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SCADA System Sheds Light on Texas Utility’s Power System

SCADA in West Texas 01

Customer Situation

Given the high winds that blow across the farmlands of West Texas and the area’s ever-changing weather, power outages and disturbances are common threats.

To help provide more oversight of its 4,200-meter service area, Brownfield Power and Light wanted to install a SCADA system in their lone substation, which has two 20 MVA transformers, two main breakers, and two feeder breakers. The new system needed to allow personnel to remotely view real-time power system data and control the substation circuit breakers. The catch? It had to cost less than $50,000 (USD).

Brownfield Power and Light reached out to SGS Engineering to help find the small utility a cost-effective solution that could easily be implemented with their existing equipment.

Customer Profile

  • Customer: Brownfield Power and Light
  • Location: Brownfield, Texas
  • Industry: Utility
  • Application: SCADA

The wind always gives us a hard time because, you know, the wind blows here sometimes 70 to 80 miles per hour. You never know what’s going to happen.

Jeff Davis, Electrical Superintendent
Brownfield Power and Light


Lonnie Teal of SGS Engineering designed a standalone SCADA system that used Brownfield Power and Light’s existing feeder protection relays—SEL-351S Protection Systems—along with a new SEL-3530 Real-Time Automation Controller (RTAC). The SEL-3530 was chosen for its human-machine interface (HMI) capabilities as well as its ability to communicate with other manufacturers’ devices via industry-standard protocols. SEL-3031 Serial Radio Transceivers were also added to the system to provide communication between third-party devices.

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Brownfield Power and Light’s new SCADA system came in under the $50,000 budget, and the system was up and running in just four days. Personnel can now perform the following activities remotely from the safety of their office: 

  • Operate the circuit reclosers and circuit breakers.
  • Monitor a circuit that is heavily loaded, and shift the load as needed.
  • Gather, view, and analyze events via the HMI.

The City of Brownfield ended up with a complete SCADA system for control and real-time data under $50,000. That was the main goal, and thanks to Schweitzer, we were able to achieve that goal.

Lonnie Teal, P.E., Partner
SGS Engineering

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Innovation, Persistence, and a New Beginning