Electric Transmission

This track focuses on sharing experiences, innovative solutions, and current best practices in meeting various challenges in the Transmission Sector. Sessions will cover workforce development, new technology and its implementation, aging infrastructure, wildfire prevention, changing security concerns, and compliance with safety and security regulations.

This track is sponsored by:

Meet the Electric Transmission Program Development Team. For questions or more information on this track, please contact Kris Taylor at 971.930.2033.

Learn more about the Operations Conference.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Technological Innovations
Speakers: Joshua Wepman, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, Leidos Engineering, LLC
Duffy Haggarty, Survey Manager, David Evans and Associates, Inc.
This session will review several technological innovations that are making transmission jobs possible during COVID restrictions.

Geospatial from the Ground and Up at Record Speeds
This presentation will focus on the latest information and advances in ground based static and mobile LiDAR & sUAS (Small Unmanned Aerial Systems) Photogrammetry technologies and show how these systems can be used for design level topographic mapping. It will also focus on how these tools provide a highly efficient means for field collection of existing conditions while providing a safe environment for collection staff. Recent case study examples provided will show how the technology is currently being used and to stimulate ideas of potential uses on attendee’s future projects.

Semi-Autonomous Drone Fleets for T&D Operations
Use of sUAS drones in field surveying has made a demonstrable impact on the way we perform surveying of our T&D assets. However, the current approach and its scale of impact is challenged by some key constraints. In this presentation, we will outline approaches for: scaling stand-alone drones to semi-autonomous drone fleets, adapting sensors into realtime damage and change detection sensors, and future operating modes that employ this advanced technology to transform survey, damage assessment, and O&M activities.

1:00 PM – 2:15 PM
Designing Resiliency: Best Engineering Practices for the Unexpected
Speakers: Sara Schroeder, Senior Project Engineer, Department Manager, POWER Engineers, Inc.
Dave James, Wildfire Resiliency Program Manager, Avista Corp.
From design practice updates to rebuilding impacted transmission lines, Designing Resiliency will examine at industry practices for planning for and recovering from major system disruptions in two presentations. The first presentation will cover updates published in 2020 to the Manual of Practice 74 from ASCE as they relate to the topic of resiliency; the second presentation will cover wildfire mitigation from a utility perspective to share their approach and successes on this important challenge to a large area in the West.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
Recent Transmission Projects: Conquering Urban Design + Construction Constraints
Speakers: Marvic Verzano, Transmission Line Engineer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Hudson Foley, VP Business Development, Maskwa Environmental Consulting LTD
Matt Nicholson, Transmission Engineer, Black & Veatch
Keith McCabe, Supervisor of Overhead Transmission Engineering, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
This session will showcase two recent transmission projects in California that overcame significant urban construction constraints; and contain a third presentation on siting and permitting considerations. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Black & Veatch will discuss the design decisions made to complete the San Bruno Interchange Construction Project. Maskwa Environmental Consulting Ltd. will present on how key facility construction and operational considerations can be incorporated into overall siting and permitting approaches for transmission facilities in both urban and rural environments. Los Angeles Power & Water District (LADWP) will share how it has nearly completed the Valley Rinaldi overhead line upgrade and reconductoring in spite of significant construction and outage constraints.

PG&E San Bruno Interchange Construction Project
The project utilized existing infrastructure comprised of buried below-grade steel pipe to remove and replace aging HPGF transmission cable with an innovative XLPE cable bundle. Several challenges were overcome during design and construction including: replacement of existing steel and foundations during limited clearance windows, reuse without removal of existing cable terminations, foundation designs that accounted for San Francisco bay mud geotechnical conditions, future proofing the design of structures and foundations to account for the future re-cabling of adjacent circuits and adapting existing infrastructure for new cable technologies.

Siting and Permitting Considerations
Maskwa Environmental Consulting Ltd. will present on how key facility construction and operational considerations can be incorporated into overall siting and permitting approaches for transmission facilities in both urban and rural environments.  The presentation will highlight how overall impacts can be considered and potentially mitigated to achieve cross-discipline needs as well as the common challenges encountered.  Real examples will be used to highlight and share learnings with attendees, with a focus on how long-term operational considerations play an important role in up front facility planning and permitting activities such as siting.

LADWP Valley Rinaldi Overhead Line Upgrade and Reconductoring
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has committed to one of the most ambitious plans for fossil fuel reductions in the country.  In order to reach that clean energy future, LADWP’s transmission system needs to undergo a transformation that hasn’t been seen in sixty years. One of the first steps towards that clean energy future is the Valley – Rinaldi Upgrade Project (VRUP).  The goal of the VRUP is to increase the emergency rating of two circuits by nearly 50%.  The VRUP utilized in-house engineering and construction resources to replace 14 circuit miles of conductor and perform tower modifications.  The project overcame several challenges during design and construction that included: limited construction windows, strict return to service times, major freeway crossings, and limited construction resources all while being located in a very dense urban environment.

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Old Equipment – New Needs
Moderator: Tyler Lamb, Project Development Manager, QEPC
Speaker: Dan Nunez, Civil Engineer, Bonneville Power Administration
Panelists: Scott Anschell, Asset Management Lead, HDR Engineering
Alan Dulgeroff, Director, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
BPA will share its success developing a CHR plan (criticality-asset health-risk) followed by a panel on aging infrastructure and the ever-evolving grid. The panel will look at how to balance an aging system and new grid requirements within budgetary constraints.

This session is sponsored by: