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Renewable Integration 30 l Distribution Automation 38 l System Operations 44

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Principle of geographically distributed measured values
September 2014 | 2
Vol. 66 No. 9

Italy Embraces Renewable Energy
Enel Distribuzione demonstrates large-scale renewables integration
in its GRID4EU project.
By Daniele Stein, Lilia Consiglio and Jon Stromsather, Enel Distribuzione
ComEd Rolls Out Modern Infrastructure
Existing distribution automation system is updated by incorporating
a new generation of reclosers.
By Marina Mondello, Anil Dhawan and Renu Gupta, Commonwealth Edison
Save Money, Beat the Heat
Morristown Utility Systems voltage reduction strategies save hundreds
of thousands of dollars with a few mouse clicks.
By Joseph S. Wigington, Morristown Utility Systems
To Protect and Deter
National Grid USA installs avian retrots and reduces unknown
transmission outages from 28 to 2.
By Brian Reynolds, National Grid USA, Richard Dupre, Energy Initiatives
Group, and Duncan Eccleston, EDM International Inc.
Smart Korea Is on the Way
Korea Electric Power Corp. develops a test bed focused on the information
technologies and business models in support of the smart grid.
By Sung Hwan Bae, Korea Electric Power Corp.
NYISO Opens New Power Control Center
The latest digital monitoring technologies will enhance grid reliability
and security throughout the state and region.
By Stephen G. Whitley, New York Independent System Operator
U.S. Department of Energy
Hubbell Power Systems Inc., carries North Americas largest inventory of transmission,
substation and distribution products to quickly restore power when you need it most.
We keep a watchful eye on the storm and work around the clock until power is restored.
September 2014 | 4
India Invests in Transmission. India has shifted considerable focus on the
build out of its electric infrastructure as it strives to industrialize and increase
per capita income.
By Rick Bush, Editorial Director
Siemens and Mark-E Offer Virtual Power Plant to Boost Energy Business
Quanta Technology Joins DOE Project to Advance Use of Synchrophasors
Con Edison Sprays Anti-Theft ID on Copper Wire to Protect Equipment
Burns & McDonnell Revolutionizes Project Delivery with Grid
Modernization Labs
Alternative Offers Breakthrough in Switchgear Technology
3M ACCR Conductor Resists Corrosion, Retains Strength in Field Test
Time to Make Electric Hay. The electric-vehicle market represents a clear
and singular opportunity for utilities to boost revenue.
By John Baker, Energy Editor
Flying High. When he is not focused on metrology, Georgia Power Meter
Specialist I Philip Moore is an avid tinkerer in the world of radio-controlled
By James R. Dukart, Contributing Writer
Smart Meter Saddle Bracket
HVDC Cable System
On-Screen Estimating Software
Grid 2050 Reality Check. Grid 2050 will be foundational to the economy.
Winning business models will lead the transformation. Losing business
models will be nostalgically yearning for incandescence.
By Mike Heyeck, The Grid Group, LLC
In Every Issue
The NYISO has just
completed a state-of-the-art
control center that advances
its commitment to reliability
of the states bulk power
grid and the efciency of
wholesale markets.
Premier utilities rely on Quanta Services and our industry leading
operating companies to build, maintain and repair their electric
infrastructure. Learn more at
September 2014 | 6
Audited Circulation
Printed in USA
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New on
Visit the website daily
for breaking news, videos
and photo galleries.
Life on the Line
Vintage photos from the early days of electricity:
We received some of these phenomenal photo-
graphs of early linemen and their tools from the
International Linemans Museum as well as others
from Hubbell/Chance. Have a look into the past,
and share these photos with your friends.
Constructing CapX2020
High-Voltage Transmission
Included here is a sampling of images from the
massive project from the ground to the air.
Photos in this gallery are courtesy of CapX2020.
Vegetation Management
Resource Center
The Politicization of Science
By Sig Guggenmoos
How many incorrect conclusions or predictions
does it take for the public to lose all condence
in science?
September 2014 | 8
India Invests in Transmission
ou might recall that on July 31, 2012, a massive outage
put 20 of Indias 28 states into darkness. While most
of the media looked at this as a harbinger of things to
come, I saw it a little differently. India is a country that is work-
ing to get its energy act together, and I saw this incident as a
trailing, not a leading, indicator.
Now it helps that I had earlier personally witnessed Indias
progress in expanding its transmission grid, including the
construction of a 765-kV substation by Larsen & Toubro Ltd.,
and I witnessed the winding of a 1,200-kV transformer by In-
dian manufacturing company CG in its factory in Bhopal.
I also had the opportunity to meet with N. S. Sodha, gener-
al manager of load dispatch and communication with the Na-
tional Grid of India, who shared the progress his country was
making in transmission, including the build out of the worlds
frst 1,200-kV transmission grid. I saw these as promising signs
of progress for transmission in India. Of course, India still
faces signifcant issues that the country is working to address.
A little history might be in order. Power generation was
opened up for private investments in 1991. The Electricity Act
of 2003 then allowed some transmission projects to be ear-
marked for tariff-based competitive bidding. And in 2006, the
National Tariff Policy restructured the tariffs and guaranteed
a 14% return on transmission investments.
I recently had the chance to review a September 2013 docu-
ment from Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and
Industry (FICCI) entitled Power Transmission: The Real
Bottleneck. This report shares the good news that transmis-
sion capacity on the network has increased by 30% in the past
fve years. But as promising as this number sounds, this pace
is not suffcient, as generation capacity has increased by 50%
over this same time span.
The report states that in the 2012/2013 time frame, the
Indian Power Exchange and the Power Exchange of India
were unable to execute sales-purchase deals that amounted to
15% of total traded volume of power because of transmission
constraints. Some regions have surplus power but are unable
to transfer power to defcient regions including the southern
region, which was predicted to have a 26% shortage in 2014 at
peak times.
As I mentioned, India has given private companies the au-
thority to build, own, operate and maintain transmission to
speed the development of transmission. These private compa-
nies are also expected to provide a portion of the fnancing.
Packaged bid requests are put out by the Central Transmission
Utility, which is the planning wing of the Power Grid Corpora-
tion of India.
I had the chance to talk with Pratik Agarwal, one of the
primary authors of the FICCI white paper. He shared that the
companies that build transmission lines and substations under
this BOOM scheme agree to maintain the assets for 35 years.
Agarwal leads the Sterlite Grid business unit for the Vedan-
ta Group. He told me that Sterlite Grid is the largest private
transmission owner in India, and it continues to build, with
US$2 billion of transmission projects in progress.
Sterlite Grid recently commissioned a 400-kV double-
circuit quad conductor transmission line that connects Pur-
nia and Bihar Sharif substations in the state of Bihar. This is
one of the transmission lines that makes up the East North
Interconnection Transmission project, which will connect
the Indian state of Assam with Bengal and Bihar. It was also
awarded a 400-kV BOOM project to build one substation and
800 circuit km (497 miles) of lines as part of the Northern
Region Strengthening Scheme project that will carry more
than 1,000 MW of power from Punjab to the Kasmir Valley.
Sterlite Grid also has contracts to build two 765-kV projects,
consisting of six lines and two substations, as a part of the sys-
tem strengthening for the western and northern regions.
As in many countries, the inability of utilities to gain ac-
cess to rights-of-way in a timely manner is slowing progress,
although they have the right of eminent domain to procure
rights-of-way. Agarwal mentioned that although gaining rights-
of-way can be problematic, India does not face the same is-
sues as in Europe and North America, stating, If 1,000 towers
were required, we would have no trouble locating 980 towers.
Maybe rights-of-way for 20 towers would be problematic.
Although Agarwals company contracts out construction
of the lines, it remains eager to use the latest construction
technologies including LiDAR surveying and helicopter line
Now that India has built out its telecom infrastructure, the
country has shifted considerable focus on the build out of its
electric infrastructure. Electricity is key to maintaining Indias
progress as this country strives to industrialize and increase
per capita income.
Editors note: Power Transmission: The Real Bottleneck is available for review at
Consulting Engineering Construction Operation I
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September 2014 | 10
Siemens and Mark-E Offer Virtual Power
Plant to Boost Energy Business
Siemens Smart Grid is supplying North Rhine-Westphalia-based energy services
provider Mark-E (a member of the ENERVIE Group, Hagen, Germany) with an IT
solution for a virtual power plant as part of a hosted service. The generating capac-
ity of the connected distributed energy resources (DERs) will be marketed directly
and also will be offered in the form of balancing power via the corresponding trad-
ing platforms for system service.
Siemens is making the required technology (hardware plus its cloud-based
DEMS portal) available in a service center that Mark-E accesses via a user interface.
Omnetric GmbH, a joint venture of Siemens and Accenture, delivers and operates
the infrastructure needed for the system. Siemens is also making its existing sales
channels available to assist Mark-E with the acquisition of the power capacities of
DERs and consumers that they will market via the virtual power plant. The offering
is aimed at utilities that want to participate in this aggregation network by combin-
ing the capacities of other DERs for marketing by Mark-E.
Virtual power plants are positioned to play an increasingly important role in
Germanys sustainable energy supply. They can be used to help manage the increas-
ingly decentralized generation of electrical power in such a way that all participat-
ing market partners can derive maximum beneft. With a virtual power plant, an
energy management system controls and optimizes the DERs and combines their
individual capacities. This aggregation process is essential to enabling them to trade
on energy markets. However, in the case of virtual power plants with low overall
capacity, the outlay required for establishing them combined with their operating
costs frequently exceeds the economic beneft. But DERs can only participate in en-
ergy and balancing power markets if they are grouped together. In many cases, small
and medium-sized utilities have to forego using this technology altogether, and they
are unable to offer their customers who operate DERs adequate marketing options.
The new cloud-based Siemens service flls this gap. Siemens and Mark-E enable
smaller utilities to operate their own virtual power plants with a minimal investment
by using Siemens technology and collaborating with Mark-E as their market partner.
The solution is based on the Siemens energy management system DEMS, which
is already employed in numerous virtual power plants and manages all required
system functions. This includes communications interfaces for the DERs, supply
forecasts and aggregation mechanisms. The capacities of the power plants also can
be released by their operators via a web portal for sale by Mark-E.
For more information, visit
Quanta Technology
Joins DOE Project
to Advance Use
of Synchrophasors
Quanta Technology is taking part
in two synchrophasor demonstration
projects, which are among a total of six
projects awarded by the Department of
Energy (DOE). In June, the DOE an-
nounced a list of six recipients as part of
the U.S. governments commitment to
grid reliability and investment realiza-
tion efforts.
The DOE vision is to improve the reli-
ability and resiliency of the U.S. electric
grid through the use of advanced sen-
sors, synchrophasors. The investment
enables the industry to better leverage
the large number of phasor measure-
ment units installed by utilities in the
last few years with grants from the Amer-
ican Recovery and Reinvestment Act to
further development and improvement
of synchrophasor applications.
Quanta Technologys involvement in
two out of six projects shows continuous
technical and business leadership in the
area of synchophasor technology. Quan-
ta Technology has been actively engaged
in a majority of the synchrophasor proj-
ects in the United States as well as in sev-
eral projects in South America.
For one project, Quanta Technology
will work closely with the New York Pow-
er Authority and Electric Power Group,
LLC to develop and demonstrate a new
software application that uses data from
synchrophasors and other sensors simul-
taneously. The application will provide
fast, reliable and detailed visibility into
grid conditions throughout the New
York Power Authority area.
Quanta Technology also will sup-
port Pacifc Gas & Electric (PG&E) in a
PG&E-led initiative, cost shared by the
DOE. The PG&E project aims to further
technology realization and grid resil-
iency, and leverages the synchrophasor
investment part of the U.S. smart grid
vision to improve data-quality validation
and security, strengthen systemwide in-
dicators, speed system restoration and
advance post-event analysis tools.
For more information, please visit
Con Edison Sprays Anti-Theft ID
on Copper Wire to Protect Equipment
In 2013, Con Edison reported 155 thefts of copper cable from manholes, trucks or
other company facilities. Now the utility has begun a program to help prevent future
copper thefts by spraying identifying markings on equipment.
Con Edison is working with DataDot Technology to use a spray system that leaves
dot markings on the copper or equipment. Each set of dots has a unique identifer,
logo or numbered ID that is invisible to the naked eye but can be viewed with an
ultraviolet light. Con Edison will work with the police to review records and products
at metal and scrap yards where thieves often sell the highly valued copper. Police can
use the dots and records to determine who sold a piece of copper to a scrap yard and
where the copper was last stored by Con Edison.
For more information, visit
NECA & IBEW Your Quality Connection
For more information:
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Our people know what
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Find out more by visiting
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September 2014 |
With over 75 years of experience in the energy sector, CG is an
established manufacturer of three-phase distribution and power
transformers, and a strong competitor in the market of substations,
integrated solutions, automation systems and services. At CG we
continually focus on providing smart solutions to our customers
Transformers. Switchgear.
Substations. Integrated solutions.
Automation. Engineering Services.
Visit us at WindEnergy Hamburg at booth B6.150
Prysmian Signs Contract to Connect the Cyclades Islands
to Mainland Greece via Submarine Cable
Prysmian Group has been awarded a contract worth ap-
proximately 95 million euros by IPTO (Independent Power
Transmission Operator), the transmission system operator of
the Greek electricity system, for the interconnection between
the island of Syros (Cyclades) and the mainland power trans-
mission System in Lavrion, Greece.
The project involves the design, supply and installation of
a turn-key high-voltage alternating-current (HVAC) cable sys-
tem designed to transmit power of 200 MVA and consisting of
150-kV extruded cables and associated fber-optic cable system
along a total route of more than 110 km (108 km submarine
and 2 km land [68 miles combined]) for the interconnection
between the two landfalls that will enable integration of Syros
into the Greek network system and future expansion to the
other Cyclades Islands (Paros, Mykonos, Tinos).
The submarine cables for the Lavrion-Syros link will be
manufactured in the Arco Felice plant (Naples), the groups
center of technological and manufacturing excellence. Pro-
duction of both submarine and land ca-
bles will take place in 2015. Cable instal-
lation and protection will be completed
within 22 months in 2016.
Xcel Energy
Invests $30 Million
for Transmission
Upgrades in Roswell
Xcel Energy has fnalized plans for ad-
ditional work on the high-voltage electric
transmission loop serving Roswell, New
Mexico, U.S., as part of the companys
larger Power for the Plains grid reliabil-
ity and capacity improvement projects.
Work began in 2013 to upgrade the
Capitan substation in western Roswell
to accommodate 115-kV transmission
service, and a new 9-mile (14.5-km) seg-
ment of 115-kV line connecting Roswell
substation in the central part of the city
to Capitan was completed earlier this
A second phase of construction will
start in the spring of 2017 as the company
builds a 10-mile (16-km), 115-kV line be-
tween the Capitan and Price substations
in north Roswell and a 4.7-mile (7.5-km)
115-kV line connecting the Price and
Chaves County substations. An existing
69-kV transmission line south of Roswell
will be removed from service when the
new lines are complete.
Xcel Energy began an effort to up-
grade and expand its regional transmis-
sion network in 2010 when it launched
the Power for the Plains initiative. The
total investment in the Roswell transmis-
sion projects is close to US$30 million.
Visit for
more information.
September 2014 | 14
Offers Breakthrough
in Switchgear
ABB has achieved a signifcant break-
through in switchgear technology with
the development of a solution that de-
ploys a new insulation gas mixture as a
substitute for sulfur hexafuoride (SF
This alternate gas mixture has simi-
lar insulation properties as SF
gas now
used in switchgear, but it can substantial-
ly lower environmental impact because
of its extremely low global warming po-
tential. ABBs gas-insulated switchgear
(GIS) with the new gas mixture has the
potential to lower CO
-equivalent emis-
sions by up to 50% through the life cycle
of the equipment, compared to its pre-
decessor with the same rating.
gas has been used extensively in
the electrical industry for dielectric insu-
lation and current interruption because
of its physical properties. Pressurized SF

gas aids the safe and reliable operation
of GIS because it has a much higher di-
electric strength than other insulation
media, making it possible to signifcantly
reduce the size of switchgear installa-
tions and enable installation in areas
where space is at a premium. However,
is a known greenhouse gas, and its
life-cycle management requires careful
handling. The cost of managing it in a
compliant manner can be substantial,
particularly when decommissioning ag-
ing substations.
The new technology will be deployed
for the frst time at a substation located
in Oerlikon, Zrich, Switzerland, as a
pilot installation for Swiss utility ewz. In
addition to the 170-kV high-voltage GIS,
ABB will also install medium-voltage
GIS with the new gas mixture.
In a power system, switchgear is used
to control, protect and isolate electrical
equipment to boost the reliability of the
electrical supply. With GIS technology,
key components including contacts and
conductors are protected with insulating
gas. Compactness, reliability and robust-
ness make it a preferred solution in ur-
ban areas, places where space is limited
or in harsh environmental conditions.
Burns & McDonnell Revolutionizes Project
Delivery with Grid Modernization Labs
The Burns & McDonnell Grid Modernization Lab in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.,
offers employees, clients and vendors a place to evaluate and test advanced applica-
tions that are essential to the operations of transmission and distribution systems.
Today, electric utility applications have an increased reliance on microprocessor-
controlled devices, complemented with communications systems to exchange sig-
nals. Utilities also deal with a multitude of device confgurations and frmware ver-
sions. Lab testing of the protection, control and communications systems assures
that they operate as intended while minimizing feld testing.
Integration Staging and Testing. By staging key components of a project in a vendor-
neutral lab, device confguration can be tested during the design phase. Testing
during the design phase verifes that complete and accurate design, confguration
and documentation have occurred. During testing in the design phase, challenges
may be encountered and can be mitigated before moving into production to correct
any anomalies prior to station
Rapid Development. When a
new idea is proposed, a project
team has a short time line to
evaluate products before mak-
ing a recommendation that best
fts the projects objectives. A
vendor-neutral lab with all of the
devices being considered allows
clients an effective and time-eff-
cient method for solidifying de-
cisions. For example, one team
evaluated whether to implement
IEC 61850 on 15 new substations
that are part of a large program. B&M hosted the project team for a multi-day ses-
sion, during which the team had access to the technologies and experts, and received
training on new technology and hands-on time with various equipment vendors.
Product Improvement. Having the ability to test products as they are being devel-
oped has enabled B&M to provide design input to the vendors at key stages. Manu-
facturers work with B&M staff to test code builds for functionality and conformance
prior to being deployed for critical operation.
Compliance. North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical In-
frastructure Protection (CIP) and other standards require testing and certifcation
of security patches and frmware on document intervals. Utilizing the complete lab
at B&M, projects have been delivered effciently by providing needed compliance
impacting reviews prior to equipment energization and subsequent audits
B&M has added a Grid Modernization Lab facility in its Houston, Texas, offce
that focuses on protection and communication settings testing and verifcation,
human machine interface development, and IEC 61850 substation protection and
control implementation. The lab in B&Ms New England offce focuses on physical
and cyber security. Kansas City has added capabilities and now monitors renewable
energy production, electric-vehicle charging and demand management programs.
Using a lab for staging, testing, training and compliance are all key parts of de-
veloping complex integrated projects. By having a lab in house, B&M offers clients
and supporting vendors the opportunity to meet complex time-sensitive deadlines.
For more information, visit
Chad Stillwell and Matt Olson discussing HMI testing in
the Burns & McDonnell Smart Grid Lab in Kansas City.
September 2014 | 16
3M ACCR Conductor Resists Corrosion,
Retains Strength in 11-Year Field Test
An 11-year feld test of 3M aluminum conductor composite reinforced (ACCR),
in cooperation with Hawaii Electric Co., on a 46-kV distribution line on the Hawai-
ian island of Oahu has confrmed the salt spray corrosion resistance of the high-
capacity, low-sag, lightweight overhead conductor.
