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Technical Panel Sessions

Featuring nearly 200 of the industry’s best minds, Panel Sessions provide comprehensive discussions on a diverse range of important trends, issues, and real-world applications and solutions. Key trends explored include grid modernization, resiliency, energy storage, climate change, DERs, infrastructure, big data, renewable energy and more.

Tuesday, 7 May

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

With the rising need for the management of DERs within the distribution system, utilities have been looking into utilizing and deploying and integrating different platforms such as DER aggregators and DERMS. Currently, utilities are at various stages of the development and implementation of their DER management and DERMS strategy. One of the key aspects of platform implementation to guarantee the project’s success is to be able to test and verify different functionalities and requirements at different stages of deployment (e.g., procurement, pre-field deployment, field deployment). This becomes even more critical considering the significant effort required to fully deploy and integrate DERMS into existing utility systems. This panel focuses on the various stages of DERMS and DER aggregator testing associated with implementation phases, test requirements and considerations, available testing tools, and standards. The panel will also investigate current gaps in testing procedures and the need for standardization for DERMS testing and discusses the challenges of standardization considering a wide range of implementation approaches and testing requirements for DERMS.

Session Chair(s):
Syed Qaseem Ali, Quanta Technology

Speakers:

Rustom Dessai, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Shadi Chuangpishit, Quanta Technology
Eric Sortomme, OSI – AspenTech
Santosh Veda, Dominion Energy

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to protecting the grid of the future.

Session Chair(s):
Abder Elandaloussi, SCE

Speakers:

Sukumar Brahma, Clemson University
Yi Hu, Quanta Technology
Joerg Blumschein, Siemens

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Wildfire mitigation strategies for electric power systems are essential to minimize the risk of destructive fires and their cascading impacts. These strategies encompass a range of measures aimed at reducing the potential for power infrastructure to ignite or propagate wildfires. There are many techniques that utilities deploy, and this panel will focus on protection and control solutions. Additionally, the deployment of P&C solutions provides rapid fire detection and automated response thus reducing the energy of ignition and enabling utilities to swiftly respond by de-energizing lines or rerouting power. The IEEE PES Power System Relay and Control Subcommittee started a Work Group (D45) to provide a technical document to outline solutions and this panel will present the latest concepts from those efforts.

Session Chair(s):
Jonathan Sykes

Speakers:

Daqing Hou SEL
Jeff Dagle PNNL
Hugh Borland FIEI – Anseris IQ
Dan Ransom GE Vernova

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Currently, the electrical power industry offers key solutions to achieve society’s decarbonization targets, and many electrical utilities still face significant challenges.  Among the industry, two issues are still under development: 1) how can utilities best upgrade their infrastructure, and 2) how can utilities change their planning practices to more efficiently deploy investments. The resolution of these two issues, would bring additional value to electricity users and satisfy society goals for renewable energy and electrification targets.  This panel addresses the challenges of integrating renewables with aging infrastructure while addressing key topics in our industry such as reliability, resilience, safety, and energy justice needs and requirements.  This panel will provide a multi-disciplinary view of topics that are of keen interest to executives in electric power utilities and addresses potential solutions and recommendations. The challenges are addressed within the following topics:

1) Federal and State Regulations

2) Transmission and Distribution Upgrades

3) System Planning and New Loads

4) Renewable Integration

5) Electric Transportation

6) Reliability

7) Resilience

Best practices to deal with the issues are expected to be shared by the participating executives.   Speakers will include executives (VP level) from  Avangrid, National Grid US, and SDGE.

Session Chair(s):
Chris Root
David Elizondo

Speakers:

Alfonso Mugueta, AVANGRID
Mark Carpenter, ONCOR
Kevin Geraghty, SDG&E
Joe Bentley, PG&E
Salmore Lisa, National Grid

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

This will be the third in a series of highly-attended panels regarding the status of FERC Order 881. We’ll discuss how different utilities and RTO/ISOs are implementing Order 881 and Ambient Adjusted Ratings (AAR) and Dynamic Line Ratings (DLR). Just over one year will remain to meet the FERC deadlines at the time of the panel, so last-minute considerations will shared.

Session Chair(s):
Rob Schaerer, POWER Engineers, Inc.

Speakers:

Lisa Deppa, POWER Engineers, Inc.
William Holden, Southwest Power Pool
Joe Coffey, Prysmian

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The panel assembles a group of young professional experts specialized in grid modernization, transportation electrification, distributed energy resources (DERs), and hydrogen applications. The primary objective is to delve into the intricacies of these four pivotal elements, shaping the dynamic energy landscape. Central to the discussion is the emphasis on grid modernization, entailing the necessary upgrades and adaptations to the grid infrastructure. This transformation aims to seamlessly integrate transportation electrification, hydrogen utilization, and the interconnected DERs into the modernized grid. By engaging in rigorous deliberations, the panel will address the multifaceted challenges and opportunities that arise from this paradigm shift. Topics of interest encompass the modernization of the grid, navigation through regulatory complexities, harnessing hydrogen’s potential as a clean energy carrier, and unlocking the full potential of DER interconnections to bolster grid stability. Ultimately, the panel seeks to illuminate the path towards a sustainable and efficient energy ecosystem of the future.

