Changes and challenges are coming to the utility industry in 2017, along with plenty of new tools and innovative approaches you can use to not only manage but master the shifting landscape. Here are some upcoming workshops and courses to help you prepare for what the New Year has in store:
Utility Scale Storage Battery Investments: The Technology, Challenges and Business Case
Feb. 7-8, 2017
San Francisco, CA
Storage batteries have been around for a while, but integrating them into transmission and distribution systems is new territory for electric utilities. Until recently, it was difficult to make a business case for investing in utility-scale storage. However, the integration of more intermittent and non-dispatchable resources into utility portfolios is changing the cost-benefit equation. Storage batteries provide high-speed response, controllability, modularity, scalability, expandability, flexibility and transportability—exactly the attributes utilities are going to need for the foreseeable future.
This seminar provides an overview and guided tour of proven battery technologies from different manufacturers, challenges of interconnection, investment requirements, typical storage battery power purchase agreements, settlement equations and investment guidelines. The seminar materials cover the full spectrum of applications for utilities, regulatory agencies, project developers, private investors, finance firms, wholesale market participants and owners of wind and solar power plants.
The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) has authorized energy training and consulting firm EUCI to offer one continuing education unit for the course. Attendees will also receive a copy of the presentations and other reference materials.
Introduction to Forecasting for Utility/Power Industry Professionals
Feb. 7-8, 2017
New Orleans, Louisiana
Load forecasting has always been an invaluable tool for helping utilities manage uncertainty. But pre-computer era forecasting practices do not account for a host of bewildering conditions that now affect electricity use. Changes in the mix of supply- and demand-side resources, the impact of technology on the grid and access it allows to system and customer data and dramatic shifts in commodity prices are just a few of the factors that traditional methodologies are failing to capture.
Fortunately, new forecasting methods have been developed to address challenges such as demand forecasting, renewable generation forecasting and price forecasting. This course offers an introduction to modernized forecasting principles, practices and their applications in the utility industry. It will be loaded with examples and illustrations that translate these methodologies into the resulting utility practices.
Attendees will get the essential tools for making sense of today’s power environment and delivering proper guidance for industry decision-makers. An IACET credit is also available for this class.
AESP National Conference 2017
Feb. 13-16, 2017
“Destination Innovation” is the theme of the 27th annual conference of the Association for Energy Services Professionals. This event draws top program managers, policy makers, implementers, marketers, evaluators, consultants and vendors in energy efficiency. The extensive agenda will cover the range of current topics in marketing, tools and technology, implementation, program design, research, evaluation and more.
In addition to speaker presentations, panel discussions and networking events, this year’s conference offers pre-conference training courses. Attendees can either focus on program planning, design and implementation or brush up on their critical thinking skills, while earning .5 CEU.
2017 PACENation Summit
Feb. 13-15, 2017
New and innovative versions of property-assessed clean energy (PACE) legislation and programs are gaining support across the country. Learn more about this 100-percent voluntary strategy to fund energy upgrades to buildings while creating jobs, increasing property value and making progress on state policy goals. The second annual Summit will offer an in-depth look into the growth in residential PACE financing, new PACE products, strategies and programs in development and more.
Newcomers and PACE practitioners alike can will benefit from the opening workshop, PACE 101 Workshop. Presentations will cover legislation to project implementation, including best practices in legislation, local ordinances, program design, financing options, marketing to building owners and training of contractors. Add a wide range of sessions led by PACE experts and an abundance of networking opportunities, and you have a crash course on a valuable tool for growing energy efficiency in your community.
Utility Energy Forum
May 3-5, 2017
Santa Rosa, California
Program development and networking are central to the Utility Energy Forum, now in its 37th year. The sessions will challenge traditional thinking and ask attendees how they are preparing for a different energy utility industry than the one they knew.
This year’s theme, “Change is the Only Constant – Customers, Policy and Technology,” is appropriate not only for our industry, but also for the new location. The Hilton Sonoma, in Santa Rosa near California’s wine country, will host the forum. What hasn’t changed, however, are the sessions “ripped from today’s headlines” (or rather, from our daily experiences), the outstanding speaker roster, and the abundance of networking opportunities. WAPA Energy Services representatives will be there, too, and we look forward to some face-to-face time with our customers.
E Design 2020: Accelerating Utility Innovation for the New Energy Consumer
May 10-11, 2017
San Francisco, California
This first-of-its-kind event focuses on creating utility products, services and experiences for the customer of today and tomorrow. Forward-thinking utility leaders and experts from outside the utility space will explore innovative approaches and design-oriented experiences from a variety of industries to demonstrate how these strategies can be applied at utilities. E Design 2020 askes attendees to leave their comfort zone, uncover high-potential partnerships and discover ways to embrace technological changes that will affect residential and non-residential customers.
After introducing attendees to the design-oriented approach, the comprehensive agenda covers distributed energy, demand-side management, energy services, technology and targeted customer programs. The event highlights empathetic thinking to discover customers’ underlying needs and find new ways of developing products and services that will turn customers into allies.
Learn from past, shape future
It is not too late to benefit from some of the excellent training events of 2016, either. Presentations from the previous Utility Energy Forum and Rocky Mountain Utility Efficiency Exchange are available online.
You can also download materials from the Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference (BECC), presented annually by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The conference looks at human behavior and decision-making and how to use the knowledge to accelerate the transition to an energy-efficient and low-carbon future. The session abstracts and some PowerPoint presentations are available for free, or you can buy the full proceedings.
This is the time to let ACEEE know what you would like to see on the 2017 BECC agenda. ACEEE will issue the call for abstracts Feb. 10 for presentations that:
- Identify key lessons about behavior and decision making that advance energy/climate solutions
- Help integrate research insights throughout the value chains of energy-using goods and services
- Expand support for social science research as applied to the biggest contributors to today’s energy challenges
- Facilitate knowledge accumulation, exchange and collaboration across analytical approaches from micro to macro (e.g., individual, group, organizational, societal behavior, and decision making)
Even if you can’t make it to any of these events, you still have plenty of options in online education. From the Community Solar Value Project to webinars presented by the Energy Department’s Better Buildings Initiative to the American Public Power Association DEED program. Make it your New Year’s resolution to check the events calendar on the Energy Services home page regularly and take time to expand your professional horizons.