Because transmission conductors are expected to operate for decades in a variety
of harsh environments, validating the corrosion performance of ACCR in a long-
term feld test can help utilities be confdent when using the conductor. Oahu is an
ideal location for corrosion feld testing because the sea-spray-laden trade winds
produce a highly corrosive environment. In fact, standard steel core and aluminum
conductors typically do not last more than about three years in this environment.
3M ACCR was installed for 11 years.
Corrosion can affect the weight and strength of conductor materials. Tests per-
formed recently on samples of ACCR conductor strung in late 2002 showed no
appreciable loss of either tensile strength or weight. Tensile strength remained be-
tween 105% and 107% of rated breaking strength. Examination of core wires with
both optical and scanning electron microscopes showed no indications of corrosion
or pitting.
3M ACCR was introduced commercially in 2004 and is now installed on fve con-
tinents. Because its light weight and low-sag properties often enable line upgrades
without the need to construct larger towers or expand rights-of-way, the conductor
has found widespread use in crowded urban settings and environmentally sensitive
locations such as river crossings and estuaries.
3M ACCR was developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy,
which tested the conductor at its Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Ten-
nessee, and with early contributions by the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency. The ORNL tests demonstrated that the conductor retains its integrity after
exposure to temperatures even higher than the rated continuous operating temper-
ature of 210C (410F) and the emergency operating temperature of 240C (464F).
It has the durability and longevity of traditional steel core conductors, even when
operated continuously at high temperatures.
For more information, visit
Indias Tata Power to Use Natural Esters
in Electrical Distribution Transformers
Tata Power, based in Mumbai, will be the frst utility in India to incorporate a
natural ester, versus petroleum-based, dielectric fuid into its electrical transformer
systems. All of Tata Powers new package substations will be flled with Cargills FR3
fuid, the leading natural ester-based dielectric fuid that is currently installed in
more than 600,000 transformers on six continents.
Tata Power is Indias largest integrated power company serving more than
500,000 residential and industrial customers. Tata Power thoroughly evaluated FR3
fuid and chose the natural ester solution for three key reasons:
1. Improved fre safety. With more than twice the fash and fre point as mineral oil
and self-extinguishing properties, FR3 fuid provides improved fre safety for the
densely populated areas within Tata Powers service area.
2. Environmental benefts. FR3 fuid is biodegradable as well as non-toxic and non-
hazardous in soil and water.
3. Reduced carbon footprint. As FR3 fuid is made from a renewable resource, it is
carbon neutral and results in 56 times less carbon emissions than mineral oil.
Tata Power will work with Cargill and with transformer manufacturing partners,
Schneider Electric, ABB and Raychem RPG, on integrating FR3 fuid into its distri-
bution network.
For more information, visit and
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18 September 2014 |
Time to Make Electric Hay
By John Baker, Energy Editor
eres a riddle: What is green, has a high-end revenue
potential of US$500 million per day and can improve
a utilitys image with its customers while fortifying its
bottom line? The answer is plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).
A potential of $500 million a day, really? Elias Hinckley,
author of a recent Greentech Media article, thinks so. He not-
ed that U.S. consumers spend more than $1 billion a day each
on electricity and on-road transportation fuels. Hinckley goes
on to argue that if electric utilities were to aggressively pursue
the PEV market, as much as $500 million could be added to
the amount consumers spend on electricity each day. While a
bit skeptical of that number, I do believe that electric vehicles
(EVs) represent a signifcant revenue opportunity. Others
agree. A recent Opower analysis found that, on average, PEV
owners use 58% more electricity than households without
PEVs. This result may be somewhat skewed by the demograph-
ics of PEV owners, but it still speaks to the potential.
What about sales growth? A handful of PEVs purchased by
a scattering of cash-rich high-tech enthusiasts will not likely
change the destiny of the electric utility industry. True, but ac-
cording to a June 2013 report by the Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI), PEV sales are already a success story, having
exceeded 116,000 units just 30 months after introduction into
the market. EPRI also noted that it took hybrid vehicles fve
years to reach the same level. In a recent radio interview, EPRI
Director Mark Duvall recognized that California was respon-
sible for much of the current PEV success but also said,One of
the hottest markets for the Nissan LEAF in the country right
now is Atlanta, Georgia. So, its spreading beyond California.
The growing interest in all types of EVs has even led tradi-
tion-bound Harley Davison to test market an all-electric mo-
torcycle prototype.
Of course, EVs are not just about cars and high-perfor-
mance motorcycles. The South Coast Air Quality Manage-
ment District (SCAQMD) recently selected Siemens to pilot
its e-Highway system in the vicinity of the Port of Los Angeles.
The e-Highway is a catenary system that extends over the high-
way and allows specially equipped trucks to operate like elec-
tric trolleys and run on electricity while connected. Battery-
powered and hybrid trucks can connect and disconnect from
the system while driving. While SCAQMD believes there may
be other operational benefts, the primary goal is the reduc-
tion of emissions from trucks, which contribute heavily to the
area being the most polluted in the nation.
The broader benefts associated with PEVs include a de-
creased dependence upon foreign oil, reduced local air pol-
lution and lower carbon emissions. For utilities, the direct
benefts are signifcant, as well. In an era of declining util-
ity revenues, the PEV revenue-growth potential is clearly sig-
nifcant. Additionally, PEVs represent a signifcant demand-
response resource and a place to park excess renewable energy
or nuclear generation during hours of low demand. Further,
if aggressively pursued, PEVs offer utilities the opportunity to
improve public perception surrounding environmental and
climate change issues.
Utilities have ready-made and willing partners in this en-
deavor. Auto manufacturers are pursuing PEVs as a fuel econ-
omy and air quality compliance strategy. The number of PEV
models grew from zero to 16 in three years, and it is expected
that by the end of 2014, there will be 22 PEV models available
from 14 different manufacturers. However, this impressive
growth will not continue unless the electric-charging infra-
structure keeps pace with PEV sales, and that will not happen
unless utilities are committed to the necessary development.
The importance of this opportunity is underscored in a re-
port released in June by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).
The Transportation Electrifcation Utility Fleets Leading
the Charge report is a call-to-action for EEI members. Calling
the electrifcation of the transportation sector our biggest op-
portunity, the report states, Electrifying the transportation
sector is a proactive, positive strategy: It enables signifcant
economic and environmental benefts and new opportunities
for consumer engagement. The report goes on to declare the
opportunity a quadruple win for utilities and society. EEI
says it will allow utilities to support environmental goals, en-
hance customer satisfaction, lower operating costs and protect
the future value of utility assets. The report strongly concludes
that the electric utility industry needs the electrifcation of
the transportation sector to remain viable and sustainable in
the long term. In closing, EEI calls upon its members to ear-
mark 5% of their annual feet purchases for PEVs as a way to
lead by example.
At a time when utility revenues are under continuous as-
sault, the EV market represents a clear and singular oppor-
tunity for utilities to bolster their bottom lines. The choice to
pursue EV revenue represents a risk, and taking new risks is al-
ways diffcult for an industry that, by its own admission, is risk
adverse. However, in this particular case, while the EV course
of action will involve new and perhaps unfamiliar risk, failing
to pursue the opportunity may prove ruinous.
20 September 2014 |
Flying High
Philip Moore,
Georgia Power
By James R. Dukart, Contributing Writer
hilip Moore has done just about everything there is to
do in the metering department at Georgia Power. Start-
ing in the network underground department in 1974,
Moore moved to metering early on in his career and spent
decades as a meterman A. And does he have some colorful
stories to tell about that job.
Take, for instance, the time Moore disconnected a meter at
a residence but made the mistake of entering the customers
house under pretense that the customer had already paid the
bill, and it was all just a misunderstanding with the utility
I was in the house listening to the conversation [the owner
was having on the phone with the utility], Moore recalls. He
started getting irate and swearing, so I headed for the door. I
got halfway down the hallway, and he hit me, almost knocked
me down. So I called the police, and they arrived and put him
in the backseat of the squad car. So I asked the police to hold
on just a second, and the pole guys let me go up in the buck-
et truck and cut the wires to his pole while he was watching,
handcuffed, in the squad car.
And then there was the time Moore rounded the corner of
an apartment building and heard the pop of an electrical ex-
plosion. A guy was trying to short out a meter, and it exploded
on him, Moore says. He came out of the door with his hair,
literally, smoking. He had a low ceiling with exposed roofng
nails, and there were pieces of scalp up there. He had jumped
up and tore off half of his head.
Another meter story: Moore was reading a meter on the
ground foor of an apartment building when a sliding glass
door above him slammed open and a naked man jumped off
the deck above him and ran away. The womans husband
jumped right after him, but I dont think he ever caught him,
Moore offers.
Today, as a meter specialist I, Moore and his colleague
Charles Reyes run the metrology lab at Metering Services,
focusing on testing, development and deployment of automat-
ed digital meters that read themselves and wirelessly transmit
data back to the utility. I get the chance to invent a lot of
stuff, Moore says of his metrology lab work, mentioning, in
particular, test apparatuses for new meters about to be de-
ployed in the feld.
We are 100% automated meters today, Moore states, not-
ing that todays meters self-report and diagnose. Over a fve-
year program, we changed every meter in the state, 2.5 million
in total, Moore adds. We do not go to the customer premises
unless there is a problem with the meter that cant be fxed
from here.
When he is not focused on metrology, Moore is an avid
tinkerer in the world of radio-controlled airplanes. He prefers
to build the planes, and he has a friend at the company who
prefers to fy them.
Ive been in radio control since 1968 or 1969, Moore ex-
plains. I build the planes, and I do the repairs when my buddy
crashes his airplane or when I crash his airplane!
Moore and his friend both also enjoy annual participation
in the worlds largest radio-controlled airplane events: the Joe
Nall Fly-In in May and the Triple Tree Fly-in in September,
each put on by Triple Tree Aerodrome in Woodruff, South
This past May, Joe Nall featured 1,484 registered pilots from
45 different states and 10 foreign countries. Aircraft ranged
from palm-sized nitros weighing just a few ounces to some with
6-ft (1.8-m)-wide wingspans. The events grass runways mea-
sure 7,000 ft (2,134 m) long by 150 ft (46 m) wide. Numerous
fight stations line the runways, with demos and contests flling
up to fve or seven days.
Contests include Time to Climb, where pilots race to get
to a specifed height the fastest, as well as radio-controlled
helicopter drag races. An event favorite is Night Bowling,
an in-the-dark contest where pilots use radio-controlled
planes to knock over and take out red Solo cups stacked in a
pyramid on a table. Its harder than you might think, Moore
exclaims. The later it gets, the looser people get. Watching
or trying this, you will laugh so hard you will be sore the next
Another popular event is Mid-Air Combat, a kind of air-
borne demolition derby. Everybody tries to knock out the oth-
er airplanes. The last one fying wins, Moore declares. Some-
times the kids in the crowd also get paintball guns to shoot at
the planes, adding to the demolition aspect. Seen it happen
more than once, though, Moore quips. The adults grab the
guns from the kids and start shooting them themselves.
Maybe to make up for swiping a kids paintball gun, event
planners can also include candy drops, where radio-controlled
planes fy overhead and open drop bays full of sweets on the
crowd. The kids love that, Moore offers. Everyone just has
a whole lot of fun. We just bring my camper for the week, and
everyone has a blast.
83*5$'( :,7+
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Installation photograph courtesy of
Sunfower Electric Power Corporation and Prairie Land Electric Cooperative.
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22 September 2014 |
NYISO Opens New
Power Control Center
The latest digital monitoring technologies
will enhance grid reliability and security
throughout the state and region.
By Stephen G. Whitley, New York Independent System Operator
23 | September 2014
volution. Collaboration. Innovation. These three words underscore the New York Independent System Operators
(NYISOs) commitment to the reliability of New York states bulk electricity grid and the effciency of its wholesale
markets. And in the new advanced power control center the NYISO has constructed, those words can be seen in
action. The US$38 million, 64,000-sq-ft (5,946-sq-m) secure facility is located near Albany, New York, U.S. Here,
operators work around the clock in 12-hour shifts to monitor and balance the supply and demand for power throughout the
Video Monitoring
Reliable operation of the grid requires constant vigilance balancing the supply of power with consumer demand for
electricity on a moment-to-moment basis, every hour of the day, every day of the year. The NYISOs control center enables
the ISO to use the latest control technologies and state-of-the-art displays, improving its operators ability to receive, process
and monitor changing conditions throughout the region.
The centerpiece of the NYISOs control center is its massive video wall, the largest such utility installation in North Amer-
ica. At 2,300 sq ft (214 sq m), the wall displays a digital representation of the states electric grid and provides more than
3,000 live status points that offer NYISO staff vital system operations data, including line fows,
line limits, transformer loading, voltages and generator output. System conditions
are relayed at 6-sec intervals to the control center. Backup systems
provide seamless switch-over capabilities in less than a
second, ensuring 24/7 reliability.
24 September 2014 |
Operational Status
The new facilitys digital monitoring technologies support
enhanced grid reliability and security by giving NYISO per-
sonnel real-time operational status of generation facilities and
major transmission lines across the state
as well as conditions in neighboring states.
The center has been designated critical en-
ergy infrastructure by the federal govern-
ment, highlighting the sites importance to
maintaining the regional power supply.
Regional electric system information,
weather and lightning-strike data, power
demand forecasts and other information
also can be customized for display to assist
operators in forecasting and mitigating
potential system disturbances.
By being able to more effectively con-
trol the supply of power to meet different
levels of demand throughout the region
and more closely monitor system condi-
tions, the NYISOs new control center will
further enhance the effciency of whole-
sale electricity markets. For example,
renewable energy is more economically
handled by effectively managing wind
forecasts, meteorological conditions and
production. As New York seeks to meet the targets of its renew-
able portfolio standard, the control centers digital platform
will continue to deploy evolving renewable resource manage-
ment tools.
This graphic depicts the seven electric utility service areas in New York state with transmission
facilities operated by NYISO.
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26 September 2014 |
Grand Opening
At a ceremony marking the open-
ing of the NYISOs new facility, Fed-
eral Energy Regulatory Commission
Acting Chair Cheryl A. LaFleur re-
counted the journey from grid oper-
ators using lightbulbs plugged into
the board for monitoring the fow of
electricity to the advanced capabili-
ties of the NYISOs new control cen-
ter. The operators who sat in that
control center and the operators
who sit in this control center really
have the same job, which is to keep
the lights on, she said. Hospitals
and universities, stock exchanges
and baseball stadiums, offces and
homes, they all depend on electric-
ity. They deserve the best, and they
have it here.
New York State Public Service Commission Chair Audrey
Zibelman also noted the new control centers enhanced capa-
bilities during the grand opening ceremonies. Being able to
monitor and respond in real time to the increasing complexity
of the system will be essential if were going to meet our goals
of having a system that is reliable, resilient and affordable.
The new facility replaces the organizations previous
44-year-old control center, which was built by the NYISOs
predecessor, the New York Power Pool. That facility received
signifcant upgrades and now serves as a fully functioning
Video Wall Sharpens System Vision
The New York Independent System Opera-
tor control centers video wall is the largest in-
stallation in the North American utility industry
with the following specs:
One hundred 80-inch (2,032-mm) diagonal
light-emitting diode (LED) screens are
stacked 25 wide by 4 high, spanning a space
of 131.5 ft (40 m) wide and 18.3 ft (5.6 m) tall.
At nearly 2,300 sq ft (214 sq m), the new
control centers video wall is more than
1,000 sq ft (93 sq m) larger than the big
board at the NYISOs previous facility.
The video wall displays 147 megapixels and
is driven by servers capable of running live-
motion high-denition video.
The center section of screens features the
electric system topology of the New York Con-
trol Area (NYCA), providing more than 3,000
live status points displaying line ows, line limits, transformer loading, voltages and generator output among others.
In addition to the center display, the video wall includes two bordering screen arrays with customizable displays that include
radar weather maps, graphics illustrating forecast and actual wind generation, wind project location and real-time generation,
zonal wholesale energy prices in New York and neighboring control areas, natural gas pipelines, phasor measurement unit data,
NYCA load data, and a situational awareness for North American Reliability Corporation reliability (SAFNR) data map.
A view from the video wall of the visitors gallery window above the control room oor.
backup control center in compliance with North American
Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirements.
The control center also harnesses critical advantages and
effciencies of grid control technologies installed as part
of the NYISOs smart grid project, funded in part by the
U.S. Department of Energy. Completed in June 2014, the ini-
tiative was conducted in partnership with transmission-own-
ing utilities and power authorities, and involved extensive col-
laboration among contractors, stakeholders and government

The Optima arrester improves isolator reliability by preventing line lockouts due to
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28 September 2014 |
PMU Deployment
The project successfully deployed
phasor measurement units (PMUs)
throughout the state. PMUs provide
sub-second transmission of informa-
tion to improve grid operators ability
to more quickly detect irregularities,
predict problems and take corrective
action to maintain reliability. The
Smart Grid New York PMU network
project also included installation of
capacitor banks to improve transmis-
sion system effciency by reducing
line losses.
These technologies coupled with
the new control center allow broader
regional collaboration initiatives and
a range of innovative opportunities
not available previously. This includes
better visibility into neighboring
states and the ability for the ISO to
see situations unfold as they occur.
The 2003 Northeast blackout, which began with a downed
power line in Ohio, spread to affect 55 million people across
eight states and Ontario, Canada. At that time, grid operators
in New York only had a few seconds to respond. With the real-
time monitoring technologies featured in the new control cen-
ter, the ISO is better equipped to mitigate the massive cascad-
ing impacts of such outages.
In collaboration with neighboring grid operators, the
Advanced Technology Addresses Key Goals
The capabilities of the new control center
equip the New York Independent System
Operator (NYISO) to better address its goals:
Enhance situational awareness in system
operations, employing greater volumes
of data delivered faster than ever
thanks to technology such as the synchro-
phasors installed as part of the NYISOs
phasor measurement unit network.
Implement broader regional markets to
mend seams between wholesale electricity
markets, enhance the use of existing
resources and reduce costs for power
Improve integration of renewable
energy by expanding the grid operators
ability to meet the challenges posed by
the variability of wind, solar and other
renewable resources.
Operators work in pods that have cus-
tomizable displays for the situation in
which they are engaged.
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29 | September 2014
A NYISO operator at work on the real-time commitment desk.
NYISO is working to connect the upgraded sensor networks
to others in New England, the mid-Atlantic, the Midwest and
Canada as part of the broader Eastern Interconnection. The
goal is to avoid future disruptions like the 1965 and 2003
Northeastern blackouts, whose impacts could have been great-
ly reduced if todays grid-monitoring
tools had been available.
Data Sharing
With big-data management play-
ing an increasingly important role in
ensuring regional grid reliability, the
NYISOs control center also is expected
to be vital to the goals of a group of east-
ern U.S. and Canadian grid operators.
The Eastern Interconnect Data Shar-
ing Network (EIDSN) was recently es-
tablished to manage the North Ameri-
can Electric Reliability Corporations
NERCnet, the existing data-sharing net-
work used by North American bulk pow-
er operators. NERC is the not-for-proft
organization responsible for ensuring
the reliability of the bulk power system
throughout the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to managing the existing
network, EIDSN also has been tasked
with developing a new, more effcient
and effective communications network
for sharing data including informa-
tion from advanced synchrophasors,
like the ones installed in New York state,
and other smart grid equipment to in-
crease the reliability of the Eastern and
Qubec interconnections.
