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MSA Area Distribution Automation

The Munitions Storage Area (MSA) has looped electrical distribution with multiple sources available at the supply points. Prior to this project, the electrical system in the area was supplied from a single source. Any system faults within the area would trip the circuit breaker at the substation and cause an extended outage until the CLP Engineering crew responded and manually isolated the faulted section.

This project replaced five (5) manual pad-mounted switches with smart switches that are equipped with communications and controls. The CLPE team designed, programmed, and tested a distribution automation scheme that automatically detects faults, isolates the faulted section, and restores power to the rest of the segments within a minute. It also automatically transfers the area to alternative sources when the primary source is lost due to issues upstream. Since the implementation of the system in 2017, there have been at least three (3) outage incidents where the automation operated as programmed, significantly improving the overall reliability and resilience of the system.


Project Overview

Location: Western United States
Market Sector: Government
Services Type: Design Engineering, Testing and Commissioning
Timeline: 2016-2017
Client: U.S. Air Force


Design Features

  • Reliable and redundant system
  • Distribution automation
  • Secured radio communications
  • Sectionalizing and reclosing
  • Remote monitoring


Construction Features

  • Retrofitted smart switches
  • Dead front construction
  • Radio on poles



  • Improved resilience
  • SCADA ready
  • Microgrid ready
  • Real-time monitoring

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