February 01, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 4PM Pacific, 6PM Central, 7PM Eastern: SolPowerPeople welcomes Hugo Mena, Chief Engineer at Electric Power Engineers, Inc., to present a lecture on the interconnection of large scale PV projects into the ERCOT utility grid. This lecture will be first in a 3 part series to be scheduled out through the beginning of the year on utility grid interconnection throughout the US.
There is a lovely mystery, at least to many of us, in the functioning, methods and madness of the way the entire United States (over 315 million people) received power from an interconnected webbing structure built of wood, steel, smoke and mirrors. This system of power stations, transmission lines and transformers churns and burns 24/7 at an extremely sensitive and closely monitored speed and phase- bringing ~275 kilovolts down to 240 volts to power residential homes around the clock.
Like a good strong mother, this grid cradles us in her comfort offering light when you can't see, and provided warmth when you are cold. This system is also as delicate- and must be treated with care and sensitivity. Our mother-grid is aging, and we are growing wiser- and as we grow, we must create a balance, educate the mother, bring in new technologies and teach her to play.
With over 29 Gigawatts of PV and CSP projects in development phases or under construction, the supporting grid must be considered and adapted. This power will need to be pushed out onto that grid- and it must adapt efficiently and smartly to accommodate our growing and overly hungry need for the juice of modern life that is energy.
This Thursday, Hugo Mena, Chief Engineer at Electric Power Engineers, will give us an inside look at the processes involved and challenges faced when trying to connect utility scale solar PV systems with the ERCOT Grid (The Electric Reliability Council of Texas). This will be part one is a three part series that will explore the utility interconnection process as it effects solar PV projects and how this varies throughout the US from Texas (ERCOT), to the West and East Coast grids.
Hugo E. Mena graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 2007 with a background in power systems and power electronics. After obtaining his Master’s degree Mr. Mena went on to work in the manufacturing field and in 2009 he joined Electric Power Engineers, Inc. to work in renewable energy project design and consulting throughout the US and internationally. As an Electrical Engineer Mr. Mena has extensive experience in renewable energy integration and design of wind, solar, and energy storage systems. He has worked with renewable energy developers providing support in the generation interconnection and study process and has experience assisting in the electrical balance of plant installations for projects during construction, commission stage, as well as completing project substation inspections. He is an active member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Mr. Mena obtained his Professional Engineering license in the State of Texas in 2011.
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