Do it now!

US Utility’s viewpoint on IEC 61850

Our presence at the last IEEE in Anaheim (California) served to learn the opinion of the representatives of the US utilities, who spoke on May 8 about their reasons for adopting IEC 61850, the decisions they’ve made on their current path and what they’ve done and learned at the Industry Viewpoints on IEC 61850 panel, IEEE T&D Conference and Exposition in Anaheim, CA.

The day before, engineer Kirk Tisdal from Salt River Project at the VPAC: Clearing the Path Towards Substation Virtualization session started the sentence ‘just like energy cannot be destroyed, only can change form, complexity in the substation can’t be eliminated, only moved to another place’ that was finished at the Industry Viewpoints on IEC 61850 on 8 May by engineer Bill Winters form Con Edison saying ‘the complexity now is in the box’.

John Hart form Duke Energy highlights that ‘Automation is Automatic’ so relay testing (checking what’s inside the box) must be conducted prior to final installation, and all relay settings must be reset.

Engineer John Bettler from ComEd completes the panel presenting their 61850-training approach so professionals can deal with this ‘relocated complexity’ and session chair Rich Hunt from Quanta Technology closes the panel indicating that what’s inside the box must be defined: ‘You don’t get what don’t specify’.

The final message of the panelists is in complete agreement: the future is IEC 61850 but there is work to be done (Planning, Specification, Testing, Training, and more) so you better do it now!

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