Issue: 68  /  March 2020


Welcome to the March 2020 issue of PSC News.

The electricity landscape is changing quickly and I’m pleased to say PSC is evolving with it. In this issue of PSC News, you’ll read about our acquisitions and expansion in Europe, active engagement at industry events, and several recent hires. All of this change is grounded in a 25-year history of serving our clients – some of whom have been with us since the first day back in 1995. We’ve also recently had the pleasure of honoring Tony Weller, who celebrated his 20th anniversary with PSC last month.

In February, we participated in DistribuTECH 2020 where discussions centered around our changes and trends in the industry, including advances in renewables, energy storage, digital transformation, and grid modernization.

Over in the UK this month, PSC’s CEO, Alex Boyd, will be delivering the keynote address at DPSP 2020, the 15th International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection.

I hope you enjoy the update, and as always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

Tim Ritchie Chief Revenue Officer

PSC expands its European operations with power system experts from Ramboll UK

PSC is pleased to announce that experts from Ramboll’s Power Systems department in the UK, have joined PSC, expanding our complementary experience and expertise in owner’s engineer services, power system feasibility studies and design, protection systems engineering, technical due diligence, regulatory consultancy services, and project management.

Amid an industry in significant transition, our mid-sized consultancy firm helps our electric utility clients deploy, manage, and maintain power system solutions to deliver clean, reliable, efficient, safe, and affordable power to their customers. The power system experts from Ramboll bring deep and complementary experience to PSC and provide clients with additional technical services, thus augmenting PSC’s capabilities as active agents in the evolution toward the grid of the future.

The Ramboll team – from left to right: Gary Landels, Daniel Randles, Scott Murray, Steven Jacques, Miriel Garcia, Richard Adams, Eric Bainbridge, Steve Nutt, Mike Hook, Graeme Hutchison, David Bailey and Neil Keeler. Absent – Nick Randles.
Short bios included in the extended article.

PSC welcomes the Gridconnect team

Recently you may have read that PSC Europe announced the acquisition of Gridconnect and we welcomed the team – Carlos Galvan, Ryan Byrne, and Farzin Khaleghi – to PSC Ireland in January 2020. Carlos takes up the role of General Manager – Power Systems (Ireland) and will continue to be supported by Ryan and Farzin, who are both Power System Engineers. Gridconnect was founded by Carlos in 2012 and has been working internationally in multiple jurisdictions including EMEA and Latin America. The team has helped their clients with innovative and cost-effective solutions to deliver more than 2GW of renewable generation projects over the past eight years. This team specializes in wind, solar, biomass, biogas, and high voltage installation design.

Carlos, Ryan, and Farzin bring specialist expertise to the PSC team in the following areas:

  • Grid Code compliance studies
  • HV earthing design
  • HV electrical system design and substation design
  • HV cable sizing
  • Protection discrimination studies
  • Lightning protection studies

Tim Miles, MD PSC Europe said, “The acquisition will strengthen and diversify the expertise and capabilities within the Europe team, allowing us to bring a more robust level of support and guidance for our clients.” This will enable both existing Gridconnect and PSC clients to access a wider range of services to assist them with their project objectives as the renewable energy market continues to grow in Ireland, the UK, and around the world.

Technology is disappearing at DistribuTECH International, and that may be a good thing

“The most profound technologies are those that disappear,” says Sophie Hackford, citing Mark Weiser’s The Computer of the 21st Century. Sophie, an Oxford-based futurist and researcher, is addressing a roomful of thousands of electric utility personnel and product vendors at DistribuTECH International 2020 in San Antonio.

Utilities are notoriously averse to early adoption, often prioritizing security and reliability over innovation. But as the traditional utility model becomes disrupted by new technologies like behind-the-meter solar, the electricity industry is opening its ears to unorthodox voices.

In another context, Sophie’s audience – there largely to showcase and trial new transmission and distribution software and hardware – might have been uncomfortable with the prospect of their technology disappearing. But while technology might disappear, says Sophie, it doesn’t necessarily go away. Because when technologies become sophisticated or ubiquitous enough, they “weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”[i]

Join the Fun Run!

On the 3rd of May, come for a jog with PSC employees in Medina, Washington, to support a great cause! The RGI 5K Fun Run raises money for the Rwanda Girls Initiative on their mission to educate and empower girls of Rwanda to reach their highest potential. Participants have the chance to receive cool swag from PSC and other event sponsors.

