Overhead Underground Electric Distribution (Oct 15-17)

Electric utility professionals meet to discuss current standards, materials and maintenance for mainly distribution operations. Agendas feature extensive roundtable discussion so that each delegate has an opportunity to submit questions and receive feedback from their peers. Presentations focus on new technologies, applications, and specifications available for designing, building and maintaining overhead and underground lines. Case studies highlight best practices and lessons learned, and attendees leave with the practical knowledge to improve efficiency, safety and reduce costs. Participants also have the opportunity to preview vendor products and services. Vendors are encouraged to display.

Register Now

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Kyle Roethle, Puget Sound Energy

    • Program Location
    • Hilton Bellevue
    • 300 112th Ave Southeast Bellevue, WA 98004
    • Who Should Attend
      • Standards engineers 
      • Design engineers
      • Line technicians and engineers
      • Reliability and quality testers
      • T&D supervisors and suppliers
      • Operations and maintenance managers 
      • Suppliers of distribution and substation products and services
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $649 USD
    Regular: $1,298 USD

    Registration prices increase $100 after September 25, 2018. Registration includes attendance to all presentations, roundtable sessions, vendor area, comprehensive meeting materials and all food events. Guest tickets are available for $100 and allow 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, please see the Vendor Displays 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 Kristen Taylor, Program Manager at (971) 255-4969.


Monday, October 15, 2018

12:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Tour of Snohomish PUD's Hancock and Calligan Dam Facilities

Join us for a tour of Snohomish PUD's new dam facilities, Hancock and Calligan. A bus will depart from the hotel lobby at 12:30pm and return us approximately three hours later in plenty of time to make the reception at 5:30 PM back at the hotel. PPE: Hard hats will be provided, wear closed toed shoes.

WEI reserves the right to cancel networking tours if a minimum number of participants is not met.

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Welcome Reception

sponsored by: McWane Poles

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration and Breakfast Buffet

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Welcome & Introductions
Speaker(s): Kyle Roethle, Supervisor, Construction Performance Management, Puget Sound Energy

Housekeeping Announcements and Introductions

8:15 AM - 8:45 AM

Welcome to the Neighborhood
Speaker(s): Booga Gilbertson, Senior Vice President, Operations, Puget Sound Energy

We have all heard about or experienced challenges in locating, building, or operating energy infrastructure amid rising customer expectations and stakeholder interests. What seems easy on paper has the potential to evolve into protracted, complex, and sometimes contentious processes The good news is that successfully navigating these challenges can enhance customer satisfaction, build your company’s reputation, and fill your toolbox of skills with effective ideas and options for addressing this new customer and stakeholder landscape.

8:45 AM - 9:45 AM

EV and the Grid – Challenges & Opportunities
Speaker(s): Marvin Moon, Assistant General Manager - Power Delivery, Pasadena Water & Power

Electric Transportation represents the greatest opportunity for energy sales to the Electric Industry in decades. The technology is real and growing exponentially. Will your utility grid be ready? This session discusses why EVs are important, grid impacts of light and heavy duty electric vehicles, challenges with providing service, opportunities for increased sales, and optimizing utility assets.

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Vendor Platform

Each vendor will have 2-3 minutes to introduce their company and share any new products or services they would like to highlight.

10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Break with Vendors

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

The Design and Engineering of a Cutout—What is Involved?
Speaker(s): Charles Worthington, Business Unit Manager - Distribution - Switching & Fusing, Hubbell Power Systems

Utilities depend of cutouts as a downstream protection device; yet they are easy to take for granted. What engineering factors are involved in designing a cutout? This presentation will discuss the evolution and performance of fault interruption media and insulator design. You will also learn how cutouts are engineered to withstand extreme mechanical forces. Also, what does interchangeability really mean, and how can you verify if your approved cutouts are interchangeable? Finally, as more cutout designs enter the market, how can you create standards that consider “lowest total cost of ownership?” An interactive session will follow where you can discuss new CSA and IEEE standards relevant to polymer cutouts.

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Lunch with Vendors

12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Harmonics 101
Facilitator(s): Kyle Roethle, Supervisor, Construction Performance Management, Puget Sound Energy
Speaker(s): Barry Eronson, Manager of Engineering, Potelco Inc.

This session explains the fundamentals of Harmonics, the mysterious bad boy in the electrical Power Quality world. It addresses their origin, various types, and their disruptive nature. The class also explains the methods used to discover, troubleshoot, and mitigate the Harmonics. There will be a focus on positive customer service and how the utility representative/engineer can preserve this relationship throughout this particular Power Quality process.

