A general response to the articles by Michael Deggendorf and by Paul Afonso, Lauren Azar, Dian Grueneich, James Hoecker in our August 2016 issue
Two articles in the August 2016 issue made the irrefutable case that we need to shore up grid resilience. I can’t argue with those measures. But I’m not sure that they are getting to the root of the problem. Perhaps we need to spend more time asking whether small decentralized systems can accomplish the same end as the large systems.
Strategy to Mitigate Risks of Catastrophic Events
Harjeet Johal, Kenneth Collison, Elliot Roseman, Dan Rogier
Grid Assurance is a coalition of six major U.S. utilities dedicated to providing a cost-effective solution to address the increasing threats to the security of power supplies. Grid Assurance and its consultants created a first-of-a-kind framework to help reduce restoration times following a severe attack from months to weeks or days.
Including mobile substations in Strategic Transformer Reserve Program
Both spare large power transformers, and emergency mobile substations, have critical roles in the U.S. Department of Energy's Strategic Transformer Reserve Program, STRP. An emergency mobile substation can literally roll onto the site on the bed of a truck, run connecting wires to the power lines, and bypass all of the damaged substation equipment, allowing electricity to flow again within hours.
New Approach to Recovery from Catastrophic Losses of Grid Facilities
Paul Afonso, Lauren Azar, Dian Grueneich and James Hoecker
How to adequately prepare for recovery from catastrophic losses: Doing nothing may minimize cost in the short run, but it leaves electricity customers exposed to the risk of extended outages. At the other extreme, having each utility purchase its own dedicated inventory of critical equipment would be duplicative and prohibitively expensive for utility customers. A shared inventory model offers a sensible middle-ground approach.
Grid Assurance, innovative industry-driven response
Subscribers can reduce their costs by 30 to 70 percent compared with maintaining their own stockpile.
Play Station Controls Guide Robot on Concrete Inspection Trips
EPRI has designed a robot for inspecting hard-to-reach concrete surfaces. A robotic inspection system would eliminate the need to use scaffolding or rappelling for routine structural evaluations, eliminating the associated setup challenges, time requirements, costs, and safety hazards.
Harmonics Studies Needed to Assess Vulnerabilities
NERC recently issued reliability standards in response to the potential for geomagnetic disturbances to disrupt operations and possibly damage assets. The power industry appears to have placed undue emphasis on GMD’s threat to transformers. Our studies and those by others have underscored the value to transmission organizations in assessing their vulnerability to harmonics.
We talked with Jim Fama, retiring and on his last day at EEI, about his remarkable career.
Jim Fama, with Steve Mitnick
Jim Fama was the Edison Electric Institute’s vice president for energy delivery since 2002.
We went to Allentown and talked with Bill Spence.
Bill Spence, with Steve Mitnick
What are the most exciting things happening at PPL? What were the biggest challenges in that journey? Were there some tough challenges you had to get through?
Security must be organizational – simply complying will leave you vulnerable.
Chip Scott, Justin Lowe, and Amanda Levin
Workforce Management: Because standards are aimed only at critical assets, cyber security must be holistic – with all employees involved.