Topic Areas:

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RF Safety Training

2:00pm

Room: TBA

The FCC and OSHA have adopted standards designed to protect both the general public and utility workers by minimizing possible health risks from RF energy. This class will provide a background on the impact of RF energy on humans, summarize the applicable U.S. regulations and provide instruction on personnel and site safety.

Separate registration and additional fee required – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Speakers

Grounding Practices for Communication Sites

2:00pm

Room: TBA

A high-integrity grounding system within the telecommunications industry is the single most effective means of assuring quality power distribution with a minimum of interference. Understanding how the key elements of grounding systems function and how to solve common problems is essential to keeping these systems operating at peak performance. Attendees of this practical overview will learn about grounding subjects including grounding electrode systems, single point grounding, isolated ring and halo grounds, ground potential rise, physical lightning protection systems, as well as tower grounding practices and site bonding.

NOTE: Separate registration and additional fee required for this training. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Speakers

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Infinite Electronics

Power Systems 101 Class

9:00am - 12:00pm

Mesquite G

If you are new to the electrical utility industry – or need a refresher – this overview of the electrical industry and power concepts is right for you. It will explore how energy is used by the electrical utility industry and how the different elements on the electrical system affect electrical system reliability and operations. Building on power system concepts, we will delve into fault isolation, power factor, and other system programs being implemented by utilities today.

There are a multitude of ideas and concepts that could be discussed in this presentation due to the breadth of the power industry. Covering the whole power industry in three hours would be difficult at best. In an attempt to focus on the power systems concepts to meet the interests of the demographics of the people who typically attend the UTC National conference, the goal of this presentation will start with energy and power basics, and touch on generation and transmission systems. However, the bulk of the presentation will be geared towards distribution systems, the elements of distribution systems, and some of the applications and programs used on the distribution systems.

Speakers

Power System Engineering, Inc

Tri-State G&T (retired)

Telecom 101 Class

9:00am - 12:00pm

Mesquite H

Are you new to the field of utility telecommunications? Or possibly have telecommunications experience but new to the utility environment? This tutorial will give you an overview of how utilities are using information and telecommunications systems today. Topics will cover the breadth of facilities, media and applications used – including a special focus on data networks, Smart Grid and distributed generation, applications in electric and gas operations, and the continued convergence of voice and data communications. Emphasis will be placed on telecom applications unique to the utility industry, digital transmission technology, optical links, wireless systems and their integration with the Internet.

Speakers

Utility Telecom Consulting Group

IT/OT Summit

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Mesquite H

Sponsored by Juniper Networks

This three-hour summit will examine four utility case studies in Field Area Network (FAN) modernization.  Utility speakers involved in each project will present their successes, lessons learned, and recommendations – based upon their personal experiences in the FAN upgrades.

Speakers

Salt River Project

Utilities Technology Council

MiMOMax Wireless

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Juniper Networks

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Salt River Proect

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Southern California Edison

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Idaho Power

Small Cell Summit

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Mesquite A

UtiliSite Welcome and Introduction of Sponsor by Sheila Wells, Nashville Electric Service

Welcome and Opening Remarks by Crown Castle
Since 1994, Crown Castle has worked around the country to build and maintain the infrastructure behind the world’s most revolutionary technologies. This comprehensive portfolio of towers, small cells, and fiber gives people and communities access to essential data, technology and wireless service and opens the door to countless opportunities and possibilities. Crown Castle works closely with wireless carriers, businesses, technology companies, governments, and communities to make sure these transformative ideas and innovations find their way to the people who rely on them.

Wireless Pole Attachments in a Small Cell World 
The explosive growth in the deployment plans for small cells has led to a sharp increase in the demand for the attachment of wireless facilities to utility-owned poles and other utility infrastructure. At the same time, utilities are looking to their poles for the deployment of their own field area networks and other wireless systems. In this new “small cell world,” utilities must be prepared to address issues that are unique to wireless attachments, be able to balance the increasing demands on their infrastructure with their own deployment needs, and – above all – ensure that these wireless attachments do not compromise the safety, reliability, and integrity of the utility’s distribution infrastructure. This presentation will discuss important practical issues that arise in connection with wireless attachments and how those issues can be proactively managed through the utility’s pole attachment contracts and practices. We will also provide various tips and anecdotal insights based on our real-world experience assisting a variety of utilities in negotiating pole attachment agreements for small cell and other wireless deployments.
Speaker: David Rines, Lerman Senter

Pole Attachments Technology
This session will address the basic questions that utilities have about small cell attachments to distribution poles. This session will describe the various types of equipment attachments that have been made on utility poles and the NESC issues that come into play, particularly regarding the location of the antennae and the associated equipment. It will also discuss the power requirements and RF exposure associated with small cells and how utilities have dealt with those issues.
Speakers: Roxanne Fong, PGE and Karen Flewharty, Oncor

