Assistant System Operator
City : See posting
Category : Other
Industry : Public Services/Utilities
Employer : Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
INDEPENDENT ELECTRICITY SYSTEM OPERATOR (IESO)
|Business Unit:||Markets & Reliability|
Why join us?
You’ve got great skills. And you want to use them in an organization where you know what you do every day matters. We get that.
We also know that ensuring Ontarians have access to affordable and reliable power doesn’t happen by accident. So we give you the tools, flexibility and support you need to achieve your goals, and development opportunities to help you grow. You’ll thrive in a collaborative, team-based environment that values your unique skills and experiences – and recognizes that when you do better, we become even better too.
Who we are
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) works at the centre of the province’s power system, ensuring Ontarians have access to reliable and cost-effective electricity when and where they need it. We operate the province’s electricity grid 24/7, design, run and oversee the wholesale electricity markets, and plan and prepare to meet Ontario’s electricity needs – now and into the future.
As a member of the Control Room Operations Team, the Assistant System Operator helps fulfill the IESO’s roles as Reliability Coordinator, Transmission Operator and Balancing Authority for the province of Ontario by administering the IESO Controlled Grid (“ICG”) and the IESO Administered Markets (“IAM”) on a minute-to-minute basis ensuring a reliable, competitively-priced and sustainable electricity supply for the province:
- Through intense and timely execution of control actions;
- In compliance with NERC reliability standards and NPCC criteria;
- Within the Market Rules and relevant Regulations;
- Through collaborative work with other Operations Team members; and
- Under the general direction of the Shift Superintendent.
This position is part of a Promotion-in-Place (PIP) plan. The duties of the Assistant Operations Officer are similar to those of the Operations Officer, but the expectations of the Assistant Operations Officer are reduced as it is an entry-level position. The Assistant Operations Officer is expected to gain experience and to use their abilities to solve problems under the guidance of more experienced staff.
What you’ll do
The Assistant Operations Officer works collaboratively with other Operations Team members to assist in the execution of the minute-to-minute administration of the IESO Controlled Grid (“ICG”) and the IESO Administered Market (“IAM”) to ensure a reliable, competitively priced and sustainable electricity supply for the province and help fulfill the IESO’s roles of Reliability Coordinator, Transmission Operator and Balancing Authority for the province of Ontario.
The Assistant Operations Officer:
- Monitors/identifies potential compliance issues and surveillance activities within the IESO;
- Maintains the daily log ensuring all relevant information is documented and correct;
- Performs other duties comparable in scope and complexity to the Key Responsibilities listed here as required; and
- Executes specific duties and responsibilities related to the following functions:
- IESO Administered Markets;
- IESO Controlled Grid;
- System for Markets;
- Contingency Operation and System Restoration;
- Training; and
- Off-Shift Assignments.
IESO Administered Markets (“IAM”/”Markets”)
- Immediately direct generation or shed load to mitigate critical conditions and preserve the integrity and reliability of the Bulk Electrical System (BES).
- Assist in the coordination of the IAM as per market rules, NPCC criteria and NERC standards.
- Monitor the IAM for anomalies and notify the Senior Operations Officer of potential issues.
- Manage the inputs to the Dispatch Scheduling and Optimization engine (“DSO”), review the solution (both real-time (multi-interval optimization (“MIO”)) and pre-dispatch) to ensure accuracy, prepare to manually intervene in the solution if required, and provide final approval of the IAM 5-minute dispatch to maintain the balance of load and generation.
- Monitor and identify problems in the real-time and pre-dispatch schedules.
- Monitor and implement ancillary services contracts (e.g. voltage support, regulation) to meet market rule requirements.
- Implement time error corrections, control actions as required, and interchange transactions between the IESO and its interconnected neighbours.
- This includes verifying the accuracy of NERC E-Tags, curtailing tags as required and providing final approval or denial of E-tags and transactions.
- Work with neighbouring Reliability Coordinators (“RC”) and Balancing Authorities (“BA”) to ensure all interchange schedules are correct and agreed to.
- This includes working to resolve disagreements in schedules and informing the Senior Operations Officer of any potential disagreements so that they can assist in arriving at an agreed solution.
- Monitor and implement the required control actions to maintain inadvertent interchange as low as possible as per procedures.
- Reconcile daily reports such as inadvertent, market reports, etc.
IESO Controlled Grid (“ICG”/”System”)
- Immediately direct generation, reconfigure transmission or shed load to mitigate critical conditions and preserve the integrity and reliability of the BES.
- Assist in coordinating the operation of the ICG as per market rules, NPCC criteria, NERC standards and Operating Agreements.
- Be in charge of Operating Security Limits (“OSLs”) used to maintain system reliability throughout the day.
- Oversee the operation of the ICG to maintain all equipment within the ratings provided by market participants, including day-to-day voltage control and power quality.
- Administer items to provide Area supply, provide ancillary services, maintain pre- and post- contingency voltage, respect thermal and stability limits, implement control actions, and respect transmission capacity and tie-line capacity between the IESO and its interconnected neighbors.
- Implement industry-based processes and procedures as required (e.g. Intertie Distribution Calculator (“IDC”), Transmission Loading Relief (“TLR”), etc.).
- Run system studies to determine the effect of different generation and transmission configurations upon the ICG.
- Provide recommendations to the Senior Operations Officer.
