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Communications Planning 30 l Distribution Automation 40 l Advanced Metering 48

Communications Planning 30 l Distribution Automation 40 l Advanced Metering 48

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August 2012 | 2
Vol. 64 No. 8

The Future Is Here
Chattanooga melds ber optics, distribution automation, voltage
regulation and AMI for a smarter grid
By Jim Glass and Lilian Bruce, Electric Power Board
Got Bandwidth?
CenterPoint Energy plans, designs, builds and operates an effective smart
grid communications network.
By Chuck Hackney, CenterPoint Energy
Advanced Distribution Keeps Korea Plugged In
Distribution monitoring and control system enhances all aspects
of operations, including storm response and load balancing.
By Sung Hwan Bae, Korea Electric Power Corp.
Bold Strides Toward Grid Transformation
Central Maine Power pursues energy excellence by implementing
a scalable, reliable and modern grid.
By Laney Brown, Central Maine Power Co.
Mitigating Oil Spills
ITC reviews and strengthens secondary oil-containment capabilities.
By Mike McNulty, ITC Holdings Corp., and Matthew Bauer,
Burns & McDonnell
Iran Implements Creative Fault-Finding Strategies
Mashhad Electric develops a general packet radio service-based fault
locator system.
By Mohsen Zabihi, Naser Nakhodchi, Saeed Alishahi and Mohammad
Hossien Yaghmaee, Mashhad Electric Energy Distribution Co.

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August 2012 | 4
The Future Foretold. An intelligent, integrated, dynamic, two-way grid
is coming your way. By Rick Bush, Editorial Director
NYISO and PJM Increase Scheduling Frequency
ABB Announces $30 Million Investment in New Transformer Component
Manufacturing Facility in Poland
A123 to Supply Energy Storage System to Chinas Ray Power
for Frequency Regulation
Smart Grid Networking Market to Grow to Nearly $1 Billion by 2016
Prysmian Develops New Technological Solutions for Sustainable Grids
GridSense Partners with California Utility to Measure PVs Effect
on the Power Grid
AMI Boosts Customer Service. More utilities are embracing smart
grid technology due to the wide range of benets, specically the
improvement of customer service. By Bob Sitkauskas, Utilimetrics
High-Energy Woman. Irina Mersons personal dynamism led to her to
emigrate from the former Soviet Union and helped her to build a thriving
woman-owned business. By James R. Dukart, Contributing Writer
Real-Time Transmission Line Monitoring System
Condition-Diagnosis Software for Primary Assets
Storm Culture. Through teamwork and collaboration, we can work
to develop a culture that unites everyone in the company behind
corporate objectives. By Harold DePriest, EPB
In Every Issue


In Chattanooga, Tennessee,
an ultrafast ber-optic network
communications backbone
allows devices along EPBs
smarter grid to communicate
with each other, the customer
and the utility in near real time.
Quanta Services roots in the power industry run deep. For generations, Quanta has been the force behind the
development of the power grid. As constraints on the infrastructure increase, so does the demand for transmission and
distribution contractors. Reliability is at stake.
Quanta designs, installs, maintains and repairs electric power infrastructure. The branches of our network are far
reaching and ready to mobilize. With more than 19,000 employees working in all 50 states and Canada, Quantas
growth has made the company the foremost utility contractor with the largest non-utility workforce in the country.
The nations premier utilities rely on Quantas expertise to deliver the manpower, resources and technology necessary
to meet growing demand, integrate new generation sources and deliver the power and reliability consumers deserve.
Reliable 713.629.7600 NYSE-PWR
August 2012 | 6
Editorial Director Rick Bush
Technology Editor Vito Longo
Senior Managing Editor Emily Saarela
International Editor Gerry George
Online Editor Nikki Chandler
Automation Editor Matt Tani
Contributing Editor Amy Fischbach
Technical Writer Gene Wolf
Art Director Susan Lakin
Publisher David Miller
National Sales Manager Steve Lach
Buyers Guide/Marketing Services Joyce Nolan
Buyers Guide Supervisor Susan Schaefer
Marketing Manager Rick Stasi
Ad Production Manager Julie Gilpin
Classied Production Designer Robert Rys
Marketing Campaign Manager Sonja Trent
Chief Executive Ofcer David Kieselstein
Chief Information Ofcer Jasmine Alexander
Chief Financial Ofcer & Executive Vice President
Nicola Allais
Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Andrew Schmolka

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If you need substation work, look no further.
Pike has the experience and know-how 65 years worth, as a matter of fact. So whether its working with
traditional power substations up to 500kV, merchant wind farm collection systems or modernizing existing
facilities, we know what it takes to get the job done all while understanding the importance of deadlines,
budget and safety.
August 2012 | 8
The Future Foretold
aving spent my frst career in research in T&D at
Southern Company, I came to the conclusion that if
I was investigating something, I could locate at least
one other person somewhere investigating that same thing,
and that by working with like-minded individuals, we could
move the industry forward faster than by working in solitude.
Over time and I was in research 22 years I came to the
understanding that ideas will blossom and solutions will arrive
when the time is right, when the need is there and when an
opportunity avails itself.
Today, I see major corporations that have decided to pro-
vide services to the power-delivery industry. Of course, there
are the Verizons, the Oracles and the IBMs, but there are also
companies like Dow, Boeing, Trimble and Toshiba. And these
companies have heft and the knowledge gained from working
in many verticals, not to mention their deep pockets and deep
market channels.
Where some of these new entrants ultimately will focus
their efforts is yet to be revealed, but these and other com-
panies are strategically focusing on energy. As they work to
select entry points, we already know they will have signifcant
impact. Why? New entrants cant know the business as well as
established providers, so they can be more aggressive, because
they have no legacy systems or legacy products to protect. As
our industry cries out for new approaches and more sophisti-
cated systems, they will fnd their way in.
Here are my predictions for the coming decade:
We will know the temperatures, tensions, sag and capaci-
ties of our bulk power lines in real time.
We will rate our substation equipment and track the ag-
ing characteristics of our transformers and breakers.
We will avoid widespread blackouts by deploying situ-
ational awareness tools armed with synchrophaser data and
load-shedding schemes.
We will gain operational fexibility with the use of FACTS
and HVDC devices
We will dynamically dispatch bulk, regional and local
We will dispatch demand response to the same exacting
requirements that we now dispatch generation.
Why Is the Time Right?
Globally, energy is the issue of the decade. Our citizens
care about energy, and they care about the environment.
When citizens care, elected offcials know it is also in their en-
lightened self-interest to care.
Today, we are seeing more intermittent generation, more
local gas-fred generation, more demand response and more
energy storage, thus requiring a more sophisticated grid. And
this is not limited to Europe or North America. When I was
visiting the Russian transmission and distribution companies
and meeting energy ministers in Moscow, I learned that Rus-
sia intends to run new gas pipelines to meet growing energy
needs by placing gas-fred generation near load centers.
With increased diffculty in placing new transmission
whether in Brazil, Russia or India we must resort to getting
more out of the delivery systems we presently own and operate
while we build for the future.
The technologies to pull off the development of a fully in-
tegrated and controllable bulk power system are now becom-
ing available at a cost we can live with. Major players including
ABB, Siemens, Schneider, AREVA and GE are bulking up to
provide the breadth and scale to offer single-source delivery
solutions, partly by partnering with boutique companies to
provide total solutions.
Just How Fast Are We Moving?
Predicting where the industry is headed is much easier
than predicting when it will arrive. Why? Because timing is
tied to need and need varies by country.
But this works to our advantage. While New Zealand is em-
bracing load shifting to reduce the need for new generation,
India is working on building out its 1,200-kW grid to transfer
larger blocks of base load generation. And while Spain and
Germany are working to integrate large blocks of wind and
solar into the grid, Norway is looking to export large blocks
of hydro power to mainland Europe. By learning from one
another, we can all move forward in our efforts to provide a
secure energy future.
Now that we know (according to Rick) where the industry
is headed, we can make plans to arrive there safely. Not every-
thing has to get moving at once, but waiting is not a wise option.
Yes, we still have concerns. Yes, there are more than a few
uncertainties. Yes, we still need to work out how to get paid for
adding functionality. Yes, the technologies might not be per-
fectly mature. But unless your company gets going, the ques-
tion will not be, what will our future look like, but instead, how
did the future pass us by?
Lets not miss the most exciting opportunity in our life-
times to shape the future of energy.
Editorial Director
Consuttlng Englneerlng Constructlon Operotlon
Perceptive planning shapes a powerful future.
WIot you need tomorrow ls |ust os lmportont os wIot you
need todoy. Even os Btock & veotcI detlvers todoy`s most
comptex Power Oetlvery pro|ects, we`re lmptementlng
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vlslt bv.comJcoreers to vlew opportunltles, lnctudlng ot
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August 2012 | 10
Alstom Signs
Power Transmission
Contracts in Colombia
Alstom has been awarded two con-
tracts, worth approximately 17 million
euros, for the supply of seven power
transformers to Sogamoso substation,
located in the department of Santander
(North Colombia), and for the con-
struction of two 220-kV gas-insulated
substations (GIS) in Armenia, located
between Bogot, Medelln and Cali; and
in Alfrez, in the region of Cali, depart-
ment of Valle del Cauca. These projects
will improve power quality and capacity
as part of the expansion of Colombias
national grid.
The power transformers were award-
ed by Interconexin Elctrica S.A. for
Sogamoso substation. Alstom will supply
seven 150-MVA power transformers to
connect the power plant to the national
grid. The project will be commissioned
by the end of 2013.
The GIS substation contract was
signed with Empresa de Energa de Bo-
got. Alstom will design, supply, erect
and commission 220-kV gas-insulated
switchgear, including civil works. The
project will be commissioned mid-2013.
Alstoms 220-kV gas-insulated switch-
gear is designed to avoid corrosion, of-
fering a long service life. Its modular
design saves space and also allows each
of the compartments to be indepen-
dently monitored. These features mean
that it can be used for both indoor and
outdoor applications, and allows for easy
availability during repair and extension.
ABB Announces $30 Million Investment in New
Transformer Component Manufacturing Facility in Poland
NYISO, PJM Increase Scheduling Frequency
The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which operates the bulk
electricity grid and wholesale electricity markets serving New York, has implemented
an improved scheduling process with PJM Interconnection, which serves all or parts
of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North
Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District
of Columbia.
The new Enhanced Interregional Transaction Coordination measures will enable
more frequent energy transaction scheduling between the New York and PJM control
areas. The move will lower overall system operating costs, provide system operators
with additional resource fexibility and increase the effciency of real-time markets.
By reducing the time between the scheduling and pricing of energy at the
PJM border, we will increase effciency and reduce costs to our consumers, said
NYISO President and CEO Stephen G. Whitley. This is another important step in
the Broader Regional Markets initiative that will expand the pool of resources avail-
able to help the NYISO and our neighbors more quickly balance supply and demand
on our interconnected electric systems.
Previously, the scheduling of power fowing between the systems had to remain
constant for an hour. Shortening that time to 15 minutes allows for power fows to
better correspond to overall system needs.
Last year, the NYISO transitioned to more frequent schedules with Qubec. The
Broader Regional Markets initiative calls for similar scheduling improvements to be
implemented with each of New Yorks other neighboring grid operators.
While now interconnected, the various power grids and wholesale electricity mar-
kets serving the United States and Canada were developed separately and refect
differences in geography, climate, reliability requirements and available power re-
sources. These differences (seams in the overall fabric of grid) can inhibit effcient
coordination of grid operations. The Broader Regional Markets initiative is an effort
to mend seams, enhance effciency of existing resources and reduce costs for power
The Broader Regional Markets initiative involves the NYISO, PJM Interconnec-
tion, ISO New England, the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator,
Ontarios Independent Electricity System Operator and Hydro-Qubec. The collab-
orative effort among the regions grid operators is intended to optimize the use of
existing resources and complement the development of new resources.
For more information, visit and
ABB will invest US$30 million in a new plant in Poland
making components for power and distribution transformers.
The factory will be completed by mid-2013 and will employ
about 140 people, including machine operators and logistics,
purchasing, quality and engineering support personnel.
The new factory will manufacture transformer compo-
nents to support ABBs existing transformer manufacturing
facilities in Lodz. These units manufacture power transform-
ers rated up to 300 MVA with voltages up to 500 kV and oil-
flled distribution transformers rated from 30 kVa to 2,300
kVA. Both factories serve the European market, and the pow-
er transformer operation also serves other regions.
In addition, ABB has a center in Lodz that delivers prefab-
ricated insulation kits and elements to its power transformer
factories in Europe, helping them to reduce cycle times and
lower costs. When the new component factory is completed,
it will bring the total number of ABB employees in Lodz to
about 1,000. This is ABBs third investment in Poland in re-
cent years, following the construction of factories to manu-
facture electric motors and power electronics, which is also
located close to Lodz.
ight the first time, every time is standard operating procedure for a NECA/IBEW outside line
contractor. NECA/IBEW contractors know the safety requirements like the back of their hands,
for tasks ranging from high voltage work to low-energy applications. They know the specifics, too:
How to coordinate drawings, how to work with engineers, and how to coordinate with utilities.
Working to a higher standard of professionalism and productivity is part of their package.
NECA/IBEW line contractors employ the best trained electrical line workers in the country.
Whether the job involves transmission or distribution systems, construction, power quality, line
clearance or maintenance, NECA/IBEW line contractors can save you money on every job by
delivering excellence.
Contact your local NECA line chapter or IBEW local union for more information.
Doing it right the first time is what we do best.
N L U A / I B L W U 0 N 1 P A U 1 0 P 5 - 1 P L U A L I 1 Y U 0 N N L U 1 I 0 N
August 2012 |
Burns & McDonnell to Provide EPC Services in Albert for AltaLink
Burns & McDonnell-Canada has been awarded a fve-year
contract by AltaLink to provide engineering, procurement
and construction (EPC) services for a range of high-voltage
transmission line and substation projects throughout the
province of Alberta, Canada.
Headquartered in Calgary, Canada, AltaLink employs
700 and owns and operates the electrical transmission system
serving approximately 85% of the residents of Alberta.
The transmission projects will be determined based on
need assessments and permitting approvals. Though the proj-
ect list may be modifed, many are expected to address power
demands from oil sands development and emerging areas
of population growth. Others will assist in integrating new
generation from wind resource areas into the Provincial grid.
The contract includes a fve-year option for additional project
support following completion of the initial fve-year contract
in 2017.
Burns & McDonnell-Canada will work with provincial and
Canadian suppliers and contractors on various projects as
they are prequalifed based on qualifcations, safety and qual-
ity performance. In addition, several local employment op-
portunities are anticipated in Calgary and other locations as
Burns & McDonnell staffs up to support the various projects.
For more information, visit
EPRI Publishes 480-V Distribution Arc Flash Updates
In the 2012 National Electrical Safety Code, the approach for arc ash below 1,000 V has changed. Now, utilities will have to
review arc ash on distribution secondary equipment. The two main changes are at 480 V for metering and spot networks. To
address these issues, EPRI research in 2011 concentrated on 480-V arc ash. For 480-V spot networks, research concentrated on
information exchange and practices to manage arc ash in spot networks. EPRI has released the main ndings of this research:

IEEE 1584 is the predominate calculation method for spot networks with utilities assuming either an 18- or 24-inch (45.7- or
61.0-cm) working distance.

Many utilities are de-energizing the feeder for spot network work. This reduces fault current and energized buswork in
protectors. Note that they are not operating a primary-side oil switch.

Work is manageable in many spot networks with heavy arc suits (100 cal/cm
suits are common).

Utilities normally assume either a self-extraction time or assume that internal network protector fuses operate. Both
assumptions allow work in many spot networks with available arc ash suits. Both assumptions also have disadvantages.

External fuses or disconnects are a promising option to reduce incident energies and completely de-energize a network
protector. These scenarios can be treated as open-air applications if the only exposure is line to ground.
For 480-V metering, several exploratory tests were performed on different meter styles to see if there were any units where
the 20 cal/cm
threshold would not apply. Tests showed that meters with signicant internal busbar can have long durations and
incident energies much higher than 20 cal/cm
Based on these results, utilities should not work on 480-V meters with signicant busbar that are energized without an analysis.
For more information, visit
NOVEC Receives Top Ranking in J.D. Power and Associates Study
The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC)
ranks highest in customer satisfaction among midsize electric
utilities in the South region and among 126 of the largest U.S.
electric utilities surveyed in the J.D. Power and Associates 2012
Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study.
The research company bases its fndings on responses
from more than 100,000 online interviews conducted from
July 2011 through May 2012 among residential customers of
the largest electric utility brands across the United States. The
study ranks large and midsize utility companies in the South,
East, Midwest and West geographic regions. Companies in the
midsize utility segment serve between 125,000 and 499,999
residential customers. Companies in the large utility segment
serve 500,000 or more residential customers. In all, the utili-
ties serve nearly 94 million households.
The study asked customers to respond to questions regard-
ing their utilitys power quality and reliability, price, billing
and payment, corporate citizenship, communications and cus-
tomer service. The utilities scored an average of 625 points,
based on a 1,000-point scale. NOVEC received the highest
score of 714 points among the 126 utilities in overall customer
satisfaction. It scored highest in the industry in power quality
and reliability, price and communications, and second-highest
in corporate citizenship.
According to J.D. Power and Associates, customer satisfac-
tion in the electric utility industry declined slightly from the
year before following stormy weather in the second half of
2011. Nevertheless, despite an earthquake, Hurricane Irene
and a major tropical storm, NOVECs overall scores improved
over the 2011 study results.
Theres no greater validation of our corporate perfor-
mance than to be ranked best-in-class by our customer-own-
ers, said NOVEC President and CEO Stan Feuerberg.
Visit and
Asset Management:
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August 2012 | 14
In the Netherlands,
PowerMatching City
is a Real-Life Smart
Grid Community
PowerMatching City a live smart
grid project involving 25 households in
the Hoogkerk district in the northern
part of the Netherlands has dem-
onstrated that it is possible to create a
smart grid with a corresponding mar-
ket model using existing technologies.
The system enables consumers to freely
exchange electricity and keeps the com-
fort level up to par.
Being the frst real-life smart grid
community in the world, and having
delivered the worlds frst results from
a total-concept smart grid deployment
project, PowerMatching City is playing
an important role in the development of
smart grids and the transition towards a
sustainable energy system.
The 25 participating homes were
connected with each other as part of
the trial and equipped with micro com-
bined heat and power systems (high-
effciency boilers), hybrid heat pumps,
smart meters, photovoltaic panels,
charging stations for electric vehicles
and other smart household appliances.
These homes collectively constitute a
smart energy system.
The project is conducted by distri-
bution system operator Enexis, energy
company Essent, gas infrastructure com-
pany Gasunie, system integrator ICT Au-
tomatisering, and knowledge institute
TNO, led by energy consulting, testing
and certifcation frm DNV KEMA Ener-
gy & Sustainability. Knowledge partners
of PowerMatching City are Delft Univer-
sity of Technology, Eindhoven Univer-
sity of Technology and Hanze University
of Applied Sciences Groningen.
In view of the successful results, the
project has been continued and ex-
panded. This follow-up phase is focus-
ing more on the effects of the expansion
(from 25 to approximately 70 house-
holds), consumer involvement (via an in-
teractive interface) and the effect of the
introduction of real-life propositions to
the customer, developed by the energy
A123 to Supply Energy Storage System to
Chinas Ray Power for Frequency Regulation
A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lith-
ium iron phosphate batteries and systems, will supply a 2-MW grid energy storage
system to Ray Power Systems Co. Ltd., a Chinese company focused on developing
the frequency regulation market and relevant technologies.
The project in China will be designed to validate the technical capabilities and
benefts of energy storage as a fast-ramping, accurate and clean resource for provid-
ing frequency-regulation services, said Eldon Mou, CEO of Ray Power. Limited
overall system-ramping capability has created renewable integration issues as well as
potential risk of grid instability because of the high penetration of renewable gen-
eration, particularly in northern China. A123 Systems has demonstrated the viabil-
ity and reliability of its product through a number of successful global commercial
deployments, and we expect this project to showcase energy storage as a valuable
resource for meeting Chinas growing frequency regulation demand.
For more information, visit
Smart Grid Networking Market to Grow
to Nearly $1 Billion by 2016 in the Americas
IMS Research forecasts the market for equipment supporting smart grid com-
munications and networking to grow from US$700 million in 2011 to nearly $950
million by 2016. This growth is projected even as smart meter shipments are fore-
cast to decline from 2012 onward in North America and general economic growth
remains elusive.
Smart metering projects in the mid- to late-2000s propelled North Americas
market for radios and other networking hardware supporting feeder line tasks.
Later growth in distribution automation intelligent electronic device shipments fur-
thered this trend, supporting opportunity for traditional serial radios as well as a
wide assortment of next-generation solutions.
As of 2012, smart meter rollouts are slowing in North America, however, substa-
tion modernization, distribution automation and Latin Americas expected smart
metering expansion will all counter this slowing to offer substantial total growth of
smart grid networking equipment markets in the Americas.
Senior Analyst Donald Henschel commented: Smart metering is only begin-
ning in Latin America, but perhaps more interestingly, in North America, utilities
are seeing increased efforts from AMI solution providers and grid automation spe-
cialists to effectively integrate smart meter data and infrastructure into more sophis-
ticated distribution automation tasks. Distribution automation-enabled smart meter
concentrators will hasten this process.
The supplier environment for smart grid automation and networking is in a
dynamic period, with major substation networking supplier RuggedCom recently
purchased by Siemens, and smart grid mesh radio provider Tropos acquired by
ABB. Both ABB and Siemens offer deep catalogs of grid automation solutions, but
their market presence in the Americas has not been as high as in other regional
These acquisitions of networking and communications specialists by global
automation brands reveal industry acknowledgement of networking as the next criti-
cal step to achieving the goals of the smart grid evolution, Henschel noted.
For more information, visit

