Gain Technical Knowledge and Industry Insights.

Sun Valley, Idaho | March 2–3, 2016


Conference sessions are organized into three tracks―overhead and underground transmission lines, and substations—with electrical systems studies sessions peppered throughout.

Check back often, as we’ll continue to add sessions throughout the fall.



Transmission Development in an Evolving Environment: Challenges and Opportunities

Rudolph Wynter, President and COO of Federally Regulated Businesses, National Grid


Improving Reliability Through Distributed Energy Resources and Energy Storage: The Oncor Approach

David Treichler, Oncor Electric Delivery

Panel Discussion: FERC 1000 Transmission Competition

Randy Grass, POWER Engineers

Shawn E. Schukar, Ameren

Lawrence Willick, LS Power

Jason P. Minalga, ITC Holdings

Antonio P. Smyth, Transource Energy

Block Island Wind Farm

Dave Grassbaugh, Deepwater Wind


The Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project and the Building of North America’s First 500 kV Underground Transmission Line

Roman Vazquez, Southern California Edison

Thermal Grouting of Trenchless Underground Transmission Cables: Practical Solutions and Construction Requirements

Guy Dickes, Constellation Group

Direct Pipe: A New Trenchless Technology

Alan Snider, Laney Directional Drilling

230 kV Port St. Lucie Florida Project: 7000-ft Trenchless Crossing of the Intracoastal Waterway

Mike Mueller, POWER Engineers

Underground Cable Assessment Programs
Case 1: Evaluation of 12-Year-Old 138 kV XLPE Cable
Case 2: PSE&G's HPFF Reconductor Initiative

Mike Mueller, POWER Engineers

Dennis Johnson, POWER Engineers

Recent Forced Cooled Systems
Case 1: ComEd Forced Cooling Equipment Replacement
Case 2: PSE&G Southern Reinforcement Program

Mike Mueller, POWER Engineers

Dennis Johnson, POWER Engineers

Cable System 400 kV Qualification Testing

Joseph Rezutko, Southwire Company

Chris Amick, Southwire Company

Thermal Impacts of Steel Casing on Cable Current Ratings

Jon Leman, POWER Engineers

Protective Relaying for High-Voltage AC Cables and the Impact of Bonding Designs

Jared Mraz, POWER Engineers

AC and PD Commissioning Testing and Permanent PD Monitoring for Underground Transmission Cables

Alfred Mendelsohn, Power Delivery Solutions


The Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project and the Building of North America’s First 500 kV Underground Transmission Line

Roman Vazquez, Southern California Edison

Survivor: An EHV Desert Challenge

Tim Johnson, POWER Engineers

John Conidi, POWER Engineers

Bart W. Hoelle, POWER Engineers

Managing Change: Oncor's Post-CREZ Transition From Greenfield to Brownfield

Collin Martin, Oncor Electric Delivery

Designing OPGW to Withstand Lightning Strikes

Ben Gallay, Xcel Energy

Jon Leman, POWER Engineers

The Maine Power Reliability Program: A Probabilistic Approach to Cost Estimating

Thorn Dickinson, AVANGRID

Steve Walker, POWER Engineers

Unmanned Aerial Systems: Government, Governance and Gadgets

Andy Stewart, EDM International

Southern Reinforcement Project: Squeezing 21st Century Demand Into 20th Century Right of Way

Bill Rusciolelli, POWER Engineers

Visualization and Interactive Technology: What’s in the Toolbox

Jason Pfaff, POWER Engineers

Brian Lathrop, POWER Engineers

AEP BOLD 345 kV Structure Design

Evan Wilcox, BOLD Transmission

Eddie Hannah, American Electric Power

Panel Discussion: High-Temperature, Low-Sag Conductor

Peter Catchpole, POWER Engineers

Buck Fife, POWER Engineers

Erik Ruggeri, POWER Engineers

Gary Sibilant, Electric Power Research Institute


Future Power Systems: Planning Considerations and Implementation

Ken Donohoo, Oncor Electric Delivery

Switching Capacitive Current With Air Switches: Problems Then and Now

John Brunke, POWER Engineers

Denny Substation: The Public Process Behind the “World’s Coolest Substation”

Josh Stepherson, Stepherson & Associates Communications

Chris Hoffman, Stepherson & Associates Communications

Build in the Clear

Christian Selmek, American Electric Power

61850 Implementation at a North American Oil Refinery

Jared Mraz, POWER Engineers

Air-Insulated Substations Design for Severe Climate Conditions

Mark McVey, Dominion Virginia Power

High Concentration: Use of Gas-Insulated Switchgear to Reduce Utility Footprint

David Gianamore, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products

The Las Vegas Experience: Substation Design and Construction for a High-Growth Environment

Bill Esposito, NV Energy

Energy Storage and Power Quality Solutions in Microgrids

Kari Tuomala, Merus Power

Common Transformer Protection Methods

Rama Ravindranathan, POWER Engineers

Sessions and speakers are subject to change without notice.

