Issue: 72  /  November 2020


Welcome to the November 2020 issue of PSC News.

In this, our final edition of PSC News for 2020, we are pleased to showcase work we’re doing with our clients in Great Britain. David Mills shares the support we are providing WPD on their innovation projects in the UK. In Ireland, we’re proud to present a project with Eirgrid where we are investigating potential sub-synchronous resonance in generators associated with series capacitors. We also offer two articles related to energy markets and an announcement about our new Energy Applications unit, which focuses on bespoke software development. As always, we introduce our new PSC team members (there are many!), recognize those that have achieved significant career milestones at PSC, and are chuffed to highlight two PSC employees who’ve recently received industry awards.

We hope all of you stay healthy and safe through the holiday season as we look forward to a brand-new year and a new issue of PSC News in January 2021!

Enjoy the update, and as always, I  welcome your comments and suggestions.

Tim Ritchie Chief Revenue Officer

PSC supports WPD’s innovation efforts

Author: David Mills

Innovation is at the core of the UK’s Western Power Distribution’s (WPD’s) business strategy. As such, WPD continues to participate in Ofgem’s electricity Network Innovation Allowance (NIA)[i] and Network Innovation Competition (NIC)[ii] programs with an aim to find the most efficient ways of addressing the technical challenges of the future electricity network while at the same time, keeping electricity affordable for all its customers.

WPD’s innovation program delivers a wide range of projects to trial and demonstrate new and advanced systems, techniques and technologies. The intent is to provide innovation outcomes to be taken through to business as usual as quickly and efficiently as possible. Many of the projects are shaped around WPD’s key priority area of Decarbonization and Net-Zero.

PSC is proud to participate in three such projects with WPD that are all funded under the NIA or NIC.

Sub-synchronous Resonance in the Irish Grid


EirGrid operates and develops the electricity system in Ireland. With a commitment of meeting 70% of Ireland’s electricity demand from renewable resources by 2030, EirGrid is making significant developments to its grid to ensure the wind and other renewable generation in the west of Ireland is transferred securely and efficiently to the east. One such development is EirGrid’s plan to install series capacitors to increase power transmission capacity and stability of the 400kV lines from the Shannon Estuary in the west of the country, to Dublin in the east.

PSC has created a new business unit to better meet our clients’ needs

Author: Roger Riley

PSC’s Market Systems team has been advising clients in Asia Pacific for over 20 years, providing a wide range of services from Market Clearing Engines, market modelling and market design, through to testing services and bespoke software development. Market Systems is a highly specialized field requiring specific skillsets, whereas testing and software development, while still specialist from an energy sector perspective, are broader in both application and skillset. In recognition of this fact, we have developed a team dedicated to these services, Energy Applications.

Considerations for joining the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) – Part 1: What is the EIM

Author: Tracy Rolstad

The EIM has the potential to provide Balancing Authorities in the west with major economic benefits that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Joining the EIM allows Balancing Authorities to leverage generation from each other to achieve their imbalance requirements, which can improve grid reliability and cost savings for participants.

Electricity: the “coffee” of international energy markets 

Author: Phil Devine

We live in a global economy and like any other resource, electricity can be shared, bought and sold between different countries with different languages, currencies and cultures. Just as countries must find common ground to work together, electrical networks must connect very different infrastructures in order to make trade possible, across political, financial and physical frontiers.

International electricity trading

International sales revenue from electricity exports by country totaled US$33 billion in 2019. Europe sold the highest dollar worth of exported electricity during 2019 with shipments valued at $22.7 billion or more than two-thirds (68.6%) of the global total.[1]

IIoT and the keys to actualizing the decentralized energy revolution – Part 3 of 3

Author: John Camilleri

Innovations in power generation, storage, and transmission technologies are forcing a shift away from centralized power generation towards a distributed, decentralized model. Utility operations are presented with new challenges related to security and controls; how they respond will shape the future of the decentralized energy landscape. This 3-part series investigates the potential applications of distributed systems, as well as the role of interoperability in actualizing the decentralized energy revolution.

In the first and second installments of this series, I introduced the concept of the grid edge, the advantages and challenges presented by distributed systems, and some of the real-world applications of a distributed system approach. In this third and final post, I’ve focused on the critical nature of interoperability in a modern, decentralized grid.