Alcan Cable:
Connecting lives
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August 2012 | 16
Brazilian Utility
Deploys 3M ACCR
Distribution Upgrade
Brazils EDP Escelsa, EDP Groups
power distributor located in Esprito
Santo State, has installed 3M ACCR to
upgrade a distribution line that crosses
the often rain-swollen Rio Doce as a solu-
tion to potential construction, environ-
mental and clearance challenges.
EDP Escelsa chose 3M ACCR to re-
solve environmental issues while main-
taining the existing infrastructure. The
high-capacity conductor enabled the
utility to double the lines ampacity and
improve line clearance without having
to construct larger towers or expand
the right-of-way in wetlands on the river
EDP Escelsa serves a population of
3.4 million in Esprito Santo State. The
upgraded line is located in Linhares, a
city of about 130,000 residents close to
the Atlantic coast, some 80 miles (129
km) north of Vitria, the state capital.
The line crosses the Rio Doce at Lin-
hares, and during the rainy season, line
sag combined with high water levels can
pose challenges.
3M ACCR was installed on a 138-kV
double-circuit distribution line to replace
conventional steel core ACSR on a 3,012-
ft (918-m) span that crosses the river.
The use of this conductor allowed us
to match the environmental and load-
ing requirements while meeting the re-
gions capacity needs without structural
changes in the line, says Fernando Peix-
oto Saliba, technical and environmental
director of EDP Escelsa. And we were
able to complete the project before the
rainy season raised the water level.
By providing as much as twice the
electric capacity of conventional con-
ductors of similar size without requir-
ing new or larger transmission towers,
3M ACCR is helping utilities accommo-
date new demands being placed on the
grid without encountering costly and
problematic construction, right-of-way
expansion or permitting issues. Power
companies in China, Russia, India, Can-
ada, France, Germany, South America
and the United States have embraced
the 3M ACCR for similar applications.
Prysmian Develops New Technological
Solutions for Sustainable Grids
Prysmian Group is focusing on the new smart grid business with the introduction
of high-tech solutions and products for utilities and grid operators.
Cables and network components are key to smart grid architecture, because they
determine the grids reliability and effciency. This is why it is necessary to go beyond
the traditional cable concept and provide innovative solutions that satisfy the new
grid requirements in terms of renewable energy, energy effciency and lower envi-
ronmental impact.
Therefore, Prysmian Group has developed a comprehensive range of state-of-
the-art cables and solutions to make smart grids more reliable and effcient by guar-
anteeing their proper operation in all conditions and circumstances, and prevent-
ing possible blackouts, failures and damage to other network components. This, in
turn, will help reduce maintenance costs and the risk of penalties for grid owners
and operators.
In particular, Prysmian Groups products and solutions are divided into four dif-
ferent areas, depending on the solution proposed: risk prevention, smart mainte-
nance, electrical load management and environmental impact. Solutions have been
identifed and developed for each area that can be applied to existing grids as well
as integrated into future ones.
In coming years, we will see a radical change in the way that the global electric-
ity system works, offering many benefts to all users in terms of effciency, quality
and security of supply, said Massimo Comina, Prysmian Group power distribution
business director. Cables and intelligent monitoring instruments are a key part of
this modernization process, by ensuring better use of electricity grids and greater
environmental sustainability.
For more information, visit
GridSense Partners with California Utility
to Measure PVs Effect on the Power Grid
A California utility will use the GridSense LineIQ solution to measure the impact
of photovoltaic (PV)-generated power as it enters the utility grid.
Many states are mandating increases in the percentage of power generated from
renewables. California has implemented a law requiring utilities to procure 33% of
their electricity from eligible renewable energy sources by 2020, of which solar will
comprise a signifcant part.
As more and more solar comes on-line, however, utilities are grappling with its
disruptive effects on the grid. Nonrenewable power sources are relatively constant.
They are predictable and rarely impacted by time of day, season or hour-to-hour
changes in weather conditions. That is not the case with PVs. PV capacity is different
in summer than it is in winter. In volatile weather, it can change signifcantly on an
hour-by-hour or even minute-by-minute basis.
The California utility is using LineIQ monitoring system on distribution lines
surrounding PVs to gauge their effect as they feed the grid. Monitoring will focus on
fuctuations at different times of day and due to sun and weather conditions. For this
application, LineIQ has been programmed to sample every two seconds to ensure
a truly high-resolution view of line conditions over time. With its ability to monitor
lines up to 138 kV, self-powered design and accommodation of any communications
protocol, the unit is uniquely qualifed for this type of high-intensity monitoring.
For more information, visit
Supported by a global network of application experts, the Multilin 3 Series
delivers advanced system integration flexibility with robust communication
options including IEC 61850.
The Multilin 3 Series protection relays feature detailed asset diagnostic
capabilities, and a robust draw-out design to maximize uptime. Customers
rely on GEs Multilin 3 Series to protect their essential electrical infrastructure
and critical assets.
From oil and gas and mining, to utility substations and light
rail, GEs Multilin 3 Series provides advanced protection for
feeders, motors and transformers in demanding environments.
GE Energy
Digital Energy
Tel: 905-294-6222
North America
Tel: 1-800-547-8629
Tel: +34 94 485 88 00
August 2012 | 18
RTE Chooses NetCracker to Streamline Network Operations
Rseau de Transport dElectricit (RTE) has selected Net-
Crackers Telecoms Operations and Management Solution
(TOMS) to boost the performance, effciency and service
quality of its infrastructure.
RTE is responsible for the operation, maintenance and de-
velopment of Frances high-voltage power transmission system.
The companys mission-critical nature is underscored by the
fact that it not only distributes electricity throughout France,
but it is also an essential link in the European electricity mar-
ket. With approximately 100,000 km (160,934 miles) in its
network, RTE operates the largest electric transmission system
in Europe and is also Europes largest exporter of electricity.
Drawing on its infrastructure optimization solutions, Net-
Cracker will provide RTE with an integrated, end-to-end view
of its infrastructure and resources along with highly accurate
data, which will enhance decision making, automate end-to-
end operations and improve service quality. The solution will
provide comprehensive functionality for planning, designing
and developing infrastructure changes and upgrades. And
fnally, it will integrate seamlessly into the existing RTE envi-
ronment, which will help to optimize both OpEx and CapEx.
For more information, visit
Survey Conrms Efciency Advantages of Intelligent Substation Design
Research conducted by Newton-Evans Research Co. between April 12 and May 30, 2012, produced ndings from 68
respondents, which included 77 utilities (55 North American utilities and 22 international utilities). Responses from nine consulting
engineers provided an insight into their substation software design needs.
Respondents to the survey included management decision makers (directors and managers), supervisors, lead engineers and
engineers. About half of all responses to the survey included feedback from managers or directors.
Utility ofcials were asked whether they perform their own substation design work in-house using a generic CAD application, a
substation-specic design application, or whether they outsource this work to a third party. An overwhelming majority (73%) of the
utilities that perform all or some of this work in-house indicated they use a generic CAD application. This includes utilities that use
both types of software (5%) and utilities that use generic CAD and also outsource (10%).
Among the 77 participating utilities, only two utilities in Europe currently use a substation-specic design application
exclusively. Three other utilities use both generic CAD and substation-specic applications. Eight of the nine consulting engineers
only use a generic CAD application. The other one uses both types.
Five of the 24 utility directors/managers currently using a generic CAD application indicated an interest in purchasing a
substation-specic design application in the future.
The majority (90%) of utilities and consultants indicated their current design tool does not generate reports for cost estimating,
equipment ordering and asset management. However, when asked if they had access to a tool with this capability, about 75% of
respondents indicated that it would produce signicant project cost savings by reducing the time spent creating reports, reducing
the time to update reports when design changes occur and improving report accuracy.
For more information, visit
CG to Power Belgiums Northwind Offshore Wind Farm Project
CG won the contract for the grid connection study and sup-
ply of a 275-MVA main transformer and two 650-MVAr reac-
tors at the Northwind offshore wind farm in Belgium.
The Northwind wind farm, previously named Eldepasco,
will have an installed production capacity of 216 MW. The con-
nection between the offshore high-voltage substation and the
onshore grid connection will be realized with a 220-kV sub-
marine export cable. Eventually, the Northwind wind farm
will be connected to the future 165-MW Belwind 2 wind farm,
which is also situated in front of the Belgian coast. For this
connection, a second 220-kV subsea cable with a length of ap-
proximately 10 km (6.2 miles) will be installed.
CGs scope in this project would be to design and supply
the high-voltage installation, including all necessary measures
to comply with Belgian transmission system operator ELIAs
grid connection requirements. This comprises mainly the
offshore high-voltage substation and the onshore location, in-
cluding all auxiliary systems to ensure proper functioning of
the high-voltage installation. CG also will provide the main
transformer (225/33 kV, 275 MVA) and two reactors (33 kV,
65 MVAr) for reactive power compensation.
The mechanical construction of the offshore platform will
take place in Aalborg, Denmark, on the construction site of
Bladt Industries. Then the platform will be shipped to Bel-
gium for its fnal destination on a monopole foundation. The
offshore substation is expected to be energized in September
This is the ffth contract for CG, following the earlier Bel-
wind fase 1, EON Amrumbank West, WPD Butendiek and
EON Humber Gateway contracts. This contract marks CGs
growing expertise and experience in the developing offshore
wind market in Europe and creates substantial pull through ben-
efts and valued references for other supporting products of CG.
For more information, visit


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Always read and follow all label directions and precautions for use.
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August 2012 | 20
occurrence. AMI notifes utilities when a theft occurs.
5. Utilities have an improved process for connecting and discon-
necting power remotely. Many utilities have installed AMI with re-
mote connect and disconnect switches, and they are using this
technology to complete their collection activities. Addition-
ally, many utilities have engaged with apartment complexes to
use the remote switches in their move-in/move-out procedure
needs. And, some utilities have merged the disconnect switch
routines into their public safety response processes.

Customer Engagement is Key
As we all know, AMI installations in some areas have faced
opposition, and not from just a few people but from organized
groups. This has required many utilities to invest time and
money into areas that havent traditionally had much focus:
customer education and engagement. These groups gain
popularity and attention by claiming possible health impacts
because of the radio-frequency wave technology emitted from
the meters. Smart meters are tested and fully meet the FCC
Some opponents believe smart meters violate their privacy
by detecting and disseminating personal identifcation infor-
mation, even with data encryption. Others are convinced the
meters are surveillance devices that can tell what the customer
is doing in each room of the house. Utilities that are planning
to install AMI should start thinking about these potential ob-
stacles and planning their customer-engagement strategies
very early in the process.
Once AMI is fully operational, the real work begins. To
make the most out of AMI investments, increase energy con-
servation and create effciencies, utilities need to be able to
operate their systems to their fullest capacities. That includes
analyzing, managing and sharing data with customers. When
customers understand that AMI can help them manage their
energy costs, they may be more receptive to their new meters.
AMI is one step in creating an integrated solution for the
modernization of the electric infrastructure. I cant wait to see
what comes next.
Bob Sitkauskas is chairman of the board of Utilimetrics, a
utility technology association celebrating its 25
Editors note: Learn about emerging technologies, opt-out
challenges, data analytics management and more at Autovation,
the Utilimetrics conference and expo Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in Long
Beach, California, U.S. Visit for information.
AMI Boosts Customer Service
By Bob Sitkauskas, Utilimetrics
dvanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and the
smart grid have grown at a rare and exceptional pace
over the past few years. This growth stemmed in part
from the U.S. Department of Energys national effort to mod-
ernize the electric grid. This included the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provided funding for the
Smart Grid Investment Grant program.
The Department of Energy awarded 99 grants with $3.4 bil-
lion of federal funding, matched by $4.4 billion of private sec-
tor funding, for deployment of smart grid technologies in utili-
ties nationwide. Thanks in part to the Smart Grid Investment
Grant program, more than 65 million meters will have been
manufactured, purchased and installed by the end of 2015.
Key Benets
Utilities are realizing the benefts of AMI and working to
improve their processes. Vendors have stepped up to the plate
and continue to develop new products and technology to meet
the changing needs of utilities. Here are the top fve reasons
why more utilities and vendors are getting in tune with smart
grid technology:
1. Meter reading expenses decrease when AMI is installed. Read
rates at utilities with AMI are at record performance levels.
Accuracy has changed dramatically by removing the human
interface in the read process.
2. Customers can view their own usage data down to intervals
as low as fve minutes every day. They can make decisions about
their power usage with this new and essential information.
Customers and utilities no longer have to wait an entire month
to fgure out how much power is being consumed.
3. The customer outage process dramatically changes once AMI
is operational. Because the meters notify utilities when they
lose or return to power, an often lethargic and mistake-prone
process has been enhanced to the beneft of the utilities and
customers. To be able to know the extent of a storm within
minutes of an outage is knowledge the utilities have always
Customer satisfaction soars when a crew is sent to the out-
age at a pace never imagined. Before leaving the job site, crew
members can ping meters to validate their fxes are complete.
This was impossible just a few years ago. Another great beneft
is that the AMI system informs the utility of an outage before
the frst customer call.
4. The often-burdened process of identifying theft and meter tam-
pering changes with AMI. Meter readers are no longer in the
feld and subsequently not there to witness the actual theft
Lower voltage transmission lines include many taps and substations.
For decades, it has been impossible to reliably estimate lower voltage
transmission line temperature because taps and substations made
amperage information difcult to obtain.
Now with Thermal Direct

