The Panel Sessions will be held each day in three parallel tracks. Panelists are requested to use the IEEE PES Template for their presentations as well as to fill out a Consent Form releasing their presentations. Panelists are urged to follow PES Guidelines for preparing visuals and presentations.


  • Morning Panel Session: Grey background
  • Afternoon Panel Session I: Blue background
  • Afternoon Panel Session II: Green background

Panel Program

Day 1 - Tuesday, February 20, 2018
10:30 to 12:00Why Microgrids? A Discussion on System Design Practicality and Benefits
Microgrids are inherently complex because they require integrating a variety of distributed generation sources into one electrical system. This is further complicated by implementing microgrid functionality such as islanding, peak shaving and frequency regulation. So how do utilities and municipalities decide when and why to embark on a complex microgrid project? This panel discussion will explore the key determining factors behind pursuing microgrid projects. Three utility engineering leaders will share their experience and decision-making process for implementing microgrids in their systems, addressing key solution benefits, design challenges, and common trends.

Chair: Richard Gray, S&C Electric Company

  • TAMER ROUSAN, Ameren Illinois.
  • DAVID TREICHLER, Director of Business Development, Oncor.
10:30 to 12:00Smart Grid Testing and Certification Needs and Challenges
The current trend of grid modernization including the increased deployment of renewable and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), and distributed intelligence and control at the grid edge is changing the emphasis and needs for testing and certification of grid devices and systems. The architecture of the grid is evolving from a centralized system to a more distributed system. This transformation is changing the landscape for smart grid testing and certification. DER test programs are needed to assure conformance to relevant standards to ease integration and ensure the reliability and resiliency of the system. An important consideration in DERs deployments is a non-traditional ownership model where the utility may or may not own the DER assets. The new ownership model introduces new stakeholders for testing and certification programs such as third-party providers and end-use customers. Another important aspect of the evolving grid architecture is the intelligent devices at the edge. With the introduction of smart sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, grid edge devices add additional capabilities to a system. However, they introduce new vulnerabilities and integration challenges that can be addressed through robust testing and certification programs. This panel session will discuss the testing and certification needs for DERs and grid edge devices to ensure reliability and provide a case study to highlight the need for industry consensus conformity assessment programs.

Chair: Cuong Nguyen, NIST

  • KEITH HOUSER, Dominion
  • AARON SMALLWOOD, Smart Electric Power Alliance
10:30 to 12:00Techno Bros and Soccer Moms – The Role of Customer Side Engagement in Grid Innovation
This session explores consumer, community, scientific and utility perspectives on the role of consumer engagement in grid modernization. Attendees can expect engaging and thought-provoking presentations, questions and ample time for audience discussion that will influence the way engineers, designers, policy makers and financiers think about grid transformation.

Chair: Dr. Gerald Gray, EPRI

1:00 to 2:30Advances in Integrated System Planning
Traditionally abundant reserves in the system have been eroded due to the increased penetration of variable resources, potentially impairing system reliability. To operate the power system with leaner reserve margins, distributed generation resources need to participate in maintaining—or improving—system resiliency and reliability. This requires new control and protection coordination systems, along with supporting communication networks. This is a revolution in how the power system is planned and operated, relying more heavily on hierarchical and distributed control architectures with greater dependency on a variety of communication media. Co-simulation and integrated planning of transmission, distribution, and communication systems (along with markets and other elements) allows planners to understand the bottlenecks and pitfalls of the interplay between power and communication systems to ensure safe and reliable operations; enable informed decisions on investments at multiple levels; and allow exploration of future scenarios in a wide variety of applications such as DER integration and distributed control. This panel will discuss current and future trends in this area, including utility experiences, example use cases, and ongoing development efforts.

