Transmission & Distribution Channels

Category Archives: Electrical Substations

Electrical Substations

The Digital Substation Utopia

Electric utilities have long considered digital substations an insubstantial concept: an ideal vision of all-knowing substations networked into an intelligent grid. However, technological innovations have slowly emerged in the past few decades, consequently, transforming this utopian vision into a practical—and very real—concept. Now, utility executives can discuss the available specifics that can transform legacy substations into well-networked digitally automated powerhouses.

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Electrical Substations

Properly Grounded Substations

Adequate utility grounding improves power quality, but more importantly, it is essential for worker safety as well as public protection. Design is critical in maintaining a safe equipotential environment all around the substation. Read more

Electrical Substations

Ensuring Compliance vs Building Resilience

The realization that the vast majority of substations have significant security vulnerabilities was crystalized after the Metcalf incident of April 2013, during which unknown assailants caused the failure of 17 transformers at the Silicon Valley PG&E transmission substation in Metcalf, California. Jon Wellinghoff, then Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), later told the Wall Street Journal that it was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred.” Read more

Electrical Substations

The Copper Theft Pandemic

Around the time of the financial crisis of 2008, precious metals pricing began to change drastically. Beginning in late 2007, a trend of price instability began to be seen for gold, silver, platinum, and (although not a precious metal in the traditional sense), copper. Read more

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