Con Edison Launches “Project Hydra”

Consolidated Edison Inc. has contracted American Superconductor Corp. to develop and deploy a new high temperature superconductor (HTS) power grid technology in Con Edison’s New York City power delivery network.

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected to invest up to $25 million in the development of this technology to enable “secure super grids” in the United States. Secure super grids utilize customized HTS wires, HTS power cables and ancillary controls to deliver more power through the grid while also being able to suppress power surges that can disrupt service.

“The Department of Homeland Security is charged with protecting the infrastructure and systems that keep our nation and our economy running smoothly,” said Jay M. Cohen, DHS’ under secretary for science and technology. “The U.S. power grid is one of our most valuable assets, and we are taking the steps necessary-through the use of our most advanced technologies-to ensure its safety.

“We have asked AMSC and Consolidated Edison to demonstrate superconductor solutions in New York City that will serve to keep our centers of commerce on line under all conditions-including grid events related to severe weather, accidents or terrorist attacks.”

This endeavor has been code named “Project Hydra” by DHS, a reference to the Greek myth about a monster that grew back each one of multiple heads when severed.

TVA to Facilitate NERC CIP Secure IED Access

SUBNET Solutions Inc. (SUBNET)of Calgary, Alberta, has been awarded the PowerWAN Secure Remote Device Access Project by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

TVA, like most utilities, is faced with the task of securing access to its substation IEDs to meet NERC CIP requirements. TVA’s PowerWAN Secure Remote Device Access Project required a solution that could provide per-user IED authentication and auditing without requiring excessive management. SUBNET’s My IEDs application, running on SUBNET’s EnterpriseSERVER.NET platform, will provide centralized role-based access control (RBAC) of TVA IEDs connected to its PowerWAN substation network.

“With the increasing complexity of substation automation components, remote IED access becomes a necessity,” said John Wesley Stewart from TVA’s system assessment and standards group. “In regulating this access in a secure and auditable manner, SUBNET’s My IEDs Solutions provides a service critical to TVA’s CIP compliance effort.”

SUBNET’s application leverages an electric utility’s existing access control infrastructure, such as active directory/LDAP and multi-factor authentication technologies, such as smart cards and RSA tokens. My IEDs has been implemented by all types of electric utilities including Southern Company, Salt River Project, Southwest Transmission Cooperative and ENMAX.

By implementing this My IEDs solution, TVA is also putting in place the EnterpriseSERVER.NET platform, which could also allow for the integration of future substation intelligence solutions such as automated fault record archiving and real-time asset monitoring enabling condition based maintenance.

Substation with IEC 61850 Solutions Energized

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. (SEL) has reported that Wind Park La Venta II, the “world’s first” substation to implement multiple suppliers’ IEC 61850 products, is successfully operating in Juchitàƒ¡n Oaxaca, Mexico.

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IBERINCO Project Manager Daniel Lancha informed SEL of the successful energization of the substation, saying, “This is, without any doubt, a great advancement for the integration of control and protection systems, and for integration of the IEC 61850 international standard.”

SEL provided the majority of the relays and developed the system reporting to the SCADA system, station-level peer-to-peer communications, bay-control logic, panel design and construction, and the factory acceptance test. SEL also provided commissioning assistance and training as the substation construction progressed.

IBERINCO, the project’s main contractor, did the overall project management, designed the bay-level reporting and control database, and defined peer-to-peer communications requirements.

La Venta II integrates devices from SEL, GE, RuggedCom, Siemens, and ZIV.

Lincoln Electric System Chooses Integrify

Lincoln Electric System, the utility servicing the Lincoln, Neb., area, has chosen Integrify 4.3 request management software to automate the request-for-change (RFC) process in its IT department. LES currently uses Integrify to increase the efficiency of its IT department but is planning to expand the system into other departments within the organization.

“We wanted a way to keep track of all the work we were doing and to document our various projects,” said Dave Mannering, vice president of IT for LES. “Like many IT shops, we have quite a number of simultaneous projects, some big and some small, and it was very difficult to consistently monitor where they were and to ensure all the documentation was in one place.”

Currently, 70 of the company’s 460 employees (over four separate facilities) are designated users on the system. The Lincoln Electric IT team expects to see an increase in its efficiency, effectiveness and service levels.

Ultimately, Lincoln Electric plans to automate all the business processes in the IT department and then expand the Integrify system to other departments and processes.

FPL Energy files application to build in Texas

Lone Star Transmission LLC, a subsidiary of FPL Energy LLC, filed an application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity to establish a new regulated utility business unit to construct, own and operate transmission facilities in Texas.

