Issue: 73  /  January 2021


Welcome to the January 2021 issue of PSC News.

As is customary, we’re starting the new year with a brief look back on 2020 by our CEO Alex Boyd. We recognize last year was a time of hardship and uncertainty for many, but it’s also been a time of determination, collaboration and growth. In that spirit, we’re sharing some of our key highlights as we turn our sights toward the promise of 2021.

I’m proud to note we include some firsts in our ongoing effort to share useful and relevant content in this issue. We’ve got our first client Q&A with Essential Energy’s Head of Cybersecurity. We’ve got a tremendous three-part series between some of PSC’s UK experts discussing the potential impacts of the UK’s Ten Point Plan for a net-zero transition. We’re also pleased to include our first two articles from guest bloggers, both related to the industry’s growing support of hydrogen. And, finally, we’ve included a review of our first participation in a virtual tradeshow.

And, as always, we’re covering several client successes, marking some of our employees’ milestones and introducing you to our latest new hires.

To all our valued clients and PSC News readers, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. We’d love to help make 2021 a fruitful year for you. Please let us know how we can support you and contribute to your success. If you’re interested in sharing your industry articles or content with us, please reach out. We’d love to include you.

Tim Ritchie Chief Revenue Officer

PSC’s 2020 highlights: An exceptional year in review

Author: Alex Boyd

2020 has been exceptional in many ways. I was honored to present the keynote speech at the IET conference on Developments in Power Systems Protection in early March. It was the last conference I attended in person and probably one of the last physical conferences to occur anywhere in the world. As I was returning home, the world was shutting down, marking the start of a very different year for all of us.

PSC announces support Charities for 2021

Each year around the holidays, PSC directs charitable contributions to local organizations helping people in need. The process of selecting where PSC gives donations is administered by our volunteer internal Charitable Giving Committee.

This year, the committee requested nominations from all employees focusing on organizations operating within the regions where PSC does business and that support those unable to meet their basic needs of food, water and shelter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PSC experts discuss the UK’s Ten Point Plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’

Author: Gary Landels

The UK Government recently set out its Ten Point Plan for what is referred to as the “Green Industrial Revolution,” an all-encompassing phrase to drive the UK toward a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. It’s a bold, ambitious plan that touches on several aspects that are close to PSC’s heart as specialist consultants to the electricity industry. In his three-part bseries, Gary Landels asks questions of PSC’s industry experts in the offshore wind, transmission and distribution sectors and discusses what impact and potential solutions could be developed and/or implemented to help ensure the targets set in the UK’s Ten Point Plan can be achieved.

A look back at a virtual ENIC

Author: Ann Burns

PSC’s mission is to deliver expertise and solutions to utilities and energy companies worldwide, empowering them to innovate and thrive in a rapidly changing industry. Therefore, we were pleased to contribute to the innovation taking place across the UK electricity and gas industry through the Energy Networks Innovation Conference held virtually December 8-9, 2020. The PSC team hosted an exhibitor stand where we discussed our range of services and innovation projects in the UK and around the world.

PSC dovetails domain expertise and collaboration in support of WPD’s innovation projects

Author: John Taylor

Innovation is at the heart of Western Power Distribution (WPD)’s business strategy and key to its commitment to a net-zero future. That’s why the electricity network operator is working with PSC and others on innovative solutions that will help deliver a smarter and more efficient energy system for the future.

Brad Flanagan, Essential Energy’s Head of Cybersecurity, on securing OT environments and the AESCSF

Author: John Taylor

Rob Anderson, PSC’s Cybersecurity lead, had a virtual sit down with Brad Flanagan, Head of Cybersecurity at Essential Energy, to talk about securing power utilities’ SCADA environments, the impact of new security legislation for critical infrastructure and the Australian Energy Sector Cybersecurity Framework (AESCSF).

Brad Flanagan, Head of Cybersecurity at Essential Energy

The future of ripple control and peak demand management in New Zealand

Author: Peter Brown

All 29 of NZ electricity distribution businesses (EDBs) use ripple control to help manage electricity demand. To inform future planning around management of peak demand, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) wanted to better understand the current use of ripple control and EDB’s future plans around demand management. They engaged PSC to prepare a report looking at these factors and also barriers to effective use of ripple control.t 

Adding value-effort modeling to Australia’s cybersecurity conversation

Author: Rob Anderson

The Australian government is getting serious about cybersecurity in the face of growing attacks from sophisticated malefactors. In the energy sector the conversation has largely been around compliance frameworks, with AESCSF being most talked about. I have some concerns that with the discussion being centered on frameworks, it may be leading people toward thinking that compliance frameworks are where a cybersecurity strategy starts and ends. I think that a robust strategy needs to go beyond a purely compliance-based approach. It is my opinion that securing a network requires more than proving compliance at a certain maturity level – digital assets hold differing values to organizations and therefore some assets require higher levels of protection and others less.

PSC sponsors EUCI’s Transmission Upgrades and Expansion 2020 Conference

Author: Alex Lindner

Just as utilities have continued to invest in and break ground on transmission projects in the face of COVID-19, so too has EUCI managed to weather the storm, adapting to the challenges of the pandemic by transitioning to virtual conferences in 2020. PSC Technical Director Tracy Rolstad kicked off EUCI’s Transmission Upgrades and Expansion 2020 Conference, which took place on December 9-10.

Preparing for green hydrogen

Guest Contributor:  Erik Westergaard

We are seeing both the scope of and timeline for technological progress increasing at an unprecedented rate. The recent announcements of successful Covid 19 vaccines highlight what can be done when the international community gets focused on finding solutions to global problems. Climate change is another area where global focus is required. As highlighted by Dr. Mani Vadari in his thought piece, “Hydrogen is Making a Comeback!” hydrogen is currently enjoying a revived momentum in various projects around the world with the aim of helping address climate change.

