Grid Modernization Forum in Chicago to Examine Latest Progress on New York REV and other Key Initiatives

Key industry experts at the 2nd Grid Modernization Forum, April 3-5, 2017 in Chicago will address the vision, planning and investment needs, and risks and opportunities of achieving meaningful grid modernization.

Progress made in Grid Modernization programs throughout the U.S. is mixed. While states are moving purposefully and deliberatively to modernize the grid, empower customers, and offer competitive opportunities for utilities and non-utilities alike, we are looking at billions of dollars of investment needed to fully operationalize the grid-of-the-future. Most people agree generally on what the future should look like -- and also recognize that the road to realization of this vision is fraught with risk.

To help the industry clarify the path forward, a panel of key industry experts at the 2nd Grid Modernization Forum, April 3-5, 2017 in Chicago will address the vision, planning and investment needs, and risks and opportunities of achieving meaningful grid modernization. The panel will also provide a status report on grid mod initiatives in New York and other leading states.

Panelists are Diane X. Burman, Commissioner, New York State Public Service Commission; Jeff Ballard, Vice President, Smart Grids, AVANGRID; Kelly Ziegler, Manager, State Regulatory Affairs, Stakeholder Ombudsman, Con Edison; Robert D. Sheridan, P.E., Director, Utility of the Future, National Grid; and Joseph J. Hally, Manager, Energy Transformation & Solutions, Central Hudson Gas & Electric. The panel will be chaired by Paul A. DeCotis, Senior Director, Energy & Utilities Practice, West Monroe Partners.

"This will be a great opportunity for utilities and energy professionals to take stock of where we stand in modernizing the grid, and plan for the future," says Daniel Coran, Program Manager for the Forum. "It is an effective networking venue in which to meet with peers, share insights, and move the industry forward collectively."

The panel is just one of several over the two-day Forum. Other expert presenters include:

* Keith Hock, Director, Transmission Services, Amren
* Mike Danziger, Managing Director, Power and Utilities Practice, Deloitte Consulting
* David Dobratz, P.E., Supervisor, Energy Efficiency, Eversource Energy
* Jeffrey D. Taft, PhD, Chief Architect, Electric Grid Transformation, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
* Paul Hofmann, Team Lead, Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse, Alliant Energy
* Sharon S. Allan, CEO & President, Smart Grid Interoperability Panel
* Howard Smith, Manager, Distributed Energy Resouces Policy, Southern Company
* Doug Houseman, Vice President, Innovation and Technology, EnerNex
* David W. South, Senior Principal, Sustainability, Energy & Utilities Practice, West Monroe Partners
* Bill Abolt, Vice President, Energy, AECOM
* Dennis Quinn, Chief Operating Officer & Founder, Joule Assets
* Arthur (Bud) Vos, President and CEO, Enbala Power Networks
* Dave Mulder, Senior Consultant, Emerging Technologies, Leidos Engineering
* Clay Collier, Co-Founder and CEO, Kisensum
* Michael T. Burr, Director, Microgrid Institute
* Jamie Peters, Director, Client Solutions, EnergySavvy

Additional topics to be addressed throughout the event include:

-- Grid Edge Integration Techniques
-- IoT and Big Data Analytics for New Business Models and Operational Excellence
-- Case Study Perspectives on Enhancing Grid Reliability
-- The Role of Energy Storage in the Integration of Renewables and DERs
-- Business Change and System Impacts a Result of DER
-- The Evolution of US Power Grids: Complexity and Clarity
-- Microgrids, Nanogrids, and Virtual Power Plant Advances and Strategies
-- Regulatory Trends and Developments Impacting Grid Modernization
-- Standards, Interoperability, and Legacy Systems Integration

The main conference will be preceded by a tour of S&C Electric's Smart Grid Demo Center on the afternoon of Monday, April 3. The Center will allow attendees to view demonstrations of the most recent smart grid and energy storage technologies up close. Details on the tour are available here.

The tour is preceded by a half-day, pre-conference workshop on "Upgrading to a 21st Century Utility: How to Build Your Smart Grid." The workshop is led by Dale Pennington, Managing Director, UtiliWorks Consulting.

"This event will bring together utility professionals who are seeking to implement next-gen smart grid capabilities, and who are facing similar challenges and opportunities," says Coran. "It's a unique setting in which to discuss what is working and what is not in a focused, educational environment."

The conference is organized by the Smart Grid Observer (, an online publication that delivers the latest news and information on a daily basis concerning key developments, deployment updates, and market trends in the smart grid and energy storage industries. Subscription to SGO's weekly online newsletter is free.

For full information regarding the 2nd Grid Modernization Forum and to register, visit

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