The utility provider shows why effective training is the key to energy transfer

During his two decades in the consumer industry, Lee Rechia learned that it would take some kind of person to work successfully at an energy control center. Resia, who has been transferred from the head of the Energy Regulatory Center to the manager of the California Branch Water and Power (BWP) utility, says:

Prior to joining the BWP, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) said, “Being a system operator always takes the kind of staff that goes from zero to 60 seconds.” They must withstand a single malfunction or malfunction in the system that could cause damage and maintain stability.

Stability is one of the few aspects of an operator that will not change in the near future. In fact, as the power system is constantly evolving to integrate renewable energy and energy resources (DER) such as roofing and electric vehicles (EVs), the skills and tools needed to manage power flows seamlessly and maintain grid reliability are in place. Flow condition.

“Operators have had the same system and equipment for years, and now we are suddenly seeing new changes every month to develop solar and renewable energy,” Russia said. We bring out new assembly tools every month for renewals and system add-ons, and we need to find people who are trained on how to use them.

The need for continuous training to meet the skills needed to build a fast-changing power system is not limited to BWP. Utilities everywhere face challenges and needs that go beyond integrating and managing new technologies. The need to establish partially effective training programs is compliant, especially the North American Electrical Safety Corporation (NERC) PER-005 standard. NERC requires training to ensure that system operators have the necessary skills to maintain the integrity of the bulk energy system, and imposes severe penalties for disobedience.

Another important reason for training is that a large number of experienced consumers have reached retirement age. The US Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that 25% of utility workers will retire in 2023. Also, when the grid is changed, many of the assets that are the building blocks of the power system are aging. The most recent Infrastructure Report card issued by the American Civil Engineers Association (ACC) has given the country’s energy system a C-rating because of its ability to invest heavily in upgrades as well as over its 50-year-old generation, transmission and distribution assets. in the past.

Renewed focus on training

As training becomes more and more important, many consumer leaders realize that their programs for teaching new skills have been neglected for years. One common theme I saw with many established facilities was that they had very strong training programs during the day, and that they had training programs and training that worked well. In the HCCA. , A company that develops and implements training programs for companies in a variety of industries, including the energy sector. Over time, many training programs have been weakened.

But Johnson said many resource leaders, such as BWP’s Recchia, understand the important role that training can play in recruiting new staff, teaching experienced staff new skills, and maintaining a safe and secure grid community. What that training program looks like varies from utility to utility, but engages utility clients through a strategic approach called HIS ADDIE – analyzing, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating.

“The level of” analyst “for HIS training services is when you go in and find out what the operator or other staff can do.” Part of that process is to determine if the training we are receiving now fits those job descriptions, then analyze the gaps to see what is missing.

Based on that knowledge, then the training program can be designed based on empty or existing resources. The developmental stage focuses on creating content: be it a physical instructor, online courses, videos or some PowerPoint presentations presented in combination: Application level is to determine the curriculum and schedule.

The assessment level takes many forms to include and add to the learning objectives during the training. “The student needs to evaluate the content, the lesson, and the teacher, and then see if new skills or tools are needed for future training,” said Burch. Finding ways to make learning better is simply a cycle of improvement.

New training focus in Burbank

To understand what this strategic approach looks like in the real world, it is important to return to the BWP to ensure that the utility collaborates with HIS to ensure that its employees have the skills needed to operate and improve the energy system. Many potential gaps need to be addressed through training to manage the distribution grid to ensure that they are available, including the utility controller control and access information (SCADA) system. “We will transform that old system into a new advanced distribution management system [DMS] It takes into account the distribution of energy and renewables such as solar and EV chargers, so we have more control over our system, ”said Rechia.

As these and other changes require employees to acquire new skills, BWP has worked with HIS to renew training for new and existing staff. Collaborates with WW to develop a list of skilled workers for their work inside and outside the control room. Then complete the necessary tasks, the content of the instruction, the evaluation methods and the appropriate ways to deliver and strengthen the training. Russia: “Training has always been difficult in this industry. Operators work 12-hour shifts, so I can’t find anyone for months. ” So it is difficult to ask if they have been trained and if they understand.

That’s why Russia is deploying the HIS tool in the online training management system. Online courses make it easier for employees to integrate their training into their programs and learn how the training management system works for tests on Russian visibility and new materials. If they fail the test, I can see that, I will reach out to find out what else they want and have someone work with them to help them understand.

Prior to working with HSI, the BWP focused on training new staff. However, insights from HIV have helped BWP understand the ongoing changes in all facilities, which means that experienced staff also need ongoing training.

We are implementing a full training program for newcomers, and then we need the training we need to do for our existing members on a cycle basis. Although a person has been an operator for 20 years, they need improvement courses and education. How to use all the new systems and tools we are implementing. We are not there for everything, but we have made our training program more effective in the long run.

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