Technology Evolution
There never has been a more exciting time to work in the
electric energy industry. The industry stands on the cusp of
a major evolution in how the grid operates as advanced tech-
nology and new resources help to enable response to changes
in real time and boost operations effciency. New York, where
Edisons Pearl Street Station created the modern electric grid
in 1882, has a legacy of leadership in electricity. The NYISO
continues that role through its advanced control center and
the opportunities it will foster.
Stephen G. Whitley ( is president and CEO
of the New York Independent System Operator. He is a veteran
of the energy industry with extensive experience in bulk power
system planning and operations. Prior to joining the NYISO in
July 2008, he served for seven years as senior vice president and
COO of ISO New England. He had previously completed a 30-
year career with the Tennessee Valley Authority, where he last
served as general manager of electric system operations.
Mentioned in this article:
Eastern Interconnect Data Sharing Network Inc. |
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission |
New York Independent System Operator |
North American Reliability Corporation |

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30 September 2014 |
Italy Embraces
Renewable Energy
Enel Distribuzione demonstrates large-scale
renewables integration in the GRID4EU project.
By Daniele Stein, Lilia Consiglio and Jon Stromsather, Enel Distribuzione
RID4EU is a four-year smart grid project cofunded
by the European Commission. It was proposed by
six distribution system operators (DSOs) from
the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Spain, Germa-
ny and Sweden working in partnership with energy retail-
ers, manufacturers and research organizations. The projects
main objectives are to maximize the integration of small- and
medium-sized distributed renewable energy sources (RESs);
increase energy effciency; enable and integrate active de-
mand; and develop new electric energy applications.
Each DSO involved with GRID4EU is responsible for a
demonstration project with specifc and clearly defned objec-
tives linked to the main issues. The challenge assigned to the
Italian DSO, Enel Distribuzione, is to develop an advanced
control system to increase the medium-voltage (MV) hosting
capacity of RESs, a project now being planned for the Forl-
Cesena province of the Emilia-Romagna region.
One of the main barriers of further increasing distributed
generation at the international level is the hosting capacity of
the existing MV network. The network was designed for mono-
directional power fows, so the capacity to integrate distribut-
ed generators (DGs) is limited. Connecting a large number
of DGs can create problems such as an unacceptable level of
power quality, generation load imbalances, protection prob-
lems and overloads on the MV network. To maintain the neces-
sary level of availability and power quality, the management of
distribution networks in the presence of distributed and vari-
able generation requires the development of new advanced
network operation and energy management capabilities.
Renewable Energy Facilities
During the past few years, a huge number of RES genera-
tors have been connected to the MV networks in Italy. A very
impressive and signifcant result was achieved in 2011 when
Italy registered the greatest increase of photovoltaic (PV) in-
stalled capacity in the world (10 GW, or 32% of the overall to-
tal), thereby achieving the second-largest PV installed capacity
in the world.
This impressive increase in RES is the main driver of the
Italian GRID4EU demonstration project being led by Enel
Distribuzione and developed in partnership with Cisco, RSE,
Selta and Siemens. The main goal is to demonstrate, in real-
time operating conditions and on a
large scale, how active control and de-
mand response of distributed energy
resources (DERs) including gen-
erators, controllable loads and stor-
age can increase the MV network
hosting capacity of DGs, enabling the
distribution network to become more
Currently with feld installations
ongoing, the project aims to achieve
an advanced control system commu-
nicating with MV DERs, high-/me-
dium-voltage (HV/MV) substations,
medium-/low-voltage (MV/LV) sub-
stations and a storage facility through
an always-on Internet protocol stan-
dard-based communications system
for real-time data exchange, using
both wireless and wired technologies
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Installed power
The evolution of photovoltaic plants in Italy. Courtesy of Gestore Servizi Energetici,
31 | September 2014
in accordance with IEC 61850.
The new system will allow for an increase in the MV net-
work hosting capacity through the following ways:
Implementing voltage control (at all nodes) and power
fow control in the MV network
Enabling ancillary services for MV network operation
Developing new procedures for managing effciently and
reliably the disconnection of generation units in the event of
unwanted islanding
Enabling the dispatching of renewable generation on the
MV network, including the use of a storage facility.
The key factor of the project is the direct involvement of
DGs, which will become active actors in network management
and operation, participating in voltage regulation through re-
active power modulation.
It also includes the installation of an energy storage system
(1 MVA and 1 MWh) whose active and reactive power modula-
tion capabilities will be exploited to optimize network opera-
tion, in particular in relation to voltage regulation.
The Demonstration Project
Forl-Cesena, where the demonstration project is located,
is an area with a high penetration of RESs, the majority be-
ing PV in total, some 105 MW with 24 MV installations
producing more than 500 kW in a geographical area with rela-
tively low energy consumption. In particular, the demonstra-
tion section of the electricity network comprises two HV/MV
substations supplying more than 20 MV lines. At least fve MV
DGs will be directly involved in the experimentation as they
will actively participate in voltage regulation through reactive
power modulation. This project also will impact about 35,000
LV customers who will beneft from the experimentation, even
though they will not be involved directly.
The two selected HV/MV substations take into account the
critical aspects related to the high penetration of DGs. For
The Enel GRID4EU project is located in the province of Forl-Cesena
in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
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32 September 2014 |
example, on Aug. 19, 2012, one of these substations was subject
to reverse power fow (MV to HV) because of MV generation
exceeding load. This phenomenon has been observed several
times over the past few months, providing a clear indicator of
the impact of high DG penetration.
Control System Architecture
The architecture of the control system is composed of
fve main functional blocks linked by the
communications system:
The operation control system (OCS)
Substation control system (HV/MV
Integrated transformer protection
(HV/MV transformer)
MV control system
Customer control system (MV gen-
erators and controllable loads).
The communications infrastructure
is the backbone enabling all of the smart
grids new functionalities. The architec-
ture is based on an information com-
munications technology infrastructure,
allowing a real-time exchange (net of the
intrinsic delays of the system) of informa-
tion between all the relevant nodes on the
electric network and the OCS/SCS. Different communica-
tions technologies will be tested using public infrastructure
a wide area network through fxed network (xDSL), wireless
technologies (LTE) and a power line carrier.
The Control System
Enel Distribuzione manages the MV grid by means of con-
trol centers equipped with a supervisory control and data ac-
quisition system (SCADA) and a distribution management sys-
tem (DMS) that performs computations. The OCS is properly
identifed with the SCADA located in the control centres in
charge of managing the MV grid, called Sistema di Telecon-
trollo rete MT. It communicates with the substation control
system (SCS) located in the HV/MV substation, and it sends
and receives information to and from the devices located in
the HV/MV and MV/LV substations.
System Manufacturers and Developers
Substation control system Siemens/RSE
Integrated transformer protection panel Selta
Medium-voltage control system Enel
Customer control Enel/Siemens
Communication network devices (routers and
switches and PLC devices)
Medium-/high-voltage backfeeding phenomena recorded Aug. 19, 2012.
12:00:00 AM 2:09:36 AM 4:19:12 AM 6:28:48 AM 8:38:24 AM 10:48:00 AM 12:57:36 PM 3:07:12 PM 5:16:48 PM 7:26:24 PM 9:36:00 PM 11:45:36 PM 1:55:12 AM

Time of day
The GRID4EU European project comprises six demonstrations. In addition to the Italian demonstration, following is a
summary of the other demonstrations:
A German demonstration in Reken, North-Rhine Westphalia region, will implement a multi-agent system for MV networks
that will allow the integration of distributed generation in the MV and LV networks. Partners are RWE, ABB and the Technical
University of Dortmund.
A Swedish demonstration in Uppsala will target monitoring of LV networks through existing and enhanced advanced meter
management technology for the Nordic region. Partners are Vattenfall, ABB, EMeter, Swedish University KTH and Schneider
A Spanish demonstration in Castellion will implement a control system for MV and LV in connection with a multilayer
solution for smart metering to enhance the monitoring and controlling of distribution networks. Partners are Iberdrola, Itron,
Landis & Gyr, Ormazabal-Velatia, Siemens and ZIV.
A Czech demonstration in Vrchlabi will look at operation of a section on a MV network in islanding mode with a power
supply of combined heat and power DG. MV and LV automation, electric vehicles and an advanced meter management system
also will be addressed. Partners are Cez Distribuce, ABB, Cisco, Ormazabal-Velatia and Siemens.
A French demonstration in Carros, near Nice, will validate the design and operation of a new architecture for MV and LV
distribution networks located in smart urban districts. Partners are ERDF, Alstom Grid, Armines and EDF.
In addition to the aforementioned partners, two universities the Comillas Ponticial University and the Catholic University
of Leuven participate in the project.
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34 September 2014 |
Located in the HV/MV substation, the SCS comprises the
following subsystems and is the computational core of the en-
tire control system:
Remote terminal unit (TPT 2020)
Substation computer, running algorithms for power fow
management and DER control (voltage regulation, reactive
and active power fows control, and anti-islanding procedures)
as well as storage device dispatching.
Communication network devices (router and switch).
The integrated transformer protection pan-
el integrates the protection relays of the HV/
MV transformer and the on-load tap changer
managing system. It is in fact designed to man-
age the tap changers to implement the new
voltage regulation logics and the new function-
alities for DER management. The integrated
transformer protection panel represents the in-
terface system between the SCS and transform-
er control actuators managing tap changers on
the basis of setting signals received by the SCS.
The MV control system performs the con-
trol of the MV network in coordination with
the SCS and OCS. This system is comprised of
the following equipment installed in MV/LV
Generation Transmission Distribution DER Customer
MV breaker
MV busbar
MV load
G MV generator
Communication link
Electrical link
P Power-quality meter
MV interruptible load
Interface module
for protection
and control
Substation Control System
Customer Control System
Operation Control System
MV Control System
RTU + customer
The overall system architecture, mapped on SGAM component layer.
Enel control centers are equipped with SCADA and distribution management systems.
35 | September 2014
Remote terminal unit
Customer interface equipment
Directional fault detector and measurements acquisition
Communication network device (router)
Power line communication system.
The customer control system (CCS) is the interface system
between the DSO control system and the MV customers, to im-
plement reactive power control and enable active power regu-
lation. The CCS receives input signals from the MV control
system and sends output commands to the customers internal
control system. The CCS is composed of three modules:
Energy regulation interface
Interface module for protection and control (DV7300)
Communication network switch.
The core of the control system is the voltage regulation al-
gorithm, whose main goal is to satisfy the technical constraints
(voltage at nodes, current in branches, power exchange at the
primary substation) in presence of very high DG penetration,
minimizing the overall cost of the control actions needed.
To maintain all the technical parameters within desired
ranges, the optimization algorithm relies on different system
resources, both internal and external to the DSO:
HV/MV substations on-load tap changer and capacitor
banks operated by the DSO
Reactive power injection and absorption by DGs
Active and reactive power injection and absorption of an
energy storage system
Furthermore, it will be possible to switch the energy stor-
age system electrically over several MV feeders; the algorithm
will provide suggestions about possible changes in the storage
network connection point (opening and closing MV switches),
according to the possible optimization results obtainable by
connecting the energy storage system to one or another avail-
The medium-voltage substation for the energy storage system in-
cludes new circuit breakers and remote terminal units.
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able feeder. These options will be evaluated and implemented
by the operator in the control center.
Field Installation Status
The equipment prototype laboratory tests have been com-
pleted and feld installation is ongoing along with the analy-
sis of the frst feld test results. In addition to prototype de-
velopment and laboratory testing, necessary feld preparation
activities took place in 2013 prior to equipment installation.
An important milestone was the complete refurbishment of
installing circuit breakers and new remote terminal units in
the MV/LV substation for connection to the energy storage
system, the installation of which was undertaken in June 2014.
In 2014, the focus has been on feld installation and testing
of all equipment, not only in the DSOs premises but also the
premises of the owners of the MV generators. The MV gen-
erators represent a key resource for network control and are
currently being equipped with an interface for data and com-
mands exchange with the control system.
The entire system is expected to be in operation by the end
of 2014, which will be followed by a massive data acquisition
campaign for key performance indicators. Therefore, the cal-
culation, experimentation results and detailed analysis will be
undertaken in 2015.
Jon Stromsather (, head of the
smart grids development unit of Enel Distribuzione S.p.A., has
worked with smart grids technologies since 2002, when he
joined the distribution system operator to work on its Teleges-
tore project, the rollout of smart meters. Recently, Stromsather
also has been heavily involved in the European cooperation on
smart grids, in particular the development of the
European Industrial Initiative on Electricity Grids
and several smart grids projects.
Lilia Consiglio ( joined Enel
Distribuzione S.p.A. in 1992 and has been working in
the eld of remote control and distribution automa-
tion systems since 1996. Consiglio was involved in
most of the technical activities to develop central
systems and peripheral units for remote control of
Enels HV/MV and MV/LV substations, and in the
denition of algorithms for MV network automatic
fault detection and restoration, presently adopted
in Enel. She is now collaborating on several smart
grids project at national and European levels.
Daniele Stein ( graduated
with a MSEE degree from the University of Pisa in
2006, also the year in which he started working at
Enels Research Centre of Pisa. Today, he is a smart
grids project manager for Enel Distribuzione S.p.A.,
where he has been working since 2007. From the
beginning of his experience with Enel, Stein has
worked in different network management areas,
from network planning to operation and mainte-
nance, and has gained experience on network automation and
control. In the last four years, he has been deeply involved in the
development of European and international projects.
Mentioned in this article:
Alstom Grid |
Armines |
Cez Distribuce |
Cisco |
eMeter |
Enel Distribuzione S.p.A. |
European Commission |
Iberdrola |
Itron |
Landis & Gyr |
Ormazabal |
Schneider Electric |
Selta |
Siemens |
UP Comillas |
Vattenfall |
Photovoltaic plant with an installed capacity of about 1.5 MWp connected to Enels
distribution network.
with six voltage sensors
38 September 2014 |
ComEd Rolls Out
Modern Infrastructure
Existing distribution automation system is updated
by incorporating a new generation of reclosers.
By Marina Mondello, Anil Dhawan and Renu Gupta, Commonwealth Edison
n 2011, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) announced it
would be investing US$2.6 billion over 10 years, under the
Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act passed by
the Illinois General Assembly, to modernize the power
system with digital technology and replace, refurbish and
upgrade electric equipment across its territory. The utility is
investing $1.3 billion to strengthen the electric system and
another $1.3 billion to add digital smart grid and advanced
meter technology.
A signifcant portion of this investment is going toward the
development and deployment of automated reclosers to im-
prove reliability and reduce the number of customers affected
by outages.
All About the Reclosers
ComEd started installing reclosers at circuit mid-points in
2001 as stand-alone devices. When a fault occurs on the circuit
downstream of the recloser, the recloser trips open to clear
the fault. The recloser recloses in an attempt to restore power
in case the fault is temporary, such as a tree branch falling on
a line. If the fault is not cleared, the recloser trips back open
and, ultimately, locks out because of the sustained fault. The
recloser will remain open until it is manually closed to restore
power after the circuit has been repaired.
With a high volume of faults upstream of the mid-point
reclosers, in 2004, ComEd started installing tie reclosers at
normally open tie points on the circuits. Voltage sensing was
added to the normally open and normally closed reclosers,
creating loop-scheme functionality with the ability to restore
the back section of the circuit for a front section fault. Loop-
scheme reclosers do not communicate with each other, but
they have the ability to communicate to the supervisory con-
trol and data acquisition (SCADA) system.
All intelligence is local, based on seeing an overcurrent or
Workers examine a hands-on trailer, outtted with a Viper recloser and control, that was transported to the crew for training in the eld using
training modules created by ComEd.
39 | September 2014
a voltage loss. As a result, normally open reclosers may
close into a de-energized fault previously isolated by an-
other recloser as they do not know why voltage was lost.
To minimize fault exposure, the tie reclosers immediately
clear the fault and lock out.
To break up the circuits into smaller segments, reduc-
ing customer exposure when a fault occurs, more complex
loop schemes were installed with reclosers in series and
multiple tie reclosers. For a fault between two normally
closed reclosers, the upstream recloser locks open to
isolate the fault; the downstream recloser then senses a
loss of voltage and opens. The tie reclosers in each sec-
tion sense a loss of voltage and close to restore power to
each section between the reclosers. The tie between the
upstream normal closed recloser and the downstream
normal closed recloser closes and trips back open. The tie
past the downstream normal closed reclosers closes and
holds to restore that section of line. The reconfguration
is complete in about a minute.
As new technology is developed and more enhance-
ments are available from different vendors, utilities face
the diffculty of incorporating varying distribution auto-
mation equipment onto their systems. One example of
an enhancement is separating the recloser into separate
modules with integral voltage sensors to allow for voltage
measurement on both the line and load sides of the device
Recloser Closed
Recloser Opened
Recloser Closed
Recloser Opened
1. Initial state prior to a fault.
2. Recloser trips open on over current.
3. Recloser recloses to attempt to re-energize the circuit.
4. Recloser trips open and locks out due to a sustained fault.
Traditionally, reclosers have been stand-alone devices. When a fault oc-
curs on a feeder line, the recloser opens and then recloses in an attempt
to restore power in the case of a temporary fault. If the fault is permanent
and has not cleared, the recloser locks out and requires manual interven-
tion by service personnel.
Power System Applications for the RTDS

Simulator include:
Smart Grid Applications - Wind, Solar, Wide Area Protection and Control, GPS time synchronization
Control System Testing - DC Grids, HVDC, SVC, FACTS, Generation, VSC, MMC (500+ levels per leg)
Protective Relay Testing - Distance, Generator, Differential, Overcurrent, Digital Substation testing
Industry Standard Protocols - IEC 61850, DNP3, IEC 60870-5-104, IEEE C37.118, COMTRADE Playback
General Power System Studies Completely modular and scalable to several thousand 3-phase buses
40 September 2014 |
The new reclosers are built as separate modules that can trip and operate
independently of the other phases.
without the need for external sensing and cabling. These mod-
ules can trip and operate the phases independently, allowing
the recloser to be set to trip or lock out on a single phase or
on all three phases, as compared to a traditional three-phase
Source 1
Source 2
Source 3
Recloser 1
Recloser 5
Recloser 4
Recloser 3
Recloser 2
In this complex loop scheme, for a fault downstream of recloser 1, recloser 1 locks open to isolate
the fault. Recloser 2 then senses the loss of voltage and opens. Tie recloser 3 and tie recloser
4 sense loss of voltage and close. Tie recloser 3 closes to provide power to the section of line
between recloser 2 and tie recloser 3 from source 3. Recloser 5 closes into the fault and locks out.
The reconguration is complete in about a minute.
Acronym Description Automatic operation
ALRR Automatic Line Reconguring Recloser
Normal closed-loop scheme recloser
Opens on overcurrent timing or
loss of voltage
ASRR Automatic Sectioning Reconguring Recloser
Sectionalizing recloser
Opens on two counts
of overcurrent or loss of voltage
ATRR-2 Automatic Tie Reconguring Recloser
Half-loop tie recloser
Closes for loss of voltage on one
ATRR-3 Automatic Tie Reconguring Recloser
Half-loop tie recloser
Closes for loss of voltage on
either side
Bringing new distribution automa-
tion equipment onto the utility system
involves signifcant planning to ensure
the new technology will ft into existing
Developing settings
Testing the equipment
Training the various work groups
involved with the equipment, from the
initial design process through construc-
tion and operation of the equipment.
Distribution Automation
Pilot Project
At the end of 2011, to prepare for the
Energy Infrastructure and Moderniza-
tion Act passed by the Illinois General
Assembly, ComEd initiated a pilot proj-
ect to evaluate the addition of a newer
generation of loop-scheme reclosers to
its installed base of approximately 1,600
12-kV reclosers. For the pilot, ComEd
chose G&W Electrics Viper-ST reclosers
ftted with SEL-651R1 recloser controls.