Technology Assessment of Small Cells
This session will go beyond the basic access issues to address the larger questions in the minds of utilities about small cells. It will answer questions about coverage and whether this is a rural solution or something that is primarily intended to boost capacity in urban areas. It will also address issues related to backhaul requirements, such as fiber and wireless. Finally, it will explore questions about alternative technologies and whether small cell is just a fad or whether it is here to stay for a substantial period of time.
Speaker: from Crown Castle

Preservation, Permitting, Ordinances and Pole Attachments Regulations
While the Communications Act preserves state and local jurisdiction over permitting and rights of way, the FCC has adopted shot clocks for the processing of permits and it is conducting a rulemaking proceeding regarding additional restrictions over fees that state and local government entities may charge for permitting wireless small cells, as well as ordinances that they may adopt generally. Meanwhile, numerous bills have been introduced at the state level to regulate access and rates for the permitting of wireless small cells by local government. This session will provide the general law regarding permitting of small cells, and it will dive deeper into current developments, including whether and to what extent these laws and policies would apply to municipal utilities.
Speaker: Sean Stokes, Baller Herbst Law Group and Allen Bell, Georgia Power

Small Cells Beyond the Wood Pole (Panel)
This session will focus on the business case for small cell from the perspective of the chairs of the UtiliSite Council and its committees. Small Cells may improve the business case to the extent that utilities would host multiple service providers, opening up opportunities for additional revenue streams for fiber leasing as well as wireless collocation services. In addition to revenues, it will also consider the costs of providing these services, including the cost of retrofitting existing poles and mounting ancillary equipment on or adjacent to poles. There are numerous business questions related to small cells. This session will answer questions about rate designs and fees related to wireless attachments, and then assess the potential market for small cells based on the number of attachments that would be needed for a given area. It will also address the alternative questions related to whether utilities should enter the market and become small cell providers. In that regard, it will examine some of the different business models that utilities could adopt as small cell providers, and assess the advantages and disadvantages of these business models, including the potential revenue streams in the near and long term.
Moderator: Allan Bakalar, PT Access Networks
Panelists: Karen Flewharty, Oncor; Chris Tyler, NES; Gary Vondrasek, JEA; Brian Hurley, PT Access Networks

Speakers

Nashville Electric Service

Lerman Senter PLLC

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PT Access Networks

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PT Access Networks

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Georgia Power

Utilities Technology Council

Utilities Technology Council

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The Baller Herbst Law Group

AMI for Water, Gas, Electricity Utilities

9:45am - 10:45am

SmokeTree D

Electric utilities began rolling out Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in force in the early part of this decade. Water and gas companies are catching up, though deployment remains behind the electricity sector. With nearly a 20 years of new meter installations across the utility industries, what lessons can we draw? What are the next steps in the smart metering world? In this session, experts from each of these industries will provide updates on their utility’s plans and discuss what they’ve learned along the way. Participants will leave this session with an understanding of what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what the future may hold.

Speakers

Navigant Research

Utilities Technology Council

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Utilities, Inc.

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City of Lancaster, PA

Migrating Networks: Fiber, SONET and now IP

7:30AM-8:30AM

SmokeTree D

Plains All American Pipeline upgraded their TC Comms network from SONET to IP using JumboSwitch last year. This session will share decisions, challenges, and lessons learned  from the network upgrade.

Speakers

Risks from IT malware to SCADA network – case study from recent cryptojacking attack

8:35AM - 9:05AM

SmokeTree D

Much of the focus in the energy world on cybersecurity is on the electric utility industry. Yet as more processes across the sector become automated, the gas & water industries are also making strides to shore up security of its own systems. With real-word example of cryptocurrency mining software discovered at a water utility.   In this session, speakers discuss steps their companies are taking to protect their infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Speakers

Radiflow

Telecom 4 Grid Modernization – Introduction

7:30am - 8:00am

Mesquite A

Utility telecommunications enable digital technologies that in turn enable utilities to address their mission critical and business objectives.  Each utility’s telecommunications challenges are unique – affected by demographics, geography, industry, economics, even endangered species. This track will focus on the experience of utilities and vendors in meeting specific telecommunications requirements to enable utilities to meet their operational, business, and customer objectives.

Speakers

Select Spectrum

The Future of Wireless Networks in the Utility

8:00am - 8:30am

Mesquite A

As budgets are being cut, as technology is constantly changing and cities are growing and expanding faster, utilities look to use wireless systems to get the job done.  In this session, the audience will be able to view how utilities use different types of wireless methods to get the job done quickly and within budget constraints.  Some of the uses of wireless applications include distribution automation, metering, monitoring, call center communications, voice and data applications, vehicle locating for theft and dispatching and many more

Speakers

Nashville Electric Service

Smart Devices on Utility Private LTE Networks

8:35am - 9:05am

Mesquite A

Southern Company will share its rollout of end devices supporting grid apps on their private LTE network.