Session Chair(s):
Milad Soleimani, Guidehouse

Speakers:

Ahad Esmaeilian, Audubon Companies
Shishir Shekhar, Landis+Gyr Inc
John Hofman, Burns & McDonnell

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The electric power industry is experiencing an unprecedented evolution driven by various important trends, including adoption of renewables, decarbonization, and mitigation of impacts of climate change. These factors are prompting a variety of initiatives across the electric power grid. For instance, there is growing integration of renewable generation and retirement of fossil fuel power plants in transmission systems, as well as increasing adoption of DER and electric transportation in distribution systems. Additionally, customers have growing expectations regarding reliability, resilience, and power quality due to society’s increasing dependence on the digital economy. This is particularly challenging given the vulnerability of power distribution systems (especially overhead lines) to disruptions caused by climate-related events (e.g., hurricanes and winter storms).  In the specific case of distribution systems, a holistic and coordinated approach involving distribution planning, distribution engineering analyses, and DER and electric transportation adoption is needed to achieve utility goals and modernize power delivery grids. Greater attention is particularly needed to the growing synergies and interactions between distribution planning decisions (e.g., capacity planning), distribution engineering analyses (e.g., reliability, volt-var control, power quality, protection, etc.), and DER and transportation electrification integration (e.g., Non-Wires Alternatives). This has led to the emergence of the Integrated Distribution Planning (IDP) concept, which advocates for closer coordination between interrelated and/or interdependent distribution planning, engineering, and DER functions to optimize decisions. For instance, deployment of distribution automation solutions such as Fault Location, Isolation and Service Restoration (FLISR) requires accounting for multiple important planning, engineering, and DER functions, such as load forecasting, capacity planning, voltage regulation, reliability and resilience improvement, power quality, protection coordination, and DER and electrification adoption. Disregarding or not properly accounting for some of these activities may lead to suboptimal or flawed solutions. IDP is a key area of interest for utilities in the United States. Activity in this area includes existing IDP proposals and plans, and regulatory proceedings. The components of the IDP plans/proposals are wide-ranging and cover multiple areas of expertise. This panel session will discuss the IDP initiatives currently being implemented by four electric utilities (Dominion Energy, Eversource, Xcel Energy, and Hawaiian Electric).

Session Chair(s):
Julio Romero Aguero

Speakers:

Augustus Johnson, Dominion Energy
Lavelle Freeman, Eversource
Daniel Haughton, LUMA Energy
Ken Aramaki, Hawaiian Electric
Marina Mondello, Commonwealth Edison

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

This panel will convene a diverse group of experts to discuss key aspects of EV charging impacts on distribution and bulk power system reliability, including initiatives to identify, monitor and mitigate associated risks.

Session Chair(s):
Mike Walker

Speakers:

Deepak Aswani, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Ryan Garoogian, Southern California Edison
Peter Klauer, California Independent System Operator
Bryan Jungers, E Source
Ryan Quint, North American Electric Reliability Corporation
Scott Caruso, Grid Metrics

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The increased application of Voltage-Source Converter (VSC) technology has led to many new challenges and innovative applications of this technology.  STATCOMs and VSC-HVDC are the two most common applications.  This panel session describes emerging terms, new technologies, experimental configuration topologies as well as some implementation experiences with regard to these technologies.  A key focus of this panel session is also the grid-stabilization applications and algorithms that are currently being applied worldwide.  Some topics that are proposed to be discussed are: A. Grid-forming and Grid-following technologies B. VSC-STATCOM applications C. VSC-HVDC applications

Session Chair(s):
Jan Paramalingam

Andrew Steffen

Speakers:

David Langner, Siemens Energy
Joe Warner, POWER Engineers
Martin Cameron, Xcel Energy
Mikael Halonen, Hitachi Energy
Septimus Boshoff, DNV South Africa

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Incorporation of decentralized generation or distributed energy resources (DERs), combined with increasing storage and edge devices, is transforming the electric grid. The increase in natural and manmade disasters is forcing us to rethink how the grid components should be hardened and structure should be made resilient in order to mitigate outages. There are a multitude of potential benefits with this increasing use of distributed renewable energy resources that cover economic, environmental, and societal dimensions.  However, the traditional electric industry is not yet structured to leverage these resources fully.  A number of system level challenges exist that must be addressed; these include regulatory, operational, and interoperability issues.  In many parts of the country, regulatory structures and tariffs are based on centralized generation and one-way energy flow to the consumer.  Minimal coordination exchange occurs between transmission and distribution providers, and the separation of control creates obstacles in leveraging DER into grid services.  Multiple new entities such as prosumers, aggregators, building managers, and others are now involved in the flow of energy across the grid; this leads to limited visibility of DER resources and grid edge assets due to lack of consistent application of protocols and communication standards. The only way we can harness the power of DER and grid edge devices is through a systematic transformation of the architecture of the system aimed at integrating the different desirable changes while overcoming the systemic issues.  This panel will take a grid architecture approach to identify the key architectural considerations to support grid transformation objectives with special focus on distribution system and the T&D interface. Our proposed panel will focus on how to plan, coordinate and orchestrate all the changes that are taking place in the grid in a harmonized manner. We will discuss a systematic approach of first identifying the different requirements, determining the appropriate architectural specifications (which will allow integration of all of the necessary changes together), and developing the necessary coordination framework or grid codes to help execute those. This panel will provide information and insights from experts in the field, and will include diverse perspectives from panelists with utility, consultancy, national laboratory and government affiliations.

Session Chair(s):
Seemita Pal

Speakers:

Joseph Paladino, Department of Energy
Jim Ogle, PNNL
Mark Esguerra, Southern California Edison
Darren Murtaugh ,Portland General Electric
Paul De Martini, Newport Consulting Group, LLC

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Inverter-based resources (IBRs), such as solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power systems, have revolutionized the energy landscape by providing clean and renewable sources of electricity. However, these resources also introduce unique reliability challenges to power systems. Several key concerns are their dependency on weather conditions and lack of response to changing or adverse system conditions. Furthermore, inverter-based resources lack inertia, frequency and voltage control, and fault current which traditionally came from conventional generators and helped stabilize grid. Mitigating these challenges requires advanced control and monitoring systems that can detect changing system conditions, automatically recommend and take corrective actions, and stabilize the grid. The panel will be addressing this topic in detail both from a regulatory perspective, as well as from a utility perspective, and looking into practical, real-world solutions. 

