Operations Engineer - Planning (North Region)

  • 250 Outcropping Way, Folsom, CA 95630, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) manages the flow of electricity across the high-voltage, long-distance power lines that make up 80 percent of California's power grid. We safeguard the economy and well-being of 30 million Californians by operating the grid reliably 24/7.

As the impartial grid operator, the California ISO opens access to the wholesale power market that is designed to diversify resources and lower prices. It also grants equal access to 25,865 circuit-miles of power lines and reduces barriers to diverse resources competing to bring power to customers.

The California ISO's function is often compared to that of air traffic controllers. It would be grossly unfair for air traffic controllers to represent one airline and profit from allowing that company's planes to go through before others. In the same way, the California ISO operates independently—managing the electron traffic on a power grid we do not own—making sure electricity is safely delivered to utilities and consumers on time and reliably.

Job Description

Under the general direction of the Manager, works on moderately complex engineering projects and provides engineering support to real-time grid operations and market operations for the California ISO.  Primarily responsible for establishing and updating the operating limits to the Grid, documenting the associated operating procedures to support the safe and reliable operation of the system and modeling the market impacts of transmission constraints.  Participates in the development of ISO policies and methodologies associated with the reliable operation of the transmission grid and the efficient operation of the ISO market.  

What's In it for You

Our purpose is to lead the way to tomorrow's energy network. Make a difference and impact millions of people who depend on electricity in their everyday lives.

  • You get to work on interesting and challenging assignments that will help grow your skill set.
  • You will work in an extremely collaborative environment inside our LEED certified Folsom, California campus.
  • You will be challenged, be a part of a winning team, and your contributions will be rewarded and recognized.

What You Will Be Doing

  • Supports and assists in the development and documentation of operating requirements and instructions in the outage plans and operating procedures to adhere to the NERC Reliability Standards, other requirements in accordance with pre-established guidelines and system's physical limitations, as well as pre-existing policies, practices and procedures. Prepares and conducts operating studies and contingency analyses, including power flow, short circuit, stability, and post-transient analyses, to maintain reliable operation of the grid.  Ensures compliance with internal procedures and government regulations.
  • Acts as a point of contact for Operations Engineering, providing direct feedback to daily operational matters.  Attends operations planning meetings to communicate current day plan and the next day plan as required. 
  • Models transmission constraints in the ISO market to ensure efficient market operations as well as reliable grip operations. Provides engineering support on model validation and abnormal market price investigations.
  • Provides operations engineering support to ISO Divisions, and Departments as appropriate.  Provides specific and essential details relating to the ISO controlled grid and the control area to ISO management.
  • May represent ISO Operations Engineering interests in applicable WECC and related committees, work groups, and other industry and/or public forums as assigned.  Compiles, analyzes, and submits data and reports in compliance with external standards and requirements.
  • Assists in developing, implementing and documenting automated computer programs, and other advanced analysis methods, to allow for comprehensive monitoring of operational performance of the transmission system and detection of transmission system problems.

Qualifications

Level of Education and Discipline

  • A Bachelor's degree (BA,BS) in Electrical Engineering with a curriculum in Electrical Power Engineering.

Amount of Experience

  • Equivalent years of education and training, plus two (2) years or more of related experience.

Certifications

  • NERC Reliability Authority (or System Operator) Certification desired. Professional Engineer License desired.

Type of Experience

  • Experience conducting simulation and analytical studies of electric power systems including harmonic, transient, stability, and load flow analysis required. 
  • Knowledgeable with simulation programs such as EMTP, PSCAD/EMTDC, PSS/E, GE PSLF, and SuperHarm desired.  
  • Familiarity with California Electric System or other portions of the WECC system desired.

Electric utility industry experience including emphasis in any combination of the following required: 

  • Operations
  • Planning
  • Electricity Market
  • Renewable Integration
  • Smart Grid
  • Design
  • Maintenance
  • Construction
  • Protection Relays
  • Energy Management Systems
  • Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition Systems

Additional skills and abilities

  • Strong verbal and written communication and documentation skills required, with a demonstrated attention to detail.
  • Ability to use deductive reasoning and analytical thinking with sound judgement and decision-making skills
  • Strong interpersonal and conflict resolution skills are also essential.
  • Must be self-starting and willing and able to work independently in a dynamic corporate organization under pressure of tight deadlines and aggressive expectations
  • Problem solving skills with the ability to influence others without direct authority
  • Must be able to work effectively in a team environment as facilitator and team member.
  • Self-motivated, problem solving skills and the ability to influence others without direct authority
  • Must be proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, including Project, Visio, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Additional Information

**We will also consider applicants for an Associate Operations Engineer- Planning position. This position requires a Bachelor's degree or equivalent education, training or experience in Electrical Engineering, with a curriculum in Electrical Power Engineering. This is an entry level position. No experience is required. Intern/project experience highly desired.**