Mar

06-07

Wildfire Planning + Mitigation (Mar 06-07)

This program will bring together senior leaders responsible for wildfire planning and mitigation strategies at WEI member companies for an interactive peer to peer session. We will focus on sharing and discussing best practices around strategies for planning, operations, technology and various other tactics to mitigate and plan for wildfires.

Register Now

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • James Tuccillo, Manager, Distribution Engineering, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

    • Program Location
    • San Ramon Valley Conference Center
    • 3301 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon, California 94583
    • Who Should Attend
    • Directors and senior leaders responsible for their energy company's wildfire planning and mitigation strategies.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $599 USD

    Registration price increases $100 after February 9, 2024. Registration includes digital materials and access to all event sessions and meals listed on the agenda.

  • 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. Recording is not permitted for any portion of the event.
  • For more information contact Amy Carlow, Program Manager at (971) 303-1716.

Agenda

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Registration + Networking

Arrive early to register and network with peers. Please note, lunch is on your own.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Welcome + Introductions

The Program Chair will welcome the group and kickoff roundtable introductions. Come prepared to share a recent success story and the biggest challenges you and your team are facing right now.

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Ignitions Analysis and Metrics – PG&E’s Journey
Speaker(s): Nicholas Babb, Sr. Manager, Electric Incident Investigations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

A look at the history of PG&E’s Ignitions Analysis Program and how it is integral to achieving our stance of eliminating catastrophic wildfires through better understanding of utility ignition events and driving the broader organization via our wildfire metrics.

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Networking Break

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Land Management + Effective Community Partnerships
Speaker(s): Ann Walker, Owner, Ann Walker Consulting

Ann will share utility-specific recommendations in the 2023 report to Congress – “ON FIRE: Wildfire Mitigation and Management Commission Report” and lead a group discussion to identify current efforts and pain points to respond to these recommendations. Where does the voice of utility executives fit into communications with community fire planning groups, members of the Wildland Fire Leadership Council, and Congress?  

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Hosted Networking Dinner

For attendees of the forum, dinner will be provided by WEI.
Primavera Ristorante
3124 Crow Canyon Pl
San Ramon, CA 94583

Thursday, March 7, 2024

8:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Industry Tour: Innovation at the ATS San Ramon Technology Center
Speaker(s): Tony Martus, PE, Supervisor – Materials, Corrosion, & Failure Analysis, Applied Technology Services, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Daniel Rakin, EIT, Supervisor, Non-Destructive Testing Team, Applied Technology Services, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Alexander Gutierrez, Supervisor, Applied Technology Services, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Francis Ku, Principal Mechanical Engineer, Applied Technology Services, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Albert Beliso, Senior Technologist, Applied Technology Services, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Donald del Rosario, P.E., MBA, IAM, Senior Advising Electrical Engineer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Gene Hanes, PE, Principal Electrical Engineer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Wilson Wong, PE, Senior Materials Testing Engineer, Applied Technology Services, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Dan Tilly, Ph.D., Principal Failure Analysis Engineer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Tour of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) high-current testing facility and research center. PG&E’s Applied Technology Services (ATS) is comprised of 129 engineers, specialists, and technicians working in a 15-acre facility dedicated to innovation through operational technology advancement and technical problem solving. During the ATS tour, you will see labs and work examples related to wildfire mitigation technology, asset condition assessments, new inspection tools, electrification & V2X, mechanical, materials, and electrical engineering causal evaluation, and 3D technologies. 

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Networking Break

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Rightsizing Resources + Utilizing External Resources
Panelist(s): Paul Hauser, General Manager, Trinity Public Utilities District, Kellie Cloud, Senior Director, Wildfire & Operational Compliance, Portland General Electric

Hear from various size utilities about how they organize and manage their wildfire mitigation teams and emergency planning teams. What factors should be considered when making resource decisions and how is wildfire risk incorporated into the budget and staffing priorities at your organization?

