Operations Engineer | Full Time
Location: 366 Pinnacle Ridge Road, Rutland, VT, USA
Serve at the heart of grid transformation amidst stunning scenery and a safe, supportive environment. Vermont Electric Power (VELCO) is seeking an Operations Engineer to join our Team. VELCO is committed to the safety of our people, grid reliability and creating a sustainable Vermont. We are a for-profit company with a cooperative-like financial structure that returns profits to owners – the Vermont Distribution Utilities and the Vermont Low Income Trust for Electricity (VLITE). Our utility owners are among the most innovative in the world and we provide many services that support overall electric innovation within the state. In addition to our transmission assets, VELCO owns and operates a statewide fiber optic network and a statewide radio network. Our Operations team consists of a 24/7 Control Center that oversees the operation of the transmission facilities and the support staff that coordinate maintenance scheduling, procedure creation and maintenance, specific operations training, and overall maintenance of the Energy Management System (EMS) that is used to control and model our system in real-time. Our team regularly collaborates with numerous other departments, including: Engineering and System Protection, Asset Maintenance, Compliance, System Planning, and more. We are engaged in innovative digitization work with two National Labs, operate in a state with a 40% renewable power mix, and are collaborating with national partners on policy-driven transmission projects. If serving on a highly nimble, cohesive team willing to adapt processes and utilize new tech to accelerate a changing grid appeals to you, please apply!
**VELCO is hiring one Operations Engineer to join our team but are open to a variety of levels of experience from associate to senior for this role.
Why you should join our team
The Operations Engineer will develop and maintain operating procedures, guidelines and instructions in compliance with applicable standards for the safe and reliable operation of the VELCO transmission system. The Engineer will perform and coordinate impact analysis and operational studies in the support of the day-to-day operation of the VELCO control center. The Operations Engineer will ensure Operations’ activity and work products are in compliance with North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) standards and other regulatory requirements. Must work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders.
The practicing Operations Engineer should be capable of and should demonstrate the knowledge to fully complete engineering assignments, understand the Vermont power system, and VELCO standards and procedures. Oversight is expected on technical aspects of assignments from the Director of Operations and EMS or more experienced engineers. VELCO has a four-level career ladder. This second level is for the practicing engineer with typically 2-7 years of engineering experience.
How you will make an impact
• Maintain an awareness of all NERC standards, procedures, criteria and ongoing changes. Coordinate Operations compliance activity and submit documentation per VELCO’s compliance program. Meet imposed deadlines, coordinate efforts for achieving and maintaining audit readiness and ensure that VELCO Operating procedures and practices are in compliance with all applicable NERC standards.
• Coordinate or perform the necessary load-flow studies for operating the transmission system in an efficient, safe and reliable manner. Support the VELCO Outage Coordinators by performing or coordinating contingency/impact analysis (load-flows) for planned system outages in assessing, understanding and managing risk.
• Coordinate system changes and modifications with the Vermont Distribution Utilities, VELCO Planning, Engineering, Energy Management Systems (EMS) and Field Services.
• Develop and maintain detailed control center operating procedures and guidelines including substation and transmission line procedures. Ensure the Operations department is apprised, or trained if applicable, on all new and revised ISO-NE procedures and guidelines pertinent to VELCO’s operation.
• Work closely with the Operations Trainer on the development of training programs and the assessment of training needs for the VELCO system operators and support staff. Assist in the training of the VELCO system operators and support staff on new or modified systems.
• Provide support and analytical guidance for the VELCO system operators, operations trainer, system planners, field technical personnel and the Vermont distribution utilities.
• Review switching plans, maintenance requests and commissioning guides with the VELCO outage coordinators.
• Update and maintain the VELCO system and one-line diagrams. Ensure that the Control Center and Backup Control Centers’ operating documentation is current.
• Provide guidance and support for the VELCO switching and tagging program to ensure that safe practices are observed and utilized in the performance of switching and tagging.
• Support VELCO EMS staff in updating, testing, validating and troubleshooting the SCADA networks application model.
• Represent VELCO on various working groups and committees within Vermont and ISO-NE.
• Provide functional backup for the Director of Operations, Compliance and System Protection.
• Participate on strategic teams in alignment with company core behaviors.
• Actively support the company’s strategic initiatives in support of the company’s mission and vision.
• Perform other duties as assigned.
Who you are
• A Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering or related Engineering field is expected with 2-7 years of relevant experience. A concentration in Power Systems is preferred.
• A NERC TO-level certification is required.
Relevant experience, or equivalent combination of experience and education in utility power systems, is desired.
The fine print
• Understanding and knowledge of key players: Vermont distribution utilities, ISO-NE, NGRID, CONVEX and their impact on the VELCO transmission system.
• Proficiency with tools and applications utilized to aid in the simulation of system conditions and load flow and security analysis skills.
• Knowledge of Vermont transmission, sub-transmission and interconnecting electric systems and/or the ability to rapidly learn and apply understanding of the systems is expected.
• Superior written and verbal communication skills.
• Excellent organizational skills.
• Excellent critical thinking skills.
• Excellent time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines.
• Excellent skills with Microsoft suite.
• Be extremely detail-oriented and accurate.
• Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
• Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times.
• Must be able to respond to off-duty calls, particularly in the event of system emergencies, prolonged equipment and/or customer outages.
• Must maintain a valid driver’s license.
• VELCO is an Equal Employment Opportunity & Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.
• Starting pay will be determined at the time of offer based on the experience, education, and training of the successful candidate.
• Eligible applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.
• Any offer of employment will be contingent upon successful reference check, background check, physical examination, drug screening, and documentation of Covid-19 vaccination unless candidate qualifies for a vaccine exemption.
• VELCO’s headquarters are located in Rutland, Vermont. This is a hybrid position and the expectation is that the incumbent will spend at least two days per week onsite and more as needed.
• If you need an accommodation as part of the application or interview process please reach out.
Please apply directly through our careers page.