Chair: Jason Fuller, PNNL

    "Transmission Planning for the Future"
  • MARTIN BURNS, National Institute of Standards and Technology
    "Co-Simulation of Heterogeneous CPS using HLA"
  • JOHN GIBSON, Avista
    (Topic Title TBD)
  • LIANG MIN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    "Integrated T&D Simulations using HELICS"
1:00 to 2:30Strategic Insight on Grid Modernization from a Diverse Mix of Utilities and Consultants
This panel, comprising industry consultants and professionals from multiple utilities, will provide an inside look at their grid modernization projects and experiences. They will share trends happening in their territories, technologies/applications that get them excited, and how they prioritize the many initiatives that are being discussed in a rapidly changing world. The panel will then field questions from the audience related to grid modernization. After attending this session, you will come away with a framework for balancing the competing interests of proactive pursuit versus reactive response in the face of a changing customer landscape.

Chair: Jared Gregory, Sensus

  • ERIC WELDELE, Capitol Partners
  • DERL RHOADES, Alabama Power Company
  • CHAD SCHATZ, SaskPower
1:00 to 2:30Incentive-Compatible Transactive Energy Market Design and Operation under Grid Transformation
This panel session will explore the challenges and needed changes in utility operational practices and business models with proliferation of DERs and savvy prosumers, and discuss opportunities for win-win transactive market solutions for prosumers and grid operators. The panel will also address the underlying enabling technologies for efficient operation of a Transactive Distributed Energy Resources Management platform, including efficient data communication, information security, and big data analytics, along with illustrative examples and use cases.

Chair: Farrokh Rahimi, OATI

    Electricity Grid Transformation: Drivers, Challenges, and Opportunities
    A Utility’s Perspective on Grid Modernization
    The Transactive Energy Principles and Roadmap
    Incentive Compatible System Planning and Operation under Grid Transformation
    California’s Approach to DSOs and Transactive Energy Systems
3:00 to 5:00IEEE Initiatives to Strengthen Grid Resiliency and Reliability
In the past several years, the energy industry focus has been on creating a more resilient, secure, sustainable, and reliable electricity system. The initiatives that we undertake today will affect how we operate the grid in the future and are the cornerstone for enhancing the resiliency and reliability of transmission and distribution systems. IEEE has been cooperating with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the North-American Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC), and the North American Transmission Forum (NATF). This panel addresses how government and regulatory agencies, and electric utilities address opportunities and challenges in grid modernization, and implement initiatives with IEEE to support strengthening of grid resiliency and reliability.

Chair: Marianna Vaiman, V&R Energy, IEEE PES PTSTF Lead

    IEEE PES Initiatives to Strengthen Grid Resiliency and Reliability
  • VERONIKA RABL, IEEE USA and Energetics, Inc.
    Energy Policy Dimensions of a Stronger Grid
  • SHAY BAHRAMIRAD, ComEd and IEEE PES VP of New Initiatives
    IEEE PES Role and Vision on Supporting the Initiatives to Improve Grid Resiliency and Reliability
    Perspectives on Strengthening Grid Reliability and Resilience
    DOE Initiatives on Strengthening Grid Resiliency and Reliability
    NERC Reliability Initiatives
  • BEN SCHMITT, US Department of State
    Energy Security Issues in Europe
    NATF Initiatives on Strengthening Grid Resiliency and Reliability
3:00 to 5:00The Addictive Qualities of a Connected Grid: Tales for Interoperability Junkies
The power grid needs the flexibility to accommodate change. One example is the integration of distributed energy resources such as variable renewable generation, storage, and responsive demand. Energy systems are being revolutionized by the deployment of intelligent devices and systems that offer more flexibility to coordinate operation of grid infrastructure with end-use systems. The key to delivering greater flexibility in the face of change is interoperability—the ability to integrate different devices and systems simply so they operate and work. To enable efficient grid operation, the electricity industry must have access to interoperability criteria, methodologies, and tools that simplify the integration and secure interaction among the many devices and systems that make up the grid.

The US Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative is sponsoring an effort to provide a strategic vision for smart grid interoperability to be used as a direction-setting guide for developing roadmaps that simplify the effort to integrate the intelligent equipment appearing at all levels of the system and either end of the meter. This involves proposing tools to measure the state of interoperability, methods to develop roadmaps for addressing today’s integration challenges toward a desired future vision, and instruments to encourage the participation of stakeholders to come together and establish the appropriate agreements that will enable straightforward and dependable connections.