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Just Getting Started: The Past, Present and Future for UAS and Utilities
Speaker(s): Kevin Gould, CEO, Hawk Aerial

As government aviation regulations for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have matured, utilities are increasingly embracing drone technology for performing a wide range of activities. Utilities have been quickly figuring out where the use of UAS makes sense, and when to bring drone operations in house vs. contracting for services. In this presentation, we'll examine UAS regulations, technology and the business use cases that are able to deliver real results today, and how this remarkable technology will likely impact utility operation in the future.

2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Break with Vendors

3:15 PM - 5:00 PM

Overhead/Underground Practices, Product and Safety Roundtable
Facilitator(s): Rick Stark, Senior Engineer, Idaho Power Company, Jason Klose, Standards Engineer, Portland General Electric

Submit your roundtable questions to be included in the Practices, Product and Safety Roundtable discussions. Your questions will be compiled by area of interest and presented at the roundtable sessions, which includes supporting information or documentation necessary. Questions can be emailed directly to Rick Stark at rstark@idahopower.com.

5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Reception and Dinner with Vendors

sponsored by: Hubbell Power Systems

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Breakfast Buffet

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

The Future of Standards Roundtable - How Are You Going Digital?
Panelist(s): Joe Koch, Associate Electrical Engineer, Clark Public Utilities, Laura Vanderpool, Technical Writer, Seattle City Light, Tyler Reinitz, Professional Engineer, Snohomish County PUD, Rick Stark, Senior Engineer, Idaho Power Company, Sarah Breedlove, Senior Technical Communicator, Standards, Puget Sound Energy

Utilities who have migrated, or are migrating, from paper to digital publication of their electric standards will compose a panel to share their experiences, successes, and lessons learned in moving a paper based standards interface to a digital interface. The panel will be interactive with the conference audience, taking questions and talking candidly about the future opportunities and direction for utility standards.

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Soil-Pole Interaction and User Friendly Pole Foundation Design Tool
Facilitator(s): Kevin Kendal, Transmission and Distribution Standards, FortisBC
Speaker(s): Anjuman Shahriar, Civil Engineer Transmission, FortisBC

The installation of a wood pole structure is almost always focused on the parts located above the ground. FortisBC had been working on to look at the below grade section of the pole and the interaction between the surrounding soil; and developed a used friendly tool for pole foundation design. Within this presentation, we will look at soil -pole interaction and how the industry standard of 10% +2 ft. holds up against poor and good quality soils and how correctly identifying soil conditions can affect the poles foundation and ultimate holding capacity of soil.

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Break + Hotel Checkout

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Overhead/Underground Practices, Product and Safety Roundtable (continued)

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

How to Test New Equipment and Designs: Panel Discussion
Moderator(s): Karen Perzanowski, Senior Standards Engineer, Clark Public Utilities
Panelist(s): Fred Dennert, Division Manager, Distribution Standards, BC Hydro, Quan Wang, Electrical Engineering Specialist, Seattle City Light, Rick Stark, Senior Engineer, Idaho Power Company, Connie Taylor, Supervisor, Electric Distribution Standards, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

A look at how large and small utilities test new equipment and designs. The panel will briefly review their utility’s procedures and answer questions submitted by participants. Please submit your questions to Karen Perzanowski at kperzanowski@clarkpud.com before 9/17/18.

1:30 PM - 1:45 PM


1:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Overhead/Underground Practices, Product and Safety Roundtable (continued)

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Planning Future Topics
Facilitator(s): Kyle Roethle, Supervisor, Construction Performance Management, Puget Sound Energy

Group discussion on future topics

4:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Meeting Adjourns

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM


4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

OH/UG Wrap Up and Planning Meeting

For PDT members only and those interested in planning the spring meeting in April.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (425) 455-1300 ext 4102 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 September 24, 2018 or until the WEI room block is full.

Vendor Displays

Registration Options
Member Attendee + Vendor Display Table: $1,248 USD
Regular Attendee + Vendor Display Table: $2,847 USD
Member Vendor Display Table Only: $699 USD
Regular Vendor Display Table Only: $1,649 USD

Registration prices increase $100 after September 25, 2018. Vendor Display Table Only registration includes you as the main Vendor Display representative, one (1) skirted Vendor display table, Tuesday display events (2 breaks, lunch, Vendor Platform, evening Reception and dinner). Meeting attendance is not included. Vendors that wish to attend speaker presentations and roundtable sessions should select the Attendee + Vendor Display Table option.

Vendor Display assistant tickets are available for $299 and include booth privileges, Tuesday display events (2 breaks, lunch, Vendor Platform, evening reception and dinner). Meeting attendance is not included. Vendor Display Assistants that wish to attend speaker presentations and roundtable sessions should register as a delegate for this industry forum.

