Mike Beehler

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

Game Changers 2011

Burns & McDonnell and General Electric partnered with T&D World magazine for a series of online discussions on the technologies, processes and practices that are changing power delivery.

This series of nine free webinars explored innovative technologies and ideas that will truly change how power is delivered and used.

GAME CHANGERS: Innovation Brought to Life


Here's a look at the speakers and topics. Click the links to view the webinar recordings.

Webinar Session 1: Synchrophasors
Thursday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

Large-scale blackouts and overloaded systems have taken their toll. With emerging synchrophasor technology, a utility can measure the state of the transmission grid system by monitoring phase angle and system voltage. With subsequent intelligent tools, utilities can track and set power flow limits based on phase angle differences. With information gained from synchrophasors, grid operators can be alerted to dynamic instability and take action to avoid voltage collapse and large-scale blackouts.

Presenter: Anthony H. Montoya, chief operating officer with the Western Area Power Administration, is responsible for day-to-day operations, including direct responsibility for engineering design, aviation, transmission policy, procurement, natural resources, transmission regulatory compliance, safety and security, human resource management, and electric power training. He represents U.S. federal and Canadian provincial utilities as an elected member of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) Member Representative Committee. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Colorado School of Mines, and his master's in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado, Denver. He has a Ph.D. in public administration from Arizona State University and has varied research interests including energy and electricity policy, regulatory economy, and Flexible A.C. Transmission Systems (FACTS).

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Webinar Session 2: Large Battery Storage
Wednesday, March 23, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

With technologies now available, we are seeing utility scale storage battery systems being designed and built to economically address distribution reliability issues. Whether installations are connected to the utility grid to help control areas deal with stability issues or on feeders to reduce peak demand, utilities increasingly look to add battery storage to their networks.

Presenter: Emeka Okafor, an engineer in American Electric Power's (AEP) research programs department in Columbus, Ohio, is responsible for researching new energy storage technologies and assessing them for deployment at AEP. He is managing the deployment of the company's 2-MW, 2-MWh lithium-ion based Community Energy Storage systems in Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in engineering from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University.

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Webinar Session 3: Smart Metering/AMI
Wednesday, April 20, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

Automated metering intelligence (AMI) is sweeping the globe. A recent poll of utility executives shows that 63 percent believe smart metering will be the first of the Smart Grid components to see wide-scale utility adoption. But AMI is more than two-way metering. Data from intelligent meters will impact the way feeders are operated, how and when demand response is deployed, and when individual lines and transformers are upgraded or replaced. Smart metering, if approached properly, will lead to smart utility decisions.

Presenter: Scott R. Milanowski, director of grid intelligence in OG&E's Smart Grid organization, has oversight for implementing a new distribution management system, deploying distribution automation devices and integrated volt/VAr control, conducting a system-wide field inventory, and installing a multi-tiered wide area communication network. Before OG&E's Smart Grid program received regulatory approval, he led the effort to successfully win a $130 million Department of Energy Smart Grid Investment Grant for the company. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Oklahoma City University. Scott is a registered professional engineer in Oklahoma and a member of IEEE.

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Webinar Session 4: Distribution Optimization (Volt/VAR Control)
Wednesday, May 25, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

One of the first applications out of the gate for smart switching is volt/VAR control. Utilities find they can lower energy use, meet existing voltage and VAR targets, and save their utilities money by developing an integrated volt/VAR control strategy.

Presenter: Tom Weaver III, manager of distribution system planning for American Electric Power (AEP), has responsibility for system planning, network planning and engineering, and grid management deployment. He has been actively involved in developing and applying deployment plans for gridSMART Technologies on the AEP distribution system since 2005. He has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from West Virginia University and an MBA from Morehead State University. He is a registered professional engineer in Kentucky and is active with EPRI as utility chair of the Smart Distribution Applications Program and EEI as chair of the Planning, Design and Asset Optimization Working Group.

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Webinar Session 5: Asset Optimization (Monitoring and Diagnostics)
Thursday, June 23, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

With the advent of imbedded intelligent sensors in our substations, we have the ability to better understand the aging stresses put on the system. At the same time, data collected from individual devices allows utilities to better analyze the health of substation assets to maximize value from the grid.

