Apr

14-17

Operations Conference (Apr 14-17)

The WEI Operations Conference brings together over 600 electric and natural gas energy operations senior leaders, managers, supervisors, and front-line employees for three days of education and networking, with breakout discussions for specific operations functions, including: (1) Damage Prevention; (2) Operational Leadership; (3) Workforce Development; (4) Safety + Health; (5) Safety Management Systems; (6) Asset Management; (7) NG D&T Construction + Maintenance; (8) NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration; (9) NG D&T Integrity Management; (10) NG Green Future; (11) NG Operational Excellence; (12) Evolving Grid Operations; (13) Electric Distribution; (14) Electric Substation; (15) Electric Transmission; (16) Wildfire. The breakout sessions are complemented by thought-provoking general sessions by industry leaders and professional keynote speakers. This conference is a must for any professional in the energy business. Limited vendor display booth registrations and sponsorship opportunities are available.

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General Details

Program Chair
Lance Elroy, Director, Process Improvement and Operations Technology, MDU Utilities Group

Program Location
Boise Convention Center
850 W Front St
Boise, Idaho 83702

Who Should Attend
Electric and Natural Gas Energy Operations:
• Vice Presidents
• Directors
• Managers
• Supervisors
• Front line employees
• Control professionals
• Engineering professionals
• Planning personnel
• Substation professionals
• Electric transmission professionals
• Asset Management professionals
• Renewable Gas engineering and policy leaders
• Electric personnel responsible for wildfire mitigation, planning, and response

Registration Options
Member: $799 USD
Regular: $1,599 USD

Registration prices increase $200 after March 23, 2020. Registration includes comprehensive conference materials, attendance at all receptions, general sessions, breakout sessions, and meals. Guest tickets are available for $99 and are required for any guests attending a reception or other meals. A guest ticket is for a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

For Vendor registration options and details, please see the Vendor Display tab.

General Cancellation Policy
Due to contractual obligations, cancellations received 15 business days prior to the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 6 to 14 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No shows and last minute cancellations, 5 business days prior to the event or less, will be responsible for the full registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.

Participation Policy
Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public.

For more information contact Eric Christenson, Director of Program Curriculum + Analytics at (971) 303-2118.

Agenda

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Optional Networking Events
Please see the Networking tab for more details about each event.

3:00 PM – 4:45 PM
Registration Desk Open – Name Badge Pickup
For guests who wish to pick up their name badges prior to the Welcome Reception, we provide early registration check-in. After 4:45 PM name badges will be available at the Welcome Reception.

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Program Development Team and First-Time Attendee Meetup
If this is your first time attending a WEI event show up early to meet the Track Program Development Teams who make this conference possible. We want you to get the most out of your experience at the Operations Conference!

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Welcome Reception

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Continental Breakfast + Registration

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Operations 2020 Official Welcome to Boise

8:15 AM – 9:30 AM
Opening Keynote

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Networking Break with Vendor Displays

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session
Damage Prevention – Using Predictive Analytics to Identify High Risk Excavations and Prevent Damage
Operational Leadership – Flow to Become a Well Rounded Leader
Workforce Development – Digital Transformation
Safety + Health – New Employee Safety “Growing Safety”
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – Managing your Manager
Asset Management – Roadmap for AI-Enabled Asset Management Decision-Making
NG Green Future – Natural Gas is Key to Our Green Future
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Broken & Blowing
NG D&T Construction + Maintenance – “Brain Drain Crew Resources”
NG D&T Integrity Management – Aging Pipelines
NG Operational Excellence – GPS Referencing – Assets Traceability and Tracking
Wildfire – Data-Driven Fire Risk; Risky Data
Electric Distribution – Cool Tools
Evolving Grid Operations – Distribution System Operations
Electric Substation – Arc-Flash Mitigation and Safe Work Practices
Electric Transmission – Innovative Tools

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Lunch

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Wednesday Afternoon General Session

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Networking Break with Vendor Displays

