GE announced that Richard Piwko, senior technical director for GE’s Energy Consulting business, received the 2015 IEEE Power and Energy Society’s (PES) Nari Hingorani Flexible AC Transmission System (FACTS) Award. The award was presented to Piwko at IEEE’s annual PES Awards Dinner on July 28, part of the IEEE PES General Meeting taking place in Denver. The award is another example of GE’s leadership in the transmission and distribution industry and in the FACTS segment.
Named in honor of Dr. Narain Hingorani—who pioneered the concepts of FACTS and custom power—the IEEE PES Nari Hingorani FACTS Award recognizes individuals who have made a major contribution to the state-of-the-art FACTS technology and its applications. Piwko was selected through a competitive, vetted nomination process.
“I am honored to receive the IEEE PES Nari Hingorani FACTS Award. While this is an individual award, it’s important for me to share the recognition with my colleagues at GE whose teamwork, expertise and diligence made these technical achievements possible,” said Piwko.
Over the course of his career at GE, Piwko contributed to development of several new technologies that advanced the state of electric power transmission.
One of the important contributions Piwko made to the industry was the invention of the Thyristor-Controlled Series Capacitor (TCSC). This piece of equipment uses high-voltage power electronics to quickly control the flow of power on AC transmission lines while simultaneously mitigating detrimental subsynchronous resonance effects inherent with conventional series capacitors. The original TCSC was installed in the early 1990s at the Slatt 500-kilovolt substation in Oregon, and is still in service today.
Piwko also introduced the Variable Frequency Transformer, an alternative to high-voltage DC technology. This piece of equipment uses a unique rotating transformer in combination with power electronics to rapidly control power transfer between two asynchronous power grids. The prototype was installed at the Langlois substation in Quebec and has been transferring power between Quebec and New York since 2003.