, URMC delivers precise conductor temperatures

captured during LiDAR ight. The result: a precise thermal line rating with
the potential for a 25% reduction in mitigation costs and an empirical
opportunity to reevaluate your transmission systems capacity.
Do you have the most precise line rating? You wont know until youre using
Thermal Direct. Call URMC to get the deliberate intelligence.
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that collects LiDAR, imagery,
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temperature simultaneously.
22 August 2012 |
High-Energy Woman
Irina Merson,
High Energy Inc.
By James R. Dukart, Contributing Writer
ometimes the name for a company is simply a perfect
ft. Such a case can be made for the company High
Energy Inc. (HEI), a Denver, Colorado, U.S.-based elec-
tric power infrastructure consultancy founded and headed
by the high-energy Irina Merson. And while the company has
been producing high-energy consulting for the past 14 years,
Mersons personal dynamism led to her to emigrate from the
former Soviet Union 32 years ago, saw her through a challeng-
ing introduction to the U.S., and has helped her build a thriv-
ing woman-owned business in a male-dominated feld.
Mersons personal story starts in a small village in the
Ukraine. Born to a chemical engineer mother and electrical
engineer father in the shadows of an old power plant, Merson
jokes that she was born into power engineering.
She graduated from the Belorussian Polytechnic Institute
in Minsk, as her parents had, and went straight to work in the
engineering arm of the Soviet Unions power administration.
Merson specialized in high-voltage transmission lines that
brought power from scarcely populated but resource-rich (and
power generation-rich) Siberia to the more populated western
parts of the Soviet Union. In her 20s, she also married her
husband, Michael, a senior editor with a large, infuential local
newspaper. The couple decided to emigrate to the U.S. in the
late 1970s, a time fraught with political tensions between the
United States and the Soviet Union.
We were pioneers from our family, Merson offers. We
did not know anybody here [in the U.S.]. We were allowed to
take two suitcases per person and $104 per person, but it was
a great big adventure.
That great big adventure was complicated by the fact that
her husbands position in the local press caused delays in pro-
cessing his papers and resulted in hardship for the rest of the
family left behind in Belarus. My father was fred from his job
because he could not make a good Soviet citizen of his daugh-
ter, Merson recalls.
Merson and her husband, in fact, were forced to wait for a
year and a half before being allowed to leave, and even then
were released only because an international soccer match
scheduled for Minsk spooked offcials into letting potential
migrs go so they wouldnt speak badly about the Soviet
Union to the foreign press. The year was 1980 the same year
in which the U.S. boycotted the Olympic Games in Moscow in
protest over the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
Merson and her husband spent the summer of 1980 in
Austria and Italy, where Merson said she washed many dishes
illegally to collect enough money to get to the U.S. Dishwash-
ing cash plus the $208 the couple had from Minsk was barely
enough to land them in Los Angeles, California, later that year.
We came to Los Angeles with $500. We lived with close
friends who came to America right before we did, Merson re-
calls. I was fortunate to fnd an English for Engineers school
in Los Angeles. They paid us $3.50 per hour for several hours
per day as a stipend. I had to do some drawings to show I was
somebody technical. I would clean houses for cash for months.
Merson says she always knew she made the right move to
the U.S. The moment I stepped on the ground at JFK, I felt
the energy of this great country. I made very quick decisions
right then, I am not looking back. I have arrived and this is my
home. I always felt I came to the right place.
In Los Angeles, Merson worked as a production and design
engineer for a couple of years, then moved to Denver when
Michael found a listing for a senior engineer for a consultant.
Michael sent the rsum without even telling me, Mer-
son notes. The interview was very funny. My English was not
good. The guy asked me, Do you have experience with electro-
mechanical relays or digital relays? I said, If I knew what that
was I would tell you. Nevertheless, the frm offered Merson
a senior substation design engineer job, though she had never
designed a substation. They said no problem, you will learn
Merson learned quickly for the next 15 years, working on
substation and transmission projects throughout the Western
and Midwestern U.S. In 1997, she formed HEI.
HEI has its headquarters in Denver, but its 28 employees
are from all parts of the country. I stole our model from the
IT industry, Merson admits. They have been allowing people
to work where they want to live for some time, but it is unusual
in our conservative industry. I do not want to run a kindergar-
ten. I want people who are self-disciplined and can manage
their own time.
Mersons own comments about starting HEI tell one all
they need to know about how this determined and high-ener-
gy woman always has and always will look at life.
I was terrifed, Merson begins, when describing the deci-
sion to start HEI. I never went to school in the U.S. I have an
accent, and I am a woman in the particularly male-dominated
power industry in the U.S. But I did it. If you have to survive,
you will.
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E S T A B L I S H E D 1 9 5 9
s dedication to knowledge, innovation and
service has helped us to develop a reputation as strong as
the products we manufacture. Our extensive selection of
transmission, distribution and substation structures are
custom designed and engineered to suit any application.
Every product we build is backed by over half a century of
integrity, quality and expertise. Recognized and respected
for our on-time deliveries and outstanding customer
service, let FWT be the solid foundation your next project
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800- 43 3 - 1 81 6
24 August 2012 |
25 | August 2012
Future Is Now
ot exactly a household name, the municipally
owned Electric Power Board (EPB) has been
drawing attention lately for the high level of au-
tomation it has put in place for what it is calling
its smarter grid.
A power distributor for Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S., the
EPB has been working with automation technologies since the
early 2000s and, after years of studying technologies, began
implementing a more defned smart grid strategy in 2007. The
plan included several components and was slated for a 10-year
construction period. While implementation was in progress,
the utility applied for and was awarded a matching stimulus
grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to expedite the con-
struction and implementation of the plan. What would have
been a 10-year build-out became a three-year plan.
Even in a state of partial completion, the utility has seen
results in increased reliability and power quality, better asset
management, and operational and cost-effciency improve-
ments. Devices along the utilitys smarter grid communicate
with each other, the customer and the utility in near real time,
thanks to the ultrafast fber-optic network communications
backbone. In many cases, the grid can heal itself with little or
no human interaction, and its components can interact with
each other, customers and the utility for maximum perfor-
mance and predictive analysis.
What Are the Components?
It all starts with the ability to communicate quickly and re-
liably with any location on the system. This communication
is achieved with the fber-optic network deployed throughout
the utilitys service territory.
By adding in distribution automation, voltage optimiza-
tion, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), smart grid
management software and a new supervisory control and data
acquisition (SCADA) system, the grid becomes more reliable
and operates more effciently, thus helping to mitigate the
rising cost of power. It also can provide analytics that allow for
improved power quality, offer more options for customers and
be a tool for the communitys economic development efforts.
More Reliable
The utilitys smarter grid is already proving to be a reliabil-
ity beneft, which is critically important for a municipal utility.
Several studies have been conducted on the effect of power
reliability on communities. Studies by the University of Cali-
fornia Berkeley Lab, the Electric Power Research Institute and
others identifed the national costs of outages to be roughly
US$80 billion pe year, comprised mostly of costs to businesses
and economies in general. Applied to the Chattanooga area,
it could be estimated power outages result in an annual cost
of $100 million to the community as a whole. This cost is one
of the major reasons EPB put together a comprehensive plan
for building an intelligent, self-healing and interactive distri-
bution system.
The 6,450 miles (10,380 km) of high-speed fber-optic
cable, of which 65% is steel lashed, provides a 5-msec average
roundtrip time to devices across the network. This high-speed
capability, matched with sensitive and interactive devices on
the network, means analytics and action can be more respon-
sive than ever.
EPB developed a robust plan for automation that included
completing the implementation of fault isolation and service
restoration (FISR) technology for its 46-kV subtransmission
system and implementing FISR technology throughout the
service territory on its 12-kV distribution system.
Deployment Approach
After evaluating several different technologies for automat-
ing the 12-kV system, EPB selected S&Cs IntelliRupter Pulse-
Closer and IntelliTeam SG Automatic Restoration System. In-
telliTeam SG is a feld-proven, universal smart grid solution
that uses embedded intelligence to automatically reconfgure
Chattanooga melds ber optics, distribution
automation, voltage optimization and AMI
for a smarter grid.
By Jim Glass and Lilian Bruce, Electric Power Board
26 August 2012 |
Chattanooga celebrated its 1,170
IntelliRupter installation in April 2012.
the distribution system after a fault and quickly restore service
to segments of the feeder not affected by the fault. IntelliTeam
SG substantially reduces customer minutes of interruption,
markedly improving this measure of reliability. Each Intelli-
Rupter is equipped to communicate with its peers and the
SCADA system over the fber-optic network. Communication
between switches has been recorded as fast as 2 msec and con-
sistently average 7 msec.
EPB planning engineers analyzed each 12-kV feeder to
identify locations for automated switches. To maximize the
customer benefts, EPB targeted an average feeder section
to have 150 customers, a 750-kW load and 3,500 pole-line ft
(1,067 m) of exposure. The fnal results were an average of 133
customers per line section, an 892-kW load, 3,345 pole-line ft
(1,020 m) of exposure and an average of seven switches per
12-kV feeder.
Planning engineers then determined protective settings
for each switch location based on a set of standard time-cur-
rent coordination curves. EPB focused a great deal of effort
on the installation process, including not only the design and
construction of the electrical equipment but also the com-
munications equipment, commissioning of the equipment
and automation of the switch teams. To integrate the electric
and communications business process, EPB leveraged exist-
ing workfow processes and fber-to-the-home provisioning
processes for communications equipment. EPBs installation
of IntelliRupters included one of the frst integrations of fber-
optic communications.
Learning the Way
After several revisions to the process, EPB began switch
installations on a small scale at the end of 2010. Based on les-
sons learned from the initial installations, the process was im-
proved and several more switches were installed. There were
19 versions of the process before it was considered fnal.
Once the process was fnalized, EPB quickly ramped up
installations to approximately 80 per month in early 2011.
As switches were installed, fber was run to each switch, with
communication through Alcatel-Lucents Optical Network
Terminator, and protective settings were installed. The com-
munication between each switch and the SCADA system was
then tested for each location. Once the switches were verifed
as communicating properly, they were commissioned by op-
erations and offcially placed in service. At this point, a switch
could be operated remotely by SCADA and could interrupt
faults, but it was not operating as an FISR team. After all the
switches on a feeder were in service, they became candidates
for automation.
Seeing Benets
In the most violent year of storms in EPBs history, measur-
able results were realized even as the smarter grid was in its
partial state of completion. At the time of a Labor Day storm
in 2011, a remnant of Tropical Storm Lee, only 54% of the
planned 1,200 S&C IntelliRupter automated switches were in-
stalled and less than 20% were confgured into automation
teams. While 63,000 homes and businesses were interrupted,
16,000, or 25%, avoided interruption altogether and an addi-
tional 9,000 customers, or 7%, experienced less than a 2-sec
interruption. The electric systems ability to heal itself through
automated fault detection and isolation during this storm re-
sulted in the utility avoiding 1,917,000 customer minutes of
In the months following the year of violent storms, EPBs
12-month ending system average interruption duration index
(SAIDI) dropped 24%, from 109 minutes to 82.5 minutes, since
December 2011.
27 | August 2012
More Efcient Operations
While AMI and smart grid are synonymous in some power
systems, EPBs AMI deployment is considered a small, though
powerful, component of the overall plan. The AMI deploy-
ment will provide 15-minute interval consumption data to cus-
tomers within 15 minutes of when the energy is used, thereby
allowing customers to better understand their energy usage
and make more informed decisions.
While only partially complete, the AMI project is already
helping with operational effciency during an especially criti-
cal time. After devastating tornados knocked out power to
75% of the utilitys service territory in April 2011, smart meters
enabled EPB to avoid 250 truck rolls during restoration. While
the outage management system (OMS) was still reporting out-
ages at these hundreds of locations, the utility was able to re-
motely ping meters to determine power had been restored at
250 locations, allowing the utility to use valuable resources in
areas that truly needed them.
When complete, EPB will have installed 10,000 RSUGs (re-
mote switch under glass), disconnect equipment integrated
into the meter (hence, under glass). This will not only allow
the utility to respond more quickly to customer requests, it
also will result in cost savings and pay for itself in less than
two years.
Better Power Quality
Each of EPBs 1,200 automated switches provides a pole-top
telemetry point on the electric grid, sending amps, volts and
power factor to the SCADA system. These points will provide
accurate inputs to the distribution management system, which
is scheduled to be implemented in early 2013. They are already
providing valuable insights into the electric system operations.
Recently, a large commercial customer contacted EPB with
a concern about its computer-controlled equipment tripping
off-line. EPB was not aware of any voltage anomalies on the
circuit serving this customer, but it queried the nearest Intelli-
Rupter to the customers service point. The investigation re-
vealed the voltage had dropped to 70% of nominal for one
cycle. The time of this event was correlated to a fuse blowing
on a nearby circuit. The information was provided to the cus-
tomer with a recommendation to review the settings on their
equipment and possibly adjust the trip values to something
less sensitive.
This proved to be a good lesson for EPB in the need to
understand more deeply the performance of the electric grid
but also to recognize that customers electric requirements
will continue to grow as their equipment becomes more
Additionally, the AMI deployment provides the utility with
voltage readings to help it better understand the deployed
facilities and correct problem s proactively. One of the early
phases of testing AMI outage alerts involved a comparison
of the outage alerts issued by AMI meters with an identifed
cause. The intent was to reconcile the outage alerts with an
outage in the OMS (planned or unplanned), a momentary
outage recorded in SCADA or planned meter activity (discon-
One of the outage alerts could not be associated to any of
the predetermined causes. A query of the meter reporting the
outage indicated the customer did not actually lose power, but
that the voltage had dropped below 80% of nominal, which
EPB had set as the threshold for a power outage. Further in-
vestigation of the consumption showed power was only being
used at night, and the drop in voltage corresponded with the
time at which power was being used.
Combining these two pieces of information with the cus-
tomer record that stated this was service to billboard lighting
revealed a possible open-neutral condition, which was verifed
and repaired with a feld visit. The valuable lesson learned
here was EPB could use AMI data to develop signatures of
power-quality conditions, develop queries to search for them
and initiate corrective actions in some cases, before the cus-
tomer was aware of the problem.
More Customer Options
Wheels are in motion for the implementation of a 5,000-
home pilot that will take advantage of the grids new two-way
As of June 2012, EPB has installed 135,000 of the 170,000 planned smart
28 August 2012 |
communications capabilities to offer new options for custom-
ers. Offerings will vary from traditional time-of-use rates, al-
lowing customers to modify their usage behavior for cost sav-
ings, to products designed to reduce peak demand without
customers needing to take any action at all.
The Need for Speed
Is reading meters all that needs to be done? Of course not.
But, the speed and bandwidth provided by the fber optics
allow for improvements in so many areas in addition to provid-
ing customers with near-real-time energy-usage information.
For example, the speed and low latency of the network allowed
a recent frmware upgrade to all of the IntelliRupter switches
to be completed in roughly one-and-a-half days. Previously,
the same upgrade would have required 600 work-hours to
upgrade in the feld and involved numerous feld workers.
The full implementation of EPBs electric grid will result
in an increase of approximately 400% in SCADA endpoints.
To support the additional points, EPB recognized the need to
upgrade its SCADA system. Implemented in March 2012, the
new SCADA system enables EPB to fully leverage the Inter-
net protocol communications infrastructure provided by the
fber-optic network.
Economic Development
Independent economic assessments have forecasted EPBs
investment to net economic and social benefts of $1.2 billion
and create 3,700 jobs in Chattanooga. While it is no secret that
reliable, affordable electric power is a critical component for
site selectors and others looking to relocate to or expand busi-
ness in an area, Chattanooga is already seeing tangible evi-
dence of this and looking forward to more.
Jim Glass ( has more
than 25 years of transmission and distribu-
tion experience, serving in management
positions at both Florida Power & Light
and EPB. His past roles have included
manager of distribution control center
and manager of emergency prepared-
ness (hurricane response) at Florida Power
& Light. Today, Glass is EPBs manager
of smart grid development. He holds a
bachelors degree in industrial engineer-
ing from the University of Tennessee.
Lilian Bruce ( is a senior
strategic planner for EPB. A former energy
analyst for Tennessee Valley Authority,
her industry experience ranges from
trading to energy transmission. She holds
a bachelors degree in architecture from
Syracuse University and a MBA degree
from the University of Tennessee at
After nine tornadoes ripped through EPBs service territory in 2011, the
smarter grid helped the utility avoid 220 truck rolls during the restora-
tion effort.
Companies mentioned:
Alcatel-Lucent |
Berkeley Lab |
S&C Electric Co. |
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Got Bandwidth?
CenterPoint Energy plans, designs, builds
and operates an effective smart grid
communications network.
By Chuck Hackney, CenterPoint Energy
he smart grid is bringing the electric utility industry
into the 21
century. In combination with smart me-
ters, the smart grid enables consumers to monitor
their energy usage. For utilities, it eliminates house-
to-house meter reading, makes possible the remote connec-
tion and disconnection of electric power, and sends automatic
alerts when outages occur.
The smart grid enables retail electric providers to offer
time-of-use rates that differentiate peak and off-peak con-
sumption to encourage electricity consumers to shift their
consumption patterns accordingly. It also enables consumers
to support the integration of distributed generation (for ex-
ample, electric cars, wind turbines and solar panels).
But the smart grid is only as smart as the communications
network that ensures the rapid and reliable two-way transmis-
sion of all this data. Over the past three years, CenterPoint
Energy (Houston, Texas, U.S.) has been installing just this
kind of advanced communications network.
Network Requirements
The mass of information accumulated by smart meters is
of no value unless it can be transmitted reliably to the utility
data center and processed. Hence, there is a critical need for
an effective communications network.
To create such a network, CenterPoint worked with IBM,
Itron, GE and Quanta Services. Each of these vendors has
Meter communications are accomplished on the underlying RFLAN mesh network and aggregated at the cell relay, which communicates on
the primary WiMAX network or alternatively on the secondary (backup) cellular network.
Detail A
Detail B
Cell relay
WiMAX (primary)
Detail B
See detail B
on right
Secondary network cellular
WiMAX wireless tower-based access
points will communicate to cell relays
at a ratio of approximately 75:1.
Meters will communicate to cell relays
at a ratio of approximately 400:1.
Cell relay
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made a contribution to the networks success:
IBMs network methodology was the basis for the net-
works architecture.
Itron provided meter, cell relay and system hardware,
software and services.
GE provided WiMAX radios/antennas, management
software and services.
Quanta provided meter and communications equipment
installation services.
CenterPoint had seven exacting requirements for its com-
munications network:
1. Have a comprehensive coverage design for a 5,000-sq-
mile (12,950-sq-km) service area.
2. Provide two-way communications to endpoints (that
is, to cell relays [meter data collectors] and intelligent grid
switching devices).
3. Have data throughput capacity suffcient to transmit 96
interval readings a day from each of more than 2 million me-
ters, and to execute all service orders generated.
4. Be reliable in all conditions, particularly storm condi-
tions as the Houston area is susceptible to hurricanes.
5. Be secure, adhering to strict cyber-security standards.
6. Be scalable to keep pace with ever-increasing amounts
of data as more smart meters and intelligent grid switching
devices are installed in the years ahead.
7. Have adequate fail-over and redundancy to ensure back-
up in the event of a component failure.
Architecture Development
IBMs network methodology was used to help CenterPoint
develop the communications architecture for the smart grid.
This methodology is represented by a collection of develop-
ment templates, best practices and procedures for designing
networks. The development process is structured in phases,
from the requirements, to conceptual modeling, to logical
Primary WiMAX tower/pole antenna aggregation sites are located
in CenterPoint substations. These sites communicate with cell relays
that are mounted on distribution poles.
modeling and, ultimately, to the fnal detailed network design.
The end result of this development process was a communi-
cations network design in which the meters form a mesh and
communicate through cell relays. The design ratio of meters
to cell relays is roughly 400:1. In the event a cell relay fails, the
meters associated with the failed cell relay will migrate to an
adjacent cell relay.
From the cell relay, there is dual-path (primary and second-
ary) communications architecture. The primary communica-
tions path is the companys private WiMAX network, consist-
ing of radio towers, typically at substations, which connect to
nearby cell relay sites. A failure of any segment of the com-
panys WiMAX backhaul communications will cause the cell
relays associated with that segment to fail over to the second-
ary path, a public cellular carrier (AT&T) network.
The smart grid communications model was developed
as an end-to-end design with dual communications paths to
provide redundancy. By implementing a private wireless in-
frastructure as a primary communications path and using a
public cellular carrier as the secondary path, CenterPoint was
able to use the full strengths of both types of networks to cre-
ate a reliable solution. This redundancy and resiliency enables
CenterPoint to live up to its brand promise: Always there.
Communications Network Build
Smart meters transmit electric usage data wirelessly to
cell relays installed on electric distribution poles connected
Out in the system, installation of cell relays (top box), WiMAX radios
(bottom box) and WiMAX antenna (inset) for communication to WiMAX
towers is accomplished.
33 | August 2012
to both the WiMAX and cellular networks. More than 5,200
cell relay sites have been built across Houston to communicate
with the more than 2 million meters installed across Center-
A critical part of the communications infrastructure construction was the verication that a WiMAX tower site at a substation could communicate
to all of the cell relay sites associated with it. When signal testing at a cell relay site (right) was needed before the WiMAX tower site was com-
plete, large cranes (left) were used to position the antennas at the appropriate height.
Points electric distribution territory.
The cell relay location consists of a cell relay, a wireless
WiMAX remote radio and an antenna all of which are
34 August 2012 |
powered by electricity from the power line with battery back-
up. For approximately every 75 cell relay locations, there is
a WiMAX radio tower site that functions as a take-out point
(TOP) to collect the data.
At the cell relay sites, communications crews program the
WiMAX radio and then align the antenna to ensure the radio
is communicating with the TOP. TOPs, which are built mainly
at CenterPoint substations, collect data from cell relays within
a several-mile radius and deliver the data, through the micro-
wave and fber backhaul network, to the data center.
The TOP consists of a 150-ft (46-m) steel lattice tower or
pole. On the structure, crews installed three WiMAX anten-
nas, spaced 120 degrees apart, to receive signals from sur-
rounding cell relays. In addition, crews installed and aligned
the microwave dish to connect with the core network through
an adjacent microwave location. The telecommunications
equipment for the TOP is sheltered inside a concrete build-
ing at the base of the tower or pole. Cell relay data collected
through one of three master radios one for each antenna
is routed over the microwave network by fber-optic cable to
the data center.
A data collection engine passes information collected from
the cell relays to the meter data management system, which
processes and stores meter data and also executes service or-
ders. CenterPoint sends meter data to the Smart Meter Texas
web portal, where consumers may securely view their histori-
cal 15-minute usage data in 24-hour, 30-day and 13-month

The Network Takes Shape
More than 2.2 million smart meters have been deployed,
along with 5,220 cell relays and 140 TOPs. With these in place,
more than 2 billion intervals of usage data are being recorded
and made available to consumers on the Internet each week.
In 2012, CenterPoint has obtained 15-minute interval data
at a rate of 99.3%, along with 99.8% of monthly register reads
used for billing. More than 97% of service orders have been
completed electronically, typically within 30 minutes, saving
nearly 3 million truck rolls, with concomitant savings in fuel
and reduction of carbon emissions.
Considerations and Lessons Learned
The real test of a communications network is how it func-
tions in practice. The deployment process posed its own chal-
lenges and taught some signifcant lessons:
Communications network development must be closely
coordinated with the meter deployment. CenterPoints meters
were deployed by route, and the network communications in-
frastructure was in place and stable three months ahead of
the meter deployment. This approach allowed meters to begin
communicating with the system immediately.
Be prepared to use creative design and installation solu-
tions to meet aggressive time lines. For example, one of the
tests performed at potential cell relay sites was to determine
WiMAX signal strength to the WiMAX take-out site. When
signal testing to a cell relay site was needed before the take-out
site towers were built, large cranes were used to position the
antennas at the appropriate height.
Complete the design of the overall communications sys-
tem up front. Integrate all communications components into
an overall architecture, test and analyze all equipment, com-
plete construction standards, identify all construction materi-
als and validate installation procedures through testing and
Manage materials and multiple service suppliers closely
and establish strong feld coordination along with detailed
construction and performance acceptance and testing pro-
cesses. Major equipment and long-lead items such as cell re-
lays, radios, network electronics, towers and buildings need to
be specifed, bid on and ordered well in advance, and invento-
ry levels maintained in a warehouse system and tracked. Given
the fast pace of deployment, inadequate inventory can cause
signifcant schedule disruptions.
Be prepared to support the infrastructure operationally
when the frst device goes into production. Identify staffng re-
quirements and analyze, select and implement network man-
agement tools as they are used both for construction and for
connectivity testing and operations.
Leverage a common communications infrastructure.
The intelligent grid network is built to leverage the advanced
metering system communications infrastructure so remote or
The cell relay equipment, including cell relay and WiMAX radios, was
assembled at a warehouse for ease of installation in the eld.
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36 August 2012 |
Companies mentioned:
CenterPoint Energy |
GE |
Itron |
Quanta Services |
automated switching commands are executed over the same
network from which electric usage data is communicated.
Keys to Deployment Success
An effective communications network has CenterPoint po-
sitioned for the future. The smart grid is not only the future
for CenterPoint, it is the future of the utility industry. With this
in mind, the following approaches may be considered when
planning any smart grid communications system:
Establish a strong governance process. A strong project
management offce, using a proven governance methodology,
is essential to the overall success. With the deployment of any
integrated system, especially one as complex as an advanced
meter system, the application of consistent scheduling, fnan-
cial, scope, change and reporting processes is imperative.
All project teams and support functions should be inte-
grated and closely aligned within a project management struc-
ture overseen by a robust project management offce.
Develop solid business and technical requirements and
ensure agreements with all stakeholders.

Apply a proven network architecture development meth-
od to ensure a solid design that meets requirements.

Ensure the deployment of smart meters and switching
devices is coordinated closely with the deployment of commu-
nications infrastructure.

Adopt and follow effcient, safe and cost-effcient design
and installation standards, keeping in mind operational sup-
port requirements.

Minimize exceptions; they add costs and delay progress.
When unavoidable exceptions do occur, handle them aside
from the main deployment effort in order to avoid disrupting
the primary deployment routine.

Follow up the deployment as soon as possible with a plan
to operate and maintain the equipment and systems.
The smart grid is becoming the norm in the United States,
and the nerve center of every smart grid is the communica-
tions network that connects it. CenterPoint Energys experi-
ence will not be the exact experience of every utility as it moves
to the smart grid. But the lessons learned during this process
may prove useful to other utilities that are on the various steps
of this path.
Chuck Hackney ( is the
director of Telecommunication Services & Smart Grid Com-
munications. He manages the CenterPoint Energy backhaul
and smart grid network and is responsible for the smart grid
communications network deployment. Hackney has deployed
large technology infrastructures, re-engineered business pro-
cesses and developed organizations for both large technology
infrastructure deployments and the resulting operations. He has
held management positions in T&D, power engineering, SAP
project, IT and operations technology organizations. He holds
a BSCE degree and is a licensed professional engineer in the
state of Texas.

The program management structure consisted of program management leadership and various support areas (risk, production support, nan-
cial, planning/tracking and technology architecture). In addition, the work streams represented the technical teams that were responsible for the
deployment of the various technical elements of the advanced meter system (meters, communications network and systems). The communica-
tions team is highlighted strictly to indicate its position in the structure.
Executive steering committee Program management ofce Utility operations committee
Production support
Planning, tracking, reporting
Technology arch and security
Process change and
benets realization
Procurement and logistics
Risk oversight committee
Key support areas
Corporate Communications
Human Resources
Customer Service
Program work streams
Metering Communications AMS
IG systems IG systems
emai l hast i ngs@hf gp. com
phone 269. 945. 9541
web hf gp. com
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Advanced Distribution
Keeps Korea Plugged In
Distribution monitoring and control system
enhances all aspects of operations, including
storm response and load balancing.
By Sung Hwan Bae, Korea Electric Power Corp.
uring the three-day period from the July 26 to July
28, 2011, the city of Seoul in South Korea experi-
enced heavy rainfall amounting to some 500 mm
(20 inches), which represented 40% of the citys
annual average rainfall. Meteorological records confrmed
this was the heaviest rainfall over a period of three days since
records began in 1903.
In Seoul, the Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has
four distribution control centers (DCC) that monitor and
control 7,562 automatic switches, controlling 1,499 distribu-
tion feeders, in an area supplying 3.18 million customers. The
rainfall on July 27 caused a total of 36 faults on the Seoul dis-
tribution network. However, the DCCs were able to isolate the
fault sections and restore power to the healthy sections with-
in 3 minutes of receiving notifcation of each fault by using
KEPCOs distribution automation system (DAS). Among the
36 faults, 24 were processed within 3 minutes and eight within
10 minutes. The remaining four faults could not be handled
within 10 minutes because the rainfall had damaged both the
communications and distribution lines.
Network Performance During the Rainfall
Early in the morning on July 27, three fault-alarming in-
dicators appeared simultaneously on the monitoring screen
in the Gangnam DCC in Seoul. Triggered by faults, the cur-
rent transformers installed in the switchgear on the source
side of the fault position detected the fault currents, and the
remote terminal units (RTUs) in the switchgear instantly sent
messages to the DCC. Also included in the information from
the fault-alarming indicators was the real-time load current
on those feeders.
Once the operators in the DCC confrmed the faulty sec-
tions of the network, the remote-control function started to
open the adjacent switchgear to isolate the faulty sections and
close the normally open switchgear to restore power to the
healthy sections of each feeder. This entire process was com-
pleted within 3 minutes on average, and KEPCO repeated this
process for the rest of the faults throughout the day, thereby
minimizing the number of customers experiencing supply
Additionally, if this event had not been a disaster but a reg-
ular situation, KEPCO could have used the self-healing func-
tion that has a predetermined automatic sequence, and the
complete restoration process might have been completed in
an even shorter time.
Distribution Automation System Background
According to the economic growth in Korea, even a mo-
mentary fault on a distribution feeder can bring about a huge
loss to connected customers. Considering the ever-increasing
42 August 2012 |
customer expectations for network reliability and power qual-
ity, the development of DAS was necessary for KEPCO. Origi-
nally, the concept of monitoring and operating switchgear in a
distant site was quite sensational to engineers who were famil-
iar with the old-fashioned manual process. The rapid expan-
sion of qualifed communications infrastructure in the 1990s
turned this concept into a reality.
DAS has quickly improved KEPCOs system average inter-
ruption duration index (SAIDI) by reducing recovery time.
Time spent in dispatching linemen to the fault location,
manually switching on and off for isolation of the faulty sec-
tion, and power restoration, which used to take more than
50 minutes, was reduced to just a few minutes. Considering
the excessive travel time due to heavy traffc, the effect of DAS
can be evaluated higher in urban areas like Seoul than in
rural areas.
A feeder
B feeder
C feeder
D feeder
Other feeder
Other feeder
A1 A2 A3 C2 C1
B1 B2 D2 D1 D3
Fault spot
Fault indicator
Auto SW (ON)
Auto SW (OFF)
The impact and damage caused by excessive rainfall in July 2011.
Multi-faults on distribution lines of Gangnam DCC in Seoul.





44 August 2012 |

The DAS has three main features:
Remote monitoring and controlling of feld devices, col-
lecting real-time data (voltage, current) and the resetting of
the minimum pick-up current of reclosers
Fault-handling for single and multi faults and load bal-
ancing with load transfer for scheduled outages
Optimal feeder reconfguration for loss minimization
and load balancing, detection of unbalanced phase current,
calculation of short-circuit current and voltage drop calcula-
tion, automatic generation of single-line diagrams and a simu-
lator for training purposes.
In the bigger picture, DAS consists of the DCC, automatic
switchgear on the network and the remote communication
system that links them together. DAS communication equip-
ment transmits commands from the DCC to the automatic
switchgear from which they receive data. In Korea, with opti-
cal fber as the main medium, various wireless communication
systems, such as digital trunked radio system and code divi-
sion multiple access, are used for the DAS. However, even in
foreign countries with different wireless systems, such as gen-
eral packet radio service and global system for mobiles, the
DAS has proven to be adaptable, as demonstrated by several
pilot projects in China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Egypt.
State of Implementation
Initiated in 1983, KEPCOs DAS went through the develop-
ment process and was fnally adopted on real distribution net-
works in 1998. Since then, KEPCO has constantly upgraded
the DAS, and now it is completely new. While KEPCO has been
mainly focused on DAS software, many domestic manufactur-
ers like ENTEC, Jin Kwang E&C Corp., Iljin Electric and KDN
have contributed to the development
of DAS feld devices such as overhead
switchgear, ring main units and RTUs,
respectively. The total investment on
DAS was some US$407 million. For
more effcient DAS operation, KEPCO
constructed 41 DCCs where operators
could monitor and operate networks
served by several branch offces simul-
The Benets
In 1996, KEPCOs SAIDI was 31
minutes. In 2010, 14 years later, it was
reduced to 15.2 minutes a fgure
comparable to that of top-level utilities
in the world. Before DAS was intro-
duced, it took 54 minutes on average for
linemen to travel to the fault location
and isolate the faulty section and even
longer in urban areas because of heavy
traffc. Nowadays, it takes just 3 minutes
on average, a signifcant improvement
in network reliability.
A utilitys investment in new facilities increases in step with
an increase in power consumption, which follows the eco-
nomic development of a society. With the network load data
acquired from DAS, KEPCO can decide exactly how much
it needs to invest in the construction of new substations and
feeders. Supportive data such as load current, real-time load
characteristics and fault history of circuits helps engineers to
make more accurate load density maps and predict future
demand. On this basis, substations can be constructed in
the right locations and the network reliability will be further
1996 1998 2002 2005 2008 2009 2010
DAS device (set)
SAIDI (min/customer year)
KEPCO reduction in system average interruption duration index (SAIDI).
control center
Communications network
HUB Modem Modem
Distribution automation system main conguration.
A utilitys investment in new facilities
increases in step with an increase in
power consumption, which follows the
economic development of a society.
Loss minimization is a key function of the DAS. Utilities
have to make decisions on the interconnection of distribution
lines, taking into consideration the daily and seasonal load
variations to maintain system security. DAS provides the tools
to relocate connecting points on the distribution network to
optimize the feeder load and minimize losses by calculating
the sectional loads and circuit impedances. For example, if
feeder A is loaded with 5 MW and the connected feeder B is
loaded with 7 MW, the loss minimization function would shift
the connecting point of these two lines to the position on the
network where it would minimize the total loss of both feed-
ers. If expanded to the network level, this function can decide
the right positions of the connecting points that will result in
minimum power loss of the network.
Innovative Solution
PowerSenses innovative monitoring and control solution, DISCOS

, allows real-
time Distributed Analytics based on inline measurements and actual power grid
conditions. DISCOS

it Reusable Power Distribution.
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Distributed Analytics
A growing demand for active compensation of the power grids due to
bad power factors, ageing power grids and changing power generation
and power consumption patterns calls for Distributed Analytics.
46 August 2012 |
Work process Fault recognition
Separation fault area
and restoration
of voltage and current
Protective device setting
Without DAS
notication or
line patrol
Moving to the
fault location
and operation
switch manually
directly in the eld
Setting directly
in the eld
With DAS
Fault recognition
in the ofce
Operation switches
remotely in the ofce
The receiving of the
measured data
in the ofce
Setting remotely
in the ofce
ual activities like facility monitoring and fault handling with
an automatic system, the DAS has improved the utilitys overall
effciency, which can lead to signifcant savings in the expen-
diture on resources.
The DAS provides many additional benefts including an
increase in energy sales because of improved power quality
and balanced electrical loads on distribution feeders. The
quality of services for customers is improved because of a
decline in the number of complaints,
and the safety of feld workers can be
ensured as a result of the remote con-
trol of the switchgear. Furthermore, the
DAS offers utility employees the oppor-
tunity to upgrade their skills with new
Sung Hwan Bae (
received a BSEE degree from Konkuk
University and a masters degree in
electrical and computer engineering
from Union Graduate College in the
U.S. in 1990 and a Ph.D in public policy
and information technology from Seoul
National University of Technology in
Korea. Since 1979, he has worked for the
Korea Electric Power Corp., where he is
currently head of Seoul District Division
as a vice president. He is a senior mem-
ber of the Korea Institute of Electrical
Usually the social cost of power interruptions is heavily de-
pendent on a societys economic level. The greater a society
grows economically, the more rapidly the cost of a fault inter-
ruption to the society increases. For KEPCO, this is no longer
a major problem because the DAS dramatically reduces the
duration of fault interruptions.
A reduction in feld work makes it possible for utilities to
process routine work with fewer personnel. By replacing man-
Companies mentioned:
Iljin Electric |
Jin Kwang E&C Corp.
Korea Electric Power Corp.
Changes in eld works with the distribution automation system.
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48 August 2012 |
Bold Strides Toward
Grid Transformation
Central Maine Power pursues energy excellence by
implementing a scalable, reliable and modern grid.
By Laney Brown, Central Maine Power Co.
hough it had been planning to deploy smart grid
technology since 2007, Central Maine Power Co.
(CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola-USA, did not be-
gin to realize some of the benefts of a smarter grid
until recently. The utilitys ability to restore power to 364,000
customers following Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011
was recently recognized by the Edison Electric Institute with
an emergency recovery award. This award is presented each
year for outstanding response in restoring electric service dis-
rupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events.
Although not yet fully implemented at the time, the smart grid
system assisted CMP with its rapid restoration efforts by help-
ing to clear repair orders.
The Path to AMI
Back in 2007, CMP, which delivers about 9 billion kWh of
electricity annually to more than 600,000 homes and busi-
nesses, had been planning a smart grid with a bold advanced
metering infrastructure (AMI) implementation, but decided
in 2008 not to proceed. This choice was based on the chal-
lenge of operating in a fully unbundled environment where
customers purchase their electricity from various competitive
power producers. This meant demand response a primary
beneft of the smart grid yielded no fnancial beneft to
CMPs business case, undermining the economic case for the
In 2009, however, smart grid investment grants became
available from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. CMPs DOE
grant represented the third-largest grant in the country and
proved to be the catalyst to moving the utilitys AMI project for-
ward. The Maine Public Utility Commission (MPUC) quickly
and unanimously authorized CMP to proceed with its planned
smart grid project, contingent on receipt of such a grant. The
MPUC called the project an important technology that will
ultimately reduce utility operational costs, improve customer
service and provide customers with necessary tools to use elec-
tricity more effciently and lower their electricity bills.
CMPs AMI deployment was to incorporate state-of-the-
art technology, data management, cyber security and func-
tionality. Before these benefts could be realized, the utility
faced several challenges as the project went from design to
deployment. However, these unique concerns were overcome
through the aid of strong, strategic partners, a purpose-built
smart grid solution and a community engagement program
ultimately, all of which helped to ensure the program rolled
out on time and on budget.
A Bold Approach
Maine, the Pine Tree State, is nearly 90% forested, creat-
ing unique trials for smart grid deployment. The geography
of CMPs 11,000-sq-mile (28,490-sq-km) service area in cen-
The extender bridge installation on the top of this distribution pole is
a typical part of the AMI communications infrastructure.
49 | August 2012
tral and southern Maine meant a multipronged approach was
needed to effciently connect urban and rural areas in both
dense forests and islands. Adding to the challenge of how
communications would successfully connect across this di-
verse landscape, CMP also had the goal of implementing a full
rollout to more than 620,000 customers in a relatively short
period of time a schedule that is one of the quickest to date
for a project of this size while ensuring the project stayed on
budget and on time.
These factors led CMP to develop a bold and aggressive
strategy for the smart grid deployment, seeking the implemen-
tation of an intelligent communications backbone to serve as
the central nervous system. The underlying communications
platform needed to meet todays demands for advanced me-
tering, powerful demand response and enhanced outage
management, as well as have the fexibility to anticipate tomor-
rows needs for advanced distribution operation applications
and integration of distributed energy resources.
To identify successful partners, CMP conducted a meticu-
lous request for proposal process focused on fnding a partner
that could provide complete coverage of the utilitys complex
territory, meet the required bandwidth and performance, en-
sure the system provided future-proof scalability and deliver
robust security protections all at a competitive cost. After a
rigorous selection process, only one solutions provider stood
out for its ability to offer the most advanced capabilities at a
competitive total cost of ownership. In July 2010, CMP fnal-
ized agreements with Trilliant for the development of a com-
plete smart grid communications network and AMI solution.
Trilliant provided the best combination of communica-
tions and metering technology to suit both initial and long-
term needs. Starting in the summer of 2010, with anticipated
completion in July 2012, CMP implemented a SecureMesh
multi-tier network, part of Trilliants overall Connected En-
ergy Platform, in three tiers:
A wide area network (WAN) operating in the unlicensed
5.8-GHz spectrum for the backhaul of AMI and future system-
wide applications; the WAN delivers up to 54 Mbps of through-
put and a maximum latency of 12 msec per roundtrip hop
with up to 10 miles (16 km) between nodes
A neighborhood area network (NAN) operating in the
unlicensed 2.4-GHz spectrum for the AMI network and other
future feld applications; the raw data rate of 250 kbps exceeds
the DOEs 80-kbps smart grid investment grant requirement
A future wireless home area network (HAN), already in-
tegrated into the smart meters, to support demand response
and home energy management applications.
This multi-tier network approach enables CMP to partition
applications according to the required bandwidth and latency,
thereby ensuring the most effective and effcient use of each
network. For example, in addition to serving as the high-band-
width reliable backhaul for advanced metering, Trilliants
broadband network can be used to support real-time applica-
tions such as distribution automation, substation monitoring,
and connectivity to renewables and plug-in hybrid electric ve-
hicles. Similarly, the SecureMesh NAN collects meter data and
enables other advanced metering applications.
For the majority of the private AMI network, CMP was
able to rely on its own facilities (for example, poles, service
centers and substations). Trilliant played a major role in the
deployment, acting as the prime contractor for network instal-
lation and meter procurement. CMP also worked closely with
several partners to complete this deployment, including GE,
Landis+Gyr, Black & Veatch, Itron, IBM and Siemens.
To ensure the success of the project, CMP took one more
key step. The utility created an AMI project governance plan
that identifed mitigating measures for eight separate risk
Technology performance
Supply chain
IT integration
Field exception
Records exception
Dynamic pricing acceptance
From the outset, the AMI team met weekly to review the
project status in all eight risk areas.
Engage Customers and Community
CMP takes consumers safety, privacy and security very seri-
ously. In addition to working around the technical and physi-
cal constraints of the landscape, it was important for CMP to
engage with its customers and community leaders, educating
them about the benefts of the deployment. A winner of the
J.D. Power customer satisfaction award for four years in a row,
CMP is dedicated to understanding and effectively communi-
cating with customers. CMPs success is based on understand-
ing customers through a focus on customer research and
Through this research, CMP was able to identify and work
with customers to address a series of challenges many utilities
across the country face today or will likely encounter in the
near future. For example, during the deployment of the smart
grid network, the MPUC required the development of an
The service entrance was inspected at each meter installation to ensure
connections were all good. That is why the installation contractor re-
quired installers to wear ash protection.
50 August 2012 |
opt-out program for customers who did not wish to have smart
meters on their property. CMP offered customers the option
of leaving an analog meter in place or turning off the trans-
mitter in the smart meter.
While these options are important steps in responding to
customer concerns, CMP also undertook an extensive com-
munity outreach and education program. The utility hosted
community presentations throughout its service area to dis-
cuss the benefts of an AMI network directly with customers.
During these community forums, CMP invited customers
and community leaders to participate in discussions about
how information from smart meters empowers users to better
understand their energy usage. A commonly discussed study
focused on a 2010 analysis by the American Council for an
Energy-Effcient Economy that found this type of informa-
tion, coupled with a consumer feedback program, can en-
courage voluntary savings between 4% and 12%.
This education program played a key role in addressing
another issue. Toward the end of 2011, a small group of cus-
tomers less than 0.05% of customers who received the new
meters reported radio-frequency interference from their
2.4-GHz wireless-compatible meters with some electrical ap-
pliances, personal computers and communications devices.
Taking a proactive approach, CMP posted detailed, step-by-
step information online to inform users
how they could correct this type of in-
terference easily. In the event the simple
solutions did not remedy the issue, CMP
fully committed to working with custom-
ers to resolve the problem by sending out
a technician to help troubleshoot or in-
stall new equipment.
By choosing the global 2.4-GHz IEEE
802.15.4 standard solution with high
bandwidth and low latency, CMP is mak-
ing future-proof investments in the elec-
tric grid. Broad industry support for the
802.15.4 standard reduces long-term
risk by ensuring interoperability, while
higher bandwidth and lower latency pro-
vide room for growth to support future
advanced smart grid applications, such
as distribution automation and various
consumer applications.