Chair: Steve Widergren, PNNL

    “A Strategic Vision for Interoperability in the Modern Grid.”
  • KEITH HARDY, Argonne National Laboratory
    “Path to an Interoperable National Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.”
  • HARALD SCHOLZ, European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC)
    “Embedding E-Mobility in Smart Grids - European Perspective”
    “Advancing Interoperable Communities of Technology – a Herding Cats Process”
    “Specifying Interoperability in Technology Procurement.”
3:00 to 5:00Cutting Edge Energy Delivery System Cyber R&D Projects
You will hear about new projects starting that include Software Defined Networks; Containerized Security; a framework for sharing malware with industry, academia, national labs, and researchers; A semantics-based approach to sharing information between utilities; and built-in continuous scanning.

Chair: Paul Skare, PNNL

    "SDN4EDS: Software Defined Networking for Energy Delivery Systems"
    "Capsec - Containerized Application Security for Industrial Control Systems"
    "MICE/MMEDS - Malware Sharing Framework"
    "UUDEX - Universal Utility Data Exchange"
    "SSASS-E - Secure Autonomous Scanning Solution for Energy Delivery Systems"
Day 2 - Wednesday, February 21, 2018
10:30 to 12:00Innovations in Planning Analysis Tools
Distribution system analysis with ever increasing numbers of distributed energy resources (DER) requires new innovations in planning analysis tools to 1) capture the time-varying and time-dependent aspects of the system, 2) Investigate the challenges of planning for future growth while maintaining or improving feeder performance with the influx of many new disruptive technologies such as DER and grid edge devices 3) Understand the complex interaction and control of new DER with diverse utility operation strategies and 4) Integrated capacity analysis.

Chair: Robert Broderick, Sandia National Laboratories

    Overview of DOE goals to improve planning tools.
  • ROBERT BRODERICK, Sandia National Laboratories
    Overview of DOE QSTS project to make simulations more than 1000 times faster.
  • MATTHEW RENO, Sandia National Laboratories
    Methods to rapidly speed up QSTS Simulations.
    Parallelization of QSTS using Temporal Decomposition.
    HPC enabled distribution planning tool.
  • SILA KILICCOTE, Stanford
    Visualization and Analytics of Distributed Energy Resource (VADER).
10:30 to 12:00Advanced Distribution Management Systems Research and Development at the U.S. DOE
This panel will present updates on the U.S. DOE Advanced Distribution Management System Program. This program consists of five projects addressing different aspects of ADMS. The panel will include presentations by the leaders of each project with time for discussion of the collective set of projects and the DOE ADMS program. The projects include: Creation of an open platform for development of advanced distribution system planning and operations applications; an ADMS hardware testbed; demonstration of an advanced distribution system operations tool; creation of a framework for integrating information between EMS, DMS and BMS, and design of advanced control algorithms.

Chair: Eric Lightner, U.S. DOE

    GridAPPS-D™ - an open platform for development of advanced applications for distribution system planning and operations
    Experience with the NREL ADMS Hardware Testbed
    An Advanced Application for Community Control of Distributed Resources for Wide Area Reserve Provision
    Multi-Scale Integration of Control Systems (EMS/DMS/BMS)
    Control Theory for a Modernized Grid
10:30 to 12:00Use of Blockchain in Peer-to-peer Transactive Energy Systems: Possibilities and Limitations
Proliferation of active grid-edge devices and systems is changing the utility operational and business model. The owners and operators of these systems, generally referred to as prosumers (consumers with Distributed Energy resources, microgrids, smart buildings, etc.) are demanding that regulators allow for, and utilities accommodate, transactive market-based transactions. These include peer-to-peer transactions among prosumers, as well as their voluntary participation in retail and wholesale markets. The volume, frequency, variety, and variability of these transactions call for new methods for tracking, bookkeeping, settlement, and dispute resolution associated with such transactions. A major concern is also security threats in both financial and operational domains.

