The Walcha Energy project is located around the town of Walcha, located in the New England tablelands, approximately 55km south of Armidale in New South Wales. The Walcha Energy Project combines solar and wind energy generation with pumped hydro and battery storage to provide a sustainable and reliable source of renewable energy for NSW. Its generation potential is equivalent to 15% of NSW’s electricity demand.
They are committed to reinforcing a strong sense of community and is focussed on delivering a project that produces benefits for the whole community and wide New England region.
In August 2019 Walcha Energy approached Mipela, looking for a stakeholder management solution. A few weeks later Mipela implemented X-Info Suite to provide a web based solution that can manage stakeholders, property information, agreements and associated commitments and associated interactions. Users are also able to capture data in the field using the mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware.
While the conversations with landholders in the region had been underway for more than seventeen years, the engagement initially was quite informal and spreadsheets were used to capture interactions and relevant information. Now all information, including the historical information already captured, is available from one source in X-Info Suite and can be used for several different purposes including tracking stakeholder interactions, sending bulk communications, geospatially capturing data and managing commitments.
“As the project progresses, we continue to increase our functionality within X-Info Suite, establishing additional automated reports, mobile data capture forms and activity workflows to work smarter, not harder,” said Mark Waring, Director of Walcha Energy.
Walcha Energy are focussed on making sure the local community understand the positive impact and benefits of the project. By capturing landowner, stakeholder and interaction information now, it will ensure its future use is high value in ensuring their social license to operate aligns to Walcha Energy’s vision to deliver a holistic, flexible and authentic engagement process with all landowners and community stakeholders.
Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation provide specialist cultural heritage and support services to corporations and individuals, particularly in the resources sector within the QCD2016/007 Native Title Claim area.
Mipela and Barada Barna have worked together on various projects over the years. Barada Barna recently contacted Mipela to provide a solution that would remove the subjectivity from cultural heritage management for their Native Title Claim area.
Mipela worked with Barada Barna to deliver a data management regime for cultural heritage that is technically sound and business based. X-Info Suite provides Barada Barna with risk reduction, improved coordination of field teams and cost savings not just in cultural heritage management but also in any other project component or process that might depend on cultural heritage clearance.
Field workers are able to capture information, photos, videos and audio recordings using our mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware. Any information captured in the field is immediately sent to a cloud hosted server and made available for consumption by all users of X-Info Suite. X-Info Aware also has an offline capability that captures the data point in time in remote areas with poor data connectivity, automatically caching the data back to the cloud hosted server as soon as the mobile device returns to mobile or wireless coverage. Using tools like X-Info Aware significantly expediates the notification and assessment of any cultural heritage finds.
Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation’s Cultural Heritage body is Winnaa Pty Ltd. Winnaa currently does Cultural Heritage work for more than twenty mines, gas and exploration tenements over our country and employs approximately 15 traditional owners.
“With us moving to digital mapping and recording this will make the process of doing our Cultural Heritage surveys and Cultural Heritage clearance work more efficient and less time consuming as now we can have all our reports digital instead of paper copies. I believe this will make our Cultural Heritage process more streamlined and we can keep a closer eye on the mining and gas companies in our area,” said Graham Budby, Treasurer of Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation.
As with its other cultural heritage clients, Mipela looks forward to an ongoing successful relationship where continuous improvements can be made to these processes into the future.
TransLink is a division of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads with management responsibility of adds, moves, maintenance and changes for more than 17,000 active bus stops across the State.
In 2018 TransLink invited Mipela to participate in a proof of concept to replace its existing, end of life Bus Stop Portal with a new Bus Stop Management System (BSMS). This solution required the ability to store, manage and allocate works on bus stop infrastructure and its corresponding components. The new BSMS would also include the additional functionality of being able to receive bus stop infrastructure upgrade funding applications from Councils and assess these applications via workflow with internal users.
The TransLink project team had existing business based roles to perform whilst also being committed to the project. This coupled with the part time nature of some of their subject matter experts, timing and effective communication was key. The project adopted changes to optimise the engagement opportunities with face to face workshops proving the most effective.
TransLink’s new BSMS has delivered the required functionality with the flexibility of being able to improve existing processes and adopt a continuous improvement approach to how the team works.