Session Chair(s):
Jonathan Sykes

Speakers:

Jason Eruneo, Duke Energy
Rich Bauer, NERC
Paul Martini, National Grid
Juergen Holbach, Quanta-Technology
Bogdan Kasztenny, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

On September 17, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) introduced Order 2222, which allows tariff changes to enable aggregated distributed energy resources (DERs) to participate in wholesale energy markets. DERs are Behind the Meter (BTM) small-scale energy resources like rooftop solar panels, battery storage installations, electric vehicles, charging equipment, and energy-efficient appliances. These BTM DERs have been limited to serving only local areas, but with FERC’s new rule, they can participate in broader markets. This panel will discuss the studies that utilities should consider when receiving DER aggregation requests, why they are necessary and how to run some of these studies with the current commercial tools that is available in the North American market. Other than traditional distribution planning studies, the team will discuss time series analysis, quasi time series analysis, harmonic analysis, distribution transient analysis, protection coordination, etc. In cases where the DERs aggregated by a single DER aggregator span across multiple TP/PC footprints, there must be coordinated efforts to update data, information, models, and practices consistently. This ensures that the DER aggregation is accurately reflected in operational, near-term, and long-term studies transmission planning assessments. The panel will discuss how the DER aggregation impact the Bulk Power System especially regional and interregional planning practices, such as underfrequency load shedding programs required under PRC-006 or determining the most severe contingency for an interconnection.

Session Chair(s):
Rajarshi Roychowdhury

Xuan Wu

Speakers:

Raiford Smith, AES US Utilities
Hui Zhang, AES Corp
Ravikanth Varanasi, 1898 & Co., a part of Burns & McDonnell
Jessie Bauer, Comed
Zhaoyu Wang, Iowa State University
Mohit Singh, Comed

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Energy storage is a critical piece of utility clean energy targets. Bringing these resources into the fold alongside distributed energy resources, changing generation mixtures, and demand flexibility means that we need more visibility and control of these critical systems. In this panel, hear about efforts underway on storage controls, energy storage management system roles and interfaces, the data to feed intelligence and visibility, and the protocols and standards to connect it all together.

Session Chair(s):
Ben Ealy

Tu Nguyen

Speakers:

Jaime Kolln Pacific, Northwest National Laboratory
Valerio De Angelis, Sandia National Laboratories
Benjamin Schenkman, EPRI
David Rosewater Sandia, National Laboratories

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Distribution automation (DA) is crucial for cooperatives to enhance the reliability, efficiency and cost effectiveness of their power distribution networks. However, they face challenges in implementing the DA due to limited financial resources to invest in advanced technologies and complexity in integrating them into existing infrastructure. Broadband initiatives supported by infrastructure law, a better AMI coverage than IOUs, interoperability standards such as Multipeak, and advancements in low-cost sensing, control, and computation technologies are paving the ways for co-ops to adopt DA to provide improved services and better manage their resources in the evolving energy landscape. This panel will highlight the significance of DA in empowering cooperatives, how cooperatives are building on AMIs and OMS to adopt DA, challenges and opportunities, and implementation strategies of DA in cooperative utility space for a resilient energy future.

Session Chair(s):

Ravindra Singh, NRECA

Speakers:

Gio Herazo, Schneider Electric
Cyril Brunner, Vermont Electric Cooperative
Reed Wells, Flint Energies

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Large scale installations of inverter based renewable generation in remote locations has increase interest in the application of HVDC transmission and flexible ac transmission systems (FACTS) devices, possibly with energy storage. Schemes have been proposed or implemented for applications ranging from bulk power transfer, transmission support for off-shore and on-shore wind applications, providing dynamic active and reactive support, as well as multiterminal HVDC grids for either urban areas as nation spanning areas. This panel session introduces fundamental concepts of HVDC transmission systems and FACTS devices. The presentations are tutorial in nature and do not presume familiarity with power electronics.

Session Chair(s):

Brian Johnson, University of Idaho

Speakers:

Neil Kirby General, Electric Renewable Energy
Ketan Joshi, POWER Engineers, Inc.
Eugen Starschich, Siemens Energy
Joe Warner, POWER Engineers

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

The complexity of electric systems to facilitate a low-carbon future is increasing, at the same time many electrical system components are reaching end of life. Normal and abnormal system conditions that lead to stray and contact voltages affecting the public and their animals is the focus of IEEE 1695. Investigation techniques will be presented in a series of case studies from real world scenarios including urban and confined livestock environments.

Session Chair(s):

Matt Norwalk, SCE

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

The energy transition is driving an unprecedented transformation in all aspects of the electric power industry. Achieving the vision of a clean energy system requires modernizing and building the grid of the future to enable the integration of renewable generation, and distributed energy resources and electrification, while providing a reliable, resilient, safe, secure, accessible, efficient, and affordable service. This requires making cost-effective investments in foundational infrastructure, intelligent assets and systems, communications and information systems, and software solutions and applications, as well as developing innovative and agile processes. This is a major and complex endeavor that involves meeting the requirements and expectations of multiple stakeholders, including customers, generation developers, regulators, policy makers, shareholders, etc.  Electric utilities are implementing multiple initiatives to modernize power delivery systems, including 1) weather-hardening the grid and replacing aging assets, 2) implementing intelligent solutions to improve the visibility, monitoring, protection, automation, and control capabilities of the grid (e.g., AMI, FLISR, ADMS, DERMS, etc.), 3) deploying Distributed Energy Resources (DER), such as energy storage and microgrids as Non-Wires Alternatives (NWA) in selected locations, 4) modernizing engineering, planning and operations processes (e.g., advanced modeling, simulation and analysis of distribution systems), and 5) addressing organizational aspects (e.g., creating new organizations responsible for grid transformation, resilience, DER and electrification integration, etc.). This panel session will discuss the initiatives currently being implemented by four electric utilities (Dominion Energy, Eversource, LUMA Energy, and Entergy) to modernize power delivery systems. Topics will include 1) foundational infrastructure solutions (e.g., weather hardening, strategic undergrounding) to improve distribution resilience and reliability and climate change readiness, 2) advanced technology solutions (e.g., substation and distribution automation, sensors, advanced protection technologies), 3) modern planning, modeling, and analysis approaches (e.g., Integrated Distribution Planning, load and DER forecasting, DER and electrification hosting capacity), 4) methodologies for investment justification (e.g., benefit-cost analyses, value of reliability and resilience, development of roadmaps, regulatory process, etc.), and 5) key trends to watch closely in this area.