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session
Damage Prevention – How GPS and Process Improvements are Improving Map Accuracy and Reducing Damages
Operational Leadership – Perceptions of Leadership
Workforce Development – Speed to Competency
Safety + Health – The Hidden Hazards
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – How to Build a Communication Strategy
Asset Management – Risk-Based Asset Management
NG Green Future – Hydrogen: a Carbon-Free Energy Source
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Ground Faults
NG D&T Construction + Maintenance – Gas Capture, Cross Compression, Flaring and Blowdowns
NG D&T Integrity Management – Modern NDE Methods
NG Operational Excellence – Progressive Recruiting/Development
Wildfire – Take Action! Proven Wildfire Mitigation Solutions
Electric Distribution – Resource Management
Evolving Grid Operations – Operational Situational Awareness
Electric Substation – Distributed Energy Resource Impacts on Substation Operations
Electric Transmission – How Utilities are Addressing Wildfires Proactively Through Transmission Line Des

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Reception with Vendor Displays

Thursday, April 16, 2020

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Breakfast

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Safety Keynote General Session

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Networking Break with Vendor Displays

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session
Damage Prevention – Partnering with Excavators to Reduce Damages
Operational Leadership – Building Bench Strength
Workforce Development – The Workforce of Tomorrow
Safety + Health – Human Performance
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – MOC Case Studies
Asset Management – Battle of the X’s
NG Green Future – Methane Emission Reduction
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Mutual Aid
NG D&T Construction + Maintenance – To Permit or Not to Permit
NG D&T Integrity Management – Public Policy & Perception Impacting Integrity
NG Operational Excellence – Innovative Gas Leak Investigation/Mitigation Approach
Wildfire – The Power of Being Prepared (Public Safety Power Shutoff)
Electric Distribution – Reliability and Aging Infrastructure
Evolving Grid Operations – Distributed Energy Resources and Management Systems
Electric Substation – Substation Security: Cyber and Physical Security Threats
Electric Transmission – What is EPC: A Panel on the Pros, the Cons, and Everything In-Between

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Concurrent Tracks – Breakout Session
Damage Prevention – Navigating Behaviors
Operational Leadership – Breaking Down Silos – working across business lines
Workforce Development – Workforce Sharing
Safety + Health – The Silent Near Miss
Safety Management Systems (SMS) – KPIs/Metrics
Asset Management – Utilizing Innovation and Technology to Manage Infrastructure
NG Green Future – Design and Operation of the Renewable Natural Gas Environment
NG D&T Emergency Response + Restoration – Natural Disasters – Up the Creek Without a Paddle
NG D&T Construction + Maintenance – Don’t Feel the Pressure of Over Pressure
NG D&T Integrity Management – Corrosion Issues
NG Operational Excellence – Look Forward Technology – What is the new Gadget?
Wildfire – Wildfire Emergency Preparedness + Response
Electric Distribution – Managing Emerging Customer Connections
Evolving Grid Operations – System Operator Changes
Electric Substation – Cultivating the Growth of Substation Personnel
Electric Transmission – Mega-Projects Overview; Challenges and Lessons Learned

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Break

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Thursday Afternoon General Session

Friday, April 17, 2020

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Breakfast

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM
CEO Panel – the Future of Operations in the Utility Industry

9:45 AM – 10:00 AM
Break

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Emergency Response and Restoration Keynote Speaker

11:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Conference Close

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Program Development Team Appreciation Lunch + Wrap Up (RSVP Required)

Hotel + Travel

Western Energy Institute has negotiated special rates at five area hotels for the 2020 Operations Conference. Details, rates, and contact information for each hotel are listed below.

The Grove – Adjacent
245 S. Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.333.8000

Make your reservation online or by contacting the hotel directly to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $164 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2020, or until the WEI room block is full.

Hampton Inn and Suites – 2 Blocks
495 S. Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.331.1900

Make your reservation online or by contacting the hotel directly to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $164 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2020, or until the WEI room block is full.

Residence Inn – 2 Blocks
400 S. Capitol Blvd
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.424.9999

Make your reservation online or by contacting the hotel directly at 844.802.9815 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $179 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2020, or until the WEI room block is full.

Hyatt Place – 5 Blocks
1024 W. Bannock St
Boise, ID 83702

Make your reservation online and select “Book Now” then enter desired stay dates. You can also contact the hotel directly to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $169 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2020, or until the WEI room block is full.