A look back on CIGRE’s 2020 virtual Paris Session

Author: Richard Adams

As large gatherings are off the agenda due to COVID-19, here’s one engineer’s take on CIGRE’s biennial Paris Session from his home office in the UK.

CIGRE’S long history

Except during WWII, CIGRE’s signature Paris Session has taken place every even-numbered year since the organization’s founding in 1921. The Paris Session is where all 16 CIGRE Study Committees (SC) come together in one location for a week at the end of August to discuss pretty much all aspects of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and network operation. It’s an event that in 2018 brought together more than 3,600 delegates amongst 9,600 exhibition visitors and 300 international exhibiting companies to one location in the heart of Paris. Beyond the technical discussion sessions and tutorials, a vast array of meetings for Study Committees and Working Groups take place. There’s also a unique opportunity for networking with other electrical grid specialists on a global scale.

About our People

Congratulations Will Lyons!

PSC is pleased to announce that Will Lyons – a PSC Graduate Power Systems Engineer – was awarded TasNetworks 2020 Electrical Engineering Power prize. The award recognizes outstanding engineering students for projects in their final year at the University of Tasmania. Will’s certificate was presented for his honors thesis about integrating large-scale wind into the Tasmanian grid. Well done, Will!

PSC’s Richard Adams receives CIGRE’s Outstanding Service Award

Each year, CIGRE Study Committee B5 – Protection and Automation – identifies one if its members for their consistent outstanding contribution and service to the committee. The award is normally presented in August at CIGRE’s biennial Paris Session. This year the 2020 session was modified due to COVID-19, so the award was given virtually.


PSC welcomes APAC Power Networks GM

PSC welcomes its new Power Networks General Manager for the APAC region, Roderick Kisten. Formerly Group Manager of Transmission and Distribution at Jacobs, Roderick has an excellent understanding of the challenges facing the sector and our clients in APAC. He will be working to broaden our services and increase our capacity to meet continuing strong demand for connection studies and due diligence.

PSC welcomes new HVDC GM

PSC welcomes Phil Devine as its new HVDC General Manager for the UK/Europe region. Phil joins PSC from WSP in the UK where he was HVDC Chief Engineer. Phil brings to PSC his comprehensive knowledge of the development of large-scale power transmission systems and the integration of renewable energy sources which is a burgeoning market in the UK and Europe. Based in the UK, Phil will manage all aspects of PSC’s HVDC practice in the region.

Upcoming Events

Staff Milestones

Alice Seuala celebrates 20 years of excellent service with PSC

PSC would like to congratulate Alice Seuala on a fantastic 20 years of service at PSC.  Alice joined PSC on May 1st, 2000 as an Administration Assistant / Payroll Clerk.  In the 20 years that Alice has been with PSC, she has covered all facets of the Administration / Operations aspect of PSC New Zealand at that time, and all the other entities that have come along since.  She is the friendly face greeting everyone at the PSC Tawa office and is well known around the world.  Alice was finally able to celebrate  with her Wellington colleagues at a dinner held at the PSC Tawa office in October (Alex Boyd and Sandi LiSanti even joined in via a Teams video call).  Congratulations Alice!

L to R: Alo Seuala, Alice Seuala, PSC Peter Brown – General Manager NZ

Lisa Willetts celebrates 10 years of excellent service with PSC

PSC congratulates Lisa Willetts who celebrated her 10-year milestone with PSC in October. Lisa is based at our Tawa office in NZ and initially joined PSC as part of the Operations team. She has been involved in many groups at PSC during her 10 years including Operations, Admin, HR and is now part of the global marketing team.  Lisa is known around the company for chasing up staff for their updated CVs and being on her laptop too late at night!  She celebrated her work anniversary with her Wellington colleagues at the Tawa office and enjoyed a lovely dinner and cake.  

L to R: Lisa Willetts, PSC Peter Brown – General Manager NZ

Ken Pratt celebrates 10 years of excellent service with PSC

PSC congratulates Ken Pratt on reaching his ten-year milestone with PSC.  Ken has worked with PSC for ten years, but he has worked with many of us for much longer. Mark Prentice and Ken first worked together in the mid ’80s!  Also, Ken spent significant time in Australia working for ESCA/Cegelec/Alstom/Areva/Alstom (now GE), before coming to work at PSC.  All this history makes Ken’s fit at PSC all the more natural.