- Recognize deficiencies/errors in displays and drawings and recommend and request revision.
System for Markets (“SFM”)
- Create/check for accuracy/publish System Status Reports (“SSR”) for current day and next day to notify the market place of the status of the ICG and IAM.
- Manage the inputs required for the Energy Management System (“EMS”) and DSO to ensure an accurate, consistent and economical solution.
- Monitor/assess/recommend/implement hourly changes to items such as Operating Reserve, Area Supply, OSLs, loop flows, post-contingency conditions, transmission capacity and inter-tie capacity to ensure an accurate, consistent and economical solution.
- Ensure the accuracy of the OSL activation plan.
- Manage and create OSL limits as directed for unplanned outages and out-of-scope conditions.
- Lead the submission of offers and bids into the IAM as per market rules.
- Submit offers on behalf of market participants in the event of market participant tool failures.
- Run reports and produce the daily energy summary report for the Shift Superintendent used in the Morning Report.
- Select re-preparation actions as directed and required.
Contingency Operation and System Restoration.
- Have knowledge and implement contingency plans in preparation for the loss of a generator or transmission system element to maintain the reliability of supply throughout the ICG and protect the integrity of the Eastern Interconnection.
- This includes actions that are not documented and require staff to develop and implement plans based on good operating practice, operating agreements and equipment ratings with the cooperation of affected market participants.
- Implement demand limits as directed for out-of-scope of coverage.
- Recommend plans and direct market participants to remove equipment from service.
- Manage the actions of internal (Ontario) and external (outside Ontario) entities for system restoration following a major system disturbance or energy emergency.
- This may include operation that is beyond the scope of past practice and may require execution of undocumented actions.
- Implement actions as directed of the IAM and ICG following a full or partial loss of the EMS and/or MIS systems.
- Obtain and continually train to complete the required CEH hours to maintain NERC certification as per NERC standards.
- Keep up-to-date on advancements or changing technology, government policy, programs, NPCC criteria and NERC standards pertinent to the field of system operations.
Undertake “off-shift” assignments to gain necessary experience in departments that support system operations. Support working groups’ preparation or review of operational analysis, instruction or tool development. As examples:
- Prepare reports such as System Control Reports and Incident Reports.
- Provide further input to support staff related to system events.
- Perform user acceptance testing of new software and tools.
- Participate in committees and internal audits collecting and presenting information on operational issues.
- Prepare and present training material for both internal and external parties.
- Liaise with market participants and interconnected companies to assist in administrative or technical projects/programs or emergency issues.
- Assist or work with other segments of the IESO in the study, planning, development, preparation, testing and implementation of programs/projects with an impact upon system operations.
Note regarding mental pressure
- There is frequent and sustained mental pressure associated with the technical nature and sustained concentration associated with the position. Considerable mental pressure is tied to the decision-making authority relative to the minute-to-minute operation of the electricity delivery system on a 24/7/365 schedule (shift position).
What you need to succeed:
- Requires a strong knowledge of electrical theory, power system design, operation and control, associated mathematics and computer applications to undertake system control and management of the IESO-controlled grid.
- Requires analytical and marketing skills, knowledge of technical writing to prepare reports, and oral and written fluency for effective communication.
- This knowledge is considered to be normally acquired through post-graduate education beyond secondary school plus further extensive theoretical study of subjects pertinent to the electrical discipline and the specialty area of the work function.
- The job also requires being NERC-certified.
- Requires full training to acquire understanding of the Interconnected Power System Operations, of NERC, and NPCC guidelines; of Agreements; of Market Participant equipment capabilities, and technical Directives; of the Market Rules; of Market Participants; of the Facilities Description Documents, of Market Manuals and Market Procedures; of pertinent Station Data, and of all EMS-related software programs.
- Requires some experience with analytical studies and the application of PC operations including program management and organization of files and directories and various software.
- A period of over 2 years and up to and including 4 years is considered necessary to gain this experience.
What’s in it for you
- A comprehensive total rewards program, including best-in-class benefits and a flexible workplace
- A challenging, fast-paced and collaborative team environment, where your perspectives and experiences matter
- Leaders who support your growth and success through regular feedback and coaching
- The opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in the industry
For future reference, please ensure to save a copy of the job description as it will no longer be available once the posting closes.
At the IESO, we know that achieving great results depends on embracing diversity by attracting, developing and retaining people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We do this by ensuring our recruitment and advancement policies are fair and equitable, and by creating an accessible and inclusive environment – one that values every team member’s unique skills and experiences and ensures they have the support they need to achieve their potential. If you require accommodation during the recruitment process, please let us know.
We thank you for your interest in a career at the IESO, but we will only contact those candidates selected for an interview.
Note: The successful candidate must be eligible to work in Canada and will be subject to a background check.
The IESO commenced its 6 month Hybrid Work Model Pilot Program on March 28th, 2022. The Model allows for remote working up to three days per week, based on business needs. When working in the office, you will be located at Mississauga, ON.
Join our talent community
Sign up for talent community; stay in touch, find out about new opportunities – and discover how you can make a difference. Discover how we use our expertise and commitment to deliver reliable and affordable electricity to Ontario’s businesses and communities, and how we’re innovating to secure a stronger energy future for all Ontarians. Visit Careers at IESO and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.
Find out why we were selected as Greater Toronto’s Top 2022 Employers, and what we offer.