Linemen News: April

News Highlights from the Electric Power Industry

Here are some industry news and information articles from around the web, just for you.

Simplifying Distribution Automation in Substations and Pole Tops

Utility substation automation schemes are typically complex, involving a variety of intelligent electronic devices (IEDs), microprocessor-based relays, meters, and monitoring devices. The information collected is then sent to communication processors or RTUs, before being passed on to proprietary HMI interfaces, SCADA Master Stations, Energy Management Systems (EMS), and/or enterprise networks. >> Read more

U.S. utilities take action to help mitigate severe impacts of COVID-19 pandemic

Over the past few weeks, Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG), Entergy, Portland General Electric (PGE), The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) and Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy (TVA) have all announced actions that they are taking to help during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

Many utilities have simultaneously announced suspension of disconnection due to non-payment and delayed payment plans for their customers who are impacted by the virus. >> Read more

How One Fabrication Shop in Alabama Is Powering Through the Pandemic

Drive one hour south of Birmingham and you will find the not-so-small town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, county population of more than 207,000. Known as the home of the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa is rich in history, arts, young professionals, rooted families, and famous Southern hospitality. At the heart of this college town is a culture of trade workers and quality craftsmanship.

At the edge of downtown Tuscaloosa sits Dixie Mechanical Inc., a mechanical contractor with local roots and a national footprint. Dixie Mechanical serves as an industrial fabrication contractor on projects with the nation’s largest engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firms. Since 2002, the fabrication shop (Figure 1), project managers, estimators, draftsmen, and the entire team have been providing quality craftsmanship and project management to clients working on some of the largest power, energy, oil, gas, and chemical construction projects that keep America running. These projects are essential to the nation’s infrastructure. >> Read more

National Grid suspends pending rate increases in response to COVID-19

Utilities are continuing to expand their response to the spread of coronavirus, taking steps to reduce hardship on customers who are already facing economic uncertainty.

“We have made the commitment to help our customers through these challenging times,” National Grid interim U.S. President Badar Khan said in a statement. “We will continue to closely monitor our customers’ needs during the pandemic and find new ways to assist where we can.”

>> Read more

PG&E, SCE abandon big microgrid plans for temporary emergency measures as wildfire season nears

California’s plans to use microgrids to limit the 2020 impacts of preventive power outages will be delayed after utility solicitations revealed cost and deployment complexities.

The top priority of a California microgrid proceeding is to reduce impacts on customers of the public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), implemented by the utilities to reduce wildfire risks. But bids in response to solicitations by the state’s two biggest investor-owned utilities (IOUs) found only temporary microgrid deployments are financially viable and none will meet clean energy advocates’ call for including customer-owned distributed energy resources (DER). >> Read more

Be Prepared. Think Safety.