Michael O'Brien

  • Michael O'Brien

CPP:ONE Programme Manager - Powerco

After completing my BE(hons) in 2008, I joined Transpower’s graduate programme. This introduced me to many different areas of electricity transmission, including maintenance, design, planning and IT systems. However, I developed a passion for asset management when working on Transpower’s first regulatory expenditure proposal.  I was involved in helping to both plan and then justify to external reviewers the asset replacement’s expenditure needs of the network. Following this experience, I did a number of other asset management related roles in Transpower, including being heavily involved in the implementation of a new asset management system called Maximo.

In late 2014, I had an opportunity to join Powerco to work on their regulatory submission of a customised price-quality path. I was responsible for the asset renewal workstream, and worked with a team to develop expenditure forecasts using techniques such as asset health modelling and survivorship statistics. We documented the strategy and justification for our replacement programmes. This culminated in the submission of our proposal including our supporting Asset Management Plan in 2017. I was then involved in defending our proposal against external review, of which 96% of our expenditure was approved. I am now the Investment Optimisation Manager at Powerco, and my focus is ensuring our long term expenditure plans achieve the optimal balance between competing stakeholder needs. I am also involved in overseeing the successful delivery of our approved expenditure plans and ensuring we achieve the commitments we have made in our proposal.

It is a really exciting time to be working in the electricity distribution sector and for Powerco in particular – network technology is evolving at an increasing pace and the opportunities for smarter ways of working are tremendous! The skills we need are also changing and I am encouraged by what I see of our recent graduates and their adaptability and knowledge, and the research being done at institutes like the EPECentre. 

Michael was awarded the EPECentre Undergraduate Scholarship in 2007.

Published June 2018

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