American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) offers its members a variety of technical services to help them improve the quality of service they offer their customers.
The Circuit Rider program offers AMP member communities the services of an experienced, qualified field superintendent. AMP energy services consultants offer guidance to municipal employees and expertise on electric system operation and maintenance.
This service can also provide smaller communities with assistance or training on a scheduled or special-project basis on such topics as capital improvements, equipment troubleshooting, safety and system design or mapping.
Through its technical services department, AMP is able to assist member communities with their electric system design, construction and project management needs. Some of the services offered are:
- T&D Projects — where AMP’s professional engineers design projects from distribution lines (overhead and underground) to substations.
- Project Management — AMP can help communities select a consultant engineer, monitor the progress of a project and act as an independent advisor to protect the interest of the municipal electric system. AMP will also write specifications for the bidding process, oversee bid opening and award and verify that contractors meet required specifications for materials and work performed.
- System Reviews — AMP will coordinate a review of a member electric distribution system, pointing out projects that will benefit the member system and increase the quality, reliability and efficiency of service to customers. System modeling and fuse coordination can be done to aid in the review.
- Infrared testing — With advanced infrared diagnostic equipment, AMP engineers and technicians can quickly and thoroughly do on-site inspections of your electric service components, distribution facilities and equipment. This can identify faulty electrical connections, overloaded equipment and other conditions that can lead to costly service disruptions.
- Other testing — Using a wide array of equipment, AMP personnel can conduct power system studies for load flow, short circuits and relay coordination. Power monitoring studies can pinpoint voltage and current disturbances, track load trends and detail the harmonics of the system. AMP also has the equipment and personnel to test relays, reclosers, breakers, cables and transformers. Arc Flash analysis can be completed using Easy Power software to meet the needs of the current National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) standards.
- RP3 Assistance — AMP encourages its members to achieve recognition through the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) program. RP3 recognizes those that demonstrate proficiency in reliability safety, workforce development and system improvement. AMP supports the APPA RP3 program in several ways. We can provide review of applications, assistance in tracking outages and calculating the IEEE indices. More in-depth help can be provided in disaster plan assistance, creation of five and 10 year plans, and review of physical security.
- Exacter Program — Exacter is an outage avoidance system that provides early warning of potential failing distribution line equipment. Using advanced sensor-array technology combined with GPS data mapping, potential problems are located and problem severity is assigned for maintenance prioritization and outage avoidance. AMP provides a discount on the rental of the equipment.
AMP provides assistance to member communities in managing their environmental concerns. Permitting, monitoring and compliance audits form the core services for this program.
AMP personnel will assist member communities in meeting their permitting obligations for new projects. Services include air quality dispersion modeling, completion of construction and operating permits for air emission sources, fee emission reports and compliance certifications.
On-site compliance audits are required to meet state and federal Environmental Protection Agency standards, this is another service that can be provided by AMP staff. In a detailed look at the member community’s operations, staff members will audit both records and the municipal electric system’s physical plant to ensure they meet EPA requirements.
Staff members can also work with member communities on spill planning and prevention. Services include detailed planning for prevention and containment of oil spills, spill response training of member personnel and management of PCBs.
AMP provides assistance on power sitting studies, including the required air monitoring report, environmental project management, and analysis of proposed environmental laws and regulations.
The Forestry Program can help AMP member communities reduce electrical outages and increase reliability by removing tree limbs or entire trees that have the potential of contacting energized lines. Individual services include:
- Tree Trimming
- Tree Planting/Replacement
- Weed Control
- Tree POWER
Be it a tornado, snow or ice storm, flood or fire, participants in this program stand ready to assist participating communities. Member systems desiring mutual aid need only make one phone call to AMP’s 24-hour Energy Control Center, and help will be on the way.
Participation in the program is voluntary and is enacted by passage of an ordinance in participating member communities.
AMP’s computerized mapping program can help member municipal electric systems maintain a more accurate inventory of their physical assets, plan system expansions and upgrades, and more easily deal with outages.
AMP field personnel and engineering technicians can provide full mapping services for its members' electrical distribution systems, including field surveys, marking and complete sets of maps for utility department use. GIS or AutoCAD system maps can be created for use on their own or in conjunction with a facilities database.
The Training Advisory Committee was formed in an effort to increase the training that AMP provides. Technical training is a key ingredient in the ability of member utility personnel to achieve and maintain a high degree of reliability in customer service. AMP technical training focuses on giving utility personnel the knowledge and tools to improve reliability. Topics will include national classes like those presented by the APPA and other vendors as well as classes developed in house. Training topics vary from year to year and suggested topics are welcomed. Future topics include:
- Regulator/ Recloser/ Capacitor Safety
- Advanced Transformer Workshop
- Hotline Training
Lineworker Apprentice Training
Often referred to as “climbing school,” these one-week courses are held at AMP’s headquarters in Columbus, each spring and fall. The program has four levels: Basic I, Basic II, Intermediate, and Advanced. At each level, the course curriculum includes a mix of field experience and classroom work.