Bill Rusciolelli

Southern Reinforcement Project: Squeezing 21st Century Demand Into 20th Century Right of Way

AThe Southern Reinforcement Project addressed a need by Public Service Enterprise Group to increase electrical load on an existing transmission system. This presentation addresses several concerns that many utilities face when considering making system improvements to aging infrastructure. These concerns include: factors involved in deciding to reinforce or to replace aging infrastructure; advantages and disadvantages of atypical foundation designs from a design, public relations and constructability perspective; and design and testing considerations for helical pile cluster foundations.

Christian Selmek

Build in the Clear

AEP has several examples of successfully integrating the “Build in the Clear” concept that focuses on three critical factors in station construction: safety, outage constraints and project schedule. The Kammer Area Improvements in Wheeling, West Virginia, is a primary example. AEP also is expanding the George Washington station, which “cannot be expanded” because of constraints such as a state highway and mountainous terrain. Several solutions being considered include GIS that will fit within the existing footprint, new technology with the ABB PASS breaker for a reduced footprint over a typical AIS breaker-and-a-half layout and the possibility of a mobile 138kV four-position ring bus to serve as a station bypass. A final example to be presented is the Joshua Falls “Spider Web” concept that created a 138kV four-position ring bus using direct-embedded structures to replace the failing 138 kV GIS equipment. The impressive part: from concept to in-service occurred over four months.

David Gianamore

High Concentration: Use of Gas-Insulated Switchgear to Reduce Utility Footprint

Utilities with limited real estate have few options to provide service in areas with a highly concentrated load. In some cases, utilities have had to make full voltage-class upgrades to their networks as increases to the grid load pushed beyond what is solved by way of only impedance improvements. How can substations, originally designed to support lower voltage clearances, support higher voltages with larger equipment and conductor clearance requirements? How can a utility with a fixed footprint support electrical equipment modules designed for higher current and voltage classes? Advances in gas-insulated switchgear components provide a low-risk alternative solution for grid designs that otherwise wouldn’t work in the available space.

John Brunke, Ph.D., P.E.

Switching Capacitive Current With Air Switches: Problems Then & Now

Flashovers and failures in control and protection equipment and cabling became a serious issue as system voltage levels increased. The operation of air disconnects--especially switching capacitive currents of longer buses and CCVT’s--coupled high-frequency transient voltages into control cables, resulting in failures. Utilities took steps to mitigate these problems, but in recent years increasing circuit–breaker, short-circuit performance depends upon the use of larger capacitances to mitigate recovery voltages. Switching these larger capacitances has exacerbated the transient issue, and many utilities are again experiencing serious problems. This presentation offers a number of solutions to this problem.

Kari Tuomala

Energy Storage and Power Quality Solutions in Microgrids

The rising amount of non-linear loads in the power networks and growth of solar and wind power are increasing the importance of good power quality in the networks, especially in microgrids. This presentation covers general background of dynamic reactive power compensation and harmonic filtering technology as a way to mitigate power quality problems. Combining energy storage and active harmonic filtering with intelligent control system create a new novel technology. The developed “uninterrupted power quality” systems will address multiple power delivery challenges with one solution. The subject is discussed and evaluated through practical case studies.

Mark McVey

Air-Insulated Substations Design for Severe Climate Conditions

This presentation will provide a shared perspective of substation design criterion used by utilities that face severe weather as described in CIGRE technical brochure 614. The brochure outlines different approaches to substation design to improve reliability and harden assets against the effects of severe weather. The presentation also will outline safety and human performance under these conditions. The presentation will include real-world examples and case studies of mitigation and design, as well as discuss how utilities apply international and national standards. The presentation will highlight experienced-based recommendations for short-, medium- and long-term actions. The group also will discuss reactive steps needed during severe weather.

Rama Ravindranathan

Common Transformer Protection Methods

This presentation introduces the basic principles of transformers and examines some common electrical faults experienced by transformers. The presentation also reviews some typical transformer fault detection methods. The presentation concludes by examining the advantages and disadvantages of the different transformer fault detection methods.

Roman Vazquez

The Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project and the Building of North America’s First 500 kV Underground Transmission Line

Southern California Edison embarked in 2009 on the second phase of one of its largest construction projects in recent times, the Tehachapi Renewables Transmission Project (TRTP). In total, TRTP would construct more than 200 miles of overhead 500 kV transmission lines through three counties in Southern California. But in 2011, the California Public Utilities Commission revisited its decision to allow 3.7 miles of TRTP to remain as overhead and two years later ordered SCE to convert that section to underground. This began SCE’s efforts at engineering and constructing what will be North America’s first 500 kV underground transmission line. This presentation will address some of the major issues SCE faced when engineering a hybrid 500 kV transmission line through urbanized Southern California.

Thorn Dickinson & Steve Walker

The Maine Power Reliability Program: A Probabilistic Approach to Cost Estimating

The Central Maine Power Company’s Maine Power Reliability Program is a $1.4 billion investment in the state’s bulk power transmission system. The five-year project includes the construction of six new substations, upgrades to more than 40 substations and the installation or rebuilding of nearly 440 miles of transmission line in 75 communities from Eliot to Orrington. This presentation focuses on cost estimating and cost management of this major program. The program used a probabilistic (Monte Carlo) approach to develop the project estimate and schedule. Risk-based evaluations throughout the program assisted the project team in managing costs and in finishing under budget.