Wednesday, October 2, 2024
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Grid Resiliency & Black Sky Hazards Track

From December 31, 2022, to January 16, 2023, SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) experienced an unprecedented series of storms, prompting the utility to launch a “Storm Response Team.” In February 24, its service territory was once again battered by a strong winter storm. Attend this session to learn about the improved processes SMUD’s response team created in 2023 and how those processes and lessons learned were put to the test in its 2024 storm response efforts. The Storm Response Team, led by the Chief Operating Officer, with director-level representation from Line, Substation, Distribution Operations, Customer Care, Corporate Communications and Marketing, and Community Development met twice a week throughout 2023 to identify, prioritize, and drive a comprehensive portfolio of improvements representing the largest operational excellence initiative for SMUD in 2023. Sub-teams of managers and SMEs worked on individual improvement efforts, and progress was reported to the full executive team monthly. This presentation focuses on: Damage Assessment - increasing from 15 to 100 damage assessors utilizing new damage assessment mobile applications; Estimated Restoration Time (ERT), which set a new metric to provide ERTs within 8 hours of each outage start time and measuring the accuracy of each ERT: Customer Communications, upgrading the external website for customers to receive latest information on their respective outage and ERTs; and Line Crew Capacity, which increased capacity through several strategies to run more crews safely and expedite the repair work.

Eric Poff Michael Champ
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
Grid Resiliency & Black Sky Hazards Track

Gas-insulated substations (GIS) have emerged as a transformative technology, offering compact footprints, enhanced environmental performance, and superior reliability, making them ideal for strengthening and modernizing the power infrastructure. This panel session brings together leading experts to explore the transformative potential of GIS for building a more resilient grid. The panel discussion will include:

• The evolving landscape of power grids—challenges posed by climate change, urbanization, and cyber threats, highlighting the urgent need for grid modernization.

• The advantages of GIS technology—unique benefits of GIS, including their space-saving design, exceptional reliability, and reduced environmental impact compared to traditional air-insulated substations.

• Applications across various sectors—GIS can be effectively deployed in       diverse settings, from urban centers and industrial facilities to offshore wind farms and remote communities.

• Real-world case studies—practical implementations of GIS, showcasing their tangible impact on enhancing grid resilience and efficiency.

• The future of grid modernization—ongoing advancements in GIS technology, standardization efforts, and their role in shaping the future of a more resilient and sustainable grid.

William Munn Bala Kotharu
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM
Grid Resiliency & Black Sky Hazards Track

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has implemented a structured approach to identify, diagnose, and mitigate potential wildfire risks in their service territory by exploring strategies and a variety of technologies. Recently, PG&E issued an “Authoritative Guide on Wildfire Mitigation," which outlines the key issues they face, an exploration of the solutions they have evaluated, and the results they have captured. The report provides meaningful and timely insights for risk mitigation not only in PG&E’s service territory but also for utilities everywhere where wildfire risks and other hazards exist.

Tim Bedford, Senior Manager of Electric Operations Safety at PG&E, will discuss the innovative field-based technologies PG&E has deployed. Their primary approach was to identify conditions in advance of a threat and capture data from a variety of sensors. They then applied data science, machine learning, and deep analytics to provide actionable intelligence, enabling operators to make informed mitigation decisions. Bedford will delve into the process PG&E underwent to select and evaluate various technologies tested, share the findings of their pilots, and explore future plans for deploying promising technologies.

Tim Bedford Tim Barat
Thursday, October 3, 2024
9:15 AM - 10:00 AM
Grid Resiliency & Black Sky Hazards Track

With partial discharge (PD) monitoring for power cables being an established method for diagnostic measurement, continuous online monitoring brings insights that prevents outages and allow extended use of (aged) networks. In this session, attendees will learn how PD detection in medium voltage (MV) cables can be performed by placement of inductive sensors at cable terminals, which with careful consideration, can determine how PD pulses propagate through a cable network. The presenters will explain how the pulse characterization, combined with PD location, provide high data quality, and therefore better identification of weak spots. With this, risks in cable circuits monitored using online PD monitoring techniques can be identified more accurately to support grid asset management decisions. Attendees will hear about how cable monitoring increases grid resilience, allowing action before failure; how effective online PD monitoring can be performed using double-sided measurement; how additional filtering based on waveshape properties allows for measurement in noisy conditions; and, how a large data set and experience show weak spots can effectively be removed before failure.

Bart Kruizinga
10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
Grid Resiliency & Black Sky Hazards Track

Focused on the case study of Georgia Power's underground power system at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson airport, the presentation will showcase the innovative solutions implemented following a catastrophic power outage in 2018. Through a combination of advanced thermography techniques and now patented technologies, the solutions used at Hartsfield radically changed the monitoring and maintenance of Georgia Power's infrastructure, providing a blue-print for a new era of proactive management and rapid response capabilities. Now seven years out from the installation, Georgia Power and Power Intelligence will share the gains made, lessons learned, and further applications for utilities. The 2018 $50-million power outage at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson airport served as a wake-up call to Georgia Power, highlighting the vulnerabilities inherent in traditional power delivery systems. Recognizing the need for a paradigm shift in infrastructure management, Georgia Power partnered with Power Intelligence to pioneer real-time thermographic analysis as a cornerstone of their resilience strategy. The presenters will share about the team’s deployment of state-of-the-art thermographic cameras and proprietary analytical algorithms, enabling Georgia Power to monitor the health of its infrastructure in real-time, identifying potential issues before they escalated into critical failures. Not only did this enhance the reliability and resilience of the power delivery network, but it also optimized maintenance schedules, reduced operational costs, and bolstered the airport's reputation as a reliable transportation hub. In addition, this session will Introduce the concept of real-time thermographic analysis and the newly patented “Sigma Delta Tau” methodology and how it has revolutionized Georgia Power and other utilities’ infrastructure monitoring.

Eric Smith Robin Thompson