Many utilities are upgrading electrical equipment and protective relaying in transmission and distribution substations. Unfortunately, only small portions of the power in the substation can be turned off at any one time. Therefore, upgrades must take place adjacent to other energized control circuits, and equipment. Often the protective relay control circuits of the equipment being replace are intermingled with circuits that need to stay online. Even small mistakes or lapses in judgement can cause unwanted equipment outages and the magnitude if these outages can be very significant. Protection and Control (P&C) techs are often required to work in substations where one mistake can cause a critical power outage. This type of work in a substation can be compared to the critical nature of a surgeon operating on a patient. We are basically operating on the power grid when performing this work. With one mistake, you can lose the power to a city or large geographical area. Therefore, this type of work requires highly skilled technicians and engineers, plus the highest level of attention to details and techniques to reduce the possibility of human performance error.
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