Session Chair(s):

Julio Romero Aguero

Speakers:

Lavelle Freeman, Eversource
Kelly Bauman, Entergy
Babak Enayati, LUMA Energy
Ken Aramaki, Hawaiian Electric
Taiwo Alo, Pepco Holdings Inc.
Robert Wright, Dominion Energy

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

The use of intelligent design software and workflows is fundamentally changing the way utilities design, construct, operate, and maintain substations. Benefits of adopting this technology include improved safety, fewer issues during construction, and increased quality through standardization of designs.  A growing number of utilities are exploring the development and use of digital twins for substations. Digital twins are virtual replicas of physical assets, integrated with real-time data and advanced analytics. They can enable utilities to gain insights into their operations, monitor asset health, predict potential failures, and improve decision-making. Panelists will discuss:

• Why the industry shift to digital access to information is important for the safe and reliable operation of the grid moving forward

• Key concepts and core principles concerning digital twins 

• How leveraging digital twin technology can benefit your organization during substation design, construction, maintenance, and operation

• Practical advice concerning change management

• The return on investment from use of digital twins

Session Chair(s):

Arnold Fry, Power Engineers, Inc

John Ballenot

Speakers:

Don Sanders, Ameren
Nils Weber, Entegra
Kishan Ellepola, BGE
Jimmy Lopez, American Electric Power

Wednesday, 8 May

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Energy storage, especially long-duration energy storage (LDES), holds great potential for future decarbonized grid. More affordable and efficient storage will enable the capture and use of clean energy like solar, wind, and nuclear when generation doesn’t match the demand. This panel session will delve into the forefront of LDES, exploring topics such as repurposing second-life batteries for cost reduction, harnessing innovative flow batteries and mechanical systems for extended duration, enhancing resilience through microgrid applications, and advanced system-level planning. Comprising a diverse group of experts from energy storage developers, national labs, utilities, and consulting companies, this panel will share valuable insights and lessons learned, and engage in meaningful discussions on the challenges and opportunities to further advance the development and deployment of LDES.

Session Chair(s):
Di Wu

Speakers:

Jeremy Twitchell, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Steven Chung, ReJoule
Russ Weed, CleanTech Strategies
Dhruv Bhatnagar, Strategen
Joseph Do Puget, Sound Energy

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The increasing penetration of distributed energy resources (DERs) has motivated utilities to deploy SCADA, smart meters, and other advanced sensors, which has greatly improved the monitoring capability on distribution grids. The unprecedented amounts of data, different data types and resolutions, as well as incomplete or incorrect grid models have introduced new challenges to distribution utilities. This panel will present recent progress in leveraging a large amount of data to improve distribution grid modeling, operation, planning, and DER management. It will show how utilities can use big data analytics and machine learning to unlock the untapped potential of various field measurements and radically enhance distribution grid reliability and resilience. The panelists include experts from universities, national labs, and utility companies.

Session Chair(s):
Zhaoyu Wang, Iowa State University

Matthew Reno, Sandia National Lab

Speakers:

Rui Yang, National Renewable Energy Lab
Rajarshi Roychowdhury, AES
Vijay Vittal, Arizona State University

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

This panel will bring together experts to discuss the latest achievements and existing gaps in modeling and analysis of climate-disturbances in Western Interconnection. The panelists will discuss the challenges the Western Interconnection faces during prolonged heatwaves and wildfire seasons and how WECC and utilities like PGE and PacifiCorp are utilizing innovative solutions to adapt with the disturbances. Panelists from E3 and LBNL will discuss modeling approaches to estimate and forecast the impacts of such events in the future and how the analysis could be used to prepare the western interconnection to adapt to such disturbances.

Session Chair(s):
Miguel Heleno

Masood Parvania

Speakers:

Branden Sudduth, Western Electricity Coordinating Council
Jessie Knapstein, E3
Andy Eiden, Portland General Electric
Andrew Jones, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Increasingly, customers are connecting distributed energy resources (DER) to LV networks, which are widely used for serving concentrated loads in dense urban areas. Additional DER generation can offset the demand peak and even back-feed the primary feeder. Moreover, most newly added DER are inverter-based resources (IBR), which have unconventional behaviors during faults and disturbances. Current LV network protection systems are designed to clear faults on the medium voltage feeder by detecting excessive reverse current (or power). The combination of DER back-feed and IBR unconventional fault response poses a significant challenge to the existing LV network protection philosophy and practice.   This presentation will explain research findings on the state of industry practice, needs, and opportunities in LV network protection and control.

Session Chair(s):
Matthew Reno

Speakers:

Zheyuan Cheng, Quanta Technology
Chris Jones, Con Edison
Aadityaa Padmanabhan, EPRI
Juval Bothe, ENMAX Energy
Joseph Azzolini, Sandia National Laboratories

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The objective of the panel is to illustrate interactions at the grid edge (in relation to voltage), how it is a part of a larger concept – that of a dynamic grid.  This dynamic and  intelligent grid is essential for facilitating a future with increased renewable integration, enhanced resilience, and efficient management of diverse electric loads such as EV charging.

Session Chair(s):
Anh Tran, Reinhausen Manufacturing

Speakers:

Ashraful Haque, ComEd / Exelon
Troy Cherry, Reinhausen Manufacturing
Chad Nickells, Xcel Energy

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

With the rapidly increasing integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) and EVs in the residential electricity sector, it is important for utilities to have visibility over those behind-the-meter (BTM) assets. These assets may not properly contribute to benefit the premises or to the grid if they are not managed optimally; instead, their suboptimal operation may jeopardize grid operations or deprive the grid and the premises from receiving the maximum possible benefits. Besides, there are controllable loads such as HVAC and Electric Water Heater (EWH) in the premises that can be coordinated with DER and EV operations. With the advent of grid edge control and communication technologies, optimal frameworks for independent operation of assets and information exchange between the premises and the utility can provide a better understanding on premises flexibility and possible operation for grid services. In this panel, we assemble experts from the industry, academia, national labs, and government to discuss the state-of-the-art in progress, challenges, and opportunities in grid edge technologies and hierarchical control related to BTM DERs providing grid services through the lens of existing initiatives.

