Workshop participants get hands-on experience ‘seeing’ energy loss

Brad Riser presenting to workshop participants

Brad Riser with FLIR presents operation of infrared cameras

Cosponsoring the Infrared Thermography: Hands-on Training for Utility Systems & Customer Service Applications, Western joined the Clean Energy Ambassadors and Montana State University in Billings to teach MSUB students and other professionals about infrared cameras.

Twenty students who came in on their school holiday joined by 20 employees of publicly-owned electric cooperatives from around Montana to learn about infrared cameras.

The cameras can be used in home energy audits to indicate air leaks or uneven insulation. The cameras also can be used to show hot spots along utility lines or at substations that might indicate a problem to repair.

Plan to improve fish population

To better manage fishery related actions at the Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon National parks, the National Parks Services held a public meeting in Page, Ariz., March 5. Participants who attended the meeting, including Western staff, are working to develop a single–planning effort that will better coordinate projects aimed to protect and restore endangered, native and sport fish populations..

The goal is to create a plan that covers both parks and gives NPS the ability to implement actions and ensure compliance coverage. The main objective of the collaboration is to restore the river eco systems to a pre-human state by removing non-native fish from some zones so the native species can rebuild. Other zones will keep non-native fish for sport fishing and will continue to hold non-native fish such as brown trout.

 The next step is to schedule pre-scoping meetings to get information out to park guides, hotel owners, anglers, rafters and other stakeholders. As a stakeholder Western will be a part of the scoping process and will provide input when the environmental assessment is out for comment.

More Regional Science Bowl winners head to DC for Nat’l competition

Preparing for the National Science Bowl in Washington D.C., the end of April, Western’s regional winners are ramping up.  Of the six regional bowls, two more winners have been named. The first from the Big Sky Science Bowl in Billings, Mont., was Helena High School. The second (reining Nat’l champions) Mira Loma High School from the Sacramento Science Bowl.  Our next regional competition is the Rocky Mountain Science Bowl in Loveland, Colo.

Infrared Camera Workshop Jan. 9

An Infrared Camera Workshop being held on Jan. 9, 2012 in Billings, Mont., is a partnership with Western and Montana State University Billings-College of Technology. This one-day workshop offers your utility hands-on training in Fluke and Flir infrared cameras’ technology and software, as well as guidance on integrating IR cameras into efficiency program development and utility O&M.

This unique workshop presents insight into designing an IR program, reading IR images for utility applications, field training with cameras and how to work with customers to use IR camera data.

See Western’s Energy Services Web page to register and see the agenda for the workshop. Seating is limited to first come first serve, so register today.

Western’s 2011 Strategic Plan reveals revised goals

Recently, Western’s senior management team updated Western’s strategic plan.

“This revision fine tunes and updates our strategies to ensure we are aligned with DOE’s goals and are working to secure a sustainable, clean reliable and secure energy future for our customers, the American people and future generations,” said Western’s Administrator Tim Meeks in his message to the Department of Energy, customers and employees.

 “For a strategic plan to be useful, it needs to be a living document that is periodically reviewed and updated to reflect the changes in the world around us,” he added.

Western awarded for teamwork to reduce SF6 emissions

The Department of Energy recognized Rocky Mountain Environmental Manager Gene Iley with the Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award for his work on the Fugitive Emissions Working Group .  

The FEWG  launched a successful campaign to eliminate emissions of the most highly potent greenhouse gas:  SF6.   Highlighting Western’s commitment to a cleaner environment, Iley along with three other Western employees gave a presentation to the entire workgroup on Western’s SF6 reduction program.

“We felt that it was in everyone’s interest to understand how different we are from most of the DOE family of sites and labs, as well as share our successes in SF6 emission reduction. In many instances, DOE sites have one location with one very large piece of equipment containing tons of SF6, whereas Western has thousands of smaller pieces of equipment to be managed,” Iley noted.   

The Secretary Chu presented the award to Iley Oct. 27 in Washington, D.C.  Iley modestly attributes his success on the FEWG to those who have contributed to Western’s SF6 Emissions Reduction Program.

Free webinar offered to tribes for guidance on RFPs

Join Western and the Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program for a FREE webinar, Aug. 17, 2011, on Challenges and Opportunities with Tribal Renewable Energy Development from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mountain Time.

Utilities in Western’s 15-state territory need renewable energy and renewable energy certificates to meet goals and mandates. Native American tribes have abundant renewable resources on tribal lands, and jobs and economic development would come from building generation projects. This webinar is for tribes who are interested in responding to renewable Requests for Proposals from utilities, or who simply want to learn more about the competitive power market. 

There are many challenges that beset renewable project development—from transmission interconnection and availability to conditions that are unique to each tribe. Speakers from utilities, government agencies and developers will offer their perspectives on how tribes can navigate the obstacles to create winning partnerships that result in successful tribal renewable projects. Expect frank discussions on what utilities expect in a tribal proposal to a renewable RFP, along with examples of success. See the full agenda.

Register online, or contact Guy Nelson at 541-994-4670 or 541-921-1127 for more information. Space is still available so register NOW!

Photo of the day

Western employees on the job

Rocky Mountain Electronic Equipement Craftsman Foreman II makes the fiber connections to a new 25 MVS transformeA Western Electronic Equipment Foreman in the Rocky Mountain Region makes a fiber connection to a new 25 megavolt-ampere transformer that was installed in April 2010.

Western employees work 24/7 to keep electric power flowing across the West. Without dedicated employees like this we’d be left in the dark.

Free transmission workshop

Western Area Power Administration invites its customers, electric utilities, tribes, generation and transmission developers, State and Federal agencies to attend a FREE workshop about meeting the transmission challenges in the Rocky Mountain region.  

The workshop includes an overview of Western’s RM transmission planning and services and an opportunity for open discussion on overcoming transmission challenges in the region.  

You must register by June 17, 2011.

More information and the agenda is available on Western’s Rocky Mountain Region’s website

Mira Loma takes National championship, wins trip to Australia

Working their way back to Washington, D.C., Mira Loma High School took the title back as the Department of Energy’s 2011 Science Bowl Champions.  Coach James Hill took home the 2009 championship and brought back another top team to the winners’ circle this year. Team members Russell Islam, Siddharth Trehan, Andrew Chen, Anish Khare, Sriram Pendyala receive an all-expense-paid trip in July to the International Science School in Sydney, Australia.

During the awards ceremony, Secretary Chu shared with more than 500 students why math and science is so important to our country’s future. He stated, “I have no doubt that the exceptional talent and hard work that earned them the Science Bowl championship will serve them well throughout their lives, as they help our Nation tackle the crucial scientific and engineering challenges we’ll face in the years ahead. America’s future will always be bright when we continue to invest in and support the young minds who will be tomorrow’s innovators, pioneers and leaders. That’s what the science bowl is all about.”

Western hosts six regional science bowls—including the one Mira Loma won in Sacramento—to help fulfill the Secretary of Energy’s vision of the future in science and technology.