Vince Zaccone

2011 PES Scholar – Drexel UniversityVZaccone2

What is your current job & what are you doing?

I work for Delmarva Power in Newark, DE as a part of the Transmission & Substation Reliability team. We develop plans and programs to ensure our transmission lines and substations are well maintained.

I lead an equipment condition assessment (ECA) for all substations in the southern half of the Delmarva peninsula, which is an area we term the "Bay region" of our service territory.  I work with other departments, like Electric Maintenance or Substation Engineering, to make repair/replace decisions for various substation equipment, such as transformers and breakers. All decisions and prioritization of work are based on condition. This effort is ongoing throughout the year, though I hold quarterly meetings with other departments to discuss status reports for all affected equipment.

I also will work on apparent cause evaluation reports, which is essentially a failure analysis report discussing details of an equipment failure, why the failure occurred, where else we may have similar issues, and resulting corrective actions.

How being selected as a PES Scholar impacted you?

PES has had a tremendous impact on my career. When I initially heard about the PES Scholarship program, I was at a critical point in college where I was a rising senior and had to declare my concentration soon; at this point I had already taken an elective in power and electronics, but didn't know which path to go. As I wrote my 500 word essay for PES, I convinced myself that power was definitely the best path for me, as it was the easiest of concentrations to understand but also an interesting field with a lot of different job opportunities. After all, two of my three Drexel co-ops were power-related. Being PES Scholar certainly helped guide me to my power concentration.

What do you like about being in the power industry?

I enjoy that the power industry is one that is relatable to my family, friends, and really anyone I meet, since power is so universal. Instead of discussing how I am working on a component of a ballistic missile system or other complicated system that is difficult to explain, I can tell people how I work to make our power grid more reliable and how it is something that affects them. I also enjoy making trips into the field, getting hands on experience with the equipment, and working to understand why certain equipment failures occur so that appropriate corrective actions can be implemented. Since I began my role last year, that type of failure analysis work really involves communicating well with other departments and asking the right questions; it has been challenging, but very rewarding as well.