Speakers

Southern Company

Can SCADA & Other Critical Data Traffic Safely Use Unlicensed Spectrum?

9:05am - 9:35am

Mesquite A

Recent deployments of future proof 750 mb/s private broadband wireless systems to replace aging WiMAX networks and sunsetted leased lines.  Also provided will be an overview of the beam-forming technology that allows the reliable operation of the wireless network in high noise floor environments, the success of those implementations to date, and how other utilities can successfully deploy their own high speed private wireless network that provides security and guaranteed availability without incurring the overhead costs of licensed spectrum.

Speakers

New Options for Private Broadband Solutions

9:45am - 10:45am

Mesquite A

Spectrum availability and cost have limited options for private BB systems.  As carrier capacity dramatically grows, the difficulty of matching carrier BB options with private systems becomes more complicated.   This is a discussion of options being considered by the FCC that could support some high capacity private BB solutions, with trade-offs: 3.5GHz, Datacast and/or mmW solutions

Speakers

Best practices in NERC CIP Compliance Programs

7:30AM-8:30AM

Mesquite C

Protecting utility networks from cyber attack is a never-ending job. To that end, utilities are in the midst of modifying Critical Infrastructure Protection programs to not only comply with federal regulations but achieve mature security practices. In this session, panelists will discuss how their utilities are making use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework, NERC CIP standards and other security best practices for control references. Attendees will learn from those in the field on how they are shoring up their compliance programs. Panelists will discuss opportunities addressed throughout these processes and impart their lessons-learned.

Speakers

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City of Tacoma

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Turlock Irrigation District

Staying Ahead of the Threat: Current Trends in Physical Security

8:35am-9:35am

Mesquite C

Physical security challenges remain a key priority for the utility industry. From concerns over sophisticated, targeted attacks on key infrastructure to the rise in environmental activism and vandalism, utilities must stay vigilant in their efforts to protect their assets. In this session, panelists will discuss current trends/best practices in physical security. What are the biggest challenges? What successes can be shared across the industry?

Speakers

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North American Transmission Forum

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South Texas Electric Cooperative

Putting Everything into Perspective: Are All Risks Business Risks?

9:45am - 10:45am

Mesquite C

Is it blasphemy to say cybersecurity is not an operational risk?  Many in the industry have been struggling to define accurate cybersecurity measurements for operational assets, and perhaps some have been looking at it the wrong way.  To truly measure and reduce the cybersecurity aspect of a utility’s risk, especially those dealing with our operational assets, the role of cybersecurity must be better aligned with business goals. In this session, experts will discuss the need to alter the perception of cybersecurity from a primarily IT concern, to an everyday function of the business.  Panelists will discuss ways to redefine how cybersecurity impacts are identified in operational environments.  This presentation will arm attendees with information and data to make that argument and move us beyond our current limitations.

Speakers

From the Ground-Up: The Ins and Outs of the Latest Tower Regulations

7:30AM-8:30AM

SmokeTree B

The last several years have brought a myriad of new policies regarding tower regulations. These changes have many in the industry wondering whether their towers are compliant with these ever-evolving policies. Indeed, some regulations are leaving more questions than answers. In this panel, participants will discuss these policies, including whether towers 50’-200’ need to be marked or lit, and what changes at the Federal Aviation Administration over the last two years are impacting these decisions? Additionally, panelists will discuss what may be happening with construction processes and working with tribes.

Speakers

Crenshaw Communications Consulting, LLC

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EasTex Tower LLC

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Flash Technology

What’s the Frequency? How FCC Spectrum Policies Will Impact Your Utility

8:35am-9:35am

SmokeTree B

It is no secret that the demand for spectrum of all kinds is growing. The Federal Communications Commission continues pursuing ways to make more efficient use of the spectrum bands. These decisions are impacting utilities, who not only are guarding their existing spectrum but are also seeking to expand as grid modernization efforts take hold. For utilities considering what spectrum bands will best suit their operational needs and requirements, it is important they understand how the FCC will allow them to use the different frequency bands and what requirements may be imposed on licensees. In this discussion, attendees will be updated on the latest developments at the FCC and elsewhere. Presenters will discuss recent developments on spectrum issues for utilities, such as the 3.5 GHz band for WiMax deployments, 3.7-4.2 GHz band, mid-band spectrum between 3.7-24 GHz, 4.9 GHz, the 700 MHz FirstNet broadband network, a 900 MHz band realignment proposal, and other issues. This presentation will address how to locate available spectrum and obtain licenses through the FCC’s application process, spectrum auctions, third party assignments, or spectrum leases.

