Call for Speakers is now open! Become a thought leader at DISTRIBUTECH International and share your insights with the transmission & distribution community.

Deadline to submit is May 17, 2021.

SUBMIT TODAY

Who should apply?

Are you an industry expert, innovator or trail blazer with insights to share with the energy market? If so, submit to speak! DISTRIBUTECH International seeks to bring all of the utility industry’s players together, from asset managers to distribution engineers to AMI evangelists and smart city pioneers.

What are the presentation formats?

If your presentation is selected, you may be asked to deliver it as an individual presentation or panel presentation in our formal Conference program. It may also be chosen for our Knowledge Hubs which are the expanded, heavily trafficked presentation theaters in the exhibit hall.

How can I make my submission most attractive to the reviewers?

Our audience is electrified by case studies, insights and tips from T&D leaders. While our programming places a premium on utility and end-user participation, commercial entities that can secure a client to present with them will find their content more attractive.

What are this year’s tracks?

Asset Management

Utilities need to maintain their new and aging physical assets to keep electrons flowing safely to their customers. Sessions in this track will help attendees develop an understanding of how utilities perform asset management activities from reactive to proactive using condition monitoring and trend evaluation.

Attendees will learn how asset managers create 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.

Topics include:

  • Aging T&D Infrastructure
  • Asset Investment Planning
  • Asset Performance/Health Management
  • Asset Risk Management
  • Condition Monitoring
  • Diagnostics
  • Digital Twins
  • Digital Substations
  • Machine Learning
  • Predictive/Proactive Maintenance

C&I and Residential Customers

Utility customers today — be they large commercial, industrial, or residential — expect more from utilities than just electricity and a monthly bill. They are seeking to be active participants in grid management and strategy.   Customers today are a diverse crowd ranging from "just send the bill and don't bother me" to "sell me 100% renewable, battery-backed, on-site, and low-priced energy."  In between these bookends are a rich set of needed utility 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. All this with an eye toward how to preserve, diversify, and improve utility financial results.

This track will provide an in-depth analysis of end-use commercial and industrial (C&I) and residential customer smart grid technologies, services and solutions to meet the customer of today and the future. 

Topics include:

  • Behind-the-meter Technologies
  • Billing and Collections
  • C&I Energy Management
  • Customer Engagement
  • Data Privacy
  • Demand Response
  • Distributed Solar
  • Energy Audits
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Usage Monitoring
  • Net Metering
  • On-site Power
  • Smart Grid
  • Smart Meters
  • Social Media and other Customer Communication Strategies

Cyber-securing the Grid

Like every other sector of our society, utilities 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.

This track focuses on solutions and lessons learned identifying areas of highest cyber risk to the T&D network in an effort to ward off attacks that could prove disastrous. It also looks at the challenges utilities and solution providers face as they work to secure the supply chain for T&D equipment.

The ever-increasing regulatory requirements challenge utilities to meet their regulatory obligations. Security specialists will find this track has information that is current and important to how they reduce threats to the systems they are charged with protecting.

Topics include:

  • Cyber Hygiene
  • Cybersecurity of Operational Technology
  • Cyberthreat Detection and Hunting
  • Cyberthreat Response
  • Data Security
  • DNP3 Secure Authentication V6 Protocol
  • Emerging Threat Vectors
  • IT/OT Convergence
  • NERC/CIP Standard
  • Password Management
  • Remote IED Access

Data-driven Digital Utilities

Utilities can be easily overwhelmed with the enormous amount of data being generated by intelligent devices, collected through new survey technologies, and integrated from third-party sources. Beyond acquisition and storage, utilities have been challenged to interpret all this data into meaningful, actionable information. The use-cases have been piling up for the past decade, but in the past few years significant strides have been made in deriving valuable information out of this avalanche of data. Sessions in this track will demonstrate thought leadership and best practices that deliver improved utility operations, bolstered bottom lines, and enhanced customer experience. Specific topics include: data science and analytics, cultural change, organizational and data governance, innovations and interoperability, and the journey toward a data-driven digital utility.