The Blockchain technology provides some features that can be used to advantage to mitigate some of these concerns, but it also entails potential drawbacks in terms of processing efficiency and computational burden. This panel session will address the following topics:
  • The emerging industry landscape and peer-to-peer Transactive Energy Systems
  • Generic Blockchain elements, attributes, and functions
  • Potential use of Blockchain in Transactive Energy systems
  • Use cases and examples

Chair: Farrokh Rahimi, OATI

  • DAVID CHASSIN, Stanford University
  • DAVID HARDIN, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
1:00 to 2:30Utility Perspectives & Experience with DER Integration
This panel will provide different perspectives from each utility as they identify and address challenges and solutions. The focus of the discussion will be primarily distribution system interconnections, however, transmission issues may be addressed. A new activity inside utilities is joint transmission and distribution planning due to the potential of exported energy from the T/D substation. Utilities can no longer treat distribution substations as simply a load in their transmission planning process.

The included speakers have direct experience with DER integration in their respective utilities, and will share their experience, including challenges and solutions. This discussion will benefit utilities, vendors, engineers/consultants, researchers, developers and others who is directly involved.

Chair: Carl L. Wilkins, Quanta Technology

  • BRANT WERTS, Duke Energy
  • RICH LAVIGNE, Dominion
1:00 to 2:30Rethinking DER Integrations: Lessons Learnt and Upcoming Challenges
Trending integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as renewable generations, electric vehicles, and battery energy storage system into the power grid poses many technical challenges for control and communication. This panel brings together leads from vendors, utilities, and academia to review most recent DER integration projects from different technical perspectives. It opens dialog for diverse stakeholders working together in the same field to learn from existing projects and collaboratively address challenges for enabling more resilient and cost-effective DER integration.

Chair: Yubo Wang, Siemens

  • CHEN-CHING LIU, Washington State University
    Enhancing resiliency with renewables and microgrids
  • JIM TAYLOR, Siemens Industry
    Distributed Energy Resource Management System
  • XI ZHANG, Siemens Corporation
    Grid Integration of Electric Vehicles: A Perspective from Communication Architectures
1:00 to 2:30The Road to a Transactive Energy World
The path to a transactive grid where distributed energy resources (DER – distributed generation, storage, and responsive load) are welcomed to participate in addressing the needs of an economical, safe, and resilient energy system is revealing a few bumps in the road. Greater numbers of participants in the energy system recognize there is value in coordinating bulk system and DER operations, but articulating the value propositions, appreciating grid architecture and coordination frameworks, and imagining the business and social policies that provide a supportive environment for change present challenges that still need to be overcome.

Research organizations in the Netherlands and the United States are teaming to bring together a broad swath of stakeholders in Europe and North America to explore issues and impediments toward moving to a more transactive future. Discussions are revealing insights to the types of issues faced in different parts of the world and from different stakeholder perspectives. This panel will provide a high-level view of transactive energy, the characteristics that make it attractive, and the difficulties proponents in industry face in moving toward transactive energy deployments.

Chair: Steve Widergren, PNNL

  • DOUG SMITH, ISO New England
    “A Bulk System Operators Perspective on TE"
  • KAY AIKIN, Introspective Systems
    “Autonomous Market-Based Grid Control”
  • JOHN GIBSON, Avista
    “Valuation Models for a Transactive Economy”
  • CHRIS IRWIN, Department of Energy
    “A Federal Role for Transactive Energy”
3:00 to 5:00Deployment of Smart Inverter Functionality
A revised IEEE 1547 is going through the IEEE balloting process and is expected to be finalized in February/March of 2018. The revised standard streamlines the advanced grid support functions that Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) can provide to help mitigate power quality and bulk system stability issues. These functions include but not limited to volt/VAR, frequency regulation, ride through, etc. However, the implementation of DERs with these advanced functions will not be straightforward and will most likely require distribution engineering planning studies to determine how they should function with legacy systems, including existing inverters and other power electronics technology, and to ascertain what additional requirements are needed for sensing, control and communication infrastructure. In this session, we will examine issues and recommend strategies to address advanced DER implementation challenges.

Chair: Babak Enayati, National Grid

  • BRIAN LYDIC, Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)
  • GARY GUSTER, SMA America
  • BABAK ENAYATI, National Grid
3:00 to 5:00Assessing the Impact of Communication Networks on Power System Reliability
The operational importance of the communication networks requires granting them similar attention as other key components of the grid in the form of contingency and failure analysis, both from random failures and systemic issues such as cyber-attacks and network outages. Detailed analysis of such impacts requires computational models of the communication networks and the interaction of such networks with power systems. This panel will delve into the experience and issues encountered while modeling, simulating, and analyzing power grid communication networks, and will delve into the role these types of simulation can play in assessing and improving grid reliability in the face of new technologies and evolving threats.

