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Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training, in cooperation with Leeward Community College, Siemens Power and Transmission, and Hawaiian Electric Company, are developing a curriculum for technicians that deploys and maintains electric power transmission and distribution through the application of Smart Grid technologies, while providing participants with a working knowledge of generation, transmission, and distribution topics. This project provides an educational pathway for traditional, non-traditional, incumbent, and displaced workers to develop the knowledge and skills required for deploying and maintaining a Smart Grid distribution while acquiring an associate degree or two-year certificate. This training program includes the development of practical problem-solving skills for lineworkers, technicians, planners, reliability coordinators, control room operators, and control administrators.
Oregon Institute of Technology??s (OIT) Strategic Training and Education in Power Systems project cross-trains power engineering graduates in electrical, mechanical, and energy engineering; building on a strong foundation in mathematics and science. OIT graduates also have a firm understanding of renewable energy source integration, energy policy, and economics. OIT will increase the number of energy and systems engineers in the electric power industry by augmenting curriculum and faculty resources, expanding laboratory capabilities, and increasing industry collaboration. New faculty will be hired and laboratory facilities expanded to support anticipated enrollment.
Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and its partners are providing training for electric power line installers and repairers, control valve installers and repairers, and power plant operators, fulfilling a critical need for workers trained in line worker technology, including metering and substations. In addition to Utah, entry-level training is being offered in Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho. To enhance workforce skills, SLCC is also providing training on the introduction and integration of Smart Grid. Using pilot cohorts, SLCC will evaluate training delivery models including use of the Internet.
Oncor Electric Delivery Company is partnering with Siemens Power Technologies International to provide training in transmission planning and protection due to increased urban energy loads and to meet the need for specialized wind power studies. Students will focus on developing practical problem-solving abilities and building a greater working knowledge of transmission power systems. The training will enable engineers to plan, design, and protect a Smart Grid. Courses include Power Electronics in Transmission Systems (HVDC, FACTS) and Wind Power, Analytical Methods for Voltage Control and Planning, Power and Stabilizer Tuning, and courses based on Siemens?? PSS ?? software, such as Graphical Model Builder and Advanced Power Flow. Training will be provided at Oncor for their employees and at Siemens for the public.
Northern Michigan University (NMU) is establishing a training center to provide training that includes both the knowledge and skills required for an entry level technician in the electrical power industry. NMU??s mock electrical substation will provide students with a hand-on laboratory, with actual equipment, enabling them to practice skills that are needed in the workplace. Lab size will be limited to an 8-12 student maximum. A program coordinator will stay abreast of current technology to make sure that the program includes all relevant technology in use and under development. The curriculum was developed by Northern Michigan University in consultation with industry partners in the LSCP consortium.
The NEW Generation Power Skills Development Initiative develops and enhances regional training programs for the emerging Smart Grid workforce by incorporating industry identified ???core skills,?? and utilizing multiple delivery methods to accommodate the diverse needs of the learners (e.g., incumbent workers, unemployed, traditional students). The initiative maximizes the resources and expertise of the four partner colleges to integrate a standardized set of core competencies into Smart Grid related programming either through new courses and/or modification to existing curricula.
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) has been diversifying its power generation sources and modernizing its distribution services through the upgrade of remote switching and monitoring operations, feeder and substation automation for online monitoring and equipment interoperability, and the deployment of information technology solutions. In support of these improvements, NTUA is developing a program to provide trainees with the skills and abilities to continue these upgrades and contribute to the development of a nationwide Smart Grid. As an educational partner, Navajo Technical College is marketing the training program and identifying individuals within its students who have an interest or aptitude to work within the power industry. In addition to the Navajo Technical College, training is also provided at NTUA??s district offices and will be web-enabled for distance learning. Courses provide the fundamentals of electric power distribution systems, business management skills, and specialized training in advanced areas. NTUA??s training program will maximize employment opportunities for citizens of the Navajo Nation, reduce unemployment, and aid in the successful implementation of the Smart Grid.
National Grid USA will provide Smart Grid workforce training to nearly 5,000 employees representing 15 different job categories impacted by Smart Grid technologies. Personnel associated with the Worchester Massachusetts Smart Grid Pilot Project will be trained including: approximately 500 employees in the Worchester region, 800 in the New England North region, and 1,300 employees in the New England South region. National Grid will design and develop all training materials. Pending approval, National Grid will train 2,300 additional employees in upstate New York service territory in the Syracuse and Albany Smart Grid projects.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is expanding its instructional capacity by providing training for apprentice linemen, incumbent linemen, and process operations and instrumentation specialists. Students will interact with a broad base of clean energy industry personnel via courses, internships with industry and government laboratories, and outreach with communities. Courses and training will be conducted in traditional classroom, hybrid, and online formats with evening and weekend training scheduled for incumbent workers. Students will earn industry-recognized credentials in Smart Grid technology.
