Fortnightly Top Innovators 2018
Howard Gugel is Senior Director – Engineering and Standards, NERC.
Steve Mitnick is Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly and President of Lines Up, Inc.
PUF: What you do at NERC?
Howard Gugel: I'm the senior director of engineering and standards. For most of my career at NERC, I've worked in standards development. I've assisted industry experts as they developed reliability standards, guided them through the process, and delivered those standards to our board of trustees for their adoption.
Then, I shepherded them through the regulatory process with FERC to have them approved as mandatory and enforceable reliability standards. I also worked with our partners in Canada on the adoption of reliability standards as mandatory and enforceable in each of the Canadian Provinces.
PUF: What was the Blue Cut Fire incident?
Howard Gugel: It was referred to as the Blue Cut Fire because of the area involved. Due to the smoke and the contamination, two utilities in California had some transmission lines that tripped out. Then the instantaneous frequency and voltage spiked, causing significant numbers of solar resources to come offline. This is a phenomenon we haven't seen before.
There were some things happening with these resources that we've not seen with other resources. We pulled a task force together to help NERC and the industry understand this.
PUF: What did this task force do?