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Power Generation System Operator

Q30

Basic Purpose

Positions in this job family are responsible for remotely operating the facilities of the GRDA Control Area while complying with all of the requirements of Control Areas certified by NERC, by controlling the loading of all GRDA Hydroelectric, Coal-fired Complex, and Pumped Storage Hydroelectric generators; scheduling of power sales, purchases, and generation; controlling the transmission system voltage, system switching procedures, and line loading through SCADA operations to meet NERC reliability criteria.

Typical Functions

The functions performed within this family will vary by the level and organization, but may include the following:

  • Controls the loading of all GRDA Hydroelectric, Coal-fired Complex, and Pumped Storage Hydroelectric generators to serve customer requirements by Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA); maintains Hydroelectric, Coal-fired Complex, and Pumped Storage Hydroelectric generation to control the inadvertent power flow to other companies.
  • Regulates Control Area system voltage, frequency and transmission line loading by Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) computer.
  • Reconciles energy accounting and inadvertent interchange balances with other NERC Control Areas at regular intervals; calculates system loads and prepares daily operation summaries; records all purchases and sales of energy; maintains all relevant system operating records reports, and logs.
  • Schedules power sales and purchases with other power marketing and trading companies, while continually ensuring that such transactions meet NERC Control Area system requirements; work with Reliability Authority, Balancing Authority, other Control Area operators, and other reliability-related or regulatory entities as required to ensure that all transactions meet statutory regulatory and NERC-specified Control Area system requirements.
  • Supervises the restoration of service following an interruption, through SCADA and manual switching of equipment, by dispatching generation and/or transmission personnel to remote switching stations to isolate damaged lines or equipment.
  • Arranges for the clearance and restoration of high voltage transmission lines, substations and generating units through switching procedures while ensuring the protection of personnel.
  • Opens interconnections as warranted by NERC Control Area system conditions to prevent harm to personnel, complete system failure or damage to lines or equipment.
  • Schedules work of NERC-Certified system operators to provide twenty-four hour/seven-day coverage of all operations job tasks in the area assigned; assists in the formulation of operating policy; supervises the operations of the systems operations department, and performs other duties as assigned.

Level Descriptors

The Power Generation System Operator job family has four levels that are distinguished based on obtaining NERC certification, the complexity of the work assigned and the scope of responsibility for supervision of system operators.

Level I Code: Q30A Salary Band: M

This is the training or entry level where employees are given only the most basic routine tasks to perform and progressively perform more responsible work under the direct supervision of a skilled NERC certified operator.  Employees must successfully complete the NERC System Operator certification test and obtain NERC certification within one year of appointment.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include the knowledge of basic electrical generation, transmission and distribution practices, principles and theory, as well as fundamental energy marketing accounting practices.  Skill is required in the use of Microsoft Office or equivalent office productivity software; ability is required to operate SCADA computer equipment related to the operation of a NERC-Certified Energy Control Center.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of two years of experience in the operation of a NERC-Certified Energy Control Center for an electric utility; or sixty semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university, including six hours in computer science; or completion of a two-year course of study in Computer Science or Electronics at an accredited trade, technical or vocational school.

Level II Code: Q30B Salary Band: N

At this level employees perform at the full performance level.  Employees are responsible for power generation, sales and purchases with other power marketing and trading companies or Control Areas and/or for controlling the Control Area transmission system voltage, system switching procedures, and line loading through SCADA operations.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level I, plus knowledge of NERC-Certified Control Area electrical system operations; of the hazards and safety precautions in electrical transmission operations; and of the operation of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) computer system.  Ability is required to exercise independent judgment; to work in emergency situations with speed and accuracy; and to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

Education and Experience required at this level include those identified in Level I plus two additional years of experience in the operation of a NERC-Certified Energy Control Area for an electric utility.

Level III Code: Q30C Salary Band: O

At this level employees perform highly specialized work in the operation of the NERC-Certified Control Area.  Employees will supervise subordinate employees, serve as a lead worker, or perform highly specialized work.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level II plus knowledge of supervisory principles and practices and the ability to train subordinate employees.

Education and Experience requirements at this level include those identified in Level II plus two additional years of experience in operation of a NERC-Certified Energy Control Center responsible for NERC-Certified Control Area for an electric utility.

Level IV Code: Q30D Salary Band: P

Employees at this level plan, organize and supervise the operations of the NERC-Certified Control Area.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified in Level III plus knowledge of administrative principles and practices.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level III plus one additional year of supervisory experience in GRDA System Operations.

Special Requirements

With the exception of Level I, all positions within this job family require an incumbent to maintain necessary NERC certification.  Incumbents of Level I must obtain a NERC Systems Operators Certificate within one year of appointment to be eligible for continued employment and promotion to Level II.  Certified System Operators will be required to continue their education through various mediums including, but not limited to, seminars, coursework, reading industry literature, etc.  Some travel will be expected for industry training and meetings.  When deemed necessary by shift/supervisory personnel, overtime to ensure twenty-four hour/seven-day coverage of the NERC Certified Energy Control Center shall be required.

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