In response to critical skills shortages facing the electric utility industry, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth (DELEG) established the Michigan Utility Workforce Development Consortium, a Michigan Skills Alliance. The Consortium brings together over 25 partners from industry, labor, associations, and academia to develop customizable, collaborative solutions to the industry??s workforce needs. Each partner has a key role in making the most efficient use of established training curriculums, facilities, laboratories, and equipment to provide the utility industry with the talent necessary to succeed. High-tech training in the power sector is offered through various community colleges and utility/union training trusts, including pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and incumbent worker training in the areas of line technician, cable splicer, substation operations/maintenance, substation/engineering technician, underground line technician, advanced metering infrastructure technician, and electrical maintenance. Michigan Works! partners, who oversee workforce development services in their local area and are governed by the state??s 25 workforce development boards, provide assessment and screening to identify eligible participants and refer them toward the appropriate training pathway.
Lehigh University and the University of Pittsburgh are establishing a network of graduate Smart Grid fellows to help build a community of scholars who will be trained to become trainers of a skilled Smart Grid workforce. Lehigh University is modifying its current Master??s programs to include a specialized concentration of Smart Grid electives including courses such as Energy Generation, Communications and Networking for Smart Grid, and Energy Engineering. Lehigh is recruiting professors currently teaching at community colleges and high schools, recent graduates of electrical and computer science engineering programs, and engineers focused on becoming trainers of electric power sector workers. The University of Pittsburgh is advancing its electric power and energy engineering education programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Enhancements to the core curriculum in electric power include new courses on Smart Grid Technologies, Renewable and Alternative Energy Systems, Power Electronics for T&D Applications - FACTS and HVDC, and Electrical Distribution Engineering. In addition, corporate partnerships and government funding are providing opportunities for collaborative research in these same areas.
Over three years, Northwest Lineman College (NLC) will work with manufacturers, utilities and construction companies to develop training strategies, programs and delivery methods for the workers who will install, maintain and operate the clean energy Smart Grid. Target groups for this project include line workers, substation technicians, operators, meter technicians, and plant operators. As the single largest trainer of electrical line workers in the country, Northwest Lineman College has a unique ability to use its existing infrastructure, staffing, curriculum and utility customer base to rapidly develop and disseminate Smart Grid training programs nationwide.
The Iowa Valley Collaborative Lineworker Training and Awareness Project is developing new training strategies, as well as increasing public awareness of the line worker career through recruitment efforts targeted toward new populations. The project streamlines the apprenticeship to increase flow in the educational pipeline. It also develops a new pre-employment training program that culminates in a diploma, allowing individuals to begin training as a line worker before they are employed by a utility company. The reduction in entry level positions will be addressed by building awareness of the line worker career among displaced workers from other sectors, underemployed individuals seeking better jobs, and recruiting high school students into a pre-employment diploma program.
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), in partnership with George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College, is producing videos that target senior high school or first-year college students. Each video covers a fundamental electromagnetic concept integral to the deployment of Smart Grid or a particular piece of grid equipment. The videos incorporate a short interview with a subject matter expert, equipment demonstration, and may include scenes from equipment assembly, installation, and use. The subject matter experts will also serve as virtual mentors. The videos will be integrated into basic electrical engineering curriculum and posted electronically for use by colleges, training centers, and the general public. Filming will be done on-site at the facilities of leading power equipment manufacturers, such as A123, Beacon Power, Cooper Power Systems, Eaton Corporation, Itron, Leviton, Nexans/The Valley Group, Rockwell Automation, Southwire, and Thomas & Betts. Podcasts will be produced that incorporate openended questions with student-selected experts on their experiences in the power sector.
Incremental Systems Corporation (IncSys) is providing training with real-time simulations so that operators, engineers, and students will learn to prevent major power events. With the PowerSimulator, IncSys has the ability to run massive drills with hundreds of operators using web-enabled simulations of complete interconnections. These simulations will include Smart Grid technologies such as wind farms, solar farms, , smart micro-grids, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The program will also simulate cascading outages. PowerSimulator training is conducted by a team of software developers, model development technicians, power engineers, trainers and operator trainees. The training demonstrates how new Smart Grid systems, people, and processes can all work together to benefit reliability and reduce restoration times.
Southern California Utility Initiative (SCUI) is a consortium that includes Glendale Community College, California State University Northridge, and Southern California Public Power Authority, Workforce Investment Boards (WIB), and Smart Grid Investment grant funding recipients. The consortium is establishing a coalition that facilitates training and increases the number of qualified graduates by expanding existing training curricula and programs to meet the workforce needs of the Southern California region??s electric utility industry. SCUI will provide regional WIB One-Stop Workforce career centers to help workers acquire training and obtain good-paying jobs. Training will focus on three curricular areas leading to an Electric Utility certificate with 24 units of transferable college credit. SCUI will collaborate with academic institutions to ensure that the training material stays current with new technological advancements and industry requirements.
North Carolina State University (NC State) is developing an intensive professional Master??s degree program for power engineers and managers to develop and deploy next generation Smart Grid systems. The Master of Electric Power Systems Engineering (MEPSE) covers both core power engineering topics, Smart Grid applications, and cross-disciplinary courses, including risk management, communication skills, project management, engineering economics, and technical writing. MEPSE targets new graduates in the utility industry, displaced workers seeking a new career, and current utility industry employees seeking to enhance their skills. It is an intensive systems-focused, hands-on program designed for training a population with diverse backgrounds in approximately 10 months. NC State plans to grow the program through an innovative, real-time distance learning component to accommodate a broader audience.