PSC CEO to deliver DPSP 2020 keynote speech

PSC is proud to support and participate in the 15th International Conference on Developments in Power System Protection, March 9-12, 2020, in Liverpool, UK.

The electric utility industry is grappling with change on many fronts – from technology advances to clean energy initiatives – and we can all agree the system is becoming more and more complex. Even so, the underlying physics of generating and transmitting electricity and the overall mission of delivering reliable, secure service hasn’t changed. So, how do we balance delivering on our steadfast mission with the challenges and trends we’re experiencing in our industry?

Automated systems and data process efficiencies

There is an increasing reliance on the need for more efficient and accurate use of data when completing power system analysis to support transmission and distribution network project reinforcements and upgrades. PSC has been assisting one of our clients to improve the reliability, accuracy and efficiency of their specific annually repeated studies. These include:

  • Production and updating of load estimates
  • Analysis and reporting for high voltage charging methodology
  • Analysis and reporting for common distribution charging methodology
  • Long term development statements
  • Fault level assessments
  • Calculation of site-specific losses

PSS®E studies and Python scripting were used to develop several automation tools for each stage of the reporting and resulted in process improvements in the following main areas;

  • Input data accuracy through automated checking
  • System analysis through improved calculation methodologies
  • Repeatability through automation of studies
  • Standardized reporting through output formats and processing

The benefits of this work ensure that the scripts and automation tools are developed with clear documentation and effective unit testing/validation engines.

Tony Weller celebrates 20 years of excellent service with PSC

PSC congratulates Tony Weller who recently achieved a significant milestone in completing 20 years of excellent service with PSC. Tony is a Senior SCADA Project & Support Engineer with extensive experience in EMS, SCADA, and HVDC/Substation automation and control systems. Over the past 20 years Tony has worked on many projects for our clients including:

  • Transpower New Zealand SCADA modelling and support services
  • Energy Management System (EMS) upgrade projects
  • Commissioning engineer/manager for the NordBalt HVDC Link project
  • SCADA support, modelling and commissioning for clients in Darwin, Melbourne and Adelaide
  • Commissioning engineer for the HVDC Maritime Link project in Canada
  • Altalink EMS expansion project in Alberta Canada

PSC would like to thank Tony for his commitment and excellent service over the past 20 years. A social event was held in our Kirkland office in Washington State to celebrate this important milestone.

Tony Weller (L) and PSC Group CEO Alex Boyd (R)


PSC Welcomes New Staff

Glenn Pallesen – PSC Australia

PSC is pleased to welcome Glenn Pallesen, who joins us in the global role of Director of Operations. Glenn has 35 years’ commercial and technical experience across emerging and disruptive technologies, generation, transmission, and distribution. He has held senior operational roles at Evoenergy, Select Solutions, Sinclair Knight Merz, and CS Energy. Glenn’s experience covers both the private and public sectors. This gives him a strong, holistic appreciation for the spectrum of issues that our clients are facing around governance, regulatory obligations, risk, and commercial drivers. Additionally, Glenn brings extensive project delivery experience and an eye for detail, intuitively applying lean six sigma concepts to continuously improve systems and processes. He will engage directly with our clients with his intense focus on quality control and continuous improvement of our systems and processes to achieve high-quality deliverables within the agreed scope, cost and schedule. Glenn is based out of Canberra.

Gayle Wooster – PSC North America

PSC welcomes Gayle Wooster as Senior Group Marketing Manager operating out of our Kirkland office. Before joining PSC, Gayle spent 23 years with GE (formerly Alstom / AREVA / Cegelec / ESCA) as Communications Director for the Grid Solutions business. During her tenure at GE, Gayle directed functional areas of brand, events, media, marketing, internal, and executive communications. After GE, Gayle was the Sr. Communications Manager at Buddy Platform, an IoT company helping customers monitor utility consumption in their buildings. Most recently, she was with Modern Grid Solutions, a full-service utility consulting company, where she provided communications counsel to various energy industry clients related to modernizing grid operations and utility transformation planning. Gayle brings not only a solid background in the energy industry; she also offers a customer-centric perspective and a proven marketing and communications discipline to PSC.

