Power Systems/Transmission Engineer
|Position Title||Power Systems/Transmission Engineer|
|Alternate Title(s)||Electric Power Engineer, Electrical Interconnection Engineer, Electrical Design Engineer|
|Education & Training Level||Advanced, Bachelors required, prefer graduate degree|
|Education & Training Level Description||Power Systems Engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, but may also qualify for positions with a civil, industrial, mechanical, or construction management degree. Employers value practical experience, so graduates of cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience, are valuable. Certification as a professional engineer (PE) or the ability to achieve this certification may be required.|
|Brief job description||A Power Systems Engineer may work for a wind owner/developer, turbine manufacturer, or electric utility. They may be responsible for evaluating interconnection standards and transmission feasibility, system impact and facility studies or testing new electrical components of wind turbine designs. Their responsibilities may also include working on transmission and/or distribution systems.|
|Preferred Level of Education||Master's degree|
|Preferred Level of Experience||See the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.|
|Estimated/Expected Salary||See the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.|
A Power Systems Engineer in the wind industry may be involved in a wide variety of activities in which they apply their power systems and transmission expertise. They may support the design and testing of wind turbines and the electrical components that power them or they may be involved in planning the layout of wind farms. They often lead the design of electrical substations, switchyards, underground and overhead cabling or communications systems for wind farm projects.
A Power Systems Engineer’s role in project development is to help the project developer and project manager determine optimal locations for the placement of wind farms. They manage, organize, and analyze interconnection studies, providing feedback and recommendations to project managers. As the project develops, electric power engineers lead or assist the developer in negotiating Large Generator Interconnection (LGIA) and Transmission Service Agreements (TSA). They are very familiar with regulations associated with interconnection and transmission service and will assist in this process as appropriate.
When working on a project, power systems engineers may also be responsible for designing the electrical transmission systems that transfer energy produced from the wind turbines, connecting it to the power grid. In accordance with transmission service agreements and power purchase agreements, they determine how many electrical substations are needed in order to properly transmit the correct amount of energy to a given number of customers. They also study existing power transmission systems to determine how they can best be expanded, and test power lines and transmission equipment to determine how they perform under specific conditions.
During construction, a Power Systems Engineer focuses on the design of the collection system, interconnection facilities and generator tie-lines and the implementation of that design.
Power systems engineers may also work for a utility. In this capacity, the engineer would assess the impacts of interconnection and validate interconnection protocols. They may be involved in analyzing existing power transmission systems from the point of interconnection to the utility, in order to develop solutions for increasing transmission capacity. Electric power engineers working for a utility will also test power lines and transmission equipment to determine how they perform under specific conditions, ensuring that the transmission systems are functioning properly and finding ways to improve the system.
In summary, they typically do the following:
In addition to these skills, an electric power engineer should also be familiar with the following: