Current Trends in Transmission and Distribution

Sargent & Lundy shares insights on substation hardening and energy storage.


By Brian C. Wood, Senior Vice President & Project Director, Sargent & Lundy
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Sargent & Lundy has provided comprehensive engineering, development, permitting, high-level consulting, construction management, and commissioning services for electric power generation and power delivery projects worldwide—approximately 2,000 clients in nearly 100 countries—since its founding in 1891. The firm has been authorized to design more than 950 electrical generating units, representing more than 140,000 MW of generating capacity, along with thousands of transmission line and substation projects.
Currently, Sargent & Lundy’s North American electric grid infrastructure business has been particularly active in two key areas. In response to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) Order CIP-014-1, utilities are turning to substation hardening to improve the security of their substations and protect the electric grid. Order CIP-014-1 was implemented in March 2014 and requires transmission owners to assess the vulnerability of critical substations and develop and implement security plans. Additionally, the incorporation of energy storage at substation sites has become increasingly relevant to help back up grid substations and meet energy demands.

Substation Hardening
Natural Disasters
Government officials, utility commissions and customers look to transmission system facility owners to minimize outages under severe weather conditions. While many of these occurrences are above and beyond industry accepted design parameters, utilities are seeking approaches to harden their facilities to improve the ability to withstand these natural disasters. Drawing upon its wide range of transmission grid project experience, Sargent & Lundy has supported clients to develop storm hardening solutions. The firm performs storm hardening conceptual design studies to determine the viability, risks and costs associated with various mitigation options. One study Sargent & Lundy performed involved evaluating potential flood levels and water intrusion paths at several substations. Solutions considered included floodwalls and elevated approaches into substations, which were evaluated from an economic, operations and reliability standpoint. Considerations included sheltered aisle switchgear design, outage plans, grounding, emergency power, emergency egress points and risk mitigation.

Read full article in the SPECIAL SUBSTATION EDITION.

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