Future Developments
Having navigated a complex series of
deployment requirements, unique geo-
graphic challenges and customer con-
cerns with its smart meters, CMP is now
making more plans for a smarter grid and
preparing for additional applications:
Replacement of two separate meters
for customers now generating wind or
solar energy with a single bidirectional
meter to support distributed generation
Distribution and substation automa-
tion throughout CMPs grid
Demand-response programs from
power providers, including the MPUC
dynamic pricing initiative in the frst
quarter of 2013
Support through the HAN (in-
cluded in the smart meters) for in-home
displays, programmable communicating
thermostats and direct load control
Intelligent charging for electric vehi-
cles to avoid additional strain on the grid.
51 | August 2012
Companies mentioned:
American Council for Energy-Efcient Economy |
Black & Veatch |
Central Maine Power |
Electric Power Research Institute |
GE |
Itron |
Landis+Gyr |
Siemens |
Trilliant |
Current Benets
Ahead of these future developments, CMP already has begun realizing benefts
from its AMI deployment. In August 2011, high winds and torrential rain from Trop-
ical Storm Irene struck Maine, causing substantial damage to CMPs delivery infra-
structure. In the days following the storm, washed out roads, fooding and downed
trees compounded the challenges of the restoration effort. In addition to invaluable
assistance from the industrys mutual assistance program, the AMI team quickly
developed an ad-hoc process to help CMP to clear repair orders rapidly, aiding in
the speedy restoration. Overall efforts were so successful CMP restored power within
four days to more than 90% of customers who had lost power.
Based on the experience of other utilities, the Electric Power Research Insti-
tute estimated the economic costs of power outages in the U.S. total approximately
US$120 billion. A reduction of 10%, for example, could be expected to reduce the
economic costs of outages for customers in CMPs territory by hundreds of millions
of dollars. Greenhouse-gas emissions are expected to be reduced substantially based
on improvements in effciency and increased consumer conservation, as well as from
the elimination of nearly 2 million annual vehicle miles for meter reading and con-
nections and disconnections. CMP estimates long-term annual reductions of 42,000
tons of carbon dioxide, 46,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 107,000 tons of sulfur
Finally, additional savings in payroll and telecommunications costs are being re-
alized with the reduction in estimates, read-related exceptions and billing adjust-
ments, and the reduction or elimination of certain types of calls by giving customers
online access to their energy use on CMPs web portal.
Keys to Success
CMPs AMI deployment overcame complex challenges like adapting to a chal-
lenging geographic service area, designing a fexible communications network and
delivering on a bold rollout time line. The key to the utilitys award-winning execu-
tion came from developing rigorous implementation plans early on and partnering
with innovative companies to deploy adaptable technology including an intel-
ligent communications backbone. In part, these factors have enabled CMP to re-
spond more rapidly to power outages, helping to keep the lights on for thousands of
customers and businesses throughout Maine.
While the fexible AMI technology used in this deployment is certainly key, cus-
tomer engagement also is critical to any successful smart grid deployment. Com-
munity outreach and education programs can help utilities to turn skeptics into
supporters and ensure a grid-upgrade project results in more than simply new elec-
tricity infrastructure, but rather empowers the community to take advantage of the
savings possible with smarter energy.
Laney Brown ( serves as the advanced metering infrastruc-
ture program director at Central Maine Power (CMP), where she is responsible for
leading the smart meter project for CMPs 620,000 customer base.
52 August 2012 |
Mitigating Oil Spills
ITC reviews and strengthens secondary
oil-containment capabilities.
By Mike McNulty, ITC Holdings Corp., and Matthew Bauer, Burns & McDonnell
ith its continued investment in the electrical
transmission grid, ITC Holdings Corp. (ITC),
the largest independent electrical transmission
utility in the U.S., sought to take a closer look at
its potential for harmful oil spills and how to mitigate damage
if one should occur. The company understood a large spill not
only could be harmful to the environment and a public rela-
tions nightmare, but it also could cost the utility millions of
dollars in damages and cleanup costs. With this in mind, ITC
engaged Burns & McDonnell to develop a program to identify,
evaluate and design secondary oil-containment solutions that
ft the needs of its expanding power grid network.
Site Selection
With the acquisition of existing transmission infrastructure
from other companies being part of its transmission develop-
ment portfolio, ITC wanted a program to identify secondary
oil-containment improvement needs systemwide. The utilitys
infrastructure, acquired from different owners, used varying
secondary-containment designs and philosophies.
To build its own program, ITCs environmental and engi-
neering departments worked with their consultant, Environ-
mental Consulting & Technology Inc., who assists ITC in the
development and management of the utilitys Spill Prevention
Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans for all stations. A
high-level study identifed several high-priority sites where ITC
thought it could make improvements. The study focused on
the size and quantity of oil-containing equipment on-site, the
means for potential spills to travel off-site and the potential
environmental exposure of a spill. Additionally, ITC wanted
to proactively ensure compliance with the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) SPCC rules.
Secondary containment needs were reviewed for oil circuit
breakers, reactors, transformers and other equipment contain-
ing large amounts of oil. The volume of oil in the equipment
was considered in determining containment needs. Because
higher-voltage equipment typically contains greater volumes
of oil, sites handling high voltages were among those selected
for further review. Large sites with multiple transformers and
circuit breakers were chosen because they had a higher spill
Sloping sites and those with storm-water drainage systems
also were reviewed. The drainage systems typically included
swales and perforated pipes installed throughout the stations
for collection and routing of storm water off the site. The
pipes either release storm water at the edge of the property or
connect into a municipal sewer system. These systems are de-
signed to handle large amounts of water, transferring it quick-
ly outside the fence of the station and
often off the property. While it is ben-
efcial to keep a dry and easily main-
tained site, these pathways can have a
signifcant impact during an oil spill.
Sites with storm-water drainage sys-
tems that either drained off-site or
connected into sewers were identifed
and selected for further review.
Infrastructure sites with sensi-
tive environmental areas nearby also
were studied in the selection process.
These sensitive areas included bodies
of water such as rivers, streams, lakes
and ponds, and other areas that could
be damaged by an oil spill, including
wetlands, grasslands and wooded ar-
eas. The presence of such areas adja-
cent to a station creates the potential
for a spill to have signifcant detri-
Installation of new below-grade containment pit using an impervious liner with C.I.Agent Barrier
Boom for a transformer.
53 | August 2012
mental effects. Further, cleanup efforts
could be more diffcult and more costly.
Solution Evaluation
Sites identifed in the initial study
were researched and physically inspect-
ed for containment and response char-
acteristics. These characteristics includ-
ed the proximity to and condition of the
environmental areas, soil characteris-
tics, drainage, response time, and con-
dition of equipment and any existing
secondary containment. Based on this
evaluation, oil-containment needs were
identifed and solutions were evaluated
to select an appropriate design alterna-
tive. ITC sought to implement solutions
that could meet three criteria:
Require minimal maintenance
Use similar products to provide consistency and familiar-
ity to its construction and operation crews\
Optimize investment by comparing costs to performance
Site grading and topography were reviewed to determine
the direction and rate at which an oil release would travel. Ex-
isting soil borings were reviewed or new ones were obtained to
determine the subsurface profles at each site. Depending on
the soil characteristics and water table depth, different con-
tainment solutions were appropriate. For sites with pervious
soils and for sites with high water tables, containment solutions
needed to both prevent oil from fowing off-site and from infl-
trating into the groundwater. The containment solution also
needed to handle storm water that may collect in it and allow
it to infltrate or fow off-site as usual. Where pipe drainage
systems were installed, containment solutions were designed
Sealing impervious liner around existing foundations using both bentonite powder and batten
54 August 2012 |
EPA Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Rules
The Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 112 (40 CFR 112) governs oil-pollution prevention for the U.S. It establishes pro-
cedures, methods, equipment and other requirements to prevent the discharge of oil into or upon navigable waters. Navigable
waters are dened in section 502(7) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and include lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, wet
meadows and natural ponds. Part 112 applies to, among other things, any owner or operator of a facility engaged in the use of oil
and oil products, which, based on location, could reasonably be expected to discharge oil in quantities that may be harmful.
As dened in the regulation, the requirements apply to any facility with an aggregate aboveground storage capacity in
containers greater than 55 gal (208 l) and an aboveground storage container threshold greater than 1,320 gal (4,997 l) or more. As
required, the owner or operator or facility subject to part 112 must prepare in writing and implement a Spill Preventation, Control
and Countermeasure plan typically reviewed and certied by a licensed professional engineer.
Exceptions to this include qualied facilities that either have no individual aboveground oil-storage container with a capacity
greater than 5,000 gal (18,927 l) or a facility that has had no single discharge exceeding 1,000 gal (3,785 l) or no two discharges
each exceeding 42 gal (159 l) within any 12-month period in the three previous years. These qualied facilities may self-certify their
facilitys plan.
Additionally, facilities with qualied oil-lled operational equipment as dened in part 112.7(k) may choose to implement alter-
native requirements to satisfy their general secondary containment. These alternatives include either providing a facility response
plan under part 112.20 or a spill-contingency plan under part 109 and supplying a written commitment of manpower, equipment
and materials required to expeditiously control and remove any quantity of oil discharged that may be harmful.
to either prevent oil from entering the drainage system or in-
tercepting it before discharging off-site.
Site locations, operation and maintenance schedules, and
local infrastructure were reviewed to determine estimated re-
sponse and cleanup times. Sites in rural areas were considered
a higher risk with respect to spill response and confnement
because of the likely delay in initially responding to and iden-
tifying a spill. Further, it would take longer for cleanup crews
to reach, contain and clean up a spill.
The condition of oil-containing equipment and existing
oil containment was examined. Old items were identifed as
having a higher potential for harmful spills. Existing oil-con-
tainment provisions were reviewed for condition and design
to determine if repairs or modifcations were needed. Prior
to ITC ownership, many sites had minimal maintenance per-
formed on the original containment solutions.
Containment Designs
After the additional containment needs were identifed
and evaluated, solutions were designed based on effective-
ness, maintenance, cost and constructability. No two sites were
the same, so the containment designs and methods varied
depending on the specifc site conditions. The design
evaluation also considered whether single equipment,
multiple equipment or sitewide containment was ap-
propriate, depending on the size of the site and loca-
tion of the equipment.
Equipment requiring containment was reviewed
for scheduled replacements. Some of it was already
scheduled for replacement in the upcoming years. Oil-
containing circuit breakers were the main component
identifed for scheduled replacement. The breakers
were to be replaced with new SF
breakers, which do
not need oil containment. The replacement schedules
for those pieces were expedited when possible.
At sites where it was not possible to prevent a potential
oil fow into existing storm-water drainage systems, contain-
ment solutions were designed to intercept the oil before the
discharge point. Drains were rerouted and manholes were in-
stalled with an AFL Industries stop valve. This system allows
storm water to continue through while oil is captured. These
Backlling a lined belowground containment pit with washed stone for
a circuit breaker.
Finished belowground oil-containment pit.
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56 August 2012 |
In some areas, impervious clay soils prevented the use
of infltration for removal of storm water. Below-grade con-
tainments would have required the installation of pumps or
drainage pipes. These were not preferred because of their
maintenance and installation diffculties. Aboveground con-
tainments were implemented, including Strongwell walls or
impervious berms constructed around the equipment. These
containments were not flled with rock, thus they have a
smaller footprint compared with below-grade designs. These
designs also used C.I.Agent Barrier Boom for storm-water
control. Windows were placed in the walls to allow storm water
to fow from the containment off-site on the surface.
Long-Term Solutions
With the use of its secondary containment program,
ITC has identifed and prioritized many secondary oil-con-
tainment improvements throughout its system. It used cost-
effective designs to provide long-term solutions with minimal
operation and maintenance requirements. The program rep-
resents a sound, moderate investment in ITCs transmission
system, helping the utility to be prepared should an oil spill
occur at one of its sites. In the meantime, a modern transmis-
sion system improves service reliability, lowers the overall cost
of delivered energy and allows new generation resources to
interconnect to it.
Mike McNulty ( is an environmental
manager at ITC Holdings Corp. He is responsible for overall
corporate compliance of ITCs environmental programs, with a
focus on substations. He interacts with the engineering, plan-
ning and maintenance departments with respect to environmen-
tal requirements of new construction and ongoing maintenance.
He sits on the IEEE Substations Committee Oil Containment
Working Group, where he is currently updating IEEE Standard
980 Containment and Control of Oil Spills in Substations.
McNulty formerly worked as an environmental consultant before
joining ITC and earned his bachelors degree in environmental
science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Matthew Bauer ( is a civil/structural
engineer in the transmission and distribution division at Burns
& McDonnell. He has worked with oil containment for clients
across the United States and has ve years of experience
designing and managing substation projects. Bauer earned
his BSCE degree from Iowa State University and is a registered
professional engineer in Iowa and Michigan.
Companies mentioned:
AFL Industries |
Burns & McDonnell |
C.I.Agent |
Environmental Consulting & Technology Inc. |
Environmental Protection Agency |
ITC Holdings Corp. |
Strongwell |
systems are available in several sizes and easily installed with
minimal site disturbance. Larger oil-water separation vaults
also were used when more signifcant drainage areas required
spill protection.
Belowground containment pits were put in place to capture
spills at sites where pervious soil conditions were encountered
or existing drainage systems existed. The pits were excavated,
lined and then backflled with washed stone. The required
containment volume was achieved within the voids of the
stone, and no above-grade modifcations were needed.
To account for storm water captured in the system,
C.I.Agent Barrier Boom was installed. This product uses gran-
ules embedded between two pieces of fabric that allow storm
water to pass through but instantly solidify hydrocarbons on
contact. Although this design was more expensive than some
alternatives, primarily due to higher material and construc-
tion costs resulting from the greater amount of disturbance
during installation, it was chosen because of its low mainte-
nance requirements. Additionally, this solution did not ob-
struct access to the electrical equipment, although it did often
require modifcations to the existing grounding grid during
AFL Industries stop valve allows storm water to ow through but stops
the ow of oil.
Finished aboveground oil-containment pit.
Life Line 56E | Field Applications 56F | Line Construction 56H | Hybrid Technology 56L

Helicopter Crews
Sunrise Powerlink
We`re #1 |n equ|pment for a s|mp|e reason...Safety
Oheck out our new s|te!
Safe Zone Oabs
D|g|ta| Oontro|s
Ergonom|c Des|gn
D|str|but|on and
Stock|ng of Se|ect

bu|| whee|
turret based
4 drum
The L|neman's Best Fr|end
We`re #1 |n b|ocks for a s|mp|e reason...Qua||ty
Oheck out our new s|te!
We`re ded|cated to gett|ng every ||neman
Stock|ng [new|
Qu|ck Sh|p [new|

