From Scott Carlberg

We told you on Monday, get ready to be amazed in this week ahead of Labor Day. Each day this week we introduce you to people who are working in and for the Carolinas in the energy industry.

Duke Energy: Bralion Hyatt, Distribution Line Tech A, Duke Energy, Duncan, SC

Bralion works on a material handler bucket with another line tech. He has been at Duke for 33 years.  What is his day like? “Our daily jobs may start out replacing customer service wire, changing out transformers, responding to outages, or replacing poles. Sometimes storms cause problems and I will travel on storm duty, helping out in other areas.” Bralion is based in South Carolina but has brought his Carolina spirit elsewhere, especially after Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Rita, and Andrew. He says that when he got a call from Duke about work, he had a choice of an inside or outside job. “I took outside. After being in the Army, I liked outside work.”

From Duke Energy’s online magazine Illumination: “Energy companies plan to hire lineworkers to fill a shortage that’s been building across the U.S. as the baby boom generation retires. Lineworkers are in the field daily constructing, maintaining and restoring equipment to ensure reliable energy service. It’s a demanding job that has its rewards, financially and in the sense of accomplishment that comes from helping return life to normal after storms, accidents and natural disasters.”


Carotek: Leigh Ann Miller, Inside Sales & Support, Matthews, NC

Leigh Ann Miller spends her day supporting Carotek’s Industrial Valve Group’s Customers, Manufacturers, and Account Managers. One of her roles is Documentation Control for the large Power and Process Engineering, Procurement and Construction firms (EPC’s) in the Carolinas. The Carolinas have large EPC’s that have specific and demanding documentation requirements; Leigh Ann has more than 20 years’ experience in this area.

Carotek is a process pump, control valve, steam/air/hydronics and process automation instrumentation distributor with a product offering that includes over 65 nationally recognized manufacturers of instrumentation, valves, pumps and steam products often included in our engineered skid packages. The company has 24/7 field services, system start-up services, in-plant instrumentation configuration and calibration, equipment training and more. Carotek can hydraulically pressure test products before they go to a plant and its mechanical and electrical shops are designed to custom build and integrate complex packages.

Clemson University Restoration Institute: Eric Boessneck, Senior Test Engineer / 7.5MW Area Manager, North Charleston, SC

Clemson University Restoration Institute’s (CURI) campus is at the former U.S. Naval Base in North Charleston. The organization offers master’s degrees and doctorates in electrical engineering, computer engineering and mechanical engineering, and a Ph.D. in computer science and a Master of Fine Arts and a Master of Science in digital production arts. The Energy Innovation Center (EIC)houses the Duke Energy Electrical Grid Research Innovation and Development (eGRID) as well as a 7.5-megawatt and 15-megawatt wind turbine test bed. Eric Boessneck is part of the research team. We asked him about the potential of wind energy offshore. “I think offshore wind development is an inevitability. Energy systems are moving more and more towards working in harmony with their surroundings, and offshore wind is a logical extension of that. The resource is abundant and the cost of energy will decrease as the technology continues to mature.”

15-MW wind turbine test bed

What don’t people realize about wind energy that Eric thinks is important? “Because we don’t have a lot of wind farms here, many people in the Southeast don’t seem to appreciate how mature the wind power industry is. In reality, it’s already a significant contributor to our national energy portfolio and it’s poised to continue growing into a fundamental electricity resource.”

Eric has worked in a variety of engineering fields and was drawn to the testing environment because he enjoys the hands-on work and day-to-day problem solving. “The great thing about working at the EIC is that everyone invests themselves in the work that we do, so no matter how challenging it is we have a strong team commitment to getting the job done.”


Tomorrow, Thursday, meet more people doing creative and smart things in the Carolinas energy industry, right here at Energy Consumers of the Carolinas.