Electrifying the Globe: Two-steps Into Texas

More than 10,000 electric utility industry insiders from around the world are expected to fill the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center for DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition, Jan. 28-30 in San Antonio.
More than 10,000 electric utility industry insiders from around the world are expected to fill the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center for DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition, Jan. 28-30 in San Antonio.

Running Jan. 28-30 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, DistribuTECH 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 Lone Star State this month.

Attendees can make the most of DistribuTECH by attending Utility University courses taught by experts in classroom environments. These courses are relevant, topical, issue-concentrated classes that occur before the full conference begins. Courses are taught by recognized experts in a classroom environment to maximize learning. Full- and half-day courses will be offered Sunday, Jan. 26 and Monday, Jan. 27. Reserve your spot by registering at www.distributech.com.

San Antonio's mild winter weather plus the convention center's location on the River Walk means your after-hours activities are endless.
San Antonio’s mild winter weather plus the convention center’s location on the River Walk means your after-hours activities are endless.

The Electric Light & Power and POWERGRID International Annual Awards Dinner is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27 in the Lonesome Dove room at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Tickets are $45 and are available for purchase through the online registration. This year the program will honor POWERGRID International Projects of the Year finalists. Winners will be announced live at the event. The following are the project categories and their respective finalists:

Demand Response/Energy Efficiency

  • Pepco Holdings Inc. for Energy Wise Rewards
  • PSE&G for PSE&G Hospital Efficiency Program at Trinitas Regional Medical Center

Customer Engagement

  • Consolidated Edison Inc. for The coolNYC Program
  • Pepco and Delmarva Power for 2 Ways To Save

Renewable Energy Integration

  • Florida Power and Light Co. for Anti-Islanding Today, Successful Islanding in the Future for Distributed Generation
  • PSE&G for the PSE&G Hackensack Solar Farm

Smart Grid

  • Florida Power and Light Co. for Reaping the Benefits of the Smart Grid
  • Oncor Electric Delivery and DOE for the Dynamic Line Rating Smart Grid Demonstration Project

The Electric Light & Power and POWERGRID International Annual Awards Dinner also will honor Electric Light & Power Small Utility CEO of the Year Thomas H. Husted, CEO of Valley Electric Association in Pahrump, Nev.; Large Utility CEO of the Year John DiStasio, general manager and CEO of Sacramento Municipal Utility District in Sacramento, Calif; and Electric Light & Power 2013 Utility of the Year PPL Corp.

DistribuTECH’s sister conferences will be in San Antonio, as well. The Electric Light & Power Executive Conference will run Jan. 27 and 28 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. And the Utility Products Conference & Exposition (UPCE) will be on-site during DistribuTECH.

Randi Zuckerberg   DistribuTECH 2014 will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28 in the Lila Cockrell Theatre with keynote speakers: Randi Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media and one of the early employees at Facebook; Michael W. Yackira, president and CEO of NV Energy and chairman of the Edison Electric Institute; and Doyle N. Beneby, president and CEO of CPS Energy, the largest municipal electric and gas utility in the nation.
DistribuTECH keynote speaker Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, will share the pros and cons of social media for utilities.

After the keynote, the conference will begin. Sessions are broken down into related tracks, including advanced metering, big data, cybersecurity, international projects, grid communications and water technology. (A full list of tracks and sessions is available on Pages 56 and 57.)

In its 24th year, DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition is the granddaddy of T&D shows.
In its 24th year, DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition is the granddaddy of T&D shows.

DistribuTECH also will offer five mega sessions from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29:

1. Lessons Learned From Superstorm Sandy Executive Panel. Consolidated Edison of NY Inc., Pepco Holdings Inc., Northeast Utilities. In late October 2012, the East Coast was hit with hurricane Sandy and a major Nor’easter followed. The combined event became known as Superstorm Sandy and was the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. This panel will review Superstorm Sandy’s devastating impact on utilities and their customers and will provide an overview of their responsiveness. The panelists will discuss lessons learned, best practices to prepare for the next storm and the role of new technologies.

2. IOU CIOs: Developing Solutions to Support Customer Engagement. Xcel Energy, Pepco Holdings Inc., NV Energy, Southern California Edison. During this panel session, chief information officers from four major investor-owned utilities will describe how they deploy and develop smart grid applications, infrastructure, security and networks and how these systems are designed to support enhanced customer engagement. The panelists will discuss their programs and technologies, as well as planned enhancements. The session also will cover lessons learned. It is formatted so the audience will have plenty of time to ask questions.

3. Chapter 2: What Happens to Smart Grid Initiatives After DOE Funding? Department of Energy, Duke Energy, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, CenterPoint Energy. The DOE provided the industry an infusion of funding through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and smart grid demonstration grants. The panelists in this session represent large investor-owned utilities and will discuss how they will move forward after the funding is depleted.

4. Bring Your Own Thermostat: Residential Demand Response Program Field Results. Southern California Edison, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Austin Energy, EnergyHub, E Source. The popularity of communicating thermostats has exploded, creating an opportunity for utilities to cost-effectively acquire new residential demand response assets. Installed by consumers, contractors and cable and security companies, these thermostats offer the potential for utilities to drastically lower demand response program costs and increase customer satisfaction. This panel will discuss how electric utilities and their technology providers have successfully implemented “bring your own thermostat” demand response programs in their service territories. These panelists’ stories will help utilities that are considering thermostat programs avoid some of the pitfalls these utilities experienced along the way.

5. A Global Look at Smart Grid’s Progress and Future. Newton-Evans Research Co. Inc., Germany Trade and Invest GmbH, UTInnovation, Electricity Northwest, and an independent industry consultant. Smart grid installations have been underway around the world for years and lessons have been learned. These panelists will present an overview of global market trends, an analysis of where smart grid stands and their predictions for its future, as well as experiences from projects around the world. They will discuss some of the lessons learned in real implementations, including investment experiences.

DistribuTECH is never all learning and no play. Plenty of social opportunities exist to visit with colleagues, acquaintances and new friends.

DistribuTECH will throw a Networking Party from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 in the Grand Ballroom, and two drink tickets are included in every delegate and exhibitor badge. A cash bar also is available. Everyone is welcome to join the festivities, which will feature food, drinks and live music.

In addition to conference sessions and networking opportunities, DistribuTECH attendees may visit the show’s large exhibit floor.

With such a range of conference sessions, exposition and networking opportunities, DistribuTECH promises to be the highlight of the industry again in 2014.

conference at a glance

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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