The pilot consisted of seven reclosers in-
stalled in three different schemes across
the utility, including a mixed scheme
with existing reclosers.
The frst step was to build a construc-
tion standard of the recloser and iden-
tify the hardware requirements of the
recloser. The utility decided on a site-ready model with arrest-
ers, potential transformers for power and wiring pre-installed.
Crossarm and alley arm options were designed to allow for
installation across the system.
Once the three specifc schemes for the pilot were identi-
fed and a construction specifcation was developed, en-
gineering created a design package for each of the jobs.
In a parallel effort, the process to develop the settings
began by listing the operational requirements based on
matching the operation of existing loop-scheme reclos-
ers on the system. For example, the timing requirements
for a loop scheme and the response to an under-frequen-
cy condition were included. ComEd uses standard set-
tings fles for the reclosers based on the function of the
recloser (for example, a normally open loop scheme and
a normally closed loop scheme) with the only differences
from device to device being site-specifc changes such as
communication settings and sensor settings, resulting in
eight base settings fles.
Once the requirements were established, potential en-
hancements to the scheme were reviewed to determine if
they should be added to the settings specifcations. For
the enhancements mentioned previously, ComEd decid-
ed to set the reclosers to single-phase trip, three-phase
41 | September 2014
New operating procedures were developed specifc to the
new reclosers. SCADA point lists were developed after settings
were tested and modeled after the points list of the existing
reclosers on the system. Mapping symbols of the reclosers also
were updated along with the SCADA build.
Testing the Systems
ComEd and the vendor worked together to test the new
systems, beginning with secondary control testing. This in-
volved low-current, low-voltage testing with a single control
and testing the logic settings against the specifcation. The lat-
ter included testing of the customized
display logic, fault detection and loss of
voltage functions. Testing began manu-
ally, using a test set. This was followed
by automatic testing for easily repeat-
able tests in many combinations. The
communications testing consisted of
benchtop testing using a SCADA mas-
ter simulator and then moving on to
ComEds radios in its lab. Full SCADA
feld tests were performed on each of
the pilot installations along with the
frst installations of the systemwide
Primary system testing was per-
formed as factory acceptance testing
was done twice, using different fault
scenarios and, where necessary, jumper
cables to replicate non-normal topolo-
gies. Testing was done at high current
and low voltage with multiple controls
and reclosers. Test system coordination
and behavior were checked, user-driv-
en test scenarios were run and witness
testing was performed.
Testing was done with ComEd stan-
dard settings and custom logic, defned
as logic added to factory defaults or
pretested points of departure. All new
functionality had to be rigorously test-
ed. Once the logic was confrmed, the
settings were tested.
The Need for Training
ComEd has been updating its dis-
tribution automation gradually for sev-
eral decades and, in consequence, has
a variety of equipment of varying ages.
With this diversity in equipment, all
work groups involved in various stages
of the equipment must be trained on
the reclosers.
To meet the training challenge,
ComEd worked with the vendor to de-
velop different training modules tar-
geted for each work group, such as dispatchers, construction
crews, feld operating crews, distribution testing technicians
and engineering. The most comprehensive was the distribu-
tion testing training to prepare detailed information for the
feld technicians on the operation of the equipment, how to
confgure and commission the devices, and how to trouble-
shoot the equipment.
Several of the groups were sent to the vendors factory to
do hands-on training. In addition, a trailer outftted with a
recloser and control was transported to crews for training in
the feld using the training modules created. This allowed
42 September 2014 |
Site-ready packages for ease of eld
installation; pre-wired with 10 ft of primary
wire, ready to mount on the pole and make
tap connections
Two pots to provide source 1 and source 2
control power
Junction box designs with separable
Crossarm/moveable B phase
Alley arm
analyzed to confrm proper operation and evaluate improve-
ments. Also, with new equipment, as issues arise, it is impor-
tant to share troubleshooting methods and results to build
expertise in the equipment.
The authors would like to express appreciation to Erich
Keller, automation engineer, distribution automation, and
Karla Trost, product manager, switchgear automation, at
G&W Electric Co., as well as John Madden at Midwest Electri-
cal for their signifcant contributions throughout this project.
Marina Mondello ( is a senior
engineer in the reliability programs department at Common-
wealth Edison and was formerly in the distribution automation
group, which monitors and troubleshoots the utilitys distribu-
tion automation system and develops settings for distribution
automation equipment. Mondello has been with ComEd for 14
years in the distribution testing and new business departments.
Mondella holds a BSEE degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of
Anil Dhawan ( is a senior engineer in
the distribution standards and technical support department
at Commonwealth Edison. He serves as the technical subject-
matter expert supporting equipment design and standards,
failure analysis, and construction and maintenance activities for
distribution- and automation-related equipment. Dhawan has
been with ComEd for more than 22 years, providing support and
technical expertise in various substation- and distribution-relat-
ed positions. He holds a BSEE degree and is a member of IEEE.
Renu Gupta ( is a senior engineer
technical specialist in the reliability analysis group at Common-
wealth Edison. Gupta has been with the utility since 1999. Gupta
holds a bachelors degree in computer engineering and is an
Oracle certied professional.
the crews hands-on training prior to working on installed
Quick-reference guides also were developed and distrib-
uted as part of the training to highlight the operation of the
new equipment as well as the differences between the existing
and new equipment.

From Pilot to Deployment
The pilot was rapidly followed by a systemwide deployment
in 2013, which involved installing more than 400 of the new
reclosers. While the pilot was running, ComEds corporate
parent, Exelon, had developed a standard that called for stan-
dardization of the control faceplate, requiring modifcations
to the pilot settings and training material. At the same time, a
new generation of control was issued by the vendor. The new
faceplate and control, combined with lessons learned from the
pilot, required revisiting all the settings developed and updat-
ing the settings specifcations, as well as updating each of the
training modules developed during the pilot.
Because changes to the custom logic were made from the
pilot settings, full testing was performed again on the settings
issued for the systemwide deployment.
Results of the Deployment
ComEd has installed more than 3,000 distribution auto-
mation reclosers on the 12-kV system and 1,000 switches on
the 34-kV system since the mid-1990s. In 2011, approximately
1.1 million customer interruptions were avoided, in addition
to 1.1 million in 2012 and 0.94 million in 2013. An estimated
1.3 million customers will have avoided interruptions in 2014,
approximately a 22% increase over the prior three-year aver-
age, because of the additional recloser installations.
Lessons Learned
ComEd and the vendor reviewed the pilot and systemwide
deployment to identify lessons learned. Rigorous testing of the
settings and behavior of the recloser were identifed as crucial.
These, along with thorough training materials, were among
the top lessons identifed. The diffculty remains in balanc-
ing improvements in new technology with operating a hy-
brid system of distribution automation devices with differing
functionality. Each operation involving the new reclosers is
Mentioned in this article:
Commonwealth Edison |
G&W Electric |
The two site-ready recloser designs were developed for crossarm and alley arm installations to reduce the installation time of the reclosers.
Valmont Newmark takes pride in our
responsibility to provide reliable engineered
structures to the power industry.
44 September 2014 |
Save Money,
Beat the Heat
Morristown Utility Systems voltage reduction
strategies save hundreds of thousands of dollars
with a few mouse clicks.
By Joseph S. Wigington, Morristown Utility Systems
s summer winds down in most of the U.S., it is still
balmy in the South. In a time of increasingly height-
ened demand for electricity, many utilities like
Morristown Utility Systems (MUS) are using the
opportunity to implement advanced metering infrastructure
(AMI) and demand-driven programs designed to shave peaks,
reduce cost and increase operational effciency. A multiservice
utility serving nearly 15,000 electrical, 12,000 water/wastewa-
ter and 5,800 telecom customers in eastern Tennessee, MUS
has completed deployment of a fber-to-the-home (FTTH)-
based TUNet AMI network and endpoints, becoming just the
third utility in the state to use FTTH for data communications.
With an AMI communications infrastructure now in place,
MUS is broadening its focus on value-add programs and ap-
plications like load management designed to improve op-
erational performance and reduce peak demand up to 4%
systemwide, thereby reducing wholesale cost.
Leading the Charge
As part of a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) smart grid
pilot project, MUS is partnering with its generator, TVA, to
curtail load at TVAs day-ahead request for up to 100 hours per
year. This initiative is part of TVAs fve-year plan to combine
energy effciency and demand response to achieve systemwide
savings goals of 2.9% by 2015 and 5.4% by 2020. Eventually,
this project will help to lower TVAs overall peak demand, re-
duce the need for additional power plant construction and
avoid the need for distributors to make costly power purchases
off the grid. The project requires MUS to perform closed-loop
voltage reduction (CLVR) to deliver load reduction and op-
erate during the period within the American National Stan-
dards Institute (ANSI) voltages limits.
MUS is one of several distributors who received funding
through grants from TVA to explore new demand manage-
ment technologies, glean valuable lessons and help to repli-
Morristown Utility Systems employees receive live and continuous system data over their state-of-the-art ber-connect smart grid. Alarms and
notications are dynamically pushed to system operators in real time.
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Engineer during
IFD sensor training
46 September 2014 |
cate success for distributors throughout the Tennessee Valley.
Project funds were awarded through a competitive selection
process based on merit, potential value and potential cost sav-
ings to both the utility and its consumers.
In service to its customers, MUS is always looking for new
ways to improve its operations and manage costs. One way the
utility is demonstrating that commitment is by using CLVR to
shave its own peak billed demand. Beginning in April 2011,
TVA returned to the practice of billing power distributors for
their maximum 1-hour peak monthly demand. Like many oth-
er distributors, MUSs peak is not coincident with TVAs peaks,
so MUS must track its own load and perform CLVR as needed
to accurately predict and pay for peak demand. Accuracy of
data translates to dollars spent and saved, thus making data
management and control tools crucial for the utility to audit
voltage status effectively and reduce thousands of dollars off
its wholesale power bill.
Additionally, the introduction of real-time alarms and volt-
ages into supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
opens the door for automating existing conservation voltage
reduction (CVR) programs. In practice, the ability to port
low-voltage alarms from selected meters in TUNet, the Tan-
talus utility network, directly into SCADA provides, for the
frst time, a tool for dispatchers to monitor voltage conditions
across the feeders in real time and respond accordingly to
maintain adequate voltage. It provides an online health check
that monitors the pulse of the electric system.
CLVR Introduction
CLVR is one of the most simple, cost-effective ways utilities
can manage loads to reduce peak electrical demand immedi-
ately. Unlike traditional CVR, in which voltage is lowered to
decrease overall annual energy consumption, CLVR provides
the utility with the capability to shift load and reduce peak
demand. By combining AMI with SCADA, CLVR provides a
way to monitor and adjust voltage on the fy automatically,
maximize the effectiveness of voltage regulation efforts and
maintain end-of-line voltages within regulatory limits.
The key benefts of CLVR for utilities are as follows:
Reduces demand charges immediately
Serves as a virtually invisible pro-
gram to the consumer
Requires no consumer market-
ing programs or buy in
Is rapidly deployable (up and
running within hours)
Maximizes the effectiveness of
voltage reduction programs
Identifes unrecognized ineff-
ciencies in the existing power grid.
CLVR is designed to decrease a
utilitys total electrical load in an-
ticipation of a peak event by making
slight reductions in the feeder volt-
ages coming from substations. For
example, on a hot summer day, when
the demand on a utilitys generation
capacity is strained and approaching
peak, CLVR applications acknowl-
edge the peak and immediately act to
temporarily decrease voltage. Appli-
ances, lighting, resistive heating and
certain types of motors will immedi-
ately draw less power yet still perform
During a hot summer peak day, Morristown Utility Systems was able to demonstrate that it could
use CLVR to successfully level demand throughout the peak event without causing a rebound or
false peak later in the day.
Using live voltage data pushed from the distribution system in real time by smart meters, Morristown Utility Systems is able to effectively reduce
demand by nearly 4% in this instance.

Call South Call North ETPC J.B. Neill Jessee Mahle MAID Parkway South West Total
Load 17.797 12.314 3.821 20.057 21.719 8.016 21.39 13.939 13.253 12.928 145.2
VR % 4 6 6 3 6 0 4 5 3 5
Load Red (MW) 0.71 0.74 0.23 0.60 1.30 0.00 0.86 0.63 0.40 0.78 6.2
Ratio 0.95 0.95 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.90 0.95 0.95 0.95
Net DR (MW) 0.68 0.70 0.21 0.54 1.17 0.00 0.77 0.74 5.8
Percent load reduction 3.98
Load (MW) = Normal load distribution per substation for a peak day
VR % = Percent average voltage reduction per substation
Ratio = Ratio of load reduction per voltage based on performance testing
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48 September 2014 |
within acceptable levels. Although the reduction is slight and
power quality remains within adequate regulatory tolerances,
the cumulative impact of thousands of electrical devices si-
multaneously using less power has a signifcant impact on a
utilitys load.
While voltage control as a means of demand management
is not a new concept and has been deployed by many utilities
over the years, recent advances in the quality, automation and
Morristown Utility Systems uses a ber-to-the-home broadband system
for smart grid and residential triple-play services. Smart meters are con-
nected to the network on a high-speed Ethernet backhaul.
The Tantalus RT-4101 is a broadband WAN
transceiver that enables broadband
networking with residential smart me-
ters while simultaneously acting as a
data collector for meters and other
LAN devices.
real-time nature of certain AMI
communication and data manage-
ment technologies have signifcantly
multiplied the usefulness of meter
data. In turn, this has translated to
increased control and power quality.
Shifting Demand
When electric demand exceeds available
power, brownouts, blackouts and the need to pur-
chase expensive wholesale power can occur. This risk makes
the proactive management of such peak loads critical to main-
taining grid reliability and managing utility costs. Using AMI-
enabled tools like CLVR helps the utility to manage peak load
by responding to peak reduction requests with immediately
dispatchable voltage reduction commands. Furthermore,
instantaneous feedback from the AMI system on the voltage
impact of CLVR provides utility decision makers with the real-
time system visibility needed to make additional decisions to
reduce overall load, if needed.
Thermostatically controlled devices provide another clas-
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sic example of how CLVR can be used to shift load. With
CLVR, devices such as electric heaters, heat pumps, stoves and
refrigerators may run for slightly longer periods of time to
reach their desired temperatures but will also draw less power
under carefully monitored CLVR. The impact of this applica-
tion during peak times results in a reduction, or smoothing,
of peak load.
With the right real-time smart grid communications plat-
form, CLVR can be used throughout the day to lower voltages
during peak periods and increase voltages during off-peak pe-
riods. TUNet offers real-time TRUPUSH functionality, which,
when integrated with a utilitys SCADA system, proactively
monitors, notifes and enables the control of feeder voltages
within seconds. Continuous data feedback allows operators to
monitor line voltages and alerts while making ad-
justments as necessary. The Tantalus voltage reduc-
tion application enables the utility to reduce peak
electrical demand over time while ensuring custom-
ers service voltages stay inside acceptable levels.
Safety in Numbers
Properly conducted CLVR is safe for electrical
equipment, which is designed to operate with some
voltage fexibility in mind. In North America, end-
use voltages in the range of 114 V to 126 V are stan-
dard (range A in ANSI standard C84.1) and pro-
vide the variance needed for CLVR. Smart meters
supported by a robust real-time communications
network can monitor voltage throughout a grid to
ensure levels remain within a prescribed range. As
such, demand management programs like CLVR
are one of many high-value benefts offered by a
fexible, reliable smart grid communications network.
TUNet is designed in a way that supports safe, effective
CLVR. With TUNets AMI network, each meter continuously
monitors many aspects of power. For instance, TUNet devices
check line voltages several times a second, 24 hours a day, 365
days a year. If the voltage exceeds or drops below preset levels
at any endpoint, the meter can immediately report this change
in power quality by using TRUPUSH-event driven, command
and control communications to push alerts and status updates
in real time. The ability to manage thousands of smart devices
optimally on an electric grid in this manner is unprecedented
The AMI Advantage
A cornerstone feature of two-way AMI is its ability to ac-
knowledge and transmit real-time notifcations. This fea-
ture ensures, during a CLVR period, the utility receives real-
time voltage alerts from any meter reaching its threshold. To
take this a step further, integrating a voltage reduction ap-
plication with SCADA systems provides an automated way to
ensure maximized CLVR savings while maintaining reliable
customer power quality. The main advantages of automated
demand management include the following:
1. Labor savings, by eliminating the need for operational
personnel to monitor load continuously
2. The ability to deploy at multiple locations concurrently
3. The ability to handle unanticipated load peaks.
Demand management through voltage reduction re-
quires little infrastructure beyond AMI and SCADA. Tan-
talus is continuously improving existing feature sets like its
recently unveiled DNP3 interface for the delivery of voltage
alert data from selected meters to the SCADA system. De-
veloped in conjunction with the Efacec Advanced Control
Systems SCADA system and deployed with MUSs high-
speed FiberNET, this low-latency AMI-DNP3 interface de-
livers voltage sag alarms to the MUS SCADA system within
seconds of any detection of a voltage event by any affected
meter, including those deployed near the end of the line or
A Tantalus product-delivery testing lab where AMI metering technology and utility
operational software applications come together.
Morristown Utility Systems has optimized its water-pumping operations
as part of its demand management strategy. With CLVR, the utility has
been able to effectively curtail load during winter peak.
51 | September 2014
at any strategic point in the distribution system.
TUNets real-time capability lies in the design and architec-
ture of the hybrid-mesh 900-MHz local area network, which
allows timely voltage data from all of the smart meters to reach
the SCADA system for optimal decision making.
Effects and Results
MUSs experiences in implementing a real-time demand
management program have proven highly effective for re-
ducing demand from the utility side without impacting the
convenience of the consumer. In fact, this behind-the-scenes
program works so seamlessly with the AMI network that cus-
tomers experience no discernible drop in power quality while
the utility is able to meet its goal of reducing system voltage by
up to 4% during peak.
For this program, MUS uses its ultra-high, gigabit-speed
fber network along with two-way communicating load man-
agement devices installed at substation voltage regulators for
scheduled or on-demand curtailment. The distinctive push-
type feature of the network ensures operators receive fresh
data consistently with the ability to dial back voltage with
more precision. The results of this program are very prom-
ising with MUS already on track to realize a signifcant net
reduction in wholesale power cost in excess of US$1.5 million
since April 2011.
Because of the fexibility real-time AMI provides, MUS can
use a suite of advanced metering and demand management
solutions while relying on a common, unifed network. This
advantage is clearly demonstrated by MUSs use of various fea-
tures within its demand management application suite. Not
only can MUS use the network to leverage the CLVR program,
it can expand its demand management options to include the
management of distributed generation sources, commercial
and industrial applications, and utility water-pumping de-
mand reduction as opposed to traditional constant CVR alter-
natives. This program allows MUS to pursue multiple business
goals strategically at once while multiplying the effectiveness
of their overall demand management initiatives.
Through AMI-enabled demand management, MUS is able
to address two of its primary goals:
Implement cost saving and energy-effcient technologies
to keep rates low
Optimize operations throughout its service area.
The ability to detect situations quickly where it could reduce
line voltage to the ideal level is helping make MUSs network
more effcient and saving the utility money every day. This al-
lows MUS to reduce its annual energy consumption and peak
load, as well as easily monitor potential system problems.
In achieving MUSs effciency goals over the long term,
demand management programs like CLVR will continue to
provide a wealth of knowledge to identify weaknesses and in-
effciencies in the power grid. In Morristown, all voltage re-
duction is performed by load-tap changers at the substation
transformer. This means all feeders are reduced by the same
percentage voltage drop so the amount of load delivered is in-
herently limited by the weakest feeder. MUS plans to use this
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and other lessons learned during CLVR events to improve
overall voltage profles and deliver more fexibility in demand
In addition to numerous utility benefts, reducing peak de-
mand has long-term benefts for the citizens of Morristown.
