Title:  Power Operations Engineer

Department:  Real-time Engineering & EIM Operations

Sacramento, CA, US, 95817-1899

Category:  Utility System Management/Operations

Apply by Date: 10/02/2023 

Posting Type: Open 

Salary Ranges:

  • Associate Power Operations (J) Engineer: $107,848 - $142,912
  • Senior Power Operations Engineer: $128,217 - $169,830
  • Principal Power Operations Engineer: $138,032 - $182,835




SMUD is seeking to make one hire from this posting, the level of hire will be determined by the level of experience and education of the selected candidate. 

*COVER LETTER REQUIREMENT* To be further considered for this position you must submit a cover letter addressing the below questions. Failure to include the required cover letter may preclude you from moving forward in the process: 


  1. Describe your knowledge of and experience with the (CAISO) energy market, and your understanding of LMP and congestion analysis. Indicate where your experience was acquired.
  2. Describe your knowledge in programming languages (Python, R, SQL, VBA, etc.), specifically as it relates to data analytics and visualization. Indicate where your experience was acquired and briefly describe the scope, data size, and inputs/outputs of the project.
  3. Describe your knowledge of and experience with performing power system operations studies, such as power flow, contingency analysis, voltage and transient stability.
  4. We will be hiring for either a Journey or Senior or Principal level Power Operations Engineer, please identify which level(s) you would like to be considered for. 


This role will perform operations engineering and energy market support to ensure reliable and efficient operations of SMUD's bulk power system. The ideal candidate will:

  • Perform EIM operations support for SMUD and BANC and lead the after-the-fact analysis using power flow, LMP, and congestion data to drive efficient business decisions.
  • Act as a point of contact for SMUD reliability operations.
  • Develop and maintain tools as needed to improve the operating efficiency and decision quality.
  • Draft and maintain operating procedures as needed to ensure that SMUD complies with internal policies, NERC/WECC standards, and government regulations.
  • Represent SMUD or BANC in selected industry workshops and CAISO initiatives meetings and comment on CAISO proposals. 
  • Support SMUD's clean energy transition (net-zero) goal as needed and advise management on the system impact of the proposed energy portfolio



Performs specialized professional technical and analytical functions in a variety of operational areas including generation, transmission and contractual resources to ensure SMUD's power requirements are met and power resource assets are managed to maximize benefits to SMUD within legal and established SMUD policy constraints.

Nature and Scope


Associate - Journey level. 


Senior -  Serves as a team lead and/or advanced journey level providing expertise in one or more areas of a professional discipline and assumes responsibility for resolving complex problems and overseeing complex projects. May also guide, instruct, and coordinate the work of others on assigned projects.


