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LRCA's system operations control center supports 300 substations and 200 remote terminal units.
SCADA, which stands for supervisory control and data acquisition, was first introduced for use by electric utilities in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.
While it's there to monitor, maintain and secure accurate data for the utility, the SCADA system also requires an ongoing investment of time, skill and maintenance to ensure smooth and steady operations. LCRA’s first SCADA system in the 1970s, was a digital system with a computerized master station. Another unexpected advantage involved Norwood’s newer SF6 gas-insulated substation, built in 2002. LCRA has been upgrading its SCADA system continuously  since it was first installed 30 years ago. Assessing the need for SCADA—When a utility decides to invest in SCADA, the procurement process can take months to complete. Siemens offers the Spectrum Power 3 for larger systems such as Nebraska Public Power District or PJM, said Simonet. The Future for SCADA—The care and design of SCADA systems has evolved over the last two decades, said Mike Unum, an electrical engineer who is manager of commercial solutions for GE.
But the complex systems utilities put in place to assure reliability of electricity supply have a not-quite-perfect reliability factor. Sutherland said LCRA’s SCADA system is not dependent on the Internet for the primary functions it performs, but it uses the Internet to get information and direction from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. BLS produces information on compensation from two main data surveys, the National Compensation Survey (NCS) and the Occupation Employment Statistics Survey (OES). The OES surveys a larger number of establishments and provides information for about 700 occupational classifications, compared to about 450 for the NCS. The National Compensation Survey—The NCS collects information on employee wages and benefits from private industry and state and local government.
The summary tables also include average hourly earnings for private industry workers and state and local government workers, but these comparisons are not very useful on the summary level because the composition of the work force differs greatly between sectors. Chart 2 compares average hourly wages for the nation, a census region and a specific locality within the census region. These national, regional and locality reports also show average wages for different work levels within an occupation category. Chart 3 shows hourly earnings by occupation level for the two jobs included in the previous chart. The chart demonstrates that the average for the whole group hides the relatively wide wage range paid to employees within one job category. As part of the NCS program, BLS publishes compensation cost factors that allow earnings comparisons to be made between different time periods and allow updating of wage estimates to the current time period. The chart shows that the cost of benefits has increased faster than wages and salaries for both private industry and state and local government. The charts shown here illustrate the type of data available from BLS, but only hint at the range of comparisons that can be made. The OES reports provide wage information for about 700 jobs included in the Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC).
In addition to summarizing data by geographic areas, OES produces reports that use the same job classifications but show national data for a specific industry. Both empowerment and centralized decision-making have a time and place within the organization, Indianola General Manager Todd Kielkopf.
Not all issues facing public power utilities today lend themselves to an easy or simple solution.
Indianola Municipal Utilities in Iowa has been grappling with how to empower individual staff members in a centralized decision-making structure. Kielkopf learned the answer to that question after taking part in APPA's Public Power Manager Certificate Program. Another certificate program participant, Sandy Richter, said she has learned to recognize as polarities those issues where both choices have positive potential.
James Ging, assistant director for the electric and water department of Winfield, Kan., said the utility needs to find a balance between being task driven and relationship-driven.
In the meantime, Wisecup has mapped a polarity that she must address: quickly processing customer calls during a power outage while providing good service. It's a multi-faceted issue, involving the utility's phone system, its automated outage management system, in-house and contracted call-taking personnel and follow-up customer surveys, said Wisecup. Practice is essential for developing and honing the skills taught by Seidler, said Middleboro's Richter. Winfield's Ging views polarity management as a personal development tool, while Lewes' Gordon uses it to examine both himself and his organization. For Middleboro's Richter, the "aha" moment was a different way of looking at utility resistance to new programs or products. I've mapped issues with a few people and it's opened their eyes, said Middleboro's Sandy Richter. No more business as usual—The public power managers and supervisors who have attended one of the certificate program courses say it has changed the way they think and work.
