This program 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 WEI office in Portland, Oregon. WEI member companies may also host a customized on-line or in-person course exclusively for their own employees to provide a unique, individualized training experience. Contact WEI for more information.
Wondering if this course is right for you or your staff…
If the answer is yes to any of these, this course was designed for you.
Member: $399 USD
Regular: $499 USD
Registration prices increase $100 after April 28, 2023. This interactive course is delivered virtually over two half-days. A course workbook will be mailed directly to participants upon request. All participants will receive a PDF copy of the course workbook.
8:45 AM - 9:00 AM
Virtual Help Desk + Technology Check
The room will open at 8:45 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
7:45 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.
Eric Christenson brings 20 years’ industry experience and an inextinguishable energy for new ideas to the Western Energy Institute team.
In his role as Director of Program Curriculum + Engagement, Mr. Christenson works to ensure key industry information and education are available to all WEI Members and others in the energy business. He leads a team that provides nearly seventy courses annually to thousands of industry professionals. He also supports overall Member engagement and his teammates with his professional background in database marketing experience, analytics, and business consulting.
Mr. Christenson joined WEI after a wonderful career at at Portland General Electric. While at PGE he developed and managed the company’s Enterprise Risk Management program and his ability to grasp complicated, interconnected opportunities brought him to work with several other areas including operations benchmarking, regulatory affairs, fleet services, AMI, and finance.
Prior to joining PGE, Mr. Christenson developed his skills in a leading internet marketing company and is role leading Strategy and Analysis at a lending company.
Mr Christenson earned his Bachelors in Mathematics and also in 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, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of Washington County’s citizen advisory organization.