The end of the year is a busy time for many people. For those of us who work on Electric Light & Power magazine and the Electric Light & Power Executive Conference, it is especially busy. In addition to our regular columns and sections, this last issue of the year contains some special content that requires a little more work on our part, but it adds some interest and excitement to our jobs.
This issue contains one of the most anticipated and important features of the year: the Industry Report on power plant operating performance. I enjoy interviewing Tom Hewson, who provides the tables and data for the article. He always has some interesting insight on the plants that make the top 20 lists, as well as on the issues the power generation industry faces. I hope you enjoy reading this year’s report, which begins on Page 24.
This issue also contains our Utility of the Year profile. Each year during the selection process, the editorial staff researches several utilities and uncovers impressive facts about some of North America’s best managed and operated utilities. Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) is this year’s Utility of the Year. When you read Senior Editor Kristen Wright’s interview with chairman and CEO Peter Delaney, you’ll learn why OG&E continues to stand out.
Our work isn’t limited to magazine duties. The editorial staff also is responsible for compiling content for the Electric Light & Power Executive Conference. We began working with our advisory committee months ago, selecting topics and inviting some of the best utility executives in the business to speak about those topics. In a few weeks, our hard work will pay off. Our third annual conference is Jan. 22 and 23 in San Antonio, leading into DistribuTECH.
We designed this year’s executive conference as a forum in which utility executives can discuss the technologies and trends their engineering and technical staff will see during DistribuTECH. Utility execs on our panel sessions will discuss how they’ve managed and leveraged technologies to get the best returns on investment. They’ll discuss best practices and lessons learned and provide insight on business issues, cost justification and regulatory considerations. Everyone attending will have plenty of opportunity to interact with panel members and discuss their particular issues and experiences. Our panel sessions include representatives from Public Service Electric & Gas, Kansas City Power & Light, Duke Energy, PHI Power Delivery, OG&E, CenterPoint Energy, Southern California Edison and City of Austin.
Last year, presentations by financial analyst Danielle DiMartino Booth and economist Stuart Varney prompted much audience participation, so we’ve lined up another economist this year. Todd Buchholz, who, among other things, is a frequent commentator on ABC News, PBS and CBS, will deliver a keynote address Sunday afternoon. He’ll talk about the global and U.S. economies and how they’ll affect executive and personal decision-making in 2012.
Buchholz will be followed by our famous networking reception and dinner, and we plan to make 2012’s even better. The dinner allows conference attendees time to network with old friends, new acquaintances, our magazine staff, and our CEOs and Utility of the Year, who will be formally recognized. Last year Stuart Varney even joined us.
And people are still talking about our final-day luncheon keynotes. During our first year, retired U.S. Gen. Russel HonorÃ© captivated us with tales of how he helped New Orleans pull through after Hurricane Katrina. Our second year’s luncheon address left everyone a little teary-eyed when Maj. Dan Rooney emphasized that our freedom isn’t free and shared the history behind his Folds of Honor Foundation and Patriot Golf Day. Our 2012 luncheon keynote speaker, Bill Richardson, has some hard acts to follow, but I’m confident the former U.S. energy secretary, New Mexico governor, U.S. representative and U.N. ambassador will maintain the superior level for which the luncheon is known.
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to register for the 2012 Electric Light & Power Executive Conference. You can view the entire conference program and find the registration page at http://elpconference.com. For a nominal fee, you can register as a full-conference delegate to DistribuTECH and spend the entire week networking and learning about the latest trends and technologies in providing electricity to customers.
See you Sunday, Jan. 22 at the executive conference in San Antonio!
Teresa Hansen, editor in chief