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Networking Lunch

Enjoy a networking lunch hosted by Pacific Gas & Electric.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Utilizing Technology to Assist Wildfire Mitigation Efforts
Speaker(s): Angelo Campus, Co Founder/CEO, BoxPower, Scott Conway, Chief Resilience Officer and Co-Founder, Vibrant Planet, Brittany Wray, Head of Business Development, Vibrant Planet, Shawn Burns, Head of Revenue, BoxPower

Over 60% of U.S. distribution lines are past their 50-year life expectancy, posing safety risks in rural areas prone to wildfires and severe weather. The cost of updating this aging infrastructure has significantly increased, with undergrounding lines costing up to $5M per mile. In this session, Angelo Campus, CEO of BoxPower, will discuss how Remote Grid Standalone Power Systems offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional upgrades. These off-grid solutions, featuring solar, battery storage, and backup generators, have proven to reduce upgrade costs and disaster risks. Angelo will highlight how Remote Grids improve energy reliability, aid decarbonization, and present a forward-thinking approach to overcoming grid aging challenges, showcasing their efficacy through a case study with partnerships including PG&E, SCE, and Liberty Utilities. This method marks a significant advancement in creating a resilient and sustainable energy infrastructure.

Vibrant Planet's new Land Tender technology is currently being deployed in the western US, with high potential to extent to other high risk landscapes. The technology incorporates high resolution date, disturbance simulations, and optimization routines to develop a comprehensive atlas of management scenarios. It is currently utilized within Pacific Gas & Electric and has applicability to a wide variety of utilities and wildfire mitigation programs.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Open Roundtable Discussion + Future Planning
Facilitator(s): James Tuccillo, Manager, Distribution Engineering, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

This time will be left open to discuss topics of importance to attendees that were not otherwise covered in the agenda. Topic suggestions include: lessons learned from the 2023 wildfire season, regulatory challenges, and news or updates at your utility.

There will also be an opportunity to share topics of interest for future forums and an invitation to assist in planning efforts for 2025.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Optional Tour of the Hazard Awareness Warning Center (HAWC)
Speaker(s): Jim Ridgway III, Senior Manager, Hazard Awareness and Warning Center, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

The Hazard Awareness & Warning Center (HAWC) began life in 2018 as the Wildfire Safety Operations Center (WSOC). In 2021, the center began the shift in focus to become an all-hazards center by partnering with the PG&E Geosciences team to include land movement events to the list of monitored hazards. The current list of monitored hazards includes wildfire, land movement, tsunami, earthquakes, flooding, avalanche, and geomagnetic storms.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (925) 867-9200 to reserve your room, or complete your reservation online here:https://www.marriott.com/events/start.mi?id=1692215341438&key=GRP. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) to receive a special rate of $199 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until February 9, 2024 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

James Tuccillo

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Manager, Distribution Engineering

Nicholas Babb

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Sr. Manager, Electric Incident Investigations

Ann Walker

Ann Walker Consulting

Owner
Learn More

Ann established her consulting firm after a long career with the Oregon Dept of Forestry and lead forestry and fire policy director role with the Western Governors’ Assn. She specializes in wildfire and forestry policy, new technologies in community preparedness/mitigation, wildfire detection and prevention, mobilization of suppression resources, and post-fire recovery planning for communities. Ann brings an extensive network of wildfire, forestry, and political professionals to any project, her career has been focused on safety of first responders and the public, common sense, bipartisan wildfire/forest policy, and implementation of collaboratively developed solutions. Former WEI keynote speaker, consulting services include community fire planning and assessments using near real-time data, natural resource policy development and implementation, public education, organizational and legislative analysis, conflict resolution, and project management,

Jim Ridgway III

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Senior Manager, Hazard Awareness and Warning Center

Tony Martus

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Supervisor – Materials, Corrosion, & Failure Analysis, Applied Technology Services
Learn More

Tony Martus is a Applied Technology Services Supervisor at PG&E with 4 years of service and professionally licensed engineer. Tony has a Master’s in business administration from the University of Utah and Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. In his current role, he provides Providing leadership, mentoring, and removing barriers for a team that provides engineering services and expertise in materials, corrosion, and failure analysis to gas, electric, and power generation organizations. Prior to this role at PG&E, He was lead engineer of cathodic protection (CP), AC corrosion management, internal corrosion management, and TIMP risk assessment for Dominion Energy Utah. In his spare time, Tony will be found in the Sierras snowboarding and climbing mountains.

