Power System Basics for Non-Engineers – Canada
March 19-20, 2018
Vancouver, BC

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This seminar is targeted toward increasing the knowledge of non-technical staff who work in or have an interest in the electric utility industry. Participants who are not familiar with utilities and electric power systems can significantly benefit from attending. Since this is a basic seminar, a prior background in electric utility systems or engineering is neither expected or required.

The seminar discusses basic concepts ranging from “what is electricity?” to the functions of the major components in electric power systems. The attendee will learn how generation, substations, transmission and distribution function together to provide a reliable energy supply chain. The seminar identifies opportunities, challenges and uncertainties facing the electric utility industry resulting from a paradigm shift driven by customers, technology, legislation and regulation.

Unlike many courses, this course will provide the participants with useful reference materials which will assist them as they work with and in the electric utility industry.

The seminar is presented in a professional manner which is not stressful. No one will be called on to participate, however, it is delivered in a way which encourages questions and interactive discussions between the attendees and the instructor on the issues they are facing and the things they want to learn. It is not death by PowerPoint. The participants will have a fun and rewarding learning experience.

This class provides a strong layman’s understanding of the fundamental concepts underlying the design, economics, and operation of electric power systems, as well as contemporary issues facing the designers, operators, and managers of modern electric power systems. The course takes participants on a virtual tour of all functional areas of the power system where they will learn to recognize equipment and facilities in the field and understand their purpose and function.

Individuals who attend this course will understand why electric utility systems are built and operated with the historical business model. After completing the course, they should feel comfortable speaking with engineers from their company or the utility that they are dealing with. They should be knowledgeable enough to ask follow-up questions to clarify their understanding of the issues that are being discussed.

The following topics will be included from a non-technical perspective:

  • A history and background of the electric utility industry
  • The major non-utility players in the industry
  • What is electricity and its voltage, current and resistive components?
  • What is power and how does it relate to voltage, current and resistance?
  • Real and reactive power and their role in the electrical system?
  • Power factor and load factor?
  • What is single phase and three phase power? How are they produced and used?
  • Types and reasons for diverse forms of generation; Traditional and renewable
  • Distributed energy resources (DER); Solar, batteries, customer self-generation
  • Energy efficiency and demand response’s role in the new utility marketplace
  • The role of substations in a reliable electric grid
  • The types and functions of transmission lines in the energy supply chain
  • Major components in distribution systems and how they contribute to a reliable system
  • The Paradigm shift occurring in the industry and its marketplace from vertically integrated to distributed energy resources
  • The need for non-traditional rate structures
  • Strategic technologies and their impact on both the utilities and its customers; Smart Grids
  • Changing customer’s needs, wants, expectations and demographics and how utilities must adapt

Learning Outcomes

  • Review the utility industry and its concepts and hardware used in electric power supply chain
  • Review the history of the industry and how it continues to evolve
  • Identify the non-utility players who shape the industry
  • Explain the types of electricity generation and the reasons for their use in the electric system
  • Examine the components and functions of substation, transmission and distribution systems
  • Analyze the paradigm shift occurring in the industry and its impact on the electric utilities and their customers
  • Identify opportunities and challenges in the utility marketplace of the future



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day, be in attendance for the entirety of the course

Instructional Methods

Case Studies
Power Point


Monday, March 19, 2018

8:00– 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

Introduction of Instructor and Attendees

Company, where it is located, attendee responsibilities and how long in the industry

History of the Electric Utility Industry

  • How the industry began and its early years
  • AC vs. DC. Edison and Tesla and “The Battle of the Currents”
  • Groups that shaped the industry
  • The evolution of regulations
  • Types of electric companies
  • Service areas and retail competition
  • The electric utility historical vertically integrated business model
  • The risks of a capital-intensive industry

