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Power system studies group formed

October 23, 2001 — An Augusta, Maine firm, E/PRO Engineering and Environmental Consulting, LLC, has established a new business unit named Power System Studies comprised of experienced power system engineers.

The team is designed to help utilities, merchant power plants and industries assess their electrical decisions relating to their operations and the regional electrical grid. These studies are a crucial step in managing the electrical network for its optimum use as the system continues to evolve and expand as a result of the deregulation of the electric utility industry and market competition.

The need for a team of experienced engineers with the ability to perform power system studies has been driven by the addition of merchant generating plants throughout the country, high electrical load growth, and limited system capacity to transmit and distribute the power.

In many cases, new generating plants have been interconnected with limited transmission system availability to support continuous access to the electricity markets. Increased electricity consumption is also challenging the utility infrastructures to transmit and distribute power reliably and with the high quality that electric customers want and expect.

The studies group specializes in the assessment of transmission and distribution system limitations and system impacts of new plants. They develop or evaluate expansion plans of generation, transmission, and distribution systems, and perform operational and power quality system analyses. The studies provide electrically sound alternatives and recommendations for meeting client objectives, and the work is thoroughly supported by operational and planning knowledge as well as engineering expertise.

The person who will lead this new effort at E/PRO is Rick Conant, a former Manager of System Operations and System Planner at Central Maine Power Company (CMP). Conant has sixteen years of first-hand experience in managing a complex transmission system. He also has an in-depth knowledge of the New England regional transmission relationships managed by the Independent System Operator-New England (ISO-NE), based in Holyoke, Ma. He is uniquely qualified to lead this venture.

The group also includes George Bartok, Tammy Roberts and Kevin Fougere, all of whom have extensive power engineering backgrounds. Bartok, based in Connecticut, has 32 years of power system engineering experience and managed the Northeast Utilities protections and controls engineering group for 20 years. Roberts has over 10 years of experience in power system planning at CMP, has designed ISO-NE operational guides and has developed a working state estimator for real time operation analysis. Fougere’s experience covers distribution and sub-transmission engineering.

The E/PRO system studies services cover a complete range of transmission planning for areas such as transient stability and switching surges. The team also offers distribution planning for municipal and privately owned utilities, and conducts industrial studies to help companies understand power quality issues and how to implement appropriate solutions.

E/PRO is based in Augusta, Maine and has branch offices in Montpelier, Vermont, and Franklin, Massachusetts. For more information about the firm, visit their website at http://www.eproconsulting.com.