Speakers

Utilities Technology Council

Lerman Senter PLLC

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Kelley Drye and Warren, LLC

Resolved! An Update on UTC’s New Public Policy Resolution Process

9:45am - 10:45am

SmokeTree B

As activity in Washington on several issues critical to utility Information and Communications Technology (ICT) networks booms, the Utilities Technology Council is ramping up its advocacy efforts. Federal policies on spectrum, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and much more are impacting UTC members, blurring the lines between the energy and telecommunications industries. To ensure your voice is heard, UTC is implementing a process to formally develop positions reflecting your concerns. In this session, UTC staff will outline a new resolution process that will lead to the association taking formal positions on legislation, regulation, and much more. Attendees will find out how to impact UTC policy and how these resolutions will be used in UTC’s advocacy going forward.

Speakers

Utilities Technology Council

Utilities Technology Council

Power Grids Meet Strong Networks

7:30am-8:00am

Mesquite D/E

Utilities today are facing a dramatic business and technological transformation leading to increased demand on their communications networks.  As utilities discover how future IoT and other Smart Grid applications will transform their business, traditional private wireless networks that typically support a single application are challenged. In many cases, Private LTE networks, which provide a unified communications platform for all services, can prove to be the optimal solution for utility operational technology applications, including Distribution SCADA, Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Push-To-Talk and a Mobile Workforce.

Speakers

Capacity Drivers and Effective Networks

8:00am-8:30am

Mesquite D/E

Utility networks are going through massive transformations towards new applications and critical data. Many of these networks have been around for years and have adequately handled traffic demands, but as new services arise such as high definition security video and corporate data applications, so does the demand for capacity. This informative presentation describes capacity drivers for next generation utility networks and delves into detail about how to design these networks to meet the capacity need without sacrificing reliability or increasing cost. To do this we present capacity contributions from each service and offer guidelines for how to dimension networks for capacity to adequately handle these services and some factor of future growth.

Speakers

Aviat Networks

Leveraging Land Mobile Radio and Telecom Open Standards

8:35am-9:35am

Mesquite D/E

This presentation will review Mission Critical industry open standards. The convergence of technology and infrastructure is driving change. Wireless and land-based utility systems are required to evolve to improve safety and system reliability while managing cost. Operators of critical infrastructure operate a network of integrated systems of systems i.e. transport, Land Mobile Radio, voice and data applications. This system of systems has to operate cost-effectively daily but to be operational and functional during emergency and disaster conditions.

Speakers

Enhance Your Network Reliability and Visibility Through SDN Enabled Analytics

9:45am - 10:45am

Mesquite D/E

If your utility network could talk, what would it tell you? Would it detect faults? Re-route network traffic to prevent outages, and tell you the next morning what autonomous action was taken while you were sound asleep? Utilities are facing dual network challenges such as risking the migration of legacy SONET infrastructure to packet and an attrition of resources that support those legacy infrastructures. To counter these trends, utilities are looking to analytics solutions that provide greater network visibility and insights into the health of their networks to help smooth the transition from SONET to packet.  Although it sounds like science fiction, we’re close to this level of interaction with our networks. In fact, some of these capabilities are available right now, and the reason is the advent of big data analytics, machine learning, and eventually full-blown artificial intelligence.

Speakers

Simplified Provisioning and Ultra-Low-Latency Performance for Critical Teleprotection Circuits

7:30AM-8:30AM

Mesquite B

Simplified Provisioning and Ultra-Low-Latency Performance for Critical Teleprotection Circuits Over a Carrier Ethernet Core Using Deterministic Packet Transport

This session provides a detailed overview of a deterministic packet transport method for achieving guaranteed latency for teleprotection traffic being transported over packet-based WANs that is compatible with both multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and Carrier Ethernet systems. Latency, asymmetry, and packet delay variation (jitter) performance data are discussed to show the ability of the deterministic packet transport method to support a line current differential protection channel across a Carrier Ethernet network topology.

Speakers

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Transitioning to Packet-Based Networks: The Long Road

8:35am-9:35am

Mesquite B

Power utilities have been migrating toward packet-based transport networks for many years. This presentation follows Northwest Iowa Power Co-Op (NIPCO) from their decision to transition to an IP backbone in 2006, through their network considerations, decisions and changes at each stage over the years. In 2011, NIPCO moved to a hybrid Mutli-Service Ethernet and SONET network, and today has transitioned away from their OC3 and OC48 SONET networks. We will focus on NIPCO’s experiences and lessons learned in transitioning to their IP network today, specifically the latest stage including removing their SONET network, decisions to preserve some legacy interfaces, the impact of converging IT and OT networks throughout the transition, and their ultimate decision to upgrade to a 10G backbone.

Speakers

TC Communications

Power Utility Communications Network IP Migration Roadmap and Case Studies

9:45am - 10:45am

Mesquite B

Power utilities, being a mission-critical infrastructure, require a high level of reliability and dependability with the hardware and software that is used to operate and protect the power grid.  Therefore, they rely on mature technologies and do not constantly change technologies if the current mature technology performs the monitoring and/or the control of the physical devices with some degree of reliability.  As substation communications networks migrate away from the traditional Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) technology to packet-based technology, many engineers and technicians do not have a good understanding of what is involved when it comes to substation communications IP Migration.  Understanding the IP Migration Roadmap is essential to a successful transition and making sure that all your substation services continue to operate safely, reliably and securely, both during, and after the migration.  This presentation provides an overview of the IP migration roadmap for substation communications.

