Come together for these powerful sessions. Check out these unique mega-sessions. Each brings an impactful and insightful group of panel of speakers to the table.

Mega-sessions will be held Wednesday, January 29 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM.

A Distribution Grid Model Data Management Architecture for the Electric Industry

Panel Moderator: 

Randy Rhodes, Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)


Effective management of geospatial and grid model data is one of the major challenges facing electric distribution utilities today. As levels of DER penetration increase and distribution grids grow increasingly complex, utilities need a solid foundation of well-managed geospatial and grid-model data on which to deploy the new software tools required for effective grid planning, protection and operation. This panel will discuss a multi-year initiative to develop an industry architecture for managing distribution grid model data.

Let the Transportation Electrification Transition Begin

Panel Moderator: 

John Cooper, Vice President, Business Development, Americas, Tritium Technologies


Transportation electrification is a historic opportunity for electric utilities to expand their value and service potential inside their service territories. This transformation promises to impact all areas of transportation from ports to airports to fleets of buses and trucks to a rapidly expanding catalogue of new passenger electric vehicles. Key challenges of deploying the required infrastructure of charging stations include aligning with the pace of market development on the vehicle side and adapting the grid to support this expanding load category. The first category with high motivation to convert is fleets, where the cost of transportation and environmental benefits are clear.

Fleets, including transit buses, school buses, heavy duty trucks, medium duty delivery vehicles and light duty trucks and cars, are ready to electrify now. Convenience stores offer an emerging and sustaining wave of new infrastructure siting, notable because drivers are accustomed to refueling at these sites. Focusing on fleets and convenience stores offers utilities and cities a focused strategy that answers the question: “Where should we put these chargers inside our cities for optimal effectiveness?” 

Focusing siting on these two areas benefits cities and utilities – an immediate benefit because concentrated fleets of EVs are ready now; and a sustaining benefit because mapping convenience stores across a city allows for a staged deployment of chargers. 

This session will showcase how, with collaboration, utilities can become pro-active leaders in the development of this new overlay infrastructure and also stimulate rapid EV adoption, revenue from new loads, thought leadership in partnership with cities, economic development and innovative new solutions that will drive grid modernization.

Screening of "Thirst for Power": A documentary film in its DISTRIBUTECH premiere followed by a panel discussion

Panel Moderator: 

Kimberly Britton, CEO, EPIcenter


Click HERE to enjoy the film's trailer.
Water and energy are the two fundamental components of a society, and they are interconnected. Thirst for Power, shot on location across France, California, and Texas, explores the history of civilization's quest to procure abundant water and energy -- from ancient Roman aqueducts in Europe to modern America's vast hydroelectric infrastructure. The film explores our dependence on water for energy as well as vulnerabilities in our current systems. Changing the way we think about water and energy can secure the long-term sustainability of both precious resources. The documentary is adapted from Dr. Michael E. Webber's book "Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival." Combining anecdotes and personal stories with insights into the latest science of energy and water, both the book and the documentary identify a hopeful path toward wise long-range water-energy decisions and a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.

Surfacing best practices in cybersecurity

Panel Moderator: 

Koustuv Ghoshal, Managing Director - Energy & Utilities Practice, Ericsson Inc.


Capital investments in communications networks are now part of mainstream discussions in the same breath as traditional smart grid assets have been historically. The key question being asked today is whether utilities should build, own and operate their own private networks, and if so, what are the ownership and operating models.  

The industry at large is trying to determine if it makes sense for utilities to create unregulated telecom subsidiaries to monetize assets such as spectrum or services, or if utilities should utilities turn to public carriers for the operations of mission critical communications networks.  

This panel of senior leaders from Southern Co., Duke Energy, NRTC and Landmark Dividend - all of whom are part of such decision-making processes at their respective organizations - will share their experiences, current thinking, and potential strategies for the industry to consider.