Session Chair(s):
Shakil Hossan, EATON

Bishnu Bhattarai, Department of Energy

Speakers:

Sid suryanarayanan, EATON
jUNBO Zhao, University of Connecticut
Xuan Wu, AES
Bethany Sparn, NREL

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The need for resiliency and shareholder/public value has many US utilities engaged in an historic level of underground distribution work. Some utilities started years ago. Some are just starting now. Join Georgia Power, Eversource Energy, Minnesota Power and Pacific Gas & Electric as they discuss why they are now considering new underground standards, large distribution OH to UG conversion programs, and underground options for urban transmission lines. How are they structuring new pilots and programs, what have they learned from others, where will they get the engineering, public involvement and construction resources and what is the reaction from their regulators and other stakeholders.

Session Chair(s):
Mike Beehler, Power Delivery Intelligence Initiative

Speakers:

Asim Fazlagic, Eversource Energy
Gina Stauffer, Pacific Gas & Electric
Daniel Gunderson, Minnesota Power
Rachel Williams, Georgia Power

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

In 2022, Eversource completed deployment of a microgrid on a thirteen-mile distribution circuit with a 25 MW / 38 MWh BESS that provides the sole supply into the Provincetown and Outer Cape area to serve customers during outages. This project was a first of its kind, technically complex, and practically challenging to deliver on it is original promise of achieving superior service reliability. However, the project was successfully implemented and has been in operation, since July 2022, responding to multiple unplanned and planned outages – performing seamless (interruption free) islanding and restoration of services.  This panel focuses on outlining the end-to-end stages of project execution from design and engineering, construction, controls, and automation scheme deployment, all the way to commissioning and comprehensive performance testing. The panelists summarize the observations and lessons learned during several implementation stages, the main challenges, as well as the outcome of project implementation as a Non-Wires Alternative (NMA) solution and its impact on reliability issues. The success factors of the project will be discussed and approaches to overcome different challenges of the project will be shared as a blueprint for other utilities on their path towards implementing Microgrids.

Session Chair(s):
Shadi Chuangpishit

Speakers:

Anuj Mathur, Eversource Energy
Farid Katiraei, Quanta Technology
John Ventura, Eversource Energy
Enmanuel Revi, Eversource Energy
Carlos Ortiz, Eversource Energy
Alexander Tang, TRC Companies

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

This panel will review positive impacts of HVDC and FACTS have on system resilience. Potential vulnerabilities of the bulk power system through the interconnected nature ac systems as well as through SCADA and other communication systems will be reviewed. Followed by a discussion of how FACTS and HVDC protection, control, and communication systems differ from those for conventional ac systems. HVDC and FACTS systems also have the ability to improve the resilience of the bulk power system. FACTS devices, LCC HVDC systems, VSC-based systems, and multiterminal DC grids will be compared in terms of their abilities to impact system resilience in the face of major disturbances or cyber-physical events. Potential detection and mitigation ideas will be presented.  Example case studies based on existing or proposed systems will be presented.

Session Chair(s):
Brian Johnson

Speakers:

Reynaldo Nuqui, Hitachi Energy

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

This panel will explore innovative approaches for modeling and simulation of integrated transmission and distribution (T&D) systems, bridging both theoretical research and real-world applications. While traditionally T&D systems have been studied and modeled separately, the rising DER penetrations have failed some key assumptions like unidirectional power flow and balanced operation. Therefore, there is a need to develop integrated approaches for T&D systems. This panel will focus on integrated modeling and co-simulation, covering topics such as the applications of modern data analytics and cloud computing-based solutions to the T&D domain. Moreover, this panel will discuss challenges in DER control/integration and system-wise control in general and provide recommendations for future research and best practice in this area.

Session Chair(s):
Bilal Ahmad Bhatti

Speakers:

Robert Broadwater, Virginia Tech
Andrew Reiman, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Abhineet Parchure, Amazon
Yannan Sun, Oncor
Jiyu Wang, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

With increasing penetration of inverter-based resources (IBR), it is important to monitor, model, and analyze distribution grids. A synchrophasor is a time-synchronized measurement of power systems. Core benefits of synchrophasor data, when compared to conventional SCADA measurements, are their higher reporting rate, their GPS synchronized values and phase angle measurements. These unique advantages allow utilities to observe and record transients and dynamics in distribution grids, which is essential to assess IBR’s impacts and improve system reliability and efficiency. This panel includes experts from academia, national labs, consulting firms, and utility companies. The panel will demonstrate the usefulness of synchropahsor monitoring in distribution grids, such event detection, IBR characterization and control, and distribution grid modeling. The panel will also share field implementation experience of synchropahsor monitoring.

Session Chair(s):
Zhaoyu Wang, Iowa State University

Speakers:

Damir Novosel, Quanta Technology
Farnoosh Rahmatian, NuGrid Power Corp
Marianna Vaiman, V&R Energy
Ruoxi Zhu, ComEd

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Inverter-Based Resources (IBRs) have emerged as a pivotal component in modern power systems, revolutionizing electricity generation, transmission, and consumption. With the proliferation of large wind farms, solar photovoltaic plants, and energy storage systems, IBRs are increasingly replacing conventional rotating machine-based generation plants. These fast-acting resources with their dynamic characteristics introduce numerous challenges to power system operation, necessitating in-depth planning, analysis, and standardization to ensure standard process, proper design, and full compliance with interconnection requirements. To facilitate the seamless integration of IBRs into the bulk power system, it is imperative to initiate the process from the early planning stages and revisit conventional design, engineering, and commissioning practices. Operational Readiness represents the capability of the power system to operate the future grid safely, reliably, and cost-effectively, particularly with the addition of intermittent resources.  This panel will explore various critical aspects of operational readiness for IBR-dominated power systems. Topics to be discussed include planning challenges, reliability issues, compliance with emerging standards and regulations, interconnection requirements for IBR plants, commissioning procedures, and testing mandates.  By examining real-world case studies and practical insights, the panelists will share their diverse experiences and expertise in tackling the challenges associated with IBR integration and management. They will highlight the strategies and innovations necessary to ensure a smooth transition to IBR-dominated power systems, allowing for a more sustainable and resilient energy future.