Speakers

RFL/Hubbell Power Systems

Introduction to Fiber

7:30am-8:00am

TBA

details from Corning

Speakers

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Corning

Case Study on Utility Fiber

8:00am- 8:30am

Mesquite G/H - PSCC

Utilities are deploying an increasing amount fiber for their own internal communications needs, and they are also leasing capacity or providing broadband services over fiber as well.  This session will examine how utilities are deploying broadband, and discuss the lessons they have learned.  with real-word example form BARC Electric Cooperative’s CEO.

Speakers

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BARC Electric

Fiber Asset Health

8:35am-9:35am

Mesquite G/H

Fiber optic cable is an aging asset with little visibility of the health of the cable until a failure occurs. This session will explore the methods of gathering data on the current state of the fiber optic cable as well as analytics to figure out the health of the cable as compared to the state at the time of installation were explore.

Speakers

Burns & McDonnell

Duke Energy

Strand-Mounted Wireless

9:45am - 10:15am

Mesquite G/H

Many utilities are offering wireless colocation services and are addressing the use of 3rd party strand-mounted wireless applications on their infrastructure. The growth of small cell infrastructure is driving an increasing interest in access to utility infrastructure. This session will discuss the issues for utilities to consider, including the potential market for wireless colocation, the types of attachments (including strand-mounted attachments) and the engineering uses.

Speakers

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National Grid

Aging Tower Infrastructure: Steps to Executing a Strategic Tower Upgrade

10:15am-10:45am

Mesquite G/H

Towers are essential to the utility’s communication system.  Ensuring you have adequate capacity, hardened facilities and room for growth is important to realizing a smarter communication system to support reliable, efficient and secure operations.  Avoiding tower upgrades can be more costly than the upgrade process itself if structures continue to deteriorate, and disastrous if led to tower failure. Replacing and upgrading tower infrastructure is a significant investment, but often necessary.  Attendees will learn some of the major considerations for deciding whether to upgrade existing infrastructure or replacing with a new build, and learn what steps to take to ensure your tower upgrade is strategic to your utility’s future.

Speakers

Introduction to Communications for Distributed Energy Resources

7:30AM-8:30AM

Mesquite F

This will discuss some of the communications methods available for the management of DER sources and some of the methods of maintaining permissive control. Permissive Control, Latencies, Network Management, Security Protocols and Interfaces

Speakers

4RF USA, Inc

Community Solar at BARC Electric

8:35am-9:35am

Mesquite F

This session will showcase BARC Electric’s community solar project, which is the first and only solar project in Virginia. BARC is also building a 1.1MW solar array for bath county schools that will be the biggest school solar project in VA and provide 56% of their annual energy at a fixed price for 20 years.  And at zero premium to today’s electric rates. Come here the details.

Speakers

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BARC Electric

The New Digital Utility

9:45am - 10:15am

Mesquite F

To thrive in the new era of DERs, utilities are fighting the headwinds of the industry’s infamous aging infrastructure and greying workforce.  Strategically-minded utilities are increasingly planning for a future based on IT and smart grid applications requiring advanced telecommunications systems. IP-based, packet-switched networks will form the backbone of these new systems, provide system interoperability, and enable a spectrum of new applications that improve grid security, control, and automation.

Speakers

Decentralized Energy, How to Connect It All and Ensure Reliability, Efficiency and Safety

10:15am-10:45am

Mesquite F

The Next Generation Utility will take making a complete transformation to a dynamic, integrated energy platform, connecting an ever-growing network of distributed energy resources.  What role does communications, automation and IT networks play in a new era of customer choice. How will the grid accommodate new DER growth, and create a digital grid so operators can see what is happening in real time, minimize disruptions and enhance system reliability and safety.

Speakers

Black & Veatch

Migrating pipeline infrastructure to the modern world

4:30pm - 5:30pm

SmokeTree D

As the water and gas industries update and modernize their pipeline infrastructure, they are employing new technologies to monitor their systems for safety. These technologies will provide greater operational awareness of a utility’s pipeline system while also allowing them to take more control over their system in the event of an incident. In this session, representatives from the water and gas industry will discuss how they are adopting new technologies and whether and how applicable they are to other utilities. Attendees will learn whether these solutions may work for them.

Speakers

Upgrading SCADA Systems

10am-11am

SmokeTree D

TC Comms  case study with Celina Municipal Utilities where they upgraded their SCADA network from Multi-Drop Fiber Modem rings to an Ethernet network.

Speakers

Smart Cities—What about Water and Gas?

