Conference tracks

Wow. 15 hand-selected, timely and relevant conference tracks designed to keep your experience organized and productive. We understand you don't want to leave a single stone unturned. So, here is your first step in prioritizing your list.

Questions?

Debbi Wells
Conference manager
+1 918 832 9265
DWells@pennwell.com
LinkedIn: Connect with Debbi

Advanced metering track icon

Advanced metering track

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems are one the most significant investments that electric, gas and water utilities will make. These systems now go well beyond advanced metering to be a foundation for grid intelligence, customer enablement, energy conservation and distributed renewable energy resources. Their applications will impact almost all utility functions and business processes.

This track explores the planning, technologies, engineering, deployment, and operation and maintenance of these foundational systems through the presentations of practical use cases, benefits realization, experiences and lessons-learned from industry and utility experts.

Asset management track

Leading utilities are optimizing maintenance spend by reducing corrective and time/counter-based maintenance and increasing effectiveness of their capital investments through risk assessment, conditioned-based maintenance, and T&D asset analytics. Sessions in this track will help attendees develop an understanding of how utilities are shifting maintenance activities from reactive to proactive using condition monitoring and trend evaluation.

Attendees will learn how a new breed of asset manager is creating decision support methodologies that assist in repair, replacement and other maintenance decisions by obtaining additional insights into asset performance management, asset strategy and asset investment planning. They will learn how to identify critical assets, establish the likelihood of failure based on current conditions and estimate the impacts of potential failure.

Attendees can connect with the world’s leading utilities and see how they are minimizing corporate exposure from preventable failures, reducing maintenance costs, utilizing assets to maximize return while capturing and retaining asset fleet-related subject matter expertise.

Communication solutions track icon

Communication solutions track

In the smart grid age, effective communication solutions are critical to successful project deployments. Various communications applications have unique system needs, depending on whether they are for AMI, distribution automation or transmission data acquisition and control. Solutions can vary greatly depending on the size of the geographic area that needs to be supported with cost-effective solutions.

The need for more communications bandwidth and reliability is increasing as new applications are being deployed to support grid operations, automation and control. Bandwidth needs vary from sending a few alerts a day to streaming synchrophaser data. Smart grid communications solutions are adding new devices and applications that will provide higher wide-area situational awareness and enhanced security for the network.

This track addresses communication technologies in context with applications. Sessions address business aspects, IT integration, lessons learned, standards and trends.

Customer strategies & technologies track icon

Customer strategies & technologies track

Energy providers and electricity deliverers are developing technology roadmaps and leveraging smart grid investments to not only enable enhanced customer engagement, but to improve infrastructure efficiency and defer capital expenditures. Customers expect their utilities to provide them with much more than just electrons and a monthly bill. Some customers are even mitigating their reliance on their electricity provider by becoming self-generators.

Electricity providers must get to know their customers and develop services to improve the customer experience while at the same time influence customer behavior through demand response and efficiency programs that will defer and limit capital investment. In addition, they must become more than just electricity providers by creating partnerships with their customers, as well as third parties to create new revenue streams.

This track will provide an in-depth analysis of end-use customer smart grid technologies, services and solutions.

Data analytics track

Data analytics is key to enabling the grid to accommodate the technological, customer, regulatory and societal changes that are occurring.

This track includes utility best practices and new concepts that create value across a utility’s many lines of business. In addition, it covers how utilities are moving beyond single application “business silos” to support business intelligence on an enterprise-wide basis. These solutions are challenging as they must address data quality, consistency, and accessibility so that data is suitable for holistic decision-making.

Defending the grid track icon

Defending the grid track

Utilities, like every other sector of our society, are exposed to a litany of threats to both their physical and cyber assets, as well as their financial well-being. The nature of the electric utility business makes generating plants, powerlines, substations and customer connections vulnerable and easily accessible to both physical and cyberattacks.

Utilities’ operational and business systems have increased exposure to malfeasance by becoming more technology dependent and accessible in cyberspace. Exposure to cyberthreats could bring expansive public distress from potential attack-related outages or raids on sensitive customer and corporate data.

The ever-increasing regulatory requirements challenge utilities to meet their regulatory obligations. Security specialists and reliability focused utility technologists will find this track has information that is current and important to their cyber-related tasks.

DER management and control track

DER management and control track

The electric grid is becoming more complex and much of this complexity stems from the rapid rise of distributed energy resources (DERs). To maintain grid reliability and efficiency, grid operators must understand the operational concepts, capabilities and architectural principles related to managing and controlling DER.

The DER management system (DERMS) is emerging as one of the main the technological solution needed to manage the complex grid. In addition, some entities are using virtual power plant platforms to aggregate and control DER.

This track will focus on the latest trends and technologies related to DER management and control.

Digitized substation track

T&D substations are essential elements of power systems being the active nodes of electric networks. The need for safety, reliability and efficiency, along with technological trends like digitalization, are driving the industry toward digitized substations. This transition and its associated organizational, operational and technological challenges are the central theme of this track.

The track covers applications with intelligent electronic devices (IEDs), adoption of standards and broadband communications (WAN/LAN), achieving interoperability and implementing cybersecurity tactics. Discussions include innovations like process bus technologies and IoT/cloud technology-based analytics, all of which help substation owners and operators create the digitized substation. Migration strategies, lessons-learned and best practices from a user and utility prospective are the key takeaways of this track. 

