Implementation of the smart technology did not come without some hitches. One of the biggest challenges was addressing the utility’s network security protocols. The DTS and RTTR systems were supplied by vendors outside the United States and had similar but not identical communications protocols to that of the utility.

Furthermore, the temperature monitoring and real-time rating packages were based on computer systems that were non-native to systems that had been vetted by the utility’s network security personnel. This meant the systems had be introduced to the hardened data connections to receive real-time load and measured temperatures from the utility network — acting as a master device — and to post calculation results to the SCADA system — acting as a slave device to PEPCO’s network. Making the neurons talk to one another required addressing challenges on many levels. As smart as the system turned out to be, closing the synapses took some time.

Ultimately, the Einstein treatment proved effective for the pipe-type circuit and is expected to allow PEPCO enhanced power-transfer capabilities over other circuits in addition to better monitoring and control throughout the expected 40-year life of the cable system.

Christopher W. Schnetzler ( is an engineer in underground transmission engineering with the Potomac Electric Power Co., focusing on underground transmission systems. He holds a BSCE degree from the University of Maryland and a Fundamentals in Engineering certificate.

Mousa Hejazi ( worked with Greehorne & O’Mara Inc. (Stantec) for 15 years before joining PEPCO Holdings Inc. He is responsible for management of civil engineering and consulting services for the planning, design and construction management of infrastructure projects involving utility systems and roadway improvements. Hejazi holds a BSCE (environmental option) degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree in engineering management. He is a registered professional engineer in Maryland.

William A. Lopez ( is the lead engineer and technical advisor in PEPCO’s transmission group and the project manager for special projects. He holds a BSCE degree from the University of Maryland and a master electrician license in Maryland and Virginia. Lopez worked for EMS Inc. as an environmental electrical control specialist for three years before joining PEPCO in 2000 as distribution engineer.

Earle C. “Rusty” Bascom III ( worked with underground cable systems for Power Technologies Inc. and Power Delivery Consultants Inc. before founding Electrical Consulting Engineers, P.C. in 2010, where he is president and a principal engineer. Bascom holds an associate’s degree in engineering science, a BSEE degree and master’s degree in electric power engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an MBA degree from the State University of New York at Albany. He is a senior member of the IEEE Power & Energy Society, a voting member of the Insulated Conductors Committee and Standards Association, a member of CIGRÉ, and a registered professional engineer in New York, Florida and Texas.

Companies mentioned:

Cyme International |

Electrical Consulting Engineers, P.C. |

LIOS Technology |

MAC Products |


The Okonite Cable Co. |

W.A. Chester |