Living the Clean Energy Transition

Presentation Description: Facing into change is hard, everyday we see the world trying to come to grips with climate change and wrestling with the actions needed to mitigate its effects. TransAlta has been leading the way in North America, contributing 8% towards Canada's reduction in greenhouse emissions through its clean energy transition having reduced 25 million tonnes in annual emissions reductions since 2005. For our organization it's meant closing coal assets, converting coal asset to gas and extensive growth in renewables. However, this kind of change however does not come without its challenges. Let us share our story, living through the coal to gas conversion process, shutting down the mine site and the retirement of key assets. We will talk about how the organization managed the changes and how we’ve seen the company evolve, how the changes impacted us personally, and how we’ve made our way to our new roles. We will also explore how our new fleetwide roles are helping to shape how the company performs asset management, as we adjust from managing large coal and gas facilities to smaller and more diverse renewable assets. This story will help you and your organization think about managing large scale change, it’s impact on employees and on how strategic shifts in the organization’s strategy can impact its asset management practices.

Speaker Bio

Dale Peck, Fleet Asset Reliability Specialist, TransAlta

I have been employed 21 years with TransAlta, working as Journeyman Millwright for the first 13 years. In this time I was fortunate to be able to work primarily in the shutdown environment across all 4 of the steam powered generation plants, Wabamun, Sundance, Keephills and Keephills 3. The majority of time here was spent executing major turbine/generator overhauls in the roles of Millwright, Foreman and Turbine Coordinator. After this time, I transitioned to “off the tools” leadership with our Major Maintenance Team at our Alberta Thermal Coal facilities and worked in a project manager role as an Area Coordinator for 4 years. After this I moved to the role of Mechanical Maintenance Specialist, then Maintenance Supervisor positions for 3.5 years with our Keephills team, learning and managing more business related aspects of our company . With the onset of our Coal to Gas conversions and the reduced level of maintenance required I was given the opportunity to transition again, this time reporting through Shared Services and the Maintenance Programs and Work Management team, as a Fleet Asset Reliability Specialist. This new role has presented new challenges and opportunities, notably of which, allowing me to collaborate with maintenance teams across our company.




Zachary Baker, Fleet Asset Reliability Specialist, TransAlta

I started with TransAlta in 2008 as an electrician working at Alberta Thermal Turnaround Services Department. Previously, I worked at various oil and gas projects such as Petro Canada (Suncore), Shell Scotford, and commercial construction In the Edmonton area. During my time with TransAlta, I have worked on Maintenance, Shutdowns, Capital projects, and various leadership roles with TransAlta’s Electrical and Instrumentation Department at our Sundance and Keephills Coal facilities. Subsequently I moved to a new role as a Planner for the Engineering and Asset Management Department in 2020. In 2021 I took on a new challenge in our Shared Services Department as a Fleet Asset Reliability Specialist.


Marina Van Koughnett, Process Specialist, TransAlta

Marina Van Koughnett is responsible for TransAlta’s Process Safety Management Program and is one of the founding members of TransAlta’s Operational Integrity Program which combines practices from Asset Management, Process Safety, Environmental Health and Safety and Risk Management to create an integrated operational Management System. As one of the programs leads and a current member of the governing organization, Marina’s focus is on the continuous improvement of the business via Operations Risk Management, Operations & Maintenance Practices, Competency Management, Business Planning & Target Setting and Process Safety.

Graduating from Queens University in Engineering in 2004, Marina started her career in TransAlta’s new graduate program. After completing the program Marina found a home in Major Maintenance for Gas and Hydro generation, ultimately progressing to the role of Manager Major Maintenance for Gas & Renewables before transitioning to the development of TransAlta’s Operational Management System.

September 21st, 2022 1:00 PM to  1:45 PM
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