In the past few weeks, I attended a couple of industry conferences where I heard utility experts discuss the challenges they face due to the rapid pace of the energy transition. Most agree that there is an urgent need to innovate, and some even said that time is the enemy. Many people also agreed that utilities must work together to find the solutions needed to create the grid of the future — the grid that will facilitate decarbonization and electrification.
The good news is that unlike many industries, utilities are known for their willingness to share and collaborate with each other, as well as with solution providers. During the events, numerous utility representatives discussed projects and processes they’ve developed to meet challenges and seize opportunities. They candidly talked about successes, as well as failures and frustrations. Many of them answered questions and offered advice to their contemporaries from other utilities.
Face to Face
T&D World has been an outlet for information sharing among utilities for decades, and we recognize that face-to-face events are a great way for utilities to share their stories and learn from one another. For that reason, we are planning our second annual T&D World Conference and Exhibition. With the help of an advisory board of industry experts, most representing utilities and grid owners/operators, we’ve created a stellar conference program featuring more than 60 utility speakers who represent 30 different utilities. On Sept. 12-14, in Sacramento, California, these experts will share their experiences and expertise with our conference attendees.
The program includes 42 conference sessions including a keynote, three plenary sessions, three super sessions and at least 36 breakout sessions that will include technical presentations, panel discussions and case studies. We’re thrilled to have confirmed speakers from utilities of all sizes from across North America, as well as India, Brazil and Germany. In addition, we’re offering three pre-conference educational courses and technical tours.
I’m also happy to share that we’re expanding on one of the highlights of last year’s conference—the Commercial Electric Vehicle Summit. The CEV Summit is designed to bring electric utilities, fleet owners, manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, manufacturers of chargers, industry association representatives and regulators together to discuss how they can collaborate to ensure a smooth and timely transition to electric fleets. T&D World is partnering with Fleet Owner magazine, one of our sister publications, and the North American Council for Fleet Efficiency (NACFE) to create a program that will allow for and encourage much needed conversation. The T&D World Conference schedule and details about the sessions, which cover grid edge technologies, renewable energy and DER integration, black sky hazards and wildfire mitigation, data analytics, digitalization, electrification and infrastructure expansion, are being added to our event website daily.
We’re excited about this live event and are happy to be able to offer it, but it’s important to remember that it is just another outlet for information sharing. T&D World has been fortunate to have the help of many contributors and industry experts from around the world who for years have been happy to provide great content and share their experiences and knowledge. Because of these individuals and the many editors who have worked on the magazine throughout its history, T&D World has been able to provide the latest industry information and utility stories for 75 years.
Gerry George, T&D World’s International Editor of nearly 27 years was one of the individuals who helped us gather content. Gerry worked with international utilities to obtain case study articles, and also represented T&D World at international trade shows, wrote show reports and sent along international news. Gerry was the “world” in T&D World. I’m sad to announce that Gerry passed away on March 28 at his home in the UK. I never had the pleasure of meeting Gerry in person, but others on the T&D World team knew him well. They all agree that Gerry was a consummate English gentleman. It seems that the only thing he loved more than the electric utility industry was his family. It was not unusual for his wife Pat to accompany him to events, and she even helped him with T&D World editorial work throughout his years with us. Gerry was known for sending formal and eloquent Christmas wishes to the staff each year, and each person who worked closely with him seems to have a favorite story about Gerry. He will be greatly missed.
We will continue to cover global transmission and distribution to ensure that we live up to our name and to carry on Gerry’s legacy.