Case Study: AES’s Enterprise-wide Implementation of Copperleaf Portfolio

June 24, 2022 Santiago Vasquez

AES is a Fortune 500 energy company that manages $33 billion of assets in generation, renewable energy, and electrical transmission and distribution in 14 countries. This portfolio includes six utility businesses serving 2.5 million customers in the US and El Salvador. In 2020, AES selected the Copperleaf® Decision Analytics Solution to help the company align its global CapEx process and optimize investment portfolios across the business.  

AJ Hall, Senior Manager, T&D Project and Investment Planning, leads a team responsible for planning and managing approximately $600 million per year of investment across two AES utilities in Indiana and Ohio. At the 2022 Copperleaf Virtual Summit, AJ shared how his team is leveraging the Copperleaf solution to gain internal alignment on CapEx decisions and deliver the most value for every dollar of investment to meet customer and business goals. 

Before implementing the Copperleaf solution in 2021, AES outgrew its homegrown planning system and it sought a more sophisticated system to define and execute a new investment planning process on a global scale. AES wanted more visibility into capital project lifecycles and the ability to optimize investment portfolios across the entire enterprise and adapt plans to changing business constraints. 

The first step was defining a process that would align its business units, but also be flexible to meet the needs of its businesses in different parts of the world. Then, AES worked within each business unit to align its organization to support the CapEx planning process. In the final step, the company explored different technologies to bring it all together—and that’s when AES brought in Copperleaf. 

With a strong, established culture of asset management, AES was positioned to implement Copperleaf Portfolio™ enterprise-wide with a remote workforce. AES has now completed an entire planning cycle with Copperleaf and has realized significant benefits, including: 

  • Improved visibility and tracking of project progress and approvals through workflows, yielding the “best budget submission” the financial planning and analysis team had seen 
  • Ability to rapidly adjust investment plans on the fly as business conditions change 
  • Ability to quantify the benefits of investments from a financial, reliability, and regulatory perspective, as well as non-financial benefits such as reputation, environmental, and safety through the Copperleaf Value Framework 
  • A more objective decision-making process, enabling the investment planning team to choose the best investments at any given time 
  • Trackable and granular reporting on the CapEx plan, resulting in greater transparency and the ability to understand variances from the long-term forecast 
  • Refined global planning process founded on continuous improvement by leveraging Copperleaf’s expertise 

Copperleaf offers [clients] so many abilities to align on processes where it makes sense to, as well as the flexibility to deviate where your businesses differ.

AJ HALL

Senior Manager, T&D Project and Investment Planning, AES

In his presentation, AJ described how the flexibility of the Copperleaf solution enabled AES to support different investment types and unique business drivers across departments and geographies—and align its capital planning processes globally. Approximately 8,000 users across AES now have a single source of truth for capital project submissions and approvals, resulting in better investment decisions and greater confidence in the plan. 

In this video, AJ goes into further detail on the benefits his team has seen since implementing Copperleaf: 

Want to learn more? Members of the Copperleaf Community can watch the full case study video and other sessions on the 2022 Copperleaf Summit event website. To learn more about how Copperleaf can help your organization implement a more transparent, consistent investment planning process and achieve similar results, please contact us today. 

About the Author

Santiago Vasquez

Santiago is a CX Team Lead with Copperleaf where he focuses on implementing the Copperleaf decision analytics product suite. Santiago has worked in the electrical generation, transmission, and distribution, as well as oil and gas sectors. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia.

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