By implementing effective tools to manage peak demand, the
utility is able to avoid inconvenient and dangerous brownouts
and blackouts while improving service quality. Effective peak
management tools allow distribution utilities to reduce peak
demand charges. When several utilities participate in reduc-
ing peak demand, it allows generation utilities to defer the
purchase of expensive new power plants, which works to keep
rates low. CLVR is both effective and consumer friendly, mak-
ing it an ideal choice for utilities looking for easily implement-
ed demand management solutions.
The author would like to thank the team at Tantalus for its
partnership in making MUSs demand management program
a successful means to save money and energy.
Joseph S. Wigington ( is a registered
professional engineer with more than 35 years of experience
in the utility and manufacturing industries. After positions with
TVA and the BASF Corp., he joined Morristown Utility Systems
in 1995 and has served as general manager since 2007. In his
current role, as general manager and CEO, he is responsible for
managing utility operations to provide power, water, wastewater
and broadband ber telecommunications services for the city of
Morristown, Tennessee.
Mentioned in this article:
Efacec ACS |
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To Protect and Deter
National Grid USA installs avian retrots and
reduces unknown transmission outages from 28 to 2.
By Brian Reynolds, National Grid USA, Richard Dupre, Energy Initiatives Group,
and Duncan Eccleston, EDM International Inc.
ational Grid USA transformed its lowest-perform-
ing 69-kV line into one of its highest-performing
lines by implementing an avian-retroft and re-
insulation program on the basis of strong circum-
stantial evidence. The utility targeted a 54% reduction in all
outages and, instead, achieved an 81% reduction.
Outages without a known cause, or an unknown outage, had
accounted for nearly two-thirds of all faults and were reduced
by 92%. The benefts to National Grid included improved reli-
ability, lower costs and decreased environmental liability.
The Line
National Grid owns and operates electrical infrastructure
serving 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hamp-
shire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grids 69-kV A1/
B2 line conveys power from the Vernon Hydroelectric Power
Station in southeastern Vermont to load centers in central
Massachusetts. Built between 1907 and 1910, the 47-mile
(76-km) A1/B2 line is the oldest transmission route in New
England. As the line approached a century of service, 500
of the 615 structures on the A1/B2 main line were steel lat-
tice towers with a single overhead shield wire and two three-
phase circuits supported by 20-inch and 24-inch (508-mm and
610-mm) insulators rated at 69 kV and 88 kV, respectively.
From 1997 through 2003, 298 line faults were recorded on
the A1/B2 main line, making it the utilitys worst-performing
69-kV line, with a disturbance rate more than double the util-
itys average. National Grid crews inspected the line after each
fault to determine the cause, assigned only when physical evi-
dence exists. In the outage management system (OMS), 43 of
the A1/B2 faults (14%) were attributed to lightning and 61
faults (21%) were attributed to a variety of other known causes
such as weather, line equipment, vegetation and, in one case,
an animal. In contrast, 194 faults (65%) were attributed to an
unknown cause.
National Grids 69-kV A1/B2 transmission line in Massachusetts, New
Hampshire and Vermont.
A typical segment of the right-of-way for the National Grids A1/B2 69-kV line.
55 | September 2014
Avian Issues
Despite only one animal outage record, avian issues his-
torically were a concern on the A1/B2 line, and bird activ-
ity was noted in many of the OMS unknown outage entries.
Avian outages and electrocutions can occur when a bird, its
feces or nesting material touches differently energized con-
tacts (phase-to-phase) or an energized contact and a ground
The Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC),
an industry group dedicated to addressing avian electro-
cutions, recommends energized contacts be separated
from grounded or other energized contacts by 60 inches or
40 inches (1,524 mm or 1,016 mm) horizontally for eagles and
hawks, respectively, and by 40 inches vertically. Because A1/
B2 conductors had just 36 inches (914 mm) of horizontal clear-
ance and 20 inches to 24 inches of vertical clearance, the line
was recognized as susceptible to avian outages.
Triangular perching discouragers were installed in 1996
on approximately 40% of the structures to improve reliability
and address liability concerns related to the Bald and Golden
Turkey vulture carcass caught between triangular perch discour-
ager and conductor on the unretrotted A1/B2 line. (Photo taken
between 1996 and 2004.)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Days with lightning
Lightning outages
Unknown outages
Lightning outages and unknown outages by month (from 1997-2003)
and mean annuals days with lightning in Franklin or Worcester County,
Massachusetts. Courtesy of National Lightning Detection Network.



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56 September 2014 |
Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; how-
ever, outages persisted.
In 2003, National Grid engineers initiated a project to im-
prove reliability on the A1/B2 line. They elected to re-insulate
the lattice towers with 32-inch (813-mm), 115-kV post insula-
tors to improve lightning performance. Because of the long-
standing avian concerns, EDM International Inc., a consult-
ing frm specializing in avian protection and wildlife outage
prevention, was contracted to assess the lines vulnerability to
avian-caused outages. National Grid directed EDM to assess
whether the predominant cause for the unknown outages was
lightning or birds, and to provide avian-mitigation recommen-
dations, if warranted.
Lightning was ruled out as the primary cause of unknown
outages because the temporal patterns did not match at ei-
ther seasonal or daily time scales. Whereas regional lightning
data and lightning outages peaked in the summer months, un-
known outages peaked in May and October, months with com-
paratively little lightning. Whereas lightning outages occurred
in the afternoon and early evening, unknown outages were
common at 5 a.m., peaked mid-morning and gradually de-
clined until 9 p.m. Lightning may have contributed to the un-
known outages, but it clearly was not the predominant cause.
Further Avian Considerations
APLICs avian-friendly spacing recommendations are
based on the dimensions of large birds likely to perch on util-
ity structures. The species of greatest concern in
the A1/B2 area were large birds such as the bald
eagle, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture and osprey.
These species range in height from 21 inches to
28 inches (533 mm to 711 mm), whereas the ex-
isting insulators provided 20 inches to 24 inches
of separation. These birds also have wingspans
of 56 inches to 96 inches (1,422 mm to 2,438
mm). Though great blue herons are less likely
than other species to perch on utility struc-
tures, they are highly vulnerable when they do
because of their maximum height of nearly
4 ft (1.2 m). Massachusetts breeding bird surveys
also indicated populations of all these species
were increasing.
The seasonal spring increase in unknown line
faults beginning in May was consistent with nest-
ing, breeding and young-rearing for raptors and other large
birds. These activities heighten birds exposure to electrocu-
tion. The September and October increase in unknown outag-
es generally correlated with fall migration along the Atlantic
Flyway and was consistent with the specifc migration timing
for at-risk raptor species. In the fall, area raptor populations
composed mostly of year-round residents are augmented by
northern populations migrating south.
Turkey vultures were a species of particular interest be-
cause the species caused a previous outage on the A1/B2
main line. Turkey vultures establish communal roost sites in
large trees and transmission structures, and ride thermal air
currents as they search for carrion. They typically roost until
late morning and spread their wings to warm as they wait for
thermals, increasing their exposure to electrocution. Because
the late-morning unknown outages peak was compatible with
turkey vulture activity, avian electrocutions could not be ruled
out as a cause of the unknown outages.
Streamers (long feces released by large birds that can
bridge the air gap between conductors and grounds) were
another potential outage cause. A streamer outage can be
diffcult to detect, especially if it does not leave burn marks
and the bird is not electrocuted. Streamer outages typically
peak in late evening and early morning, consistent with the
large number of outages around 5 a.m. The A1/B2 line was
particularly vulnerable to streamer faults. Even a moderate-
sized streamer released from atop the 20-inch or 24-inch
insulator could cause a fashover between the conductor and
grounded tower. The outage timing and structure vulner-
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Lightning outages
Unknown outages
Hourly lightning outages (with a three-hour moving average) and unknown outages
(with a ve-hour moving average) from 1997-2003.
57 | September 2014
ability indicated avian streamers were a potentially important
outage cause.
In April 2003, after fying the line, EDM conducted carcass
searches at 15 A1/B2 structures selected based on observed
bird use, habitat setting or previous unknown outages. The
fndings indicated avian electrocutions were a much larger is-
sue than the OMS had suggested. Eight carcasses were discov-
ered in the vicinity of seven structures: four hawks of indeter-
minate species, two turkey vultures, one unidentifed raptor
and one great blue heron. One hawk and a turkey vulture had
burn marks characteristic of electrocution. The other turkey
vulture was electrocuted adjacent to a triangular perching dis-
courager installed in 1996.
An electrocution rate could not be estimated because bird
carcasses may either be rapidly scavenged or persist for years.
The prevalence of mortalities could not be extrapolated to
the rest of the line because only high-risk structures had been
Avian concerns centered on the proximity of the crossarm-
mounted conductors to the grounded lattice structure be-
cause of the following:
A large bird perched on the crossarm was at risk of phase-
to-ground electrocution
Triangular perch discouragers were likely to shift birds
closer to conductors
Streamers released from the short insulators easily could
cause fashover.
EDM recommended two avian-specifc retrofts be imple-
mented during the re-insulation project:
1. Any existing triangular perch discouragers should be
removed and replaced with Mission Environmental Products
Bird Guard spiked perch discouragers, which would more
effectively minimize perching on the hazardous crossarm.
2. Kaddas Enterprises KE1039 conductor covers should
be installed on the four crossarm-mounted post insulators.
The conductor covers were intended to minimize the risk of
streamer fashovers by shielding the phase wires and to insu-
late the conductors from birds attempting to defeat the perch
By increasing the vertical clearance between the grounded
crossarm and the conductors from 20 inches to 24 inches to
32 inches, the re-insulation project also was expected to re-
duce avian streamer and electrocution outages.
Within National Grid, there were several competing hy-
potheses to explain the A1/B2 lines performance. In addition
to lightning and possible avian interactions, there was spec-
ulation that vegetation or insulator contamination could be
major contributing factors. National Grid hoped new perch
discouragers and conductor covers might reduce unknown
outages by one-third. On that basis, the utility chose to imple-
ment the recommended avian retrofts at a projected cost of
US$1.6 million.
The combined re-insulation and avian-mitigation project
was completed in 2004 at a total cost of around $4 million.
Approximately 500 steel lattice structures were retroftted at
a cost of about $800 per structure. Work was carried out from
February through October, with a three-month suspension in
the height of the summer for peak power demand. Helicopter
crews were initially slated only for areas with diffcult access
but proved so effcient that 80% of the work was done from
the air, on a time and materials basis. This approach resulted
in savings of about $1.6 million relative to planning estimates
and much greater savings relative to actual bids.
Reliability Improvements
EDM compared the performance of the A1/B2 main line
prior to retroftting (1997 through 2003) to the lines perfor-
mance after retroftting (2005 through 2012). T-tests were
used to compare numbers of line faults per year. Prior to
retroftting, National Grid recorded 298 faults on the A1/B2
Partially retrotted A1/B2 structure. Note the 115-kV insulators, perch
discouragers and conductor covers on the retrotted circuit behind the
58 September 2014 |
main line; after line modifcations, National Grid recorded 65
faults. On an annual basis, all outages decreased from 42.6
to 8.1 per year (P=0.001), unknown outages decreased from
27.7 to 2.1 per year (P<0.0001), lightning outages decreased
from 6.1 to 2.8 per year (not statistically signifcant) and other
known outages decreased from 8.7 to 3.3 per year (P=0.01).
During the project planning, National Grid used a variety
of assumptions to target an overall outage reduction of 54%
from the combined re-insulation and avian-retroft project.
Instead, the project reduced outages by 81%. Although sub-
stantial reductions occurred in lightning outages (55%) and
outages from other known causes (63%), the greatest reduc-
tion was in unknown outages (92%). The strong circumstan-
tial evidence for avian issues prior to the project, plus the ex-
traordinary reduction in unknown outages in response to the
retrofts, suggest avian interactions had been a chief cause of
A1/B2 outages.
National Grids outage protocols are rigorous and evidence
driven. The diffculty of identifying bird outages in the feld
is highlighted by the existence of just one OMS avian outage
record from 1997-2003, a period in which many dozens likely
occurred. Although electrocuted birds may hang in place,
carcasses are frequently blown far from the structure by the
shock, then obscured by vegetation or removed by scavengers.
Detection challenges are exacerbated by thick vegetation,
weather and nighttime conditions. The only physical evidence
of a streamer outage may be a scorched conductor.
The improved performance on the A1/B2 line was likely
because of a holistic combination of enhanced avian protec-
tion and re-insulation, which improved vertical separation.
Multiple line modifcations incrementally improved avian
safety using strategies of perch management (perch discour-
agers), insulation (conductor covers) and increased separation
(larger insulators). The removal of the pre-2003 triangular
perch discouragers likely had a benefcial effect as they had
exacerbated an existing electrocution hazard; this unintend-
ed effect serves as a reminder avian retrofts should be imple-
mented carefully under expert guidance.
The overall fnancial benefts of the project are diffcult
to quantify because lost revenue varies widely depending on
both the number of affected customers and time of day. No
meter revenue is lost from momentary faults, but power quali-
ty and customer satisfaction suffer. Each momentary fault also
increases wear and tear on equipment such as breakers and
incurs approximately $5,000 in ground and aerial feld crew
deployment costs. Based on the number of averted outages,
the benefts to National Grid were substantial.
Julian Cox, who led National Grids reliability and per-
formance measures teams involvement in the project, also
provided invaluable data and input in support of this article.
Mike DiCecco supervised the helicopter-based component of
the project implementation. EDMs involvement in the project
was led by Rick Harness, Dr. Greg Phillips and Joel Hurmence.
Dr. James Dwyer and Lisa Nelson provided data analysis and
review comments for this article, and Daryl Austin developed
the project map.
Brian Reynolds ( has 18 years
of experience in the electric utility industry. He has performed
a variety of transmission line projects in both engineering and
project management roles, including a variety of avian mitiga-
tion projects. He presently is a standards engineer supporting
overhead line design at both distribution and transmission
voltages and underground distribution. Reynolds holds a BSCE
degree from the University of Massachusetts and is a registered
professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Richard Dupre ( has more than 40 years of
experience in the electric utility industry. During his successful
tenure at National Grid, he performed all aspects of transmis-
sion line engineering, supported many key projects including
the HVDC Phase II project, was a mentor to many engineers and
achieved the utilitys highest engineering rank. Presently, Dupre
is employed at Energy Initiatives Group, supporting National
Grid on its key NEEWS project. Dupre holds a BSCE degree
from Northeastern University and is a registered professional
engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Duncan Eccleston ( has been
involved in numerous avian protection and wildlife outage
management projects since joining EDM. Additional areas of
expertise include environmental compliance and permitting,
storm water and post-re erosion. He is a graduate of Middle-
bury College and holds a masters degree in watershed
science from Colorado State University.
Lightning Other known Unknown All


Average annual outages before and after retrotting. Bars represent one
standard error.
Mentioned in this article:
EDM International |
Kaddas Enterprises |
Mission Environmental Products |
60 September 2014 |
Smart Korea Is on the Way
Korea Electric Power Corp. develops a test bed
focused on the information technologies and
business models in support of the smart grid.
By Sung Hwan Bae, Korea Electric Power Corp.
eju, the largest island in South Korea, is famous for its
exotic nature and mild weather. Located southwest of
the mainland, the island was designated by the United
Nations Educational, Scientifc and Cultural Organiza-
tion (UNESCO) in 2007 as a World Heritage site, which means
it is recognized as being of outstanding international impor-
tance and deserving of special protection. When construction
of a smart grid test bed began in one of its towns, Jejus impor-
tance grew for being a technological hub.
The Jeju test bed was constructed to verify existing IT
technologies on a real distribution network that would help
to reduce CO
emissions and create a long-term domestic and
overseas smart grid market. The test bed is located in a small
town called Gujwa, which has a considerable source of wind
and solar energy available for power generation. The existing
stable distribution network comprised two high-voltage/low-
voltage substations and four distribution feeders that could
support fve ongoing smart grid projects without creating any
critical problems.
Involved with the Jeju test bed are 168 companies in 12
consortia, all developing technologies for the smart grid and
verifying the results. Collectively, they have invested US$171
million, $68.5 million of which came from the Korean gov-
ernment. Many of the major domestic utilities, such as Korea
Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), Korea Telecom and SK Tele-
com, along with approximately 3,000 customers, are involved
in these projects. Construction of the basic infrastructure and
interconnection of related systems was completed in May 2011,
and the entire test bed is focused on developing application
programs, creating new business models and initiating global
standardization of smart grid technologies. The consortium
leader, KEPCO, is the only utility involved in all fve of the
smart grid projects.
Smart Power Grid
The goal of the Smart Power Grid project is to make the
transmission system and distribution network suffciently
intelligent to maximize the utilization rate of existing facili-
ties, in addition to improving energy effciency and upgrad-
ing power quality. In the Smart Power Grid project, KEPCO is
the only active player in the consortium that has 16 members.
Following completion of construction, the infrastructure and
the operating system, the project entered into a second phase,
which consists of reviewing the results of the system operation
and verifying the power quality.
Among the systems being verifed is the real-time monitor-
ing system for transmission lines using sensors on overhead
lines and supporting towers. Sensors are monitoring the con-
ductor and ambient temperatures, wind speed and direction,
solar radiation and other parameters. The transmission line ca-
pacity can then be adjusted according to these measurements.
The remaining primary items include a wide area monitoring
system with phasor measurement unit techniques for fexible
ac transmission system operation on 154-kV and 345-kV lines.
In digital substations, intelligent electronic
devices, which integrate the relays and con-
trol cable for switchgear in accordance with
the IEC 61850 standard, have been installed
to control and operate the continually ex-
panding network intelligently.
The transformers and circuit breakers
are being monitored by diagnostic sensors
to capture signs of equipment aging. For
the distribution network, intelligent equip-
ment like automatic switchgear and moni-
toring systems for transformers and light-
ning arresters have been installed to secure
the power quality and predict faults on over-
head lines and equipment. Also, knowledge
Interface device
The interrelationship among the various components of the smart distribution part of the
Smart Power Grid project.

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on how to operate and maintain the network in a stable con-
dition when connected to renewable sources is an additional
major project objective.
On completion of the project technologies, the test bed will
be adopted into the construction standards to create a nation-
wide smart grid through economic analysis and standardiza-
tion processes. In addition, to prepare for the future smart
grid environment, the long-term plan also includes construc-
tion of the next-generation communications network, devel-
opment of intelligent network technologies that are indispens-
able when connecting offshore wind power, development of dc
transmission and operation of energy storage systems.
Smart Place
Smart Place is a project to establish the infrastructure to
control energy consumption through demand response (DR)
by means of a two-way communications system between the
utility and its customers. KEPCO and three other consortia
have established 3,000 smart places comprising residential
customers, large buildings and factories in Jeju. Four system
models are included in KEPCOs Smart Place project:
In the basic DR model, a set comprising a smart meter
and an in-home display sends the pricing signal to the cus-
tomer, who is then able to respond accordingly.
Advanced DR is an extended version of basic DR but with
an additional home energy management system (H-EMS) and
other smart devices, such as load controllers and smart appli-
ances. In this model, H-EMS controls the energy consumption
in the customers home according to the real-time pricing sig-
nal and preconditions input by the customer.
The renewable model covers the generation system using
renewable sources like wind and solar energy. The generation
system, which includes energy storage systems and chargers
for electric vehicles (EVs), also is included in this model.
The building/factory model is for large commercial and
industrial customers. This model combines an energy manage-
ment system (EMS) for buildings with an existing building au-
tomation system. This can result in a signifcant improvement in
the effciency of energy consumption in buildings and factories.