3:15pm - 4:15pm

SmokeTree D

Smart cities are the talk of the technology world. Developing plans to create more efficient living solutions often centers around telecommunications networks, transportation, efficiencies, and urban planning. But too frequently, these discussions leave out the crucial role of water and natural gas utilities. How are gas utilities preparing to adapt? What changes might be in store for your water company? In this session, speakers from both industries will discuss these changes and more. Attendees will also learn how Smart City advocates are accounting for gas and water utilities in their development.

Speakers

Utilities Technology Council

Navigant Research

IP Transition Whitepaper

10:30am - 11:00am

Mesquite A

As carriers transition from analog circuit switched networks to IP-based services and fiber optic networks, utilities are affected when legacy networks are replaced and analog services are discontinued.  During this session, representatives from UTC’s IP Transition subcommittee and the Smart Networks Council will present the results of a survey of utilities that describes how utilities are affected by the IP transition and how they are responding to it.

Speakers

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Southern California Edison

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Southern Company

Optimum Placement of WAMS PMUs to Increase the Observability of Inter-area Oscillations in the Electric Grid

3:15pm - 4:15pm

Mesquite A

Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) are rapidly being deployed in electric power networks across the globe. The Wide Area Monitoring System (WAMS), which builds upon PMUs and fast communication links, is consequently emerging as an advanced monitoring and control infrastructure. In this presentation, SNC-Lavalin is sharing some experiences from a real case study. The presenters will focus on the optimum placement of PMUs to increase the grid observability of inter-area oscillations. PMUs are strategically placed in power networks to offer the detection and identification of parameter errors. The coherent signals measured by PMUs will be used to monitor power system small signal stability. Simulation results imply the effectiveness of the proposed method in online monitoring of inter-area oscillations.

Speakers

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SNC Lavalin

Update on Upper 700 MHz A Block Spectrum 

4:30pm - 5:30pm

Mesquite A

This panel will provide an update on the Upper 700 MHz A Block Spectrum available to the utilities and other entities. The session will include information on the completed sales of the spectrum, various 700 MHz Pilot Project results, Narrow Band Initiative, applications and use of the spectrum to include Unmanned Aircraft Systems to support Utility operations and security.

Speakers

Access Spectrum

Select Spectrum

Blockchain and the Future of Energy Exchange

10am-11am

Mesquite F

During this panel we will discuss several concepts of how the electric power industry might leverage blockchain and smart contracts to support energy-based regulatory and or market-based exchanges.  Blockchain technologies are in the right direction for what the industry will need in order to enable a more distributed and resilient energy future with greater participation and value-add services at the edge in ways that can enable greater customer-system and -societal net benefits through a more open and transparent grid system.  This panel will discuss how distributed ledgers and smart contracts combined with modern IoT protocols/ technologies, software defined power electronics, distributed and edge analytics are all on the pathway of innovation towards enabling our next generation intelligent grids and distributed energy ecosystems.

Edge Intelligence: Integrating Smart Metering and DERs

3:15pm - 4:15pm

Mesquite F

Successfully managing the operational and business challenges presented by increasing amounts of distributed energy resources will require analysis, decision making and action to take place more quickly and at the edge of the network.  With the computing power of a smart phone embedded in every meter, a new generation of smart metering technology is redefining what’s possible for both grid operations and customer service.

Speakers

DERs Lessons and Opportunities Panel

4:30pm - 5:30pm

Mesquite F

details TBA

Speakers

A Final Look at Business and Technical Issues

4:30pm - 5:30pm

Mesquite G/H

As utilities deploy broadband and fiber networks and support joint use and small cells for smart cities, they need to develop business models, service offerings and an understanding of the latest technical developments. This panel will show how utilities have successfully deployed these networks, and will discuss the business and technical issues that they have addressed along the way.

Speakers

Ozarks Electric Cooperative

Power System Engineering, Inc

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Co-Mo Electric Cooperative

Joint Use Contracts, Make Ready and Asset Management

3:15pm - 4:15pm

Mesquite G/H

As technology constantly changes and cities grow and expand, new technical solutions are brought to the attention of utilities to reside on their infrastructure. Because some of these technologies are new, it makes it difficult for utilities to determine guidelines for contracts and tools for asset management, including make ready. This panel will explain infrastructure access contract basics, including dark fiber leasing, wireless collocation, attachments, broadband services and other infrastructure leasing and services.

Speakers

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CenterPoint Energy

Nashville Electric Service

Engineering and Compliance Issues for New Tower Construction and Modification

10am-11am

Mesquite G/H

Many utilities are installing new poles and telecommunications infrastructure, including “drop and swap” tower replacement; and telecommunications towers are being loaded and stressed with new and more equipment. This session will discuss selecting the right site location and constructability issues that could potentially save your utility thousands of dollars and many headaches. This session will also present ways utilities can effectively conduct a tower inspection and audit. It will also cover how to properly modify an existing tower to accommodate these additional and new load requirements, along with FAA requirements and state, local and tribal permitting processes associated with new tower construction and modifications.

