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Technical Service Center, Infrastructure Services
Hydropower Diagnostics and SCADA Group (86-68450)

Powerplant Automation Team

Team Leader : Toby Steves Switchyard Fault Testing

The team’s primary responsibility is design, research, development, and installation in the area of SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems.  These systems will provide local and remotely-located control and monitoring of powerplants, diversion facilities, river systems, and water quality.  The team focuses on both the hardware and software aspects of these control and monitoring systems as follows:

The SCADA Automation team has software expertise in distributed real-time databases, optimal controls, historical data storage, and data acquisition methods.  The team has the capability to provide RTU (remote terminal unit) and PLC (programmable logic controller) software and hardware support.  Support for copper, fiber, and radio-based communication systems are also available from the team.

This team has expertise in SCADA system design, and specification development for the purposes of installation by an independent contractor.  Contractor coordination, supervision, and acceptance testing is a frequently performed function of the SCADA team.

This team develops SCADA products that support effective, reliable, and efficient operation of Reclamation powerplants.  The group has expertise in optimization techniques and their application to powerplant controls.  Economic dispatch and unit commitment methods are developed to meet Reclamation’s water and power resources management needs.  Emphasis is placed on efficiency enhancement, plant optimization, river basin optimization, water scheduling, and ultimately water and power resource integration and coordination.  This team is experienced with SCADA security matters from policy and system accreditation to physical implementation.  Numerous methods of solving security issues have been investigated, designed and tested with the goal of meeting the latest cyber security requirements for SCADA systems.

This team maintains an understanding of existing SCADA installations and provides assistance to field personnel on an as-needed basis.  Assistance in the area of plant generation control, voltage control, unit generation controls, and software development are some of the services provided.  This team also maintains expertise in power system generation controls and coordinates Reclamation power plant controls with requirements from the power marketing agencies.  This team coordinates and participates in the Reclamation SCADA User’s Group.  The team also participates in several hydropower-related technical conferences.