Substation Engineering

The demand for new and upgraded substation infrastructure never ceases. Nor do the challenges stand still, as the process of siting, design, and permitting for new facilities is a continually evolving proposition. Meanwhile, upgrading substations to bring infrastructure in line with regulatory and operational standards and achieve safe, efficient functionality is undergoing a digital transformation. Accomplishing these diverse tasks in the face of aging or outdated infrastructure often requires outside expertise. To help substations meet these demands, EN Engineering brings deep insight and progressive technology into play. With renewable and emerging technology taking on a more significant role in the power delivery market, it is vital to consider how a proposed or upgraded substation will function within the greater power grid, microgrids, and other purposes. We provide engineering support from concept to commissioning with a forward-thinking, national organization with regional offices across the country. From large industrial and utility customers to small municipalities and developers, EN Engineering provides analysis, consulting, and planning services in substation transmission and distribution. As always, the best plans begin with reliable cost estimates and insights on quality specifications and recommendations. That includes owner engineering, where siting assessment and the practicality of project execution are vital to understanding the potential success and functionality of planned substations.

SERVICES

Substation engineering often demands documentation on existing infrastructure status and performance to begin the program management process. Facilities lacking history or seeking to upgrade management processes benefit from automation. All these processes require on-site and managerial collaboration within the Project Management Office to plan and achieve the best results. In response to these needs, EN engineers provide the capability, depth of knowledge, and progressive industry insights to guide power utilities through every step and scale of operational improvement, safety, and performance for substations relaying energy from power generation to delivery. Our consulting services includes best practices designed to train managers and deliver better results for next-generation assurance.

Creating an optimal new electrical substation or modernizing an existing facility requires ‘big picture’ expertise combined with exceptional attention to detail from conceptual development to commission. The top priorities always include project scope and cost analysis, factors determined by examination and location of components, sourcing and procuring equipment, securing siting when necessary, and permitting for approval, all with aesthetic, regulatory, and environmental concerns in mind. Utilities, owner engineers, and renewable power sources all depend on EN Engineering for consulting, planning, and analysis of substation engineering. Our services include retrofitting and modernization, transmission and distribution interconnection, relay protection, and SCADA. This broad spectrum of expertise serves the needs of traditional power generation and delivery clients and progressive applications, including microgrids and downtown networks. As a national firm with strategically located regional offices, our clients choose EN Engineering for high-level competency supported with localized knowledge to smoothly guide the process of substation engineering through design, analysis, and construction. When it comes time to replace or shut down outdated infrastructure, EN engineers oversee projects for safe decommissioning. 

Owners, managers, and operators of transmission and distribution substations recognize one of the most important sets of system components that allow the reliable and safe operation of an electric substation.  Protective relaying and control systems are responsible for receiving and sending signals to major operating components in a substation such as circuit breakers and switches to quickly operate.  Such systems also must coordinate and send signals to circuit breakers at other stations that may be hundreds of miles away to isolate a faulty transmission line facilities quickly before the short circuit causes incremental outages or damage to the grid.  EN provides protection and controls engineering services to clients ranging from utilities seeking ways to overhaul aging systems at existing stations to clients seeking new designs or protection system studies to support their new substation facilities. Within the realm of substation engineering, EN delivers deep expertise in performing industry leading protection and controls design support for transmission down to distribution level voltages protecting and controlling a wide array of equipment from substation buses to circuit breakers, lines, capacitor banks, reactors, transformers, and generators.  To ensure human safety performance, EN also provides arc flash evaluation and mitigation support for distribution and power generation facilities. 

Planning new power generation facilities takes insight that is not always available from the owner or developer perspective. That is why clients turn to EN Engineering for consultation and direction for owner’s engineers. Our experts apply state-of-the-art analysis and assessment tools to generate valuable decision-making data for substation siting, development, and permitting. Our experts in finance, procurement, and implementation interpret those findings to provide a clear picture of the efficiency, safety, and profitability of substations, including gas-insulated switchgear and substations. We excel at eliminating guesswork in many categories, including testing, commissioning, interconnection, environmental and regulatory management. The result is a far more predictable and secure owner’s engineer process from beginning to end.

Testing the load and balance of a new electrical substation is a requirement before commissioning, but the quality of expertise brought to the task determines its near-term impact in terms of efficiency, system availability, and operational integrity. In support of our clients across the full scale of substations from large utilities to local microgrids, EN Engineering plans and executes the testing process of going live before customer loads enter the system. Our engineering teams provide support and direction to test current levels and distance, settings, relay functions, and metering. Determining the right methodologies for testing the components and design of a specific substation is the differentiator when moving a substation through the commissioning process. EN Engineering is a trusted resource offering national resources and regional offices staffed with leading experts in substation engineering.

High-voltage gas-insulated substations deliver compact performance in many applications. These facilities serve many purposes from an aesthetic and environmental standpoint. Yet these facilities are less subject to external damage from weather and chemical elements. For these reasons, gas-insulated substations and switchyards are highly suitable for high-voltage applications. Due to their compact size, they serve well in areas where space or neighborhood restrictions prevent traditional substations, and where extreme environments of heat or cold impact performance. As a national firm with wide expertise in cost analysis and planning for substation/switchyard engineering, we deliver insights few other firms can offer. Our staff in regional offices across the country also provide valuable state and local knowledge for every phase of substation development from concept to completion.

Substation project development involves an often-complex series of discovery processes leading to the design of a facility from the ground grid design up to equipment and systems necessary to deliver power safely and predictably. As consultants, our projects range from small scale microgrid substations to networks of substations servicing larger scale utilities and industrial operations. Our integrated approach to substation project development offers financial analysis and procurement advice to optimize cost savings and return on investment. But most of all, EN Engineering provides the services of leading experts in substation project development, trusted resources who are staffed in all parts of the country to guide our clients to successful outcomes in substation design and commissioning.

Routing, siting, and permitting power delivery projects has evolved into a data-driven process to position assets for optimal safety, maximal productivity, and interconnection value. Routing line assets and siting substations benefit from data gathered through tools such as GIS data analytics. These insights enable power delivery projects to define existing assets and identify prospective paths, calculate routing impacts, target interconnection points, and plant protection and power relays. EN Engineering brings this level of expertise to life from concept to completion, guiding developers, or existing facility networks through the physical and financial processes of determining the best use of assets. EN also leads client partners through the regulatory and permitting processes required for traditional utilities, emerging technologies, owner engineers, and industrial or private customers.

As part of the electric grid connecting transmission and distribution lines, the substation’s location is critical to its optimal function. However, that placement is not as simple as plotting a point on a map and plugging into the network. Factors that affect substation siting include environmental conditions ranging from sensitive habitats to the vicinity of a substation to human habitations. While substations vary widely in size and appearance, major emphasis is now on ways to minimize environmental impact in a given location. The basic amenities of concrete foundations and protective barriers for security are common to most substations. Still, gas-insulated substations and switchyards pull all equipment inside, enabling a considerably reduced visual profile while processing typically high voltage loads. EN Engineering provides the expertise necessary to assess this broad range of environmental objectives and their solutions in constructs ranging from single projects to systemic program management and direction. Additionally, our teams of engineers guide appropriate security measures for substations in every possible environment. Our national reach is staffed by strategically positioned regional offices so that our team can provide direct or remote consultation as needed.

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