The Gateway to Power Consortium (G2P), led by Florida Power & Light and Smart Energy Grid Associates, consists of four Florida colleges/universities and three out-of-state universities. Their mission is to deliver workforce training for electrical power sector personnel in areas most relevant to the next-generation electric power workforce. These college and university-level cross-disciplinary training programs will lead to both certificates and degrees that include science, engineering, social science, economics, and other topics needed as the traditional power transforms into a national, clean-energy Smart Grid. Courses include Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Customer Interaction with Smart Grid, and Synergy of Smart Energy Systems. Program graduates will have the knowledge and skills to design, plan, construct, operate, and maintain a modern electricity delivery , including power infrastructure and information systems. It is expected that several jobs with salaries ranging from $57K to $95K will be created as a result of this initiative.
This project will develop training materials for electrical operations and field safety skills for both Duke employees and contract workers. In addition, informational packages will be provided to local and state emergency management associations, and to the crews from other utilities who come into Duke Energy??s service territory to restore power after a major storm event. Training modules will focus on the installation and operation of automated meters and their associated communication systems.
Cuyahoga Community College and partner Cleveland Public Power is developing and designing a curriculum to specifically build Smart Grid knowledge and fill job vacancies. The workforce training program includes classroom, lab, work-site and online instruction. Cuyahoga will use Designing A Curriculum (DACUM), a process that assesses job classifications, to provide in-depth analysis of occupational skills that will lead to new and relevant curriculum design for Smart Grid. DACUM analysis and curriculum will be shared with Owens Community College, Columbus State Community College, Washington State Community College, and Sinclair Community College to aid in their workforce training programs. Cuyahoga will also disseminate a Green Residential Building Training curriculum across Ohio.
Critical Intelligence Incorporated is building a 12-week instructor-lead online course that trains energy sector information security employees to detect and respond to cyber threats. Developed with energy sector partners, including a major U.S. utility, the course will focus on building a threat intelligence program capable of identifying and responding to targeted attacks and sharing information garnered from the intelligence program with industry peers and government partners. This training differs from other programs, because it is energy sector specific, has courses of longer duration, eliminates travel, and applies learned techniques to the current work environment. Each training course instructs between 12 and 30 students and is equivalent to a 3-credit university course. The courses are comprised of about 2.5 hours of lecture and 7 hours of on-the-job application each week. Courses are ungraded; however, the instructor will provide detailed feedback about performance and capability. Training is offered four times a year.
The project establishes the Pacific Northwest Regional Center of Excellence for Clean Energy within Washington State??s Centralia College. A collaboration of consumer-and investor-owned utilities, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Pacific Northwest National Lab, community colleges and universities will design and deliver educational programs for: instrument control and relay specialists; generation, and substation operators; line workers, substation wiremen and mechanics; meter technicians, and, secondarily, energy conservation program administrators and resource conservation managers. Training will be provided through satellite centers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. In addition, the Utah-based WestCAMP will develop safety and hazard prevention guidelines and training programs for all line workers, manufacturing and construction personnel or technicians who will be working with Smart Grid technologies.
The project leverages the existing capacity and distinctive features of the Energy Providers Coalition for Education (EPCE) model for developing and delivering industry-endorsed, standardized, continuously updated online technical training and education. The project employs a number of training strategies aligned with employer needs and utilizes existing and new online electric power technology curriculum developed by Bismarck State College??s (BSC) National Energy Center for Excellence.
Bismarck State College??s National Energy Center of Excellence (NECE) is building a new laboratory to assist classroom and online workforce training in the areas of Smart Grid technology, distributed generation, response, and consumer integration of smart technologies. GridLab is a complete, integrated Smart Grid with a mock smart home, industrial loads, distributed and renewable generation, and advanced communication and control systems. It is interconnected and controlled from a web-based advanced smart control that allows real-time access to energy data. Multiple scenarios will be tested to simulate various Smart Grid implementation and energy rate structures. GridLab can be operated locally or remotely. The GridLab Human Machine Interface is web-based and can be accessed from anywhere an Internet connection is available.
Austin Community College District??s (ACC) Preparing Occupations for Lineman Education (POLE) Program facilitates smart grid implementation by providing a pipeline of workers (utility linemen) to enable smart grid functionality and support economic recovery by connecting job seekers with training and employment opportunities. The POLE Program is developing the curricula for a utility lineman certificate and an associate of applied science degree. Courses teach industryrequired topics such as: electrical safety codes, climbing skills, power transmission, switching and metering. The curricula are devised by an advisory committee tasked with conducting a systematic assessment of the skills and competencies required for the occupation. The project is also utilizing professional curriculum developers to incorporate these skills into a five-semester utility lineman associate degree and a one-year utility lineman certificate, and to begin recruiting job seekers for the training programs.