Session Chair(s):
Reza Salehi

Speakers:

Scott W Anderson, Salt River Power
Amin Zamani, Quanta Technology
Rahul Anilkumar, Quanta Technology
Aung Thant, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)
Ajmal Saeed, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E)
Alireza Shahsavari, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
Mike Jensen, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E)

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Adopting IEC 61850 promises utilities the ability to design and build protection, control, and automation schemes more quickly and efficiently, and provide easy access to data to drive solutions to operate substations and the overall power system better. Moving towards IEC 61850 communications requires careful planning, the involvement of many different stakeholders in the utility, and making many decisions on how best to implement 61850 at your company. The panelists are all utility representatives that will discuss their viewpoint on IEC 61850. The panelists will talk about their reasons for adopting or waiting to adopt IEC 61850, the decisions they’ve made on their current path, and what they’ve done and learned.

Session Chair(s):
Rich Hunt

Speakers:

Bill Winters, Con Edison
Phil VanSant, Dominion Energy
John Bettler, Commonwealth Edison
John Hart, Duke Energy

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

The decision to deploy an energy storage system on a utility grid comes with many considerations besides the capital outlay.  The kinds of questions and potential impact of decisions made during each step of the energy storage project lifecycle are discussed in this panel session with an emphasis on lessons learned from fielded projects.  Topics include: What are the different kinds of viable energy storage technologies that offer the best combination of upfront cost, safety, and levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for your application? How do current Codes, Standards, and Regulations impact the language to be included in your Request for Proposal (RFP)?  What are some of the pitfalls and hurdles you will face during commissioning and how to plan for them? What are the challenges in setting up a distributed data collection system and what data is even important?  How do you plan for end of system life considering the recycling/disposal of battery components and associated challenges?

Session Chair(s):
Waylon Clark, Sandia National Laboratories

Atri Bera

Speakers:

Ramesh Koripella, Sandia National Laboratories
Harvey Rambarath, Seminole Tribe of Florida
Henry Guan, Sandia National Laboratories
Tim Wilcox, Sandia National Laboratories
Carl Jackson, Southern Company

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

The objective of this panel is to facilitate a collaborative conversation between Data Center & Cloud Computing entities and electric utilities in the United States, focusing on developing a mutually-beneficial partnership to address grid capacity constraints while efficiently integrating renewable energy sources. The panel will emphasize the growing impact of AI-driven cloud computing needs on data centers and explore how Grid-Enhancing Technologies (GETs) and Dynamic Line Ratings can support sustainable solutions.

Session Chair(s):
Carson Casey

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Utilities globally are under pressure to reduce risks, enhance reliability, manage aging infrastructure, and contain O&M costs. Implementation of virtual inspections for overhead lines represents one area to explore for efficiency and operational gains, and to improve infrastructure asset data. During this panel subject matter experts will provide an overview of the evolution of the enabling technologies and processes and their effectiveness, an update on the status of where we are today, and a roadmap of where the panelists believe virtual inspection technology and business processes are headed.

Session Chair(s):
Andy Stewart, EDM International, Inc.

Speakers:

Jenn Clarke, eSmart Systems
Will Wheeler, Phoenix Air Unmanned, LLC
Paul Petersen, EDM International, Inc.
Corby White, Xcel Energy

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Traditional approaches and equipment for Volt/var control in transmission systems may face essential limitations in the future considering how power systems are evolving and the expected landscape. Issues and challenges that will arise due to the more stringent operating conditions and performance requirements will drive the need for various different aspects, for example: Would more dynamic compensation will be needed in the system given the impact of renewables, IBRs, new types of loads?, What type of dynamic compensation is needed, power electronic-based, synchronous condensers, BESS?, What is the state of the art and the role of new compensation technologies such as hybrid STATCOMs?, Are new models and tools needed for optimal design and analysis of var compensation solutions?, Are there more efficient and effective ways to coordinate controls across the T&D interface? This panel explores these issues and discusses emerging approaches and technologies for improved voltage control and reactive power management in transmission networks.

Session Chair(s):
Alberto Del Rosso

Speakers:

Marija Ilic, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tetsushi Ono, Hitachi, Ltd
Tamer Ibrahim, Electric Power Research Institute
Shengen Chen, RLC Engineering

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

As greater penetration of high-voltage direct current (HVdc) systems happens in the world, there are technical challenges that need to be addressed to create direct current (dc) system or grid. The dc system can be a multi-terminal dc (MTdc) system. For such systems or grids, it is imperative to understand the means to scale such systems with flexibility, integrate breakers and protection schemes, and operate with equipment from different vendors. These are some of the challenges identified during multiple workshops that have been conducted recently on HVdc systems and will be discussed in detail during this panel session. The session will include speakers from HVdc vendors, national laboratory, and US Department of Energy (DOE) to discuss the latest developments in breakers and interoperability. These include developments in US, Europe, and other parts of the world. The focus in this session will be to converge upon the next set of challenges that need to be addressed, while reviewing the current state-of-the-art and ongoing research & development. The session will include 4-5 speakers with each speaker presenting for 20 minutes. There will be a panel discussion at the end of the session. This session will provide content that power system engineers, researchers, and policy makers will be interested in.

