IEEE ISGT 2016 Conference Recap


IEEE ISGT 2016 Conference Recap

The seventh conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT), sponsored by the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), was held September 06-09, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The conference was a forum for participants to discuss issues and effective strategies for grid modernization, given the changing electric industry landscape due to the advent of information and communication technology and the emergence of renewable and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs).
About a year ago, when the conference planning process began, OATI decided to play a significant role and became one of two Gold Sponsors. In addition to their role as a sponsor, OATI employees also had heavy involvement in the planning, technical, and volunteer committees.
The conference featured three plenary sessions that focused on a variety of topics. Opening day began with a plenary session on “Smart Grid Technology Vision,” which included presentations from a number of executives from technology provider companies, including OATI’s President and CEO, Dr. Sasan Mokhtari. I was honored to introduce him and the other presenters as the session chair. The second plenary session was chaired by Chris Villarreal of Minnesota Public Utility Commission and focused on “A Regulatory Perspective of Grid Transformation.” The third plenary session was chaired by Jay Giri of GE Solutions and discussed the “Utility Executive Perspective.”
In addition, the conference included tutorials by experts on Smart Grid applications and systems integration. It also included a number of panel and paper sessions focusing on advanced distribution energy management systems and microgrids, the integration of DERs, the seams between distribution and bulk power operations, and the needed approaches for both planning and operations.
OATI experts organized and chaired the following tutorial and panel sessions:

  • Jerrod Montoya, Security and Compliance Counsel: “A New Cybersecurity Architecture from Bulk Power to Distribution Grid Endpoints”
  • Dr. Farrokh Rahimi, Senior Vice President of Market Design and Consulting: “Integration of DR-DER with Distribution Operations”
  • Dr. Ali Ipakchi, Senior Vice President of Smart Grid and Green Power: “Grid 3.0 — The Emerging Distribution Grid of the Future” panel and “Smart Grid Data and Analytics” tutorial
  • Dr. Jose Medina, Vice President of Smart Grid: “Distribution System Volt/VAR Control, including CVR and Distributed Generation”

 The following OATI experts also made presentations at the following panel and paper sessions:

  • Erik Amundson, Chief Technology Officer of Advanced Systems Design and David Heim, Chief Strategy Officer: “A New Cybersecurity Architecture from Bulk Power to Distribution Grid Endpoints”
  • Dr. Kash Nodehi, Executive Vice President: “Advances on Grid Visibility and Control”
  • Dr. Rahimi: “Applying Lessons Learned from Transmission Open Access to Distribution and Grid-Edge Transactive Energy Systems” paper session and “Towards a Distribution System Operator (DSO)” panel presentation
  • Dr. Ipakchi: “Integration of Distributed Resources with Distribution Grid Operation”
  • Dr. Medina and Ilya Roytleman, Principal Engineer: “Volt/VAR Control and Conservation Voltage Reduction as a Function of Advanced DMS”
  • Dr. Ebrahim Vaahedi, Senior Director of Microgrid & GridControl Software Development: “Microgrid Technology Requirements”

Finally, OATI provided a tour of its newly developed OATI Microgrid Technology Center which will operate as an advanced microgrid. The tour was oversubscribed by conference attendees with many requesting additional future opportunities to visit.
All in all, the 2016 ISGT conference was a great success, and OATI was honored to have helped with thought leadership and facilitation of the conference.
About the Author:
Dr. Ebrahim Vaahedi is Senior Director of Microgrid & GridControl Software Development at OATI. With more than 30 years of experience in different segments of the energy industry, specializing in the development and execution of technology strategies for utility industry. Dr. Vaahedi joined OATI following his prior position with a major Canadian utility as Chief Technology Officer, where he was accountable for developing and executing a consolidated technology plan including the delivery of a $140 million Control Center project. Dr. Vaahedi is the author of a recent book on modern power system operation, titled “Practical Power System Operation.” Dr. Vaahedi earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran and went on to earn his M.S. in Power Systems and Electrical Machines and Ph.D. in Optimal Control of Power from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.