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Time is money! Plan B Solutions understands the business case requirements of Utilities and applies technology to meet those objectives:

  -Greater productivity
  -Improved reliability
  -Faster restoration
  -Reduced maintenance
  -Decreased const costs




Massive Automation Initiative Article

Nov 1, 2006 12:00 PM
by Jack Waizenegger, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; and Joe Sottnik, Lee Melville and Gene Grace.   (Click on T&D logo)



2005 Distributech Meeting Presentation Tampa Florida

Lee Melville, Project Engineer, Enspiria Solutions, Inc. (Plan B Solutions)
Mark Nakao, Electrical Engineer, LADWP



Schlumberger - Substation Automation Project

DENVER--SchlumbergerSema, a business unit of Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB), today announced it has signed a contract with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to furnish consulting, integration services and equipment to automate existing electrical substations.

The $56 million contract represents one of the world's largest substation automation projects, and includes retrofit of 179 existing substations and supply of two development/testing systems and a training simulator system. As lead aggregator, SchlumbergerSema will work together with technology provider Tasnet (Plan B Engineers) and subcontracted local minority business enterprises to provide all the services related to the system design, development, procurement, assembly and testing.

SchlumbergerSema will also assist with the installation and commissioning of each system, and will provide training services for system operation and maintenance. Deployment of the system is scheduled to begin in late 2002, and is expected to take up to five years to complete.

"SchlumbergerSema was selected after a detailed review process which was initiated over a year ago," stated Mahmud Chaudhry, assistant general manager, Power Transmission and Distribution, LADWP. "Based on this comprehensive analytical evaluation, the SchlumbergerSema solution offered the best combination of technology, services and economy. They can provide the professional, specialized system integration services needed for a project this size and complexity."

According to Jack Waizenegger, LADWP's project manager, automating their substations utilizing the SchlumbergerSema solution will provide the following benefits:

-- Maintain control system integrity by improving the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)/Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) availability rate and providing expansion capacity

-- Improve operating and maintenance efficiencies resulting in a good return on investment

-- Improve customer reliability

-- Enable easy access to valuable power system information, especially for planning and maintenance management

"We are excited about working with a progressive municipal utility like LADWP," stated Don Sweet, president of the SchlumbergerSema North American Energy and Utilities Group. "The SchlumbergerSema substation automation services enable our clients to address key business challenges related to operational efficiencies, reliability, service quality improvements and security. Our services are focused on helping our clients make critical decisions more accurately and quickly, enhancing the quality of service provided to their end customer, while optimizing the balance between optimal quality of supply, reliability and risk."

SchlumbergerSema has adopted Tasnet's substation automation solution (Plan B Engineers) to further broaden the digital enablement of transmission networks by providing a foundation layer for delivering critical information to the utility knowledge infrastructure and bringing essential real-time information into the energy community. Utilizing the Tasnet system's open architecture, utilities can quickly access vast amounts of real-time information crucial to network operation, allowing them to better resolve issues of capacity management and commodity access. "Schlumberger will bring it's industry recognized project management resources to compliment our technology offering" Stated Steve Baker, President of Tasnet.

About SchlumbergerSema

SchlumbergerSema is one of two business segments of Schlumberger Limited, a global technology services company. With more than 30,000 employees serving customers in 65 countries, SchlumbergerSema aggregates IT consulting, systems integration, managed services and related products to the oil and gas, telecommunications, energy and utilities, finance, transport and public sector markets. Leveraging the Schlumberger DeXa(a) Suite of Services, it also provides IP network connectivity, information security solutions, distributed computing support services and data center hosting services. In 2001, Schlumberger revenues were $13.7 billion. For more information, visit www.slb.com


About Tasnet

Providing solutions since 1982, Tasnet is an industry leader in PLC-based substation automation solutions. The Tasnet Substation Integration (SI) System, using an open architecture, communicates to a variety of intelligent electronic devices including PLCs, RTUs, protective relays, meters, distribution automation devices and controllers. Tasnet's solutions and products address various needs of the utility industry: customer retention, offset reduction in manpower, and reduced cost of control.

About Los Angles Department of Water and Power

LADWP serves more than 3.6 million people in the nation's second-largest city. Established nearly a century ago, the country's largest municipal utility provides the water and electric needs of Los Angeles businesses and residents in a 465 square-mile area.


CONTACT: SchlumbergerSema
Karen A. Hodgson, 905/315-9719


Potomac Electric Power Company, (Pepco), Washington, D.C. Launches a 700 feeder Substation Automation Project.

Pepco, the provider of power to the nation's capitol, is teaming with Tasnet to implement automation of 700 distribution feeders in close to 100 substations. The project will entail interfacing hundreds of protective devices and metering points from a variety of manufacturers and routing the data to Pepco’s SCADA master system. The $4.5 million contract award will be completed over the next two years. KEMA Consulting performed the automation analysis and developed the project specifications.


Benefit Approach
Savings of $8,000,000 annually Data from the protective relays will be employed by Pepco’s EMS/SCADA system to operate 1500 feeder capacitor banks.
Reduced Customer outages The relay settings will be SCADA controlled to minimize outages during weather and storm conditions. (e.g. system wide setting change to "fuse-saving" mode through storm periods)
Improved asset management Pepco has recently deployed a suite of maintenance management systems which include the PSDI Maximo system, EPRI Maintenance Management Workstation and EPRI Reliability Centered Maintenance program.  Smart relay data will be communicated to these systems 

Tasnet was selected after a rigorous competition of 17 vendors which involved a pre-qualification RFI (Request for Information) followed by an RFP (Request for Proposal).

Tasnet is the prime contractor for the project and will provide all automation hardware and software as well as procurement services for the protective equipment. Tasnet will partner with Powercon of Baltimore, Maryland to provide the field wiring and installation.

