In striking the right balance between long-term growth and short-term profitability, Lorraine Moore contributes to a sustainable future for Canadian energy infrastructure giant TransCanada. Soon after joining TransCanada in 2007, Moore witnessed dramatic changes within the energy industry. Availability of shale gas, increasing regulatory pressures, and stakeholder scrutiny are altering the industry. At the same time, TransCanada’s expertise in project management and operations has propelled it into the top ranks of energy providers, furthering company expansion into oil and renewable energies.
TransCanada’s portfolio includes natural gas, hydro, nuclear, wind, and solar, generating 10,900 megawatts of power annually. With this success is emphasis on effectively managing assets—a responsibility in Moore’s current role as director of asset management and strategy. “A primary goal is to develop and refresh our operational strategic plan for the next 5–10 years,” she says. “By doing this, we enable TransCanada to provide the required marketplace services while anticipating and responding to industry changes.”
Key to this strategic manifesto is asset governance. In short, Moore strives to help TransCanada’s leaders make the right decisions in meeting opportunities and challenges. She assists TransCanada’s corporate leaders in responsibly capitalizing on increasing energy demand, so—in addition to building new assets—they are also utilizing strategic partnerships and/or making acquisitions.
She cites a recent partnership with Shell and its LNG Canada partners to build and operate a potential natural-gas line from the Dawson Creek area to a proposed liquefaction plant near Canada’s West Coast. She also played a key role in the acquisition of ANR Pipelines and the purchase of the Ravenswood gas-fired plant in New York. “Each enabled us to expand our capabilities in order to better serve our markets,” Moore says. They also helped manifest a stronger presence in new markets, such as TransCanada’s 2011 construction of an Arizona peak power facility.
Moore is also directing resources toward less traditional projects. In particular, preservation of TransCanada’s institutional memory. “Recently, I was fortunate to speak with a plant employee nearing retirement,” Moore says. “With his departure, we would be losing some 50 years of life experience in the field.”
This facility also contained written logbooks dating back to the 1930s, detailing important engineering specifications. “We’ve estimated that, based on demographics, we could lose as much as 30 percent of our staff over the next three to five years—and that loss of knowledge is something we can’t easily afford,” Moore says.
In response, Moore has had conversations with a high-end tech provider, exploring how other organizations and industries have preserved precious data. This effort could include video interviews with veteran technicians and engineers, electronic scanning of paper records, and similar initiatives to retain formal and informal information.
“We can learn much from a plant employee’s actions, which, using his own judgment and experience, effectively dealt with those once-in-a-century situations—something not typically found in a training manual,” says Moore.
As to the future, TransCanada is well equipped to deal with other types of storms. “Like other large organizations, we’re keeping a sharp eye on world conditions,” Moore says. “The economic crisis in Europe, or a slowing in China’s economy, for example, could affect many around the globe, impacting borrowing costs to construction plans.”
But, as Moore notes, “TransCanada is well prepared and has a solid track record of having weathered earlier financial crises with integrity. We are strong enough to withstand global uncertainties and move forward on plans for continued growth.”