Cory begins work at Stadtwerke Munster (city works Munster)

May 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm 3 comments

Yesterday I had the privilege of participating in a full vocational day at work at Stadtwerke Munster (SM) our host city’s general utility provider. The utility of roughly 1,000 employees provides electric power to 158,000 city customers, and also heat, natural gas, water and city bus service. I had the pleasure of spending most of the day with Mikka and Daniella and the public relations team, leaning about how they communicate and engage with their local customers as well as their own employees. I also learned about the various opinions held by the public and regional/national elected leaders regarding Germany’s traditional energy sources vs. more modern renewable energy sources. It seems like we face many of the same challenges regarding our energy future as is found in Germany.

One of the fun projects I undertook was reviewing a general Stadtwerke Munster overview presentation that is giving by various employees within the company to different public audiences. This presentation had been translated into English, and my employer hosts asked me to look it over to make sure it all made sense in English. For the most part it was very well translated, but I was able to make what I hope to be a few helpful suggestions, and also picked up on some great insights in the process.

In the afternoon I visited the natural gas/steam power plant which is on the same campus as their administration building. This plant looked very state-of-the-art, as it was completed in 2005. A gentleman mechanical engineer named Jork walked me through the combined cycle plant which generates between 100-104 megawatts of electric power, enough to meet the needs of roughly half of Stadtwerke Munster’s customers. We also toured their control room and learned about how weather predictions and modeling are used to anticipate the power needs of Stadtwerke Munster customers a day in advance, very similar to how we balance power demand back home at Puget Sound Energy. Jork also had some terrific insight into the pending challenges facing Germany to meet power demand needs as they transition as a nation away from nuclear power over the next decade or so. It still impresses me how well almost everyone here in Munster can communicate in English. It certainly has been helpful!

We finished off the afternoon reserving a couple company bikes for a quick 10 minute bike ride from their central campus into old town Munster where they are preparing to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of opening a downtown Stadtwerke Munster city shop. This is a central hub store where customers and guests can come learn about the utility, ask questions, pay bills, sign up for new programs, learn how to save energy, and even purchase some tools to help them do so, like energy-efficient light bulbs, power strips, and more. A terrific learning experience at Stadtwerke Munster day 1, and I am back there today to learn more about their business operations!

In the evening after work I was greeted with an a truly wonderful offer from my host family to join them for a quick half round of twilight golf. How could I pass that up! Bernt and Christine provided me with a great set of clubs to hack the ball all over their beautiful golf club, fitted with a castle turned hotel overlooking the 3rd hole. It has been a real treat to be hosted by the Rolfes.

Back to work this morning at Stadtwerke Munster!

– Cory

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Entry filed under: Team Blog.

More Munster Libraries in Muenster

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. billrobson1  |  May 24, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Excellent Cory. Looks like you are getting exactly what you had hoped for, and golf thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

    Reply
  • 2. Cory Ertel  |  May 28, 2012 at 12:12 am

    The work experience was really great, and the golf was obviously I nice bonus! Hope you are doing well Bill. Glad to see you are following our journey!

    Reply
  • 3. Luckie ottar  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:28 am

    I am very pleased that you have had the opportunity to have visited us here in Münster and the Stadtwerke Münster. I am quiet sure your learning experiences that you have aquired will be remembered as you achieve more knowledge in your field of work.

    Reply

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