Electric Utility Fundamentals + Insights – Southern California Edison (Jul 18)

This program provides utility and service company employees a broader understanding of how the electric utility industry works, and a better awareness of their own roles within their organizations. Participants gain a broader comprehension of critical issues affecting the electric industry, and the interaction between utilities and their stakeholders. Examples from your organization are incorporated into the curriculum to provide a unique, individualized training experience for employees. WEI also offers this course in Portland which is open to anyone. Contact WEI for more information.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Eric Christenson, Director, Analytics + Program Curriculum

    • Program Location
    • Southern California Edison GO1 Multipurpose Room
    • 2244 Walnut Grove Avenue
      Rosemead, California 91770 
    • Who Should Attend
    • Wondering if this course is right for you or your staff…

      • Are you new to the energy industry?
      • Have you worked in just one or two areas of the organization?
      • Are you looking for a broader perspective of the business of electricity and emerging issues?
      • Do you work for a service provider to the energy industry who wants to learn more about your customer?

      If the answer is yes to any of these, this course was designed for you. 

  • Registration Options
  • 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.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Not Applicable
  • Participation Policy
  • Registration for this course is limited to employees of Host Member Companies only.
  • For more information contact Eric Christenson, Director of Program Curriculum + Analytics at (971) 303-2118.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration and Check-In

The course will start promptly at 8 AM. Please arrive early to check in.

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Participant Introductions

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.

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

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

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM


9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Western North American Electricity Markets

– Service territories
– Federal regulators and departments
– NERC regions and the WECC
– Energy balancing

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

How Utilities Make Money

– Types of utilities
– Common organizational structures
– Balancing interests of stakeholders
– Regulation and rate making fundamentals

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Break for Lunch

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Generation Choices

– Number ONE rule of the electric grid
– Fossil fuel options
– Traditional low-carbon generation
– Today's renewables
– Energy storage

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM


2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Customers + Emerging Opportunities

– Types and expectations of electricity customers
– Customer care regulations
– Electric vehicles
– Solar programs – utility and customer
– Distributed Energy Resources
– The Trusted Energy Advisor

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM


3:45 PM - 4:30 PM

Integrated Resource Planning

– Forecasting demand
– Meeting demand with resource portfolios
– Scenario planning and modeling
– The preferred portfolio and vetting the IRP.

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Q&A and Wrap-Up

We circle back to the original expectations of students to ensure that expectations were met.

Meet The Speakers

Robert Kendall

M.J. Beck Consulting LLC

Senior Advisor
Learn More

Bob has spent his entire career of over 45 years in the electric utility industry serving (i) in senior management positions at Southern California Edison (SCE) for 30 years; (ii) as a EVP then President of Sunlaw Energy, a Los Angeles based generation owner and development company for 2 years; (iii) as a Managing Director with Navigant Consulting for 10 years; and (iv) as a Senior Advisor with M. J. Beck Consulting LLC for 2 years. Bob’s primary focus during his career has been on designing and conducting competitive procurements for new fossil-fueled and renewable generation and transmission projects and negotiating the resulting contracts to make these projects a reality. Bob has designed and conducted over 75 such procurements for over 60,000 MW of resources either as a consultant or while at SCE. While at SCE and serving as Manager of Power Contracts, Bob had a staff of over 100 professionals who managed over 1,000 power contracts consisting of power purchase agreements (PPAs) from renewable energy projects, cogeneration contracts, joint ownership nuclear and coal projects (e.g., San Onofre Nuclear & Mohave Coal), and joint transmission projects (e.g., Pacific Intertie Agreement) having payments of over $ 3 billion per year.

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) other than the general rate case. In this capacity, he testified numerous times before the CPUC as an SCE policy witness to oppose or support proposed new regulatory requirements or rules. Bob also served as SCE’s chief lobbyist to the CPUC. In this latter capacity he established an SCE office in San Francisco where the CPUC is located and staffed the office for use for lobbying and for SCE staff to use during regulatory proceedings and meetings. Finally, while at SCE during utility deregulation, Bob was named to head the state’s governance team for the restructuring. This team consisted of representatives of all of California’s major electric utilities, large customer groups, consumer advocates, and regulators (e.g., CPUC & California Energy Commission). The governance committee developed the by-laws and articles of incorporation of the California Independent System Operator (CaISO) and CaISO’s initial tariffs. In addition, Bob served as chief negotiator for the three California IOUs in their contract negotiations to turn over their transmission assets to 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 recently was the chief negotiator of a 90 MW off-shore wind project off the Long Island coast and was an independent evaluator for New York’s first off-shore wind procurement having a goal to procure a minimum of 800 MW. Bob has also served as an expert or policy witness in over 25 regulatory and court proceedings both in the U.S. and internationally. He is a qualified and recognized expert witness on electric utility contracts, integrated resource planning, engineering economics, transmission planning, power generation, and several other subjects. Bob has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, an M.B.A. in Financial Planning, and a J.D. in Contract Law. Bob is a member of the California Bar Association.