Chair: Phil Top, LLNL and Chris Irwin, DOE

    EPRI’s Perspective on Distribution and Communication Network Co-simulation
  • KEVIN DING, CenterPoint Energy
    CenterPoint Energy’s communication network visualization at control center
    Coop’s Perspective on Communication Network simulation
  • COREY MCCLELLAND, Sempra Energy
    Cyber Security and the California Energy Grid
    Co-simulation of Communication Networks with Power System Transmission Networks for Modeling Hypothetical Cyber Security Vulnerabilities
3:00 to 5:00NIST Transactive Energy (TE) Challenge –TE System Simulation Results for DER Integration on the Distribution Grid
The NIST TE Challenge seeks to build up simulation and modeling tools and interoperable co-simulation platforms for evaluating performance of TE approaches to DER integration. Participating teams worked together to agree on a specific residential distribution feeder with a concentration of PV systems and batteries, in addition to defined flexible loads. Teams also agreed on a weather scenario (storm front passing) and a set of common reporting metrics. Each team used different tools and TE system models to simulate the common scenario. This session will provide opportunity for teams to report comparable results of the different TE models’ performance for distribution grid resource optimization. Results will inform industry stakeholders about the capabilities of simulation tools, the potential for TE solutions, and the performance of specific TE systems.

Chair: David Holmberg, NIST

    Platform: Gridlab-D and FNCS, focus: double auction TE
    Platform: Matlab and Gridlab-D, Focus: dynamic microgrid reconfiguration
  • MARIJA ILIC, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Platform: SGRS, CAMPS, DAMPS, NETSS, MATPOWER, Focus: Hybrid physical and market system dynamics
  • MARK RUTH and ANNABELLE PRATT, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    Platform: Gridlab-D, Focus: TE market with price incentives and aggregator
  • HIMANSHU NEEMA, Vanderbilt University
    Platform: CPSWT-TE co-simulation platform for TE, Focus: model-based and web-based platform
  • AMRO FARID, Dartmouth University
    Platform: EPECS – Electric Power Enterprise Control, Focus: Bringing TE to enterprise control
  • JOSE ALANIS, Oracle Corporation
    Platform: Oracle’s Network Management System, Focus: TE implementation with consumer interface

Day 3 - Thursday, February 22, 2018
10:30 to 12:00(Due to unforeseen circumstances the Military Microgrids panel will not take place at this year's conference).

Now in this time-slot is the following:

ISGT NA 2019 Planning Event - All are welcome to participate

Would you like to help shape next year's ISGT Conference? Come chat with the Organizing Committee to share your ideas, volunteer, or give suggestions for panel presentations. Questions and comments are also welcome!
10:30 to 12:00Edge Computing for a More Adaptive and Manageable Grid
Cloud computing has become in the forefront of utility IT staff in recent years. Complementary to it (and extending/enhancing it) is Edge Computing (and its close cousin, Fog Computing). New platforms such as Cisco Fog, GE Predix, and Siemens MindSphere all have capabilities for managing edge devices and applications. This panel will explore how edge computing can help power grids be more adaptive and more readily manageable. It will explain applications and services that are amenable for edge processing, and discuss issues, pitfalls, and transitioning to it.

Chair: Dave Bakken, Washington State University

  • CLIFTON BLACK, Southern Company
  • MAIK SEEWALD, Cisco Munich
  • BYRON FLYNN, GE Grid Solutions
  • DAVID BARNETT, Real-Time Innovations Inc (
10:30 to 12:00Considerations for a Distribution System Platform
The Next-Generation Distribution System Platform (DSPx) project is working with regulators, utilities and subject matter experts to develop a consistent understanding of future grid requirements and enable the development of prudent technology investment strategies especially with regard to the integration and utilization of distributed energy resources. The team has applied a grid architecture discipline to impart a holistic approach to grid planning and insights for coherent grid structure designs. In this session, DSPx team members will share observations derived from their efforts with regulators and utilities and provide considerations for the staged deployment of advanced grid capabilities.