Ken is a ‘get it done’ kind of guy. In the early days of PSC NA, Ken helped set up the office, helped HR, Finance, IT, Projects, Sales, Recruiting, etc.  As a result, Ken is our go-to historian for anything PSC NA outside of Alex Boyd. If you’re curious if we did work with a utility or worked on a system in NA, Ken knows. Currently Ken is part of a team pushing PSC NA into specification, RFP and vendor selection activities as an OT Owner’s Engineer.

Personally, Ken excels at bowling and bicycling. He is part of the electrification future with both home solar panels and an electric vehicle.

PSC Welcomes New Staff

Allan Burns – PSC Europe

PSC welcomes Allan Burns to the role of Principal Engineer in our Newcastle Office (though obviously working from home at the moment). Originally from Invercargill in New Zealand, Allan joins us from WSP and the former Parsons Brinckerhoff/ PB Power businesses, where he has worked as engineer, advisor and project manager on a number of HVDC and transmission and distribution projects. Prior to all this, Allan started his electrical engineering career at Design Power in New Zealand. He brings a wealth of experience which will be very beneficial as we continue to develop and expand the European business. In his spare time, Allan’s interests include rugby, rowing, reading, gardening and cycling. Welcome to PSC Allan!

John Taylor – PSC Europe

PSC is very happy to welcome John Taylor to the Europe Regulation and Strategic Advisory team.  John has extensive experience working in the UK electricity industry for distribution network operators. He has also been involved in a number of overseas SCADA, communications projects and other assignments working and living in Hong Kong, Canada, India, the Middle East and Africa.  John comes to us having worked on Price Control Reviews, Masterplans, Grid Code updates and varying facets relating to Regulatory Compliance.  Living in the rural north of England, John makes use of his C&I skills as an amateur radio enthusiast.  He also has a few sheep.  He and his wife Trish enjoy travel and spending time with friends and family.

William Lyons – PSC Australia

PSC welcomes William Lyons to the role of Undergraduate Engineer in the Hobart office.  Will is currently completing his Bachelor of Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Tasmania and will continue to work with us after graduation at the end of this year. When Will isn’t studying or working, he likes to build things and work on his Landcruiser. Welcome to the PSC Australia team Will!

Babak Jeddi – PSC Australia

PSC welcomes Babak Jeddi to the role of Power Systems Engineer in the Brisbane office. Babak recently completed his PhD at Queensland University of Technology while also acting in the roles of tutor and research assistant. Before moving to Australia and completing his PhD, Babak worked as a project manager and engineer in the Research Affairs Office in Iran. Welcome to the PSC Australia team Babak! 

Ben Hutchins – PSC North America

PSC would like to welcome Ben Hutchins to our North American team.  Ben joined us after working as a Power Systems Consultant in the UK. His most recent work experience includes working on insulation coordination studies in PowerFactory for a windfarm in the USA, as well as developing an automated contingency ranking tool for South Africa. Ben holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Nevada Reno, where he worked on research in computer security. In his free time Ben likes to hike, play piano, and create Excel spreadsheets. Ben will be working remotely from Madison, WI and supporting our System Studies team.

Ann Burns – PSC Europe

We are pleased to welcome Ann Burns as the Sales and Marketing Lead in Europe based in our Newcastle, UK office. She joins us from WSP where she was a Sr. Bid Coordinator. Ann is responsible for regional sales and marketing activities, including regional planning, coordinating conference activities, marketing efforts, and bid responses.  It’s worked out well for PSC that Ann chose this career path and didn’t continue to pursue her initial interest in basketball. She played for the New Zealand national team, representing them in the Commonwealth Games. Ann remains a sports fanatic and a proud supporter of the Wellington rugby team, the Hurricanes. She also enjoys reading and gardening in her spare time.

Emmanuel Amankwah – PSC Europe

Welcome to PSC Emmanuel Amankwah!  Emmanuel is an Electrical Engineer and Researcher with varied experience in the power transmission and utility industry. His experience includes research in emerging technologies for transmission systems like HVDC technology, working as Design Engineer for medium voltage transmission networks and as a Power System Consultant involved in the investigation of the impact of non-synchronous generation in power systems. Emmanuel joins PSC from National Grid Ventures where he was an HVDC Project Technology Engineer providing technical expertise on the Viking Link Interconnector and as an HVDC Project Engineer on the North Sea Link (NSL) Interconnector to Norway. Emmanuel is passionate about emerging technologies for the development of power networks and keen to apply his acquired skills and knowledge to solve the challenges facing modern power networks.