Disruptive, emerging and innovative technologies track icon

Disruptive, emerging and innovative technologies track

Emerging and innovative technologies create new opportunities for utilities, electricity deliverers and energy providers. At the same time, these technologies can create major disruptions and challenges. Either way, these transformational technologies are a fact of life for most companies involved with electricity delivery. To succeed, companies must embrace rather than resist disruptors and turn them into opportunities.

The track will cover nontraditional and emerging trends, technologies and solutions that utilities implement to address evolving grid and customer needs, reduce their reliance on traditional transmission and distribution infrastructure technologies, and enable new services and business opportunities. In addition, it will comprise the business models, financing options and valuation of these trends and technologies.

This track will include applications and integration of distributed generation (DG), electrification of transportation (EoT), transactive energy (blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies), as well as emerging electric utility business models and concepts.

Distribution automation track icon

Distribution automation track

Successful feeder automation requires the integration of various technologies, including smart switching and protective devices, smart sensors, intelligent controls, telecommunication devices and infrastructure, along with analytical and simulation software, to facilitate real-time decisions and meet growing customer expectations. With smart distribution technology implementations, software tools are being developed to integrate information from dissimilar feeder devices and systems and summarize the information to facilitate and enhance decisions addressing reliability, conservation and power quality.

This track focuses on technologies, road maps and equipment used for distribution feeder automation development, including distribution automation, protection and control, fault location and service restoration; Volt/VAR optimization; smart sensors applied in DA or FLISR applications; and challenges and successes in implementing and integrating automation.

Energy storage track icon

Energy storage track

Utilities have always looked for ways to increase the reliability, flexibility, security and efficiency of power delivery systems. The introduction of alternative energy sources and active energy markets has led to an increased focus on energy storage to address both traditional and emerging power system needs, such as to maintain/improve reliability, defer capital investments, integrate DER, enable microgrid implementation, enhance system efficiency and performance, and enable new electricity market products and concepts. 

This track presents applications of centralized and distributed energy storage technologies to address existing and emerging power delivery issues, and enable grid modernization and the transition to the grid and utility of the future. It discusses technical, business and regulatory aspects of energy storage including applications, engineering design, operations, planning, benefit/costs analyses, implementation barriers and regulation/policy challenges. Presentations and discussions focus on real-life industry experiences and results from actual utility projects.

Enterprise grid management track icon

Enterprise grid management track

This track focuses on leveraging technology, best practice business processes and centralized decision making to improve and enable real time decision making in power system operations. It offers a venue for the world’s utilities to share their experiences and gain new perspectives on the evolving power systems.

Topics include outage and distribution management, storm response and damage assessment, centralized distribution and transmission operation and distributed energy impacts to grid management. The emphasis of the track centers on improving grid operations through automation, monitoring, control and optimization.

Geospatial applications and methodologies track icon

Geospatial applications and methodologies track

Modern geospatial systems have transformed from maps and associated descriptive records into powerful digital databases that now form a basis for design, construction and maintenance decision-making, spatial analysis, situational awareness and even augmented and virtual reality.

This track examines how geospatial technologies are changing utilities through better information visualization, cloud-based data storage, and improved interaction with customers, employees, contractors and regulators. It explores new patterns, practices and examples of how geospatial technology has moved from digital-map generation to infrastructure asset management, planning and design.

It also looks at how the latest GIS trends and technologies are being used to bridge the divide between office and field employees. It explores the use of new tools, such as mobile apps, drones, satellite imagery, LiDAR/point clouds, scanning, spatial intelligence and much more.  

Internet of things & smart cities track icon

Internet of things & smart cities track

The Internet of Things (IoT) and the Grid of Things (GoT) are rapidly evolving into smart cities. Electric utilities/electricity providers are at the heart of this effort, providing, in many cases, the electric, communications and device infrastructures that form the core ecosystem upon which connected and interoperable devices are built. The emergence of smart cities is happening all over the world.

Communities are delivering customer value by: improving, better managing and optimizing electricity and natural gas delivery; managing precious water resources; transforming transportation infrastructures; and, leveraging sensor data to improve building efficiency. In the process, utilities and their customers are becoming more sustainable, lowering their carbon footprints and exploring and finding areas where they can work together to conserve resources.

The sessions in this track will look at some of the technologies and trends that will allow utilities to live in the interconnected world of smart cities that is being created through IoT and GoT.

Reliability, resiliency and response track icon

Reliability, resiliency and response track

Grid reliability and resiliency are not the same, but are strongly interlinked. Cyberattacks and hacks, aging infrastructure and disastrous weather events make it harder than ever for energy transmission and distribution (T&D) companies to keep power flowing and to restore power when outages do occur. Customers’, regulators’ and politicians’ scrutiny of grid performance and power restoration, especially during catastrophic events, also continues to increase.

This track focuses on solutions and lessons learned regarding identifying areas of highest reliability risk to the T&D network from vegetation, aging assets or terrorism in an effort to reduce the number, duration and impact of power outages. These solutions often include strategies focused on hardening the assets. Other solutions include, but are not limited to, outage management, workforce management and fleet management solutions.