Principal - Serves as a technical or functional expert or consultant providing expertise and/or direction in one or more areas of a professional discipline and assumes responsibility for resolving complex problems and overseeing complex projects. May also serve in a Lead role and assist in planning, coordinating, prioritizing, monitoring and evaluating the work results in assigned area and in selecting, training, motivating, evaluating and developing lower-level personnel.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership and participates in assigned tasks of a work unit in order to meet defined unit goals and schedules and comply with SMUD schedule, quality, quantity, safety and performance standard; plans, coordinates, prioritizes, monitors, and guides work activities with work-unit employees to meet established task objectives and deadlines by following established policies and precedents; provides staff training; promotes staff safety and a safe work environment; assists in selecting and orienting new personnel; assists in evaluating work performance results; participates as a team member in accomplishing objectives; refers problems to supervision where solutions are not readily achievable.
  • Maintains system security and reliability and provides for the reliable and cost-effective delivery of power to the load center by monitoring and assessing the adequacy of the bulk power system and other utilities' transmission systems; assesses line loadings, voltage levels and system stability under various operating conditions, system contingencies and planned clearances; conducts and oversees transmission system reliability studies and studies using power-now simulation; assesses the level of planning and operating reserves to assure adequate compliance with NERC and WECC requirements; conducts transmission contingency analysis and power flow studies; conducts analyses of longer-term strategic resource use; assists in the planning and selecting of bulk power system additions to SMUD's and other utilities' transmission systems.
  • Assists in the development of a balance of month trading strategy for energy, capacity, transmission and/or ancillary services by developing and maintaining a high level of expertise on integrated power system operations and WECC, NERC, FERC and CISO policies, procedures and protocols; assesses on a daily and month-ahead basis, existing market conditions, hydroelectric and thermal generating plant limitations, maintenance, outages, transmission ratings, curtailments and existing contract provisions; determines resource costs and availability; conducts economic analysis of current resource options and market opportunities; reviews trading transactions and utilization of resources.
  • Ensures that SMUD's operations are configured and operated to provide the maximum MW and MY AR output and the maximum operating flexibility within contractual, emissions and other limits; develops and coordinates hourly, daily, weekly and monthly operational strategies for hydro, thermal, power purchase and transmission resources by conducting analyses and developing tools to determine the most efficient operating strategies; develops forecasts of power needs; evaluates historical demands, applicable load shapes and weather projections on a week-ahead basis in support of customer energy requirement forecasts; establishes system and equipment operating criteria and performance indicators; develops hydro operation plans based upon forecasts of runoff and market energy costs; evaluates resources and power purchases, and the impact of generation and transmission maintenance schedules; evaluates and identifies solutions to power system problems; coordinates and conducts power flow simulation studies of SMUD's electrical system transmission capability.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides inter-utility and intra-utility coordination and ensures the implementation of SMUD's strategic business objectives; provides high-level expertise and guidance by serving as the primary energy control liaison for transmission and generation issues; conducts training and serves as a technical resource to Power System Schedulers and Power System Analysts on generation, transmission and reliability-related issues; prepares and maintains a current Standard Operating Procedure manual for power system operations; represents SMUD as a technical expert on operational issues with the Independent System Operator, the California Power Exchange, other utilities, regional councils and other organizations; leads the development process for standard practices, procedures and guidelines for operating the bulk power system in compliance with interconnection agreements and reliability requirements; leads in the development of emergency operating plans and procedures for major contingencies impacting interconnected utilities; supports contract development and negotiations through the performance of engineering and economic analyses; provides analyses and recommendations to management on electrical system modifications.
  • Supports the achievement of unit objectives in a fiscally responsible manner; assists in administering the department budget by participating in planning, monitoring and revising schedules, work plans, expenditures and assignments.
  • Ensures assigned work activities successfully contribute to the overall completion of department projects; plans, coordinates, prioritizes, monitors, guides, reviews and conducts work activities associated with department internal/external projects in accordance with established task objectives and schedules as outlined in the project plan/contract.
  • Performs related duties as required.


Click the links to view the full job descriptions for Associate, Senior, or Principal level. 

Required Education


Associate - A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in electrical engineering. MS degree from an accredited college or university majoring in electrical engineering is desirable.


Senior - BS degree from an accredited college or university majoring in Electrical Engineering.


Principal - A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in electrical engineering or related field.

Required Experience


Associate - 3 to 5 years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in power operations engineering or transmission system planning.


Senior - 5+ years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in power systems operations and energy markets; OR 7+ years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in electrical engineering or transmission system planning (At least 2 years must be in power systems operations.)


Principal - 7 to 10 years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in power systems operations or resource planning.

Knowledge Of

SMUD policies, procedures, and other special agreements; methods and techniques for planning, organizing and overseeing work activities; methods and techniques for training staff; techniques and practices for negotiating; principles and practices of economic analyses of projects and programs; principles and practices of program evaluation; principles and practices of various analytical approaches; techniques and practices for cost benefit analyses; techniques and practices for resolving complex technical issues; interrelationships between SMUD's operations and relevant external entities; advanced principles, practices and procedures related to power system operation, advance power system theory, thermal and hydroelectric generation and load management dispatch; systems and concepts related to economic operation of a power system; advanced planning and design techniques; advanced principles related to power flow stability and short circuit evaluation, generator unit efficiency and capability characteristics; systems and concepts related to system protection and remedial action schemes; advanced production costing techniques and models; WECC Reliability criteria; AC/DC transmission systems; advanced principles and processes of energy accounting; EMS operations and associated applications; safety policies, practices and procedures; methods and techniques for report preparation and writing; standard operating procedures for modern office equipment including a computer and applicable software; English grammar, punctuation and vocabulary standards.

