Covering T&D from End to End

Steven Brown, Senior Associate Editor

Those among you who are regular, observant readers might be wondering what has happened to Utility Automation magazine. As soon as you plucked this issue from your inbox, you probably held the issue at arm’s length, turned it a few degrees clockwise, then back counterclockwise, and came to the conclusion that A) the magazine looks different than it did the last time you read it, and B) the title is longer than it once was.

You are correct on both counts. Utility Automation is now Utility Automation & Engineering T&D. Along with the new look and new name, the magazine has an expanded editorial focus that we believe will better serve our growing audience in all parts of the power delivery business.

Since its inception in 1996, Utility Automation magazine has been the electric utility industry’s authority on automation, control and IT systems. Over the years, we’ve covered advancements in such areas as SCADA, distribution automation, substation automation, automatic meter reading and geographic information system technology. Utility Automation magazine generally covered the use of these technologies from the distribution substation out to the customer’s meter.

Utility Automation & Engineering T&D will continue to cover those same technologies but the new version of the magazine will also step back and take a broad look at the entire transmission and distribution system–from the generating plant switchyard all the way to the customer’s meter. As we broaden our focus, we’ll be looking not only at the automation, control and IT systems in use on the T&D system, but all of the equipment and hardware those systems support.

We’ll still bring you articles and news about automatic meter reading, distribution automation, substation automation, mobile workforce management and geographic information systems in every issue. But you’ll also find more articles focused specifically on technologies and engineering innovations in use on the transmission system. A good example is the article on pages 35-38 of this issue, which discusses alternative transmission system protection philosophies aimed at mitigating wide-scale cascading outages.

You’ll find articles about innovations in T&D hardware and equipment in the new “Getting Equipped” department of every issue of Utility Automation & Engineering T&D. This issue’s “Getting Equipped” takes a look at the concept of modular design as a way to more quickly deliver and build electric power substations. Future articles will examine innovations in line design, transformers, switchgear, towers, poles and more.

The 2003 blackout made it clear that interconnected power grids must be in synch from end-to-end to function properly. Equipment must be maintained, protection schemes must be continuously evaluated, control systems must be enhanced and new technologies must be developed. Deficiencies in any area have the potential to weaken the system as a whole. That’s why we’ve positioned this magazine to take a more holistic look at the power delivery system–with an eye toward innovation.

I want to take this opportunity to ask you, the reader, to become more involved with the content of this new-and-improved version of our magazine. If you have questions or comments about Utility Automation & Engineering T&D, would like to recommend a story idea, or are interested in contributing an article yourself, feel free to e-mail me at stevenb@pennwell.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

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