The late Rick Gonzalez joined Excel Engineering in 2003 with over 20 years’ experience in electric power system planning and analysis before his passing in 2012. In his previous positions at Northern States Power/Xcel Energy (Minneapolis, MN) and the Western Area Power Administration (Golden, CO), Rick performed short and long-range planning studies for local and regional high voltage electric transmission and distribution systems.
From 1989-1994 he was responsible for the design of series and shunt compensation applied to the existing Manitoba-U.S. 500 kV and 230 kV interconnections to achieve increased power transfer capability. This $100 million project, which included specification and installation of the world’s largest Static VAR System, involved extensive studies addressing steady-state (“powerflow”), dynamic stability, and transient performance.
Rick led the technical studies culminating in the construction of an additional (160-mile) Manitoba-U.S. 230 kV interconnection, which was placed in service in 2002. He has also been responsible for transmission outlet studies for thermal, hydro, and wind-powered generation developments located in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin. Rick’s transmission planning experience also includes testifying in transmission line permitting and routing proceedings.
Since joining Excel Engineering in 2003 Rick has continued with planning and permitting activities for the regional utilities and RTOs, while also developing Excel Engineering’s 10-person transmission planning section.
Rick is a member of IEEE and a Registered Professional Engineer in the following states: Minnesota, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming. He is also licensed as Master Electrician in the State of Minnesota. In addition, Rick holds FCC Amateur Radio and Commercial Operator licenses.