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About this course

Launching August 2024
These courses will be submitted to IEEE for qualifying for CEUs.
 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects a record addition of utility-scale solar in 2024, if the scheduled 36.4 GW are added to the grid. This growth would nearly double last year's 18.4 GW increase, which was itself a record for annual utility-scale solar installation in the United States.

With this huge increase in utility-scale solar, developers and designers may need to upskill their teams with a foundation in transmission. Electric power transmission in the U.S. is a complex topic and it can be difficult to find timely and concise resources on the subject.

That's why Tim Taylor, Owner of Electric Distribution Academy, created this 2-course series. 
  • Introduction to Electric Transmission provides professionals with a basis for working with electric power transmission, including a knowledge of how the industry is structured and operated in the US, transmission stakeholders, and the equipment and facilities that comprise transmission.
  • Interconnection of Utility-Scale Solar PV to Transmission builds on the first course to cover transmission systems and electric power equipment, transmission operators interconnection procedures and requirements, specialized system studies, and solar PV interconnection equipment and control, with aim of this course to boil down the most important concepts to a level where everyone can get an understanding of the very involved and complex task of interconnecting solar PV to transmission systems. 
Head over to each course page for more details on what will be covered.

Enroll in the bundle to save on both courses!  
 

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Bundle outline

2 courses • 10 modules

Course 1 • 5 modules
Introduction to Electric Transmission
Welcome • 4 assignments
Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Presentation/Lecture Materials (.pdf)
  • Presentation Materials
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
Module 1 • 2 assignments
Introduction

  • Introduction from Tim (09:05 minutes)
  • Intro to Transmission - Two Page Reference (.pdf)
Module 2 • 14 assignments
Transmission Industry Structure and Stakeholders

The electric transmission industry in the US is quite complex. After a short overview of how transmission evolved in the US, we discuss the integrated generation-transmission framework we have in the US. We cover the different stakeholders and their roles in the industry, including the different types of transmission owners, federal and state regulators, and other federal, state and local stakeholders including FERC, NERC, and Reliability Coordinators, and Balancing Authorities.

  • Lecture 1 - Integrated Generation and Transmission System (24:12 minutes)
  • Example of Increased Transmission Advocacy (.pdf)
  • Glossary of Energy Terms
  • Transmission 101 (.pdf)
  • Lecture 2 - Intro to Regulation and Deregulation (15:11 minutes)
  • Electricity Transmission - A Primer (.pdf)
  • Lecture 3 - The Complexity of Transmission Expansion (09:34 minutes)
  • Why Grid Expansion is So Difficult
  • Lecture 4 - Transmission Ownership (20:23 minutes)
  • Competitive Transmission Companies and Rights of First Refusal
  • Lecture 5 - Transmission at the National Level: Part 1 (18:08 minutes)
  • Lecture 6 - NERC (21:56 minutes)
  • Lecture 7 - Other Stakeholders and Module Recap (07:30 minutes)
  • Quiz: Transmission Industry Structure and Stakeholders
Module 3 • 19 assignments
Regulation, Markets and Planning

In this module we first discuss utility regulation and what it means in the electric industry. We then discuss the deregulation that has evolved in many parts of the US over the last 30 years, and the differences between the retail and wholesale power segments. We then look at the roles of ISOs/RTOs in wholesale electricity markets that serve about 2/3 of the US population. We discuss the wholesale electric power markets that exist for energy, capacity, and ancillary services. Finally, we look at how transmission planning is conducted in the US.

  • Lecture 1 - Regulation (14:27 minutes)
  • Lecture 2 - Transmission Rates, OASIS, and OATT (10:55 minutes)
  • Formula Rates and Transmission Costs
  • Lecture 3 - Deregulation and Retail Markets (07:30 minutes)
  • US Transmission Restructuring and Deregulation (.pdf)
  • Lecture 4 - ISO's/RTO's (07:47 minutes)
  • MISO Primer (.pdf)
  • ISO/RTO Info
  • Lecture 5 - Centralized Wholesale Markets Part I (26:35 minutes)
  • Interactive Generator Merit Order
  • Lecture 6 - Centralized Wholesale Markets Part II (18:49 minutes)
  • Optional: Financial Electricity Markets
  • Lecture 7 - Transmission Planning (19:28 minutes)
  • Summary of Transmission - From DOE's National Transmission Needs Study (.pdf)
  • Grading Transmission Planning in the US
  • Transmission Planning White Paper (.pdf)
  • Transmission Cost Allocation (.pdf)
  • Opposition to New Transmission Line
  • Quiz: Regulation, Markets, and Planning
Module 4 • 17 assignments
Facilities and Equipment

In this module we cover the physical facilities and equipment that make up electric transmission. We start by looking at general characteristics of transmission systems. We then focus on transmission line design and construction, including the physical components and factors that impact design, such as environmental factors. Next, we take a look at underground transmission lines and their components and costs. Finally, we take a look at substations, including their equipment, typical configurations and monitoring, control, and automation.

