Around the Circuit
U.S. Power Grid Still In Need of Upgrades
U.S. power supplies should be adequate to meet peak demand this summer, but the nation's grid operators could face future problems if they neglect suggested grid improvements, according to the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC). While the possibility of uncontrolled blackouts remains low, NERC expects transmission congestion to occur in some areas this summer. A combination of unanticipated equipment problems and hot weather could cause the demand for power to temporarily exceed generation and transmission capacity in New York. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) also warned that California could face "very troublesome conditions" this summer due to above-average temperatures and low hydropower supplies. For more information, read the NERC's 2004 Summer Assessment.
Insulation Testing Just Got Easier!
AEMC Instruments' Megohmmeter Model 5070 is the only fully automated 5000V graphical insulation tester, which provides insulation measurements to 10Tohm. Test results include DAR, PI, DD, Capacitance, Leakage Current as well as programmable temperature correction of resistance readings. It offers the ability to program up to three step voltage profiles (40 to 5100V), each containing up to five steps. It has an RS-232 interface and an extensive memory function, which permits storage results in files specific to the device under test. Includes DataView Lite software for data storage, analysis and report generation. Visit www.aemc.com to learn more.
Senate Bill Offers Energy Incentives
The cost of Senate-approved tax credits for wind, solar, and other alternative energy sources has climbed to $18 billion. The Senate recently passed a $14 billion corporate tax bill that offers tax credits to companies that produce green electricity. The Senate Finance Committee also stated that the 1.8-cent-per-kWh clean energy credit for wind, biomass, farm waste, geothermal, and solar was expected to cost about $3 billion in the original 10-year energy package, but the cost of the credits has increased to about $4.4 billion. Wind credits account for about two-thirds of the increase. "We thought we were going to go down, but instead we had a huge increase, based on the fact that we're getting more renewable electricity," says a committee aide. "It's a good use of taxpayer dollars."
Federal Government Issues New Form
for Project Proposals
Design firms have used Standard Forms 254 and 255 (SF254/255) for the submittal of qualifications for federal projects since 1975. Architects and engineers will now be required to use a new form -- Standard Form 330 (SF330) -- for all federal projects. The federal government released SF330 in November 2003 and will officially implement the form on
June 8. Local and state agencies, as well as private owners, may continue to request the SF254/255 format for their submittals rather than requiring design firms to switch to the SF330. It may also be necessary for firms to generate both SF330 and SF254/255 forms if they have a mixture of clients. To ease the transition into using the new forms, firm leaders are advised to become familiar with SF330 and start using it as soon as possible. Companies must also ensure that they have an efficient system for collecting and recording project data as well as an updated database.
1 Screwdriver. 10 Solutions.
From the leader in innovative product design comes a tool that puts multi-purpose functionality at your fingertips. The new 10-In-1 Screwdriver/Nutdriver from IDEAL features two Slotted, Phillips, Square and Torx screwdriver heads along with two sizes of Nutdrivers. And they all fit conveniently into an extra-soft cushion grip handle. Visit www.idealindustries.com today for a complete product profile.
San Carlos Seeks Contractor
for Installation of Photovoltaic System
The city of San Carlos, Calif., is accepting sealed bids for the design and installation of a photovoltaic system. The system will be installed on the city's general services facility buildings 1 and 3 with a minimum system rating of 55,801W. Contractors can obtain plans and specifications, forms, bonds, and contracts at the office of the City Clerk. Bids are due at 10 a.m. on June 8 at City Hall, 600 Elm St., San Carlos, CA 94070. For more information, visit the City of San Carlos Web site.
City of New York to Award Contract
for Electrical Installations in Schools
The Division of School Facilities is now accepting bids for a requirements contract for electrical installations. Contractors are required to attend a pre-bid conference at 11 a.m. on June 14 in Room 503 of the division's headquarters at 44-36 Vernon Blvd. in Long Island City, New York. The scope of work includes the maintenance, service, repair, modification, and installation of electrical systems at designated schools and buildings in New York. The contract work includes an emergency generator system, transient surge suppression system, service entrance equipment, switchboards, transformers, panelboards, lighting, and fire detection and alarm systems. For more information, read the bid notice or requirements contract.
Contractors Earn Free Merchandise From
Introducing the Great GearSM program, a way to acquire free gifts by collecting and redeeming
B-Line Bucks found on
B-Line's fastener product boxes. Simply remove your B-Line Bucks from the box label and use them to select from a wide assortment of gear in B-Line's Great Gear catalog. To obtain a catalog and order forms, see your local B-Line distributor, or visit our Web site at www.b-line.com
Designing Industrial Lighting Systems
A good industrial lighting system requires a combination of solid fundamental design techniques, close attention to the facility's conditions, and an appreciation for each worker's lighting needs. The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America's guide, Recommended Practice for Lighting Industrial Facilities RP-7-01, outlines the steps for designing a system that's not only efficient but conducive to a productive work environment. Visit the EC&M Web site for the full article.
Eye on Safety
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed four bills that will reform the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and help small businesses. The Small Business Day in Court Act will allow the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) to extend the 15-day deadline for employers to file responses to OSHA citations. The Review Commission Efficiency Act will increase the size of the OSHRC from three to five members to improve the efficiency of the review and resolution of workplace safety and health cases. The Independent Review of OSHA Citations Act will ensure that the OSHRC, and not OSHA itself, interprets the law and provides an independent review of OSHA citations. Finally, the Small Employer Access to Justice Act will require a complete assessment of the merits of a case before OSHA brings unnecessary enforcement actions against small businesses.
On the Job and Out to Lunch
Everyone makes mistakes. Some are just funnier than others. Got a story about a jobsite blunder you'd like to share? Send us your story of embarrassing on-the-job mistakes for use in EC&M's new column called Short Circuits. If we publish it, we'll send you a check for $25. Read the latest published entries from your fellow readers.
Meltric's UL Switch Rated Motor Plugs reduce installed costs because there is no need to purchase and install expensive interlocks or disconnects. They also reduce downtime by allowing quick motor change-outs. Users can safely make and break electrical connections under full load. Same day shipping available. Call 800-433-642 or go to http://www.meltric.com
Shows and Events
West Coast Energy Management Congress
Business, industrial, and institutional energy users will have the opportunity to compare energy supply and alternative energy options at the West Coast Energy Management Conference. The energy conference and technology expo will take place from June 16-17 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. For free admission to the show, you can preregister on the event Web site.
EASA Annual Convention and Exposition
The Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) will showcase the latest technology in electric motors, drives and controls, generators, and electro-mechanical equipment at its 2004 Annual Convention and Exposition. The show will take place from June 20-23 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The theme for the 2004 convention will be "Teaming for Success." For more information on the show, visit EASA's Web site.
2005 Code Change Seminars
It's that time again. The release of the 2005 NEC is only months away, and to help you prepare for all of the changes, EC&M is once again presenting its Code Change Conferences. Moderated by Mike Holt and Fred Hartwell (Boston conference only), two of the electrical construction industry's most knowledgeable trainers, the two-day conferences will cover everything you need to know about the new Code. All attendees will receive a copy of the 2005 NEC and EC&M's 2005 Code Change Book, written by Mike Holt. Seven seminars will be held in various cities across the country.
Download the registration form to find the closest seminar, fill it out, and fax it to (203) 929-5351.
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