BY JENNIFER MACARTHUR, EDITORIAL INTERN
DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition 2013 boasts 14 conference tracks, 77 conference sessions, 350 industry speakers and 26 Utility University courses. Mark your calendars to attend Jan. 29-31 at the San Diego Convention Center.
North America’s No. 1 smart grid conference and exhibition continues to lead in information exchange and utility education. From instructional Utility University courses to experts’ delivering the latest industry details, DistribuTECH is bringing knowledge and experience to the Golden State.
DistribuTECH’s sister conferences will be in San Diego, as well.
The Electric Light & Power Executive Conference will run two days prior to DistribuTECH on Jan. 27 and 28 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
And the Utility Products Conference & Exposition (UPCE) will be on-site during DistribuTECH.
Last year DistribuTECH broke attendance records again with more than 8,600 attendees who caught up on the latest trends during four conference-packed days in San Antonio.
UTILITY UNIVERSITY, OPENING KEYNOTE
Attendees can make the most of DistribuTECH by attending pre-conference Utility University courses taught by experts in classroom environments. Utility University offers new courses this year, in addition to popular courses from 2012. Full- and half-day courses will be offered Sunday, Jan 27 and Monday, Jan. 28. Only those registered with a ticket for a particular course will be admitted. To ensure your seat, register in advance using the overall conference registration form at http://distrib utech.com.
The next morning, Tuesday, Jan. 29, DistribuTECH will begin with an opening keynote session featuring journalist and author Bob Woodward, San Diego Gas & Electric President and CEO Michael R. Niggli, California Independent System Operator Corp. President and CEO Stephen Berberich, and Assistant Secretary of the Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman.
NETWORKING IN “AMERICA’S FINEST CITY”
After the keynote, the conference will open with a bevy of learning opportunities. Sessions are broken down into related tracks, including: advanced metering; asset, mobile and information management; C&I customer technology; demand response and energy efficiency; greening the grid; international projects; residential customer projects; SCADA and network infrastructure; smart distribution; smart grid communications technology; smart grid operations solutions; substation integration and automation; transmission and large-scale renewables; and water utility technology.
Sister conference UPCE will offer sessions on community colleges and industry partnerships, online innovative training methods, line and truck grounding, and its own keynote about surviving 12,500 volts.
Even with all the education options, DistribuTECH is never all learning and no play. DistribuTECH is renowned for its networking events.
Exhibitors can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and networking among more than 400 companies’ booths during the Tuesday, Jan. 29 opening reception in exhibit halls D-H.
The next day, Wednesday, Jan. 30, sponsors will celebrate It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere at their booths on the exhibit floor.
And when the clock really strikes 5 p.m., DistribuTECH will throw a beach party until 7 p.m. Attendees and guests are invited to join the festivities, which will feature food, drinks and live music.
Attendees who want to mix networking with learning may take advantage of DistribuTECH’s informal breakfast roundtables.
Roundtables with specific industry topics will be moderated by leading professionals in each field.
Topics range from demand response to distribution automation, to safety and water topics.
In addition to conference sessions and networking opportunities, DistribuTECH 2013 attendees also may visit the show’s exhibit floor, where a car will be given away again this year.
With such a range of conference sessions, exposition and networking opportunities, DistribuTECH promises to be the highlight of the industry in 2013.