Electric Reliability Planning

Electric System Reliability Planning

The Challenge

Municipal and Rural Electric utility systems are faced with growing challenges on their systems that impact service reliability.   These complexities include:

  • Load Growth
  • Housing and Commercial development
  • Interconnection of renewable energy sources
  • Residential Solar
  • Aging infrastructure

A system assessment provides the details needed for utility stakeholders to determine improvements as their systems grow more complex.

The Solution

ControlPoint Technologies offers a comprehensive approach to improving reliability on Municipal and Rural Electric Systems.  In a phased approach, the electric utility receives an executive summary with detailed analysis to plan improvements on their system.  Below we discuss the solution phases that are deployed.

Phase One (Records)

A records assessment identifies information gaps before analysis may begin.  Electric utility records include circuit maps, conductor types, distribution equipment, span lengths, and pole-top configurations.  System Planning Engineers utilize these inputs to build the System Impedance Model.

Phase Two (Modeling)

ControlPoint's engineering team utilizes CYME Power Engineering Software to build the System Impedance Model.   Models begin from the Substation source to each three-phase and single-phase circuit end-of-line.

Phase Three (Study)

Planning Engineers analyze the system for feeder backup opportunities during peak load conditions.  Problem areas related to voltage or thermal issues are identified.  Protection Engineers will review Protective Device Coordination.  The recommended mitigations will ensure adequate system performance (thermal, voltage, protection) for feeder backups.  System planners will also review Load Growth projections during this phase of the study.

ControlPoint's Substation Engineering team will perform substation assessment to address concerns with existing substation infrastructure.   The assessment includes review of support structures, station equipment, transformer loading, protective equipment, control house improvements and bus transfer schemes.  As load growth projections are identified, substations may need to be expanded, retired and/or added to meet future system needs.

The final report includes documentation of the analysis, in depth review of existing system conditions, mitigations, and order-of-magnitude estimates with options.  Conceptual one-lines, cut-over steps, and sequence of design and construction are also provided.

Phase Four (Planning & Procurement)

ControlPoint's Project Managers work with the Electric Utility to develop a detailed plan for the engineering, procurement, and construction of the approved modifications.   Most importantly, Project Managers will work to minimize outages during construction.

ControlPoint engineers will take on the role of Owner's Engineer to support bid events needed for equipment procurement.  The Owner's Engineer writes technical bid specifications and participates in bid evaluation with utility stakeholders.

Phase Five (Implementation)

With ControlPoint's engineering, design, and project management staff, the electric utility is provided with support throughout the implementation phase of the system reliability plan.   ControlPoint's project teams are deployed to develop detailed design packages for use in construction.  The implementation phase offers the opportunity to develop new system standards that can improve efficiency and reliability for the utility.

Summary

Reliability studies are a valuable tool for electric utility stakeholders facing new challenges on their systems.  For additional information or to speak with one of our engineering consultants, please go to our Contact Us page and send us some preliminary information describing your challenge.   We will get back to you to discuss the next steps.