Longmont's Wisecup reminds herself that everyone approaches things from a different perspective, and there is a way to marry those perspectives. Indianola Municipal Utilities issues a quarterly assessment of each functional area, such as generation, distribution, programs and finance, said Kielkopf. When asked where she goes from here, Longmont's Wisecup had a simple answer: just keep doing it. George and Line Foreman Tim Denney, who was also new in his role, needed to react with haste to conditions they had never contemplated. The current was strong and Scott struggled to keep the boat stable while stepping onto the poles.
After the floodwaters receded, Endicott Municipal Light focused on rebuilding the substation.
George and Denney, both longtime employees of Endicott Municipal Light, were nonetheless new in their managerial roles. Although it is formally a village, Endicott is known locally as part of the "Triple Cities," along with Binghamton and Johnson City. David George dealt with a 500-year flood shortly after he was named superintendent of Endicott Municipal and Light.
During the growth years, IBM developed facilities and sponsored activities to foster a sense of family within the company.


Endicott Municipal Light's high reliability and low rates create a stark contrast with electricity service provided by neighboring NYSE&G. Endicott electric line staff are using a SensorLink Amcorder to check loads on transformers and keep the distribution system in top working order.
With the flood of 2006 behind him and a rebuilt substation ready to withstand the next 500-year flood, George today regards the need to ramp up energy efficiency as the biggest challenge facing the utility. Endicott works with the Independent Energy Efficiency Program, a consortium of 25 municipal utilities in the state, to implement its renewable resource and energy conservation programs. IEEP personnel handle all logistics of the efficiency program with no cost to customers, George said.
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In recent years, SCADA has undergone tremendous technological advances—in part due to fluctuating power loads, but more recently to address newer global security threats and the resultant stricter federal guidelines. JEA recently completed a procurement process to upgrade the SCADA system for its 3,000-megawatt utility system. All of the 115-kV bus is enclosed and the SF6 gas is used as insulation to avoid a phase-to-phase fault, said Morrissey.
According to Don Kintner of GE, “The company that wants the system puts together a request for quote and can spec the quote in such a way that your product has the advantage. For example, one client reported prevention of a failed transformer due to Esubstation, saving $4 million, easily paying for the entire Esubstation program on every substation. While most agree the reliability factor is close to 99.95%, that one slip up can still be quite significant. Both surveys provide earnings estimates from sample data collected over one to three years. OES reports are available for every state and for all metropolitan areas, while the NCS reports are produced for each census region and select metropolitan areas and counties. It excludes federal workers and state and local government establishments with fewer than 50 workers. For example, manufacturing and sales jobs are common in private industry but relatively rare in state and local government. A public power manager can use this summary information to get a general idea of how wage rates in the utility’s region compare with other parts of the country, for example. The first occupation category in the chart, Bookkeepers, Accounting and Auditing Clerks, is an occupation common to many establishments, so information is available all the way down to the local level. Jobs are assigned levels based on knowledge, job control and complexity, contacts and physical environment. The bookkeeper job is rated at levels 2 through 7 on the white-collar scale, while the installer job is rated at levels 5 through 9 on the blue-collar scale. The Employment Cost Index measures quarterly changes in compensation costs, with separate series provided for wages and salaries and for benefits.
More specific cost indices are available for the private industry sector, including summaries for industry groups, by region and by bargaining status (union vs. This large difference in total compensation is a reflection of the different composition of jobs in each sector. Part of the reason for this high level may be the relatively large percentage attributable to supplemental pay.
The BLS Web site is the place to go for specific data series by region, by industry type and by occupation type. OES reports do not provide separate summaries for private industry and governmental employees. They provide, for each job category, average hourly wages, median hourly wages, average annual wages, and an estimate of the number of employees in the occupation. OES assigns an industry classification to each establishment using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The first listings on the page show the 22 job categories in the Standard Occupational Classification System; click on one of these links to see national data for the jobs included in the chosen category. Like Indianola Municipal Utilities, the Board of Public Works (BPW) in Lewes, Del., is seeking a balance between individual work and teamwork, said Darrin Gordon, BPW's assistant general manager and a certificate program participant.
A municipal utility is independently responsible for providing electricity to city customers, said Longmont's Wisecup. Long-term utility asset investment plans must be balanced with short-term public expectations on rates and service improvements, said Indianola Municipal Utilities' Kielkopf.