Under its plan, Lone Star Transmission will build, own and operate a 180- to 200-mile, high-voltage, direct current, open access transmission line to bring renewable energy resources from west Texas to the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Dubbed the “DFW Express,” the new transmission line would be constructed with a capacity of 2,000 MWs and stretch from near Abilene to the Dallas/Fort Worth load center.

Texas State Senator Troy Fraser said, “I have long supported the building of transmission and new generation in west Texas, and the DFW Express is a critical first step in ensuring that the state will meet its long-term power needs.”

The cost of the DFW Express is expected to be in the range of $635 million to $655 million.

Eye on Europe:

In late May, the 19th CIRED Conference and Exhibition continued its tour of Europe-having previously visited Nice, Amsterdam and Turin-with a stop in Vienna, home to symbolist Gustav Klimt and the world-famous Sachertorte chocolate cake.

Engineers and association members from all over Europe, America and Asia gathered at the newly constructed ReedMesse Wien conference hall to discuss the latest in power distribution issues. Attendees filed in to technical sessions on network components and system development, as well as having one-on-one round-table talks on specific issues such as loss of mains protection, distributed generation and power quality. Most sessions were packed, with just a bit of standing room for stragglers.

In an early morning session on Tuesday, May 22, a lively debate was going on about voltage and power factor control for wind generation. Reigh Walling of GE Energy spoke about how to work with the grid rather than against it on these issues. The main point of contention with the crowd centered on whether tariffs should be put in place to allow payments to wind generators for ancillary voltage regulation service. The crowd didn’t come to an agreement on the subject, although many points were bandied about.

Finally, a solitary audience member stood up later in the session and stated, quite simply, that, while wind power had “potential” to be a main player in power that potential “is not actualized.” The problem, he concluded, has to do with money, plain and simple. It costs a lot to do and doesn’t produce a lot in the end. Period.

A second audience member agreed, but said no one is at fault but those in the room. “We can help each other enormously,” he said. “But no one is talking to each other.”

The following sessions on variable speed turbines and existing calculation methods as well as practical experiences with the new IEC 61850 protocol proved to be much less lively and centered mostly on facts, figures, stats and general points of observation-with no points of true contention in sight.

CIRED also included a small exhibit floor with a variety of booths from the industry consultants KEMA to the local power utility and smaller companies that manufactured cables and the like.

-Kathleen Davis, Associate Editor

Recent HVDC Highlights

Blowin’ in the Wind: AWEA stats

  • Texas generates the most electricity from wind, with over 2,700 MW installed at the end of 2006 and some 1,000 MW currently under construction.
  • California ranks second with 2,361 MW installed.
  • Iowa ranks third with 936 MW installed.
  • FPL Energy continues to dominate the U.S. wind energy market with the construction of 777 MW of new wind power projects; about a third of all new installations in the United States in 2006.
  • Xcel Energy uses the most wind power on their system with 1,323 MW followed by Southern California Edison with 1,026 MW.

For more info on wind energy and the power grid, see our article on page 22 in this issue.

Just the FACTS

  • A 525-kV, three-phase, 60 Hz, -110/+440 MVAR SVS at Devers Substation uses the Siemens static volt ampere reactive (VAR) compensation system (SVC), installed in September 2006. This FACTS installation, currently the largest in North America according to Siemens, was handed over to the customer, Southern California Edison (SCE), in May after a lead time of 13 months for implementation and commissioning.
  • Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution Inc. has also been awarded a contract to provide CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric with its first FACTS. The turnkey contract for the FACTS projects will include all equipment and civil works for two Static VAR Compensators (SVC) of 0/+140 Mvar each for the Bellaire and Crosby 138kV Substations in Houston, Texas. Beta Engineering, LLC of Pineville, La., will provide the site installation, engineering and construction service.


“Voluntary guidelines worked very well to a point, but they were not enough. . . . To avoid future blackouts, everyone must follow all the rules, all the time. Mandatory standards are the next logical step toward achieving that.” -NERC president and CEO Rick Sergel on the NERC enforcement standards that went into effect June 18.


The authors wish to credit the Cooperative Research Network of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association for some of the materials quoted within the article “Communications for Distribution Automation” that appeared in the April 2007 issue. Following are the publications quoted:

  1. Communication Technologies for SCADA, AMR, Mobile Radio, and Distribution Automation; (CRN 02-26) Copyright, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
  2. Down Line Automation: A Guidebook for Electric Distribution Co-ops, (CRN 06-05) Copyright, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association .
  3. Automating a Distribution Cooperative from A to Z (CRN 02-03), Copyright, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.”


  • The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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