Mike Beehler

Mike Beehler
Vice President
Email Mike
P: 816-822-3358
F: 816-822-3296
Kim Mulkey
Event Coordinator
Email Kim
P: 816-349-6848
F: 816-822-3296

Game Changers 2.0

Game Changers 2.0

Burns & McDonnell and GE, in partnership with Transmission & Distribution World magazine, are again hosting the Game Changers webinar series. The 2012 events will explore innovative technologies and ideas that are changing how power is delivered and used.

The final webinar in the series was a discussion of the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) project, a sub-sea high voltage direct current (HVDC) backbone transmission system extending from northern New Jersey to southern Virginia, serves as an efficient collector of AC power from off-shore wind farms, relieves transmission congestion on the eastern AC grid, and improves regional system reliability. Topics included HVDC technology for integration and control of multiple wind farms while avoiding electrical losses. See the links below to review all the 2012 webinars on demand.

GAME CHANGERS: Innovation Brought to Life


Review our 2011 webinars > 

Jan. 30 | Sustainable Electric Energy Design for Substations | Review the webinar on demand >

A discussion of a new sustainable electric energy design (SEED) concept for substations. Speakers will share how sustainable design and construction practices can turn your next substation into an asset that can help you gain public support for needed system improvements.

March 22 | 3-D Design | Review the webinar on demand >

Utilities are facing a transmission and distribution building boom of historic proportions. Many are looking for technology, tools and processes that will improve efficiency, help control costs and realize new levels of quality on these projects. Webinar discussion will feature American Electric Power discussing how it did early investigation into 3-D technology, developed new 3-D standard cells and eventually designed (and built) a new, greenfield 138-kV substation using 3-D tools.

April 26 | Distributed Solar | Review the webinar on demand >

With the utility industry buzzing over the Million Solar Roof initiative, many are asking about market responses in terms of programs and rates. Responses from customers and developers are of particular interest. Bob Woods, director of electric system planning for Southern California Edison, and Tom Salas, SCE's manager of construction, will describe the utility's plans to install large, intermediate and small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop installations and how they will be connected to the grid. The discussion will include distribution system impacts and how SCE plans to control the distributed energy resources, or DER. Installation issues such as permitting, electrical, structural and architectural will be addressed. The presentation will also share the number of PV installations operating today, future projected installations and lessons learned to date.

May 16 | Thermal Measurements on Lines | Review the webinar on demand >

The deadline for the second level of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) facility rating is quickly approaching. At this webinar, you will learn from Burns & McDonnell transmission line engineers about the latest NERC response requirements, best industry practices, improvements for the second and third year of assessment, and other ideas to ensure compliance based on the second level of NERC response efforts. 

May 30 | Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Charging Stations | Review the webinar on demand >

Electric and plug-in vehicles are no longer simply coming, they are here. Many major cities across the U.S. have been targeted as early launch cities for rolling out these vehicles to the public. This increased activity is calling into question the ability of the local utility infrastructure to meet the growing needs of these new mobile loads. Based in Washington, D.C., Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) is actively involved in addressing these questions in each of its jurisdictions. PHI is the parent company for Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric and includes more than 1.8 million total customers located in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. This presentation will discuss PHI's approach to assessing the potential impacts of plug-in vehicles across its service territory as well as innovative solutions for integrating electric vehicle charging management into the company's plans for deploying Smart Grid technologies.

June 25 | Grid Analytics | Review the webinar on demand >

ComEd uses grid analytics to track the real-time asset health of key power system components. Rich Gordus, ComEd Smart Grid manager, will also include how Smart Grid technology to be installed as part of the Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act in Illinois will redefine ComEd's utility operations, defining the crucial relationship between operations and information technology, what tools are used by operations to evaluate key infrastructure components, and where are we going next in grid analytics. 

July 30 | Smart Grid Communications: Telecommunications as an Enabler for Smart Grid | Review the webinar on demand >

This webinar will review the telecommunications technologies Southern Co. is using, how telecommunications is an enabler for Smart Grid, the objectives for developing a network strategy, the modeling inputs and aggregate modeling outputs, business requirements, projected traffic forecasts, regulatory and industry inputs, future risks for utilities and a governance model.

