2018 - A Year in Review

Last Friday night, Yates Electrical Services hosted their annual staff Christmas party to celebrate a successful 2018. As the year draws to its inevitable close, we now begin the process of adapting to the challenges of a New Year; such as how we can continue growing our business and brand, new projects which require our attention, and of course remembering to write 2019 instead of 2018 when we sign documents (let’s face it, we’ll probably still be doing that until March).

On the back of the biggest year of growth this company has seen, Yates Electrical Services have many exciting new developments to share with you in the coming months, so make sure you stay connected with us on all our social media platforms - including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and our occasional posts to Instagram. That being said, we thought now would be a good opportunity to reflect on some of the major projects which Yates Electrical Services have developed and been involved with over the past year.

For those of you who regularly read my articles, you’ll know that I bang on quite a bit about projects which are taking place predominantly throughout South Australia. What you may not know is that Yates Electrical Services are also very well established in Australia’s High-Voltage scene, having worked on over 80 High-Voltage projects across Australia since the business was established in 2008 - ranging from wind-farm and solar-farm construction to substation construction and grid infrastructure upgrades.

2018 – the businesses biggest year to date, saw our team working on the completion of 5 wind farms at Bodangora, Crookwell, Coopers Gap, Silverton and Badgingarra, with works at Lincoln Gap still continuing into the new year - the completion of 8 substations, including Bodangora, Crookwell, Silverton, Walkamin and Mt Gunston, with upgrades to the Berri substation and the Port Lincoln Substation, Millbrook Pump Station, the Black Range Disconnector, South East Protection, the construction of the Dalrymple Battery and the Lake Bonney Battery Switchroom, as well as solar farms at Colleambally and Bungala, with construction of the Bannerton and Albury solar farms continuing into the new year.

Other projects continuing into 2019 include the Sydney Tunnel works, Consolidated Power Projects’ Kennedy Energy Park and the numerous Green Gold Energy solar farms being constructed throughout South Australia.
With a team of over 50 tradespeople, trades assistants and apprentices - 30 of which regularly operate away from home under the direction of our Operations Manager Rhys Duthie, Yates Electrical Services have continued to build working relationships with some of the biggest movers in the High-Voltage market - including Consolidated Power Projects (CPP) and Downer, while also forging new business relationships with Powertech, UGL, Siemens and EPS. These new relationships have been built on an immaculate reputation for high quality and efficient delivery of projects from Yates Electrical Services, which is a credit to the entire crew who work tirelessly to uphold that reputation in the field.

Yet our achievements in the High-Voltage arm of our business are complimented by the successes of our local operations. Supervised by our local Operations Manager Rowan Gray, this year saw the delivery of 29 large-scale solar farms in regional South Australia. From Renmark to Loxton; Orroroo to Cummins, our dedicated local team laid 27,150 panels with a total output capacity of 7.3MW - enough to fill 29 shipping containers and weighing approximately 570 tonnes. Suffice to say, our Redmud Green Energy project very definitely found its feet in 2018, and we’re looking forward to expanding this energy solution further in 2019.
"2018 was unquestionably our biggest year to date, with Yates Electrical Services increasing their generating capacity portfolio to over 13.2MW, with 45 of the 91 registered solar farms in South Australia being built and operated by our team, outputting over 12.47GWh of electricity."
Yet, while the core functions of the business were fastidiously humming along, some significant changes were taking effect behind the scenes at the business’ head office in Paringa; Yates Electrical Services director Mark Yates this year made the decision to split the business into two entities, one to manage the construction side of the business, and one to facilitate the sale and purchase of energy between the companies now numerous generating assets, its growing base of business customers and the Australian Energy Market Operator. Though not a change which overall has any drastic affect on the operations of the business itself, it does isolate these two vastly different business functions, making them considerably easier to manage on an accounting basis. Considering Yates Electrical Services were Australia’s second largest producer of Large Generation Certificates in 2018 – generated by renewable energy assets for purchase by ‘dirty’ generators to offset their carbon emissions – it definitely made sense to separate the two distinct sides of the main business.

Other significant changes include the addition of key personnel being placed into strategic positions to assist the growth of the business, including Elyce John as the new office administrator of our Paringa depot, Kerry Gallard assisting Rhys Duthie in the operations of the High-Voltage construction operations, and Gary Broughton who was instated at the beginning of the year as our Chief Technical Officer. Gary has spent the past year developing software to communicate with the Australian Energy Market in order to accurately generate data which can be used for market settlement and Large Generation Certificate creation.
Yates Electrical Services was also recognised as one of South Australia’s top 25 fastest moving businesses based on financial records for the 2016/17 year, with this year’s growth eclipsing this previous record. We have also seen significant growth across our social media platforms, and look forward to continuing to develop this informed and growing community into the New Year.

All-in-all, 2018 was unquestionably our biggest year to date, with Yates Electrical Services increasing their generating capacity portfolio to over 13.2MW, with 45 of the 91 registered solar farms in South Australia being built and operated by our team, outputting over 12.47GWh of electricity, which is enough to satisfy the annual energy needs of 25% of the population of Renmark, and being over 10 times the amount of energy required to send Marty McFly back to 1985.

There are some really exciting developments still on the horizon for 2019, but we need to build suspense, so if you want to find out what they are, you’ll just have to keep an eye out!

I thought - being that it was the end of 2018, it might be fitting to get a final quote from Mark Yates about the future of the business, so on Monday – just two days before Christmas, I asked him; “Are you ready for 2019?”

Without looking away from the growing list of emails he had already received that day, he responded simply…
"It's already started."

About the Author

Patrick is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Yates Electrical Services. When he's not designing stuff and writing stories, he performs as an acoustic soloist and spends time with his beautiful little family.

Patrick also likes long walks on the beach, sewing, and photoshopping himself to look like an Avenger. He really wishes he was an Avenger.