The new system has allowed TransLink’s BSM team to bring on board new Councils and bus companies across the State.
Users can easily access the information they need to perform their jobs in an intuitive, browser based portal.
Interactive mapping functionality allows users to quickly drill down to the area they are interested in and access the relevant information without trolling through lists of irrelevant data.
The mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware has introduced the ability for users to capture information in the field and share in real time with the BSM team in the office. This significantly reduces the maintenance time if there is an issue and improves turnaround times for repairs and installations.
Contractors, bus companies, Councils, and other relevant parties can easily gain access to their relevant data via a browser based portal.
Reporting is automated either through scheduled .pdf files that are emailed to nominated personnel or real time dashboards that show what each user need to see in order to perform their role and meet their targets.
The flexibility of this project was a result of a true ongoing partnership between the TransLink BSM team and the Mipela implementation team. The lines of communications were always open and are still well utilised.
The BSMS project has delivered well and truly above the functional and non functional requirements of the project. Workflows were streamlined as the project progressed, whilst still delivering on the core requirements.
The end product is a highly flexible system that the BSMS will continue to configure to improve their existing processes and workflows.
Further to our recent article in the previous newsletter about the Australian Pipeline and Gas Association (APGA) moving its Knowledgebase to X-Info Suite, we are delighted that the Pipeline Engineering Competency System (PECS) is now also available on the same platform.
Now, when APGA Members log on to the X-Info Suite platform where the APGA Knowledgebase moved in July, they will see in the dashboard that the PECS can also be accessed from this location.
All the information on the PECS, including the onshore and offshore competency standards libraries, the tools and resources, information about registering as an Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineer and other supporting information is now available on the new platform.
“The PECS platform is now the single source of truth for the PECS,” said APGA CEO Steve Davies in an email to members. “The competency standards in the PECS are reviewed over a five-year cycle, so please check frequently to make sure you have the current version.”
“Another new feature available via the platform is the ability to download the master lists of competency standards. These are downloaded directly from the database so are always up to date.”
JLL Infrastructure Advisory are a leading provider of niche land and property approval services to the energy, transport and communications sectors. They reduce approvals risk for projects and secure the requisite land approvals when access to land is required to develop projects.
Working on behalf of a large state based energy company, JLL sought assistance from Mipela in providing a suitable land access management solution to assist with a large lineal asset project.
Whilst members of the JLL team have been exposed to Mipela’s X-Info Suite through several mutual clients over the years, this was a first project directly between JLL and Mipela. Getting the structure of the project and an agreed plan in place was a key success factor to this project being delivered on time and on budget. Having a flexible client and an agile implementation approach resulted in functionality being delivered within the solution that was well above the clients’ expectations. This, in turn, lead to an additional project phase, specifically focusing on stakeholder management, being added to the project.
JLL Infrastructure Advisory’s Head of Infrastructure, Jamahl Waddington said, “The team at Mipela made this project easy. We were able to engage with the Mipela team both in person here in Adelaide or online. I was particularly impressed by their ability and flexibility in integrating with various data sources, mitigating the need for users to have to access multiple applications to do their job.”
Projects like this often include several groups of users from other companies who are all working on the same project. By being able to easily configure X-Info Suite to ensure that Company A only gets to see what Company A requires to see in order to conduct their role in the project was critical.
“Property access and acquisition negotiations can be of a highly a sensitive nature and being able to secure certain information can be critical to the success of the project,” said Waddington. “Mipela’s obviously experienced team were also able to provide valuable insights into best practice relating to land access.”
“We look forward to using X-Info Suite on this project and hopefully others in the future.”
Vestas Australian Wind Technology – the local arm of Danish wind energy giant Vestas – recently engaged Mipela to provide a stakeholder management platform for a new wind farm project that they are developing near Walcha in NSW. The project, known as the Winterbourne Wind Farm, has a potential capacity of 700MW which would make it the largest wind farm in Australia if it were built today.
Vestas also wanted a stakeholder management platform that could be scaled to future development projects. Mipela implemented X-Info Suite to provide a web based solution that can manage stakeholders, property information, agreements and associated payments as well as associated communications. Users are also able to capture data in the field using the mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware.
