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Sacramento Municipal Utility District Senior Power Operations Engineer in Sacramento, California

Title: Senior Power Operations Engineer

Department: Transmission Planning & Operations


Sacramento, CA, US, 95817-1899

Category: Engineering/Technical

Minimum Pay Rate: $132,080.00

Maximum Pay Rate: $174,928.00

Posting Type: Open

Please Note: This posting will remain open until a sufficient quantity of qualified applicants have been received but may close at any time without notice after 1/18/2024. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to ensure they are considered.

SMUD is currently looking to fill one regular, full time position in Transmission, Planning & Operations at either the Senior Power Operations Engineer or Associate Power Operations Engineer (Journey) level. If interested in also being considered for the Associate level, please apply to requisition 1050.

Under the supervision of the Manager, Power Operations Engineering, this position performs real-time operations engineering and energy imbalance market (EIM) operations support to ensure the safe and reliable operation of SMUD's bulk power system and the BANC Balancing Authority Area. The ideal candidate will:

  • Perform engineering analysis and EIM operations support, and lead after-the-fact analyses using power flow, location marginal pricing, and congestion data to drive efficient operational and business decisions.

  • Develop and maintain operating procedures as needed to ensure SMUD complies with internal policies, NERC/WECC Reliability Standards, and governmental regulations.

  • Represent SMUD’s and/or BANC’s position and interests in select industry meetings and workshops.

  • Support SMUD's 2030 Clean Energy Vision and advise Management on reliability impacts of proposed energy portfolios, on SMUD’s bulk power system.

About SMUD

Every day at SMUD, we deliver power to more than 1.4 million customers throughout the Sacramento area. As a community-owned, not-for-profit electric service, we have been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for over 70 years.

We are a recognized industry leader and award winner for our innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for our sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. Through the efforts of the 2,200 people that power us, we work 24/7 to keep the lights on and provide our customers with innovative energy solutions.

We’re one of the region’s largest employers, with a reputation for attracting, developing and retaining some of the most talented employees around.

See "Cover Letter Requirement" section below. Please address those questions in your cover letter. Failure to respond to the questions may preclude you from moving forward in this process.

Cover Letter Requirement

To be further considered for this position you must submit a cover letter addressing the below questions. Failure to include the required cover letter may preclude you from moving forward in the process:

  1. Describe your knowledge and experience performing power system operations studies such as power flow, contingency analysis, voltage and transient stability. Please indicate where your experience was acquired.

  2. Describe your knowledge and experience supporting real-time operations in regard to an energy imbalance market, such as the CAISO’s Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) Operations, your understanding of Locational Marginal Pricing (LMP) and congestion analysis. Indicate where your experience was acquired.

  3. Describe your knowledge and experience in programming languages (Python, R, SQL, VBA, etc.), specifically as it relates to data analytics and visualization. Briefly describe the scope, size, and inputs/outputs of data sets and reports you have generated or prepared.


To perform specialized professional, technical and analytical functions in a variety of operational areas including generation, transmission and contractual resources to ensure the safe, reliable, secure, and compliant operations of the transmission and generation system for SMUD and the BANC Balancing Authority Area in accordance with the FERC approved NERC and WECC Reliability Standards.

Nature and Scope

Serves as a team lead and/or advanced journey level providing expertise in one or more areas of a professional discipline and assumes responsibility for resolving complex problems and overseeing complex projects. May also guide, instruct, or coordinate the work of others on assigned projects.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plans, coordinates, prioritizes, monitors, or guides work activities with work-unit employees to meet established task objectives and deadlines by following established policies and precedents; communicating with team members and incorporating their input to processes and techniques; providing staff guidance and instruction; promoting staff safety and a safe work environment; assisting in orienting new personnel; participating as a team member in accomplishing objectives; and referring problems to supervision where solutions are not readily achievable.

  • Maintains system security and reliability and provides for the reliable delivery of power to the load center by monitoring and assessing the adequacy of the bulk power system and other utilities' transmission systems; assessing line loadings, voltage levels and system stability under various operating conditions, system contingencies and planned clearances; conducting and directing studies using power-now simulation; assessing the level of planning and operating reserves to assure adequate compliance with NERC and WECC Reliability Standards; conducting transmission contingency evaluation and power flow studies; conducting and directing transmission system reliability studies; conducting analyses of longer-term strategic resource use; assisting in the planning and selecting of bulk power system additions to SMUD's and other utilities' transmission systems; and providing real-time energy imbalance market (EIM) operations support.

  • Assists in the reliable operation of SMUD’s bulk power system and the BANC Balancing Authority Area by developing and maintaining a detailed working knowledge on integrated power system operations and FERC, NERC, and WECC policies, procedures and protocols; assessing on a daily and month-ahead basis hydroelectric and thermal generating plant limitation, maintenance, outages, transmission ratings, curtailments and existing contract provisions; and deciding resource availability.

  • Establishes system and equipment operating criteria and performance indicators by evaluating the impact of generation and transmission maintenance schedules; evaluating and identifying solutions to power system problems; evaluating resources; and coordinating and conducting power flow simulation studies of SMUD's bulk power system capability.

