Asset Management

The US federal government defines asset management as “the practice of managing infrastructure capital assets to minimize the total cost of owning and operating these assets while delivering the desired service levels.”

For most organizations, asset management is simply driven by a cost-benefit analysis. But for gas and electric utilities, the service levels we strive for are 100% reliability and zero tolerance for safety incidents involving employees, contractors, or members of the public. These constraints have led to an entirely new profession of Utility Asset Manager – they understand utility operations, the people who do the work, codes and standards, and a commitment to customers.

The WEI Operations Conference Asset Management Track has led this new profession for nearly a decade, bringing together key influencers and employees who do the work for yearlong conversations leading up to the annual WEI Operations Conference. Join this track in 2021 to learn about Asset Management strategies, decision making and new definitions of risk, as we will discussions of world-class best practices through presentations and roundtable discussions.

This track is sponsored by:

Meet the Asset Management Program Development Team. Learn more about the Operations Conference.

All session times are listed in Pacific time.

March 23, 2022

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Asset Management by the People (and for the People)
Speakers: Kent Hamil, Senior Electrical Mechanic Supervisor, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Mahelet Dejene, Asset Management Team Lead, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
Derick Dunkley, Asset Data Lifecycle Manager, National Grid
Hear about the journey of asset management in two different companies from a people-focused perspective. Learn who and what triggered the creation of the asset management department, how teams were selected and integrated as part of the company and how asset programs continue to stay relevant as the department has matured.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Journey from Data to Technology Solutions Show + Tell
Speakers: Dawid Lizak, Manager, Infrastructure Advisory, METSCO Energy Solutions Inc.
Stephen Seewald, Manager, Risk & Performance, EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc.
Mary Molina, Manager, Aerial & Specialized Inspections, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Lee Robson, Asset Sustainment Planning Manager, FortisBC
Is your organization ready to move on from mere historical enterprise data to enhanced data-driven decisions to make the most of analytics that balance risk, cost, and performance? Join us and hear three utilities share their journey in optimizing data toward technology solutions to create smarter asset management strategies. After you learn about each speaker’s experiences, you will have an opportunity to ask questions and to take their feedback home to apply to your data and technology optimization journey.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM
Evolve Asset Resiliency for a Cleaner Future
Speakers: Hugo Mejia, Engineering Hydrogen Manager, Southern California Gas Company
Kellie Cloud, Senior Director, Engineering Services, Portland General Electric
Climate change is increasingly challenging the resilience of the electric grid, and increasing the pressure on natural gas companies to decarbonize the gas supply while leveraging existing assets as much as possible for an affordable transition. To safeguard the delivery of energy to customers, utilities are embedding resilience into the management of the lifecycle of assets and the DNA of the company. Resilience is no longer an ad-hoc reactive initiative or a wholesale “gold platting” of the system. Resilience is now a comprehensive, strategic, data informed program that is targeted to the weakest and most critical link of the business to help the utilities adapt to the changing and disruptive environment. This session will explore approaches from two utilities representing both electric and gas. Learn about how they are adapting to meet the needs of their customers now and in the future through data informed electric asset management, and facilitating integration of cleaner hydrogen gas to the system. 

1:45 PM – 3:00 PM
The Risk-Informed Utility
Speakers: Mark Hoffman, Principal, Strategy, PwC
Paul Chernikhowsky, Director, Regulatory Projects & Resource Planning, FortisBC
Ken Oliphant, Executive Vice President & CTO, JANA Corporation
Stephen Seewald, Manager, Risk & Performance, EPCOR Distribution and Transmission Inc.
Robert Otal, Executive Director, METSCO Energy Solutions Inc.
Utilities are capital-intensive organizations that operate under complex business conditions and are influenced by various risks including operational safety, climate change, aging assets, regulatory change and evolving technology. This session will take the audience from the “Why” to the “How” of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM).  Armed with the latest utility survey results the presenters will describe: Why ERM has become so important, Provide an update on the state of the industry, Highlight the relevant standards, and Explore best practices as well as techniques for quantitative risk assessment at an asset level. Only a risk-informed utility can truly manage its risks.