spec|a| order
qu|ck turn
home every n| except|ons
Others try to |m|tate our
products, but not our warranty:
Ours |s ForeverI
August 2012 2 |
inemen will soon caravan to Kansas City for the years
most important industry event: the International Line-
mans Rodeo and Expo. For the last fve years, Ive
woken up at the crack of dawn, driven out to Bonner
Springs and witnessed thousands of spectators and competi-
tors celebrate the line trade.
Since 1984, this event has grown to include more than 3,000
attendees from around the world. What started out as a small
event in Manhattan, Kansas, has transformed into a not-to-
miss event for the power industry.
The International Linemans Rodeo Association (ILRA)
has made changes along the way, but one theme has remained
constant: a focus on safety. When the organizers started the
frst rodeo with 36 competitors, they focused on safe work prac-
tices, and the same is true today.
Here are a few ways that the ILRA and the organizers are
maintaining the emphasis on safety for this years event.
Safety is a part of scoring. At the rodeo, the competitors are gg
judged not only on speed but also on how well they adhere to
safety regulations. For example, contestants can lose points for
infractions such as a loose hard hat, mishandling tools or not
wearing safety glasses. If they modify rubber gloves with holes,
slashes, cuts or notches, they can be disqualifed from the com-
petition altogether.
Focus on fall protection. This year, more utilities will be re-
quiring their linemen to compete wearing full fall protection.
Dale Warman, co-chairman of the ILRA, said that ILRA has
redesigned the scoring to be more friendly for those who use
fall protection. The board of directors, judges and advisory
committee groups recently met to develop a plan recognizing
those companies who require their competitors to use fall-pro-
tection equipment during the climbing events. The score team
coordinators will work with the programmers to add an adjust-
ment to the scoring program to recognize those participants
wearing fall-protection devices.
For example, each journeyman event and overall awards
will be given out for frst through fourth place. The judges will
no longer award a ffth-place winner. Instead, they will give one
award to the best fall-restraint team in each event and one for
the best fall-restraint team overall.
Use of new technology. New for this year, the ILRA partnered
with UST to provide Multi-Use Technical Tools for the pole-top
rescue event. Competitors must use the M.U.T.T. device when
theyre in the working position during this event. Otherwise,
By Amy Fischbach, Contributing Editor
Linemans Rodeo
Zones In on Safety
theyll risk losing points from their total score.
Educating linemen about safety. Like last year, the ILRA is
presenting a safety conference at the Overland Park Conven-
tion Center. This event will feature presentations designed to
help linemen improve safety out in the feld.
For example, Mark Eaton, an NBA All-Star, will deliver the
keynote address on The Four Commitments of a Winning
Team. Next, a presenter will share a story about a personal
injury, and a utility professional will describe electrical trans-
mission and distribution best practices. During the second day
of the conference, Danny Raines from Raines Utility Safety So-
lutions will give his presentation on Being a Safety Leader and
OSHA 269 Changes.
Offering the latest in safety equipment. In the days leading
up to the rodeo, linemen will have the opportunity to browse
the aisles at the expo. Over the last few years, Ive noticed an
increase in the number of fame-retardant-clothing manu-
facturers exhibiting on the show foor. More vendors are also
showcasing personal protective equipment from safety glasses
to leather gloves and heavy-duty boots.
For 2012, about 70 companies will be showcasing their lat-
est tools and technology. By taking the time to visit with ven-
dors, linemen can discover new products that will help them
improve their productivity as well as their safety.
With the job of a lineman listed as one of the top 10 most
dangerous jobs in America, its imperative for line workers to
continually look for ways to stay safe in the feld. By attending
the International Linemans Rodeo and Expo, linemen can
learn new strategies to keep themselves and their crew mem-
bers out of harms way.
Editors note: At the International Linemans Expo and Rodeo,
I try to visit all of the utility tents on the competition grounds.
But please e-mail me at if you have
an idea for a story for Electric Utility Operations, and Ill nd
a time to meet you at the Overland Park Convention Center
or at the rodeo. Also, Ill be attending the 2012 Transmission
Maintenance and Management Conference in Winnipeg, and
hope to see T&D World readers at that event, as well. d
Each year, I view the competition grounds from high up in
the air by taking a ride in the Altec bucket truck. After the
event, Ill post my photos on T&D Worlds Electric Utility
Operations Facebook page and include the best photos in
Novembers Parting Shot. m | August 2012
Jim Woodward (left) is a 40-year career lineman who has
worked throughout the Southwest for the federal govern-
ment, IOUs, municipalities, industrial and commercial proj-
ects, REAs and Tucson Electric Power. His experience runs
the gamut from basic secondary to 230-kV underground and
500-kV transmission.
Jim Woodward
Tucson Electric Power
Born in Austin, Texas.
Married for 37 years to his wife, Kathy, and they have four
children: Paul, Jeremy, Brad and Vikki.
Describes himself as realistic, credible, honest, quietly strong
and solid. His coworkers would describe him as honest and
calm under pressure.
Enjoys playing three musical instruments, creating landscapes
and remodeling his home.
Is the only one in his family working in the power industry.
Inspired by his wife and his faith in Jesus.
Cant live without cordless power tools like presses, cutters,
saws and drills.
His favorite boss was Jim Redeld, an intelligent, friendly and
patient man who became his father in the industry.
Early Years
My friends father worked in the power industry in the late
1960s. The prospect of travel, good money and the never-
ending need for electricity fueled my interest in this trade.
My frst job was working for Arizona Public Service in
Phoenix, Arizona. As a 21-year-old apprentice, I worked on
a 230-kV underground oil static line in July 1973. It was hot
and muggy, and I enjoyed spending nine months on the job in
downtown Phoenix. I remember that the linemen on the crew
were excellent educators.
Day in the Life
As a supervisor, I have the chance to return the favors given
to me by my predecessors. I oversee 30 of 100 construction
personnel, attend multiple company meetings and visit all of
our crews to support them and their duties. My commitment
to a safe and enjoyable working environment is paramount.
Challenges and Rewards
Evolving technology and continuing education present a
challenge I have not yet seen during my career. The need to
be more educated and have a greater technology background
seem to follow the evolution we see in the utility industry.
Directing the path of new apprentices in line construction is
tough, but the reward of providing quality, professional crafts-
men makes it worthwhile.
The retiring baby boomers and the knowledge that leaves
with them is so universal right now. To adequately prepare
the next generation in such a short time is a tremendous task,
and we need to be sure that the speed at which they retire
does not compromise the transfer of knowledge and its related
Safety Lesson
Ill never forget when we repaired fre-damaged under-
ground facilities on Mount Lemmon in Tucson, Arizona. Dur-
ing a forest fre, my friend Ken was overcome by smoke and
could barely breathe because of his diminished lung capacity.
We had to move our crews up the slope 2 miles to our trucks to
travel back to town. I carried Ken on my back for the 2 miles
so his lungs would not be burdened by walking in the smoke
of the fre.
It occurred to me that my life was so little a sacrifce for a
brother who was in greater need than me. We were not fully
prepared to work in the environment of a forest fre, and Ken
was not going to be a casualty. As a followup to this incident,
our line crews prepared a hazard and rescue plan for such an
Memorable Storms
Ive had a lot of storm memories over the last 40 years. One
incident that stands out, however, was climbing a pole in my
underwear in a food-ravaged town south of Tucson. We had
to ford a river with our tools and materials to put a three-phase
line back up to provide water to the community.
Plans for the Future
I would go into this industry again in a heartbeat. The rela-
tionships Ive made, the people Ive met and continue to meet,
and the experiences this has given me is priceless. Everything
has brought me to where I am today, with no regrets.
My passion has never waned, nor have I ever sought em-
ployment elsewhere. It has afforded my family a life not known
by my father or his father. I am proud to have had a small part
in any journeymans career in the United States.
I can retire in fve years, but Id like to stay longer. There are
things I would like to instill at Tucson Electric Power before I
go and that involves some more schooling for myself.
work. RG&E worked with its substation maintenance employ-
ees to understand and accommodate their needs.
TransGard panels come in 3-, 6- and 10-ft lengths and are
4 ft high. To minimize the effect of wind on the panels, RG&E
and TransGard installed them in a zigzag pattern. Also, the
workers installed a 7-inch stone berm by the panels to prevent
animal intrusions underneath the fence.
RG&E technicians completed the electrical connections
for the panels, while the TransGard team performed most of
the panel installation.
Maintaining the Fencing System
Alternating panels are charged, so if a person or animal
makes contact with two consecutive panels, they will get a
shock. The energized TransGard panels protect critical trans-
formers, circuit breakers, bus work, insulators and capacitor
To protect themselves when they maintain the substation,
technicians can shut off electricity to the panels. The entry
gates in the perimeter of panels, sized for one person at a time
to enter, include meters that indicate when voltage in the pan-
els goes to zero. Newer gates are solid panels that are not ener-
gized. Panels that weigh 20 lb to 30 lb each
can be moved to allow vehicle access.
Updating the Fences
Two years ago, when the last of the Trans-
Gard panels were installed, RG&E com-
pleted extensive maintenance of the older
panels. Technicians retroftted several of the
older installations with upgraded fence com-
ponents, including some to make the entry
gates more user-friendly.
RG&E is now identifying any remaining
issues with the panels. As a result of con-
tinuing inspections and maintenance work,
technicians have discovered broken jumper
wires, especially where panels had been
moved a lot. Some of the original installa-
tions had panel-to-panel connection pads
that use a screw-in design, and they didnt
conduct as well as they should. They have
been replaced with panels redesigned by
TransGard to resolve the issue. In addition,
By Gary Aman, Rochester Gas and Electric
ild animals caused about 80% of the substation
equipment outages at Rochester Gas and Elec-
tric (RG&E) in Rochester, New York, during
the 1990s. Critters crawled under substation
fences and found their way to energized equipment, knocking
out power to customers.
To minimize these substation outages, RG&E turned to
TransGard 15 years ago. RG&E was a beta tester for Trans-
Gards animal-deterrent panels and conducted feld trials of
several prototypes.
Ten years ago, RG&E and TransGard installed electrically
charged panels at 100 substations, and two years ago, they in-
stalled panels at the remaining 31 substations with exposed
equipment operating at 34.5 kV or less. As a result, animal-
caused outages at these substations have plummeted to one.
Installing the Panels
In advance of installing the panels, RG&E performed site-
specifc surveys to determine exactly what equipment should
be protected, the total linear feet of panels needed, how to
provide power to the panels, and the number and location
of entry gates needed for substation maintenance and other
Utility Guards Against
Animal-Caused Outages
August 2012 | 56F
The main TransGard entryway includes an easy-to-read control panel and a remov-
able step panel to allow access to the substation in times of heavy snow.
RG&E turned to TransGard Systems 15 years
ago to help prevent animal-caused outages.
August 2012 | 56H
ElEctric Utility OpEratiOns
Sunrise Powerlink
Inspires Innovation
PAR Electrical Contractors demonstrates
unique work methods as it installs structures
on SDG&Es recently energized line.
By Gerry akin and art Holland, San Diego Gas & Electric
new 117-mile transmission line now winds through
a national forest, traverses an arid desert and
climbs through the mountains of California from
Imperial County to San Diego County. Called the
Sunrise Powerlink, the recently energized line is comprised of
two 230-kV segments (one overhead and one underground), a
500-kV segment and a new 500-kV/230-kV transmission sub-
station called Suncrest substation.
The San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) project team and
its prime contractor, PAR Electrical Contractors, spent 18
months constructing the line, which connects two existing
substations, SDG&Es Imperial Valley substation near El Cen-
tro California, and SDG&Es Sycamore substation just north
of the city of San Diego. Sunrise Powerlink is designed to deliv-
er up to 1,000 MW of planned renewable energy to San Diego
while greatly increasing the transmission import capability.
The nearly $1.9 billion project begins at the desert foor at
sea level and then rises up as high as 5,600 ft in the forest. It
then drops back down to less than 1,000 ft above sea level at
the Sycamore substation. One of the spans on the 500-kV line
is almost 5,200 ft long. Dubbed the Mile Span, it is now the
longest span in SDG&Es system.
The Sunrise Powerlink also crosses Interstate 8 fve differ-
ent times and shifts from overhead to underground for 6 miles
in Alpine, California. The other 111 miles are a combination
of 230-kV and 500-kV overhead transmission lines, with more
than half of the line crossing through rugged terrain made
accessible only with helicopters.
Protecting Wildlife and the Environment
Crews constructed this line in a serpentine-like path to
accommodate the hundreds of environmental and vegeta-
tion management mitigation measures. For example, the line
crosses through habitat for the endangered Peninsular Big
Horn Sheep, a boulder-strewn landscape where the construc-
tion window was limited to only six months so as to avoid con-
struction during the lambing period in this area.
Due to the limited construction windows, much of the con-
ductor installation was pursued quickly. For example, workers
had to complete the almost mile-long span within a three-
week period in an area designated as a Golden Eagle habitat.
Similar construction window closings threatened the conduc-
tor installation completions in four other areas.
In addition, the environmental restrictions didnt permit
the inclusion of a snub site in the Mountain Springs Grade
area. In this moonscape-like rugged habitat, the crews in-
stalled a set of explosive-type conductor sleeves for a conduc-
tor pull.
Environmental restrictions prohibited SDG&E from build-
ing roads to 234 of its 421 lattice steel towers. As a result, the
utility used helicopters to construct these towers from start
to fnish. As many as 35 helicopters worked on the project on
a single day. More than 30,000 fight hours were logged by a
combination of passenger, medium and heavy lift helicopters.
Helicopter types used on Sunrise included Erickson Sky-
Pile cap constructors tie reinforcing bar for concrete placement in
Mountain Springs Grade, Imperial County, California.
208TD34.indd 56 8/6/2012 10:06:05 AM
RG&E is dealing with some rusting on panels installed near
major thoroughfares where they are exposed to salt spray.
They are being replaced with TransGards newer panels,
which have weather-resistant coating. Technicians also have
had to replace some chargers.
Over the years, RG&E installed remote alarms on about
60% of its TransGard installations to notify the utilitys con-
trol center when voltage to the panels has been interrupted.
In the future, RG&E would like the alarm to also
monitor the status of the DC voltage on the end
of the installation because, in some cases, power
could be on, but a charger could have failed.
TransGard introduced an AlertStrobe in early
2012 that offers this functionality.
After RG&Es success with the TransGard in-
stallations, its sister companies New York State
Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Central Maine
Power (CMP) are also investing in the prod-
uct. NYSEG has 93 installations in service and
plans another 26 installations this year. CMP will
be installing its frst panels this year. By install-
ing the fencing system, RG&E and other utilities
are guarding against animal outages and in the
process, improving customer reliability for years
to come.
Gary Aman ( is a mainte-
nance engineering technician at RG&E, where
he has worked for 31 years. For the last 15 years, he has been
responsible for maintenance programs for substation trans-
formers, regulators and lightning arresters.
Fencing assembled in a zigzag formation helped to minimize the inuence
of wind. | August 2012 56G
Companies mentioned:
Rochester Gas & Electric |
TransGard |
Delivering electricity to customers in a safe and
effcient manner is only one of the many growing
responsibilities electric utilities face today.
Grid One Solutions, lnc., an Asplundh company, is
there to share the load as a trusted, capable partner
with 20 years of experience and expertise in:
AMl/AMP Deployments
Contracted Meter Peading
Field Service Work
lmplementing Demand Pesponse and Energy
Management Programs
Call Center Operations
visit to learn more.
Toll Free: 1-800-606-7981 E-mail:
August 2012 | 56H
Sunrise Powerlink
Inspires Innovation
PAR Electrical Contractors demonstrates
unique work methods as it installs structures
on SDG&Es recently energized line.
By Gerry Akin and Art Holland, San Diego Gas & Electric
new 117-mile transmission line now winds through
a national forest, traverses an arid desert and
climbs through the mountains of California from
Imperial County to San Diego County. Called the
Sunrise Powerlink, the recently energized line is comprised of
two 230-kV segments (one overhead and one underground), a
500-kV segment and a new 500-kV/230-kV transmission sub-
station called Suncrest substation.
The San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) project team and
its prime contractor, PAR Electrical Contractors, spent 18
months constructing the line, which connects two existing
substations, SDG&Es Imperial Valley substation near El Cen-
tro California, and SDG&Es Sycamore substation just north
of the city of San Diego. Sunrise Powerlink is designed to deliv-
er up to 1,000 MW of planned renewable energy to San Diego
while greatly increasing the transmission import capability.
The nearly $1.9 billion project begins at the desert foor at
sea level and then rises up as high as 5,600 ft in the forest. It
then drops back down to less than 1,000 ft above sea level at
the Sycamore substation. One of the spans on the 500-kV line
is almost 5,200 ft long. Dubbed the Mile Span, it is now the
longest span in SDG&Es system.
The Sunrise Powerlink also crosses Interstate 8 fve differ-
ent times and shifts from overhead to underground for 6 miles
in Alpine, California. The other 111 miles are a combination
of 230-kV and 500-kV overhead transmission lines, with more
than half of the line crossing through rugged terrain made
accessible only with helicopters.
Protecting Wildlife and the Environment
Crews constructed this line in a serpentine-like path to
accommodate the hundreds of environmental and vegeta-
tion management mitigation measures. For example, the line
crosses through habitat for the endangered Peninsular Big
Horn Sheep, a boulder-strewn landscape where the construc-
tion window was limited to only six months so as to avoid con-
struction during the lambing period in this area.
Due to the limited construction windows, much of the con-
ductor installation was pursued quickly. For example, workers
had to complete the almost mile-long span within a three-
week period in an area designated as a Golden Eagle habitat.
Similar construction window closings threatened the conduc-
tor installation completions in four other areas.
In addition, the environmental restrictions didnt permit
the inclusion of a snub site in the Mountain Springs Grade
area. In this moonscape-like rugged habitat, the crews in-
stalled a set of explosive-type conductor sleeves for a conduc-
tor pull.
Environmental restrictions prohibited SDG&E from build-
ing roads to 234 of its 421 lattice steel towers. As a result, the
utility used helicopters to construct these towers from start
to fnish. As many as 35 helicopters worked on the project on
a single day. More than 30,000 fight hours were logged by a
combination of passenger, medium and heavy lift helicopters.
Helicopter types used on Sunrise included Erickson Sky-
Pile cap constructors tie reinforcing bar for concrete placement in
Mountain Springs Grade, Imperial County, California.
cranes S64 E and F models, Bell 205 and 212 models,
Kaman K-MAX, Eurocopter AS350 B2 and B3 mod-
els, the MD500, the MD520 NOTAR and MD530F.
Faced with the heavy lift construction requirements
at more than half of the structure sites, SDG&E pur-
chased an Erickson F Model Skycrane (the Sunbird)
for dedicated use on Sunrise. At various times during
the project construction, the company brought in ad-
ditional F and E model Erickson Skycranes to assist.
Preparing the Work Site
SDG&E required all project personnel to be
trained on environmental mitigation measures, wild-
fre-suppression requirements and helicopter safety.
This training pertained not only to the crews who
built the line, but also construction and quality-con-
trol support personnel, inspectors responsible for the
inspection of the contractors work and environmen-
tal monitors required by the mitigation measures to be on site
during construction activities. Everyone was trained in how to
safely use the helicopter landing pads at the remote structure
sites. Crews also were trained in hot load/unload techniques,
which refer to loading and unloading personnel on the heli-
copter without shutting down the engine. Many landing sites
were not on level ground, which added to the risk of injury
during this process.
At the remote sites, the contractors had to perform all tasks
including vegetation clearing, foundation installation, steel
erection and wire stringing via the air rather than from roads
on the ground. The frst step for the feld crews was to clear a
landing zone for the helicopters. By removing the vegetation
in a 70-ft diameter landing zone, the work crews could load
and unload from the helicopter safely with a reduced risk of
To help the vegetation management crews to clear the
brush and trees, the heavy lift helicopter pilot few in equip-
ment like a Bobcat and/or small hand tools such as shovels,
rakes, chain saws, axes, brush cutters and frefghting equip-
ment. Next, the vegetation management team cleared a 100-ft
by 100-ft footprint for the tower construction. The helicopter
then hauled out the vegetation since it couldnt be spread out
on the site.
Constructing Foundations
Once the tower sites were cleared of vegetation, the crews
prepared the site for the construction of the foundations.
Somewhat less than half of the foundations were conventional-
ly constructed with augers, rock hammers, blasting, and other
conventional means and methods employed at sites with ve-
hicle access. Batch plants delivered concrete for the minority
of the sites, and specialized trucks mixed volumetric concrete
at most of the conventional sites.
At the remote sites, PAR and its subcontractor, Crux Sub-
surface Inc., proposed and ultimately employed a design-build
micropile foundation system as an alternate to traditional con-
crete drilled shaft foundations. Many of the tower sites feature
boulder-covered terrain and/or near surface hard rock out-
crops. The use of the micropile foundations eliminated the
need to blast 10-ft-diameter holes 20 ft to 30 ft deep into the
mostly rocky strata. Instead, the workers installed an array of
three to a dozen 8-inch-diameter micropiles to a typical depth
of 35 ft at each tower leg.
To begin construction of these foundations, the crews re-
moved large boulders and benched the area where the work-
ers would construct the four tower legs. The helicopter then
brought in specialized equipment beginning with a platform
and a lightweight specialized drilling rig. The adjustable leg
platform and the drill rig separated into several pieces to fa-
cilitate the transport with medium lift helicopters, allowing
loads to be safely managed by ground crews on steep terrain.
The medium lift helicopter then transported the drill as well
as an air compressor, generator, steel casings, threaded rods
and small tools to the site. The proprietary drill rig rotates
about a centroid to effciently install each micropile with
enough precision to facilitate bolted connections between
the micropiles and pile caps. Once a group of micropiles is
installed, the helicopter moves the drill rig and platform to
the next leg location.
The sequence of micropile installation in rock included
placement of an upper steel casing to a prescribed depth fol-
lowed by drilling and placement of high-strength all-thread
rebar into the lower bond zone, extending the full length of
the pile. Each pile was grouted with high-strength cementious
grout from the bottom to the top. Where foundations were in-
stalled in soil, pressure was applied to the grout while casings
were retracted from the bonded section. A minimum of two
piles were proof tested at each tower. Crews tested the piles to
their maximum factored load.
After proof testing and trimming of the casings, the next
step was to install a cap on the micropile casings. In a depar-
ture from conventional tower foundations with concrete caps,
SDG&E worked with its contractors to develop a unique steel
pile cap for use on the Sunrise transmission towers. SDG&E
previously had approved the use of steel pile caps on tubular
steel poles, but never before on a lattice steel tower.
Given SDG&Es previous success with steel pile caps on
Inspection of steel cap prior to stub angle setting in Mountain Springs
Grade area.
August 2012 | 56J
monopoles, the utility and its contractors decided to consider
using a steel cap for the Sunrise towers, as well.
SDG&Es engineers agreed it would make more sense to
use a steel cap, rather than a concrete cap, providing that the
performance of the steel cap was equal to or better than a con-
crete cap. As a result, the Sunrise Powerlink project is the frst
application of steel cap micropile foundations for lattice steel
towers in the nation.
The use of steel pile caps eliminated the need to transport
and form rebar cages, fy in forms and several yards of con-
crete to the remote work sites, and then pour concrete around
the micropile foundation to form the pile caps. It also reduced
helicopter emissions. Each steel pile cap weighs 5,000 lb, and a
medium lift helicopter only needs to make four trips to trans-
port the four caps needed for each structure. In comparison,
medium lift helicopters would need to make 40 to 50 fights
to fy 130,000 lb of concrete to a site, and when multiplied by
234 sites, it adds up to a signifcant savings in environmental
impact and construction time. Once the crews installed the
steel pile caps, and the stub angles were grouted in place, the
foundation was complete and ready for the tower steel.
Erecting the Towers
Environmental restrictions created some unique challeng-
es on the Sunrise project when it came to erecting the starter
legs for the steel towers. Traditionally, the crews need to install
guy wire to tie back each leg, temporarily supporting it until
all four legs can be bolted together.
During this process, a helicopter fies a leg to the site, and
workers guide it into place on the stub angle and attach the
temporary guy wire. They would then successively set each leg
in place with temporary guy wires. Once the crew members
set the connecting steel members into place to tie the legs to-
gether, they could remove the temporary guys.
Due to Sunrises environmental mitigation measures, the
crews were not always permitted to install the guy wires and
extend them outside the 100-ft by 100-ft tower footprint. The
problem the construction team faced, however, is
that not all the legs can be supported by guys re-
maining within the tower footprint.
To address this challenge, SDG&Es contrac-
tor developed unique braces for the legs that work
as kickstands to temporarily support the legs. A
helicopter few in each leg as a stable unit, and it
supported itself until it was connected to the other
legs. Once all four legs were installed and tied to-
gether, the remaining sections of the tower were
brought in by the heavy lift helicopter.
To facilitate the fights, SDG&E set up staging
yards about every 5 miles to 7 miles along the proj-
ect alignment. These yards varied in size, some ex-
ceeding 30 acres. The yards served as sites where
crews could preassemble the tower sections and
prepare them for transport via helicopter. Once
the helicopter picked up the preassembled tower
sections, the crews could then stack the sections,
one after the other. After the starter legs, crews
added the body extension(s), followed by the Y-shaped layback
and fnally the bridge.
The completed heavy deadend bridges were too heavy for
the helicopter to lift, so the crews split them into two pieces.
Conventional means and methods for split bridge erection
uses a system of guy wires. Workers are often positioned under
the tower to secure these wires on temporary anchors as the
helicopter sets each half bridge on the tower. Because Sunrise
has so many remotely sited heavy deadend towers, this raised a
safety concern for a signifcant amount of exposure. The work-
ers had to be below the tower when the helicopter set the half
bridge sections on the tower.
In a successful effort to reduce the risks associated with the
setting of the split bridges, SDG&E worked with the Sunrise
contractor and consulting engineers to design unique internal
bracing that could be attached temporarily to each of the split
bridge sections. Using this bracing, the helicopter sets each
half bridge section on to the tower as a stable unit where it
temporarily supports itself until the other half bridge is fown
into place. Finally, both half bridges are securely tied together
to form the completed bridge assembly.
Once the towers were complete, the conductors and shield
wires were installed. The workers used a unique netting in-
stallation over the fve CALTRANS crossings of Interstate 8 so
conductor pulling could take place without workday or traffc
restrictions. The supporting poles and guy wires for the nets
were erected in the CALTRANS right-of-way during Sunday
morning periods of light traffc and with a few brief traffc
closures. The nets and the supporting guy wires were pulled
across the right-of-way in just a few minutes, minimizing the
traffc disruption.
Additionally the two OPGW shield wires on the 500-kV line
and the single OPGW shield wire on the 230-kV line each con-
tained 72 optical fbers, sometimes requiring specifc string-
ing sites and always requiring additional attention for success-
ful splicing at both accessible and inaccessible locations.
After the completion of the conductor installations, the
Surveyors set nal stub angles to ensure proper batter and distance for tower
erection in Mountain Springs Grade.
crews completed the aircraft warning light installations. Two
different kinds of lights visible and infrared were used
on Sunrise. The visible lights were installed in accordance
with the results of an aeronautical study and in compliance
with FAA regulations. The visible lights themselves are not un-
usual except that they are all solar powered because of the re-
mote locations. Additionally SDG&E worked with military and
law enforcement agencies in San Diego and Imperial counties
to identify locations where solar-powered infrared lighting
would enhance pilot safety. The infrared lights can only be
seen with specialized infrared goggles. These lights are clear-
ly visible to the pilots from agencies that often fy at night in
remote areas near the Sunrise alignment.
Working with a new low-power supervisory control and
data acquisition (SCADA) system supplier, SDG&E installed
a SCADA system to continuously monitor the status of the vis-
ible and infrared lights. Should there be a problem with the
lights, an alarm would be triggered and a maintenance crew
dispatched to make necessary repairs. This system eliminates
the need for feld workers to expend time and effort to inspect
all 117 miles of the transmission line for aircraft warning light
outages. Instead, the SCADA system automatically monitors
the condition of the tower lighting systems.
While the transmission line was under construction, Beta
Engineering, SDG&Es prime contractor for the Suncrest
substation, completed the construction of the 500-kV/230-kV
transmission substation. Starting with a greenfeld site, the
workers excavated, crushed and re-compacted 1.2 million cu-
bic yards of soil and rock to create the pad at this balanced
site. Working under a compressed construction schedule, all
the below-grade and above-grade work was completed in just
16 months.
After 18 months spent in the desert and the mountains to
construct the Sunrise Powerlink, SDG&E recently celebrated
the energizing of the line. SDG&E and its contractors com-
piled an exceptional safety record by working more than 5 mil-
lion man-hours without a major incident. The OSHA incident
rate of 1.81 was less than half of the industry average of 3.80
for similar utility projects, despite the heavy reliance on heli-
copters and construction in rugged terrain.
The Sunrise Powerlink was anything but a typical utility
project. The attention to safety was greatly enhanced by the
full-time operation of the Sunrise Base a communications
center that maintained constant contact and knowledge of
whereabouts of all feld personnel, helicopters, and unique
risks and concerns associated with specifc locations.
Now that the Sunrise Powerlink project is operational, and
once the renewable energy projects in Imperial and San Diego
counties are brought on-line, Sunrise will carry clean, green
electricity to the residents of San Diego. In addition, SDG&E
and its ratepayers will beneft from the use of the innovative
Sunrise techniques and work methods that also may be ap-
plied to future projects.
Gerry Akin ( is a project manager
for Sunrise Powerlink for overhead construction. He has been
with the company for 35 years. He is responsible for execution
of the project strategy as well as construction schedule and
Art Holland () is a construction
manager for Sunrise and a consultant to SDG&E. He has been in
the industry for 42 years.
Companies mentioned:
American Eurocopter |
Bell Helicopter Textron |
Beta Engineering |
Bobcat Co. |
Crux Subsurface Inc. |
Erickson Air-Crane |
Kaman |
PAR Electrical Contractors Inc. |
San Diego Gas & Electric |
With the assistance of the yellow leg brace kickstands, a PAR
crew ties four tower legs together.
Spotter helicopter assists Sunbird pilots to set a split bridge using
the unique internal bracing.
August 2012 | 56L
The Greening of the Fleet
Marsheld Utilities invests in hybrid
bucket trucks for its linemen.
By Greg Geiger, Marshfeld Utilities
tility companies face the challenge of operating a
feet effciently. They not only must make the most
of their equipment, but they also must improve
their crews work environment. For Marshfeld
Utilities, one of the solutions to this challenge is a plug-in hy-
brid electric bucket truck used for utility grid line construc-
tion and maintenance.
The utility considered the hybrid technology in part due
to the Wisconsin Clean Transportation Program. This pro-
gram, which is administered jointly by the State of Wisconsin
Energy Offce and Wisconsin Clean Cities/Southeast Area,
is part of the U.S. Department of Energys National Clean
Cities initiative. It supports local decisions to reduce petro-
leum consumption in the transportation sector through the
use of alternative fuels, advanced technology vehicles and fuel
economy measures.
To support this initiative, Marshfeld Utilities ordered its
frst Odyne Systems plug-in electric hybrid truck in 2009.
Then, two years later, the utility invested in a second truck with
a more advanced Odyne plug-in hybrid system. Both units
Crews cover energized equipment to allow for new 795 ACSR installation. Linemen use the jib and winch feature to remove an existing
capacitor bank (inset).
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Put UPT`s mobile workforce and technology to
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August 2012 | 56N
feature a Navistar chassis, Terex HRX55 aerial devices, fber-
glass bodies and a material handling boom with a 2,000-lb
lift capacity. The trucks are used to build three-phase feeder
lines, reroute lines and maintain the utility grid. They are part
of a small feet, including two 1-ton dump trucks, two digger
derricks and fve bucket trucks, including the two hybrid-
powered units.
Marshfelds second Odyne hybrid-powered bucket truck
has been in use for line work since Jan. 12, 2012. The truck was
purchased as a direct replacement for a truck that had been in
use for a decade. The new truck is like other bucket trucks in
the Marshfeld feet, except for the hybrid system.
Powering Aerial Devices
The Odyne plug-in hybrid system uses an electric motor,
in parallel with the existing drive train, to provide launch as-
sist and regenerative braking. When the truck is in the hybrid
driving mode, the hybrid systems 69-hp Remy electric motor
works in parallel with the trucks engine to improve accelera-
tion. During a braking event, energy is generated by this same
motor to recharge the hybrid batteries. This combination of
launch assist and regenerative braking saves fuel and reduces
Once at the job site, the truck engine is turned off and the
vehicle is placed in the ePTO mode. This all-electric station-
ary operation mode results in a quieter job site and the option
for extended work hours. The crew operates the Terex aerial
device powered by the hybrid systems two 14.2-kWh Johnson
Controls lithium-ion batteries without constantly running the
trucks engine. The trucks hybrid system is a more effcient
way to power the trucks aerial device with the batteries stored
energy, rather than running a bucket trucks 225-hp engine to
power a 20-hp hydraulic pump that runs the aerial device. In
case of an issue with the hybrid system, the vehicle automati-
cally switches back to conventional vehicle mode to maximize
the vehicle uptime and utilization. Marshfelds hybrid truck
is ftted with optional in-cab heating and cooling, providing
comfort for its crew at the job site, without running the trucks
Reducing Fuel Costs
The hybrid truck provides several benefts to Marshfeld
Utilities. The hybrid system increases fuel effciency while
driving, and reduces emissions and noise when operating
in hybrid mode at the job site. Recent data, collected from
Marshfelds hybrid bucket truck, indicates engine operating
hours are reduced by six hours a day compared to a conven-
tional bucket truck.
The reduced engine hours lead to reduced fuel consump-
tion. In fact, a truck uses 6 gal to 10 gal less per day, depend-
ing on the load. Reduced engine runtime means reduced
wear and tear, and less-frequent maintenance and trips to the
service shop. As a result, vehicle uptime increases, adding to
further productivity gains. Consuming less fuel also leads to
fewer trips to the pump, saving drive time and time away from
the job site, which enhances crew productivity as well. The
hybrid trucks electricity consumption for charging its batter-
ies averages about 16 kWh a night per charge. At $0.0825 per
kWh, the average cost has been $1.32 per charge.
Marshfelds crews found that even with daily use, the bat-
teries last an entire workday without having the engine restart
in the feld to recharge the hybrid batteries. The hybrid sys-
tem can be optimized to provide additional power while driv-
ing, consuming more of the battery. It also will see higher de-
mands in the summer with use of the auxiliary air conditioner.
Quieting the Job Site
In addition to saving fuel and decreasing its carbon foot-
print, the utilitys biggest beneft has been an improved work-
ing environment for its crews. When operating the hybrid
trucks aerial device in ePTO mode, without the engine run-
ning, the crews didnt breathe exhaust fumes or experience
their adverse effects. Crew members reported fewer head-
aches and no longer feel as fatigued at the end of their shift.
Marshfelds crews also have a quiet work environment to
communicate in. The operation of the hybrid truck in ePTO
A close-up view of the plug-in power unit.
This charging station is shown in operation.
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hybrids as it replaces bucket trucks in the future.
Marshfeld Utilities customers have accepted the hybrid
truck, as well. They dont hear a truck running all day long
when its working in their area. After a recent power outage,
the utility entered the service area, repaired downed lines
and left the area without nearby residents realizing the hybrid
truck was there.
The utility realized the greatest savings of its hybrid truck
by operating the aerial device without the trucks engine run-
ning, reducing fuel and maintenance costs. Its greatest bene-
fts, however, were reduced emissions and noise, and increased
crew comfort and safety. Thanks to a hybrid solution, the util-
ity met its feet utilization challenge, improved its crew envi-
ronment and looks forward to the future.
Greg Geiger ( is an electric
operating supervisor with Marsheld Utilities in Marsheld,
Wisconsin. He has been with Marsheld Utilities for 24 years.
Companies mentioned:
Johnson Controls |
Marsheld Utilities |
Navistar |
Odyne Systems |
Remy |
Terex |
mode is much quieter than a conventional diesel engine-pow-
ered truck. Communicating without yelling to one another
makes the linemen more productive. The linemen on the
ground are much safer when theyre working with others up
in the bucket of the hybrid truck.
Without the background noise, they can hear one another
easier and are more aware of whats going on around them.
Less noise and improved communication among crew mem-
bers translates to lower stress, which also contributes to safer
working conditions.
The hybrid trucks quieter work environment has ben-
efted the utilitys apprentice linemen training program as
well. The utility currently employs three apprentices and six
journeyman lineman, and clear communication is vital dur-
ing instruction in proper procedures. During training, crews
often use a second bucket truck to work on the same structure.
As a result of the quiet operation of the hybrid bucket truck,
Marshfeld has been able to train apprentices without sending
a second truck, saving that expense.
Accepting the Hybrid Trucks
Although Marshfeld Utilities uses only the trucks it needs
on a daily basis, its hybrid truck is used every day. When inte-
grating it to its feet, the utility put one journeyman in charge
of the hybrid truck and rotated its crew members until all had
used it. Today, the linemen prefer the hybrid truck over con-
ventional trucks. As a result, Marshfeld expects to add other
Photograph by Vincent McDonald, CPS Energy
August 2012 | 56P
CPS Energy Lineman Adrian Arredondo works
high above the streets of Greater San Antonio,
Texas, to ensure a steady ow of electricity to the
utilitys growing number of customers. At the end
of January 2012, CPS Energy served more than
728,000 electric customers and 328,000 natural gas
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58 August 2012 |
Iran Implements Creative
Fault-Finding Strategies
Mashhad Electric develops a general packet radio
service-based fault locator system.
By Mohsen Zabihi, Naser Nakhodchi, Saeed Alishahi and Mohammad Hossien Yaghmaee,
Mashhad Electric Energy Distribution Co.
istribution automation (DA), a system that enables
an electric utility to monitor, coordinate and op-
erate distribution components in real time from
remote locations, frst emerged in the 1980s.
Nowadays, DA plays a signifcant role in power distribution
network operation and power quality. New distribution equip-
ment such as reclosers and feeder switches are designed and
manufactured with DA support using a variety of protocols
and standards for remote monitoring and control.
However, many utilities still have large populations of pre-
1980 equipment in operation without automation facilities as
it is not cost-effective to replace this equipment and provide
the necessary communications infrastructure. The majority of
distribution utilities defer the large investment in wide-scale
automation until their time-expired equipment fails in service
and is replaced by units designed with automation capability.
Fault indicators are just one of many distribution network
components installed for fault detection on the 20-kV over-
head line circuits on the Mashhad Electric Energy Dis-
tribution Co. (MEEDC) network in Iran. In the event of
a fault, feld crews are dispatched to locate the fault by
visual inspection, disconnect the faulted section and pre-
pare the network for repair. This time-consuming activ-
ity has a major impact on network-reliability statistics in
terms of the length of customer interruptions.
MEEDC examined the performance of its fault in-
dicators and saw the need for improvement. The utility
designed and developed in-house a cost-effective, reli-
able and remote monitoring system to extend the opera-
tional life of fault indicators installed on its distribution
Fault Indicator Communications Protocols
The design of MEEDCs fault indicators typically
employs power-line carrier and fxed radio-frequency
networks, but both communications systems have dis-
advantages. With power-line carrier, there is a lack of
conformity with local distribution networks and the
possibility of losing information. Establishment of a
radio-frequency network requires having many differ-
ent elements like collector towers and repeaters, which
increases the total investment.
The majority of MEEDCs fault indicators are old and
unable to support automation, but, conversely, the util-
ity realizes the importance of fault indicator automation
and network monitoring to create a more reliable distri-
bution network. To address the need for improved reli-
ability, MEEDC established a research and development
R. Ramazani and A. Ghadimi, MEEDC eld staff, installing the GPRS module
on one of the old fault indicator units.
59 | August 2012
(R&D) pilot project to design a reliable and remote monitor-
ing system for its old fault indicators.
MEEDC has installed different types and models of fault
indicators, with different features and specifcations, on its
distribution network during the last 20 years. CableTroll 2500
from the NorTroll Co. is just one of the types installed. These
units have the ability to remotely monitor and control using
several existing terminals as a digital input and output, which
is why they were chosen for the fault locating system to be de-
veloped. In addition to light-emitting diodes and an optional
Xenon fash unit, the CableTroll 2500 has a pair of relay con-
tacts (120 V dc/1 A) that give a 1-sec pulse as soon as a fault
is sensed, and the interface module only needs to check the
status of this contact to detect a fault occurrence.
Fault Location Automation
The piloted fault locating system has a graphical user in-
terface to show the position of the fault location on a screen
in the control center. Furthermore, it is able to send a text
message to a predefned mobile phone number to inform the
user of the fault occurrence on the network. MEEDC takes
advantage of the global system for mobile/general packet ra-
dio service (GSM/GPRS) communications standard, which
is a high-speed data-handling technique. By using GPRS, it is
possible to send information to users in a packet form. It has
many other advantages that emphasize its usage value, includ-
ing vast coverage, improved data transmission quality, low run-
ning costs and fast switching times.
In the piloted system, each fault indicator uses the GSM/
GPRS communications standard to connect to the server.
Each fault indicator has a unique Internet protocol (IP) ad-
dress, which also is used as a unique identity (ID) that is able
to send the time and date of a fault to the server. Since the aim
of this project was to add monitoring ability to past-generation
fault indicators installed on the MEEDC network, the design
had to keep to as few confguration changes as possible and
have a relatively simple installation procedure.
The piloted system has two different parts, including hard-
ware and software. The hardware comprises a contact relay cir-
cuit using an Atmel ATmega32 microcontroller and a GSM/
GPRS module. When a fault occurs on the network, the re-
lay output contact changes its mode for 1 sec. The microcon-
troller-based circuit acts as an interface between the fault indi-
cator, and the GSM/GPRS module detects this change in the
output mode as a 1-sec pulse and then sends one data packet,
including the fault indicator IP address, time and date of the
fault, to the server. The system continues sending the packet
until it receives an acknowledgement from the server, when it
then reverts to a waiting mode to observe the next pulse from
the relay. It also sends a short message service (SMS) with the
fault location and time information of the fault to a set of pre-
defned mobile phone numbers.
Schematic diagram of MEEDCs global system for mobile/general packet radio service (GSM/GPRS) system.
The piloted fault locating system
has a graphical user interface to show
the position of the fault location
on a screen in the control center.
60 August 2012 |
The software designed for the server includes two main
parts. The frst is responsible to receive and store data sent
from the GPRS, and the second is responsible for showing the
data on the screen and providing a report on the on-line fault
indicators. Designed to be compatible with Esris ArcGIS soft-
ware standard, the software updates its map through the
computer network. It also works cooperatively with other
software used by MEEDC.
There also are several tools in the software for re-
porting and performing basic statistical operations. The
screen presentation shows all the fault indicators in yel-
low when in normal mode, but in the event of a fault on
the network, the data packet that includes a unique code,
the time and the date of the fault is sent to the server
through the GPRS module, and immediately the yellow
on the screen starts to blink red.
Implementation Results
In 2010, MEEDC recorded 587 faults sensed by fault
indicators on its 20-kV overhead lines. The maximum
restoration time in 2010 was 191 minutes, with the overall
average being 60 minutes. Whether a fault occurred dur-
ing or outside of traffc rush hours had a marked infu-
ence on the restoration time. In general, two-thirds of
the restoration time was spent patrolling lines to locate a
fault; having a central fault locator system would immedi-
ately reduce this wasted time.
The GPRS-based fault locator system developed was in-
stalled on MEEDCs 20-kV overhead lines in the city of Mash-
had. Reports from the feld crews and staff in the control
center monitoring the network confrmed the average time to
The software screen presentation.
SDUtLoLSDnt DnG DttHnGHH tR thH HxhLELt 1RRU, whHUH mDnuIDotuUHUs DnG suSSOLHUs wLOO shRwoDsH SURGuot LnIRUmDtLRn DnG thH
-RyoH 1RODn 610-701-9993 (&RmSDnLHs A-.) 3usDn 3ohDHIHU 484-478-0154 (&RmSDnLHs L-L)
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62 August 2012 |
locate and repair a fault on the network was reduced from 60
minutes to 20 minutes. The beneft of using this system for
locating a fault instead of through visual inspection, especially
in areas with a dense population and heavy traffc, was sig-
nifcant. In addition to reducing the fault location time and,
consequently, the fault outage time, the traveling time and
number of vehicles associated with line patrols were reduced,
thereby reducing fuel consumption and its destructive envi-
ronmental effects.
The design and implementation of the GPRS-based fault
locator system was undertaken by MEEDCs R&D center for
a pilot region. The zone 8 region network had 20 old fault
indicators in circuit and each was suitably equipped with an
interface module. After a period of six months, feedback was
received from the managers and feld crews responsible for
this region. The result showed using this system had a signif-
cant infuence on reducing restoration times; furthermore, it
reduced the non-distributed electric energy supplied, an im-
portant factor in view of the impact on MEEDCs proft.
Encouragement by Success
The success of this pilot project encouraged MEEDC to
implement this system for all fault indicators on the network.
The GPRS module showing the two-wire connection into the old fault
However, since MEEDC is not an electronic devices manufac-
turer, the utility signed a contract with SAMA Sanat Toos for
the development and upgrading of a commercial fault locator
product using the experience gained during the pilot research
This fault locator system has been implemented by con-
necting a small GSM/GPRS interface module to the old gen-
eration of fault indicators and installing software in MEEDCs
automation servers. It has proved to be an inexpensive meth-
od, compared with the alternative of substantial capital invest-
ment in new distribution equipment with automation features.
This cost-effective solution now provides a fast response to
fault detection that has signifcantly improved the reliability
of MEEDCs distribution network.
Mohsen Zabihi ( is vice president of
Mashhad Electric Energy Distribution Co. and serves as the
deputy supervisor for planning and operations and as a mem-
ber of the R&D committee. Zabihi is the author and co-author
of two books and several technical papers. He holds a BSEE
degree from Ferdowsi University in Mashhad, Iran.
Naser Nakhodchi ( is a senior engineer
at Mashhad Electric Energy Distribution Co.s R&D center,
whose research interests include control and automation of
electricity distribution networks and related electronic devices.
Nakhodchi has a BSEE degree in branch control from Ferdowsi
University in Mashhad, Iran, and a masters degree in industrial
information from Skovde University in Sweden.
Saeed Alishahi ( is the manager of Mash-
had Electric Energy Distribution Co.s R&D center as well as a
member of the utilitys R&D committee. In addition to being
responsible for all research projects and activities in MEEDC,
he also is the author of more than 50 international and national
papers and articles in the eld of electricity distribution. Alishahi
holds a BSEE degree.
Mohammad Hossein Yaghmaee ( is an as-
sociate professor at Ferdowsi University in Mashhad, Iran, and a
research consultant at Mashhad Electric Energy Distribution Co.
He holds a bachelors degree in communications engineering
from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, a masters
degree in communication engineering from Tehran Polytechnic
(Amirkabir) University of Technology and a Ph.D. in communica-
tions engineering from Tehran Polytechnic University of Technol-
ogy. Yaghmaee has published more than 120 international
conference and journal papers, and his research interests are in
communications networks and Internet engineering.
Companies mentioned:
Atmel |
Esri |
NorTroll |
SAMA Sanat Toos |
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August 2012 | 64
Cable Fault Pinpointer
Real-Time Transmission Line Monitoring System
Promethean Devices has developed a non-contact, real-time sensor system for the
monitoring of high-voltage overhead transmission lines. The system uses calibrated
ac magnetic eld sensors (located roughly under the phase conductors) to accurately
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The RT-TLMS is installed just above or just under the right-of-way surface, as
determined by ground conditions, terrain or utility/TO/ISO end users. Solar panels
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outages are not required for installation, calibration or maintenance. The RT-TLMS
employs rugged eld-proven equipment, assemblies, components and materials.
Given a static IP address, secure data is transmitted wirelessly to any designated
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displayed by a password-protected, real-time, web-based graphical user interface.
Promethean Devices, LLC |
Condition-Diagnosis Software for Primary Assets
The Primary Test Manager (PTM) support
software for condition diagnosis of power
transformers, circuit breakers and current
transformers aids the user when testing and
measuring with OMICRONs multifunctional test
system CPC 100.
PTM makes condition diagnosis of primary
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The software guides the user through the
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procedures and detailed wiring diagrams. Tests
can be assessed automatically according to
international standards and accepted industry
practice. Thus, the user achieves a high level of
security in carrying out tests as well as in assessing
the results. The software also automatically
generates protocols based on the results, which
can be adapted to provide individual reports.
The combination of PTM and CPC 100 meets
national and international standards, such as
IEEE 62 (C57.152) or IEC 60076-1 and -3, and exceeds all measurement and accuracy
Omicron |
Human Machine Interface Terminals
Increased manufacturing activity and population growth require highly effective
and efcient monitoring and operating interfaces for power transmission and
distribution in order to optimize power usage.
American Industrial Systems Inc. (AIS) announces new solutions for control room
monitoring and energy analysis. These solutions also provide support for power-
grid geographical monitoring and power-supply diagnosis, power substations local
monitoring, data acquisition and data recording, wind generators, solar panels and
green energy monitoring.
The systems offer an all-in-one hardware and software platform for SCADA,
distributed control system and programmable logic controller applications, reducing
development times by providing users with an open, exible, easy to maintain platform
for power-industry segments.
AIS high-performance open operator interface terminals are available through
Avnet Embedded. Products include 4.3-, 7-, 10- and 15-inch (11-, 18-, 25- and 38-cm)
HMI terminals, which offer highly exible network solutions to interconnect automation
products, including PLCs, I/O devices and computers. The AIS HMI touch panel offers
a wide variety of communications interfaces and protocols, effectively connecting
plants and machine control systems.
American Industrial Systems Inc. |
The new MPP2000 pinpointer from
Megger incorporates a large backlit color
display that not only shows magnetic and
acoustic signal levels, but also the relative
distance and direction to the fault.
Used in conjunction with a high-
voltage surge generator to create
a ashover at the point of the fault,
the pinpointer detects both the
electromagnetic and acoustic signals
produced by the ashover. The
instrument evaluates the time difference
between these signals and uses this to
determine the relative distance to the
fault, thereby eliminating the misleading
results that are often produced by
instruments that rely on signal strength
The MPP2000 pinpointer incorporates
two electromagnetic signal level
indicators, allowing it to provide
information not only about the direction
to the fault, but also the actual route of
the cable. Also provided is a bright LED
indicator that gives instant conrmation
that an electromagnetic signal has been
detected, even if there is no acoustic
signal present.
To ensure reliable operation even
in the most difcult applications, the
MPP2000 uses a lightweight ground
microphone with an integral windshield,
and it is supplied with headphones. User
adjustable bandpass ltering is also
provided for enhanced background noise
The MPP2000 pinpointer has an
operating temperature range of -20C
to +50C (-4F and 122F) and is housed
in a lightweight ergonomic case with an
IP54 protection rating, making it suitable
for use outdoors even in demanding
weather conditions. The combined
electromagnetic probe and ground
microphone is lightweight yet robust,
and can be disassembled for easy
transportation and storage.
Megger |
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ourmonthlye-newsletter fromtheeditors
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August 2012 | 66 66
Fall-Arrest Service Crane Basket
Diversied Products introduces the next
generation of its fall-arrest service crane
basket, which is designed for accessing
high-reach maintenance areas, especially on
large equipment. The new yoke-style baskets
quickly attach to service cranes, providing
personnel with a convenient, safe alternative to
renting aerial lifts, using ladders or climbing on
Diversieds baskets include a bracket
for attaching to most available service crane
trucks. For easy storage and transport, the
baskets are also offered with a new specialized
carrier, which installs behind the truck in the
receiver hitch. This system allows operators to
carry the baskets with them from site to site
without tying up space in their truck beds.
For maximum durability the service crane baskets are constructed of heavy-duty
steel. The full-sized oor is 30 inches by 30 inches (76 cm by 76 cm), and the inward-
opening doors are designed to save space, promote easy entry and provide additional
worker safety.
Other standard features include oor slots to drain water, upset holes to prevent
slippage, lanyard attach points, and a low-maintenance, high-capacity caliper brake
to increase stability. These features allow the man baskets to meet or exceed ASME
standard B30.23 and OSHA 29 CFR 1926 requirements for personnel lifting systems.
Options include a step for added convenience, a stand for installation on uneven
ground or large cranes, and a CSA-approved upper basket enclosure.
Diversied Products |
Oil Condition Monitoring Sensor Solution
Tan Delta offers a range of highly
accurate oil condition monitoring solutions
that accurately monitor multiple critical oil
parameters and provide instant real-time oil
condition status reports.
Research shows that a reduction in oil
quality within an electricity transformer has a
material and potentially catastrophic effect
on its performance and reliability. Therefore,
it is essential that suppliers and operators
monitor the condition of the oil and take
action to ensure optimal performance when
Tan Delta has developed two solutions
that can be implemented by transformer manufacturers and utility operators. Both
leverage the proven performance of the OQS Series 2 oil sensor which uses patented
technology to simultaneously monitor multiple elements in the oil to provide accurate
real-time data on the condition of the oil in the transformer.
The OQS Series 2 sensor itself can be permanently tted to virtually any tansformer
and provide constant real-time data on the oil condition. This data can be integrated
with existing monitoring systems or as a stand-alone system.
The Mobile Oil Testing Kit is used by maintenance teams to test oil immediately
on site. This negates the normal delay and cost associated with sending oil to distant
laboratories for testing. Immediate condition awareness also allows the team to take
action while on site, further reducing cost.
Tan Delta Systems Ltd. |
Tablet Computer
GammaTechs latest rugged tablet, the T7Q, for mobile eld professionals is
designed to stand up to many heavy-duty industrial applications. The small and
lightweight tablet has a TFT LCD display with resistive touch-screen panel and LED
backlighting, an m-SATA SSD drive and Intel Atom Processor, as well as an integrated
5.0-megapixel camera at the back of the unit.
With a host of options including a bar-code scanner, RFID reader, GPS receiver and
I/O ports such as USB, RS-232, and RJ-45, the ultra-portable T7Q tablet can be used
on the move or in an ofce. The T7Q meets Military Standard 810G for drop, shock,
spill, salt, fog and freeze/thaw resistance, and meets IP-65 for protection against dust
and water. It also features multiple security options, including TPM 1.2 data security
technology, BIOS built-in security, a Kensignton lock connector, as well as one-click
Stealth Mode and Computrace compatibility.
GammaTech |
Simulation Software
Energy Exemplar announces the latest
update to the PLEXOS for Power Systems
Version 6 software. PLEXOS 6.206
introduces a new feature in power market
modelling: interleaved simulations.
This simulation mode, unique to the
PLEXOS software, will change the way
you study power markets that involve
multiple time frames, such as day-
ahead and real-time markets, and the
way that you perform assessments of
renewable generation integration, value
of storage and smart grids. Combine
this feature with the power of PLEXOS
stochastic optimization, true hydro and
pumped storage optimization, integrated
ancillary services and transmission
co-optimization, and you can see how
PLEXOS can be described as a leader in
its eld.
PLEXOS 6.206 is available for
download. Check out the full set of
release notes to nd out about the other
new features in this version, including
LOLP constraints for LT Plan and ancillary
services, new integer fuel selection logic,
inter-regional sharing of ancillary services,
and an all-new warning and error
message management interface.
Energy Exemplar
E2S has developed the Spectra
beacon family to extend its industrial
range of audible and visual signalling
devices. Available in three sizes, six lens
colors, and a choice of static, ashing
lament, Xenon strobe, rotating or LED
versions, Spectra offers a solution for
all situations, including safety warning,
status indication and re alarm.
The LED option gives longer opera-
tional life and lower total life costs than a
traditional lament lamp, which is an im-
portant consideration for continuous-use
applications or where access or mainte-
nance is difcult.The low-voltage DC LED
version has a choice of nine user-select-
able modes, giving continuous, ashing,
rotating, double strike and alternate side
ash modes; up to three stages of alarm
can be selected through the appropri-
ate wiring connections. The B300 has a
dual-frequency option where a ash rate
of 1 Hz or 2 Hz can be selected remotely
through the wiring conguration to
provide two stages of warning. The Xenon
strobe B300 and B400 models are option-
ally available in synchronized versions so
that all devices on the same power-supply
circuit ash in unison, a particular benet
in re alarm applications.
Primarily intended for surface mount-
ing, pole- and wall-mounting options
are available, and all units have a choice
of cable entries. Manufactured from
UV-stabilized polycarbonate, Spectra
beacons will not fade when exposed to
direct sunlight and are protected to IP65.
E2S Warning Signals, LLC | August 2012 67
Fault Current Limiter
Phoenix Electric Corp. introduces the
Capture Fault Current Limiter concept, which
employs new technology to make utility
substations more reliable.
Using passively dynamic Faultron electron
tube technology, the Fault Current Limiter
traps and diffuses fault currents, protecting
substation equipment and preventing
power outages. Since it eliminates the need
for fuses, the Fault Current Limiter also
eliminates the time and expense of buying
and managing an inventory of spares.
The Fault Current Limiters have an
operational frequency of 60 Hz and a
maximum current let-through of 20 kA. The
15-kV voltage class limiters have continuous
current ratings up to 3,000 A and a BIL of
110 kV. The 27-kV voltage class limiters have
continuous current ratings up to 4,000 A and
a BIL of 150 kV. All units have a response time
measured in microseconds. An integrated
monitoring control system ensures the
proper operation of the Fault Current Limiter unit and signals any malfunctions or
Phoenix Electric Corp. |
LED Video Walls
Barco unveils the new OverView M series of LED-lit rear-projection video walls.
This new series joins the existing OverView O series, allowing Barco to offer every
customer the video wall solution that best suits his or her needs.
The rst range of OverView M video wall cubes to hit the market are the 4:3 aspect
ratio versions, available with screen diagonals of 60, 67 and 80 inches (152, 170 and
203 cm). Widescreen models will become
With the OverView M series, Barco
answers the markets call for industry-
standard video walls with good color
reliability, image quality and brightness.
This makes this new series the standard
video walls for demanding small- to
medium-sized control rooms. The series
benets from the many advantages of LED
lighting, including long lifetime, low power
consumption and great uptime.
Barcos unique liquid cooling system
also greatly reduces the temperature of
the LEDs, resulting in a signicantly longer
LED lifetime. Furthermore, the Sense5
automatic white point and full-color
calibration system ensures uniformity of
color and brightness levels. This system
works with an advanced color sensor that
continuously measures the primary color
levels of the entire wall and adjusts as
The OverView O series, available in
4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, are the video
walls of choice for applications that need
full redundancy of both the LEDs and the
drivers. This means that there is no single
point of failure for critical components,
guaranteeing 24/7 operation without a
minute of interruption. Barcos top segment
also features all rear-projection innovations
to ensure premium image quality, including
full-spectrum calibration, ultra brightness,
seamless canvas and 3D readiness. The
OverView O series can be delivered with
a front access option in the 16:9 versions,
eliminating the need for a rear maintenance
Barco |
Full-Range, Current-
Limiting Dropout Fuse
The Cooper Power Systems ELF fuse
is a full-range, current-limiting dropout
fuse with a self-contained design that
eliminates noise and potential expulsive
showers associated with expulsion fuse
The ELF-LR fuse has been granted
permanent exemption by the California
Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection from pole vegetation clear-
ance requirements when installed in
the eld according to manufacturers
specications. The exemption reduces
vegetation maintenance, eliminating the
need to maintain the required radius of
mowed grasses beneath every distribu-
tion pole, and assures increased safety
to line personnel during circuit re-ener-
gizing operation. The ELF fuse reduces
eld service time with simplied fault
location and easy clamp stick installation
from the ground, as well as its out-of-
the-box, single-piece construction. The
fuse is retrotable into industry standard
interchangeable cutouts.
The ELF fuse has a voltage ratings
range from 8.3 kV to 24 kV, while the
single-, double-, and triple-barrel fuse
designs expand amperage ratings from
6 A to 80 A for easy coordination up and
down the distribution line to protect
pole-mounted transformers, single- and
three-phase laterals, and line tap fusing
used in series.
Cooper Power Systems
SCADA Training Videos
Semaphores new installment in the
SCADA training video series provides
tips and insights on making the most of
SCADA applications.
The latest video describes multi-
communications capabilities in a remote
terminal unit (RTU). Exemplied by
Semaphores TBox products, todays
RTUs are often installed in applications
requiring simultaneous network
communications over diverse networks
and using multiple communications
protocols. Software tools that expedite
communications conguration and
hardware/rmware platforms that
efciently handle multi-communications
are critical to project success.
Semaphore |
August 2012 | 68
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f: 913 967 6417
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Induron Protective Coatings