While the conversations with landholders in the region had been underway for the past fifteen years, the engagement had been quite informal. Owner names were tracked on a simple spreadsheet and Google Earth was used for the property and asset locations. Now all information, including the historical information already captured, is available from one source in X-Info Suite and can be used for several different purposes including bulk communications, geospatially capturing data and payments.
Project Director of the Winterbourne Wind Farm, Doug Landfear said, “The team at Mipela have provided us with a best practice stakeholder management system that has the flexibility to provide us with a comprehensive solution into the future as this project matures. Their expertise and experience in delivering the solution made the process simple – we were able to start working with the software in a matter of weeks. The Mipela Solution Specialist was insanely efficient and made the project a breeze.”
One other interesting dimension is that Vestas purchased the project from Walcha Energy who is developing other renewable energy projects in the Walcha area. Walcha Energy is also using X-Info Suite to manage its stakeholder management across these other assets.
Farming Together (Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program) – is a Federal Government initiative that aims to provide farmers, fishers and foresters with knowledge, skills and materials on collaborative ideas, co-operative structures and collective strategies. The program is managed by Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW.
Farming Together aims to:
Managing this program involves a significant amount of progress tracking and reporting. The Farming Together team had been using a proprietary CRM but needed more. The team members wanted access to data in usable formats and accurate reporting – at case or program level, delivered in a timely manner.
Mipela was chosen to provide a solution that could give them real-time access to accurate information, automating their workflow processes and approvals. The team at Mipela went about configuring X-Info Suite to align to Farming Together’s business processes and reporting requirements, ensuring that users had what they needed, when they needed it and in a format they could use.
Users of X-Info Service Suite experienced immediate improvements through the ability to access the data using the individually configured dataviews, improved search functionality and the ability to see a financial and service snapshot in one view. Seeing a summary of a case in one screen has made internal control easier and more effective. This has resulted in greater transparency over case files and improved efficiencies in time taken to complete tasks.
Having learnt a hard lesson on what didn’t work well, the team at Farming Together was committed to working with Mipela to invest the time and effort in implementing a successful solution – and it’s paid off in time-efficiency.
The result has been a more committed project team. They were able to undertake some major data cleansing and remove inaccurate data along the way which has led to improved, more accurate financial reporting. In turn, this made ongoing monthly financial reporting far more efficient, with no anomalies to review.
“We had a really good experience working with Dirk, he met our needs and was very patient with us during the process. Dirk persevered through some difficult moments with our data cleansing which was a relief and appreciated by our team,” said Emma Hunter, Farming Together’s operations manager.
“Overall, now we have something that makes our job easier!” she said.
Since its inception, Queensland Urban Utilities had primarily sourced its property information from Brisbane City Council’s Coreland application. On 30 June 2016, this arrangement ceased and an alternative data source was required. Queensland Urban Utilities’ area of interest covers five Councils – Brisbane, Somerset, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and the Scenic Rim Regional Councils – and the solution needed to align the process of acquiring property data across all regions.
Queensland Urban Utilities selected Mipela to provide a suitable Property Information Service solution that would support business functions including; billing, managing customer enquiries (via the Contact Centre, mail, email and social media), maintenance operations for meter reading, and spatial analysis for asset capital works and operational planning. The objectives of the project were to reduce costs associated with acquiring property data, improve accuracy of the data, and align acquisition of the data to enable a more efficient use of data within the business.
The Property Information Service was designed using Mipela’s X-Info Connect, with X-Info WebConnect providing a browser based lookup interface for staff to reference both historical and the ongoing new data.
Property, ownership, valuation and geographic information from Department of Natural Resources and Mines is combined into a database within X-Info Connect and automatically updated daily, with the service checking each data source for any changes. This data is then automatically delivered from X-Info Connect for consumption by the business for various purposes.
The Property Information Service has been established with future requirements in mind, as additional Queensland Urban Utilities applications come to require access to property information. This cloud based solution is fully managed by Mipela, with no administrative requirements by Queensland Urban Utilities staff.
Now, large volumes of data and updates are received and automatically processed for delivery by X-Info Connect into the Property Information Service. The integrity of the data has significantly increased and there is an increased level of comfort in the data being received. Queensland Urban Utilities has provided the business with a cost saving, reliable source of property information that can be used by various areas of the business in a consumable format.