Dan Tilly, Ph.D.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Principal Failure Analysis Engineer
Learn More

Dan Tilly is a Principal Failure Analysis Engineer at PG&E with 20 years of service. He currently supports a variety Electric Operations Asset Strategy Projects as a technical consultant including helping build industry leading transmission and distribution conductor condition assessments programs. Prior to this role at PG&E, He was the supervisor of various technical disciplines at ATS including metallurgy, failure analysis, corrosion, coatings, bathymetry, welding and chemistry. Dan has a Doctorate and Master’s Degree in Materials Engineering, along with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of California Santa Barbara. In his free time Dan Enjoys feeding his flock of chickens.

Wilson Wong, PE

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Senior Materials Testing Engineer, Applied Technology Services
Learn More

Wilson Wong is a Senior Materials Testing Engineer at PG&E with 5 years of service and a professionally licensed engineer. He currently manages the mechanical testing lab at Applied Technology Services in San Ramon. This role includes providing technical oversight of technology validation, asset condition assessment, and miscellaneous test requests. Wilson has a master’s in mechanical engineering from University of California, Davis and a Bachelors in Applied Physics from University of California, Santa Cruz. While in school he studied the correlation between finite element computational analyses and physical destructive testing measurements for residual stress driven stress corrosion cracking. Prior to joining PG&E he worked at Structural Integrity Associates where he lead a small engineering team that that conducted computational finite element analyses for complex structural/thermal analysis of nuclear power plant components. While not in the lab, Wilson enjoys traveling the world, mountain biking in the forest, and practicing various target sports.

Gene Hanes, PE

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Principal Electrical Engineer
Learn More

Gene Hanes is a Principal Electrical Engineer at PG&E with 23 years of service. He currently supports a variety Electric Operations, Asset Strategy and Wildfire Risk Reduction Programs as a technical consultant. This work entails helping PG&E identify, evaluate and test new methods and technologies for improving safety, increasing reliability, reducing costs and eliminating wildfire risk. Prior to his current role at PG&E, Gene was employed in various Electrical Engineering roles at PG&E including Distribution Planning, Transmission Planning, Electrical Testing, Equipment Failure Analysis, and Investigations. Gene has a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from University of California Davis. In his free time Gene enjoys spending time with his family, exploring the outdoors, going to the gym and reading about history.

Donald del Rosario, P.E., MBA, IAM

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Senior Advising Electrical Engineer
Learn More

Donald del Rosario is a Senior Advising Electrical Engineer at PG&E, specializing in complex and unique engineering analyses (ground grid studies, arc flash hazard evaluations and equipment failures), substation equipment electrical testing, and new technology and product evaluation. With 20 years of experience in electrical engineering, project management and leadership, Donald has a strong working background on electric distribution, substation design, SmartMeter product and operations engineering, and hydro power generation asset management. Donald holds an MBA (Major in Finance, with Honors) from the St. Mary’s College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Santo Tomas, and IAM Certificate from the Institute of Asset Management. Outside of work, Donald enjoys bowling, table tennis, and billiards.

Albert Beliso

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Senior Technologist, Applied Technology Services
Learn More

Al Beliso is the senior Technologist for Applied Technology Services (ATS). He has been an employee of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for 37 years. 35 of those years have been with ATS. Al has an associate in science degree for Electronics. Al is recognized as a Utility Qualified Electric Worker (QEW). His PG&E background includes Fossil Fuel and Nuclear Power Plant Performance and Analysis, Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell tests and development, Flywheel to distribution integration, Cryogenic Inverters, Distributed Utility Integration, Commercial HVAC and RTU testing, Battery Storage technologies, Natural Gas Vehicle design and implementation, Electric Vehicles development and charging infrastructure design, Laboratory design and construction. In his spare time, Al enjoys traveling with his wife, Nancy. They’ve completed visiting all 50 states, several countries in Europe and are now planning to visit Japan. Al and Nancy have 3 girls, 4 boys and 7 grandchildren.

Francis Ku

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Principal Mechanical Engineer, Applied Technology Services
Learn More

Francis Ku is a Principal Mechanical Engineer with 5 years of service at PG&E Applied Technology Services department. He has 23 years of industry experience with expertise in numerical analysis. Francis is focusing on complex and dynamic engineering simulations for PG&E’s asset risk and condition assessment and failure root cause evaluations. Prior to joining PG&E, he had diverse experience in technical, managerial, and business development roles at engineering consulting company Structural Integrity Associates. He was a core participant in developing finite element analysis guidelines for weld residual stress simulations for the civilian nuclear power industry. Francis has a Master’s degree from San Jose State University and a Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, both in Mechanical Engineering. In his spare time Francis enjoys metal work as a hobby machinist and traveling with family.