Hotel 43 – Across S. 9th St.
981 West Grove Street
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.342.4622

Make your reservation online or by contacting the hotel directly to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $169 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 23, 2020, or until the WEI room block is full.

Networking

All networking events are scheduled for Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

WEI Annual Golf Tournament
9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Registration Fee: $80 USD
Capacity Limit: 70
Refund Policy: No refunds after March 14, 2020

Join us at the beautiful Banbury Golf Club for a fun day of golfing and networking. Fee covers cart and green fees as well as transportation to and from the course.

Augmented Reality Energy Scavenger Hunt Industry Tour
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Registration fee: $25 USD
Capacity Limit: 40

WEI is working with EDX Technologies, Inc. to create an Augmented Reality-based scavenger hunt. You will be put in teams with clues to find interesting places related to the energy industry. With your team you will work together to solve clues and see each spot. Your team can arrive anytime and it’s estimated that the scavenger hunt will take between 1 and 2 hours. You may arrive any time with your group.

Idaho Power Substations and Lines Training Yard Industry Tour
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration fee: $50 USD
Capacity Limit: 10
Idaho Power has a substation and lines training yard directly adjacent to each other. This is a great opportunity to learn what Idaho Power provides in training Apprentices and continued training of Journeymen Linemen, along with the different Stations Technicians as well. Registration includes transportation and lunch.

Northwest Lineman College Industry Tour
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration fee: $50 USD
Capacity Limit: 12

The Northwest Lineman college mission is to improve lives, an industry, and the country. Northwest Lineman College will be a dynamic, visionary, and international educational institution providing safety, training, and products that exceed the expectations of customers. During this tour we will have several hands-on activities like pole climb, long sticking, transformer lab activity, etc. Registration includes transportation and lunch.

Intermountain Gas Company Lampa Liquified Natural Gas Industry Tour
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration fee: $50 USD
Capacity Limit: 25

In August 2014 the nation’s First LNG Recapture System debuted in Idaho. The system captures boil-off gas from the LNG storage tank and returns it to the Intermountain gas pipeline to keep it from venting excess LNG into the atmosphere. Intermountain Gas Company will provide a guided tour with insight from the operators who run this plant. Registration includes transportation and lunch.

POWER Engineers, Inc. Advanced Technology Lab Industry Tour
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Registration fee: $50 USD
Capacity Limit: 15

We will visit the POWER Engineers Advanced Technology Lab in Meridian, ID for a review of the latest advances in utility power systems equipment, software, and systems. The lab is home to various Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) like those that would be found in modern power utility substations. The technology lab also provides a base platform for the study and testing of advanced distribution technologies including microgrid controllers, Distributed Energy Resource Management (DERMS) solutions, and other advanced distribution automation schemes. Registration includes lunch and transportation.

Vendor Displays

Registration Options
Member Attendee + Standard Vendor Display Table: $1,299 USD
Member Attendee + Premium Vendor Display Table: $2,299 USD
Regular Attendee + Standard Vendor Display Table: $2,249 USD

Registration prices for a Standard Vendor Display Table increase $200 after March 23, 2020. Registration includes one main Vendor Display representative, one (1) skirted Vendor Display Table for Wednesday and Thursday display events, plus comprehensive conference materials, attendance at all receptions, general sessions, breakout sessions, and meals. A Standard Vendor Display Table registration can be upgraded to a Premium Vendor Display, space permitting.

Registration prices for a Premium Vendor Display Table increase $400 after March 23, 2020. Registration includes one Vendor Display representative, two (2) connected skirted Vendor Display Tables in premium locations in the exhibit hall for Wednesday and Thursday display events. This ticket also includes comprehensive conference materials, attendance at all receptions, general sessions, breakout sessions, and meals. For more information on this option please contact Kris Taylor.

Vendor Display Assistant tickets are available for $599 and include all meals on Wednesday and Thursday, April 25-26, 2020. The Vendor Display Assistant pass does not provide access to the opening session, nor any General Sessions and breakout sessions. Participation in any of these events requires a full conference registration.