It's a challenge to reward success in the public environment during a time of fiscal austerity, said Indianola's Kielkopf.
Because her focus is communications, Middleboro's Richter said that deciding how much information to share and how much "to keep close to the vest" is a key polarity. As interest in renewables grows, Middleboro Gas and Electric is exploring the extent to which wind and solar can be incorporated in a small system, said Richter.
Next, they learned how to "map" that polarity by developing a diagram listing actions required to achieve a positive result. And I look for a different way of approaching issues." Winfield's Ging said he spends more time thinking about decisions and he questions his staff more productively. Similarly, Anaheim's Briggs looks for what he calls the ‘yin and yang,' recognizing the interconnection of contrary forces. David George had been superintendent of Endicott Municipal Light Plant for less than six months. In 1934, the company installed the first air conditioning system ever applied to machine manufacturing operations in the United States.
Johnson may have had a hand in establishment of the village-owned utility, which was created in 1906, the same year the village was incorporated.
George's Industries [no relation to David George], a manufacturing facility, is the village's largest electricity customer today. But the municipal utility is resigned to staying confined to its one-square-mile service territory, not because all village residents would not enjoy the rates and service supplied by the village, but simply because the village recognizes NYSE&G is not going to let go of its captive customers. Once local customers exhaust the village's allotment of NYPA power, the next increment of wholesale supply gets very expensive.
For example, Sutherland said, “Database and display editors are used to add database points and displays to the SCADA system.
In general, if you've got a company that they are familiar with and they have a good business relationship with, through them they can create some kind of dialogue. If a tree falls on a line, it will short the line out and SCADA will get an alarm and they can then know to dispatch a crew out to that line, versus if they have no SCADA then they are dependent on customers calling in to figure out where this problem is. For some utilities, if the Internet is down, the SCADA system is down, said Worthington Public Utilities’ Patrick Demuth. The CIM concept is intended to make exchange of database information between SCADA systems transparent and easy, but since CIM is not 100 percent compatible between vendors, it does not work as well as it should.
A tremendous amount of information is available on the BLS Web site, but because of the sheer volume, it requires enormous time and patience to navigate the Web site and find the data best suited to answer the question at hand. The NCS includes personal visits or discussions with the survey respondents to obtain information on job responsibilities. Both surveys present data on average hourly wages as well as related statistics, such as hours worked, annual earnings and median wages. BLS compiles the data into a national report, nine census region reports and numerous locality reports showing hourly earnings for various classifications of workers.
In contrast, white-collar occupations account for about two-thirds of state and local government jobs but only about half of private industry jobs. However, the more useful information is found in each report’s detail tables, which show average hourly earnings for occupation categories.


In the blue-collar and service sector these include mechanics and repairers, helpers, construction laborers, security guards, cleaning and building service workers, as well as jobs specific to the utility industry, such as electrical power installers and repairers, power plant operators, and supervisors of electricians and power transmission installers. The chart shows that average wages in the West North Central region are below national averages and that state and local government averages are above the private industry average. White-collar jobs are assigned one of 15 levels, following the federal government’s general schedule for white-collar workers.
Job level information is not available for the installer job in the West North Central or for either job in the Springfield area. The job level information is based on the duties and responsibilities of the job and is useful in making detailed wage comparisons for pay-setting purposes. Summary statistics are provided for state and local government workers and for private workers, as well as for broad occupational and industry groups. As previously noted, the state and local government work force comprises a much higher percentage of white collar workers, for example. The Web site also has job descriptions and information on the sampling methodology used to develop the various data series.
This takes you to a page that has links to national and regional reports, as well as to the locality reports, which are listed by state. Each job is assigned a six-digit code, and the first two digits designate the major grouping to which the job belongs. The comparison below shows that average hourly earnings in the state of Washington are above the national average. Chart 7 shows average hourly wages for some of the common job classifications in the electric power industry.
Then click on the six-digit SOC code next to a specific job description to see a more detailed job definition and a job profile highlighting the top industries, states and metropolitan statistical areas where the job exists.