Speakers

Crenshaw Communications Consulting, LLC

Paul J. Ford

Building the Best: Skill-sets Needed for IT/OT Convergence

4:30pm - 5:30pm

Mesquite B

The demand for private networks, end of life support for legacy technologies and the fast pace of innovation in the utility industry is creating a skill-set gap for many utility telecom groups. Communication needs are growing exponentially with the demand for information, mobility and security on the grid. What does telecom look like for a utility? How do we transition to a strategic communication partner? What services do we offer, what technologies are around the bend and how do we prepare our teams for supporting the magnitude of work that employees? Utility telecom departments are growing more into service providers even without residential services, the shift from enterprise to service provider network doesn’t come without challenges. This discussion will center on core competencies, benefits of the shift, and potential paths for training and new organizational structure possibilities.

Speakers

Salt River Project

CenterPoint Energy

Integration of People: Legacy OT and New IT Technology

3:15pm - 4:15pm

Mesquite B

Panel will discuss integration of IT and OT along with the people and technology challenges and opportunities. The panelists will share detailed implementation issues utilities can expect to encounter as they try to share critical data between IT and OT management technologies without risking operation of their telecom network. Issues such as layer-1 network topology are critical for IT planning purposes and the OT platforms must be able to provide utilization and circuit layout ideally even when the traffic is operating on a third parties network. Security, auditing, and protection of the OT assets are key issues when bridging the gap between IT and OT groups.

Case Study: Augmented Reality for Just in Time Training

10:30am-11:00am

Mesquite B

Ameren has engaged Index AR Solutions to develop a just in time training app as an augmented reality pilot. The training covered is for operational personnel performing a task that is not their primary task.  The app will cover standards, video of the job, best practices and the necessary clearances on the pole.  The presentation, co presented by Ameren,  and Index AR  Solutions will cover the project, the process and outcomes of the pilot as well as next steps.    As part of this presentation we will try to cover some out of the box ideas for knowledge transfer using augmented reality and mobile platforms.

Speakers

IT Department Succession Planning

10am - 10:30am

Mesquite B

details TBA

Speakers

CenterPoint Energy

Microwave Communications

4:30pm - 5:30pm

Mesquite D/E

This panel will cover the technical and operational requirements that SCE considered to transition to a packet-based system compared to a hybrid model.  Along with SCE, Nokia will address the important technical aspects of a packet microwave system such as LAG, sync, and adaptive modulation. The two speakers have worked together on several multi-link packet microwave system designs.

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Southern California Edison

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Kansas City Power & Light

Bridging the Gap Between Existing Teleprotection Systems and the New Packet Switched Network

10am-11am

Mesquite D/E

Teleprotection, an electrical utility’s most critical application, poses challenging requirements,  especially when using Packet Switched Networks (PSNs). The performance of a power line protection system depends directly on the abilities of the communication network to transmit data fast, and reliably. The demanding requirements, that were fulfilled by TDM/SONET, need to be carefully reviewed when migrating to Packet Switched Networks (PSNs).  With all expertise in both Protection & Communication worlds, ABB will provide valuable information of detailed characteristics of advanced solutions to help you bridge the gap between Packet-Switched Wide Area Network and legacy teleprotection systems in order to prevent incorrect operation or false tripping. A novel approach (from the protection and communication perspective) will be introduced in order deliver an innovative backbone PSNs with enhanced redundancy mechanisms, and strong monitoring capabilities.

Speakers

Transition to a Converged IP/MPLS network

3:15pm - 3:45pm

Mesquite D/E

Driven by TDM sunset ad rapid increase in bandwidth demand, power utilities are starting to transition to a new converged IP/MPLS network to support their grid and business operations. This session will explore the key network architectural considerations to carry critical applications like SCADA and LMR, and IT enterprise applications, all without compromising security and performance.

Speakers

Enabling Broadband: How Utilities Are Bridging the Digital Divide

10am-11am

SmokeTree B

Utilities are in a unique position to extend much-needed broadband services to rural America, with existing physical connections to rural customers and a ubiquitous network infrastructure that can be leveraged to provide reliable, fast, and affordable broadband to areas that are unserved or underserved by other commercial service providers.  At the same time, the regulatory obligations facing utilities that are actively offering broadband or interested in doing so have changed dramatically just in the last two years and are continuing to evolve, presenting new challenges that utilities must be prepared to address in order to meet the needs of the customers they serve.  In this presentation, we will discuss the various legal and regulatory issues involved in becoming a broadband service provider and the ways in which these issues can be effectively managed.  We will also discuss how some utilities are addressing state restrictions on broadband services.