Topics include:

  • AMI Data Success Stories
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Augmented Reality
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Gathering Tools and Techniques
  • Data Management
  • Data Mining
  • Data Privacy
  • Data Syncing
  • Digitalization of Operations
  • GIS/Geospatial Technologies
  • Information Management
  • Infrastructure Modeling and Analytics
  • IoT
  • Organizational Analytics
  • Real-time Data Analytics

DERMS

Managing the electric distribution grid continues to become more complex.  The rapid growth in distributed energy resources (DER) and Electric Vehicles (EV) along with regulatory reform, such as FERC 2222, is driving technological innovation and new market participation models for DER.  These resources include distribution system level assets such as behind-the-meter solar and storage, along with increasingly sophisticated flexible loads. Many of these loads are enabled with artificial intelligence and enhanced sensing such as smart thermostats, smart building control systems, and home automation systems and EV charging systems.  While customers are becoming prosumers, many utilities are also implementing DER assets in front-of-the-meter, including community and substation energy storage to help manage dramatically increased levels of intermittent renewable energy sources. Operators must now acquire new system capabilities to enable greater situational awareness and control of these diverse assets. To meet the goals for greater use of renewable resources, there will be new market interfaces and customer systems related to interconnection and financial settlement.

DER management systems (DERMS) have emerged as one of the main technological solutions to manage this new grid.  DER Market Aggregation, Virtual Power Plants (VPP), Dynamic Hosting Capacity Analysis (HCA) and Distribution System State Estimation (DSSE) are just some of the new tools that planners and operators are relying upon to manage these resources.

This track will focus on the latest market and technology developments related to DER integration and control and will highlight case studies of recent projects and system approaches.

Topics include:

  • Aggregating DER
  • Community Solar
  • Distributed Energy Resource Management
  • Distributed Energy Resources (DER)
  • Distributed Solar
  • Distribution System State Estimation
  • Dynamic Hosting Capacity Analysis
  • Flexible Load Management
  • Grid-Edge Computing
  • Microgrids
  • Rooftop Solar
  • Situational Awareness
  • Virtual Power Plants

Distribution Automation

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

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

Topics include:

  • Capacitor Banks
  • DA and DER Integration
  • Distribution System Network Monitoring
  • Distribution System State Estimation
  • Fault Indication Monitoring
  • Flisr
  • High-speed Switching
  • Operations Management
  • Protection and Control
  • Reclosers
  • Remote Switches
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Sensors
  • Synchrophasors
  • System Architecture
  • Volt/Var Optimization

Energy Storage

Utilities have always looked for ways to increase the reliability, flexibility, security and efficiency of power delivery systems. The introduction of renewables 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. It discusses technical, business and regulatory aspects specifically related to energy storage including case studies, 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.

Topics include:

  • Batteries
  • Battery Second-life and Recycling
  • Behind-the-meter Energy Storage
  • Load Management
  • Long-duration Energy Storage
  • Microgrids and Virtual Power Plants
  • Non-wires Alternative
  • Safety
  • Thermal and Mechanical Storage
  • Value of Energy Storage

Electric Vehicles

In a decarbonized world nearly all transportation vehicles will become electrified over time, including personal and fleet vehicles, mass transit, light rail and ships, air, rail, and seaport cranes and tugs, and municipal and industrial special purpose vehicles, too.

The electric distribution utilities who are most responsible for providing this new vehicle fuel are grappling with several aspects of this mobility electrification trend. Issues surrounding how utilities should approach the looming electrification of transportation will be discussed in this track to address key vehicle electrification questions:

  1. What role should utilities play in the rapidly emerging vehicle electrification ecosystem, and what new infrastructure, programs, and services should they offer and to whom?
  2. How should utilities educate, enable, and collaborate with customers of all classes to electrify their vehicles?
  3. How will vehicle charging impact grid infrastructure and operations, and what carrots and sticks are needed to incent vehicle operators to charge at the right time and in the right location?
  4. What are the most important barriers and enablers for utilities to meet customer and societal needs while also earning a fair return for the associated investment and operating risk?

