Sep

13-14

Utility Pole + Overhead Systems (Sep 13-14)

This biennial program pairs informative educational sessions presented by industry experts with a trade show. More than 14 sessions are offered over two days to highlight new technologies, best practices and address challenges found with utility pole structures and related overhead systems. Engineers, operations and purchasing personnel from utilities and service companies from throughout Western North America have the opportunity to network at the interactive trade show open throughout the conference. The trade show features more than 40 vendors offering hands-on demonstrations of the latest pole products and innovations in the industry. Vendors encouraged to display.

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General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Joseph Clifton - PacifiCorp

    • Program Location
    • Embassy Suites Hotel Portland-Airport
    • 7900 Northeast 82nd Avenue
      Portland, OR 97220
    • Who Should Attend
      • Engineering professionals
      • Operations managers
      • Purchasing professionals
      • Materials managers
      • Environmental professionals
      • Utility pole program and project managers
      • Service companies providing pole and overhead structure materials, treatments, or related products
  • Registration Options
  • Member (WEI or NWPPA): $449 USD
    Regular: $899 USD

    Registration prices increase $100 after August 12, 2017. Registration includes meeting materials, breakfasts, lunches, and networking reception. If you are a current member of NWPPA but do not see the Member rate, please call 503.231.1994 and we can process your registration over the phone.

    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.

Agenda

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration and Breakfast

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Welcome and Conference Overview
Speaker(s): Dave Asgharian, Principal Engineer, PacifiCorp

8:15 AM - 9:00 AM

Keynote
Facilitator(s): Dave Asgharian, Principal Engineer, PacifiCorp
Speaker(s): Bill Nicholson, Sr. VP Customer Services, Transmission & Distribution, Portland General Electric

The utility industry is in a unique period of growth as the grid is reimagined in light of developing technologies. How might this affect the operation of an aging infrastructure over the next few years?

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Poles Structures Session Part I - Wood, Steel, Fiberglass
Facilitator(s): Jeff Morrell, Professor, Oregon State University
Speaker(s): Butch Bernhardt, Program Manager, Western Wood Preservers Institute, Jesse Saunders, Director of Operations, FRP Transmission Innovations, Dan Lonergan, Product Manager, Valmont-Newmark

Utility pole specialists will explain the advantages of each pole material as we explore the differences between the materials and discuss when to use each to its best advantage.

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Break with Vendor Displays

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

Poles Structures Session Part II - Ductile Steel, Concrete, Q&A
Facilitator(s): Jeff Morrell, Professor, Oregon State University
Speaker(s): Warren Stewart, National Sales Manager, McWane Poles, Ronald Barnett PE, Director of Concrete, Valmont-Newmark

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Telecommunications Pole Asset Management
Facilitator(s): Robert Ochs, General Engineer (Wood Transmission Lines), Bonneville Power Administration
Speaker(s): Tom Mc Gowan, Joint Use Regional Manager, CenturyLink, Andrew Strong, Senior Manager, Joint Use/Streetlights, Asset Management & Standards, Seattle City Light

How do we develop and implement a process to better coordinate differing inspection and maintenance programs between utilities and telecommunications companies? One telecommunications company is working with a utility to pilot a joint inspection and pole replacement plan in the hopes of creating inspection criteria to address Bad Order pole remediation that both company’s Risk Management, Asset Management, and Legal departments can endorse and support.

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch with Vendor Displays

Sponsored by:
McWane Poles

1:30 pm - 2:15 pm

The Multi-State Plan: Inspection Data Management at PacifiCorp
Facilitator(s): Dave Asgharian, Principal Engineer, PacifiCorp
Speaker(s): Joe Clifton, Asset Strategy Manager, PacifiCorp

How one utility manages pole inspection program, pole condition, safety inspections, and data processing across states, jurisdictions, and multiple systems.

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm

Wildlife and Power Lines: Methods to Prevent Animal-Caused Outages
Facilitator(s): Butch Bernhardt, Program Manager, Western Wood Preservers Institute
Speaker(s): Rick Harness, Certified Wildlife Biologist, EDM International

Nationwide, animals cause approximately eight percent of known utility outages, as related to frequency. Problems are diverse, from snakes in substations, squirrels on overhead transformers, and eagles going phase to phase on distribution circuits. Fortunately most issues can be addressed by using insulation and/or isolation methods. This presentation will cover typical issues encountered by electric utilities, common solutions, and missteps sometimes made during mitigation. The presentation will also cover legal aspects and new permitting regulations.