Aug. 23 | Enterprise Data Management | Review the webinar on demand >

Sensing, data gathering, data processing and data analysis have been a crucial part of the utility industry for years; it is nothing new. The game changer, however, is the breadth, depth and the speed of the data, the so-called "big data" available to the utility today. Contrary to common belief, more data is not necessarily better. Only after all facets of the available data have been examined in terms of data usefulness for the given goal can we say that the data is useful. Every second, an average utility has at its disposal terabytes of streaming data. This data includes SCADA readings, AMI readings, crew information, maintenance logs, weather information, social media information, video streams, image streams and audio streams. Generally, most of this data is being collected for audit purposes and is not being used in a meaningful manner to drive and improve efficiency, reliability, safety and profitability for the utility. This webinar will focus on solving some of the more complicated issues plaguing the major utilities of today by performing targeted, goal-specific analytics on the mostly untapped "big data" inside and outside the utility through a process called the Innovative Utility Program. This is a major paradigm shift for utilities.

Sept. 20 | Benefits of Interoperability Standards to Utilities |  Review the webinar on demand >

Industry discussion continues about Smart Grid interoperability standards, and many utilities are asking, "Why should I care?" In this webinar, we will discuss interoperability standards benefits to utilities. Participants will learn about positive impacts to an enterprise's technology portfolio and skill set inventory derived from the deployment of interoperable products, benefits from avoiding vendor lock-in, and the enterprise costs driving interoperability.

Oct. 25 | HVDC Transmission: Technology Update and Trends for Future | Review the webinar on demand >

The installed base of high voltage direct current (HVDC) system applications have increased worldwide. Conventional thyristor-based systems have now reached 800,000 volts and 6,000 MW for long-distance overhead line applications in China. Solid dielectric cables operating at 320-kV and other submarine cables operating at 400-kV or higher in combination with new insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) type converters have emerged with power levels that may reach 1,000 MW before long. HVDC grids might even be practical for transmission off shore wind power plants to shore. This presentation is intended to familiarize the audience with key information about HVDC technologies and use.

Nov. 27 | The Atlantic Wind Connection Project | Review the webinar on demand >

The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) project, a sub-sea high voltage direct current (HVDC) backbone transmission system extending from northern New Jersey to southern Virginia, serves as an efficient collector of AC power from off-shore wind farms, relieves transmission congestion on the eastern AC grid, and improves regional system reliability. When complete, the AWC backbone will be able to connect up to 7,000 MW of offshore wind, enough power to serve 1.9 million households. The system is scalable and can be expanded to accommodate additional offshore wind energy as the industry further develops. The use of HVDC technology allows for easier integration and control of multiple wind farms while avoiding the electrical losses associated with more typical high voltage alternating current (HVAC) lines. With this strong backbone in place, larger and more energy-efficient wind farms can connect to offshore power hubs farther out to sea. These power hubs will in turn be connected via sub-sea cables to the strongest, highest capacity parts of the land-based transmission system.

Jan. 30: Sustainable Electric Energy Design for Substations

Kenneth B. Bowes | Vice President, Energy Delivery Services, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P), a subsidiary of the Northeast Utilities (NU)
Bowes is responsible for CL&P's distribution asset management, field services, capital construction groups, meter services, and meter assets and operations. He is also jointly responsible for the meter data management services project. He joined NU in 1984 and has held several engineering and management positions before joining the senior leadership team at CL&P in 2008 as vice president of customer operations. He has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of New Hampshire and a master's in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is the past chairman of the Edison Electric Institute's Transmission Committee.

James M. Hogan, PE | Vice President, Director of Engineering, Burns & McDonnell Transmission & Distribution Group
Hogan is a civil engineer specializing in civil/structural design for electrical substations and transmission lines and has overall responsibility for day-to-day operations of design engineering functions. In his 27 years with Burns & McDonnell, he has led project teams on some of the firm's largest and most complex projects for the largest utilities in North America. A licensed professional engineer in 12 states, Hogan graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. In 1999, he earned his Master of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri.

March 22: 3-D Design

Jeff Fleeman | Director, Advanced Transmission Studies and Technologies, AEP
Fleeman leads the AEP department responsible for analytical studies and solutions in support of transmission planning, engineering and operations for transmission lines and T&D substations; HVDC/FACTs engineering; portfolio planning for asset renewal and replacement; and coordination of technology development activities for AEP Transmission. With AEP since 1981, he has also led departments responsible for transmission and substation asset management, substation projects engineering, and major equipment. Before AEP, Fleeman worked for the Ohio State University's Energy Management Division, and for National Electric Coil as a product design engineer. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Ohio State and is a registered professional engineer in Ohio, a senior member of IEEE and a member of CIGRE. He previously chaired Edison Electric Institute's Transmission Committee and currently is the utility chair of EPRI's Transmission & Substation Committee.