Topics include:

  • Charing Infrastructure
  • Electric Aviation
  • EV Rate Design
  • Fast-charging
  • Fleet Management
  • Micromobility
  • Mobile Load Management
  • Public Charging Infrastructure
  • Rebates and Incentives
  • Regulatory Considerations for EVs
  • Smart Charging
  • Vehicle to Grid (V2G) Technologies

Grid Modernization Technologies

Experts predict that the grid of the future will be stronger, greener, and more resilient than ever, but what will it take to get there?  The emphasis of this track centers on improving grid operations through automation, monitoring, control and optimization.  Technologies such as advanced distribution management systems (ADMS), advanced metering infrastructure, microgrids and more will be discussed as tools that utilities can use to take the grid where it needs to go. 

Additional topics will include IEC 61850-based digital substations, grid-edge intelligence, system top-down configurations, substation equipment condition monitoring, renewable-grid interconnections, smart sensing, and non-conventional instrument transformers.

Topics include:

  • ADMS
  • AMI
  • Enterprise Grid Management
  • Enterprise/Systems Integration
  • Grid-edge Intelligence
  • IEC 61850-based Digital Substations
  • Non-conventional Instrument Transformers
  • Renewable-grid Interconnections
  • Smart Sensing
  • Substation Equipment Condition Monitoring
  • System Top-down Configurations

Next-Gen Utility Business

Decarbonization, electrification, and grid modernization are on the minds of utility leaders everywhere. The transformation of the energy industry is presenting multi-dimensional challenges for utilities. New technologies, by themselves, will not be enough. The toughest problems require changes in the business model, operations model, and regulatory model.

This track explores changes and innovation in grid operations, market models, and regulation that will influence the utility of the future and how it succeeds in the marketplace.

Topics include:

  • Blockchain
  • Business Models
  • Energy Markets
  • Grid of the Future
  • Innovative Management Solutions
  • Investment and Financing
  • Rate Design
  • Revenue Generation Opportunities
  • Time of Use Rates
  • Transactive Energy
  • Utility of the Future
  • Value of DER
  • Workforce Management

Resiliency Planning and Preparation

Vegetation, weather events, fires, and aging infrastructure are just some of the reasons that it’s harder than ever for utilities to keep the power on. Further, world events like the COVID-19 pandemic have forced all companies to put even more emphasis on keeping workers safe when disasters occur. Outage management, fleet management, GIS, data analytics, mobile workforce management,  remote monitoring and earth observation are all components of successful resiliency planning and can help utilities get back up and running quickly. 

This track focuses on challenges, success stories, and lessons learned identifying areas of high risk for failure via visual inspection or using satellites, drones and lidar, then analyzing that data and creating plans for how to mitigate and solve problems when they inevitably occur.

Topics include:

  • Customer Communications
  • Disruptive Events
  • Drones
  • Earth Observation
  • Emergency Preparation
  • Grid Hardening
  • LIDAR, GIS and CIS Data Analytics
  • Load Shed Strategies
  • Outage Management Systems
  • Overhead/Underground T&D
  • Pandemic Planning and Response
  • Satellite Analytics
  • Storm Damage Assessment
  • Storm Restoration
  • Vegetation Management
  • Wildfire Mitigation

Smart Cities/IoT

Smart cities are hot! Electric utilities are at the heart of the effort to bring smart technologies to street lights, sidewalks, buildings, parking lots, pedestrian safety and the list goes on. Utilities are, in many cases, providing 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 and expanding into smart communities and smart homes.

Communities are delivering customer value by improving and optimizing electricity and natural gas delivery; managing water resources; transforming transportation infrastructures; and, leveraging sensor data to improve building efficiency. In the process, cities and communities are becoming safer, more sustainable, greener and more efficient.

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. In addition, presenters in this track will reveal their views on how the confluence of power, communications and electrification of transportation contributes toward energy and environmental security, resiliency and sustainability.

Topics include:

  • Building Efficiency
  • Communication Technologies
  • Financing Smart City Plans
  • Intelligent Devices
  • Internet of Things
  • Renewable Energy
  • Roadmaps and Pilot Projects
  • Smart Communities
  • Smart Streetlights
  • Sustainability Initiatives

 What information do I need to provide for a submission?

  • Speaking Submission Title
  • Presentation Type (Panel, Individual Presentation or Utility University course)
  • Content Description 
  • Three Key Takeaways
  • First and Second Choice Track options
  • Speaker First Name
  • Speaker Last Name
  • Speaker Job Title
  • Speaker Organization
  • Speaker Biography
  • Speaker Email
  • Speaker Type