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.
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.
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.
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.
Utilities are developing technology roadmaps and leveraging smart grid investments to enable enhanced customer engagement. Customers are expecting their utilities to provide them with much more than just electrons and a monthly bill. Some are even mitigating their reliance on their electric utility by becoming self-generators. Utilities must get to know their customers and develop services to improve the customer experience while at the same time create new revenue streams to succeed. This track will provide an in-depth analysis of end-use customer smart grid technologies, services and solutions.
Data analytics is key to enabling the grid to accommodate and keep up with the technological, customer, regulatory and societal changes that are occurring. This track includes utility best practices and new concepts that create immediate value from customer and operational analytics. In addition, it will cover how utilities are leveraging industry standards to achieve value beyond single application “business silos” to support business intelligence on an enterprise-wide basis.
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.
Transformational technologies have become a fact of life for most electric utilities. To succeed in the future, utilities must embrace rather than resist the disruptions caused by this industry evolution and turn them into opportunities. This track covers nontraditional and emerging trends, technologies and solutions that utilities are implementing to address evolving grid and customer needs and reduce their reliance on traditional transmission and distribution infrastructure technologies, while enabling new services and business opportunities. In addition, it comprises the business models, financing options and valuation of these trends and technologies. This track will include applications and integration of distributed energy resources (DER), such as renewable energy (like solar and wind), energy storage, demand response (DR) and electric vehicles (EV), as well as emerging electric utility business models and concepts.
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.
Utilities have always looked for ways to increase the reliability of systems that delivery electricity to their customers. In vertically integrated utilities, reliability was increased by refining transmission and distribution system design. The introduction of alternative energy sources and active energy markets has led to an increased focus on energy storage to maintain reliability. This track presents technology at the forefront, getting that technology to scale and the values of energy storage, as well results from actual utility projects.
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, optimization and analytics.
Utilities are discovering new and innovative ways to leverage their existing geospatial technology, which has matured considerably since the days when utilities used it to simply convert, distribute and copy paper maps through their digital iterations. Modern geospatial systems now form a basis for decision-making, spatial analysis, situational awareness, as well as visualizing smart grid, AMI streams and critical data from other applications.
This track examines how geospatial technology is changing utilities through better information visualization and easier 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 utility departments, organizations and even enterprise transformation.
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.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) defines microgrids as localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously and help mitigate grid disturbances to strengthen grid resilience. Microgrids are poised to facilitate increased reliability and resiliency, the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), local control of energy and many other benefits as we transition to a cleaner, more distributed energy system. The sessions in this track cover strategies for implementing microgrids, determining their value and benefits, and understanding their technical design, control and operation. Attendees will hear from a variety of presenters including utilities, regulators, industry analysts and microgrid owner/operators.
Utilities are expanding the use of technology to their mobile workforce. The technology is even finding its way into project and construction management. As mobile-based software solutions, communication technologies and computing hardware platforms continue to evolve along with workforce expectations, the need to share innovative approaches and practical experience will grow.
This track investigates how utilities are deploying mobile solutions to improve their mobile workforce’s operational effectiveness, efficiency and safety, while helping them respond to service interruptions and provide superior customer service. It covers how utilities are dealing with the business side of mobile implementations, including building business cases and addressing change management. In addition, innovative technologies such as augmented reality and other technologies that bridge the office and field will be highlighted.
T&D substations are essential elements of power systems. In addition, they are the place where physical and analogue worlds connect to the digital world. The need for cost efficiency, along with technological trends like digitalization, are driving the industry toward digital substations. This transition and its associated organizational, operational and technological challenges are the central theme of this track. This track covers innovations like process bus technology, modern intelligent electronic devices (IEDs), local and remote data analytics, adoption of standards and broadband communications (WAN/LAN), and better cybersecurity tactics, all of which are helping substation owners and operators create the digital substation. Migration strategies, lessons-learned and best practices from a utility prospective are the key takeaways of this track.