Bulk Power Operations Planning Support Engineer – Generator Interconnection

Birmingham, AL

Bulk Power Operations Planning Support Engineer - Generator Interconnection

This position will be located at the Power Coordination Center (PCC) in Birmingham, AL and will support the 24x7 real-time operations group.

Job Summary:

As the generation fleet continues to transition from traditional spinning machinery to inverter-based technology, it is critical to ensure that these resources are integrated into Southern Company’s Bulk Power System in a reliable manner, while also providing essential reliability services to the grid. Bulk Power Operations is at the forefront of these efforts and plays a critical role in steering the future of our generation fleet towards delivering clean, safe, reliable, and affordable power to our customers.

This position will focus on providing operational support to reliably integrate new Inverter Based Resources (IBRs) into the Southern Company Transmission System. As a result, the successful candidate will participate in generation interconnection activities and collaborate with multiple stakeholders, perform transmission level evaluation and assessments related to reactive power capability and participate in interconnection and delivery study activities. Due to the operational characteristics of the IBRs and uncertainty around their performance, the engineer will also be responsible for performing real-time steady-state stability studies in the operations planning horizon.

Job Requirements (Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills)

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Electrical Engineering from ABET-accredited institution is required.

  • Minimum of 3-5 years of utility experience or utility related experience.

  • For less experienced engineers, electrical engineering courses that will be helpful in this position will include Power System Analysis, Protective Relaying, Control Systems, Electric Machine Theory, and Symmetrical Components is preferred.

  • Experience in working with Inverter-Based Resources (IBRs) including solar, battery energy storage, wind, hybrid power plants is a plus.

  • Understanding of power system fundamentals such as frequency control, balancing, ramping, voltage control, stability, inverter controls, and operation of the Bulk Electric System is preferred.

  • Knowledge of modeling inverter-based resources for operations studies, particularly with understanding of dynamic models is a plus.

  • Familiarity with generation and system protection is a plus.

  • Experience working with power system modeling and analytical tools such as CAPE, PSS/E, PSCAD etc. is a plus.

  • Familiarity with computer programming (such as but not limited to C, Visual Basic, VB.Net, or Python) is a plus.

  • Understanding of NERC reliability standards and FERC Open Access Transmission Tariffs a plus.

  • Strong problem-solving skills required to find solutions on new/difficult topics with a diverse set of working groups.

  • Strong communication and presentation skills is a plus.

  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously, prioritize work effectively and adhere to deadlines is required.

  • Work and Coordinate with both internal and external groups to resolve technical issues, demonstrating the capability to make prudent decisions in challenging circumstances.

  • Be self-motivated, results-oriented, innovative, and work well in a team environment.

  • Must function well in a quick paced environment.

  • Must be a self-starter.

  • Demonstrates behaviors consistent with Our Values: Safety First, Intentional Inclusion, Act with Integrity, and Superior Performance.

Job Responsibilities

This job may be filled from the entry level engineer to a senior engineer level depending on qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

  • Review, evaluate and provide feedback on generator interconnection studies in the pipeline (OATT and QF).

  • Proactive engagement with IBRs to establish interconnection & operational expectations, mitigate issues/conflicts, and coordinate cross-functionally across Planning, Policy, and Operations to obtain official approvals for initial synchronization and Commercial Operation.

  • Monitor IBR performance to ensure appropriate and expected response to system disturbances.

  • Conduct operations planning studies to support system operations functions including but not limited to local reliability studies (e.g., Local Generation Limits), Interchange Distribution Calculator (IDC), sudden MW loss, transient and voltage stability studies using TSAT and VSAT. Periodic on call required.

  • Perform technical analysis, including adherence of IBRs to SOCO’s reactive and voltage schedule requirements.

  • Forecast and establish new operational tools to meet future operational needs.

  • Review and maintain dynamic and power flow models for generators and associated controls required to perform real-time stability analysis, including IBR modeling.

  • Assist in the support of real-time stability studies and special assessments as needed.

  • Establish and maintain operating protocols and procedures, and support on-going NERC testing after Commercial Operations (e.g., MOD-025, MOD-026 etc.)

  • On behalf of the Southeastern Reliability Coordinator, the Southeastern Balancing Authority Area and the Southern Company Transmission Service Provider, serve as additional contact for generator interconnection issues that are operational in nature.

  • Participate in industry committees and initiatives as needed.

  • Other duties, as assigned.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy provider serving 9 million residential and commercial customers across the Southeast and beyond through its family of companies. Providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy with excellent service is our mission. The company has electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company with national capabilities, a fiber optics network, and telecommunications services. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, resilience, and sustainability, we are taking action to meet our customers’ and communities’ needs while advancing our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and are the key to our sustained success. We are transforming energy into economic, environmental and social progress for tomorrow. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have earned the company national awards and recognition from numerous organizations, including Forbes, Military Times, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, J.D. Power, Fortune, Human Rights Campaign and more. To learn more, visit www.southerncompany.com.

Southern Company is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Job Identification: 6541

Job Category: Engineering

Job Schedule: Full time

Company: Southern Company Services

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