Issue: 65  /  September 2019


As a leader in the global electricity industry, PSC safely guides our clients through a complex, critical, and rapidly changing landscape. In order to stay at the top of the industry, we are constantly evolving. That’s especially noticeable this month with two big changes.

I am thrilled to have been selected as PSC’s Chief Revenue Officer. It’s my job to make sure that PSC is well known for the excellent work of our world-class electricity experts, and to ensure we support our clients in every way we can. As part of that responsibility, I’m honored to also be the editor of PSC News.

You will have noticed that we are delivering PSC News in a fresh format. We want to make it easier for you to access and read on the go. Moving forward, you will find a central theme running through each issue, with bite-sized chunks in your inbox and the full story on our website if you want to learn more.

I hope you enjoy the changes, and I welcome your comments or suggestions. If you would like to get in contact, email [email protected].

Tim Ritchie Chief Revenue Officer

Transmission Planning with Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) as Non-network Solutions

The objective of electricity transmission network expansion planning is typically to determine the most efficient grid development options to balance generation with demand. Traditionally, this means planning for capacity expansion based on load and generation forecasts and is often supported by building new transmission lines across long distances from generators to load centres. Investment decisions have historically been driven by meeting technical requirements at the lowest cost. However, other issues such as social, environmental and land are quickly becoming prohibitive factors.

The use of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) allows load to be met on location. DER provide the opportunity for non-network solutions to minimize grid expansion. PVs and other microgenerators are now helping to reduce grid power consumption, but they bring their own set of challenges to the grid. It is difficult to predict their intermittent power output, adding variability and uncertainty to the operation of the power system. Popularly known as the enabler for the highly renewable future grid, the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is a necessary part of the DER family. Since it can be actively controlled, the BESS provides a way of smoothing the supply and matching the demand in the network.

Stability Study for Renewable Integration, North America

As renewable penetration increases in power systems around the world, utilities are required to proactively investigate the security and reliability of their systems to accommodate the new generation. A North American utility needed to address stakeholder interests in adopting more renewable generation and retiring conventional generation, while maintaining system stability. The utility needed a consultant to determine the level of renewable energy that could be accommodated by the existing system and help them present a sound investment approach that addressed stakeholder interests without putting the power system at risk.

PSC ran a comparative study between the client’s system model and jurisdictions in South Australia and Ireland experiencing similarly increased levels of renewable penetration in their systems. Our detailed knowledge of those systems from like projects expedited the analysis and ultimately reduced the study effort for the client. We shared lessons learned from how these jurisdictions responded to the retiring of conventional (synchronous) generation and adoption of more renewable (subsynchronous) generation as well as what other system settings were adjusted in order to accommodate them.

Distribution Automation Strategy Review

Distribution automation scheme applications in operation around the world improve reliability, voltage performance and network operational visibility. Across all the major vendors of advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) there is a common focus on automation applications covering situational awareness; network automation; business process automation; distributed energy resource management; and asset condition management.

PSC recently assisted a distribution utility client with an independent review of their automation strategy with a clear focus on improving supply reliability while meeting regulatory requirements for electricity safety and power quality. With network requirements changing rapidly, taking a broader view of automation is an opportunity for the client to prepare for changes in the future operation of distribution networks, as well as supporting further network operational improvements today.

PSC at CIGRE Canada

Meet the PSC team at the 14th annual CIGRE Canada Conference on Power Systems, hosted by Hydro-Québec in Montréal on September 16-19 2019.

CIGRE Canada is the Canadian National Committee of the International Council on Large Electric Systems, the leading international organization on high-voltage electricity generation and transmission. The purpose of the conference is to promote collaboration with experts from around Canada and the world by sharing knowledge and joining forces to improve electric power systems of today and tomorrow.

As a Diamond Sponsor, PSC is highly involved in the CIGRE Canada Conference. There are several opportunities to hear from our thought leaders and technical experts this year. Don’t forget to swing by our Booth #44 on the exhibit floor!

PSC Scholarship recipient Laura Harding and PSC New Zealand GM Peter Brown

2019 PSC Scholarship Awarded to Laura Harding

PSC has supported the University of Canterbury for more than 14 years. The PSC Scholarship was established in 2004 as a co-operation between PSC and the Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre) to promote and support the education of power engineers and the study of power engineering as a field of excellence in New Zealand. The scholarship is open to students in their 3rd professional year who are focusing on power engineering subjects and have demonstrated excellence in their studies.