KEPCO has com-
pleted installation
of smart appliances,
such as air condition-
ing and refrigerators,
in residential homes.
By analyzing the re-
sults, KEPCO expects
to be able to see how
customers react to
changes in the pric-
ing signal and how
those reactions even-
tually contribute to
reducing the network
peak load.
Smart Renewable
The Smart Renewable project has been promoted to im-
prove the unstable output of renewable energy sources when
connected to the existing network. As a utility, KEPCOs main
concerns are achieving a stable output from the renewable
sources using a battery energy storage system and compensa-
tion of the irregular power quality with a static synchronous
For the project, KEPCO has constructed the basic infra-
structure consisting of fve renewable generators and installed
accompanying systems, such as an EMS, a power conditioning
system (PCS), a battery management system and batteries. Re-
newable resources have been categorized according to their
generating capacity and are subject to individual testing.
For the largest capacity resources, the EMS has up to
20,000 monitoring points while smaller renewable resources
for example, a 100-kW wind and photovoltaic installation
or a 30-kW micro hydro plant have a maximum of 5,000
monitoring points. IEC 61970 has been adopted for the com-
munications link between the operation center and the EMS.
IEC 61850 is the standard used to specify the communications
link between EMS and PCS.
KEPCO is preparing for power trading in the market by
participating in the virtual power market with renewable en-
ergy. A new system is now used for the probabilistic forecasting
of wind power. To create more proft in the liberalized market,
meteorological variables are used to devise the power curve
for wind and solar resources with high accuracy. By the end
of this project, the economic aspects of renewable sources in
a real-time pricing (RTP) environment will be evaluated and
standards on power quality will be established.
Smart Transportation
It seems highly probable the development of EVs will be the
way ahead for the automobile industry. According to Koreas
national Green Car Roadmap, more than 1 million EVs will be
in use by 2020. KEPCO has developed and is testing various
types of EV chargers in the test bed to ensure the entire distri-
bution network is well prepared for the future widespread use
Renewable energy
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64 September 2014 |
problems. The integrated smart grid platform uses a common
information model to smoothly interconnect all the project-
related systems in accordance with IEC 61970 and 61968.
On a RTP basis, KEPCO has developed power trading
services for the consortia considering two types of possible
market structure. In the domestic power market, which is a
cost-based pool, TOC will decide the unifed power price for
all consortia, which will have the network usage fee for power
transmission included.
The rest of the project term will be devoted to improving
the systems in the feld and upgrading their performances, so
as to create tariff policies that attract customers to participate
voluntarily in the various services that effciently interconnect
both the demand and supply sides.
Smart Future
To bring the smart grid closer to the public, KEPCO con-
structed a smart grid information center in Jeju, which has
hosted more than 249,000 visitors. The center allows visitors to
experience future changes the smart grid will bring. Accord-
ing to KEPCOs smart grid master plan, those technologies
verifed in the test bed will be adopted in metropolitan cities
in a step-by-step program and be nationwide by 2030. Once
fully implemented, it is estimated the smart grid in Korea will
reduce greenhouse gas emissions (CO
) by 230 million tons,
resulting in savings estimated to be some $47 billion.
In Jeju Island, Smart Korea is already on its way.
Sung Hwan Bae ( joined KEPCO in 1979
and is currently vice president, head of the quality management
department. He served as head of the smart grid ofce from
2009 to 2012. He holds a BSEE degree from Konkuk University,
a masters degree in electrical and computer engineering from
Union Graduate College and a Ph.D. in public policy and IT from
Seoul National University of Technology. He is a senior member
of the Korea Institute of Electrical Engineers.
of EVs. To date, a total of 40 EV chargers most of which are
ac chargers with a 7.7-kW capacity typically for public places
and dc chargers with a 50-kW capacity for commercial use
have been installed in 12 charging stations in Jeju. The dc
chargers take about 25 minutes to recharge a 16-kWh battery
pack while ac chargers take between 5 hours and 6 hours.
In addition to EV chargers, the operation system for char-
gers and the customer information management (CIM) sys-
tem have been established. The operation system monitors
and controls the chargers, and the CIM system handles the
customer information and billing process.
For the anticipated increase in the network peak load creat-
ed by EVs, KEPCO is simulating various scenarios to estimate
this increase in peak demand. KEPCO is also giving consider-
ation to establishing a smart grid operation system that would
monitor the entire network condition and control EV loads
to limit the peak in emergencies. Technologies for battery-to-
grid and vehicle-to-grid are under verifcation in the test bed.
Smart Electric Service
The goal of the Smart Electric Service project is to develop
new services that will complement the future smart grid en-
vironment. KEPCO has implemented a pilot project for RTP
with 153 residential customers in Jeju along with a web por-
tal service named i-smart, which communicates with 170,000
high-voltage and 550,000 low-voltage customers all over the
country. Based on AMR technologies, these services provide
information such as the real-time power consumption and ex-
pected electricity bill to encourage customers to participate in
the suppliers DR policy and save energy.
Another important achievement is the construction of a
total operation center (TOC). Built in the smart grid informa-
tion center, TOC has gathered all the real-time data from the
other four projects and started to provide related information
to participating customers and suppliers. To meet security re-
quirements, the cyber security center handles all possible IT
The interconnection of renewable resources with existing supply is augmented by storage and compensation to achieve stable grid voltages in
the Smart Renewable project.
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A Penton

409TDLSFC.indd 1 8/18/2014 12:08:48 PM
409TDISiIc.indd 1 8/6/2014 2:06:16 PM | September 2014 1
By Jeff Wadsworth, Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association
When Disaster Strikes Twice
hen a disaster strikes, most
people think of frefghters, the
Red Cross, search-and-rescue
teams and others as frst responders to the
scene, but many forget a crew that is just as
critical the crew made up of linemen.
Poudre Valley Rural Electric Associa-
tion linemen were frst on the scene right
alongside frefghters and other frst re-
sponders when the High Park fre ignited
west of Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S., in
2012. In the fall of 2013, when foodwaters
gushed through the foothills and plains of northern Col-
orado, most of those same linemen were actually some of
the frst to gain access to the food-affected areas, provid-
ing necessary assistance in responding to the disaster.
Above and Beyond
A linemans job is truly a professional trade. Our line-
men are well educated, experienced and know the trade
like the backs of their hands. The job is already danger-
ous, considering linemen are working on distribution
lines every day, but add in the component of a natural
disaster, and the job becomes much more diffcult.
When dealing with fallen power lines from the food-
waters and forest fres, PVREA crews worked hard and
fast to restore power quickly, but they also kept safety
a priority. Its one thing to do routine maintenance on
a normal workday; its a completely different situation
when a natural disaster hits and work has to be done in
emergency mode, and lives are on the line. While job
safety is important to everyone no matter the occupa-
tion for linemen, there can be no slip ups, because
mistakes can cost a limb or, even worse, a life. Thats one
of the reasons linemen form lifelong bonds that last long
after they are done working as linemen.
Dual Disasters
When snow is falling hard, ice is accumulating on a
wood pole and the weather is so cold your fngers are
freezing inside your gloves, climbing a pole is, at the very
least, a diffcult task. When the winds are taking down
lines, and members are staying inside to keep out of the
rain and windy conditions, linemen are out in the ele-
ments, heading up in a bucket truck 40 ft off the ground.
When the High Park fre started on June 9, 2012, it was
a Saturday, and crews were spending time with their fami-
lies, enjoying their day off. However, when notifed about
the disaster, PVREA linemen quickly reported to duty
and headed into the foothills. The fre blazed across our
service territory and affected 1,700 mem-
bers, eventually destroying more than 250
homes, 10 miles of line and 400 poles.
The fre burned for four weeks, and at
one time, it came within 50 ft of one sub-
station. Crews worked in emergency mode
for three weeks, and by June 24, two weeks
after the fre started, all but 30 services
were restored. The fre was not even de-
clared 100% contained until July 1.
Even as the experiences of the High
Park fre still burned in our memories
and our members were struggling to rebuild, a year later,
another natural disaster inundated northern Colorado,
affecting many families in our service territory. In Sep-
tember 2013, a food hit the region and washed away 485
miles of roads, creating a literal roadblock for frst re-
sponders to get into some areas. In the hours after water
began to rise, PVREA crews were among the frst to gain
access and respond to the disaster. Because our trucks
have a high clearance, they were able to withstand rug-
ged conditions that allowed crews access to remote areas.
In areas where there were no offcial travel restric-
tions, crews worked into the night. They rotated shifts
over weekends and evening hours, bringing electricity to
those most in need. A PVREA management team traveled
out to the fooded areas every day to work with local and
federal offcials to gain access to areas without power as
soon as they were opened. In many cases, trucks followed
rights-of-way and forest service easements to repair lines.
During this second emergency, more than 2,600 of
our members were affected. Our crews worked nonstop,
but safety remained our top priority. The foodwaters
took down 150 poles and 160 spans of line. However, with
the hard work of our crews, we were able to restore ser-
vice to all but 300 members within one month.
Critical Coordination
In both natural disaster situations, coordinating
crews and material, and planning restoration took a well-
organized effort among emergency agencies and inter-
nally at the cooperative headquarters. It was critical to
ensure the safety of our crews while restoring power to
those who were without it as quickly as possible. This sig-
nifcant coordination and planning was crucial in allow-
ing crews access to where they needed to be and to have
the materials they needed to get the job done.
Of course, we hope never to see natural disasters like
these again, but we know we are ready to deploy if and
when a natural disaster strikes.
409TDLS45.indd 1 8/14/2014 11:30:23 PM
September 2014 |
Electric utility linemen replace lines and save
lives in the face of Mother Natures wrath.
By James R. Dukart, Contributing Writer
Herculean R
Jan. 16, 2014, a large wildre burns out of control in the
hills above Glendora, California. Fireghters, helicopters
and aircraft from many jurisdictions work to control it.
Courtesy of Digital Media Pro/
o state a simple fact: Electric utility linemen are
heroes and lifesavers. In the face of a wide range
of severe weather and natural disasters, it is elec-
tric utility line crews who jump into action early
as soon as they can. They traverse fallen trees, surging
rivers and smoldering forests to turn the lights back on
and restore lifesaving electricity to health care facilities
as well as lifesaving heating and cooling to businesses and
residences alike.
The 2013-2014 period may not have been the worst
extreme-weather stretch the U.S. has ever seen; in fact,
in many areas of the country, the weather was relatively
tame. No major hurricanes made continental landfall
during the 2013 hurricane season certainly nothing
on the order of Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy.
That said, as is always the case, extreme weather can hit at
any time and often targets a very specifc region. Over the
course of the last 12 months, utility crews have truly been
tested and, of course, proved their mettle in the face
of numerous severe-weather incidents.
Burning Up
A relatively dry winter and strong Santa Ana winds in
January 2014 kicked off the wildfre season earlier than
usual in Southern California, with the frst major wildfre
of the year ignited in mid-January by an illegal campfre
that blew out of control. The resulting Colby fre in the
San Gabriel Mountains of northern Los Angeles County
burned for about 10 days and covered 1,952 acres in total,
causing the evacuation of some 3,600 people at its peak.
It foreshadowed many more fres throughout Southern
California by the end of May 2014.
Mike Lorusso is the district manager for the Covina
Service Center of Southern California Edison (SCE) and
was one of the frst electric utility responders to the fre.
He was on the freeway on a day off from work, driving to
a golf tournament, when he received a call from another
SCE manager telling him not to go far, as there might be
a wildfre in his district. Lorusso said as he drove closer
to the fre, he saw the smoke plume and realized it was in
his district. The fre was in the canyons just north of our
district yard, he noted, so I turned around, came into
the offce and headed up there with Kermit Taggart, the
grid operations supervisor.
SCE personnel, though, frst have to wait for a fre to
clear before they are allowed to go in and perform dam-
age assessment and restoration work. So, initially, utility
observers simply watch from as close to the site as allowed
and begin putting together damage-assessment teams to
come in once a burn area is cleared.
In the case of the Colby fre, Lorussos team found
around 20 poles burned out, some of which had to be re-
placed by helicopter since they were in diffcult-to-access,
high mountain terrain. Wire and transformers also were
melted or damaged beyond repair because of high winds
blowing ash, dust and smoke into even those that had
escaped the fames.
The Colby fre may have been the kickoff to Southern
Californias 2014 wildfre season, but the real action came
in May. A heat wave early in the month and the aforemen-
409TDLS42.indd 2 8/18/2014 9:26:08 AM | September 2014 3
Southern California Edison crews
take the hill and restore power
to customers devastated by the
Colby re. Photo by Jean Anderson/
Courtesy of SCE.
409TDLS42.indd 3 8/18/2014 10:06:11 AM
September 2014 |
tioned dry Santa Ana conditions combined with strong,
seasonal winds to fan multiple wildfres in San Diego
County. By mid-May, California fre offcials said they
had already dealt with 1,400 wildfres, twice the normal
amount for that time of year. By early June, the number
had climbed to 2,120 fres, causing in excess of $60 mil-
lion in damage.
With all of this activity, 2014 has turned out to be a
propitious year for SCE to debut its new Incident Com-
mand Services T&D restoration program.
In 2013, another wildfre hot spot was Arizona, where
the Yarnell Hill fre resulted in the deaths of some 19 fre-
fghters, the worst loss of life in a wildland fre in nearly
80 years. The Yarnell Hill fre was started by a lightning
strike in late June 2013 and burned for about 12 days.
It resulted in the complete evacuation of the towns of
Yarnell (with a pre-fre population of about 700) and
Peeples Valley, 80 miles northwest of Phoenix, Arizona.
Electric utility Arizona Public Service (APS) not only
had to de-energize lines before the fre, but it also had
to restore service to the towns once the blaze burned
through. Travis Conner, a section leader for transmis-
sion maintenance and reliability from the Deer Valley
complex of APS, said the fre surprised everyone with
its ferocity and growth, starting small but soon enough
burning up the whole town, cutting power to at least
450 APS customers.
The town of Yarnell was about 90% wood poles. One
of the reasons was because it is nestled in between some
very large boulders, and we cant climb the [steel poles],
Conner said. We lost the majority of poles.
Transformers exploded or melted from the heat; alu-
minum wire either melted, burned up or annealed, Con-
ner continued, explaining that annealed metal becomes
rubbery and bends back and forth, and cannot continue
to reliably and safely carry electricity.
Walking through the town of Yarnell a day or two after
the fre, Conner said it felt like something between being
on the surface of another planet and the scene of a disas-
ter movie. Everything was still smoldering and smoking,
he recalled. It felt like going to a big crater on the moon.
Everyone in the area had propane tanks, too. We had to
wait for the fre guys to remove them or blow them up.
So there were still some fames coming out of the ground
from broken propane lines.
The Yarnell Hill fre is far from Conners only experi-
ence with what Mother Nature can do to electric trans-
mission and distribution systems. He cited monsoons in
the middle of summer in Arizona, and he also was part
of a mutual aid group that few to Connecticut to help in
post-Hurricane Sandy restoration. Our everyday train-
ing supports all kinds of inclement weather, Conner
noted. We are really good at our restoration efforts.
A Storm Called Pax
It feels like the trend of naming winter storms is a rela-
tively new one. If so, rarely has a moniker been further off
than that hung on an ice storm that ravaged the northern
half of Georgia in February 2014.
Dubbed Winter Storm Pax after the Roman goddess
of peace, Pax was anything but a peaceful occurrence for
the staff of Georgia Power. Featuring record-breaking
cold, combined with snow and ice that accumulated to
more than an inch thick on everything from roads to
power lines, Pax literally brought down the house
well, the poles and wires at least in a large portion of
Georgia Powers service territory. Hardest hit were south
metro Atlanta and the far eastern city of Augusta.
Drew Stover, a power crew leader with Georgia Power,
was actually called back from storm-restoration duty fol-
lowing a snowstorm in Pennsylvania to face off with Pax.
I have lived in Georgia all my life, and I have never seen
this much ice at one time, Stover commented. It was just
a lot of wind, snow and ice all in just a few days.
Once back in Georgia, and as the stormed moved
out, Stover was assigned to one of the 16 line crew per-
sonnel teams that drove to Augusta, perhaps the hardest-
Southern California Edison crews work to restore power to
Glendora, California, customers as quickly as possible follow-
ing the Colby re. Photo by Jean Anderson/Courtesy of SCE.
409TDLS42.indd 4 8/18/2014 11:57:47 AM | September 2014 5
hit area. We had a state patrol and
must have had a convoy of about 100
vehicles with tire chains on trying
to drive through the ice, he said.
We got assigned to a substation just
outside of Augusta. It was still ener-
gized, but all the distribution was out
for the whole station.
Utility line devastation in ice
storms is a result not only of the
line icing up, but also of tree limbs
icing up, getting heavy and falling
across lines. Poles come down from
vehicles skidding across icy roads
and highways. Refreezing can cause
even more problems when daytime
temperatures are warm, followed by
new ice formation that night or the
next day.
All in all, by the time three-day-storm Pax had slid
across Georgia, some 701,000 customers lost power, 375
poles had to be replaced, 2,800 strands of distribution
wire had to be repaired, 630 distribution transformers
had to be replaced and 44 transmission lines had to be
restored. Power was restored to those more than 700,000
customers all within about four days.
The utility used an estimated 8,000 employees, con-
tractors and personnel on loan from other utilities to
perform this Herculean task, including setting up six ma-
jor staging areas throughout the state, with contractors
and employees housed at some 800 hotel rooms across
40 hotels, more than 42,000 meals served and more than
25 vehicles rented plus several passenger buses provided.
Southern Company sister utilities Alabama Power, Gulf
Power and Mississippi Power contributed as many line-
men as they could. It was pretty amazing, Stover said.
We had over 8,000 people working this storm, and you
have to have somewhere for them to get material and
have them ready to go when and where needed. It was
really very impressive.
Gone in an Instant
Wildfres burn fast, but they can linger and leave
charred devastation in their wake. Ice storms wreak their
silent though deadly damage on utility lines and poles,
burdening trees with their weight and often hanging in
there with days or even weeks of freezing temperatures
to seal their grip. A tornado, however, does its damage in
mere seconds sometimes as long as minutes, but often
fractions of minutes and can tear apart both houses
and electrical equipment in a literal instant.
That is what happened in Arkansas on April 27, 2014,
when the frst twister of 2014 to earn an EF4 designation
wind speeds between 166 mph and 200 mph tore
through central Arkansas, leaving a 41-mile-long, half-
mile-wide path of destruction just north of Little Rock.
On the ground for nearly an hour, the storm killed
16 and caused an estimated $90 million to $120 million
in damages to utility infrastructure, according to Entergy
Arkansas CEO Hugh McDonald. Among the casualties
was the Mayfower substation, one of three main substa-
tions that provides power to Little Rock and its suburbs.
Adrian Greene, a distribution line supervisor for En-
tergy Arkansas, saw the damage frsthand. He was actu-
ally in Kansas City, Missouri, the weekend the tornado
hit, but he hustled back to Arkansas at the frst sign of
damaging weather back home. We dispatched limited
resources when the storm hit Sunday, and by Monday
morning, it was full threads in, Greene recounted.
Everybody was here to help.
The utility jumps into action in several ways when a
storm hits, according to Greene. First, the utility identi-
fes and assesses the damage. Next, it acts as quickly as
it can to restore power to life-safety and public-safety
locations, such as hospitals, nursing homes, emergency
call centers, fre and police stations, pumping stations
for municipal water treatment and the like. Next to or
simultaneously with that, the utility works to fnd alter-
nate routes for power to avoid any damaged substations.
The goal is to restore power as rapidly as possible while
keeping workers and the public safe; thus, it is more eff-
cient to isolate a damaged substation or feeder, fnd a new
route for the power and come back to make repairs later.
With the help of an estimated 100 staff and 400 out-
side contractors, Entergy Arkansas was able to restore
power to all who could take power that is, their homes
or businesses were not completely leveled or damaged be-
yond repair by the Thursday following Sundays twist-
er. Based on the damage he saw, Greene considered it a
tremendous accomplishment to get everyone back on-
Georgia Power crews restored power to more than 700,000 Georgia customers in a
four-day period during Winter Storm Pax.
409TDLS42.indd 5 8/18/2014 9:27:14 AM
September 2014 |
line within four days. All in all, he said, the utility man-
aged to replace 673 poles, 193 crossarms and 207 trans-
formers over those four days, helping to restore power to
more than 11,000 customers affected by the storm.
The restoration effort was helped by relatively calm,
good weather in the days after the tornado but also in-
volved repair challenges unique to tornadoes. One of
the subdivisions that was hit had a lot of underground ca-
ble, but the tornado moved padmount transformers and
relocated switchgear off of those pads, Greene pointed
out, adding that the force of the winds were such that
residents reported debris being picked up in the tornado
touchdown area and dropped to the ground again some
150 miles north, near the Missouri border.
Of Human Kindness
Electric utility linemen are heroes and lifesavers dur-
ing and after major storms, it is true. But every lineman
also will say they are only able to do what they do with
the help of dedicated, hardworking teams behind them
to arrange the logistics, vehicles, equipment, tools, work
schedules and other considerations that go into success-
ful electrical service restoration following a storm.
They also will point out the genuine goodness and hu-
man kindness that comes from shared tragedy. We are
really just out here trying to help people, said Stover of
Georgia Power. But, still, its humbling to see how people
go out of their way to help us. They bring us water, coffee,
a few snacks. We get invited in for supper.
Linemen who live in wildfre areas often tell stories
of having to evacuate their own homes while reporting
to duty to fght either that fre or a neighboring blaze.
Ice storms and tornadoes also do not magically skip
linemens houses, nor those of their friends, family and
neighbors. Yet, in the linemans world, the key goal after
a storm is to restore power as quickly and widely as pos-
sible, all while observing the necessary safety precautions
and procedures.
You hear a lot about the bad stuff in the world, said
Henry Matthew Linck, a senior lineman with Entergy
Arkansas who worked alongside Greene in post-torna-
do power restoration in April and May 2014. But then
something like this hits, and everyone pitches in and
puts things back together again. People come from all
over the U.S. to help out. Some have specialties and some
dont. It can be as simple as helping pick up and move
debris. It is all just a very good team effort, and it really
makes you feel good.

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409TDIS7.indd 1 8/6/2014 2:07:07 PM
September 2014 |
Linemen Rebuild for
Future Energy Needs
New technology and tools play a key role
in utilities plans to harden their systems
and curb outages.
By Amy Fischbach, Field Editor
ver the last 40 years, Michael Glueckert Sr.
has helped his brothers and sisters in the
line trade to build out the nations infra-
structure. Today, linemen are faced with a
new challenge: to meet the insatiable demand for power
by rebuilding, hardening and expanding the system
Right now, our whole country is being rebuilt and
new lines are being planned, said Glueckert, a journey-
man for NorthWestern Energy in Helena, Montana, and
a member of the National Lineman Hall of Fame. Over
the next 10 to 12 years, the transmission lines and infra-
structure of America will be strengthened.
Because of the rebuilding effort, some utilities may
have more work than they can handle. As a result, line-
men may be challenged to do more work with fewer re-
sources. To boost power reliability and minimize repair
times, utilities are installing more robust infrastructure
to guard against storm-related outages, increasingly
performing live-line work, installing wildlife protection
devices and deploying smart meter technology.
Hardening the System
As utilities are replacing aging assets, their feld work-
force is installing more robust infrastructure that can
handle severe storm events and stand the test of time.
Across North America, utilities are embarking on ma-
jor infrastructure rebuild projects, such as NorthWestern
Energy, which owns and operates the oldest steel trans-
mission line west of the Mississippi. Some of the struc-
tures date back to 1908, and, while they are still standing
and in good condition, the utility is replacing deterio-
rating structures with larger-class poles with steel arms.
Linemen are also shortening the span between poles and
installing high-strength wire.
We can carry twice the amperage and voltage with
Georgia Power linemen use a Temporary Arm Gain and Insula-
tor Saddle on overhead power lines. Ameren Illinois linemen set a new pole in Salem, Illinois.
409TDLS43new.indd 8 8/18/2014 11:59:37 AM
9 | September 2014
a simple reconductor changeout, Glueckert said. If we
have a rough ice storm, things will come down, but we are
trying to mitigate it so we can quickly come back in and
put things back together.
Other utilities also have signifcant recon-
ductoring projects underway, and, as linemen
drill more and more holes into poles, they may
fnd the crossarms are too weak to hold heavy
conductors. To solve this problem, Tony Kiser, a
distribution trainer at Georgia Power, invented
the Temporary Arm Gain and Insulator Saddle.
The non-boring support is designed to be used
specifcally with a fberglass arm and allows the
conductors to be mounted without the drilling
of additional holes.
Linemen are not only increasing the capacity
of their lines through reconductoring, but they
also are improving reliability by replacing rotted
wood crossarms and poles with structures made
from other materials. For example, SaskPowers
feld workforce replaced moss-covered wood
crossarms near a lake with polymer crossarms,
and Santee Coopers crews swapped out some
of its wood poles with light-duty steel poles in
South Carolina. Santee Coopers line crews used
a Champion or Hougen magnetic drill to frame
the Thomas & Betts/Meyer steel poles, which
come in two pieces and are easy to transport,
said Mark Marsh, supervisor of transmission for
Santee Cooper.
Ameren Illinois also is guarding against
storm-related outages by installing fberglass
crossarms from Maclean Power Systems, Power
Line Supply, Shakespeare Composite Structures
and Fletcher Reinhardt Co., and HD Supply for
the dead-end arms. Also, the linemen are install-
ing Trident and Duratel composite poles every fourth or
ffth structure on many of the distribution circuits for
its 69-kV lines. Because these poles do not require down
guys, they can serve as storm structures and prevent the
cascading of a line.
To withstand severe storms, Florida Power & Light Co.
(FPL) has invested more than $1.4 billion in its harden-
ing program since 2006. Over the last eight years, FPL
crews have installed concrete poles and employed design
standards to harden the main feeders serving key com-
munity facilities, such as hospitals, police and fre sta-
tions, and emergency operations centers, to withstand
minimum wind gusts of 130 mph.
In many cases, the system is rated up to 145 mph,
said Dave Herlong, manager of smart grid operations
for FPL.
Working Hot
As utilities are replacing aging infrastructure and
hardening their systems, they often fnd it is nearly im-
possible to take outages on a line. For example, at Santee
Cooper, it can be very challenging to get clearances on
Throughout North America, linemen are installing new infrastructure to
replace aging assets.
SaskPower linemen are replacing wood crossarms with ones
made of berglass near moisture-prone areas like lakes.
409TDLS43new.indd 9 8/18/2014 9:30:38 AM
September 2014 |
the 230-kV lines because of high loading in hot or cold
weather. Also, some of the cooperatives are not able to
backfeed their stations to give the utility clearance on
their taps on the 115-kV lines.
Because it is so diffcult to get outages, Santee Coo-
pers linemen are working live using A.B. Chance and
Hastings hot sticks. Through the utilitys internal mainte-
nance program, the linemen keep these hot sticks clean,
dry and in top condition.
We cant allow any moisture to get to them or it could
cause them to break down, Marsh explained. There is
a certain time when you can do hot work, and it is not
Leveraging the Benets of New Hand Tools
To keep their eld work both safe and productive, electric utilities are investing in specialized hand tools to
improve ergonomics. With more work to do with fewer resources, it is imperative for line crews to have the proper
tools and technology on hand. Here are some trends when it comes to hand tools for linemen:
1. Eliminate repetitive motion. Florida Power & Light Co. has invested in battery-operated crimpers and
cutters; Ameren Illinois has purchased presses, cable cutters and
drills; and Xcel Energy has invested in many of these hand tools
for its linemen, as well. By buying these ergonomic, labor-saving
hand tools for their linemen, these utilities are aiming to reduce
the number of sprains and strains as well as save time in the eld.
The linemen cant live without them, and they are the biggest
bang for our buck, said Tom Cascalenda, director of design and
construction for Xcel Energy.
2. Provide more power. Michael Glueckert, a journeyman
for NorthWestern Energy, said the ergonomic battery-operated
tools such as the cutters and presses have made a big difference
in his and other linemens lives, and he has been impressed
with the new load-pickup tools, Gator tools and different types
of wrenches out on the market. The kind of features that they
have built into them is something I thought I would never see,
Glueckert said.
3. Can share the same battery pack. Battery-operated
impact tools also have been benecial for Santee Coopers line
crews, who have been using them for the last three or four years.
The utility buys its tools from Milwaukee Tool, and by working
with a single vendor, the linemen can use the same battery for all
of the tools. Linemen are currently using battery-powered drills,
grinders, sawzalls and nut drivers, and these tools have many
benets over the hydraulic equipment. You dont have to worry
about hydraulic hoses being in your way or bursting and leaking,
said Mark Marsh, supervisor of transmission for Santee Cooper.
Also, theyre quicker than manual tools and a lot more efcient.
4. Save time. The new hand tools on the market also save a
signicant amount of time for linemen in the eld. For example, Marsh says his crews are gaining unprecedented
efciency from a new tool that can make one compression on a jumper terminal. The old 60-ton presses once made
seven or eight mashes on the jumper terminal, and they required linemen to perform the time-consuming task of
welding the bus in the substations. Now they can bring in two pieces of bus and, instead of welding it, compress
it with a compression-type coupling. It has really sped up our production and efciency, Marsh said. Its much
different from the old school, when we had to weld everything.
Santee Cooper crews are using a battery-pow-
ered impact tool to increase reliability and im-
prove ergonomics while working on the system.
The linemen use the DMC compression tool to
save time on the job site.
during times with high humidity or rain.
In Montana, NorthWestern Energy line crews also are
hot sticking using specialized tools from Chance. Glueck-
ert said through the practice of barehanding, transmis-
sion work is now easier for the line crews. Its all about
keeping our current fowing through the transmission
line, he said.
Another type of technology aiding live-line work on
high-voltage transmission lines is the robotic arm. We
are just breaking into that, and its still such a new thing,
Glueckert said. Our sister local unions and the contrac-
tors are using these arms in increasing numbers, and
409TDLS43new.indd 10 8/18/2014 9:31:54 AM
11 | September 2014
electric utilities also are improving reliability by prevent-
ing wildlife-caused outages. For example, squirrels and
other critters can infict signifcant monetary damage
and monumental outages when they sneak into a substa-
tion, and birds can land on energized equipment or peck
baseball-sized cavities into wood poles.
To extend the life of their assets while protecting
the avian wildlife, utilities are implementing a variety of
preventive measures. For example, when NorthWestern
Energy frst started 112 years ago, the linemen built
600-ft spans with high-strength steel wire and H-frame
wood structures in its transmission system to keep rates
lower for the ratepayer. Now that feld crews are rebuild-
in the future, I expect to see more robotic arms
used for live-line work.
One other tool improving the safety of live-
line work is called the Tri-Clamp, invented by
Bill DePue, west region line maintenance su-
perintendent for the Tri-State Generation and
Transmission Association, and sold by JobSite
Inc. Linemen can put the clamp on the end of
a shotgun stick, and by using it with the patent-
pending Boo-Sher socket, they can reduce con-
necting times on live jumpers by as much as 65%,
DePue said.
On transmission lines, installing energized
jumpers is one of the most dangerous jobs,
DePue said. Ive been doing it for 40 years, but now that
Im taking charge of younger linemen, I thought there
had to be a better way to do it.
Georgia Power crews also were facing issues when it
came to working on energized jumpers, and, as a result,
David McQuaig, a distribution supervisor, invented a
product called the Mechanical Jumper Aid to support the
jumper wire during maintenance and repairs. With this
tool, linemen can maintain continuity of electric service
temporarily when installing new equipment.
Protecting Wildlife and Minimizing Outages
Along with installing more robust infrastructure,
Georgia Power lineworkers use the Mechanical Jumper Aid for added
safety during maintenance.
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Avian Covers
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Easy Installation & Long Life CUSTOM SOLUTIONS
Stinger Covers
Various Sizes & Lengths
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Outage Protection
Cutout Cover
ZAP Cover
Has Active
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Bushing Cover
409TDLS43new.indd 11 8/18/2014 9:31:30 AM
September 2014 |
ing the infrastructure and shortening the spans, the line-
men are installing raptor-proof construction.
In the wintertime, the utility sends out crews to change
the construction of some of the existing lines to protect
the birds. For example, linemen install high-voltage in-
sulation and smart grid air breaks on the transmission
system. To protect the raptors, the system is well insulated
and has a greater phase cycle. In addition, the feld crews
install raptor-insulating hoods on the center phase and
all of the conductors on the steel poles. Also, the util-
ity has increased the clearance on its lines so birds can
spread their wings and not get killed.
We are one of the best in the nation when it comes to
protecting the birds, Glueckert said. It is very personal
to us linemen, and we have a lot of compassion for the
birds. As our country is growing, we have to live side by
side with each other and its creatures, and we are all in
this together.
Other utilities also are taking measures when it comes
to avian protection. Ameren Illinois installs 10-ft cros-
sarms to maintain clearances between phases, and line-
men install cutout covers, arrester covers and polymer
line coating from Tyco Corp. for the jumper wires. Line-
men also carry rubber sleeves to place over large conduc-
tors and install line guards and polymer covers on the
existing lines.
When it comes to transformer design, the entire set-
up of the apparatus on the pole has changed, said Jason
Freeman, electric operations supervisor and journeyman
lineman for Ameren Illinois. Now, anything above the
secondary bushings on the transformer is covered up
with a polymer or rubber coating to make it almost im-
possible for an animal- or bird-related outage. As a result,
the avian protection efforts have not only protected the
birds, but also improved customer reliability. Since 2012,
Ameren Illinois has retroftted 1,400 structures on more
than 150 circuits in high-density raptor areas and have
greatly reduced the number of injured birds of prey.
When there is a single transformer outage and the
power is out, it is usually due to a bird, raccoon or other
animal, Freeman said. Not only are we protecting the
wildlife by covering up our transformers and conductors,
but we are also preventing a huge number of outages to
keep our customers in service.
FPL also is taking measures to prevent outages caused
by birds and animals. Through its avian protection pro-
gram, engineers and line crews must evaluate engineer-
ing standards for new construction and major mainte-
nance projects to determine if specifc avian design and
construction standards are required for the location.
FPL has improved avian protection and reduced out-
age risk through proper spacing of multiple-phase sets of
lines, installation of bird fight diverters, cones and other
bird discouragers, as well as the installation of avian pro-
tection devices on lines and pole-mounted equipment.
The devices include covers, spacers and use of insulated
line or tough rubber covers on bond wires and jumpers.
FPL also has relocated more than 150 osprey nests to new
platforms it erected to protect the birds and their fedg-
lings as well as to prevent power outages.
In Santee Coopers service territory, buzzards and
cranes often land on the infrastructure and woodpeck-
ers infict damage in the wood poles. To protect its wood
poles, linemen fll the cavity with iFoam and then place a
cloth canvas over the hole. The iFoam expands into the
void and brings it back to 99% of its full strength. Line-
men then wrap their poles with a high-grade, mesh metal
wire when they see signs of woodpecker damage.
We do an aerial and ground patrol each year, and if
we fnd wood poles that are damaged by woodpeckers or
termites, we can make the pole back to new again with
the iFoam, Marsh said. If it is beyond repair, then we go
ahead and replace it.
Deploying Smart Technology
Another way utilities are improving customer service
A technician installs an automated feeder switch mounted
on utility pole. FPL has installed 4.6 million smart meters and
more than 11,000 additional intelligent devices.
409TDLS43new.indd 12 8/18/2014 9:32:23 AM
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409TDIS13.indd 1 8/6/2014 2:07:33 PM
September 2014 |
and reliability is by installing smart meter technology
and related equipment. For example, at Ameren Illinois,
linemen are installing a smart grid technology called
IntelliRupters from S&C Electric. Unlike automatic
reclosers, they can communicate with other pieces of
equipment and work in series with three different units
spread out over a few different circuits through an
IntelliLink system.
If there is a fault, they can talk to another IntelliRupt-
er and indicate that they need power to come from the
other direction, Freeman explained. Then within a sec-
ond or two, power is restored instead of us having to deal
with an isolated section of line.
At FPL, smart grid technology has helped the feld
crews to improve service to customers by predicting many
potential outages and restoring service faster when the
power goes out. Crews can now pinpoint the location of
outages and speed up repairs. Also, advanced sensors
and switches quickly identify an outage and reroute pow-
er around the trouble spot, preventing it from spreading
to other areas.
Over the last seven years, the utility has deployed 4.6
million smart meters across its 27,000-sq-mile service
area. To help its feld workforce reap the benefts of the
smart grid technology, the utility has invested in rugge-
dized iPad tablets with a military-grade cover and screen
FPLs Restoration Spatial View program gives restora-
tion workers crucial information from different systems,
providing them with one-stop shopping on their iPads
from Apple Inc. The program combines real-time out-
age information, weather radar and alerts, electrical net-
work information, customer energy usage and voltage. It
also provides crews with immediate access to restoration
crew location, meter status and more all layered on a
map view.
After restoring service following an outage, we used
to have to walk from house to house or block to block to
ensure all customers in the area had service, said Rich-
ard Britt Jr., a line specialist who has been with FPL for
more than 10 years. Today, with our iPads and other
tools, we can now fnd them with a few keystrokes. It has
beneftted the customer, minimized outages and reduced
downtime because we are more effcient.
Another key beneft of the technology is the feld
workforce now knows about an impending failure, like a
transformers overvoltage condition, before it even hap-
pens. The utility aggregates the smart meter data coming
from the equipment, and if it is not operating correctly,
then it tags the transformer for replacement, schedules
the outage and issues a work ticket to the line crews
through the wireless area network in their vehicles. So
far, FPL has proactively replaced more than 500 trans-
formers, preventing outages for thousands of customers.
Also, it has minimized weekend or late-night calls to line
crews to replace equipment.
From a crew member perspective, it has taken the
guessing game out of the equation, Britt said. When a
transformer is about to fail, we can prevent an unneces-
sary outage. We can see the health of some of this equip-
ment and avoid unnecessary interruptions.
By investing in the latest tools and technology for
their feld workforce, utilities are fnding ways to improve
linemens productivity while hardening their systems,
replacing aging assets, minimizing outages and deploy-
ing smart technology. Glueckert believes opportunities
abound for linemen because of the nationwide building
effort, and by working together, linemen can help the na-
tion to meet its future energy needs.
Our linemen numbers in America may double be-
cause of the transmission and distribution infrastructure
rebuild, Glueckert said. Our country will always have a
great demand for linemen as we try to achieve uninter-
ruptible power.
Using an iPad, Richard Britt Jr. uses FPLs Restoration Spatial
View in the eld for real-time access to extensive, detailed
information about the grid.
Ameren Illinois crews are installing IntelliRupters as part of the
companys smart grid program.
409TDLS43new.indd 14 8/18/2014 9:32:58 AM
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September 2014 |
Utility Powers Through
Fire, Flood and Snow
Colorados PVREA manages its response
to a double-whammy natural disaster.