3333 R. Arrington N.
Birmingham, Alabama 35234
fax: 205-324-6942
69 | August 2012
Smart Grid Solutions
8 0 0 . 4 7 7. E TAP | 9 4 9 . 9 0 0 . 1 0 0 0
Need Help?
Need A Job?
Contact Lisa
TOLL FREE 877-386-1091
Se Habla Espaol
Electromechanical Electronic
Electrical Service & Systems Specialists
LINEAL Services
Call or send confidential resume to
The Industrys #1 Job Zone
Finally, a job site created exclusively for the
transmission and distribution industry.
August 2012 | 70
Central Electric Power Cooperative is seek-
ing a qualied Electrical Engineer to ll the
position of Distribution Engineer. The Engineer
will be working in the transmission operations
department, providing distribution engineering
and operations assistance for member distribu-
tion cooperatives, including the development
of RUS approved construction work plans, long
range plans, sectionalizing studies, distribution
line design, and other technical operations and
maintenance issues as requested. Knowledge
of distribution load ow and fault analysis, and
system operations is helpful.
Central Electric Power Cooperative is a Gen-
eration and Transmission cooperative with its
headquarters located in Jefferson City. Central
provides service to its eight member distribu-
tion cooperative systems in a 27 county area
through 1,600 miles of transmission line and
113 substations.
Successful candidates must have a Bachelor of
Science degree in Electrical Engineering with
previous electric utility consulting experience.
In addition, experience with Milsoft engineering
analysis, recloser/fuse coordination software,
GIS Software, Excel, and Word would be helpful.
Knowledge of other computer applications that
are utilized to support distribution and trans-
mission operations, including SCADA systems
and SEL software is considered a plus.
Salary commensurate with qualications and
experience. The cooperative offers a full range
of benets including retirement and health in-
surance. Please send resume with salary his-
tory and references to:
Manager of Administrative Services
Central Electric Power Cooperative
P.O. Box 269
Jefferson City, MO 65102
But be prepared to explain how you accomplished so much
with so little time and effort.
Just tell them you got a little help from EasyPower: the fastest, easiest-to-use, most automated
power system software available.
EasyPower automates everything:
One-line creation and templates Full document set drawings
NEC code design Arc flash calculations and analysis
Protective device coordination IEEE-1584 & NFPA 70E compliance
ANSI and IEC solution standards Seamless CAD output
Explore more online and download a free demo copy at
Enjoy your newfound
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Power System Software | Turn Days into Minutes
Solutions that stand behind thousands of T&D projects in more than 100 countries!
USA & Canada: 1-800-361-3627 - lnternational: 1-450-461-3655 -
load fow
optimal power fow
network optimization
contingency analysis
protective device
substation grounding
thermal analysis of cables
voltage and transient
motor starting
reliability assessment
arc fash analysis
and more.
specialized consulting services
reliability improvement
DG integration
voltage optimization
Midwestern, Mid-Atlantic,
New England, Eastern Canada:
Stephen M. Lach
13723 Carolina Lane
Orland Park, IL 60462
Phone: 708-460-5925 Fax: 913-514-9017
Southeastern, Mid-Atlantic,
New England:
Douglas J. Fix
590 Hickory Flat Road
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Phone: 770-740-2078 Fax: 770-740-1889