Monica Scantlen – PSC North America

We are pleased to welcome Monica Scantlen to PSC. Monica joined PSC North America in January as the company’s dedicated recruiter. Monica has been a professional recruiter since 1999, working both for private companies and professional recruiting services. Over the course of her career, she has managed recruits for all levels of IT professionals, developers, engineers, scientists, project management, business management, as well as all levels of finance, legal, and administrative roles. Since 2012, she has been a senior recruiter for EnergeiaWorks, based out of New Jersey. While with EnergeiaWorks, Monica provided remote full-life cycle recruiting for companies in the renewable energy industry. She is fluent in solar, wind, and smart grid markets.

Sheng Chen – PSC North America

PSC welcomes Sheng Chen to the role of Senior Accountant for the Kirkland team. Sheng has joined us from a public accounting firm in Bellevue, Washington, where she worked with small businesses. Before moving to the US, Sheng worked for large, multi-national organizations in Taiwan in progressively responsible roles. As the Finance Director at Schneider-Electric in Taipei, Sheng oversaw the accounting and finance functions for multiple operating entities while working closely with business units to develop forecasts and provide valuable management reporting. Sheng is a Washington certified CPA and brings a wealth of US and international experience to PSC.

Carlos Galvan – PSC Ireland

PSC welcomes Carlos Galvan to the role of General Manager for PSC Ireland where he will be responsible for all engineering studies and consultancy work. He has 15 years’ experience in the electrical design and project management of major renewable energy projects and high voltage installations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South America. Carlos founded Gridconnect in 2012 and led a team that has been involved in the delivery of more than 2 GW’s of renewable generation projects for their clients over an eight-year period.

Ryan Byrne – PSC Ireland

PSC is pleased to welcome Ryan Byrne who has joined the electrical engineering team for PSC Ireland. With five years’ experience at Gridconnect as a Power Systems Engineer, he was responsible for detailed modelling, feasibility studies, project management/site supervision, substation and network design to accommodate the construction and connection of numerous power generation projects for his clients across the world. Ryan has a keen interest in underground power cable ampacity calculations and was also involved as the primary designer on one of the first underground cable connections which required cross bonding in Finland at 33kV.

Farzin Khaleghi – PSC Ireland

PSC is pleased to welcome Farzin Khaleghi to PSC Ireland as a Senior Electrical Engineer. With over ten years’ experience spanning electrical design for the high voltage power industry and commercial installations, his areas of expertise include a strong focus on power systems analysis, substation design, cable design, earthing design, and lightning protection systems. Farzin has extensive experience in power systems simulation and is also an expert member of Technical Committee TC 81 lightning protection for the IEC (International Electro-Technical Commission). Farzin is passionate about electrical engineering and looks forward to supporting PSC’s clients with their projects.

James Civil – PSC United Kingdom

PSC welcomes James Civil who joined the PSC UK team in January. James has more than 20 years’ experience with National Grid as a power systems engineer. During that time, he has been responsible for detailed modelling, planning studies, substation, and network design to accommodate new customer connections onto the UK system. This included carrying out detailed analysis and leading multi-disciplinary teams as a system design engineer to overcome technical challenges whilst facilitating new connections and ensuring both grid code and regulatory license compliance. Recently he has had responsibility for the system design team, including the analysis, review, and sign off for new connection and system changes to ensure compliance with the Security and Quality of Supply Standards (SQSS).

Rebecca Derbyshire-Lloyd – PSC Australia

We are pleased to welcome Rebecca Derbyshire-Lloyd to PSC. Rebecca joined PSC Australia’s Operational Technologies group in January 2020 and is based at our distribution client Ausgrid on a Schneider Electric ADMS project delivery in Sydney. Rebecca has a solid background in the energy industry with previous experience in IT testing, analysis, and regulatory compliance. She previously worked at SA Power Networks as an IT Change and Release Manager and Origin Energy as a Test Analyst.

Punit Singh – PSC Australia

PSC is pleased to welcome Punit Singh who has joined the PSC Adelaide Operational Technology support team in Asia Pacific providing test validation services to Electranet SA. This transmission company is currently installing a new OSI EMS system that controls and monitors the South Australian electricity transmission network. Punit has an extensive background in software testing and has experience working in the banking, e-commerce, airline, and electricity industry.

David Wibowo – PSC Australia

PSC welcomes David Wibowo who is a senior software engineer with over 15 years’ commercial experience in software development in multiple industries including health, insurance, mining, retail and the power utility sector. David joins the Market Systems team in Western Australia. He graduated in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Western Australia. During his study, David gained an interest in fields such as computer graphics and robotics. His final year thesis was in the field of bioinformatics, researching on search algorithm for protein sequences.