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Hydrogen is making a comeback! 

Guest Contributor:  Dr. Mani Vadari

If you didn’t celebrate National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on October 8th, don’t worry, you weren’t alone. Only in its sixth year, the day – much like the objects of its celebration – is just starting to gain momentum. As it was created by and for scientists and engineers, the date is a nod to the atomic weight of hydrogen, which is about 1.008.

PSC Tawa has moved to Johnsonville!

Over the last few months, we have had several office relocations in Asia Pacific. The Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth teams have relocated.  And at the end of November last year, the PSC Tawa team relocated to Johnsonville. What a massive shift! The new physical address is:

Level 1, 12 Moorefield Road, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037, NZ

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About our People

Rose Urban joins PSC 

Author: Ann Burns

PSC welcomes Rose Urban as Principal Electrical Engineer in the UK/Europe region. Rose brings her comprehensive experience in power systems, HVDC/HVAC cables and HVDC interconnectors. Based in the UK, Rose will be a valued member of PSC’s HVDC team in the region.

PSC Staff Milestones

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Barry Ireland celebrates 10 years of excellent service with PSC

PSC congratulates Barry Ireland who celebrated his 10-year milestone with PSC in November 2020. Barry is based in our Christchurch office in NZ and initially joined PSC in the Electrical Engineering team. Having been involved in many projects over his time with the company, Barry is currently working in the consulting side of the NZ Operational Technology team. Along the way Barry’s been involved in a variety of other tasks including managing the integration of the Genassure team into PSC and setting up the Christchurch office. Barry celebrated his work anniversary with the Christchurch team and Ross Gaspard at Smokey T’s BBQ.

L to R: Ross Gaspard – PSC GM Operational Technologies NZ, Barry Ireland, Peter Brown – PSC GM NZ

Gary Wade celebrates 10 years of excellent service with PSC

PSC congratulates Gary Wade on 10 years of excellent service with PSC. Gary is an Energy Applications Manager based in our Perth office. He is a well-liked employee who often goes the extra mile to exceed client expectations. Gary is known for his banter and quick wit, and is also an expert negotiator with US Uber drivers (inside joke). Gary celebrated his milestone at a nice dinner out with his colleagues at the Santini Bar & Grill. Thank you for your dedicated service Gary, we look forward to another 10 years!  

L to R: Gary Wade, John McLean – PSC Regional Manager Asia/Western Australia

PSC Welcomes New Staff

Rose Urban – PSC Europe

PSC welcomes Rose Urban who joins PSC as a Principal Electrical Engineer. Rose has extensive experience in power systems, HVDC / HVAC cables and HVDC interconnectors. She has been involved in the development and construction of large infrastructure power projects across Europe and this includes the technical lead on proposed interconnector projects where Rose was responsible for the HVDC and HVAC cables for these projects. Her PhD was on electrical transmission systems for large offshore wind farms. She is an invited expert of a CIGRE Working Group on the recommendations for testing extruded HVDC cables rated up to 800 kV and is an active member of the IET. Rose will be part of PSC’s HVDC group working with our clients across the UK and Europe.

Philip Jordan – PSC Europe

We welcome Philip Jordon to the PSC Europe Power Networks team.  Philip is a chartered Electrical Engineer with over 20 years’ experience in the delivery of critical energy infrastructure both in Ireland and abroad. Philip was a leading figure on the successful on-time delivery of Ireland’s €600M power interconnector project across to the UK, where he oversaw the development and implementation of all EPC Contracts and the design and construction phase.  Philip has worked successfully alongside key stakeholders across the energy sector such as EirGrid, ESB, CRU, Board Pleannala and various government departments both in Ireland the UK. Philip will be based in Ireland. Welcome to PSC Philip.

Hanadi Jaber – PSC Australia

PSC welcomes Hanadi Jaber to the role of Information Technology Graduate in the Energy Applications team in Perth. Hanadi recently graduated from the University of Western Australia with a master’s degree in Software Engineering and worked with the UWA IT department before joining PSC. Hanadi is looking forward to working with the PSC team.  Welcome, Hanadi!

Victor Lo – PSC New Zealand

PSC welcomes Victor Lo to the role of Senior Consultant in the New Zealand team.  Victor joined us in early December last year from Jacobs, and although currently based in Auckland, he’s planning to move to Christchurch soon. Prior to Jacobs, Victor worked for Transpower and gained a PhD from University of Canterbury. He will be working in the Power Networks team on power systems studies.  Welcome to PSC Victor.

Radwa Abdalaal – PSC North America

Welcome to Radwa Abdalaal, who has joined PSC in the Vancouver office as an Associate Studies Consultant. Radwa completed her PhD at the University of Manitoba this July working on ”Power Quality Conditioning Technology for Power Grids with Modern Lighting Loads.” She also holds a Master of Science degree from Ain Shams University in Egypt where she worked on modeling of solar-based power generators. Radwa is a technical reviewer for several IEEE publications. In her free time, Radwa likes to read, play piano or go for long walks. Please join us in welcoming Radwa to PSC!

Ali Goharrizi – PSC North America

PSC welcomes Ali Goharrizi who has joined the Vancouver office as a Senior Power Systems Studies Consultant. Prior to joining PSC, Ali worked for six years at Manitoba Hydro International as a developer of PSCAD software where he performed various renewable energy system studies and model development projects. Ali obtained his PhD from the University of Manitoba in 2016, and is a registered Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) in the Province of Manitoba, Canada. He volunteers for IEEE as a technical reviewer and as a member of PES TR80 taskforce. Welcome to PSC Ali!