Cesar Marzoa Montalvo – PSC North America

We welcome Cesar Marzoa Montalvo to our PSC team in Vancouver! Cesar has joined us fresh after completing a Master’s program in electrical engineering from the University of Manitoba. Cesar’s research includes working on a new Multi-Modular Converter (MMC) topology where he used a Real-Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) for hardware-in-the-loop testing. Cesar holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Technological University of Havana where he also worked as an instructor. He was a visiting researcher at the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen Institute in Germany in 2016. In his free time Cesar plays guitar, and likes to hike and bike.

Anju Rai – PSC Australia

PSC Australia welcomes Anju Rai, an electrical engineer with over 9 years’ experience in the energy utility sector. Her areas of expertise include SCADA/DMS implementation, SCADA/DMS modelling, configuration, testing and report analysis on the GE E-terra Platform, testing and commissioning of electrical equipment like metering, CTPT units and relays.  Anju is based in Sydney and will be working for our T&D clients in NSW.  She has a 4 year old son “Reyansh” and her husband works as Consulting Manager at Deloitte. Her hobbies include reading novels, cooking and travelling.

Ahmad Tahboub – PSC Europe

Under some slightly different circumstances, Ahmad Tahboub joined the PSC UK team on September 28th. Ahmad will be associated with the Warwick office as part of the UK Power System Studies team. However, recently Ahmad has had the luxury of having to quarantine in a hotel room in Warwick.  Ahmad joins us from having previously worked with the EirGrid Access Planning team where he was carrying out system studies to assess the impact of new customer connections onto the EirGrid network. Ahmad is currently looking for somewhere to base himself in the Warwickshire area and will hopefully get to explore the area soon. In his spare time Ahmad enjoys swimming, tennis, classic literature and photography. Welcome to PSC Ahmad!

Frederick Koh – PSC Asia

PSC welcomes Frederick Koh who joined PSC as an Electricity Market Systems Consultant based in Singapore on October 1st. Frederick has worked for many years in IT in the operations research/optimization software industry. We are delighted to welcome him to the APAC team. Frederick will work closely with the Asia and Perth teams to strengthen our service delivery capability for our APAC clients. His initial focus is on the Single Buyer project but will extend further to support the Market Systems team growth in the region and beyond. He enjoys cycling as a hobby.

Babak Ahmadi – PSC Australia

PSC welcomes Babak Ahmadi who is a Scada Engineer joining the team in Australia in our Brisbane office.  Babak is an experienced Energy Systems Engineer with expertise in conducting feasibility studies, development, testing and commissioning of Energy Management Systems.  Babak is currently studying for his Masters of Sustainable Energy at the University of Queensland and he will use this knowledge in the field to scale energy efficiency innovations for Australia’s rapidly changing energy industry. In his spare time, he has an interest in coffee and has built his own mobile coffee cart business.

Tim Stewart – PSC Australia

PSC is pleased to welcome Tim Stewart as a Senior Electrical Engineer who specializes in electrical plant and control systems engineering for the electricity industry. This includes protection systems engineering and commissioning, control systems design, AVR/governor testing, rotating machinery testing/maintenance and high voltage electrical testing. Tim’s background also includes site-based maintenance and project engineering for several hydro, steam and gas generation sites around Australia.  Tim has been the technical lead on several power station and solar infrastructure power projects and will be based in our Brisbane office.  On the weekends, you can find Tim on the soccer field, on the bike, behind the mower, or off the beaten track camping/hiking.

Michael Shaw – PSC Australia

PSC welcomes Michael Shaw who joins our Power Networks team in Australia as an Electrical Engineer. Michael has extensive experience in power system modelling and has performed studies for various solar farms in industry standard programs PSS®E and PSCAD. This includes the development of generator performance standards, connection feasibility studies, analysis of network constraints, and simulation support during the solar farm commissioning phase. Michael has worked with a wide range of inverter manufacturers and is familiar with the different simulation models and control technology.

PSC Office Closures for 2020/2021 Holiday Season

North America, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, Asia

Closed 24 Dec 2020 – 3 Jan 2021
(Working 23 Dec 2020, 4 Jan 2021)

New Zealand

Closed 24 Dec 2020 – 4 Jan 2021
(Working 23 Dec 2020, 5 Jan 2021)*
*the first two business days of the New Year are Public Holidays in NZ