Ron Wellman | Station Design Standards Supervisor, American Electric Power (AEP)
Wellman joined AEP in 1988, designing subtransmission and distribution lines, then leading a team responsible for the oversight of outsourced station engineering and design projects. In his current role, he oversees the development of new standards and maintains current standards. He earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the West Virginia Institute of Technology. He is a registered professional engineer in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

April 26: Distributed Solar

Tom Salas | Manager of Construction, Southern California Edison
Salas has been with Southern California Edison in a wide range of roles for 39 years. Currently, he is the manager of construction for the innovative Solar Photovoltaic Program. His career began as a communication engineering trainee on the initial general order building construction; he also spent 10 years in the program management organization, building new substations and managing the infrastructure replacement program. He has continually stepped out of the box to provide the best possible results. He worked for eight years at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station 2 and 3 startup organization, as well as eight yeaers in customer service planning and marketing. He is a graduate of the University of California-Los Angeles.

Bob Woods | Director of Electric System Planning, Southern California Edison
Woods, a Southern California Edison employee for 27 years, is responsible for planning the new transmission and distribution facilities needed to serve growing load, infrastructure replacement, and the interconnection of new load and generation for the 50,000 square miles that SCE serves. Prior to this position, he held division manager roles in grid operations and substation construction and maintenance. Throughout his career, he has held management positions in distribution design and distribution engineering. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from California State University, Long Beach.

May 16: Thermal Measurements on Lines

Jamey Bertram | Compliance Manager, Burns & McDonnell
Bertram, a senior-level civil and structural engineer in the Electric Transmission & Distribution Group at Burns & McDonnell, has more than a decade of experience in overhead transmission line design. He currently manages the overhead transmission line department of the Electric Transmission & Distribution Group. His experience encompasses all aspects of project engineering and management, including studies, consulting, design engineering, contract administration and business development. He is responsible for the master coordination of all overhead/underground transmission projects, including code compliance and NERC response effort support and management.

Chris Norquist | Project Manager, Burns & McDonnell
Norquist, a senior-level project manager in the Electric Transmission & Distribution Group at Burns & McDonnell, has nearly a decade of experience. He is responsible for project management and engineering support for the planning and design of high-voltage underground and overhead transmission lines. Currently, he is managing transmission design associated with the surveying, modeling and reporting on all of Duke Energy's existing transmission facilities over 100 kilovolts. Specific tasks include procurement and management of the LiDAR survey contract, covering approximately 12,000 circuit miles, and management of the PLS-CADD modeling, engineering analysis and reporting required for complying with the NERC guidelines. 

May 30: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Robert S. Stewart | Manager, Advanced Technology and New Business, Pepco Holdings
Stewart leads the effort to develop and manage Pepco Holdings' approach to evaluating and deploying advanced technologies and concepts for application on the electric system. One of Stewart's responsibilities is the interface between the customer and the Smart Grid, including Pepco Holdings' home area network strategy and integration of electric vehicle chargers and renewable generation/intelligent management and control capabilities. He is also a co-chair of the company's Design Authority, an internal governance body for Smart Grid technology evaluation and standardization. He has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering (biomedical) from the University of South Florida, a Master of Science in electrical engineering (power systems) and a Certificate of Process Mastery from Hammer and Co. He has presented university curriculum on the Smart Grid and is active on several Smart Grid industry panels and committees.

June 25: Grid Analytics

Richard J. Gordus Jr. | Manager, Smart Grid Technologies and Strategy
Gordus is responsible for coordinating, directing and overseeing the development and implementation of short- and long-term strategic Smart Grid initiatives for the transmission and distribution systems for Com Ed, a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., which delivers electricity to approximately 3.8 million residential and business customers across northern Illinois. Previously, Gordus was the manager of the Relay and Protection Engineering department, where he was responsible for the transmission and distribution substation relaying systems, SCADA, high-speed relaying communication systems, and the Real-Time Analysis Engineering groups at ComEd. He has more than 15 years of field relaying and remote communications experience, managerial responsibilities for protective and monitoring systems, and has participated in industry communities such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Power and Energy Society (PES). He has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Valparaiso University.

July 30: Smart Grid Communications: Telecommunications as an Enabler for Smart Grid

Larry Butts | Telecom Engineering Manager, Southern Co.
Butts currently serves as the telecom engineering manager for Southern Co., where his responsibilities include designing and engineering the telecommunications infrastructure for Southern Co.'s four operating companies and 120,000 square miles of service. He leads the strategic planning and emerging technology areas for all fiber optic, wireless and transport-related technologies for Southern Co.'s nine subsidiaries. In addition, Butts leads the telecommunications function for Southern Co.'s Smart Energy Standards Coordination Team, which is responsible for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) activities, collaboration planning and modeling of communication networks that play a role in the delivery of data and information at Southern Co. Butt's 25 years of telecommunications experience comes with managing functions including engineering, network support, infrastructure and network operational centers, network and systems management, and field operations. Butts is a graduate of Mercer University and Emory University's executive management program.

