This year’s #AclaraConnect conference is less than two months away. Our agenda supports our theme Partners in a Shared Vision, which focuses on the need for and power of collaboration by utilities, solution providers, industry experts and across utility functions to reach a common vision. We’re convening at the Fairmont in Austin Texas May 20-23 to offer four days of superior education, networking, and special events.
We thought this would be a good time to take a closer look at all the opportunities you’ll have to learn about the trends, technologies, and methods that will impact the future of your electric, water and gas utility. We don’t want you to miss out on the great learning opportunities offered by the conference.
Six powerful tracks to guide your future
For the first time, we’ve broken down our conference sessions into 6 powerful tracks that will transform your point-of-view. These tracks provide electric, gas, and water utilities with a blueprint for using smart infrastructure solutions to gain greater visibility into their distribution networks, manage them better, and provide more actionable information to their customers.
- Connect the Dots – From Automation to Control: Hear from experts sharing experiences and best practices for implementing automation solutions on your distribution networks. Learn how smart sensors, intelligent controls, protective devices, and analytical software are changing the face of electric, gas, and water grids.
- Sidestep Blind Spots – Improve Your Network Visibility: Learn how to use the mountains of data generated by smart sensors, meters, and transmission and distribution system equipment to prevent or minimize disruptions of service in electric, water, or gas utilities.
- Smart Charge for the Future – Modernize Your Network: Discover how emerging technologies revolving around cybersecurity, smart cities, electric vehicles, smart lighting, distributed energy resources, and smart inverters are transforming the modern utility.
- Time to Refresh – How to Pick the Right Comms Network: You can’t ride a donkey to the future. In this track, learn how to select a communications technology that will both match your current assets and offer maximum scalability.
- Getting Personal – Unlock Your Customer Data: Sessions in this track take a close look at how technology and analytics are transforming utility member involvement, customer experiences, and operations.
- Services and Support – From Deployment to Maintenance: Learn about the strategies and tools needed to make any AMI implementation a success including managing meter deployments, using maintenance best practices, configuring systems, and getting the most out of headend software.
A keynote to take you to infinity and beyond
This year, our Tuesday morning keynote will feature theoretical physicist, author, television personality, and popularizer of science Michio Kaku. A professor of theoretical physics at City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center, Kaku is an expert in the field of quantum mechanics and specifically string field theory.
Kaku has a unique ability to explain complex scientific topics and has starred in a myriad of science programming for television including Discovery, Science Channel, BBC, ABC, and History Channel. Beyond his numerous bestselling books, he has also been a featured columnist for top popular science publications such as Popular Mechanics, Discover, COSMOS, WIRED, New Scientist, Newsweek, and many others. Dr. Kaku was also one of the subjects of the award-winning documentary, Me & Isaac Newton by Michael Apted.
Session speakers help you rethink assumptions
Our “star-studded” cast of speakers will offer you a look into the future of utilities that you don’t want to miss. Join these experts on a journey of discovery that will give you a new outlook on the opportunities that await your utility. These are just a few of the top-notch speakers you will hear at #AclaraConnect:
Andres Carvallo, CEO – CMG Consulting LLC
Carvallo is an award-winning engineer, speaker, author, globally recognized by the IEEE as one of the early developers of the smart grid, coining the name smart grid in 2004 and co-authoring the book, The Advanced Smart Grid. Among his many accomplishments, he championed Austin Energy’s industry-leading smart grid program from 2003 to 2010 and architected the Pecan Street Project in 2009. His smart grid experience encompasses utility processes and technology transformations that invested and built over $4 billion in generation, energy storage, and microgrid projects.
In his session, The Smarter Enterprise, he will affirm how the smart grid megatrend will deliver a new digital world with virtually unlimited possibilities. He will offer a non-stop, on-demand, re-design jour[LA3] ney of the business models, business processes, technologies, organizational structures, and applied human capital.
