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Transmission Planning Chief Engineer

Birmingham, AL

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.

Chief Engineer Job Description (Transmission Planning Stability and Special Studies)

The Chief Engineer position will be part of a team of engineers responsible for planning the bulk transmission system for Georgia Power Company, Alabama Power Company, and Mississippi Power Company; where the Team primary focus is System Stability (voltage stability, rotor angle stability, frequency stability, resonance stability, and converter-driven stability).

This position will be responsible for leading and performing power system technical studies (primarily on resonance stability and converter-driven stability) and subsequently making power system-based recommendations in support of various groups within Southern Company. This position will also be responsible for providing internal Southern Company technical leadership plus influencing national and regional technical and regulatory entities to shape the direction of emerging BES reliability and stability topics. Several current emerging topics which could pose a significant impact to the stability of the BES include; accelerated integration of power electronics coupled generation resources, inverter-based resource (IBR) model quality issues (validation and verification), integration of power electronic-interfaced transmission equipment, lack of study methods and tools to address specialized topics (such as control interaction between synchronous generation and power electronic technologies), sub-synchronous resonance, and the need to perform electromagnetic transient (EMT) stability studies.

This position will also lead and be responsible for overseeing the evolving processes for unique transmission planning studies on the Southern Company Bulk Transmission System. These studies involve: evaluating the effects of emerging applications such as computationally intensive large data center loads, with unique waveform signatures; evaluating power electronic-interfaced technologies such as FACTS devices; evaluating the potential for adverse interactions between IBRs and existing synchronous generators, evaluating IBR to IBR control interactions in areas with high penetration of power electronic controlled devices, evaluating emerging applications that are power electronic-coupled to the BES (e.g., E-STATCOMs, HVDC, SmartValves, grid-forming inverters, etc.). This will require collaborating 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, internal and external customers for information and support.

In addition, this position will be responsible for monitoring, and as appropriate, participating in regional and technical and regulatory arenas to shape the development of technical and regulatory issues associated with power electronic-interfaced technologies (e.g., IBRs, HVDC, FACTs). This includes participation in, but not limited to the following organizations: NERC, SERC, FERC, IEEE, EPRI, CIGRE, ESIG and EEI.

Primary Job Responsibilities

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

  • Provide technical leadership for stability-related areas of responsibility.

  • 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 power system studies (electromagnetic transient), including performing special technical studies requiring detailed advanced power system modeling techniques.

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

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

  • Develop Southern Company Policy in the areas of IBR stability, power electronic-interfaced technologies, and other related areas .

  • Review, organize, and analyze study results to ensure product accuracy. Provide specialized expertise in the areas of stability and special studies utilizing planning tools and creative solution development.

  • Aid in the preparation of policy recommendations to positively influence, lead, and shape industry initiatives.

  • Research regulatory and industry initiatives affecting the BPS. Investigate special technical issues impacting the BPS.

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

  • Participate in internal Southern Company Committees within the areas of expertise.

  • Provide training for internal customers in technical studies related courses.

  • Participate in (or lead, when appropriate) 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 required .

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

Work Experience

The following work experience is required.

  • Demonstrated expertise in electrical power system modeling and analysis, including power electronic-interfaced technologies.

  • Experience in generator (IBR and/or conventional) operations and control system modeling/analysis.

  • Knowledge of advanced power and control system modeling techniques and analysis, using EMT modeling tools such as PSCAD, EMTP-RV is required .

  • Experience using advanced computer modeling and simulation tools (e.g., PSSE or PowerWorld).

  • Ability to independently conduct power system studies and develop reports of key findings with recommendations.

  • Knowledge of electrical equipment, protection systems, and power system operations and controls .

  • Knowledge of technical topics that are impactful to the reliability of the BES including issues associated with a high integration of IBR.

  • Experience with computer programming (MATLAB, C, Visual Basic, VB.Net, or Python) related to study automation.

  • General knowledge of design, control, and operation of a bulk electric system.

  • Electric utility experience.

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

The following work experience is highly desired.

  • Knowledge of small signal stability area.

  • Experience and strong understanding of NERC Reliability Standards.

  • Understanding of NERC, SERC, FERC .

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Ability to independently analyze and resolve technical and complex issues quickly.

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

  • Strong technical, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills.

  • 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.

  • Initiative-taking, and results-oriented. Displays a high degree of self-direction .

  • Demonstrates 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.

  • Naturally assumes leadership roles when necessary.

  • Ability to acquire leadership positions in industry efforts to address topics that that are impactful to Southern Company and fall under the purview of the group.

  • Ability to lead system-wide studies and manage policy issues.

  • Has a focus on process improvement, training, and mentoring of others.

  • Ability to conduct or lead technology assessments, application, and development.

  • 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.

  • Ability to understand technical documentation (electrical diagrams, equipment specifications, industry publications, etc.).

  • Has a strong customer focus.

  • Exhibits Southern Company’s “Our Values” (Safety First, Intentional Inclusion, Act with Integrity, and Superior Performance).

  • Safety First - We actively care about the safety and well-being of our employees, customers, and communities. Safely approaching every job, every day, always comes first.

  • Intentional Inclusion - We are One Team, working to foster a culture of belonging and ensuring our diverse team feels valued. Investing in an equitable culture benefits employees, customers, communities, and shareholders.

  • Act with Integrity - We act with honesty, respect, and fairness, while demonstrating trustworthiness in all we do. We are true to our word and follow through on our commitments.

  • Superior Performance - We keep customers at the center of everything we do, with a focus on continuous improvement. We provide exceptional service, delivering innovative solutions that benefit our customers, communities, investors, and the environment.

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: 5932

Job Category: Engineering

Job Schedule: Full time

Company: Southern Company Services

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