Guest tickets are available for $100 and allow 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, October 16, 2018
Set Up: 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Display Times: 9:00 AM – 7:30 PM
Tear Down: 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM – Vendor Platform
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM – Break with Vendors
11:30 PM – 12:45 PM – Lunch with Vendors
2:45 PM – 3:15 PM – Break With Vendors
5:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Reception and Dinner with Vendors

Please note that it is expected that vendors and attendees will attend all functions including the reception and dinner on Tuesday evening. Please feel free to network on your own after 7:30 PM.

Shipping Information
Shipments may be received three (3) business days prior to your event. Please send tracking information to Elaine Soldevilla. All packages must be labeled as follows:

WEI Overhead Underground Electric Distribution
Kris Taylor, c/o Elaine Soldevilla
October 15-17, 2018
Box __ of­­­__
Hilton Bellevue
300 – 112th Avenue SE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Receiving and Handling fees are as follows:
$10.00 per box max of 50 lbs
Pallets at $150.00 per pallet


Thank you to our session sponsors!


Meet The Speakers

Christopher McMurtry

Sharper Shape Inc.

Solutions Architect
Learn More

Chris has an extensive background in media production and unmanned aerial technology. Prior to joining Sharper Shape, Chris enjoyed a long and successful career in live television production, primarily focused on live major league sports broadcasting. He became interested in UAS technology through his media production activities, and in 2013 founded a pioneering drone services company that specialized in using UAS technology for LiDAR scanning and utility inspections. Since joining Sharper Shape in 2016, Chris has focused on designing unmanned aerial solutions based on the company’s class leading hardware and software tools. Chris earned his degree from the University of Oregon in Film and Television Production and is a FAA licensed Part 107 Remote Pilot.

Barry Eronson

Potelco Inc.

Manager of Engineering

Anjuman Shahriar


Civil Engineer Transmission
Learn More

Anjuman Shahriar is the Civil Engineer of Transmission Lines Department at FortisBC. She has been working in the utility industry for six years as Civil Engineer with a focus on line design, rehabilitation and maintenance. Besides transmission line group, she provides civil engineering support to substation and generation group of FortisBC. In addition to her Engineering responsibilities at FORTISBC, she is leading different research projects from Lines Engineering, substation, generation and Gas pipelines in collaboration with university of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. Anjuman holds Bachelor and Master of Science degree in civil engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and a PhD Degree from Western University at London, Ontario.

Kevin Kendal


Transmission and Distribution Standards

Kyle Roethle

Puget Sound Energy

Supervisor, Construction Performance Management

Richard Stark

Idaho Power Company

Senior Engineer
Learn More

Rick graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S.E.E. in 1991 and started his engineering career as a consultant at CSHQA, an architectural and engineering firm in Boise, Idaho. He worked at CSHQA for nearly 17 years and acquired his professional engineering license in 1998. Rick took a job with Stanley Consultants in Minneapolis, Minnesota to broaden his work experience, but returned to Boise after one year. Rick joined the Methods and Materials group at Idaho Power in 2011 and is currently responsible for the underground distribution products. He also serves as the Power Provider Representative on the Idaho State Electrical Board.

Jason Klose

Portland General Electric

Standards Engineer

Joe Koch

Clark Public Utilities

Associate Electrical Engineer
Learn More

Joe Koch is an Associate Electrical Engineer for Clark Public Utilities in Vancouver, WA. He has a BSEE from the University of Washington and has been with Clark since 2016. Joe’s role in Systems Engineering & Planning includes developing standards, resolving material issues, and system protection design. Last year he made Clark’s Construction Standards book digitally distributable.

Tyler Reinitz

Snohomish County PUD

Professional Engineer
Learn More

Tyler Reinitz is the Lead Standards Engineer at Snohomish County PUD. He has worked at SnoPUD for 9 years creating and maintaining Electric Distribution and Transmission Standards. When he’s not working he enjoys brewing beer and spending time outdoors with his wife and daughter.

Laura Vanderpool

Seattle City Light

Technical Writer
Learn More

Laura Vanderpool is a Technical Writer at Seattle City Light in the Standards Organization. She has been with City Light for six years and has the distinction of being the first technical writer ever hired by the City. We are excited to hear her perspective on bringing standards into the digital age. Her background also includes a decade in public relations, representing technology, architecture, and engineering firms. In her spare time, she plays guitar in a rock band and loves to hike and travel all over the world.

