Get Smarter! DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition Celebrates 25th Anniversary in San Diego

More than 10,000 electric utility industry insiders from 64 countries are expected to fill the San Diego Convention Center for DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition, Feb. 3-5.
More than 10,000 electric utility industry insiders from 64 countries are expected to fill the San Diego Convention Center for DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition, Feb. 3-5.

DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition will celebrate its 25th anniversary Feb. 3-5 at the San Diego Convention Center. In a quarter century, DistribuTECH has become the largest annual T&D event in the world-the “can’t-miss conference” for utility information exchange and education in electricity, technology and water.

From instructional Utility University courses to experts’ delivering the latest industry details, DistribuTECH is bringing knowledge and experience to southern California.

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. Twenty-six full- and half-day courses will be offered Monday, Feb. 2. Reserve your spot by registering at www.distributech.com.

The “Oscars of the utility industry,” the Electric Light & Power and POWERGRID International Annual Awards Dinner, begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2 in the Omni San Diego Hotel Ballroom. Last year it was a sellout. Limited $60 tickets are available to DistribuTECH attendees through DistribuTECH online registration. For the second 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

  • NV Energy for its mPowered Home Energy Management program
  • PSE&G for its Multifamily Housing Program and Northgate One Housing Facility

Customer Engagement

  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District for its SmartSacramento Energy Insights Pilots
  • Commonwealth Edison Co. for its bill transformation program

Renewable Grid Integration

  • Burbank Water and Power for its Meeting Renewable Resource Goals Through an Integrated Automated Dispatch System program
  • PSE&G for its Solar 4 All pole-attached solar program

Smart Grid

  • Baltimore Gas & Electric for its Deploying Enterprise-scale Software Solutions With Clear Value program
  • New York Independent System Operator for its new control center
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The Electric Light & Power and POWERGRID International Annual Awards Dinner also will honor Electric Light & Power Small Utility CEO of the Year Joseph A. Isabella, director of Vineland Municipal Electric Utilities in Vineland, New Jersey; Large Utility CEO of the Year Theodore “Ted” F. Craver Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Edison International in Rosemead, California; and Electric Light & Power 2014 Utility of the Year Dominion.

DistribuTECH’s sister conferences will be in San Diego, too. The Electric Light & Power Executive Conference will be Feb. 2 at the Omni San Diego Hotel, where 10 utility CEOs will be speaking or accepting awards (register at www.elpconference.com). And the Utility Products Exposition will be on-site during DistribuTECH.

More than 480 exhibiting companies are expected.
More than 480 exhibiting companies are expected.

DistribuTECH will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3 in Ballroom 20. Michio Kaku, one of the most internationally recognized figures in modern science, will give a glimpse into what he expects of the next 25 years. Other speakers will include San Diego Gas & Electric CEO Jeff Martin and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Michio Kaku   Modern-day Einstein Michio Kaku will give a glimpse into what he expects of the next 25 years during the DistribuTECH keynote, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3 in Ballroom 20 at the San Diego Convention Center.
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After the keynote, the conference will begin. Sessions are broken down into 15 related tracks, including big data and analytics, defending the grid, distributed energy resources and renewables, international smart grid projects and water technology. (A full list of tracks and sessions is available on Pages 32 and 33.)

Early risers can purchase $55 tickets to 18 informal breakfast roundtables that focus on hot industry topics and allow for sharing challenges and best practices over breakfast. The roundtables are from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4. The event sells out every year, so pre-registration is suggested.

DistribuTECH also will offer six mega sessions from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4:

1. Grid 2025: What Will the Future Grid Look Like, if There is One? This session brings together a panel of credentialed and credible speakers from the research and development labs of utility-oriented hardware, software and communication technology firms (Nest Labs, MyEnergy, Ambir, Energy Strategies Group, IBM, Oracle Corp.). They will discuss what operation and information technologies they believe will be in front of, on, around and behind the electricity grid in 10-plus years ” if there’s even a grid at all. They will highlight some of their companies’ latest developments and discuss the potential game-changing impacts those developments might have in the not-too-distant future.

2. Future of the Grid. This panel will include key thought leaders (Department of Energy (DOE), CenterPoint Energy, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission) who will discuss the outcomes and recommendations from the four regional workshops to develop a stakeholder-driven vision of the future grid facilitated by the GridWise Alliance and the DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. The panel also will discuss implications for grid owners and operators, policymakers, regulators, new third-party innovators on the edge of the grid and the end customers, who might be both consumers and producers of electricity.

3. Reforming the Energy Vision in New York. In April 2014, the New York Public Service Commission opened its proceeding on Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). The REV initiative “aims to align electric utility practices and our regulatory paradigm with technological advances in information management and power generation and distribution.” The REV case is unique because it considers the business, technological and regulatory drivers of the 21st-century utility in a forward-looking multidisciplinary process. The distributed system platform provider is a new business model for the distribution utility and is at the heart of REV. (Con Edison, New York Independent System Operator, Tolerable Planet Enterprises.)

4. Bridging the Divide-Finding Common Ground Between Utilities and Connected Home Service Providers. Panelists in this session represent different types of connected home providers (EnergyHub, Time Warner Cable, Lennox Intl.). They’ll provide their perspectives on the connected home and how utilities can benefit from it. They will offer specific examples of what a good partnership model might look like for service providers and utilities.

5. Key Accomplishments of the DOE SGIG-funded AMI Projects. Panelists in this session (Baltimore Gas and Electric, PECO, City of Glendale Water & Power, Tri-State EMC, Idaho Power Co.) will focus on the new AMI systems’ capabilities, key benefits and how the projects are influencing future smart grid programs. The systems’ effects on outage management, remote service switch capabilities and tamper detection will be discussed, as well as utilities’ and customers’ use of Web portals and in-home devices.

6. Damage Assessment and Mother Nature’s Fury. Panelists in this session (United Illuminating, San Diego Gas & Electric, Xcel Energy Inc., Arizona Public Service) will discuss the processes and tools each utility uses for damage assessment after large hurricanes, tornadoes and fires. Each will present lessons learned from storm experiences and describe additional future tools and processes that might help improve the restoration process.

DistribuTECH mobile app
Download the DistribuTECH mobile app for interactive maps and session and product overviews. Search for “DTECH Event” in iTunes or “DistribuTECH” on Android.

DistribuTECH is never all learning and no play. DistribuTECH will throw an “I à¢â„¢¥ 90s” Networking Party featuring Alaska & Madi from “The Voice” from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4 in the Grand Ballroom. Two drink tickets are included in every delegate and exhibitor badge, and a cash bar also is available. Everyone is welcome to join the festivities, which will feature food, drinks and plenty of opportunities to dance the Macarena and the Carlton.

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 2015.

Click here to view the DistribuTECH 2015 Event 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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