Plant Operator

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The Plant Operator is responsible for ensuring the safe operation of the plant necessary to meet generation requirements while monitoring the status of all plant systems. Plant operations include but are not limited to plant start-up and shut-down and routine maintenance and repair of generation equipment and all instruments, control systems, electronic and electrical equipment. The Plant Operator is expected to perform high quality work in the operation, inspection, repair, testing, adjustment, installation and removal of all electronic and electrical power plant equipment and systems.

DESCRIPTION OF ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS · All NorthWestern Energy employees are required to adhere to company safety standards
· Ensure all actions are consistent with NorthWestern Energy’s values, mission, and strategic business objectives
· Comply with all site safety requirements and procedures
· Identify safety hazards and takes corrective actions as necessary
· Operate and maintain the Huron Generating Station in a safe, reliable manner
· Receive and respond to SOCC generation requests. (A dispatch call for generation may require a 10 minute response time to comply with NERC Standards).
· Act as representative and routinely interface in an effective, responsible manner with internal company employees and various agencies, including Transmission Operators, Reliability Coordinators, and Scheduling Coordinators following their documented procedures and guidelines.
· Participate in the administrative maintenance of the plant operating manuals, technical references, prints and diagrams and preventive/predictive maintenance records.
· Set up and operate machine shop tools in the performance of all machine work to close tolerances. Align and balance rotating equipment.
· Assemble, disassemble, repair and adjust all types of mechanical equipment.
· Perform preventive and predictive maintenance duties on all major equipment and systems as well as emergency backup systems.
· Inspect, repair, install and remove all types of electrical equipment including motors, generators, transformers, breakers, switches, control equipment, wiring, electrical signal and communication systems, and storage batteries.
· Conduct trouble shooting and analysis on DCS, PLC and PWPS turbine control equipment.
· Perform shipping and receiving functions including loading, unloading, inventory auditing, and materials handling. Issue, receive and maintain inventory of spare parts to maintain plant reliability
· Perform emergency activities to maintain power generation and safeguard station equipment.
· Perform all shift operations to maintain safe, reliable and compliant conditions, including startup and shutdown of main plant components and auxiliaries.
· Read and record gauges and meters.
· Perform routine operational tests and adjustments on all power plant systems and components as required.
· Conduct routine inspection of the plant to inspect equipment, provide feedback to SD Production, and to other employees as directed.
· Issue Lockout/ Tagouts as required.
· Maintain accurate operating logs, records, time sheets, work orders and other administrative documents related to the power plant.
· Perform routine cycle chemistry testing and make the necessary adjustments to optimize efficiency.
· Check daily consumption rates of chemicals, gases, fuels, water and other consumables; monitors inventories and initiates action to replenish when appropriate.
· Investigate plant problems, incidents, accidents and unusual events, and provide analyses, recommendations, reports, and appropriate follow-up plans.
· Develop and assist in developing and revising operations and maintenance related procedures.
· Perform and maintain housekeeping standards and duties.
· Perform other duties necessary to fulfill plant requirements.

This position requires the use of established procedures, while performing duties under general direction with minimal supervision. A wide variety of work situations will be encountered from typical maintenance to complex challenges.

The Plant Operator has the authority to control the operation of the plant, and must do so in a safe manner resulting in no accidents while maintaining compliance with all environmental permits at all times. Effective communication with supervision, employees, and regulatory agencies regarding plant status and performance is required.

All employees have the responsibility to both the customer and their co-workers to do the job right the first time and to ensure the customers' needs are being met.


The Plant Operator reports to the Project Manager


Physical requirements include; working while standing or sitting, requiring stair and ladder climbing; and occasionally lifting up to 50 pounds. Protective equipment such as hard hats, safety glasses, air masks, ear protection and others must be worn in the performance of some duties. Work with hazardous materials may be required.

This position requires varied shifts with the possibility of weekend, callout, and holiday work as required by schedules, work load and plant conditions. Timely response to callouts is required. “On Call” status may be required.

All personnel are required to comply with the Fitness for Duty policy. This policy includes but is not limited to a post-offer physical examination and drug screening and post employment random drug screening. There are stringent smoking restrictions in and around the facility.

GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS · Must be able to demonstrate a good safety record
· Must possess strong interpersonal communication skills
· Ability to understand procedures and instructions specific to the area of assignment as would be acquired in four years of high school is required
· Minimum 3 years operations and maintenance experience in gas turbine electrical power generation
· A degree from an accredited Instrument Technician Program and two years work experience as a technician in a related industry desirable
· Ability to do mechanical work and skilled in the use of hand and power driven tools
· Ability to work well with others and be self-directed, as well as apply creative solutions to unique mechanical problems with emphasis on IC&E preferred
· Must be able to effectively work with plant drawings
· Willingness to manage workloads for South Dakota Production Department
· Must have excellent organizational skills
· Must have excellent skills in oral and written communication, and interpersonal relations
· Must have strong computer skills
· Knowledge in working with systems up to 13,800 volts desirable

When considering applicants for this position, the selection process will take into consideration the needs of NorthWestern, including such factors as reorganization requirements, diversity opportunities, relocation requirements, employee development and job succession. If any of the preceding language conflicts with the applicable bargaining unit agreements, the bargaining unit agreement will prevail.

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