Alexander Gutierrez

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Supervisor, Applied Technology Services
Learn More

Alexander Gutierrez is an Applied Technology Services Supervisor at PG&E with 17 years of service and a Welding Engineer with over 30 years of industry experience. Alexander has a Master’s in Welding Engineering from The Ohio State University and Bachelors in Welding Technology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In his current role, he provides leadership and technical guidance for a team that provides engineering and technical services in welding and materials, 3D technology, bathymetry, nondestructive testing, and asset condition assessment for PG&E structures, systems, and components throughout the different PG&E organizations. He has worked as a senior Welding Engineer for PG&E, GE Nuclear, United Airlines and Lockheed Martin. In his spare time Alexander enjoys walking, hiking and golf in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s also from Costa Rica and enjoys going back every few years.

Daniel Rakin, EIT

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Supervisor, Non-Destructive Testing Team, Applied Technology Services
Learn More

Daniel Rakin has been part of PG&E since 2013 when he joined the organization as an Associate Gas Engineer. Since then he has built upon is technical expertise in the utility by taking on wide ranging roles including supporting operations as a field engineer and taking on a leadership role as the Gas Transmission and Distribution Corrosion Control Supervisor. He has brought this varying expertise to Applied Technology Services were he currently is the Supervisor of the Non-Destructive Testing Team helping build programs to apply high-end NDT techniques to better understand the condition of gas, electric and power generation assets (e.g. applying Ultrasonic Contact Impedance (UCI) testing to achieve material property requirements of Part 192.607 for gas pipelines). Daniel has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. In his free time, Daniel enjoys spending time with his new born and hustling people at 8-ball pool.

Paul Hauser

Trinity Public Utilities District

General Manager

Kellie Cloud

Portland General Electric

Senior Director, Wildfire & Operational Compliance

Angelo Campus

BoxPower

Co Founder/CEO
Learn More

Angelo Campus has spent 10 years working on BoxPower Inc. and its precursor research projects. Originally the lead designer, Angelo has held almost every role at BoxPower and now leads sales and forward-looking technology. Angelo is a 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 listmaker, 2019 Halcyon Fellow, 2019 GSBI Fellow, DRK Entrepreneur, 2017 Echoing Green Climate Fellow and 2017 Princeton Tiger Entrepreneur Award winner.

Angelo graduated magna cum laude from Princeton in 2016, where he designed an independent major combining civil engineering and anthropology, where he focused on renewable energy technologies and business models for rural electrification. Outside of work you can find him climbing rocks, repairing his VW van, or tending to his new chickens.

Scott Conway

Vibrant Planet

Chief Resilience Officer and Co-Founder
Learn More

Scott brings proven natural resource leadership and management experience to multi-jurisdictional wild and working land management challenges. Scott is a 20-year US Forest Service veteran in land management with a diverse set of roles including District Ranger, Spatial Ecologist, Fire Fighter and Forester. Scott is determined to help transition data to insight in an effort to streamline all aspects of the land management lifecycle with the ultimate goal of making our communities more defensible and our wild and working lands more resilient to climate exacerbated disturbance.

Brittany Wray

Vibrant Planet

Head of Business Development
Learn More

Brittany is an entrepreneurial business executive and brings to Vibrant Planet vast experience in go-to-market strategy, business development, and sales from some of the most innovative companies in the world. From large global organizations like Uber and AOL to small startups like Tapjoy, Momentous, and Dr. B she has led teams and products through every business stage from incubation to global launch. With curiosity, collaboration and customer obsession at her core, she has executed partnerships and deals with some of the most beloved brands and technologies. She cultivates team cultures where innovation, diversity and taking intelligent risks thrives. Brittany believes that businesses have the power to drive meaningful change and her approach is anchored in empowering organizations to create win-win solutions that benefit the well-being of communities and the planet. Through her work at Vibrant Planet she strives to inspire others to bring together the best technology, science, and human-powered grit to combat climate change.

Shawn Burns

BoxPower

Head of Revenue