A Summer Spent Charging up Jacksonville

Wu and Burroughs

Current Full-Time MBA student Hanyan Wu and recent graduate Liz Burroughs M.B.A. ’13

This summer, Full-Time MBA student Hanyan Wu worked with the CSX Public Safety, Health and Environment department on a variety of projects related to improving energy efficiency and increasing renewable energy and electric vehicle use at CSX. Hanyan researched the feasibility of implementing solar photovoltaic technology at three locations across the CSX network, in addition to identifying optimal locations to implement other renewable energy projects. Following his research, Hanyan recommended an organization-wide renewable energy strategy. Hanyan also helped to spearhead a project to bring the first electric vehicle charging stations to downtown Jacksonville. He fostered a public-private partnership that includes the City of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Electric Authority and GE, a longtime CSX partner.

Additionally, Hanyan studied potential applications for LED lights in CSX offices, field shops, and outdoor areas along the network. He conducted a case study on LED lighting options for the CSX Environment Department at the headquarters building, and made recommendations for further implementation. Hanyan also researched submetering opportunities throughout CSX network, identified the optimal location for the sub-metering pilot project, and recommended a submetering strategy for future implementation at CSX.

Hanyan projected that these initiatives could save an estimated two million kilowatt hours annually. The project portfolio also avoids 1,572 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and creates cost savings of approximately $240,000.

The following are thoughts from Hanyan on his experience over the summer:

The Reason I Applied for EDF Climate Corps:
Originally I was working as a wind turbine design engineer. After working for two years on the first U.S. offshore wind turbine project, I realized that I want to promote sustainability through strong business cases. EDF offers the perfect opportunity for me to pursue my career goal. The training offered by EDF and the opportunity to network with other like-minded fellows made it the ideal fellowship.

This past summer, I helping to spearhead a public-private partnership to install the first electric vehicle charging stations in downtown Jacksonville, by connecting the local public utility company, the city and other stakeholders with CSX. I also evaluated the feasibility of renewable energy options and made recommendations for implementing them in the future.

For the electric vehicle charging stations, the lack of existing infrastructure is the main barrier for the project. The main barrier for renewable energy projects is the absence of incentives from the local utility company and the state.

Solutions Identified:
I worked to identify the right stakeholders and influencers for the charging station project, learned about their roles and convinced them that this project is beneficial for their own organization and the community. For the renewable energy project, we worked to find a champion and develop the storytelling value beyond the financial and environmental return.

One Thing I Learned this Summer:
I’ve learned a lot about making my own schedule, setting my own goals and expectations by being in such an entrepreneurial environment this summer.

Advice from my Supervisor:
Always think of the long term goal. Then, materialize it and break down the goal into smaller projects and goals that you can achieve and recalibrate along the way.

The Best Part of Working at CSX Transportation Corporation:
I get to learn something new every day. There is never a dull moment working in the railroad industry. I got to experience how CSX responds during an emergency in a situation room. It was an intense but also eye-opening experience.

The Mark I Want to Leave on the World:
To make it more open to communication.

Favorite Quote:
Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. — Unknown

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Hanyan Wu

Hanyan Wu is a MBA candidate with the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary.

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