility very seriously. The decisions they make on their design reviews will have long lasting impacts.
Every review is run through the developer’s central system for project collaboration and information management, Oracle Aconex, to ensure each review cycle includes all appropriate reviewers regardless of location. In addition, the Oracle solution provides each reviewer access to all relevant information as well as the ability to track the progress of their design reviews.
Mayflower Wind team members, as well as their contractors, engineers, and consultants, all collaborate on the Oracle system throughout the collaborative engineering and decision-making process. The benefits of this approach include time savings and better decisions by ensuring all the right people are involved in the review process and the long-term value of those informed decisions.
Further, a single, comprehensive project of record - comprising documents, actions, decisions, and the rationale behind them - is invaluable throughout the life of the wind farm. Mayflower Wind’s CEO, Michael Brown is an experienced offshore wind professional. He understands how data and governance contribute to the success of the project and operation of a wind farm.
“Oracle Construction and Engineering is proud to provide governance, control, and assurance to the organizations supporting the US infrastructure initiative and to the public being served,” says Joe Castner, vice president, Americas, Oracle Construction and Engineering.
To that end, the Master Document Register within the construction documents management tool makes it easy to organize all project documentation in alignment with Mayflower Wind’s naming and numbering conventions. “I can quickly set up placeholders and transmit those to the contractors for them to supersede with the documents they submit,” says Weronika Nowak, document control manager for Mayflower Wind.
The contractual turnaround commitment is typically between five to 15 days, but often Mayflower Wind only needs four to five days using Oracle Aconex. The Oracle tool highlights to the reviewer what documents need to be reviewed, links all supporting documentation, and tracks deadlines.
“All necessary information and supplementary documents are included in the workflows. This makes it easier on the reviewer because everything is in one location."
-Weronika Nowak, Document Control Manager, Mayflower Wind
Mayflower Wind has mitigated the risk of penalty for missing contractual obligations. In addition, the developer is not rushed and has the time to complete high-quality, comprehensive reviews.
The developer estimates a 40-60% time savings across workflows by using Oracle Aconex to automate routing and tracking. The complexity of the designs and the number of organizations collaborating on Mayflower Wind’s project highlight the importance of compiling and tracking related information.
Mayflower Wind has easily accomplished this using the Oracle system’s Packages functionality, which aids review cycles by grouping together related documents, correspondence, and other data. For example, Mayflower Wind uses this feature to transmit a group of documents to contractors for a specific subsystem. That grouping can then be tracked within Oracle Aconex.
As previously mentioned, the quality of decisions on the project in general - and on the design in particular - is critical to the project success. Enabling all relevant reviewers to interact with the building information model (BIM), instead of reviewers evaluating a static PDF of the model, provides a more complete review.
The model coordination capabilities in Oracle Aconex support the upload, download, and interaction with large model files without the need for authoring software – and without the risk of crashing or system delays. This allows a broad group of reviewers to easily access and interact with the actual model. “This is a great way to supplement the complex drawing reviews,” says Nowak.
“Model management within Oracle Aconex helps communicate what the different components of the offshore windfarm are and what they look like. All relevant members of the team can be involved,” says Michael Brown, CEO of Mayflower Wind.
There are thousands of documents for each structure on the wind farm, all making up a single model. As such, the model shows the complete picture, and each reviewer can easily and efficiently review their specific area.
Mayflower Wind believes in making great decisions, delivering value, and forging strong relationships during a project. “The RFP is the beginning of a relationship,” says Brown. “This is when we create a precedent for how we communicate. We can set up a bid in Oracle Aconex in between 10 and 20 minutes, including adding the recipients, uploading documents, and adding the standard instructions to bidders.”
“Oracle Aconex makes the bid process really easy and efficient,” says Nowak. “Everything is in one place. We can see when the bid was viewed, when submissions were made, and easily send out updates to all bidders without risk of accidentally omitting one or more from communication.”
Ongoing contract management is also managed through Oracle Aconex. Mayflower Wind can assure contract compliance by entering all contract terms into the system before they are automatically managed and tracked.
Nowak feels the bid process would take at least twice as long without Oracle Aconex, including ensuring everyone internally and externally gets the information they need, tracking progress, and keeping everything confidential.
Mayflower Wind has managed more than 1,000 workflows in the first year of development with at least 30 active workflows at any given point. Nowak uses the Reports module in the Oracle tool to easily run custom reports on the status of the workflows.
Without the Oracle system, it would take Mayflower Wind two to three hours to compile the data to create their weekly reports. All communications, variations, contractual changes, technical queries, and design reviews are managed and recorded in Oracle Aconex.
The distribution rules within the Oracle system are easily configurable, ensuring no one is omitted and items can be marked as confidential. “Distribution rules are a useful and practical tool,” says Nowak.
Technical queries can include between five and 35 fields. The Oracle system supports marking fields as “required.” There is no need to go back and forth to get the needed information.
Everything can be easily resolved within Oracle Aconex, with everyone collaborating within one system. Handing technical queries within the Oracle tool is 30-40% more efficient than managing this process offline. Further, there is a 50-60% time savings by having all communication take place in one central system.
There are many methods and tools available to manage project processes. Mayflower Wind was not simply looking for a way to automate their processes, they wanted to develop and automate optimal processes for their project.
This approach leveraged the team’s expertise, and combined with a flexible system, created the best result for the project. The Oracle system was built to be flexible and easily configurable for users to meet the unique needs of each project.
“What’s great about Oracle Aconex is there are multiple ways to accomplish goals. Workflows can be initiated by owners or contractors. We can organize our data structure using packages or placeholders and can select the method that best meets our needs for a given process or collaboration."
-Weronika Nowak, Document Control Manager, Mayflower Wind
The Oracle system can easily be set up to best meet the needs of a given project. “We have been able to set up Oracle Aconex so the contractors can meet our demands as the owner without creating more work for themselves.”
Anyone can find the information they need or the status of a workflow. The document control manager for one of Mayflower Wind’s contractors says she usually needs to chase her engineers to complete their reviews, but with Oracle Aconex, no one spends time tracking or chasing. There is total visibility and self-accountability.
“First thing in the morning, we all check our tasks to see what we need to do, and alerts come in through our email to notify us,” says Nowak.
Everyone on the project can see what needs to be done. Contractors and suppliers have reached out to Mayflower Wind to say how great Oracle Aconex is and how much more efficient it makes their jobs.
One example is reporting. “For weekly or bi-weekly meetings, it is easy to run a report from the Oracle system in a few clicks using saved search capabilities,” says Nowak. Visibility into overlaps in review cycles and previews of what is coming soon helps improve planning. This visibility also helps assess how long tasks take on average, further supporting the planning process.
As Mayflower Wind moves beyond the development phase and into project execution, we look forward to catching up with them again, to learn about their future achievements.
Learn more about Oracle Aconex.
Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.
* Source: https://mayflowerwind.com/our-commitment/initiatives/ Additionally, Mayflower Wind is committed to provide $5 million to optimize customers’ energy usage and lower electric bills for low income households through a number of efficiency programs and technologies.