Essential Energy

Design an immersive black start simulation for our Executive Leadership Team (ELT) that stimulates a discussion on preparedness for climate change events in the electricity sector.

A black start is when electrical power is restored to a state after a total blackout. It is coordinated by the Australian Energy Market Operator with transmission, distribution and generation companies.

Essential Energy Simulation Project

The need

Draw out the regulatory and procedural complexities of a black start, overlay the impact that team and individual behavioural styles have on coordinating a successful response and deliver a report that provides a roadmap for future action.

Our Work 

Sitting down with stakeholders to discuss needs, objectives and research evidence on leading and decision-making during critical incidents, we collectively defined the scope and agreed on the high-level approach, structure, and objectives.

We reviewed relevant Acts, Codes of Practice and internal procedures, and engaged with Essential’s subject matter experts to develop and test the scenario and injects. Ensuring the ELT were presented with a range of realistic procedural and wicked problems that required the application of internal and external procedural knowledge as well as communication, decision-making, time management, adaptability, and leadership skills.

We documented the simulation, identified resources required to ensure the fidelity of the event, supported coordination and set up of the simulation physical environment, prepared the simulation roles and briefed the ‘actors’. Prior to the event, we met one-on-one with each executive to prepare and answer questions and post-event we conducted group and one-on-one debrief sessions.

Outcome

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Consolidated report

Positive feedback from participants:

‘The scenario event was spot on.’ ‘Great learning experience really productive exercise next time we do it we’ll be better off.’

‘Asked the right questions.’

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Highly effective simulation
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All 5 recommendations implemented reframing future approaches

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