  • JEFFREY TAFT, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • SAMIR SUCCAR, ICF International
1:00 to 3:00Flexible Operation of Water Infrastructure to Provide Electricity System Services
The fact that water can be economically stored more easily than electricity can in principle allow water to be used as a proxy or hedge for electricity. Agricultural pumps, desalination plants, and wastewater treatment plants could have potential to provide valued demand response services to the electric grid by time-shifting their operations to times of lower electricity demand and/or prices. Furthermore, if these same types of water infrastructure are able to rapidly vary their electric load in response to electric grid needs (e.g., through the use of variable speed pumps), they may be able to provide a range of ancillary services. This session seeks to both inform and receive input from IEEE members and other electricity sector experts regarding possibilities for provision of electricity system services by water infrastructure.

Chair: Samuel Bockenhauer, DOE

  • ARIAN AGHAJANZADEH, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • AMMI AMARNATH, Electric Power Research Institute
  • SUJIT DAS, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • COREY JAMES, US Military Academy

Possible questions for the panelists and audience members to discuss include:
  • What response times, load profiles, and other technical specifications would be required from water infrastructure in order for it to provide and be compensated for various grid services?
  • What technology, policy, or market barriers exist on the electricity system side?
  • Are there particular regions, markets, or applications where flexible water infrastructure could meet an existing electricity system need and/or enhance grid resilience?

1:00 to 3:00UAV Power Line Inspection - Current and Prospective Technologies
Electrical transmission inspections are essential to maintaining a healthy and reliable electric grid. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) inspections of transmission lines have begun to supplement traditional ground-based and crewed helicopter inspection methods. At the same time, advancements in UAV autonomous navigation capability and flight tracking systems are moving the industry closer to a future self-diagnosing electrical grid. In this panel, we describe our efforts to integrate and test necessary UAV technologies, and our operational tests of them, in the context of a self-diagnosing grid. We also identify and discuss remaining technology gaps that must be addressed to realize it.

In particular, automated collection of imagery and other telemetry from distributed UAV deployments could be used to quickly identify asset issues. Furthermore, the ability to automate analysis and remotely interpret inspection data will improve worker efficiency, inspection consistency, overall inspection quality, safety and service reliability.

Each speaker will describe their individual and joint efforts. Scope of missions that will be discussed:
All panelists have extensive experience in manual, line-of-sight inspection flights for maintenance and fault detection. Additionally, autonomous waypoint-based flights have been conducted jointly using the following technologies: lidar-to-polyhedron preflight processing for obstacle demarcation to determine inspection standoff distance; navigation software to monitor inspection standoff distance and correct the UAV trajectory; telemetry repeater software to send the UAV position to a NASA UTM air traffic management server for tracking in the national airspace; and, compact airborne ultraviolet sensing for transmission line defect detection.

Currently we are evaluating several more technologies: intelligent long wave infrared video processing, onboard safety avionics for georeferenced flight termination, robust communication methods, and sensors for obstacle detection. Even if these are successful, regulatory and additional technology gaps remain that prevent the realization of a self-diagnosing grid. We conclude by discussing some of remaining impediments which must be overcome and the additional research needed to embed UAV technology into the power grid to advance its resilience.

Chair: Andrew Moore, NASA Langley Research Center

  • ANDREW MOORE, NASA Langley Research Center
  • STEVEN EISENRAUCH, Dominion Energy
1:00 to 3:00Application of Grid-Scale Energy Storage
The deployment of energy storage technology within the United States enables the electric power grid to operate with much greater efficiency, flexibility and reliability, and resilience. The Energy Storage Program within the U.S. Department of Energy is focused on the development of advanced battery chemistries, next-generation materials for power electronics, the development of codes and standards, and efforts to assist in the application and evaluation of storage technology in real-world, grid-scale demonstrations. These advancements and lessons-learned though technical demonstrations will be shared by the Department’s energy storage team.

Chair: Imre Gyuk, DOE