Nashville District Engineers build and install new supervisory controls and data acquisition

Nashville District Engineers construct and set up new supervisory controls and knowledge acquisition

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (April 3, 2023)—The Nashville District Corps of Engineers put in the primary a part of a brand new supervisory management and knowledge acquisition system on the J. Percy Priest Hydroelectric Energy Plant positioned in Nashville, Tennessee and is remotely operated by Outdated Centrale hydroelectric plant in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

It took the Digital Companies part three months to construct the SCADA system from scratch and be taught the coding language that runs the SCADA system. The set up and testing of the brand new system took about two weeks and is likely one of the largest inner initiatives accomplished within the district.

The SCADA system presently permits operators and controllers to handle the J. Percy Priest Hydroelectric Plant remotely from the Outdated Hickory Hydroelectric Plant. ESS and hydroelectric plant engineers will set up management methods in any respect 9 hydroelectric vegetation within the Nashville District and one on the Detroit District Hydroelectric Plant.

The hydroelectric vegetation shall be remotely operated from two central areas: J. Percy Priest Hydroelectric Plant and Cordell Hull Hydroelectric Plant. Every hydroelectric plant may have an on-site workforce who will work intently with ESS to put in the management system.

ESS Supervisor Richard Reiger chosen electrical engineers and mechanics inside the Nashville District who had been skilled in hydroelectric plant operations and had working data of the earlier SCADA system to construct the brand new SCADA system.

Senior electronics mechanic Allen Hay first collected knowledge from a number of sources positioned on the district’s hydroelectric vegetation. As soon as the info acquisition was full, Hay and Ditto labored collectively to code the startup and shutdown sequences for the SCADA system. After coding the remainder of the SCADA system’s operational capabilities, the ESS workforce labored with native electricians on the J. Percy Priest Hydroelectric Plant to start set up.

“We confronted a number of issues, largely as a result of we had been all studying the programming language for the primary time and learn how to construct the system from scratch. We needed to train ourselves the programming language. We had to determine learn how to code the system and make the beginning and cease instructions work correctly; As soon as that was carried out, we labored with electricians on the J. Percy Priest Hydroelectric Plant to start the set up,” Hay mentioned.

ESS electrical engineer Skyler Holloway coded the SCADA system interface. “I primarily labored on the interface that operators, or controllers sooner or later, will use in hydroelectric vegetation to concern instructions to begin and cease generator items, manually alter parameters, and monitor numerous knowledge collected from throughout the plant.”

Luke Ditto, Hydroelectric Energy Station Senior Electronics Mechanic within the Digital Companies Part, who beforehand labored for the ESS East workplace, has labored within the Nashville District for greater than 20 years. Ditto mentioned he loved working with the Corps and being a part of such a big venture makes him much more pleased with his work than he’s.

“We constructed this method with a number of issues in thoughts; we needed to guarantee that the system was protected and straightforward for our operators to make use of. We spent months studying learn how to construct this method and gained abilities we are able to use sooner or later. As we set up extra of those SCADA methods at our areas over the following few years, we are going to assist the hydroelectric program run extra effectively, and I’m delighted to be a part of the workforce that has achieved this,” mentioned Ditto.

J. Percy Priest Hydroelectric Plant journeyman electrician Jon Stinson put in the management system on the J. Percy Priest Hydroelectric Plant. “I needed to order the components, and as soon as they arrived, I put in and wired them into the security cupboard. Total, the set up went very easily. It simply took a whole lot of time to put in.

Stinson mentioned he was delighted to be a part of the primary SCADA system set up within the Nashville District. “It is a large deal; ESS constructed a serious management system from scratch, making it a lot simpler for us to keep up this very important SCADA system.”

Electrical engineer Skylar Holloway designed the SCADA interface that points instructions to begin and cease hydroelectric items, manually alter parameters, and monitor numerous knowledge collected from the vegetation. This knowledge can then be used to create studies and graphs to assist the Corps monitor lake water ranges and cease site visitors.

Holloway mentioned the system’s SCADA person interface design and graphic design had been a few of his best accomplishments throughout this venture. “We took components from the earlier system in order that operators might familiarize themselves with it, however we additionally up to date it to have a extra trendy and extra intuitive really feel. We needed it leaner and cleaner”.

Initially, the SCADA system was constructed by a contracting firm, however simply previous to set up, the software program utilized by the corporate was deemed out of date in Might 2022. Nashville District engineers had to determine learn how to substitute the SCADA system with out further funding out there.

The SCADA system was initially put in in 1999 and wanted a immediate substitute as a result of chapter of the unique contractor, making it unattainable to buy substitute components.

Reiger mentioned the SCADA system usually prices contractors $3 million to $10 million to construct, and the Corps needed to discover an alternate option to fund this venture on such brief discover.

“We didn’t anticipate these issues once we initially contracted the job. After being confronted with this troublesome state of affairs, we realized that we might prepare a few of our personal folks to construct the system and program the software program, serving to us resolve this downside with none further funding wanted,” Reiger mentioned.

The SCADA system was constructed within the ESS laboratory and examined with simulators modeled on actual Corps hydroelectric vegetation. This system interface was designed to work higher than the earlier system and supply extra info to the 2 hydroelectric vegetation in operation.

The SCADA system takes the operations and controls of the Corps’ hydroelectric plant to a extra superior operational degree.

“The tools we have now chosen is analogous and adaptable to a number of the tools we have already got in hydroelectric vegetation. We put in a very new communication system to make it extra versatile and sturdy for the brand new SCADA system,” mentioned Reiger.

Analiza Barker, Senior Powerplant Operator, mentioned she appreciates all of the laborious work of the ESS workforce in constructing the SCADA system and coding the brand new management system interface.

“Now it’s a lot simpler to function the system. They designed the interface to be extra user-friendly. We are able to entry info studies from hydroelectric vegetation which are a number of kilometers away. Now it is easy to see right here on the display screen what is going on on, so if there’s an emergency or one thing that wants instant consideration, the system will tell us precisely what it’s so we are able to deal with it promptly,” Baker mentioned.

Baker mentioned that not solely will the brand new SCADA system assist it do its job higher, it’s going to additionally save the Corps and taxpayers money and time by lowering the response time it might take for operations engineers to repair the issue. “This new know-how retains our methods on the forefront. It saves us effort and time, which in flip saves us manpower and cash,” Baker mentioned

The SSE has a number of tasks. A few of these duties contain testing hydroelectric energy plant transformers, mills, and circuit breakers to make sure most performance, and sustaining supervisory management and knowledge acquisition that allows distant management of hydroelectric energy.

Additionally they keep safe and clear communications between energy vegetation and conduct cybersecurity for the 9 Nashville District Hydroelectric Crops and the Detroit District Hydroelectric Plant.

The general public can get information, updates, and data from the Nashville District’s US Military Corps of Engineers on the District’s web site at, on Fb at and on Twitter at

The general public also can observe Outdated Hickory Lake on Fb at Observe us on LinkedIn for the most recent employment alternatives and contracts within the Nashville District at

Author: ZeroToHero

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