Our congratulations go to Laura Harding, this year’s PSC Scholarship recipient, who was selected from a very strong field of submissions based on her outstanding academic achievement combined with a strong focus on practical work experience. Laura has completed work assignments with Mitton Electronet and Electronet Transmission, and is currently the University IEEE Committee Chairperson for 2019. PSC New Zealand GM Peter Brown awarded the PSC Scholarship to Laura at the University of Canterbury in August.

PSC Welcomes New Staff

Andrea Williams

PSC is pleased to welcome Andrea Williams to PSC Australia in the role of Contracts Coordinator. Andrea comes to PSC with a very strong project, contract and site administration background which includes experience in the construction industry working as a project administrator on major roading projects and the Port of Brisbane upgrade. She has also previously worked as a travel consultant. In her role with PSC, Andrea’s primary focus will be covering all aspects of contracts for our clients and sub-contractors. Andrea is based in our Brisbane office.

Tracy Rolstad

We are pleased to welcome Tracy Rolstad in his new role as a Technical Director with PSC North America. Tracy’s experience in power system planning and modeling within the Western Interconnection will be a real asset to our North American clients looking to innovate and thrive. He received his BSEE from the University of Idaho and earned a graduate diploma from the College of Naval Command and Staff. He started his career in power systems as a Reactor Operator and Engineering Watch Supervisor in the United States Navy (on board USS Hawkbill) serving 22 years in the Navy and Navy Reserve. His experience in power system planning and modeling began at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center and then developed and evolved at the Bonneville Power Administration (technical operations), as a Principal Engineer at Utility System Efficiencies, as a Consulting Engineer at Avista Utilities, and now as a Technical Director for PSC.

Alex Bash

We’re super excited to welcome Alex Bash to PSC! She joins us as an HR Generalist for North America. Prior to moving to Seattle in 2015, Alex lived in Atlanta, Georgia, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Managerial Science, with concentration in Human Resources and International Business from Georgia State University. Post college, Alex spent some time in the Peace Corps before taking a role in HR at Talking Rain Beverage Company. She spent 4 years working in progressive roles as a key member of their HR team. Alex brings strong skills in Human Resource systems and process, payroll and benefits administration, and recruiting. Welcome aboard, Alex!

Ché Peake

PSC is pleased to welcome Ché Peake to PSC Australia as a Telecommunications & Network Engineer. Ché has over 20 years’ experience in the IT and Telecommunications industries which includes extensive experience in designing, deploying, managing and maintaining switched and routed networks, communications deployment and management, Microsoft Windows and Active directory networks. Ché has both Microsoft and Cisco certifications and his major strengths include Cisco routing and switching, Cisco Unified communications and Cisco and Check Point firewalls. Ché is based in our Adelaide office.

PSC Australia 20th Anniversary Celebration

PSC Australia recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. The weekend included several fun events and a formal dinner for staff and their families to celebrate the excellent achievements over the past twenty years. From starting in a small office in the Richmond suburb of Melbourne, PSC now has offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. We also have staff working for clients in other locations across Australia.

Team PSC Australia at sunset in Noosa, Queensland


PSC Staff Celebrate 10 Years of Excellent Service

Kevin Box (L) and PSC Asia Pacific GM OT and Market Systems Matt Robinson (R)

Recently two PSC staff in Australia celebrated 10 years of excellent service with PSC. The PSC management team congratulates Kevin Box and Henry Lwin on reaching this important milestone – well done.


Kevin Box is the Telecommunications Manager for PSC Australia and is also the PSC manager in South Australia. Kevin’s experience in the Electricity Industry includes project management, engineering, commissioning and technical support for a wide variety of telecommunications networks and control system projects for clients throughout Australia and New Zealand.

PSC Asia Pacific Market Systems Manager John McLean (L) and Henry Lwin (R)

Henry Lwin is a Market Systems and Senior Software Engineer with over 20 years’ experience. He has been involved in the design, development and testing of software applications and provided support and project services to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in Western Australia for their Wholesale Electricity Market Systems (WEMS). This included maintaining and enhancing existing WEMS applications.