Plenary Sessions

Day 1:
Past and Future Trends in Smart Grid

Chaired by Julio Romero Agüero, Vice President, Strategy and Business Innovation, Quanta Technology
Panelists:

  • Rick Riley (Sr. VP Distribution Operations, Entergy)
  • Joe Woomer (VP Grid and Technical Solutions, Dominion Energy)
  • Miguel Ortega (VP Technical Services, Pepco Holdings Inc.)

The Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT) Conference is celebrating 10 years of transformational changes in the electric power industry. In this last decade power delivery systems have evolved from passive, radial and relatively simple systems, into active and complex grids, where Distributed Energy Resources (DER), bidirectional power flows, renewable generation, and real-time monitoring, protection, automation and control are rapidly becoming the norm. Electric utilities have chosen a variety of approaches to pursue the objectives defined by the Smart Grid vision, to ensure that proposed solutions are customized to meet their own realities, requirements, and constraints, and the evolving needs of their customers. The investments made in this evolution toward the Utility and Grid of the Future have provided important benefits, and while significant progress has been made, important business, regulatory and technical challenges and needs remain in this new reality. For instance, how to successfully modernize the grid, integrate DERs and electric transportation, and provide a reliable, resilient and affordable service to end users in a world of declining or stagnated demands; how to solve evolving issues, such as cyber and physical security threats, and impacts of changing weather patterns, etc. This plenary session will review how our industry has changed in the last 10 years while transitioning towards the Smart Grid vision, and focus on discussing how electric utilities are preparing for addressing the challenges and needs of the Grid of the Future and potential transformational changes, like energy storage, transportation electrification, and distribution markets.


Day 2:
Technology Solutions for Evolving Energy Industry

Chaired by Ebrahim Vaahedi, Associate Vice President, Open Access Technology International
Panelists:

  • Edmund Schweitzer (President and Chairman, SEL)
  • Martin Huang (VP of Operations, Hydro One)
  • David Heim (Chief Strategy Officer, Open Access Technology International)
  • Mike Kuberski (Director, Utility Communications, Exelon)
  • Mani Vadari (President and Founder, Modern Grid Solutions)

The business of energy never stands still. Changes in technology, market demand, and regulations require today’s utilities to constantly innovate, adapt and evolve. This plenary session covers the state of the art in the technology solutions and the future innovative solutions needed to capture the benefits and mitigate the challenges associated with the evolving energy industry. The technology solutions covered include but not limited to:

  • Advanced Protection and Control
  • DERMS (DER Management Systems)
  • Smart Grid Communications
  • IOT (Internet of Things)
  • Microgrid Management Systems
  • Block Chain
  • Data Analytics
  • Situational Awareness
  • Others


Day 3:
Market and Policy Considerations in Facilitating Innovation and Enabling a Flexible and Resilient Grid

Chaired by Charles Hanley, Sr. Manager, Grid Modernization and Resilient Infrastructures, Sandia National Laboratories
Panelists:

  • Luis Reyes (CEO of Kit Carson Electric Coop in Taos, NM)
  • Thomas Pierpoint (Executive Advisor, Quanta Technology)
  • James Calabrese (PHI CIO and IT VP Work & Asset Mgmt, Exelon)
  • Michael Sullivan (SVP Pepco Holdings (retired) and Executive Advisor)
  • Paul Hibbard (Principal, Analysis Group, Inc.)

Today’s interconnected grid system is the outgrowth of market forces that have evolved over time, resulting in several different local and regional markets intermeshed with different levels of policy and regulation. As we develop a future resilient and secure electric grid, we have the opportunity to evolve our market and regulatory structure and enable the introduction of new technologies, agile and flexible grid topologies, dramatically different business models, and greater consumer involvement in energy decisions. Just as our grid functions at different levels, these market and policy structures will have to interact and align at different levels throughout the country, addressing federal, state, and even local needs.

Market and Policy, at all levels of government and industry, will likely be heavily shaped and influenced by major events that are currently unfolding:

  • Many utilities continue to operate, and even struggle, with a legacy business model. This approach can narrow customer offerings, limit utility relevance and hamper utility growth. We will hear from a progressive rural coop that is developing new and innovative business models for both renewables and broadband internet
  • The challenging wildfire seasons in the West are a reminder that energized, downed conductors are an ongoing and major risk for all Utilities. The public hazards will likely lead to Policy impacts at State, Federal and Local levels. We will hear from an industry practitioner on these changes, including current and emerging technologies that might be employed for prevention and detection
  • The North American electric grid is a complex machine that enables modern society. Each and every individual component that makes up this machine must be tracked and managed. We will hear from an industry expert on some of the latest developments in Work and Asset Management
  • Puerto Rico’s continuing struggle to recover from Hurricane Maria provides a sober reminder of the importance of a resilient and strong electric grid, not only in Puerto Rico but across the entire U.S. We will hear from a senior Utility executive who was “on the ground” to assess the grid shortly following the hurricane.
  • We will hear an expert on the outlook for resilience in electricity generation and distribution including the roles of energy markets, new technologies, needed infrastructure, energy storage, and renewables.