Skills To

Conduct analyses and develop tools to determine the most efficient operating strategies; develop forecasts of power needs; serve as an expert technical resource on transmission and generation issues; maintain system security and reliability and provide for the reliable and cost-effective delivery of power; lead the development process for standard practices, procedures and guidelines for operating the bulk power system; interpret SMUD policies, procedures, and/or other special agreements; identify and assess training needs for staff; oversee adherence to safety policies and procedures; analyze complex issues and develop/implement resolution alternatives; interpret, analyze and apply pertinent policies, procedures, regulations and requirements; organize highly complex and conflicting data in a readily understandable manner for various audiences; utilize a personal computer and/or computer terminal, systems and software relevant to the job; communicate effectively orally and in writing internally/externally; establish and maintain effective working relationships internally/externally.

Desirable Qualifications

  • At least 4 years of experience in power system operations
  • A Master's or Ph. D. degree from an accredited college or university majoring in electrical engineering with relevant work experience  
  • In-depth knowledge of energy markets (LMP, security-constrained unit commitment, congestion analysis, etc.) and power systems operations (power flow, contingency analysis, voltage & transient stability, system protections, etc.).
  • Familiar with statistical analysis such as ANOVA, regression, and machine learning models
  • Proficient with one or more programming languages (Python, R, SQL, VBA, etc.)
  • Advanced knowledge of Excel, SQL, or BI tools to manipulate, transform, and visualize data.
  • Knowledge of applicable NERC/WECC standards, RC West operations methodology, and the Western EIM.
  • Proficient with power flow analysis software, e.g., PowerWorld, PSLF, or equivalent.
  • NERC certification is preferred but not required.

Physical Requirements

Applicants must be able to perform the essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) - Who We Are

As the nation's sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, we're proud of our reputation as one of the best places to work in Sacramento. Our employees tell us in our engagement surveys they're "Happy, satisfied and engaged" which helps create a workplace that best serves our customers. Sacramento was named as the 2nd happiest place to work in America by Forbes Magazine. Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and the world-renowned Napa Valley are within easy driving distance of our locations.


Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

SMUD celebrates diversity, and inspires an inclusive culture based on trust and respect to create belonging and connection among our employees, customers, and communities. By working together, we are powering positive, equitable opportunities for all. We aspire to be a workplace where you can be yourself, achieve your best, and thrive together. 


An example of our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is when SMUD signed the California Equal Pay Pledge in 2020. This requires equal pay for employees who perform “substantially similar work,” when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility at the time those employees started within that classification.  As such, initial hiring salary range is not subject to negotiation and salaries will vary over time based on performance.


SMUD is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, veteran status, or any other applicable legally protected characteristic. All employment decisions are made on the basis of individual qualifications, merit, and business needs and interests.


Why Sacramento, California?

The capitol of California, Sacramento is the state's sixth-largest city, and the 35th largest in the U.S. Local universities include California State University, University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, and the University of California, Davis and several competitive community colleges. The UC Davis Medical Center, a world-renowned research hospital, is one of more than a dozen hospitals and shared services centers in the Sacramento region. Part of the agriculturally-rich Central Valley, Sacramento is at the forefront of the farm-to-fork food movement. Northern California is home to some of the country's top technology companies, including Google and LinkedIn, and a multitude of startups in many industries. Sacramento is home to the NBA Kings, the River Cats (AAA baseball), the Republic FC (soccer) and the San Francisco Giants, NBA Warriors and NFL 49er's aren't far away. Sacramento offers an affluent liberal arts community with Broadway, Mondavi Center, Crocker Museum and summer musical theater to name a few.


Hybrid Work  

This position may be eligible for SMUD's hybrid (office/home) work employee benefit, the schedule of which will be determined by the successful candidate and the Hiring Manager. SMUD takes pride in powering the Sacramento region community where we live and work. We value the strong working relationships we develop with our colleagues. Our approach to hybrid work will continue to evolve. Please be aware that should SMUD’s business needs change, emergencies occur, or various other reasons arise, you may be required to report onsite on a part-time or full-time basis.  

SMUD provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. SMUD complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

SMUD expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of SMUD employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated.

Req ID:  748