Our Customer’s New Grid

2016 Operations Conference Track Agenda

Meet the program development team.

Wednesday, March 30th

10:00 AM
Great Expectations, Managing Customer Reliability and Communications
Speakers: Kip Morison, BC Hydro
Brent Kassing, iFactor
Jon Zawada, FortisAlberta
Customer expectations are shaped by the increasing demand for improved power quality, system reliability, and improved communications. Modernization of the electric utility sector using improved technologies in system automation, power quality monitoring, and two-way communications will assist in meeting those demands.
Utilities are working towards utilizing improved platforms to communicate with customers regarding details related to outages and expected restoration times. In this session we will discuss technologies currently being used by utilities to improve system visibility, overall reliability, and how to manage exchanging information to meet growing customer expectations. We will also discuss lessons learned when these advanced systems get stressed beyond their design during a major outage event.

3:30 PM
Where’s the EASY Button?  How Do We Operate Distributed Energy Resources?
Speakers: Tom Bialek, San Diego Gas & Electric
Bruce Barney, Portland General Electric
Bill Becker, Spirae
Roy O’Kelly, Elpis Squared
Jim Simonelli, Gridco
As a growing amount of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) comes onto distribution systems, how do we manage and operate our system safely and reliably? DERs includes not only distributed generation systems such as rooftop solar and cogen, but storage systems, and, potentially dispatchable demand side resources such Demand Response systems. And what about unpredictable, high demand load applications, such as EV chargers and charging stations? Do we solve this with the emerging Distribution Management Systems (DMS), Advanced Distribution Management Systems (ADMS), Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS), or are there simpler, less expensive solutions? While these have been questions we’ve asked for some time, very little deployment of these solutions are yet to occur. For this session, we’ll bring in a panel of leading utilities and solutions providers to explore current and future needs and solutions for operating DERs: what’s the best way to solve these problems today and in the close-in future.

Thursday, March 31st

10:00 AM
Creating the Plan:  Where Should, or Can, Distributed Resources be Placed?
Speakers: Mark Esguerra, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Russell Ragsdale, Southern California Edison
Erik Lee, Avista Utilities
Scott Smith, Integral Analytics
What does the future of resource planning look like and will it drive the realization of optimal benefit of distributed energy resources?  At least two states, California and New York, are mandating new distribution resource plans (DRP) or other utility/public processes to share what has been considered the family jewels of the utility’s distribution system, with other state commissions surely watching closely.  Creation of a DRP requires a great deal of system insight, load modeling, engineering analysis, system planning, as well as understanding about distributed energy resource characteristics and controllability.    In this session, we will hear from panelists who have first hand experience with this important planning effort and should provide deep insight that can help direct the rest of us towards effective methodologies and tools as we move DRP efforts to the forefront of distribution and resource planning. 

1:00 PM
Microgrids:  The Next Big Thing?
Speakers: Tom Bialek, San Diego Gas & Electric
David Rubin, Pacific Gas and Electric
John Dilliot, University of California San Diego
Peter Asmus, Navigant Research
Superstorm Sandy brought “resiliency” to the forefront of many conversations when discussing our country’s power infrastructure. In particular, microgrids have become a hot topic. Although microgrids exist today, they exist in limited numbers and primarily to meet highly specialized purposes. As utility customers are growing more sophisticated they are beginning to explore their energy options, including microgrids, which is presenting unique challenges or opportunities to utilities. This panel will feature speakers who are currently managing a microgrid from the customer side and feature utilities that are assessing microgrids. As the industry moves forward, the panel will also discuss how they see microgrids evolving. Will they grow in number and how fast? What is the business case for a microgrid? How will they evolve beyond current applications and what are the implications for utility models?