Thursday, January 26, 2012

The fun starts here!

CONNECT is Commonwealth's social involvement committee.  Its mission is to organize and manage a range of voluntary activities and events for Commonwealth employees, to foster camaraderie, personal and professional growth, and goodwill/corporate citizenship beyond our walls.  

Any interested employee is welcome to join the committee and participate in any of its 3 focus areas: Culture, Compassion, and Community.  

Commonwealth is committed to being an employer of choice.  

In her blog, HR guru Susan Heathfield offers the following 12 Characteristics of an "Employer of Choice":

 1)   Job security
 2)   Empowerment and authority
 3)   Respect
 4)   Opportunity for growth
 5)   Access to information
 6)   Commitment
 7)   Involvement
 8)   Positive relationships with co-workers
 9)   Work/life balance
10)  Performance culture
11)  Fairness
12)  Recognition


MISO MVPs and Michigan: Bad policy or hidden opportunity?

In an October 21st posting, we addressed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) ruling on the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc.'s (MISO) multi-value projects (MVPs) cost allocation scheme and the strong response to it in Michigan, a state in which it is being questioned whether or not the costs will actually be in line with the benefits received (see

Stephen S. Miller, P.E.
Commonwealth's Stephen S. Miller, P.E., Section Manager for TRANSMISSION 2000®, will be offering an interesting take on the situation tomorrow, Friday, January 27th, as one of the featured speakers at the Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy put on by Michigan State University's Institute of Public Utilities at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.  He will be taking a look at Michigan's unique geography, the connection with the regional Independent System Operator, potential resources, power supply challenges, electric reliability, international relations, and new technologies, particularly those associated with the automotive industry.

Miller has more than 33 years of experience in the analysis and planning of electric utility systems and the design and development of associated software programs, particularly the TRANSMISSION 2000® series of programs -- including Power Flow, Short Circuit, and Transient Stability -- designed to improve the analysis and planning of utility transmission systems.

A copy of his presentation will be posted here.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Coming to Life Beneath the Hudson

                       Photo by Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Like proud parents watching their child walk for a diploma, one of Commonwealth's goals for our conceptual plans and project evaluations is to see them written in steel and concrete.  However, for a variety of reasons, planning studies frequently result in long-forgotten reports buried on a shelf or an electronic drive somewhere.  We are proud to provide our clients with the experience, talent, and unique combination of resources that turn concepts into projects -- projects like the one, years in the planning, now coming to life beneath the Hudson River between Midtown Manhattan and New Jersey in New York Harbor.

In 2006, Commonwealth assisted the New York Power Authority (NYPA) with evaluating power supply options for New York City.  Shortly after providing advice in the form of study conclusions and work papers, NYPA selected the project we recommended.  This New York Times article highlights the progress toward implementation of that project.