Gary Swatzell Senior Engineer, Southern Co.
Swatzell has advanced the strategic technology planning for electric utilities for over 28 years. Swatzell is currently working on Smart Grid initiatives and is considered an industry expert on Smart Grid and wireless technologies. He is responsible for creating, documenting and communicating all aspects of Southern Co.'s telecom network strategy. In 2007, Swatzell worked on Southern Co.'s Smart Meter project, where he assisted with the selection of the Smart Meter technology and negotiated the Smart Meter vendor contract. In 2002, he was published in the Society for Design and Process Science's magazine. The article explored the system integration aspects of mobile computing. That same year, he received the Electrical Engineer of the Year award issued by the Alabama section of IEEE. In 1999, Swatzell represented Southern Co. in negotiations with the FCC regarding the moratorium on frequency applications in the 900 MHz spectrum. Swatzell's negotiations ended the moratorium, and the FCC provided more frequency spectrum for utilities. From 1987 to 1998, Swatzell was responsible for the design and implementation of Southern Co.'s distribution automation network, which today monitors and controls more than a million points on the distribution system. Swatzell holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Aug. 23: Enterprise Data Management

Steve Fan | Rapid Prototyping Leader, Advanced Applications Group, GE
As the rapid prototyping leader for the advanced applications group, Fan's main interests lie in the fields of distribution automation, advanced optimization algorithms, power system analytics and advanced user interfaces. He joined General Electric in 2009 as a lead power systems engineer for advanced applications. Previously, he was a lead research and development engineer at Advanced Control Systems, specializing in distribution automation advanced applications. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Sept. 20: Benefits of Interoperability Standards to Utilities

George Bjelovuk | Managing Director of Enterprise Technology, American Electric Power
Bjelovuk is responsible for AEP's strategy for technology investments, business information management, and enterprise architecture and standards. Previously, he was managing director of marketing, research and program development, and was responsible for developing and marketing programs for emerging customer offerings in AEP's utility business and for providing oversight to the company's distribution research and development efforts. He led AEP's gridSMART initiative from its inception in 2007, a program of technology investments and customer programs directed at modernizing AEP's distribution business. Bjelovuk was re-elected to the Governing Board of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, and serves on its executive committee. He chaired EPRI's Smart Grid Executive Committee, and is active in its Intelligrid Program. He is AEP's representative to the Gridwise Alliance and represents the firm in a variety of industry associations. Bjelovuk has been with AEP for 28 years and held leadership positions in customer services, information technology and telecommunications. He has a Bachelor's of Engineering degree in electrical engineering from Youngstown State University, and an MBA from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.

Oct. 25: HVDC Transmission: Technology Update and Trends for Future

Stig Nilsson | Principal Engineer at Exponent
With more than 50 years of experience as an electrical engineer involved with a wide variety of electrical engineering and management disciplines, Nilsson worked for nearly 20 years for EPRI on numerous R&D projects related to alternating current (AC) substations and HVDC systems. This is where he initiated EPRI’s FACTS initiative that led to demonstration of TCSC and STATCOM systems. He came to the U.S. in 1967 as a part of the Pacific HVDC Intertie project team. He worked for Boeing with energy management systems for three years. After completing mandatory military service in Sweden, Nilsson began working with HVDC systems for ASEA in 1962 (now ABB) where he was involved with system simulation studies and later with project engineering specializing in control and protection of HVDC systems.

Nov. 27: The Atlantic Wind Connection Project

Paul D. McCoy | Principal of Atlantic Wind Connection
McCoy, a professional engineer, is one of the principals of the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), where he leads the contracting and procurement process and helps lead the interaction of the AWC project with the PJM Interconnection, LLC's Regional Transmission Expansion Plan process. He also serves on AltaLink's board of directors as an independent director, is chairman of the board's Governance, Compensation and Human Resource Committee, and is a member of AltaLink's Large Project Committee. McCoy is also working with the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago under a Department of Energy grant as a partner/contractor to develop a World-Class Smart Grid Training Center. Prior to joining AWC, he served as president of Trans-Elect Development Company, LLC from 1999 through late 2011. Previously, McCoy was senior vice president of Unicom, senior vice president of Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), and led the transmission group of ComEd in Chicago. McCoy was directly responsible for a wide variety of activities at ComEd, including the planning, design, construction and operation functions for its transmission and distribution systems. McCoy earned his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from IIT.