Xcel Energy Strengthens the Grid with Advanced SVCs

Static-VAR-Compensators

T&D World – Xcel Energy uses flexible static VAR compensator topology to adapt to changing network conditions in New Mexico for more stability and voltage control.

In 2010, Xcel Energy Inc. was tasked by Southwest Power Pool Inc. (SPP) to build out the transmission system in southeast New Mexico, U.S., because the oil and gas industry in the area had a growing need for electricity. Oil producers were asking to convert from expensive diesel to more affordable electricity for their pumps. The request from SPP consisted of a transmission system expansion of new 115-kV and 345-kV projects in the region. Spending had to be prioritized between 2010 and 2021 because of the sheer scale of the plan needed to successfully implement the request.

Xcel Energy addressed the plan by implementing projects classified as high priority. This plan resulted in initiating 44 new transmission projects, an investment of US$557 million. In 2016, two static VAR compensators (SVCs) — the China Draw and Roadrunner — were built in southeast New Mexico to support SPP’s request.

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Five Reasons Remote Technology Makes Sense

Remote-Control-SCADA-Automation

PowerMag – The case for advanced analytics and remote diagnostics: During the last 25 years significant advancements have been made in remote monitoring capabilities for power plants. A number of operations and maintenance (O&M) functions can routinely be managed remotely, and it is also becoming more common for peaking and renewable energy plants to be remotely operated reliably and safely.

Operating and maintaining a full-scale power plant remotely presents challenges that require sophisticated systems, reliable sensor and diagnostic equipment, stable high-bandwidth communication, and advanced security protocols. Even with progress made in each of these areas, some plant managers don’t foresee a scenario where remote operations will become the norm. But even in cases where there are no plans to run a generating station from a remote location, there is still a solid case for adopting remote technology.

Here are five reasons why the case for remote technology is stronger today than ever before.

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Major Advances with Motor Control Centers (MCCs)

Motor Control Center
MCCs are most widely used in the utilities, manufacturing, industrial, and large commercial industries that operate machinery and motors. MCCs offer enormous flexibility across differing industries and are suitable for many applications, such as: utilities, communications, oil, gas, chemical, pulp, paper, water, waste, mining, metals, industrial production, and mass-production manufacturing. MCCs are used to house various power distribution equipment and controls such as: main distribution panels (MDPs), main circuit breakers (MCBs), protective relaying, transformers, load centers, panelboards, etc. 
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The Importance of Protection & Controls (P&C) and IEDs

Power-Substation-P&C-IEDs
Protection and Controls (P&C) engineering and design is extremely important in power grid protection and coordination especially with the use of intelligent electronic devices (IEDs). Proper P&C designs and coordination with protective relaying and IEDs is an essential part of electrical power engineering for protecting large expensive power equipment such as: generators, transformers, transmission lines (TLs), power circuit breakers, electrical bus, etc.
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