Hear Industry Leaders and Experts Talk About the Smart Grid

Arnie de Castro By Arnie de Castro, Product Manager, SAS

Over the last decade or so, we have been hearing about how new technologies have been transforming the electric utility into what has come to be known as the smart grid.  You can read the news and do your own research, but there is great benefit to hobnobbing with the people involved with the smart grid in one place.  For four days in February, people in the industry of providing electricity, power engineering vendors, researchers deep in developing new technologies and government representatives dedicated to ensuring the availability of electricity are meeting to discuss the latest news and developments in the transformational electric grid.  This year’s theme for the conference, which runs from February 17 to 20 is “Enabling Intelligent and Resilient Communities.”

Each of the three days will be highlighted with a keynote address from a utility leader.  Hear from Dave Velazquez, CEO of Pepco Holdings, Patricia Vincent-Collawn, CEO of PNM Resources and M. Michelle Blaise, Senior VP of ComEd.  In three plenary sessions, industry experts will discuss distribution and transmission operations for the grid of the future, and success factors in the path to the smart grid.

Twenty-seven panel sessions are scheduled.  Distributed over three tracks, these will cover Customer Analytics and Behind-the-Meter Technologies (Track 1), Distribution and Transmission Operation for the Grid of the Future (Track 2) and Distribution and Transmission Planning for the Grid of the Future (Track 3).

Panel sessions in Track 1 will provide a view of the smart building and smart city technologies, integration of distributed energy resources, transactive energy systems and the applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning both behind the meter and in the power system.

Track 2 addresses the reliable and resilient operation of the grid considering the proliferation of distributed energy resources, foremost among them wind, solar and demand-side management, and the increasing penetration of electric vehicles.  It also covers the role that microgrids play in making a more robust electric grid.  Expect discussions on technology advances, from the development of new monitoring systems and devices to new techniques for simulating, controlling and optimizing the grid.

Track 3 focuses on grid planning, and how emerging technologies for cybersecurity, the internet of things, energy storage and non-wires alternatives contribute to providing a more resilient grid.

All tracks have a good mix of academic researchers, utility experts, government resources and engineering suppliers presenting, promising to provide the attendee with a multiple-faceted view of the industry and the digital transformation of the electric grid.

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