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Southern Company Transmission Planning Engineer - Stability & Special Studies (Power Quality) in Birmingham, Alabama

Transmission Planning Overview

This is one of the most exciting and dynamic times in recent history for the power industry as we evaluate and implement renewable energy and emerging technologies to build the future of energy for the advancement of our customers and communities. Transmission planning plays a critical role in Southern Company’s success in achieving this goal by continuously developing a reliable, flexible, and resilient transmission grid that meets the needs of our future.

At Southern Company, our Transmission Planning organization encompasses all aspects of planning the transmission system for our subsidiary retail electric utilities in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. This includes expertise in numerous areas such as steady-state and dynamic power system analysis, power quality and transient analysis, load modeling and base case development, annual transmission expansion plan development, reliability standards compliance, economic development transmission service evaluations, OATT transmission service requests, generator interconnection and designation studies, generation RFP procurements, unit retirement and new build evaluations, regional planning and coordination with external utilities, interface analysis, GMD and EMP analysis, transmission policy and regulatory, industry committee leadership, and tools and technology innovation. While each group within Transmission Planning has a targeted function, we foster an environment of cross-functional teamwork and collaboration and are committed to working with our employees on career and personal development in multiple areas of their interest. As a vertically integrated utility, we also have the unique opportunity to work closely with teams from across our organization in all the major business sectors.

The position listed below is in Birmingham, Alabama; however, fully remote work arrangements or hybrid work arrangements will be considered dependent upon the qualifications, skills, and experience of the successful candidate. Relocation assistance and/or sign-up bonus available, if qualified.

Job Description (Transmission Planning Stability and Special Studies)

This position is best suited for an individual desiring a technical career path responsible for leading and performing power system technical studies in support of various groups within Southern Company.

The team is expanding its capabilities and expertise in the area of switching transients and power quality. The successful candidate will provide study support and leadership in this area, and be part of a team that performs: switching transients studies (e.g., capacitor bank, transformer energization, etc.); insulation coordination studies; transmission power quality studies (e.g., harmonics, harmonic filter bank design, and flicker); unbalanced power flow studies; circuit breaker transient recovery voltage analysis; post event (root cause) analysis and other special technical studies as required to support Southern Company and the Operating Companies. The successful candidate will collaborate with multiple groups including other teams within System Planning, Transmission Control Centers, Research and Development, Operating Company Power Delivery and Generation departments, neighboring transmission systems, etc. The position will also be responsible for presenting study results to senior leadership, management, and internal and external customers for information and support.

This position will also perform transmission planning studies on the Southern Company Bulk Transmission System. These studies involve: evaluating the effects of geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) events on the Southern Company Transmission System, assessing the impact of IBR generation interconnections on transmission power quality, and performing harmonic planning studies.

The successful candidate will provide study support in the area of inverter-based resources (IBR) and power electronic-interfaced technologies, including evaluating new grid technologies, developing industry recommended practices and guidance, studying and assessing emerging power quality and transient risk issues, evaluating the effects of emerging applications such as computationally intensive data center loads; evaluating power electronic-interfaced technologies such as FACTS devices (e.g., STATCOMs), and more.

Primary Job Responsibilities

The job will entail exposure to a wide range of power system analysis opportunities including:

  • Conduct or lead transient and power quality studies of IBRs, FACTS devices, etc.

  • Analyze power quality and switching transients modeling and study practices and provide recommendations to address modeling and study issues.

  • Represent Southern Company on applicable industry committees in a technical leadership role to provide guidance and ensure Sothern Company’s business needs are being met.

  • Perform electromagnetic transient (EMT) power system studies.

  • Engage with equipment manufacturers, national laboratories, research institutions, and other industry groups.

  • Evaluate the impacts of increasing levels of harmonic producing technologies and other emerging technologies to BPS reliability. Engage and work with industry experts.

  • Prepare engineering analysis, studies, and technical reports. Develop guidelines or other technical documents, as needed.

  • Collaborate with peers and industry to understand impacts of emerging technologies and support the reliable integration of these technologies.

  • Review, organize, and analyze study results to ensure product accuracy.

  • Research regulatory and industry initiatives affecting the power quality integrity of the BPS.

  • Coordinate with others in System Planning to develop innovative and cost-effective solutions. 

  • Participate in regional and national organizations which are shaping the technical and regulatory policies such as NERC and SERC Working Groups/Task Forces, EPRI research initiatives, IEEE Standard development efforts, etc.

  • Perform other technical studies, as requested, in support of Southern Company and the Operating Companies.

Education and Professional Affiliation

  • Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from an ABET accredited institution is required.

  • Advanced degree (Master’s and/or PhD) in Electrical Engineering, with electric power systems emphasis is desired.

  • Professional Engineer license is desired.

  • IEEE membership or CIGRE membership is desired.

  • Publication of technical papers (IEEE, NERC, CIGRE, etc.) is desired.

Work Experience

A successful candidate will have:

  • Understanding of transient phenomena in the BPS, including analysis, recognition and mitigation.

  • Experience with modeling power system-connected equipment and components for power quality or transient studies.

  • Understanding of modeling techniques, including positive sequence and electromagnetic modeling tools such as PSCAD or EMTP-RV, etc.

  • General knowledge of transmission planning, electrical equipment, power system protection and control, and BPS operations .

  • Experience with computer programming (MATLAB, Visual Basic, Python, etc.) related to study automation.

  • Experience conducting root cause analysis to address power quality or transient issues.

  • Knowledge of industry standards (e.g., IEEE, etc.).

  • Experience coordinating or leading teams of technical experts.

  • Understanding of NERC, SERC, FERC.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

A successful candidate will have:

  • Ability to independently analyze and resolve technical problems.

  • Strong analytical skills and a drive to solve complex engineering problems.

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Communicate effectively with diverse internal groups while tailoring communication for specific technical audiences and situations. Adeptness to understand and communicate technical details to various workgroups, partners, and customers.

  • Excellent verbal communication skills both for internal meetings and presentations, and for external events on the industry level such as IEEE, NERC, SERC (or other Regional Entity), etc.

  • Excellent written communications skills are required to be successful in this position, including the ability to prepare and publish technical reports.

  • Works well in a team environment (both in-person and virtual).

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with peers, and customers.

  • Values teamwork and works effectively in a team environment across multiple business functions.

  • Self-motivated, results-oriented, and innovative.

  • Ability to demonstrate strong attention to detail and motivation for high quality, accuracy, and timeliness.

  • Strong time management and organizational skills required to balance multiple projects simultaneously and adhere to deadlines.

  • Ability to prioritize work effectively, exercise sound judgment, and accurately complete multiple tasks with limited oversight.

  • Knowledge of electrical theory/electrical characteristics of network transmission systems.

  • Continually review technical and industry literature to stay abreast of industry changes, technological advances, and new areas of transmission planning business opportunity.

  • Strong customer focus.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy provider serving 9 million residential and commercial customers across the Southeast and beyond through its family of companies. Providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy with excellent service is our mission. The company has electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company with national capabilities, a fiber optics network, and telecommunications services. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, resilience, and sustainability, we are taking action to meet our customers’ and communities’ needs while advancing our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and are the key to our sustained success. We are transforming energy into economic, environmental and social progress for tomorrow. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have earned the company national awards and recognition from numerous organizations, including Forbes, Military Times, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, J.D. Power, Fortune, Human Rights Campaign and more. To learn more, visit www.southerncompany.com.

Southern Company is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Job Identification: 5342

Job Category: Engineering

Job Schedule: Full time

Company: Southern Company Services

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