Nelson Bacalao: International Instructor

Nov. 29, 2007
For the definition of international instructor, see Nelson Bacalao. Executive consultant with Siemens Power Technologies International, Bacalao works throughout the world providing training in engineering and business

For the definition of international instructor, see Nelson Bacalao. Executive consultant with Siemens Power Technologies International, Bacalao works throughout the world providing training in engineering and business. He was educated internationally, starting out at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, Venezuela, with a degree in electrical engineering in 1979. He then earned his masters at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his PhD at the University of British Columbia. He also completed the advanced managerial program at Instituto de Estudios Superiores en Administración.

Currently, Bacalao is in Bahrain, teaching an Interconnection Planning and Operations course.

“It is a customized course that I prepared for them and it is quite a challenge,” Bacalao said. “They have lots of questions and expectations because they will interconnect soon with Saudi Arabia, Qatar & Kuwait in the GCCIA.”

He is referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority. The GCCIA is working on interconnecting grids throughout the Middle East. The project is divided into three phases. The first phase is the interconnection of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. This system is the GCC North Grid. Then follows the interconnection of the independent systems in the UAE as well as Oman. This is the GCC South Grid. GCCIA is not involved in the execution of Phase II. The third phase involves interconnection of the GCC South Grid with the GCC North Grid. This phase completes the interconnection of the six Gulf States.

With more than 24 years of professional experience, Bacalao has extensive worldwide experience in providing technical and strategic consulting services to utilities, governments, regulators, independent project developers, and the financial community, in domestic as well as international assignments in the energy industry. Bacalao has worked throughout the world and for such multilateral institutions as the World Bank, OPIC and the Inter-American Development Bank.

He started his career with Edelca, a large electric utility in Venezuela in the transmission department as the company was planning its 765-kV transmission system. At that time, Bacalao started an accelerated career in T&D, and one of his initial assignments was the modeling of Edelca’s system in PSS/2; the first commercial version of PSS™E.

“At that time you bought the program with a computer the size of a fridge, and you would know that the case was becoming unstable by the noise made by the disk drive. Also I feel like a parent when I see how large the PAG and the POM are nowadays (PSS™E manuals) and how small they were back then,” Bacalao said.

He has worked as a consultant with Siemens PTI since 2006 and he said that he has "known PTI almost from its foundation." He has presented courses within Siemens Power Academy, which has training Centers established in Germany, the United States, UK, Austria, France, Italy, Portugal and Turkey. The Academy also offers in-house training in more than 120 countries, including Bahrain. He has taught technical courses including “electrical machines,” “transmission systems” and “electric power systems.” He taught a distribution planning course at T&D University last month in Dallas, Texas.

Even as he provides education within the business sector, Bacalao has also been been associated professor of electric power engineering at Simon Bolivar University (Venezuela) and invited professor at the University of British Columbia (Canada).

Bacalao specializes in utility operations and planning. He has provided due diligence evaluation and/or assessment of transmission & distribution utilities for banks, investors and utility management for more that 22 transmission and distribution companies in 11 countries.

Bacalao has had his hand in every part of the energy industry with experience in regulation as well. His emphasis has been electric sector regulation reviews and restructuring, cost of service studies, electric tariff designs including periodic reviews, and design of quality of service standards. He has provided these types of services to regulator, investors and utilities in countries as diverse as the United States, Mexico, Turkey, Malawi, Belize, Venezuela and South Africa.

“Needless to say I have my hands full right now,” Bacalao said.

He is married to Paloma de Arizon; who also has a PhD in electrical engineering and is part of the Siemens PTI team. He has two daughters: Alejandra, who will graduate from civil engineering from Rice University next year, and Patricia, who is a freshman in architecture, also at Rice.

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