The courses, held at least twice a year, run for five days and comprise an introduction to power operations, a session on financial planning, budgeting and performance, and a three-day session on strategic management. We didn't want people expressing concerns if there was nothing to be concerned about." The utility didn't provide details to the public, and in the end, decided not to proceed with the project.
Participants assess their strengths and their values and then move to training in communication and conflict resolution skills. For Ging, it was the need to identify and question his "blind spots." For Gordon, it was an awareness of the need to get the best from all the attributes that people bring to the table, positive and negative.
The Susquehanna River, which begins in New York and flows through Pennsylvania on its way to the Chesapeake Bay, was flooding. The entire neighborhood was evacuated."We thought we were going to lose the building," he said.
They concluded they could install bypass switches and backfeed power from New York State Electric & Gas Co.
As a municipally owned electric utility, Endicott Municipal Light purchases low-cost hydro power from the New York Power Authority. Both companies were innovators in their approach to their employees, cultivating a family-like work environment that touched workers lives both on and off the job. The company's Endicott Engineering Laboratory was a fountain of technology development for the next half century.
The IBM personal computer, introduced in 1983, was developed at the Endicott Engineering Laboratory. Endicott Municipal Light also provides power for a retirement home, the Ideal Living Center and Felix Roma's bakery, known throughout the region for its beloved Italian bread. So the municipal utility is a small island holding a yardstick against the neighboring investor-owned utility. With smaller municipal utilities, Esubstation would actually be the SCADA system, serving as a gateway to capture all data from digital equipment in the substation (Sweitzer relays, DPU 2000 relays, meters, gas pressure devices, etc) as well as analog data, displaying it for management, planning, operations, and in some cases even dispatch.
Only the NCS provides information on changes in employee compensation costs and the provision of employee benefits. For example, average earnings are shown by worker characteristics, including four categories of white-collar occupations, four categories of blue-collar occupations, and service occupations; and by establishment characteristics, including five size categories. Thus comparisons between the private industry and the government sector are best made at the individual occupation level. Not surprisingly, there is less information available for Electric Power Installers and Repairers, the second occupation category in the chart, and none is available for one public power locality, Springfield, Mo. Blue-collar jobs are divided into 10 levels, and service workers are divided into 11 levels. As with the employee cost index, additional detail is provided for private industry workers.
While the overall dissimilarity in job types makes direct comparisons difficult, the data do show that benefits account for a larger portion of total compensation in state and local government than in private industry.
However, each state and locality has a different mix of occupations available, and the mix affects the average wage level, making this type of broad comparison less useful. The strategic management course, taught by Margaret Seidler, cultivates the skills that public power utility managers and supervisors need to manage complex issues. So the Lewes utility makes certain that individual staff members have clear job descriptions and receive meaningful evaluations while ensuring the continuation of teamwork.
But we must balance customers' desire for renewables with the need to keep rates low," she said.
At the next meeting, Kielkopf asked the team to suggest action steps and early warnings, which he then summarized. The village utility serves about 3,200 customers in a dense one-square-mile area—not even the entire village. The portion of Endicott now served by the municipal utility was part of the village of Union in 1906. The RTU in the substation is alerted and relays that information to the system's control center. ICCP is intended to provide a common communications protocol for exchanging data between SCADA systems. This categorization allows more detailed comparisons both within the same job type and between job types. This section includes links to state offices, some of which have state and metropolitan area data by industry. Not every suggestion ended up on the final map, but the team now has a common platform that it can refer to.
In 1921, according to a history posted on the utility's Web site, the village of Union became part of the village of Endicott.
Endicott line staff work with NYSE&G on interconnections because the IOU wheels power to the village.
We can [immediately] call up the display--push a button and close the circuit breaker by remote control.
BLS publishes a guide that explains how job levels are determined and helps organizations evaluate their own job levels so they can compare their data to the survey results.
Protective relaying trips, or opens, one or two circuit breakers to de-energize a line that has been contacted by an animal, or maybe a tree branch. Endicott-Johnson  provided jobs for thousands of immigrants from Italy and the Balkans. Village streets today are lined with modest two-story frame homes that Johnson had built and sold to his employees at affordable prices.



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