Presenter: Tashonda Brown, project manager of the condition-based maintenance project for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), is responsible for implementing Smart Grid technology in more than 100 substations to extend the useful life and make greater utilization of transmission and distribution assets. She has been a change management lead on the Outage Management/Distribution Management project, as well as held positions in construction and operations, reliability and planning, protection engineering, fuel and power supply, and safety and emergency services. She earned her Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from California State University, Sacramento, and is pursuing an MBA from National University.

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Webinar Session 6: Bringing Together Utility Operations and IT for Smart Grid Success
Wednesday, July 27, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

A look at Southern California Edison's (SCE) common services architecture approach to implementing high assurance Smart Grid solutions. This presentation will focus on optimization of the design and engineering of Smart Grid solutions in transmission and distribution networks and substations, including the deployment of military grade security to meet existing and future NERC CIP standards while minimizing the cost and complexity of an evolving Smart Grid architecture. The biggest leap forward in this common services architecture is the ability to reuse solutions across multiple projects to create capabilities that use analytics and common information management and services to compose new services and information that yield everything from more efficient implementations to better situational awareness in operations.

Presenter: Jeff Gooding, IT general manager — Smart Grid Engineering for SCE, leads a team supporting the research, development and demonstration activities of SCE's Advanced Technologies Organization. Most recently, he managed the architecture and engineering team supporting the Edison SmartConnect project, SCE's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) program. He has an MBA and a Bachelor of Science from California Polytechnic University, Pomona, and is a member of the NIST Smart Grid Architecture Committee. 

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Webinar Session 7: Smart Grid Telecom
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

T&D telecom is about the infrastructure required to support operations. Electric utilities already operate some of the largest private telecom networks in the country after the major telecommunications companies. But now utilities are faced with sophisticated data and control communication needs to accommodate the Smart Grid and other advanced applications. Utilities are looking at all technologies, both broadband or narrowband; all media - wired, wireless, powerline and fiber; public or private networks or a combination. The communication technology selected depends on the applications and requires analysis of the needs for present and future capacity, latency, security and survivability.

Presenter: Chrissy A. Carr, PE, is a project manager and electrical engineer in the telecommunications and network engineering department at Burns & McDonnell. She specializes in the design of telecommunications systems and utility automation. In her two decades of engineering and project management experience, Carr's work in telecommunications has included fiber optic systems, microwave radio (analog and digital – 900 MHz through 18 GHz), land mobile radio (UHF/VHF), hybrid fiber/coax (HFC), local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs). Her current responsibilities include planning and design of wired and wireless infrastructure for a wide variety of clients in the municipal utilities, investor-owned utilities, rural electric cooperatives, industrial companies, and state and federal governments.

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Webinar Session 8: Software Giants and the Home Area Network
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

Major players are moving into the energy space and fighting it out with entrenched players. Cisco, Google, Verizon and Microsoft are claiming their turf, looking to go directly to the customer while companies including Trilliant, SmartSynch, Tendril and Control 4 are looking to partner with utilities to provide end-users with in-home controls and gadgets. Hear how one utility and its partners are implementing real Home Area Networks in an urban setting in conjunction with other ZigBee-enabled in-home devices.

Presenter: Bill Menge, Smart Grid director for Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), leads a true end-to-end Smart Grid demonstration project spanning from smart/renewable generation through advanced automation in the distribution system, advanced metering infrastructure and into customer end-use applications, controls and programs. Previously, he was the manager of asset management and oversaw completion of the T&D infrastructure improvement portfolios under KCP&L's award-winning comprehensive energy plan. He has been with KCP&L since 2006 and has 25 years experience in the power industry. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Bradley University.

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Webinar Session 9: Distributed Energy Resources
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

Municipal utilities are finding ways to provide more than electrical power to customers and integrating various forms of renewable and clean distributed generation technologies. They are taking advantage of benefits including VAR support, increased system efficiency and reliability, and lower emissions. Gainesville Regional Utilities will share how it developed innovative business structures to finance, design, build, own, operate and maintain these distributed generation assets at customer sites and expanded its service offering.

Presenter: Ed Regan, PE, assistant general manager for strategic planning, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), has more than 30 years of engineering and management experience in a wide range of utility operations. He has been in charge of GRU's strategic planning since 1991 and responsible for electrical system planning, generation dispatch and power marketing, demand side management, environmental regulation, fuel supply management, water and wastewater system planning, risk management, utility rate design, and regulatory affairs. His current assignments include coordinating the development of a biomass plant and developing new service offerings, including high-speed internet access, private line data services, public safety radio, chilled water and emergency power.

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