Session Chair(s):
Suman Debnath, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Speakers:

Etienne Veilleux, Hitachi Energy
Eugen Starschich, Siemens Energy
Andrew Bailey, Mitsubishi Electric

Thursday, 9 May

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

With Decarbonization as one of our greatest challenges, more renewables are being connected. The restriction of this energy source to certain regions requires long AC or DC interconnectors. Therefore, Grid Modernization has been a global focus on changes needed in the power grid to accommodate all technical developments in generation, transmission & distribution. It is also often considered the increased application of sensors, smart assets and resilient smart infrastructure. In this session, we will address the main opportunities and challenges for Grid Modernization.

Session Chair(s):
Santos Romero

Iftekharul Huq

Speakers:

Nicolas Voboril, Siemens Energy
Carlos Rodriguez, Invenergy
Lina Ramirez, NREL
Shun-Hsien, Huang ERCOT

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Immediate event detection and automated restoration following an event are indispensable for resilience enhancement. Realizing those requires: 1) data-driven outage detection, fault location, asset condition identification to minimize or avoid manual assessment, 2) robust and instant information-sharing platforms to inform and coordinate different community stakeholders, and 3) advanced controls to manage utility assets, solar, and other DERs in communities in an automated way for optimized performance. In this panel, we will have presenters from industry, national lab, and university to discuss about their cutting-edge solutions and past successful applications to improve system situational awareness and grid restoration strategy for enhancing resilience.

Session Chair(s):
Fei Ding National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Yiyun Yao

Speakers:

Zhaoyu Wang, Iowa State University
Yue Tian, NEC Labs America
Young Ngo, Survalent
Dylan Cutler, Camus Energy

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Driven, in part, by the US DOE Hydrogen Program, interest in green hydrogen for R&D and deployment is rising in the United States. It is anticipated that regional clean hydrogen hubs will accelerate hydrogen use as an energy carrier for delivering and storing energy. This represents $9.5B allocated to clean hydrogen research, development, and demonstration programs. A recent investigation into planned green hydrogen projects in the United States identified large-scale projects with tens of GW of renewable energy. Through those projects, several interconnected industries are planned to become more integrated as they address the global problem of climate change through decarbonization. These industries include the power and energy sector, the industrial sector, transportation, and agriculture, among others. The systems and infrastructure required for these projects relate to power generation, natural gas, renewable natural gas and hydrogen. Also at the technologies level, microgrids, integrated with solar, wind, battery energy storage, and electrolyzers are expected.  This panel will provide a multi-disciplinary view of green hydrogen from the perspective of electric power utilities and developers. They have planned projects in the United States, and potentially with the US DOE funds. Panelists will address themes such as:  1. The capability of portfolios made of solar, wind, and batteries to meet capacity and energy needs, and portfolios’ dependence on import/export capabilities. 2. The identification of zones in the United States where dispatchable renewable fuels are appearing in integrated resource plans (IRPs) that aim for net zero futures. 3. The role of green hydrogen as a fuel and a load, the intricacies of siting hydrogen plants close to electric power grids, and the roles of off-takers.   4. The potential risks, roadblocks, and enablers in the development of hydrogen infrastructure.

Session Chair(s):
David Elizondo

Speakers:

Pradheep Kileti, National Grid
Sunita Satyapal, US DOE
Ahad Esmaellian, Audubon companies
Steve Pullins, AlphaStruxure
Melanie Davidson, SDG&E
Hisham Othman, Quanta Technology Limited LLC

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

In the modern power system, holistic cyber-physical situational awareness is required for grid operators and stakeholders to coordinate and respond to challenges.  Traditionally IT departments have monitored cyber activity and grid operators have monitored physical systems completely independently from one another.  Cyber activity can now directly impact physical grid operations and independent monitoring is insufficient to respond to threats facing the power grid. Sophisticated cyber monitoring techniques must be combined with fine-grained, multimodal power system sensing using state-of-the-art analysis to provide an integrated perspective in real-time as events occur.

Session Chair(s):
Shamina Hossain-McKenzie

Speakers:

Logan Blakely, Sandia National Laboratories
Katherine Davis, Texas A&M
Sean Bayless, Sierra Nevada Corporation
Serge Nadon, Tenable

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Transmission & Distribution asset infrastructure introduces a number of specialized challenges  for utilities to continually manage as part of their asset management (AM) programs. Traditionally,  to manage these challenges, utilities have spent considerable time & effort to develop robust  asset management systems (AMS) and underlying processes to manage individual assets and  asset classes, thereby establishing “asset awareness”. Key asset awareness outputs include  forward-looking indicators (e.g. health index, failure curves, risk costs) that predict how assets are  degrading, and which assets should be replaced first, often based upon failure risk. In parallel to asset awareness, there has been a need to establish an awareness of the broader  T&D system, to identify how external factors can impact the T&D system and the performance of  assets – particularly for overhead infrastructure that is constantly exposed to the elements. Key  external factors that can impact the performance of assets include extreme temperatures, winds,  rainfall & flooding, snow & ice conditions as well as adjacent contacts with vegetation, animals,  vehicles and humans. These emerging and external factors can ultimately accelerate the aging  and degradation of the assets’ themselves, resulting in premature failures. Other emerging and external factors, including capacity challenges due to the introduction of new  renewable technologies, electric vehicles and charging networks, as well as physical and  cybersecurity challenges continue to grow in volume, resulting in the need to rethink asset  management efforts, and the “awareness” that these efforts are providing to utilities. In order to  better respond to these challenges, utilities must expand their awareness level, moving “beyond  the asset” to examine the grid holistically, such that these emerging & external factors can be  sufficiently predicted and addressed as part of capital & maintenance plans. This panel session will share real-world applications, where utilities have introduced new  processes, tools and systems to expand their awareness to the grid and beyond, such that the  risks of external and emerging factors can be sufficiently predicted and managed as part of the  proposed investment plans.