John D. McDonald, Smart Grid Business Development Leader – GE Power’s Grid Solutions
McDonald has 45 years of experience in the electric utility industry and is a Life Fellow of IEEE (member for 48 years). McDonald brings an expert’s perspective to the topic of grid modernization, having served as past president of the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), past chair of the IEEE PES Substations Committee, past director of IEEE Division VII, member of the board of governors of the IEEE-SA, and as an IEEE PES Distinguished Lecturer. He has authored or co-authored 100 papers and articles and co-authored five books.
His session, Grid Automation and Optimization: Technological Advancements Beyond Smart Grid, will familiarize you with a vision for grid modernization and focus on technological advancements beyond the smart grid. The session will cover key industrial and societal trends, smart grid concepts, holistic solutions, integration of microgrids and distributed generation into the grid, and advanced distribution management systems software applications.
Karl Popham, Manager, Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies – Austin Energy
Popham is a frequent speaker, research contributor, and book co-author of Smart Cities: Applications, Technologies, Standards & Driving Factors. In addition to his duties at Austin Energy, he is the principal investigator on several U.S. Department of Energy funded and award-winning projects advancing transportation electrification, renewables, energy storage, and “virtual power plant” technologies.
How To Create A Successful Electric Vehicle (EV) Program For Your Utility will offer insight gained from experience with Austin Energy’s award-winning EV program. You’ll learn how to successfully launch an electric vehicle initiative that will accelerate EV adoption and dive next generation, high-mileage/value EV use cases. Popham will go in-depth into how these programs work together to increase utility value, implement sustainability goals, and drive customer engagement.
Sherri Borrelli, Sr. Business Development Professional for the Conservation Load Management Department — The United Illuminating Company (UI)
As a member of the Conservation Load Management Department, Borrelli educates customers throughout UI’s service territory about the Energy Efficiency Funds programs administered by UI, working closely with municipalities to develop strategic action plans that include reducing their energy consumption and implementing sustainable practices. Previously, she worked in the Regulatory Affairs Department for UI.
Borrelli’s session, Keys to Effective Home Energy Reports Programs, will offer an overview of the home energy reports programs at several of UI’s operating companies. operating companies. The session will also provide information on the objectives, goals, and results of the program and how to track savings.
Leann Kostek, Infrastructure Program Manager – Puget Sound Energy (PSE)
Leann has been in the power utility industry for 35 years, starting her career as a distribution engineer and for the past 15 years working as a project manager. Her projects include managing the implementation of Including new and upgraded transmission lines, substations, and SCADA. She is currently managing a project to replace PSE’s 20-year-old automated meter reading system with advanced metering infrastructure.
In her session, Managing a 1.7-Million AMI Meter Deployment Effectively – Lessons from Puget Sound Energy, you’ll learn top considerations and pitfalls to avoid as you plan an AMI rollout. The session will emphasize the importance of clearly defined strategies for communication and change management and will stress the importance of flexibility when managing internal staff, contractors, vendors, and consultants.
Nathan Shannon, Deputy Director – Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC)
At the SECC, Shannon is responsible for advancing a consumer-friendly, consumer-safe smart grid through research and education. SECC has grown to over 150 members and produced many pieces of foundational consumer-focused research.
Shannon’s two sessions at #AclaraConnect will offer in-depth insight into the minds of utility consumers. The State of Energy Consumers Today is an up-to-date look at the interests, motivations, and behaviors of U.S. energy customers as they relate to smart energy technologies, programs, and services. Derived from the SECC’s 2019 State of the Consumer report and a series of utility case studies published in 2018, these insights will help you understand what energy consumers value and what makes them move from interest to program engagement. Unlocking the Consumer Benefits of Data Analytics will look at the findings of a recent survey on what consumers want their utilities to do with their energy usage data and how they feel about data privacy, data sharing, and related topics.
These are just a few of the engaging speakers you will learn from at #AclaraConnect 2019. Check out our speakers’ page for more information on what you can learn at #AclaraConnect this year. And here are a few tips to justify your trip.