This course provides utility and service company employees with a broad understanding of how the electric utility industry works and a better awareness of their own roles within their organizations. Topics include (1) Fundamentals of Electricity, (2) Generation Choices, (3) How Utilities Make Money, (4) Transmission + Electricity Markets, (5) Distributed Energy Resources, (6) Electric Utility Customers, and (7) Emerging Issues. The class is delivered virtually over two half-days or in a one-day format at the host utility's chosen location. WEI provides nearly 100 customized Utility Fundamentals classes each year, hosted by WEI Member Companies on-site, to provide a unique, individualized training experience for their employees. Contact WEI for more information.
Wondering if this course is for you or your staff…
If the answer is yes to any of these, this course was designed for you.
Registration to this event is limited to employees or members of the host organization only and their invited guests. For more information on what course options are available to you please contact the Western Energy Institute.
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Virtual Help Desk + Technology Check
The room will open at 8:30 AM. Please join early to check your tech and ask questions before we start the class promptly at 9:00 AM.
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Students share their utility industry background and what they hope to learn throughout the day. Please be prepared to share at least one thing you hope to gain from taking this class.
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Module 1: Fundamentals of Electricity
– Key influencers in the history of electricity
– Utility definitions and electricity terms
– Basics of how electricity is generated
– Electricity generation and “the Utility loop”
– Keys to power quality
10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Module 2: Generation Choices
– Number ONE rule of the electric grid
– Fossil fuel options
– Traditional low-carbon generation
– Today's renewables
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Break for Lunch
12:45 PM - 2:15 PM
Module 3: How Utilities Make Money
– Types of utilities
– Common organizational structures
– Balancing interests of stakeholders
– Regulation and rate making fundamentals
7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
Virtual Room Open for Participants
8:00 AM - 8:15 AM
Day 1 Review
8:15 AM - 9:00 AM
Module 4: Transmission + Electricity Markets
– Service territories
– Federal regulators and departments
– NERC regions and the WECC
– Energy balancing and imbalance markets
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
9:15 AM - 10:00 AM
Module 5: Distributed Energy Resources
– Demand response
– Energy storage
– Energy efficiency
– Transportation Electrification
– Distributed generation
10:00 AM - 10:15 AM
10:15 AM - 11:00 AM
Module 6: Electric Utility Customers
– Types and expectations of electricity customers
– Evolution of the energy customer
– Customer touch points and the Trusted Energy Advisor goal
11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
Module 7: Emerging Issues
– Grid Hardening + Resiliency
– Solar generation + Impacts from Variable Energy Resources
– Long-Term Resource Planning
12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Q&A and Wrap-Up
We circle back to the original expectations of students to ensure that expectations were met.
Bob has spent his entire career of over 45 years in the electric utility industry serving in senior management positions at Southern California Edison (SCE) for 30 years; EVP then President of Sunlaw Energy, a Los Angeles based generation owner and development company for 2 years; as a Managing Director with Navigant Consulting for 10 years; with M. J. Beck Consulting for 6years; and is in his 4th year as an instructor with WEI.
Bob’s primary focus during his career has been on designing competitive procurements for new fossil-fueled, renewable generation, energy storage, and transmission projects and negotiating the resulting contracts to make these projects a reality.
Bob also headed a division of SCE’s Revenue Requirements Department that was responsible for managing its response to regulatory proceedings initiated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and for managing the company’s rate cases. In this capacity, he testified numerous times before the CPUC as an SCE policy witness to oppose or support proposed new rates, regulatory requirements and/or rules. Bob also served as SCE’s chief lobbyist to the CPUC. Finally, while at SCE during utility deregulation, Bob was a key member of the team that created the CaISO.
Currently, Bob focuses on procurements and contract negotiations of renewable energy resources including off-shore wind on the U.S. east coast and energy storage. He is a qualified and recognized expert in electric utility contracts, integrated resource planning, engineering economics, transmission planning, power generation, and several other subjects and has testified as an expert witness both in the U.S. and internationally numerous times.
Bob has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, an M.B.A. in Finance, and a J.D. in Contract Law. Bob is a member of the California Bar Association.
In his role as Director of Program Curriculum + Engagement, Eric’s primary roles are working with WEI Board Committees to ensure key issues are addressed through program curriculum and leading Utility Fundamentals + Insights courses.
Eric also supports overall Member engagement and his teammates with his twenty-plus years’ database marketing experience and skills in data analytics.
Eric joined WEI after seven great years at Portland General Electric. At PGE he developed and managed the company’s Enterprise Risk Management program and worked in several other areas including operations benchmarking, regulatory affairs, fleet services, AMI, and finance.
Prior to joining PGE, Eric developed his skills in a leading internet marketing company and as Manager of Strategy and Analysis at a finance and lending organization.
Eric earned his Bachelors in Mathematics, and Economics, from the University of Oregon. He has served the community as a past President of the Oregon Society of Association Management and Vice President of the Greater Portland Soccer District.