What is Electric Power (ELPW)?

The Electric Power Technology (ELPW) program focuses on the transmission and distribution of electricity. What does that mean? Transmission and distribution means keeping the flow of electricity safe through power lines and other means of transmission until it reaches you, the consumer.

This program helps students understand how the flow of electricity works, the equipment and safety measures used when working with electricity and then provides students with an opportunity to choose one of four specializations. Those that are undecided in their specialization typically have a good idea of what they want to choose after their first semester. An academic advisor or program manager can also assist students if help is needed to determine the best route.

Line Construction

This specialization teaches students how technicians install, modify, maintain, troubleshoot and repair overhead and underground electrical distribution systems. These systems are between a substation and the consumer. The systems include overhead lines, pole-top transformers, manholes, pad-mounted transformers and load-break disconnecting devices. Technicians are required to be certified to establish safe work clearances and switching to turn electricity off and on.

Applicable Utility Industry Job Titles
Line Workers - Overhead Lines
Overhead Transmission Supervisor
Line Workers - Underground Lines
Heavy Equipment Operators
Mechanic Operators
Trouble Responders

Metering

This specialization teaches the students how technicians install, modify, maintain, troubleshoot, repair, calibrate and perform functional tests on metering systems. This includes different types of meters depending on the type of consumer and system used. Examples are single-phase, poly-phase watt-hour meters, kilovolt-ampere meters and volt transformers.

Applicable Utility Industry Job Titles
Meter Readers
Meter Technicians
System Protection Technicians
Metering Data Coordinator

Substation

Substation Electricians - Substation electricians install, modify, troubleshoot, repair and perform maintenance procedures on substation infrastructure and electrical apparatus. This includes security fences, grounding systems, gravel surfacing, buswork, transformers, battery banks, circuit breakers, disconnect switches and capacitor banks. Substation electricians must also be certified to perform switching and establishing safe work clearances.

Applicable Utility Industry Job Titles
Substation Technician
Substation Electricians
Substation Operators
Switching Operators
Trouble Responders
Distribution Dispatchers
Distribution Design
Substation Maintenance

System Design

System Design Technicians - System design technicians work closely with and under the direction of design engineers to develop the design of power transmission and distribution systems. Assigned duties include conducting system load flow and fault studies, line routing studies; preparing equipment specifications and substation layouts to include ground grids and equipment arrangements. Other duties may include performing studies to facilitate site selection and preparation of drainage and surfacing specifications.

Applicable Utility Industry Job Titles
Engineering Aides
Draft persons
Designers
Utility Design Coordinator
Engineering Assistants
Construction Inspectors
Electric Field Planner
Control System Specialist

Prospective students should be prepared for the physical demands of the work of entry-level technician positions when considering this program. Typical industry entry-level position requirements include passing a physical exam, which may include: lifting 50+ pounds, climbing ladders, working in confined spaces, heights, etc. When applying for jobs applicants may also be required to pass a drug screen and an eye exam, including the ability to distinguish between colors accurately.