  • Provides instruction and guidance by serving as a primary Power Operations Engineer liaison for transmission and generation issues; serving as a technical resource to Power System Schedulers and Power System Analysts on generation, transmission and reliability-related issues; preparing and maintaining a current Standard Operating Procedure manual for power system operations; representing Power System Operations as a technical expert on operational issues within SMUD and with neighboring NERC Registered entities; supporting the development process for standard practices, procedures and guidelines for operating the bulk power system in compliance with interconnection agreements and reliability requirements; and supporting the development of emergency operating plans and procedures for major contingencies impacting interconnected utilities.

  • Plans, coordinates, prioritizes, monitors, guides, reviews, and conducts work activities associated with department internal/external projects in accordance with established task objectives and schedule as outlined in the project plan/contract.

  • Performs other related duties as needed to include working outside of typical business hours when necessary.

Required Education

  • Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from an accredited college or university.

Required Experience

  • At least five (5+) years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in power systems operations and energy markets, OR at least seven (7+) years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in electrical engineering or transmission system planning with at least two (2+) of those years in power systems operations.

Knowledge Of

Methods and techniques for planning, organizing and overseeing work activities; methods and techniques for guiding and instructing staff; techniques and concepts related to teamwork; techniques for exercising direction and authority; methods and techniques for report preparation and writing; techniques and practices for negotiating; fundamentals and practices of economic analyses of projects and programs; fundamentals and practices of program evaluation; fundamentals and practices of various analytical approaches; techniques and practices for cost benefit analyses; techniques and practices for problem research and resolution; techniques and practices for resolving complex technical issues; techniques and practices related to negotiations and compromise; complex computer systems and resources, electronic records, database administration; regional energy markets; fundamentals, practices and procedures related to power system operation, advanced power system theory, thermal and hydroelectric generation and load management dispatch; planning and design techniques; fundamentals related to power flow stability and short circuit evaluation, generator unit efficiency and capability characteristics; systems and concepts related to system protection and remedial action schemes/special protection systems; production costing techniques and models; NERC and WECC Reliability Standards; AC/DC transmission systems; energy accounting and processes; EMS operations and associated applications; safety policies, practices and procedures; standard operating procedures for modern office equipment including a computer and applicable software; English grammar, punctuation and vocabulary standards.

Skills To

Establish and maintain effective working relationships internally/externally; interact with others to influence and motivate; interpret SMUD policies, procedures, applicable MOUs and/or other special agreements, regulations, and requirements; establish and maintain working relationships internally/externally; oversee adherence to safety policies and procedures; assess complex issues and develop/implement resolution alternatives; assess procedures/systems and develop/implement operational improvements; assess situations, documents and data for conformance to established policy and procedures; apply applicable laws, codes and regulations; appraise situations and people accurately and adopt an effective course of action; identify the potential long-term outcomes of a change in operations; develop an estimation of how a system should work under ideal conditions; evaluate and resolve complex technical issues; interpret, evaluate and apply pertinent policies, procedures, regulations and requirements; organize highly complex and conflicting data in a readily understandable manner for various audiences; serve as reference person for other employees; utilize a personal computer and/or computer terminal, systems and software relevant to the job; communicate effectively orally and in writing internally/externally; establish and maintain effective working relationships internally/externally.

Desirable Education

  • Master's degree in Electrical Engineering or related discipline from an accredited college or university.

  • Registration as a Professional Electrical Engineer in the State of California.

Physical Requirements

Applicants must be able to perform the essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) - Who We Are

As the nation's sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, we're proud of our reputation as one of the best places to work in Sacramento. Our employees tell us in our engagement surveys they're "Happy, satisfied and engaged" which helps create a workplace that best serves our customers. Sacramento was named as the 2nd happiest place to work in America by Forbes Magazine. Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and the world-renowned Napa Valley are within easy driving distance of our locations.

Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

SMUD celebrates diversity, and inspires an inclusive culture based on trust and respect to create belonging and connection among our employees, customers, and communities. By working together, we are powering positive, equitable opportunities for all. We aspire to be a workplace where you can be yourself, achieve your best, and thrive together.

An example of our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is when SMUD signed the California Equal Pay Pledge in 2020. This requires equal pay for employees who perform “substantially similar work,” when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility at the time those employees started within that classification. As such, initial hiring salary range is not subject to negotiation and salaries will vary over time based on performance.

SMUD is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, veteran status, or any other applicable legally protected characteristic. All employment decisions are made on the basis of individual qualifications, merit, and business needs and interests.

Why Sacramento, California?

The capitol of California, Sacramento is the state's sixth-largest city, and the 35th largest in the U.S. Local universities include California State University, University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, and the University of California, Davis and several competitive community colleges. The UC Davis Medical Center, a world-renowned research hospital, is one of more than a dozen hospitals and shared services centers in the Sacramento region. Part of the agriculturally-rich Central Valley, Sacramento is at the forefront of the farm-to-fork food movement. Northern California is home to some of the country's top technology companies, including Google and LinkedIn, and a multitude of startups in many industries. Sacramento is home to the NBA Kings, the River Cats (AAA baseball), the Republic FC (soccer) and the San Francisco Giants, NBA Warriors and NFL 49er's aren't far away. Sacramento offers an affluent liberal arts community with Broadway, Mondavi Center, Crocker Museum and summer musical theater to name a few.

On-site Work

This role will be an on-site role that will require being in person at one of SMUD's campuses daily to complete work tasks.

SMUD provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. SMUD complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

SMUD expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of SMUD employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated.

Req ID: 1044