Speakers to Address Latest in Grounding at Commonwealth Booth

Commonwealth Associates, Inc. (Booth 1915) has lined up an array of speakers to address grounding practices, engineering and construction challenges conquered. The company is also presenting a tool to help system planners. Attendees will get a "great gift" as well.

Tuesday, April 20, 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, April 21, 11 a.m.

Grounding: You’ve Got Questions…We’ve Got Answers!
Commonwealth will have a panel of experts to answer grounding questions and give valuable information on the following:

  • Misconceptions about IEEE 80, “Guide for Safety in AC Substations” – Get answers to frequently asked questions about substation grounding
  • Worldwide Grounding Practices – Hear the results of a recent IEEE survey concerning grounding design and construction practices
  • Ground Testing – Gain valuable insight into various methods of ground grid testing
  • Rich Keil, P.E., Commonwealth Associates, Inc., has 43 years of substation design engineering experience, has been active for 34 years in the IEEE Substation Committee, and has chaired the IEEE 80 working group for 24 years.
  • Shashi Patel, NEETRAC, has over 40 years of hands-on experience in testing and analyzing utility grounding systems and performing EPRI studies.
  • Steve Greenfield, ERICO, has 39 years of experience in manufacturing numerous grounding products, has served as an IEEE PES member and contributing professional since 1995, and participates in several IEEE working groups related to utility grounding.
  • Dennis DeCosta, P.E., president of Commonwealth Associates, Inc., has 37 years of substation design engineering experience, has been a course instructor in substation design at Marquette University, and currently chairs the IEEE 81 working group on ground testing.

Tues., April 20, 2:00 p.m.

Swan-Tyee Intertie Project: Challenges Met!
See a short video and learn about the challenges of completing Southeast Alaska Power Authority’s Swan-Tyee Intertie 138 kV transmission line that connects two remote hydro sites in southeast Alaska. Imagine crossing 57 miles of mountainous, timbered terrain with no road access. Wilson Construction and CRUX Subsurface will share the solutions it used to move workers to the project site and construct the transmission line under formidable conditions.

  • John White, P.E., vice president of Commonwealth Associates, Inc., has 30 years of professional experience in the electric utility industry, including engineering, management, planning, and operational responsibilities related to transmission, substation, and distribution facilities.
  • Mace Peebler and Phil Connor, Wilson Construction. Wilson Construction was the prime contractor on the Swan-Tyee Intertie project. Wilson specializes in Electric Utility Construction and is proud to be one of the few independently owned and managed firms that perform all facets of electric distribution and transmission construction projects. They have the expertise to build all types of overhead lines and stations up to 500 kV and underground facilities up to 345 kV.
  • CRUX Subsurface, Inc. CRUX subsurface was the civil contractor on the Swan-Tyee Intertie project. CRUX offers innovative technology and services to complete the most challenging projects. The firm specializes in drilling services for locations with some of the most difficult access logistics. They are a leading provider of micropile foundations for electrical transmission structures where access and environmental restrictions limit conventional foundation construction.

Wed., April 21, 2:00 p.m.

Substation Retrofitting: How Your Old Facility Can Meet New Demands
The planning to rebuild a bulk power substation requires multiple skill sets to reach an optimum solution. Preliminary planning can encompass environmental, legal, engineering, operational and construction issues that require perspective from a collaborative team. Share some real-life project experiences and then compare processes and teaming arrangements.


  • Rich Keil, P.E., Commonwealth Associates, Inc., has 43 years of substation design engineering experience, has been active for 34 years in the IEEE Substation Committee, and has chaired the IEEE 80 working group for 24 years.
  • Stephen Arnold, P.E., manager of Substation Engineering at Commonwealth Associates, Inc., has over 35 years of professional engineering experience in the design of industrial power systems, distribution substations and major high-voltage utility-grade substations throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Wednesday, April 21, 3:30 p.m.

GIS Maps Bring New Capabilities to Transmission Planning
Commonwealth’s TRANSMISSION 2000 software includes new capability for high-quality transmission system mapping. The Transmission Mapping for Network Analysis software is linked with off-the-shelf geographical information system (GIS) software. Planning engineers can quickly locate and view an accurate map of the transmission system on their computers using readily available and up-to-date geographical information data. Come see how a live demonstration.

  • David Shafer, P.E., manager of Electrical Systems at Commonwealth Associates, Inc., has over 36 years of experience in electric power system studies, protection coordination studies; economic studies; electrical design of transmission lines and substations; and electrical effects analysis, including EMF, radio and television interference, and induced voltages. His department is responsible for developing and maintaining Commonwealth’s proprietary TRANSMISSION 2000 software.

Commonwealth Associates, Booth 1915

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