Sarah Breedlove

Puget Sound Energy

Senior Technical Communicator, Standards
Learn More

Sarah Breedlove is a Senior Technical Communicator in the Standards Department at Puget Sound Energy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and a Certificate in Editing from the University of Washington. Before coming to PSE, she was a Technical Editor at a mechanical engineering firm and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Booga Gilbertson

Puget Sound Energy

Senior Vice President, Operations
Learn More

As the senior vice president of Operations for Puget Sound Energy, Booga Gilbertson is responsible for electric and gas operations, including emergency response, maintenance and construction, electric and gas system operations and dispatch, system planning, and engineering. She also leads project management and engineering across operations.

Since joining PSE in 1985, Gilbertson has held a broad range of engineering, operations and management positions in planning, asset management, gas and electric design engineering, performance measurement, budgeting, project management, construction and maintenance, 24-hour control center operations, labor relations, technology and emergency response management. She has been vice president of Operations since 2011.

In addition to her responsibilities at PSE, Gilbertson serves as chair-elect of the board of directors of the Western Energy Institute and chair of the EEI National Response Executive Committee. She also serves on the University of Washington Electrical Engineering Advisory Board as well as the Washington State University Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Executive Council.

Gilbertson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and a Master of Business Administration degree from City University.

She enjoys skiing, hiking, running, kayaking and gardening.

Karen Perzanowski

Clark Public Utilities

Senior Standards Engineer

Fred Dennert

BC Hydro

Division Manager, Distribution Standards
Learn More

Fred Dennert, P.Eng., is the Division Manager of the Distribution Standards department at BC Hydro. This department is responsible for the design and construction standards for the BC Hydro distribution system, and for approval of equipment used on the distribution system.

He received his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1978 and a Masters in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University in 1993. He is a registered Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geophysicists of British Columbia.

Fred rejoined BC Hydro in 2003 as the Division Manager of the Distribution Engineering department. He managed a team of professional, technical, drafting, and administrative staff providing planning, system engineering, protection engineering, design, project management, equipment engineering, and drafting and data management services. He was responsible for the delivery of the capital plan related to system improvement, IPP interconnection, maintenance, and automation projects, including 2010 Winter Olympics venue feeder connections.

In 2000 Fred joined NxtPhase Corporation as the Director of Sales and Marketing. He was involved with new technology development and commercialization and won first orders for new products utilizing optical current and voltage measurement technology for utility automation. He has also held Product Management postions with Xantrex Corporation and Dynapro and was responsible for develepment of strategic and tactical marketing plans, and new product commercialization.

From 1987 to 1997 Fred was in sales, marketing, and product development with Raychem’s Electrical Products Divison. His earlier career was spent at BC Hydro, primarly in Distribution Standards, specializing in cables, cable accessories and tracking performance of polymeric insulations.

Quan Wang

Seattle City Light

Electrical Engineering Specialist
Learn More

Quan Wang is a Standards Engineer at Seattle City Light. He has worked in the utility industry for the past 10 years with a focus in material standards, inspections and quality assurance. We are excited to hear his perspective on how to test new equipment and designs. When not working, Quan enjoys playing volleyball, basketball and traveling.

Jeff Budke

Avista Corp.

Electric Distribution Standards Engineer

Marvin Moon

Pasadena Water & Power

Assistant General Manager - Power Delivery
Learn More

Marvin D. Moon is the Assistant General Manager of Power Delivery at the Pasadena Department of Water and Power (PWP). He is responsible for the management, design and operations of Engineering, Transmission, Distribution, Substation, and Load Dispatching functions at the utility. He is a PWP’s Electric Vehicle Program’s supporting management sponsor. Mr. Moon recently joined PWP after a 35-year career at the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power in various engineering and management roles. He has been the recipient of several City of Los Angeles Productivity Awards. In addition, he has twice received the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Innovation Award and has been recognized as an innovator by the Electric Power Research Institute.

Charles Worthington

Hubbell Power Systems

Business Unit Manager - Distribution - Switching & Fusing
Learn More

Charles Worthington is the Business Unit Manager for Distribution Switchgear at Hubbell. He has been in engineering for switchgear for 8 years. Charles lives in Birmingham, AL and is an avid whitewater kayaker, rock climber, mountaineer and cyclist.

Connie Taylor

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Supervisor, Electric Distribution Standards
Learn More

Connie Taylor is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, with a degree in Electrical Engineering. She has worked for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for 20 years and has spent the last 7 years as a Supervising Engineer for the Electric Distribution Standards group. In her spare time, Connie enjoys digital photography and watching her kids play volleyball and soccer.

Kevin Gould

Hawk Aerial