Session Chair(s):
Robert Otal, METSCO

Speakers:

Travis Squires, Ethical AI

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

As the grid further decarbonizes and the penetration of variable energy resources increases, unlocking flexibility is key to enabling power systems reliability, resilience, affordability, sustainability, and security.  This panel focuses on the fundamentals and technologies to maximize flexibility from generation and load resources that can respond to uncertainties of conditions. The panel will start with fundamental methods to assess flexibility from individual devices, to hybrid resources that combine multiple energy sources, storage, and energy conversion technologies, culminating in assessing the amount of flexibility we currently have in our current grid and how much flexibility we will need for a future decarbonized grid.   The panel will continue to discuss the challenges to unleash supply- and demand-side flexibility – identified by the Flexible Generation and Load pillar under the Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative. These challenges range from market, policy and regulation, to valuation, and technology development. The panelists will share exemplar RD&D experiences in addressing some of these challenges. Specific projects that will be covered include nuclear-hydrogen integration with several nuclear power plants, solar and storage integration with multiple utilities, and hydropower and storage integration with municipal and co-op utilities throughout the country. The benefits of supply-side flexibility such as increased utilization of transmission and distribution networks, reliability, resilience, and environmental benefits, and lowering the costs for the whole system will also be discussed in-depth in this panel.  Load technologies that have traditionally been passive consumption devices are rapidly evolving to incorporate intelligence for responding to grid conditions and enabling more demand-side flexibility. Demand response as a traditional demand flexibility technology is still underutilized. In the meantime, integrating on-site DERs – including distributed generation, energy storage, and electric vehicles (EVs) – with loads is an emerging method that offers great potential to further enable load flexibility for utilities and system operators. These demand flexibility solutions can not only reduce, shed, or shift energy consumption but can also modulate and generate electricity for the grid. The panelists will talk about the challenges facing demand flexibility and make recommendations for addressing the top barriers to demand flexibility adoption and deployment.  Panelists are planned represent a university, an industry organization, a national laboratory and a research organization.

Session Chair(s):
Aidan Tuohy, EPRI

Ning Kang, Idaho National Laboratory

Speakers:

Le Xie, Texas A&M
Brent Buffington, Southern California Edison
Debbie Lew, ESIG

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

This panel will address the rising grid constraints resulting from the ambitious electric vehicle (EV) adoption targets and the widespread electrification of transportation. With the electrification revolution well underway, the grid is facing significant challenges in accommodating the increased demand for electricity. This session will explore how Grid Enhancing Technologies can effectively alleviate these constraints and pave the way for a seamless transition to an electrified future.  The electrification of transportation holds immense potential for reducing carbon emissions and achieving sustainable mobility. However, the rapid growth of EVs pose new challenges for the transmission and distribution systems that were primarily designed for traditional energy consumption patterns. Grid congestion, limited capacity, and reliability concerns have emerged as critical roadblocks to achieving widespread EV adoption and seamless integration into the grid.  Grid Enhancing Technologies like Dynamic Line Ratings (DLR) present transformative solutions to overcome these grid constraints. By leveraging real-time monitoring and assessment of power line conditions, DLR allows for optimized and dynamic management of grid capacity. This session will delve into the principles of DLR technology, demonstrating how it provides grid operators with a comprehensive view of the grid’s capabilities, accounting for factors like weather, load fluctuations, and emerging EV charging patterns. By enabling accurate and adaptive power line ratings, DLR empower utilities to maximize grid capacity, minimize congestion, and ensure efficient and reliable EV charging.  This session will showcase successful case studies and practical implementations of DLR, highlighting their efficacy in addressing grid constraints and supporting the electrification of transportation. Additionally, the session will explore the potential for scaling up DLR deployment to meet the increasing demands of EV adoption targets. By facilitating grid enhancements through DLR, utilities can optimize their infrastructure investments, complement traditional grid expansions, and expedite the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. Attendees of this session will gain valuable insights into the challenges associated with EV adoption targets and transportation electrification, and the role of grid enhancing technologies like Dynamic Line Ratings in addressing these constraints. The session will inspire industry professionals to leverage innovative solutions to overcome grid limitations, accelerate the adoption of EVs, and pave the way for a resilient and sustainable energy ecosystem.

Session Chair(s):
Julia Selker

Speakers:

Hudson Gilmer, LineVision
Alexina Jackson, AES Corporation
Gideon Katsh, National Grid

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The IEEE Distribution Resiliency Working Group (DRes) is currently exploring the development of distribution system resiliency metrics. The electric utility industry currently utilizes widely accepted IEEE 1366 Reliability metrics to quantitatively measure system performance when not experiencing High Impact, Low Frequency (HILF) extreme events during declared Major Event Days (MEDs). However, research studies have shown that these same HILF weather related events negatively impact system performance, customer satisfaction, and economic output sometimes with catastrophic consequences. This panel will explore the work that has been completed to date on developing Resiliency Metrics and provide some insights into industry level research that provides some insights into what factors and processes may be considered to measure a systems resiliency.

Session Chair(s):
Gary Huffman, Burns & McDonnell

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Grounding for power generation, substations, communications, and transmission/distribution powerlines is a decades old technology.  Despite that, it’s an essential component for a large percentage of the projects we do as engineers.  At its core, what is done hasn’t changed much, but how its done has changed significantly.  This presentation will look at why we perform grounding and how we do it. During our time together we will dive into • IEEE 80 Standard: The shocking truth behind it • Soil Resistivity: Its all about the Soil Model, baby • Fault Current: How faulty is your Fault Current? • Ground Potential Rise (GPR): Does size matter? • Ground Grid Design: Back to the Basics • Surface Covering: The Shock-rock Conundrum  • Fall of Potential (FOP) Resistance Test: Going from the desktop to the REAL world • Projects: o Substations near each other: to tie or not tie together, that is the question o Substation in the Desert: Soil you’re telling me there’s a chance o Substation for a Data Center: Proximity Factor o Hydro Power Plant: Rock Solid o Wind Farm: Dust in the Wind o Solar Farm: My future so bright I got to wear shades o Communication Tower: Strike 3 and you’re out!

Session Chair(s):
Grant Gershmel
Speakers:
Greg Williams, HDR