2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Break with Vendor Displays

3:15 PM - 4:00 PM

Fire!
Facilitator(s): Jesse Saunders, Director of Operations, FRP Transmission Innovations
Speaker(s): Gurb Hari, Manager, Distribution Engineering, ATCO Electric

In May 2016, wildfires ravaged the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and surrounding area during what would become the costliest natural disaster in Canada’s history. As one of the organizations on the ground from beginning to end, ATCO experienced firsthand the challenges of operating in extreme conditions during a crisis. Learn from ATCO about how they managed the safe replacement of nearly 700 damaged distribution & transmission poles including understanding the impacts to wooden poles and how different types of poles performed in the fire. Learn how the company assessed different types of coatings and wraps in order to change how it procured future poles as a result of the incident.

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM

BC Hydro Alternate Structure Materials Strategy - Composite Crossarms
Facilitator(s): Jesse Saunders, Director of Operations, FRP Transmission Innovations
Speaker(s): Adelana Gilpin-Jackson, Specialist Engineer, BC Hydro

BC Hydro primarily uses traditional materials like steel and wood for structure crossarms. When material availability, design requirements, structure reliability and constructability are considered, it becomes clear that electric utilities should research and consider alternate materials for structure upgrades, replacements and new construction. This presentation reviews BC Hydro’s experience with testing, design, construction and maintenance of composite crossarms.

4:45 PM - 6:45 PM

Reception with Vendor Displays

Thursday, September 14, 2017

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Breakfast

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Managing Deterioration - Wood and Corrosion
Facilitator(s): Dave Asgharian, Principal Engineer, PacifiCorp
Speaker(s): Jeff Morrell, Professor, Oregon State University, Kevin Niles, Product Manager, Corrosion Engineer, Osmose Utilities Services, Inc.

The session will discuss detecting decay in wood and remedial treatment methods for arresting this damage. The second talk will address detection of corrosion of steel and methods to remediate this damage. 

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Wood Pole Structure Design Done Properly!
Facilitator(s): Jeff Morrell, Professor, Dept of Wood Science & Engineering, Oregon State University
Speaker(s): Otto Lynch, Vice President, Power Line Systems, Inc.

This presentation will review the upcoming American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Structure Engineering Institute (SEI) Design and Use of Wood Pole Structures for Electrical Transmission Lines Manual of Practice (MOP).  This document represents the work of experts from all facets of the wood pole and overhead line design industry.  Learn about the contents of this important document to the industry and how it can help you to design properly engineered and more resilient overhead lines.

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Break with Vendor Displays + Hotel Checkout

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

Asset Inspection Data and Predictive Maintenance
Facilitator(s): Dave Asgharian, Principal Engineer, PacifiCorp
Speaker(s): Ben Butera, Vice President, Product & Information Management, Osmose Utilities Services, Inc.

This presentation will show one method of Predictive Maintenance modeling. It will describe an analytics-driven asset management strategy for wood and steel poles, and include statistics on wood pole service life.

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

The Future of Wood Pole Disposal for U.S. Utilities
Facilitator(s): Butch Bernhardt, Program Manager, Western Wood Preservers Institute
Speaker(s): Barry Breede, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer, Cox Industries, Inc.

Developing a thoughtful approach to the proper disposal of wood utility poles requires an understanding of pole manufacturing processes, regulatory compliance requirements, available disposal options and their probable costs, and company sustainability goals. This presentation will discuss how utilities can integrate thinking on these topics to develop a long term strategic approach to pole disposal.

11:45 AM - 12:15 PM

Using Borates to Extend Wood Pole Service Life
Facilitator(s): Butch Bernhardt, Program Manager, Western Wood Preservers Institute
Speaker(s): Jeff Lloyd, Vice President, Research and Development, Nisus Corporation

The cost effective extension of wood pole service life by effectively applying borates as part of a dual treatment.

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch with Vendor Displays

Sponsored by:
Polesocks

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Structure Lighting and Marking
Facilitator(s): Robert Ochs, General Engineer (Wood Transmission Lines), Bonneville Power Administration
Speaker(s): Scott Nosal, Electrical Engineer, Bonneville Power Administration

This session covers FAA requirements for obstruction lighting and marking, and BPA’s experience in dealing with the FAA.

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Fall Protection
Facilitator(s): Robert Ochs, General Engineer (Wood Transmission Lines), Bonneville Power Administration
Speaker(s): David O'Claire, Supervisor, Structural Engineering, Bonneville Power Administration, Matt Weaver, Civil Engineer, Bonneville Power Administration

BPA Implementation of fall protection on lattice and steel pole transmission structures.

2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Break

2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Drone Stretch Goals - BVLOS operations and automated data processing
Facilitator(s): Dave Asgharian, Principal Engineer, PacifiCorp
Speaker(s): Chris McMurtry, Solutions Architect, Sharper Shape Inc.

