Throughout the North American power industry, WAPA’s Electric Power Training Center is known as a one-of-a-kind facility. Its unique live miniature power system creates a hands-on learning experience that gives students opportunities to troubleshoot and respond to problems that may occur on the power grid. Students continuously point to their training—especially on the MPS—in dealing with critical real-world problems, a reminder of the importance of the EPTC to the power industry.
The US Bureau of Reclamation created the EPTC in response to the Northeast Blackout of 1965 with the goal of providing hands-on training for those who operate and control the bulk electric system. Ownership of the EPTC was transferred from the BOR to the newly-formed Western Area Power Administration in 1978. WAPA manages hydropower marketing and transmission functions for the Department of Energy.
The EPTC primarily trains personnel from federal power generating plants including the Army Corps of Engineers and BOR, as well as WAPA employees and employees from outside utilities and other power industry groups.
WAPA’s 13,000-square-foot facility is the only power training center in the US with a miniature live power system open to the public. The EPTC MPS includes 400 megawatts of hydropower generation, a 100-MW pumped storage facility and a 50-MW wind farm. The MPS is a self-contained, fully operational power system simulator with over 40 full-size panels of operator controls. It includes three generators, a wind farm, four substations, many hundreds of miles of transmission lines, a dispatch training center and a variety of loads spread throughout the system.