Tasnet is a leader in PLC based substation automation solutions. The Tasnet Substation Integration (SI) System communicates to intelligent electronic devices including PLCs, RTUs, protective relays, meters, distribution automation devices and controllers. Tasnet has been providing substation solutions since 1982.


Pepco provides service to over 692,000 customers in a service area with a population of approximately 1.9 million. Pepco's 640-square mile retail service area includes all of the District of Columbia and major portions of Prince George's and Montgomery counties in suburban Maryland.

Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Awards Substation Automation Project Implementing UCA Communications.

Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), a publicly-owned utility in Nebraska, has selected Tasnet, Clearwater, Florida to provide equipment and services for their Substation Automation (SA) Project.  Initially, two systems will be purchased and installed before a similar technology is strategically migrated into their substations.  The first system will be installed in a new OPPD substation this summer and will integrate intelligent electronic devices (IED's) using Utility Communications Architecture (UCATM), Version 2.0, and an Ethernet LAN.  UCA 2.0 is a suite of profiles that allows relaying and equipment monitoring devices from various manufacturers to communicate over common LAN-based platforms such as Ethernet.  OPPD has selected UCA 2.0/MMS as its "protocol-of-choice". 

The charter goal of OPPD's SA Project is to further reduce substation capital, operation, and maintenance costs while maintaining a customer focus of reliability, low-cost services, and safety.  By adopting common protocols and platforms such as UCA 2.0, MMS, TCP/IP, and Ethernet, OPPD will take advantage of the economies of scale of the computer networking and industrial control industries.  Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is sponsoring the development of UCA 2.0.  KEMA Consulting, Inc. provided consulting services to OPPD within an EPRI Tailored Collaboration (TC) Project. 

Omaha Public Power District

The Omaha Public Power District is one of the largest publicly owned electric utilities in the United States, serving more than 280,000 customers in 13 southeast Nebraska counties. OPPD was organized as a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska in 1946.


Wisconsin Electric Power Company

At Wisconsin Electric we recognized a need to change the way we had traditionally designed our substations. With competition upon us and the desire to reduce the overall life cycle costs of substations, we needed better and more timely information from our substations. The new microprocessor based protective relays that we were applying had all the information in them that was required, but we had no means of utilizing that data through traditional means. We needed a way to get that data to our operating, maintenance, and system planning personnel systems in a timely manner.

Tasnet first supplied the traditional RTU for status and control functions, but replaced the Analog Input section of the RTU with the SI system. This allowed WEPCO to remove transducers and A/D converters (high maintenance items) with data retrieved from SEL relays. In addition, WEPCO was able to remotely access the relays through the Tasnet supplied NIMs. Local HMIs were employed using Intouch Wonderware along with the Tasnet Network Master. This allowed for a very open HMI interface. As the technology proved to be cost affective, WEPCO ordered additional systems slowly replacing the RTU with the OPTO-22 and adding other devices such as Beckwith regulators. The more comfortable we became with the system the more we began to be the integrator. Currently WEPCO personal have become trained on Wonderware and the new US DATA ECS HMI for Windows NT to the extent that they develop their own HMIs using tools provided by Tasnet.

The Tasnet SI system provided us a way to integrate all of the IED's so that we could get the information needed to Operating and other business units in an economical way. In addition to providing the required data we realized many other benefits. We were able to reduce the amount of equipment on our relay switchboards as many items became redundant with this system. This reduction in equipment resulted in the need for less panels and thus we were able to reduce the size of the control houses. We have been able to use the PLC for automatic schemes which continue to allow us to reduce equipment and wiring in the control house.

One of the keys in the future will be how to manage the exploding information available so that we can make full use of our capital asset through better planning and operation of the distribution system. We believe the substation integration system will play a significant role in accomplishing that goal at Wisconsin Electric Power Company.

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Lakeland Electric and Water

The City of Lakeland, in looking for ways to reduce the cost in substation design and construction, decided to install Substation Integration Systems in the East Substation and Palmetto Substation. With the Tasnet SI system we were able to cut out 99% of the wiring for the analog readings required for SCADA. We now can communicate directly to an IED which contains all the information and map it directly to the SCADA system.  In reducing transducers we were able to reduce the number of relay panels in the substations and reduce the physical size and cost of the SCADA interface. The remote access feature enables our engineers to remotely access devices such as relays, and has also reduced the cost of maintaining the substations.  Additionally, it allows the relay engineers immediate access to fault information.

The East Substation contains the standard Tasnet RTU for status and controls. The analog data required for SCADA is retrieved from SEL-221, SEL-321, SEL-251, SEL-501 and SEL-587 relays as well as Cooper CL-SA regulator controllers. Some controls such as Regulator Raise, Lower, Auto, Manual and Voltage reduction are done directly from the IED NIM.

The Palmetto Substation is configured similarly with the addition of a PLC that allows us the ability to combine over 100 inputs into a major and minor alarm to SCADA. The remote access then allows the operators with the ability to call into the HMI for further details when required.

The HMI tools Tasnet created allows us the ability to alter the original screen Tasnet constructed making this a very open platform. Creating windows such as enunciator windows was very easy to do. Although there were some problems integrating new devices into the system, Tasnet aided. The ability to add any type device we need allows this system the flexibility and openness we were looking for.

The City of Lakeland found Tasnet Inc. to be among the leaders in Substation Integration.  They were able to provide numerous listings of existing systems in the field . Tasnet has been able to forge good working relationship with most of the IED manufactures which in turn gives the City of Lakeland an edge in the competitive electric market. We have had a good working relationship with Tasnet so far and they have been responsive to any problems that we have found.

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LADWP Automation delivery and commissioning ongoing. Currently 85 systems  delivered!

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