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Substation HMI at BC Hydro - Past, present and future

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5 Author(s)

The province of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada has been experiencing tremendous population and economic growth in the past decades. The B.C. Province Government expects such growth will continue. The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) and provincial power utility BC Hydro are forecasting 20% to 40% growth on electricity demand in the next 20 years, and are setting a goal to be electricity self-efficiency by 2016. Meanwhile, much of BC Hydro's transmission and distribution system was built between 1940 and 1980. The aging infrastructure coupled with the growing demand present various challenges to BC Hydro. BC Hydro embarked on various transmission and distribution network and substation upgrade projects. Upgrading existing lines and substations is a vital part of the infrastructure upgrade program. The refurbishment of existing substations with legacy devices and systems in service, is one of the most challenging tasks. In order to maximize the utilization of old and new systems, to facilitate decision making and planning, and to improve operation and maintenance efficiency, substation HMI upgrade becomes an important part in the upgrade project. This paper describes the project objectives and goals, as well as value and benefits. It discusses the challenges in designing new substation system standards to incorporate new technologies from multiple suppliers while working with the constraints presented by other legacy standards and devices. In addition, the technical requirements, selection criteria, future migration consideration are discussed. It further highlights new standards roll out, implementation and change management challenges. This paper will conclude with the results of the upgrade project, as well as lessons learnt.

Published in:

Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition (T&D), 2012 IEEE PES

Date of Conference:

7-10 May 2012