Two primary hurdles remain before drones realize their full potential for utility aerial inspections: flying beyond visual line of sight, and automating the analysis of the mountains of data typically collected. This session explores where we currently stand in these areas, and how developments in both the regulatory environment and drone technology will impact utility operations in the next few years.

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Closing Comments
Speaker(s): Dave Asgharian, Principal Engineer, PacifiCorp

3:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Conference Adjourns

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Conference Wrap Up

Those wishing to serve on the 2019 planning committee are welcome to attend.

Hotel + Travel

  • Embassy Suites Hotel Portland-Airport
  • 7900 Northeast 82nd Avenue
  • Portland, Oregon 97220
  • Phone: 503-460-3000
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (800) 821-5879 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $179/night. This rate is guaranteed until August 12, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.


  • Click here to make your reservation now.

Vendor Displays

Registration Options
Member (WEI or NWPPA) Attendee + Vendor Display Table: $649 USD
Regular Attendee + Vendor Display Table: $1,599 USD

Registration prices increase $100 after August 12, 2017. Registration includes meeting materials, breakfasts, lunches, and networking reception, and a vendor booth in the exhibit hall. If you are a current member of NWPPA but do not see the Member rate, please call 503.231.1994 and we can process your registration over the phone.

Vendor Display Assistant tickets are available for $299 and include exhibit hall, lunches, and networking reception. This ticket does not include meeting materials or session attendance.

Shipping information:
To send booth materials to the hotel, please mail your packages to:
Embassy Suites Portland Airport
Attn: Receiving
7900 Northeast 82nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97220

Packages should arrive no earlier than three days prior to the conference start date. All packages should include: WEI Utility Pole + Overhead Systems Conference, September 13-14, 2017, Number of Boxes

Vendor Display Schedule

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Set Up: 7:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Display Times: 9:45 AM – 6:45 PM
Break with Vendors: 9:45 AM – 10:15 AM
Lunch with Vendors: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Break With Vendors: 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Reception with Vendors: 4:45 PM – 6:45 PM

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Display Times: 9:45 AM – 1:30 PM
Tear Down: 1:30 PM
Break with Vendors: 9:45 AM – 10:15 AM
Lunch with Vendors: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Sponsors

Thank you to our session sponsors!

  

Meet The Speakers

Rick Harness

EDM International

Certified Wildlife Biologist

Tom McGowan

CenturyLink

Joint Use Regional Manager
Learn More

Tom McGowan has over 35 years Telecommunications experience, 32 with CenturyLink and it’s predecessor companies. He is currently the National Network Joint Use Manager with responsibilities overseeing Joint Use Operations for CenturyLink’s US based Operations

Tom has been an Oregon Joint Use Association (OJUA) Board Member since June 2011 and has served the OJUA as President; Vice President; and now Treasurer.

He has a degree in Business Administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a Masters in Business Administration degree from Portland State University.

He enjoys commercially growing wine grapes as well as landscape/hardscape projects.

Dave Asgharian

PacifiCorp

Principal Engineer

Jeff Morrell

Oregon State University

Professor, Dept of Wood Science & Engineering

Jesse Saunders

FRP Transmission Innovations

Director of Operations
Learn More

Jesse Saunders has been the Director of Operations for FRP Transmission Innovations for the past two years. He has worked within the T&D industry for 18 years both within the Supply Chain and Finance sides of the business mainly for transmission and distribution hardware distributors.

Otto Lynch

Power Line Systems, Inc.

Vice President

Rick Harness

EDM International

Certified Wildlife Biologist

Gurb Hari

ATCO Electric

Manager, Distribution Engineering
Learn More

Gurb works in ATCO’s Electricity Business to deliver operational excellence & innovative solutions for it’s customers. After spending 12 years working in various groups in Transmission & Distribution, Gurb has experience working in both the Planning and Design of electrical infrastructure. During the Fort McMurray fire in May 2016 Gurb represented ATCO in the Regional Emergency Operations Centre where he provided support for the response and recovery of the electrical system. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta and is a Project Management Professional.

Adelana Gilpin-Jackson

BC Hydro

Specialist Engineer

Kevin Niles

Osmose Utilities Services, Inc.

Product Manager, Corrosion Engineer
Learn More

Kevin Niles is a Corrosion Engineer, NACE Senior Corrosion Technologist and Product Manager with over twenty-five years of electric utility experience with Osmose Utilities Services, Inc.

He is a member of NACE, IEEE and ASTM and currently serves as vice-chair of a NACE group dedicated to developing standards specific to self-weathering (corten) steel.

Benjamin Butera

Osmose Utilities Services, Inc.

Vice President, Product & Information Management

Barry Breede

Sustainable Management Systems

Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer

Scott Nosal

Bonneville Power Administration

Electrical Engineer
Learn More

Scott Nosal is an Electrical Engineer with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). He has worked at BPA for the last 15 years, 10 of which were in the capacity of obstruction lighting and marking. He likes to spend his time with his kids and two dogs enjoying the great outdoors.

