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Our Insights

Developing industry standards contributes to continuous learning and grid modernization

April 4, 2019

Randy Grass - POWER Engineers

By Randy Grass
POWER Engineers

The importance of grid resilience and emerging engineering technologies are challenging the power industry’s ability to manage change and stay current in the rapidly evolving energy landscape.

Recognized industry standards for electrical system safety, reliability and compatibility are critical to managing the shift to a modernized grid. Standards and guides encourage the acceptance and implementation of new technology and grid resiliency, as well as address new security challenges.

Development of industry standards and guides allow us to share knowledge and best practices to solve today’s advanced technical problems. They  also help government regulators understand how our industry operates and provides them a sound basis for better governance.

POWER Engineers believes it is essential that we take part in the bodies that develop industry standards. It takes a lot of people working together to develop consensus and a clear path forward. In fact, that’s the definition of a consortium, to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member.

The consortia and committees that create the power industry’s standards need the participation of technical experts with practical project experiences to make sure proposed measures work in the real world. By pooling our resources, we leverage our collective know-how and technology to the benefit of our individual businesses, and the industry as a whole.

From April 8-11, POWER’s experts in substation design and operation are taking part in the Substation Design Solution Industry Consortium (SDSIC) in New York City. The consortium is a gathering of utilities and engineering consultants who use or who are looking into using Autodesk and the Spatial Business System suite of software products. The consortium meeting helps drive standards to promote common library development from internal resources, external partners and equipment manufacturers.

The SDS Industry Consortium is just one of dozens of groups where our professionals contribute knowledge and leadership as well as learn from fellow professionals. Our Ron Carrington, for example, served as chair of the Structural Engineering Institute’s Electrical Transmission Structures Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers. As chair, he worked with others to improve the guidelines, codes, practices and standards that professional engineers use for transmission, distribution and substation structural design. Many others at POWER work on similar committees with professional groups such as the Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers (IEEE), CIGRE and many others.

Participation in the process of developing standards benefits the public, utilities, regulators, companies such as POWER, and especially the individuals who get involved. Individual professional participants interact, network and learn from the foremost technical experts, as well as share their knowledge. They become aware of technical issues in the industry and help create the solutions that will modernize our grid.

By becoming better professionals, these individuals make POWER a better company and contribute to improving one of America’s most vital industries.

About the Author:

Randy Grass is a professional engineer, Senior Vice-President and Division Manager of POWER’s Power Delivery Project Management Team. In his 21 years at POWER, he also has been Division Manager of Power Delivery’s Engineering Team. He works out of POWER’s St. Louis office. Get in touch with him at randy.grass@powereng.com.