  • Lecture 1 - Technical Overview of Transmission Systems (24:38 minutes)
  • Why it’s so hard to build new electrical transmission lines in the U.S.
  • Lecture 2 - Transmission Line Siting and Permitting Pt. 1 (15:00 minutes)
  • Lecture 3 - Transmission Line Siting and Permitting - Pt. 2 (14:45 minutes)
  • DOE Proposed Changes to NEPA for Permitting
  • Lecture 4 - Overhead Line Structures (16:23 minutes)
  • Optional: US RUS (Rural Utilities Service) Design Manual for HV Transmission Lines (.pdf)
  • Lecture 5 - Overhead Conductors and Transmission Line Design (19:00 minutes)
  • CAISO - Transmission Line Ratings (.docx)
  • Optional: Transmission Line Stringing
  • Lecture 6 - Insulators and Shield Wires (08:28 minutes)
  • Lecture 7 - Underground Transmission (15:28 minutes)
  • Lecture 8 - Substations Pt. 1 (15:28 minutes)
  • Lecture 9 - Substations Pt. 2 (14:46 minutes)
  • Video: Basics of Substations
  • Lecture 10 - Substation Monitoring, Control, and Protection Systems (25:14 minutes)
  • Quiz: Facilities and Equipment
Module 5 • 12 assignments
Operations, Maintenance and Other Topics

In this module, we look at the operations and maintenance of transmission systems. We look at how those activities are conducted, and their possible impacts on generation and load. We discuss operational technology systems that are used in transmission operations, such as SCADA and transmission applications that use SCADA data. We also look at Grid-Enhancing Technologies (GETs), which encompass ways of increasing transmission capacity without building new lines and infrastructure.

  • Lecture 1 - Introduction to Transmission Operations (17:58 minutes)
  • Lecture 2 - Transmission SCADA (21:02 minutes)
  • What is CIP? video by Archer on YouTube
  • NERC CIP Summary (.pdf)
  • Lecture 3 - Power Flows and Balancing Generation and Load (15:36 minutes)
  • Area Control Error (ACE) Article in Public Utilities Fortnightly
  • Lecture 4 - Planned and Unplanned Transmission Outages (14:52 minutes)
  • Day in the Life of an ERCOT Operator
  • Lecture 5 - GET's and HVDC (17:36 minutes)
  • Introduction to Grid Enhancing Technologies (GETs)
  • Optional: US DOE Report on GET's (.pdf)
  • Quiz: Operations, Maintenance and Other Topics
Conclusion • 4 assignments
Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate
Course 2 • 5 modules
Interconnection of Utility-Scale Solar PV to Transmission
Welcome • 4 assignments
Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
  • Presentation/Lecture Materials
  • Course Introduction from Tim (05:13 minutes)
Module 1 • 12 assignments
Solar PV Interconnection to Transmission - Current State and Challenges

In this module, generation interconnection to transmission is introduced. We look at the current state of interconnections, trends, and challenges. We discuss the goals of successful interconnections from the perspectives of generation developers/owners and from transmission owners and ISOs. Transmission owner interconnection requirements are reviewed.

We go over important FERC Orders that continue to shape interconnection processes in the US, including FERC Orders 2023, 1920, and 1977. We look at FERC's pro forma LGIP and LGIA, that form the basis of transmission providers' interconnection processes and agreements. We look at OATT's (Open Access Transmission Tariffs) and their role in generator interconnection. We also have a look at the most significant NERC federal regulations pertaining to generator interconnections.

  • Lecture 1 - Generation Current State and Challenges (20:36 minutes)
  • Solar Growth Article
  • Lecture 2 - Transmission Current State and Challenges (17:02 minutes)
  • Optional: "National Transmission Needs Study", US DOE, October 2023. (.pdf)
  • Lecture 3 - Interconnection Current State and Challenges (16:06 minutes)
  • "Queue'd Up: 2024 Edition" (.pdf)
  • How does permitting for clean energy infrastructure work?
  • Lecture 4 - Current Interconnection Reforms (12:27 minutes)
  • Lecture 5 - OATT and ISO/RTO - Transmission Owner Operating Procedure (13:31 minutes)
  • Optional - "2023 State of the Markets - Staff Report", FERC, March 21, 2024 (.pdf)
  • Glossary of Terms Used in NERC Reliability Standards (.pdf)
  • Intro and Module 1 Presentation Materials (.pdf)
Module 2 • 27 assignments
Processes for Generator Interconnection to Transmission

In this module we take a look at processes for generator interconnection to transmission. We step through typical generator interconnection processes for Large Generators and the steps in the process. We focus on the "First Ready, First Served Cluster Study" approach, recently mandated by FERC 2023 "approach and which replaces "First Ready, First Served Study" still in use at some transmission providers. We also take a look at each ISO/RTO in the US, and what the current status of generator interconnections are in each one. Finally we briefly look at cost allocation for transmission system upgrades driven by generator interconnection.