Barry Breede

Cox Industries, Inc.

Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer
Learn More

Barry Breede is Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer at Cox Industries, a national leader in the manufacturing and distribution of treated utility poles and lumber. In his role Barry is responsible for helping identify and lead the company’s efforts at commercializing new business ventures, products and services in support of Cox’s overall business strategy.

Barry currently assists in the operation of Cox Recovery, a business subsidiary focused on providing environmentally-friendly methods of disposing of wood waste that is also an outgrowth of Cox’s corporate innovation program.

Prior to assuming his role at Cox, Barry spent several years overseeing the innovation and marketing efforts for multiple consumer product companies including Electrolux AB, Umbro International and Specialized Bicycles. Barry is a graduate of the University of Oregon and resides in Greenville, SC where he enjoys participating in a variety of outdoor sports.

Bill Nicholson

Portland General Electric

Sr. VP Customer Services, Transmission & Distribution
Learn More

As senior vice president, Bill Nicholson currently oversees Customer Service Operations, Customer Strategy and Business Development, and Transmission & Distribution Operations & Services. Nicholson joined PGE in 1980 as an engineer at the Trojan Plant and has served in a variety of capacities in Distribution Operations and Generation Engineering. He earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from Oregon State University in 1980.

Warren Stewart

McWane Poles

National Sales Manager

Chris Evans

Valmont-Newmark

Marketing Services

David O’Claire

Bonneville Power Administration

Supervisor, Structural Engineering
Learn More

Dave O’Claire has been in the energy and telecom structures industry his entire 21 year career, the last 16 at BPA. For the last eight years he has managed BPA’s Structural Design group. In his free time, Dave loves spending quality outdoor time with his wife and three kids, working on his two project cars, and coaching swimming.

Jeff Lloyd

Nisus Corporation

Vice President, Research and Development

Matt Weaver

Bonneville Power Administration

Civil Engineer
Learn More

Matt Weaver started working for BPA in 2013 under a student internship program while in school earning his BS in Civil Engineering. After graduation he started working in the Structural Design Group and now has been part of that group for the past two years. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, working on an assortment of projects in the garage, and enjoying the outdoors.

Robert Ochs

Bonneville Power Administration

General Engineer (Wood Transmission Lines)

Chris McMurtry

Sharper Shape Inc.

Solutions Architect
Learn More

In his role as the Solutions Architect for Sharper Shape, Inc., Chris McMurtry is focused on designing unmanned aerial solutions based around the company’s class leading “full-stack” hardware and software tools. Chris first became involved with drone technology for film and television production work, but he soon became convinced that unmanned aerial technology could do far more than just produce compelling entertainment content. This led to the creation of one of the first UAS services companies that specialized in using drone technology for utility inspections. Since 2013 Chris has been focused on finding the fit for UAS applications in the energy sector, with the goal of helping utilities transform their inspection and maintenance programs.

Dan Lonergan

Valmont-Newmark

Product Manager

Ronald Barnett

Valmont-Newmark

Director of Concrete
Learn More

Mr. Barnett has been practicing as a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Florida for 31 years. He has over 36 years of design experience in a variety of industries using reinforced and prestressed concrete, structural steel, reinforced concrete masonry, autoclaved aerated concrete,
heavy timber, aluminum, cold-formed steel, and fiberglass reinforced plastic. Mr. Barnett joined Valmont Newmark in 2006 and is currently serving as the Director of Concrete for
the Utility Division of Valmont.

Stephen Crume

Seattle City Light

Joint Use & Street Light Manager

Andrew Strong

Seattle City Light

Senior Manager, Joint Use/Streetlights, Asset Management & Standards
Learn More

Andy is a Mechanical Engineer and Senior Manager with Seattle City Light currently leading the Joint Use, Streetlight, Asset Management and Standards teams. Prior to this position, he spent many years as a manager within the Generation and Engineering division of Seattle City Light. Before working with Seattle City Light, Andy was an integral part of many talented teams building large infrastructure within the city of Seattle.

Joe Clifton

PacifiCorp

Asset Strategy Manager
Learn More

Joe Clifton has been in the utility business for nearly 30 years with the last 15 years at PacifiCorp in various positions including: T and D Infrastructure Supervisor, project manager in Business Improvement, Manager of Data Management and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) departments, and Asset Strategy Manager. Prior to PacifiCorp, he worked in the telecom industry as an installer, journeyman communication technician, construction manager, and director of engineering services. He spends his off time with his lovely wife Mackie, that’s her real name, riding bicycles around the northwest and creating awesome art.