Speakers

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Moss & Barnett

Nebraska Public Power District

Midwest Energy Cooperative

Connect America Fund Phase II Auction Is Coming

3:15pm - 4:15pm

SmokeTree B

On January 30, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission considered a Public Notice establishing procedures for the Connect America Fund Phase II auction, which will award up to $1.98 billion over 10 years to service providers that commit to offer voice and broadband services to fixed locations in unserved high-cost areas. (AU Docket No. 17-182; WC Docket No. 10-90).  The draft Public Notice indicated that the CAFII auction will be scheduled for July 24, 2018, and the deadline for submitting short form applications to participate in the auction will be March 30, 2018.  This is big news for UTC and its utility members!  This session will provide the ins and outs of the auction and what to expect going forward.

Speakers

Jenner and Block

Ozarks Electric Cooperative

The Skinny on 5G and Pole Attachments: What’s Next and What’s Pending at the FCC

4:30pm - 5:30pm

SmokeTree B

The Federal Communications Commission is pursuing new infrastructure rules to assist telecommunications firms as they deploy 5G wireless technologies. Telecommunications firms are aiming to revamp current pole-attachment rates and regulations, and utilities need to know how these efforts will impact their own infrastructure. Panelists will discuss recent conclusions from the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee as well as how these decisions could affect utility operations.

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Georgia Power

Lerman Senter PLLC

Nashville Electric Service

The New Paradigm in Grid Management, Cybersecurity & Critical Infrastructure Protection

10am-11am

Mesquite C

The digitalization of utilities promises to optimize the supply and demand of electricity, manage the increasing number of renewable sources of energy and micro grids while offering efficiency improvements for consumers. Furthermore, the large volumes of data generated, combined with predictive analytics allows utilities to transition to a proactive mode of asset management. Such a far-reaching digital transformation comes with many challenges for critical infrastructures, with cyber security near the top of the list. The widespread connection of distributed energy resources will drastically increase the attack surfaces, which will expose utilities to new threats. Other issues such as the deployment of intelligent networks, interoperability between legacy systems and IoT devices, IT/OT convergence, equipment standardization and compliance all need to be addressed before the real benefits of the digital transformation can be achieved. Mr. Gaetan Houle, SNC-Lavalin’s Principal Security Architect, will touch upon the digital utility transformation and highlight some of the industry’s best-practices for transitioning to a secure, digitally integrated electrical grid amidst increasingly sophisticated threats.

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SNC Lavalin

Defense in Depth Strategy

3:15pm - 4:15pm

Mesquite C

Cyber Attacks on Critical Infrastructures has risen more than 24% over the course of the past year.  As time goes on, more and more Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) are being deployed in Bulk Electric Systems (BES), Oil & Gas, and Transportation in order to be able to gather more data, and to help optimize efficiency.  In turn, this is causing cybercriminals to turn their attention to Industrial Controls Systems (ICS) as targets.  In order for operators to be able to defend against these attacks, they must implement a Defense in Depth strategy utilizing standards such as IEC 624423 and ISO 27001 along with guidelines such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, NCCOE Situational Awareness Planning Guide NIST SP 1800-7, and the BDEW whitepaper.  While the implementation of any single strategy will not lead to full cybersecurity compliance, with the adaptation of Defense in Depth and in implementing more than one of these standards, it will help to reduce the “attack surface” which will greatly reduce the likelihood of an attacker being successful.

Speakers

Updates on NERC CIP Compliance

4:30pm - 5:30pm

Mesquite C

As utilities shore up their systems from all kinds of physical and cyber threats, the industry’s compliance arm is proposing new standards and requirements in an effort to manage these dangers. This session will give those responsible for implementing these standards an opportunity to hear from those crafting them. In this panel, attendees will hear directly from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the entity responsible for ensuring compliance with these evolving standards. Attendees will have an opportunity engage in an interactive dialogue with NERC and learn about the organization’s priorities going forward.

Speakers

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Nebraska Public Power District

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North American Electric Reliability Corporation

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Texas Reliability Entity; WECC

Keep Hackers in Check

10am - 10:30am

Mesquite A

Just as the electric grid, cybersecurity is constantly evolving, becoming more complex and costly. In response, many organizations are increasing their focus on implementing countermeasures to safeguard their vital assets and data. Without a comprehensive plan for identifying threats and mitigating them before they penetrate vulnerable networks, hackers, malicious users and even internal threat agents will continue to find ways to attack and exploit systems, applications, sensitive data and other essential components of computer networks.

Speakers

Palm Springs Windmill Tour – Separate Registration Required

8:00am

Leaving from Renaissance Hotel Lobby

Space is limited so reserve early
Date: May 11, 2018
Time: 8am
Venue: Transportation will be provided from the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
Register Here: UTC Group Booking
Instructions:
Under the Participants section select: UTC Event and add your number of tickets needed
Continue through the registration process providing all requested information
On the final page of the registration process under the price section click the promotion code boxenter UTC and click OK. This will remove the booking fees and bring the final total to $44.84 per person.
Finally, enter payment information, agree to the no refund policy and click Pay Now and confirm your booking to secure your spot.

Speakers