Guest tickets are available for $99 and are required for any guests attending a reception or other meals. A guest ticket is for a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

Vendor Display Schedule
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Set-up available

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
7:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Check-in and set-up
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Break with Vendor Displays
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM: Lunch with Vendor Displays
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Break with Vendor Displays
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Reception with Vendor Displays

Thursday, April 16, 2020
7:00 AM – 8:00 AM: Breakfast with Vendor Displays
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Break with Vendor Displays
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch with Vendor Displays
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Break with Vendor Displays
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Tear Down

Vendor Display Map

Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors
Booz-01Burns + McDonnell-01Copperleaf-01HDR-01Henkels + McCoy-01Honeywell-01Itron-01-01KPMG-01Landis+Gyr-01   Potelco-01Rokstad-01-01SAP-01Sheffield-01Siemens-01

Gold Sponsors
ActiveTelesource-01Acros-01Asplundh-01 Barnard-01Black + Veatch-01Esource-01Energy Care-01HGCA-01IBM-01 Nexant-01PrintSEL-01-01     snelson_300dpiTDW-03-01The HDD Company-01vertexone logo w-tagline NEWWilson Construction-01

 

Meet The Speakers

Amy Borgmeyer

Mosaic

Sr. Consultant
Learn More

Amy is the Director of Field Operations Training at Mosaic. She helps clients analyze their business and talent development needs and then recommend strategies to help achieve their goals. She provides leadership to teams to create comprehensive programs to bring employees in the utility industry to competence and to keep them there. Her goal is to design solutions (training and otherwise) that meet the needs of the business and the end-user simultaneously.

Troy Nutter

Puget Sound Energy

Manager, Operational Training
Learn More

Troy Nutter joined Puget Sound Energy in 2001 and currently serves as Manager of Operational Training. This role is responsible for technical training enterprise-wide including gas, electric, generation, customer service and Operator Qualification programs. He has previously held roles in the generation group and the safety department. He has an AAS degree from Centralia College in Multi-Occupational Trades with an emphasis on workforce development and a Journeyman Electrician. He has held a vocational teaching certificate since 1980. Troy serves as the chair of the advisory board for the Pacific NW Center of Excellence for Clean Energy and several other workforce development and technical and community college advisory panels.
In addition, he has chaired 3 the executive leadership boards for three federal training grants related to the energy sector in the Pacific Northwest totaling over $30 million and facilitated 6 energy sector skill panels. Troy is active with American Gas Association as part of the Best Practices Steering Committee and Peer Review committee programs. Troy also serves on the Midwest Energy Association Operator Qualificiation and Technical Training Committee. He also serves as co-chair of the national Operator Qualification Integrity Process (OQIP) Task Force.

Kyle Cormier

Salt River Project

Manager Control Engineering
Learn More

Kyle Cormier is the manager of Salt River Project’s Control Engineering department. Control Engineering supports reliable and secure Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition services for substation Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) and Distribution Feeder Automation (DFA).

Kyle started at SRP in 2005 and has worked in several groups including Water Measurement Services, Telecom Engineering, Distribution System Improvements, System Protection and Control Engineering.

Kyle is passionate about technology associated with power delivery and believes in the saying “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”, credited to Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker.

Kyle received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Arizona State University in 2007 and is also a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Arizona.

Peggy Lowney

NorthWestern Energy

Director Comp & Benefits

Robert Howell

Southern California Gas Company

Manager, Pipeline Safety & Compliance and Emergency Management

Paul De Martini

Newport Consulting Group,LLC

Managing Partner
Learn More

Paul De Martini is a leading expert on the business, policy and technology dimensions of a more distributed power system. His work draws upon a unique set of successful executive experiences in transforming utility operations, building successful competitive energy services firms and growing technology ventures. His extensive writings and consulting work have influenced industry transformation efforts in Australia, Canada, and across the US.
Paul was previously the Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Energy Internet of Things at Cisco Systems and Vice President, Advanced Technology at Southern California Edison. Currently, he is a visiting scholar at Caltech and adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco. Paul holds an MBA, University of Southern California and BS, Applied Economics, University of San Francisco. He is a California state certified electric system operator.

Christopher Bolton

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Manager-System Protection and Control Engineering

Fernando Pena

Southern California Edison

Distribution Engineer

Julius Samson

NW Natural

Integrity Management Engineer

Ryan Van Gordon

NW Natural

Integrity Management Engineer

Booga Gilbertson

Puget Sound Energy

Senior Vice President, Operations