  • Lecture 1 - The Generator Interconnection Process (12:01 minutes)
  • SPP Generator Interconnection Process - Four Pager (.pdf)
  • FERC Order 2023, “Explainer on the Final Interconnection Rule” (.pdf)
  • Lecture 2 - Primary Changes Introduced by FERC Order 2023 (19:30 minutes)
  • Lecture 3 - Pre-Application Data and Information (16:59 minutes)
  • MISO's Interactive Interconnection and POI (Point of Interconnection) Tool - WATCH ONLY 5.00 - 15.00
  • Lecture 4 - Cluster Study Process Part 1 (07:53 minutes)
  • Appendix 1 to FERC pro forma LGIP – Interconnection Request for a Large Generating Facility (.pdf)
  • Lecture 5 - Cluster Study Process Part 2 (09:49 minutes)
  • Lecture 6 - Re-studies and Facilities Interconnection Studies (11:52 minutes)
  • “PG&E Proposed Generator Interconnection Unit Cost Guide”, 5/01/2023 (.xlsx)
  • Lecture 7 - Deposits and Penalties (06:55 minutes)
  • Lecture 8 - Small Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreement (06:25 minutes)
  • Lecture 9 - CAISO (12:43 minutes)
  • Lecture 10 - MISO (11:20 minutes)
  • Lecture 11 - ISO-NE (05:59 minutes)
  • Lecture 12 - SPP (07:33 minutes)
  • Lesson 13 - ERCOT (09:09 minutes)
  • PV Magazine - ERCOT Interconnection Process Article
  • Lecture 14 - NYISO (06:21 minutes)
  • Lecture 15 - PJM (05:44 minutes)
  • Lecture 16 - Generator Interconnection Scorecard (05:32 minutes)
  • Generator Interconnection Scorecard
  • Lecture 17 - Cost Allocation (09:25 minutes)
  • Optional: Transmission Congestion Costs in US RTO's
  • Quiz: Generator Interconnection Processes
  • Module 2 Lecture Slides (.pdf)
Module 3 • 16 assignments
Technical Studies for Generator Interconnection to Transmission

For each proposed generator interconnection, the transmission provider (or designated consultant) performs a series of studies, called the Cluster Study, Cluster Re-Study (as-needed), and Interconnection Facilities Study.  An Affected System Study and additional re-studies are performed as needed. We take a look at these studies, data requirements, what they entail, and what their results are.


We discuss the different types of studies, including frequency-domain power flow, short-circuit, and transient stability. We also look at the emerging requirements for EMT (Electromagnetic Transient) time-domain simulations, the reasons why they are being requested, and how they impact the generator interconnection process.  We discuss contingency studies and the concept of transfer distribution factor (TDF).
 We look at example reports from actual studies, and discuss their meaning. 

  • Lecture 1 - ERIS and NRIS (13:50 minutes)
  • Lecture 2 - System Studies and the System Model (17:10 minutes)
  • Lecture 3 - Power Flow (17:10 minutes)
  • Video - A Basic Introduction to PSSE
  • Lecture 4 - Transfer Distribution Factor (TDF) (13:12 minutes)
  • Lecture 5 - Short-Circuit Studies (05:17 minutes)
  • Lecture 6 - Dynamics Studies, Including Stability (11:14 minutes)
  • Lecture 7 - Contingency Studies (07:22 minutes)
  • Lecture 8 - EMT Studies (13:08 minutes)
  • CAISO EMT Modeling Requirements
  • Lecture 9 - Alternatives to Transmission Upgrades (04:25 minutes)
  • Study Report 1 (.pdf)
  • Lecture 10 - Cluster Study Report Part 1 of 2 (09:47 minutes)
  • Study Report 2 (.pdf)
  • Lecture 11 - Cluster Study Report Part 2 of 2 (16:20 minutes)
  • Quiz: Technical Interconnection Studies
Module 4 • 1 assignments
Principal Interconnection Equipment

Connecting a new generating facility to transmission requires a set of equipment that must be highly-engineered with one another, as well as the transmission system. In this module, we look at the primary interconnection equipment,  including the collector substation to the the transmission POI (Point of Interconnection) substation. We look at the different architectures that can be used to connect a generating facility to transmission.

  • MORE ASSIGNMENTS ARE BEING ADDED
Module 5 • 0 assignments
Interconnection Monitoring, Control, and Protection

In this module, we take a look at monitoring, control, and protection of the interconnection. We go over NERC standards that define requirements in this area, and requirements that ISOs/RTOs and Transmission Operators may have. We look at the roles of the power plant controller and the inverter control in the interconnection. We also look at protective relaying and disturbance reporting on transmission systems.

Conclusion • 4 assignments
Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate

Continuing Education Units

Approved NABCEP CEU Hours

Instructor

  • Tim Taylor

    Owner and Managing Director, Electric Distribution Academy
    View profile

    Tim is Owner and Managing Director of Electric Distribution Academy and has over 30 years of experience in distribution system engineering. He’s led and participated in many projects with many North American utilities and has also worked in Europe and Latin American. In addition to papers, articles, and conference presentations, he has served as an instructor for... Learn more

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