By James R. Dukart, Contributing Writer
irst, there was fre. Then, there were foods. To-
day, there is relative tranquility. But, for both
the members and employees of the Poudre Val-
ley Rural Electric Association (PVREA), there
also are indelible memories of a double-whammy natural
disaster that would have tested the mettle of any utility,
large or small.
PVREA is a distribution cooperative that serves some
35,000 consumers spread out among 2,000 sq miles of
mountainous terrain in northern Colorado. The coop-
eratives 89 full-time employees support some 3,600 miles
of overhead, underground and transmission line. The re-
gion includes the Arapahoe National Recreation Area to
the northwest of Denver and Boulder, the Rocky Moun-
tain National Park and the Roosevelt National Forest just
a bit farther north; in fact, the region stretches up to the
ColoradoWyoming border in the north.
Mountains, dense forests and deep canyons best de-
scribe the terrain a natural playground for those who
love to hike, camp, fsh, hunt and enjoy the outdoors.
However, in back-to-back summers in 2012 and 2013, this
natural playground and its topography was square in the
bulls-eye of historic meteorological events.
Fanning the Flames
Poudre Valleys tough stretch of weather actually
started in the winter and spring of 2011-2012, when the
area suffered through a seasonal drought, getting less
than 15% of its average seasonal precipitation. By early
summer 2012, temperatures already were climbing above
June 11, 2012, a Sikorsky S-64 Aircrane reghting helicopter drops water on a hot spot burning close to homes near Horsetooth
Reservoir near Laporte, Colorado. Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images.
409TDLS44.indd 16 8/18/2014 9:34:40 AM
17 | September 2014
90F. Thus, by the time a lighting strike set off the High
Park fre on June 9, conditions were ripe for the fre to
spread and spread fast.
In the PVREA region, there were at least a dozen
named fres that summer, including the Waldo Canyon
fre and High Park fre, each of which grew to be among
the largest and most destructive fres in the states history.
Lightning strikes were the most common fre starter, but
tinderbox conditions led to at least one fre being started
by sparks thrown up from an automobile wheel follow-
ing a tire blowout. Perhaps most ironically, the Woodland
Heights fre in Estes Park was started by a power line rub-
bing against a pine tree in very high winds.
Bill Unruh, a lineman with 26 years of ex-
perience at PVREA who is now a working fore-
man, was a lead lineman when the fres hit and
one of the frst responders for the utility. Ac-
cording to Unruh, during the frst few days of a
fre, all the electric utility can do is de-energize
lines at the request of frefghters to make it
safe for fre crews to spray water or other fame
suppressors on downed lines.
In the case of the High Park fre, within
hours, Unruh and others could tell this was a
fre the likes of which they had never seen be-
fore, based simply on the number of requests to
take down lines. We had to battle a fre or two
before, but none near the gravity of this one,
Unruh said.
Next, utilities must wait until fre areas have
been cleared by frefghters for re-entry. In
the case of the High Park fre, that was com-
plicated by the fact wind conditions
kept changing. As the fre burned
through one area, it often double-
backed with a change of wind direc-
tion and burned the area again.
The High Park fre traveled 25
miles overnight on the frst night,
said Terry Willis, who is now retired
but in 2012 served as PVREAs engi-
neering representative supervisor.
He oversaw four staff engineers as
well as four groups of contract engi-
neers who helped to restore power
after the fre. We had so much wind
fanning the fames and such dry con-
ditions, he recalled.
Furthermore, years of devasta-
tion by pine beetles had left many
dead trees standing in the area, only
adding quite literally in this case
more fuel to the fre, according to
Willis. The sad thing is this fre was
blowing so fast that often it would burn through quickly
and then, after a few days, the wind would change and it
would blow back on itself, Willis said. Everything would
get burned again.
That pattern meant utility crews were kept out for
days and up to weeks at a time, as the fre was not con-
sidered fully contained until the end of June. When they
were allowed into burned-out or contained areas, line-
men reported seeing considerable devastation of electric
Aluminum wire would be gone, poles gone, there
might be 6 ft of a charred wood pole still sticking out of
Reliable Power partnered with PVREA to respond to burned lines throughout the
High Park burn area.
A PVREA lineman assesses the damage in Rist Canyon following the High
Park re.
409TDLS44.indd 17 8/18/2014 10:20:00 AM
September 2014 |
September 2014 |
the ground, said Andy Apodaca, a lead lineman with 22
years of experience at PVREA. Transformers were on
the ground, burnt out. Anything plastic was gone. The
wire got so hot that there were puddles of aluminum,
Apodaca added.
Service restoration amounted to power customer tri-
age, in a manner of speaking. Willis and his engineering
crews tried to determine which circuits were most critical
to restore frst dependent, to a large degree, on getting
permission to re-enter a burned-out area and then
would work outward from substation to single-phase lines
farther out. The job consisted primarily of replacement,
not repair, Apodaca noted, as much of the utilitys infra-
structure had been damaged beyond repair.
For the duration of the summer of 2012, PVREA
held daily meetings at 4:30 p.m., during which feld and
offce employees would update each other on restora-
tion plans and progress. We would send crews out at
daybreak with staking sheets, and theyd come back at
3 p.m. so we could enter the information and plan the
next few days, Willis said. That also helped us with
planning for materials. Communication between man-
A Hot Very Hot Summer Internship
On the afternoon of June 9, 2012, Ryan Nelson had just arrived home to his
parents house near Fort Collins, Colorado, all set for a summer break after his rst
year studying at Washington State University. Little did he know, a lightning strike
on a bone-dry Colorado mountainside that day would present him with a real-world
opportunity that not only complemented his studies but made for an even greater
learning experience.
It was my dad who rst pointed out the smoke column to me, Nelson said of
the Colorado wildre, which had started that morning with a lightning strike in the
Colorado mountains west of Fort Collins, rolled down Rist Canyon toward the city,
burned for three full weeks eventually burning more
than 87,250 acres and destroyed some 259 homes.
By the time the High Park re was contained, it had
become Colorados most destructive re.
On that June day, Nelson headed straight to the Rist
Canyon volunteer re department and embarked on
what became one heck of a summer internship. First up,
he was assigned to a crew that went around and alerted
residents to the danger of the fast-approaching re.
Conditions were set for this re to explode, and it did,
Nelson recalled. Evacuation orders started at the top of
the canyon; on day one, Nelson, fellow volunteers and
professional reghters were on duty until late at night
getting people out. By the time Nelson had come back
the next morning, the re had moved 20 miles down the
canyon overnight.
I had never seen a re like this, Nelson commented. It had moved a lot overnight, and it changed directions
about every three or four days. The re was also going downhill, and you dont expect that. Fires usually burn uphill.
But the fuels were so dry, the wind was so strong and the re was so hot that there was no way to contain it.
Regarding the electric utility damage of the High Park re, Nelson noted the main thing reghters do is try
to mitigate their risk around electric wires and poles that are down. We have to make sure we are in constant
communication around anything electrical, Nelson said. Among the most important safety steps is to identify wires
and poles on the ground and keep everyone away until the utility crews can get there.
Nelson worked as a volunteer on the High Park re through September 2012 and decided to transfer to nearby
Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado, to nish his degree. His current plans are to continue to volunteer
wherever and whenever he can ghting mountain wildres, but he also is interested in traveling to different parts of
the country and would not rule out urban reghting, if given the opportunity.
I would go anywhere and would like to see the rest of the country, having spent most of my time in the West,
Nelson observed. Wherever life takes him, Nelson has no doubt about what he wants to do. Ive always known, from
an early age, that I wanted to ght res, he stated. I dont remember exactly how or why that started, but here I am,
and it looks like Im going to end up doing what I want.
Near the top of Rist Canyon, the re continues on day two.
Ryan Nelson is a member
of the Rist Canyon volunteer
re department.
409TDLS44.indd 18 8/18/2014 10:42:57 AM
19 | September 2014
agement and line workers was really great.
In all, the High Park fre would burn for almost three
full weeks and scorch some 87,000 acres of PVREAs ser-
vice territory. The fre destroyed 259 homes and took one
life. Some 1,700 electric services were affected, including
those shut down to protect frefghters. PVREA suffered
more than $2.5 million in damages, lost 390 poles and 14
miles of line. The utility recorded more than 14,000 man-
hours of restoration work, not including its offce team.
Two weeks after the fre was fully contained, PVREA re-
ported that all but 30 active services had been restored.
Next, the Floods
PVREA employees had hardly caught their breath
from the 2012 fre restoration when the utilitys service
territory was hit with a natural disaster of similar force
though delivered in a completely different medium.
This time, water, in the form of epic rainstorms and fash
fooding, was the issue. Starting on Sept. 9, 2013, a very
slow-moving cold front stalled over much of northern
Colorado, mixing with warm, humid air from the south
and creating torrential rain that resulted in catastrophic
fooding right in the heart of PVREA country.
Boulder County was hardest hit; with an average an-
nual precipitation of 20.7 inches, the county got dumped
on with 17.5 inches of rain in just one week, from Sept.
9-15. The other two PVREA counties Larimer and
Weld fared hardly any better, with 16 inches and 14
inches of rain each, respectively, over just a few days.
Geography, as well as recent history, only added to the
deluge. The deep canyons, yawning gulches and steep
mountain terrain only added force to raging foodwa-
ters, which spread across nearly 200 miles. At least 1,750
people and 300 pets had to be rescued by air and ground.
Some 11,750 people were evacuated, nearly 19,000 homes
were damaged and another 1,500 were destroyed.
Some 30 state highway bridges were destroyed and an
additional 20 were seriously damaged or submerged. On
Sept. 12, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper declared a
disaster emergency in 14 Colorado counties, including
all three counties in PVREAs service territory. Just as the
drought that preceded the fres of 2012 made them burn
faster and more furious, land that had just been scorched
a year before added force and velocity to the foodwaters.
That is because wildfres clear out trees and forest un-
dergrowth to impede surging water, in addition to leav-
ing the ground almost hydrophobic, or water-repelling.
Water that would normally sink into the ground both
409TDLS44.indd 19 8/18/2014 10:58:09 AM
September 2014 |
pools on top and rushes along the surface of a burn scar
and, in the case of Colorados mountains and valleys, gets
a boost from gravity. Canyons become wave machines
and gulches become lakes in a matter of minutes. Flood-
waters also bring tree limbs, rocks and brush hurtling
down the canyons, driving people and animals out while
also knocking down power poles, dropping power lines
and tearing up roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
To put the fooding in perspective, the National
Weather Service rule of thumb is that wildfre burn scar
areas are considered susceptible to fash fooding from a
0.5 inch of rainfall. On Sept. 12, Boulder County received
9.08 inches of rain. The destruction had begun.
Oh, boy, the foods, recalled Unruh. It was very dra-
matic. We had 19 inches of rain in a very short period of
time. And you have steep mountains and deep canyons.
That is an awful lot of water coming down in one place. I
have never seen anything like it.
As with the Colorado fres of 2012, the 2013 fooding
caused tremendous damage to PVREAs infrastructure
and required an all-hands-on-deck mentality to get pow-
er restored. In the end, the utility estimates it spent an ad-
ditional $1.3 million on food damage repair, had 2,600
services affected, and lost 150 power poles and 160 spans
of line, along with numerous meters and transformers as
well as damage to other facilities.
That said, PVREA staff note a couple of the more
noteworthy contrasts between restoration after a fre and
that following a food.
Fire goes through and then you go in and fx cir-
cuits, Unruh said. But the foods made accessibility so
tough. Roads and bridges were wiped out, and we could
not get our normal construction equipment in anywhere.
Everything we did felt like it was on a four- or six-wheeler.
Apodaca echoes that, commenting on having to fol-
low a pole line straight up a mountain with backhoes and
ATVs, as the roads on the base of the mountain had been
all washed out.
Ben Ludington is currently a construction supervisor
and safety coordinator for PVREA but also has spent fve
years as a lineman at PVREA and many more years as a
lineman in Alaska. He was on duty with PVREA for both
the foods and fres, and says another difference is the
duration of each event, which, in turn, affects accessibil-
ity for restoration work afterward.
With a food, you have to wait for the waters to re-
cede, Ludington notes. I dont even know how many
poles we lost, but we lost a whole canyon for three
months. When bridges get washed out, they cant be put
back up right away. Sometimes we had to drive 15 miles
past where wanted to be just to fnd a road or bridge to
get us back there.
Willis also talked about the slow motion of restoring
after a food as compared to a fre. In addition, he points
out that, while the fre was concentrated in one county,
food damage stretched across county lines, meaning res-
toration crews would need to coordinate re-energization
of lines with neighboring counties, the U.S. Forest Service
and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Another
anomaly of food restoration at least as compared to
fre restoration in Colorados mountains was the com-
munities of customers high up on mountainsides whose
structures were relatively unaffected by the foodwaters,
but whose services were out because of all the feeder lines
coming from lower altitudes.
Finally, and ironically, as if to add one more straw
to the fgurative camels back, in early May 2014, as the
story of PVREAs remarkable restoration efforts was be-
ing researched and reported, the PVREA territory got hit
with a late spring Mothers Day, in fact snowstorm
that dumped more than 2 ft of snow in a period of hours.
Apodaca, Ludington and Unruh were among those log-
ging long hours and days endeavoring to maneuver heavy
equipment in 2 ft of fresh snow to restore power lost from
snow-laden trees downing power lines or vehicles skid-
ding into power poles just off icy roads.
As a lineman, we are a proud group, Unruh said. I
always say to my crews, If it was easy, anybody could do
it. When your power goes out, we get the lights back on.
Thats why were out here.
On May 14, 2014, a snowstorm dumped more than 2 ft of snow
in a period of hours in Colorado.
Flooding waters destroyed a section of County Road 22H in
Loveland, Colorado.
409TDLS44.indd 20 8/18/2014 10:47:51 AM
409TDISibc.indd 1 8/12/2014 4:42:52 PM
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Smart Meter Saddle Bracket
Ventevs Wireless Solutions Saddle Bracket was
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The Saddle Brackets adjustable saddle design ts
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Preassembled Aerial Cable
Kerites preassembled aerial cable is designed for use
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69 | September 2014
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71 | September 2014
Asplundh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC
*Asplundh Construction Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64c
Bentley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Black & Veatch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
BMK Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Burndy, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Burns & McDonnell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC
Camlin Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Cantega Technologies Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
*CBS ArcSafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
CG Power Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Cheryong Electric Co. LTD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Engineered Endeavors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
FWT, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
G&W Electric Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
GE Digital Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
*General Cable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1a
Greenlee Textron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
*Harleman Mfg. LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64o
Hastings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64aa
HDR Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Hubbell Power Systems Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Hubbell Power Systems Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Hubbell Power Systems Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BellyBand
Hughes Brothers Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
IFD Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Kaddas Enterprises Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Krenz & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56-57
*Mabey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64k
Meramec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Midwest Access Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
NLMCC/NECA-IBEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Nordic Fiberglass Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Okonite Co. The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
*Osmose Utilities Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64m
PLH Group Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Power Engineers Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Quanta Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
RTDS Technologies Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
S&C Electric Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC
Sabre Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Schweitzer Engineering Labs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
*Scott Powerline & Utility Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64e
*Siemens AG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1b
Stantec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
*Sterling Lumber Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24b
*Sterling Lumber Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64n
TDW Grid Vids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
TDW Vegetation Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Thomas & Betts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
*Townsend Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64f
Trinity Meyer Utility Structures, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Vaisala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Valmont/Newmark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
*Vanquish Fencing Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64l
*Williamson-Dickies MFG. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64g
September 2014 | 72
the breakthrough that transforms todays low-load factor grid
to provide greater utilization levels by 2050. Wind and solar
resources will be made more effective. Energy storage also will
unlock greater operational and economic value for rooftop
solar panels, making them affordable (without subsidy) with
greater value from aggregation in the broader marketplace.
Transmission will advance to enable the choices of supply
and market reach. Although some see DERs as the death of
transmission, it is quite the reverse. Transmission enables mar-
ket reach across many states for aggregators and customers. A
DER may achieve a better price point (or lease arrangement)
if a customer or aggregator can use it in a greater marketplace,
especially enabled by energy storage.
Transmission will also enable fuel transformation in the
U.S. Per EIAs report, central station energy resources will re-
main a strong player through mid-century enabled by trans-
mission. Energy from coal will be surpassed by natural gas
in 2035, or probably a decade sooner given the recently an-
nounced environmental regulations. Renewable energy will
grow over 3% annually, with solar growing over 7% annually.
Distribution will advance in visibility, control and network
ability. Grid operators at the distribution level will emerge to
interface with transmission grid operators and markets. De-
mand response will lose its limited defnition, and custom-
ers will be able to engage fully as market players, helping to
achieve better affordability of electricity. A next-generation
grid operating system at the distribution level will be needed
to interface seamlessly with a next-generation energy manage-
ment system run by transmission grid operators.
The explosion of controllable grid elements and market
players by 2050 will challenge todays grid operating systems,
calling for millisecond-level operational controls beyond hu-
man interaction ability. The glue will be a reliable, robust, in-
terconnected, transparent, resilient and secure transmission
grid, seamlessly connected to transformed distribution net-
works that smartly interact with customers and their systems.
Grid 2050 will be foundational to the economy. Winning
business models will lead the transformation. Losing business
models will be nostalgically yearning for incandescence.
By Mike Heyeck, The Grid Group, LLC
Grid 2050 Reality Check
hat will the electric grid be like in 2050? Will cen-
tral station power plants dominate? Will distributed
energy resources penetrate? Will transmission be
needed? Will distribution be smart? Will electricity be afford-
able? Too often, we envision the grids future in a top-down
manner. Lets look bottom-up from a customers view, which is
the best reality check for any business and its future.
Customers in 2050 will be smarter, more discerning and
will not tolerate todays level of outages and power quality.
They will not dedicate greater budget for electricity without
greater value.
The 2050 customer in a maturing digital age will pursue
universal power supply with added choices such as distributed
energy resources (DERs) with an energy storage or a micro-
grid option. Energy choices with the market reach of the grid
will mitigate rising prices and help ensure supply reliability.
Most 2050 customers will continue to fnd value with a grid
connection. The grid connection may be a fxed charge, with
a separate energy-consumption charge, but additional service
packages may develop to provide more sophisticated energy
Effciency in 2050 for appliances, heating/cooling systems,
hot water heaters and other end-use devices may be bundled
and interface with supply and market choices. Multiple dc-ac
electricity conversions at the customer level may result in inter-
nal customer dc networks in parallel with ac networks to gain
greater effciencies, particularly in larger customer settings.
In the U.S. Energy Information Administrations (EIAs)
2014 Annual Energy Outlook report, the potential for ad-
ditional uses of electricity over other forms of energy are cited
to increase demand through 2040 and beyond.
Although per capita energy use may decline per EIAs re-
port, population will increase, and a stronger economy might
well yield greater demand. If electricity in a prosperous society
is viewed as a comfort rather than a commodity, even greater
use may occur.
From a customer supply perspective, central station energy
resources will continue to hold a strong position with greater
DER penetration. Both regulated and unregulated players will
develop various business models for DERs. Critical for the sup-
ply side are interconnection standards that allow all resources,
including DERs, to ride through grid technical issues, to reg-
ulate grid interface attributes (for example, voltage), and to
communicate seamlessly with grid operators and marketers.
Energy storage, at the grid level and customer level, will be
Michael Heyeck ( is the founder of The
Grid Group, LLC. He previously served as senior vice president
of transmission at American Electric Power. He is president of
the CIGR U.S. National Committee and was a member of the
Department of Energy Electricity Advisory Committee.
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 me 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
January: Sustainable Design
February: Communications for the Modern Grid
March: 3-D Design
May: IEC 61850
June: Transformers
July: High-Voltage Direct Current
September: Grounding
October: Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC)
Advanced Substation Design
For more information about our experience or the webinar series, go to
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