Wendy McPate

Data in Asset ManagementChair Asset Management Manager
Origin Energy

Wendy McPate FIEAust CPEng EngExec RPEQ BEng (Elec)

Wendy McPate has 20 years' experience across multiple sectors in both Australia and the United Kingdom; commencing her career in mining, resource, sugar, petrochemical and transitioning to the utility and energy sectors. She has a proven history of success in delivering outcomes and improvements in Asset Management, Project and technical Risk Management, engineering and maintenance. Her experience working as both a client and a consultant enables her to understand their respective influences and commercial drivers.

Wendy is currently the Asset Management Manager at Origin Energy for the Power Generation Business Unit which covers Gas, Coal and Hydro Generation assets geographically dispersed across Australia.

Wendy has the Engineers Australia credentials of Professional Engineer Fellow, Engineering Executive, Chartered Engineer, Registered Engineer of Queensland and is on the National Engineering Register. Wendy has a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, an Associate Diploma in Electrical Engineering (Distinction) and a Graduate Certificate in Asset Management.


Renewable energy seems to be an answer to the current climate crisis. The coal-fired plants are aging and many believe they are responsible for excessive greenhouse gas emissions. However, what happens when the wind isn’t tickling the leaves on trees, or the sun isn’t shining in the sky? Reliance on intermittent energy sources is problematic, as power cannot be generated during those times of darkness or stillness.


The answer is a big battery. Just outside of the township of Jamestown, 200kms north of Adelaide, South Australia, lies the Hornsdale Power Reserve, comprising of a 100MW/129MWh Tesla Powerpack system. It is the largest lithium-ion battery in the world1 and is made up of numerous Powerpacks each containing a DC energy storage device that houses sixteen individual battery pods, a thermal control system and hundreds of sensors that monitor and report on cell level performance2.

The battery stores power from the nearby Hornsdale wind farm when demand is low. When demand for power is high, particularly on those dry, scorching hot summer days, power is despatched to the grid via underground cabling to the Mount Lock Substation, ensuring that consumers in South Australia have clean, affordable and uninterrupted energy.

However, the lifespan of a battery, any battery, is determined by its composition. Think of your laptop and mobile phones: when they were brand new, the battery held longer capacity. The more you use them, the quicker the battery runs out and needs recharging.  Whichever battery you use, its ability to hold charge will gradually decrease over time, and the amount of cycles it goes through.

How then, is asset management performed at a battery storage facility? At Hornsdale, asset management is considered in all phases. In development, the feasibility of the project is measured through numerous surveys and consultations with all parties. During the construction phase, there is a focus on sustainability, ensuring the asset holding a lifespan of several decades. In operation, maintenance procedures and data supervision is undertaken on-site in real time, and ensures the day-to-day running of the facility is smooth.

If you work in the energy sector with a focus on asset management we’d like you to be a part of our Power in Asset Management Special Interest Group. You will experience great networking opportunities with others who work in similar fields, as well as invitations to our webinars and other events. Also, consider becoming a member of Asset Management Council. Click here to find out more about our affordable membership options. 

Sourced: https://hornsdalepowerreserve.com.au/overview/

Sourced: https://www.tesla.com/en_AU/powerpack

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