Electric Distribution Operations

Wednesday, April 19

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Great Expectations, Managing Customer Reliability and Communications
Speakers: Brad Merl, Distribution Operations Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Marko Aaltomaa, Regional Operations Manager, FortisBC
Barry Anderson, Vice President, Electric Distribution, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
In today’s environment, social networking and instant communication is the norm for customers. With a click of a button, people can place orders, make payments and download information instantly. Grid modernization and automation will reduce outages and improve reliability, but unplanned outages can occur during storm conditions, equipment failure or other causes. With these unplanned outages, the customer’s demands are still the same.

In this session we will discuss managing estimated times of restoration and technologies utilized in today’s industries for the instant communication society we live in today. We will be discussing current utility practices and where the utilities are heading in the future. We will be covering both routine emergencies and major emergencies in this session.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
From Damage Assessment to Estimated Restoration Times, No DA? Then No ERT
Speakers: Marko Aaltomaa, Manager Network Services, FortisBC
Jim Nowak, Director of Utility Services, ARCOS LLC
Jeff Potter, Distribution System Operations Engineer, Avista Utilities
During a storm, when the power is out the only question the customer wants answered is: “When is my power going to be restored”? To accurately answer that difficult question you must answer several questions of your own. What is the extent of the damage? How many crews or resources are available? How many individual outages or incidents do we have? How will we prioritize or in what order will we work each outage? How long will each outage take to fix?

Damage Assessment must be completed before accurate ERTs can be provided to your customers. Find and Fix is no longer an option when customers demand accurate outage information. Utilities must deploy Damage Assessors before line crews to set the stage for outage restoration. We will take a look at how a few players in the industry are attempting to tackle Damage Assessment. And, how good DA translates to more accurate ERTs and a better customer experience.

Thursday, April 20

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
From Chaos to Confidence: Technology Evolution in the Control Room
Speakers: Dustin Lenaburg System Operator, Southern California Edison
MaryAnn Dillahunty, Manager, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Brad Merl, Manager Operations, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
This panel will focus on the changes that take place in the Operations Control room. Topics include grid modernization, operating models, technology in the control room and other issues that will shape how Utility operations deals with the future.

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Optimizing Our “Boots on the Ground”: Operationalizing Data to Improve Customer Service
Speakers: Mike Minichiello, BC Hydro
Lester Pate, Arizona Public Service Company
Customer expectations impose an increasing demand on utilities for improved power quality, system reliability, and improved communications. This session will look at the electric utilities drive to manage changing customer expectations and the positive impacts, and challenges, improved technologies within the Control Room have on Field Operations. Topics that we are hoping to cover would include improved outage management, the impacts of SCADA distributed automation, managing DERs/DGs, voltage/load monitoring, and training staff.