Gary Lindenberger
7007 Winding Walk Drive, Suite 100
Houston, TX 77095
Phone: 281-855-0470 Fax: 281-855-4219

West/Western Canada:
Ron Sweeney
303 Johnston Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
Phone: 415-499-9095 Fax: 415-499-9096
Craig Zehntner
15981 Yarnell Street, Suite 230
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Phone: 818-403-6379 Fax: 818-403-6436
Western/Eastern Europe:
Richard Woolley
P.O. Box 250
Banbury, OXON, OX16 5YJ UK
Phone: 44-1295-278-407
Fax: 44-1295-278-408
Hazel Li
InterAct Media & Marketing
66 Tannery Lane
#04-01 Sindo Ind Building
Singapore 347805
Phone: 65-6728-2396
Fax: 65-6562-3375

Yoshinori Ikeda
Akutagawa Bldg., 7-7,
Nihonbashi Kabutocho,
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0026, Japan
Phone: 81-3-3661-6138
Fax: 81-3-3661-6139

Y.B. Jeon
Storm Associates Inc.
4F. Deok Woo Building
292-7, Sung-san dong, Ma-po ku,
Seoul, Korea
Phone: 82-2-755-3774
Fax: 82-2-755-3776

Classied Sales:
Susan Schaefer
870 Wyndom Terrace
Secane, PA 19018
Phone: 484-478-0154
Fax: 913-514-6417

Advertiser Page # Website
*Denotes ads appearing in only certain geographic areas.
Transmission & Distribution World (ISSN 1087-0849) is published once monthly by Penton Media Inc., 9800 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kansas
66212-2216 U.S. Periodicals postage paid at Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and additional mailing ofces. Canadian Post Publications Mail Agreement No.
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POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Transmission & Distribution World, P.O. Box 2100, Skokie, Illinois 60076-7800 U.S.
71 | August 2012
*Alcan Cable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15a
Alcatel-Lucent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Black & Veatch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Burns & McDonnell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC
California Turbo Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Doble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
DuPont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
eTrain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
FWT Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
GE Digital Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
*Grid One Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56g
Hastings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Hubbell Power Systems Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC
Hubbell Power Systems Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
IEEE PES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Krenz & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-27
Landis & Gyr Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Lindsey Mfg. Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Merrick & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
NLMCC/NECA-IBEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Nordic Fiberglass Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Okonite Co. The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
*Osmose Utilities Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56o
Penton / Wrights Reprints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Pike Energy Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
PowerSense A/S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Quanta Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
RER/Ritchie Bros Auction/Lift & Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
S&C Electric Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38-39
*S&C Electric Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15b
Sabre Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
*Sherman & Reilly Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56b-c
Siemens AG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1b
Siemens Energy Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1a
TDW Grid Optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
TDW Rodeo & Expo 2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
TDW Vegetation Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
TDW World Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Thomas & Betts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Trachte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
*U.P.T. Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56m
URMC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Utility Lines Construction Services Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC
ZTT International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
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phones. And as always, our managers and supervisors worked
around the clock. You dont bring in extra managers and su-
pervisors, you depend on the people you have to work as long
as it takes.
So, what are the lessons? First, those of us in leadership
must know that our job is to support the people who do the
work to remove obstacles, provide the best tools and equip-
ment we can afford, and manage their work to secure the
greatest impact in the least time. We manage their strength for
the long haul, ensuring they are rested and properly fed, and
directed to the right places to get the largest number of people
on at any given time. And if we are worth our salt, we keep
them informed about progress and keep up their enthusiasm.
Whether on a daily basis or in a storm, our organizational
structure must not inhibit the fow of work or information, and
fear of hierarchy must be removed to ensure universal respect
for all the people with whom we work. Any organization that
has big and little people, or that thinks some jobs are just
entry level, isnt going to perform at a high level over time.
Storm work is complex and diffcult, and thats good. Peo-
ple need challenging work to develop both good judgment
and commitment. Often, we dumb down the daily work in the
quest for accuracy and conformity, and that is all we get. No
one can be deeply engaged in a boring job or in work that the
boss thinks is unimportant.
In a storm, we engineers and managers dont get the lights
on unless we get our crews to the right place with the right
skills and tools. The tools we need to do that computers,
software and tightly integrated systems cost a great deal,
but they enable us to change how we work and interact with
each other every day. As we apply complex technologies, we
can integrate not just the software systems, but through team-
work and collaboration, we can work to develop a culture that
unites everyone in the company behind corporate objectives.
We are fortunate to be working in times when interesting,
new technologies are available to our industry and when the
needs of our customers are driving us to improve reliability
and customer service. That challenge can motivate and en-
gage people if leadership will remove political and organiza-
tional barriers, and provide a simple line-of-sight to the value
our customers and communities get from our work.
Harold DePriest, an engineer by training, is the president and
CEO of EPB, the municipally owned electric power distributor in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
By Harold DePriest, EPB
Storm Culture
fter a particularly violent storm, as I was thanking
some of the outside crews who had come to help us,
one of these linemen said something profound that
gave me true insight into the people with whom I work. He
said, When you have a big storm like this, you dont ever have
to worry about your linemen not working. We all live to see the
lights come on.
In those few words, this man described the feeling of moti-
vation, full engagement and passion about his work. Any vet-
eran utility worker knows this feeling, because sooner or later,
we all work the big storms.
In restoring power to our communities, many of us fnd
the greatest job satisfaction. We go home dirty and exhausted
but exhilarated by both challenge and success. Is it possible
to have this level of engagement and passion daily? I think so.
The people who frst brought electricity to this country felt this
way about their work, and today, we have the example of storm
What makes restoration work so uplifting? The magnitude
of the needs of our customers and communities break down
the barriers that inhibit our normal work. We are an industry
of specialization. But specialization can lead to silos of work
and information, and can separate us from each other and
from the importance of what we do, which is to serve the needs
of our customers and communities.
When we forget that our work is more than just a job, the
intensity of storm work forces collaboration and makes us all
realize the importance of our organizations to the lives of the
people we serve. Too many people depend upon what we do
to give them better lives. We bring comfort, convenience and
jobs to our communities, and it shouldnt take a major outage
to remind us of this.
If we want our people to derive a storm-like satisfaction and
sense of signifcance on a daily basis, those of us in leadership
must take responsibility for creating a corporate culture that
calls out their best. If we want people to be smart, hardwork-
ing and committed to their work, then we need to treat them
After nine tornadoes struck our system in a 16-hour period,
we brought in hundreds of line and tree workers. We worked
them and everyone in our company for 10 days solid. Vice
presidents organized laundry and arranged meals for about
1,900 people. IT managers unloaded truckloads of water.
Accountants cleaned up oil spills. Lawyers cleaned tables,
served food and arranged hotel rooms. Everyone answered
2012 Game Changers Lineup
January: Sustainable Substations
March: 3-D Substation Design
April: Distributed Solar
May: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Charging Stations
May: Thermal Measurements on Lines
June: Grid Analytics

July: Smart Grid Communications

August: Enterprise Data Management
September: Standards and Interoperability
October: Marine Renewables
November: High-Voltage Direct Current
E n g i n e e r i n g , A r c h i t e c t u r e , C o n s t r u c t i o n , E n v i r o n m e n t a l a n d C o n s u l t i n g S o l u t i o n s
Burns & McDonnell and GE, in partnership with Transmission & Distribution
World, are hosting a series of webinars in 2012 exploring innovative
technologies and ideas that are changing how power is delivered and used.
This 11-part series kicked off in January and concludes in November.
Join Burns & McDonnell, GE and their utility clients this month as they
introduce an online discussion exploring how enterprise data management
systems are changing the way utilities handle vast amounts of raw data and
better manage their power delivery systems. Learn how these advanced
systems and technologies are being utilized to turn data into information,
then action.

GAME CHANGERS: Innovation Brought to Life
Sponsored by Burns & McDonnell and GE
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