Electricity and Power – An Overview

  • Voltage, current and resistance (impedance)
  • Power and its relationship to voltage, current and resistance (impedance)
  • Electricity measures; kWh, KW, MW, kVA, VARS
  • Load factor and why it’s important
  • The concept of load diversity
  • Real and reactive power and power factor
  • Leading and lagging power in non-technical terms
  • The role of capacitor banks in correcting power factor
  • Single phase and three phase power – How they are produced and used
  • System losses, their cause and mitigation

Generation or Power Plants – The First Link in the Power Supply Chain

  • Coal, nuclear, natural gas-fired, hydro, wind and solar, batteries and distributed energy resources
  • Basic components of generation and how the different components function in the first step of the energy supply chain
  • Energy generation by fuel type and how it is evolving due to technology and legislation
  • Factors impacting generation fuel diversity
  • Energy, capital and O&M costs by type of generation
  • Base, peak, intermediate generation and the concept of economic dispatch
  • Voltage & frequency and generation’s role in regional reliability

Substations – Nodes in the Power System

  • The role of substations in a reliable electric grid
  • How substations link the generator to the transmission and distribution system
  • Types of substations; step up and step down
  • Major substation components and their function
  • SCADA systems and the role of substations in controlling power flow across the supply chain

Transmission Lines – The Bulk Power Movers in the Power System

  • The role of transmission lines in a reliable electric grid
  • The need for high voltage transmission lines
  • System loss reduction due to transmission lines and power flow across the supply chain
  • How transmission lines link substations
  • Types of transmission lines
  • Voltages and design
  • AC vs. DC transmission lines and their pros & cons
  • First contingency planning and the evolution of the transmission system
  • Major transmission components and their function

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Distribution System – The Link to the Customer

  • The role of the distribution system in the supply chain
  • The primary and secondary distribution lines
  • Major distribution system components and their function
  • How the distribution lines connect to the customer
  • System loss at the distribution level
  • Power factor correction on the distribution system
  • Types of distribution lines
  • Voltages and overhead/underground design

System Problems – New challenges

  • Operating in a difficult environment
  • Power quality

The Future Utility and the Paradigm Shift

  • The evolution of the historical utility business model
  • Strategic technologies are changing the marketplace
  • Customer self-generation with solar and batteries and their role in the paradigm shift
  • Stagnant energy growth and electricity use
  • Energy efficiency and demand response’s role in the new utility marketplace
  • The need for non-traditional electric rates
  • Customer’s changing needs, wants, expectations and demographics and how utilities must adapt
  • Residential, commercial, and industrial load profiles and demand drivers

Course Recap and Other Topics of Interest from the Participants


Wallace L. Barron, President, Barron & Associates, Corporate Solutions, LLC

 Mr. Barron has over four decades of experience in the electric energy industry. He is currently the President of the consulting firm, Barron & Associates, Corporate Solutions, LLC, located in Atlanta, which specializes in consulting to the energy industry in the areas of Strategic Planning, Board leadership and governance, DSM, Marketing, Customer Service, Key Accounts and Competitive issues. He was the Vice President of DSM, Marketing, Customer Service & Distribution Technology at Florida Power Corporation in St. Petersburg, Florida. His responsibilities included all of the DSM programs, developing and managing the strategic plan for the distribution sector, Forecasting, Key Accounts, Rates, System Planning, Competitive Marketing, Market Research, Customer Service, Economic Development, Load Management and Load Research as well as the Distribution Engineering functions. He was responsible for the Customer, Energy and Demand Forecasts from 1977 to 1990. Mr. Barron also has extensive experience in the areas of System Planning, Pricing, Wholesale Marketing, and, Transmission Design, during his forty years in the energy industry and was president of two unregulated subsidiaries developing Cogeneration Projects. He is the past Chairman of the IEEE System Planning Subcommittee, the NERC Load Forecasting Working Group and the IEEE Load Forecasting Working Group. He was Chairman of the EPRI Power Electronics & Controls Task Force. Mr. Barron facilitates strategic planning activities for utilities and delivers a variety of Director and Policy Makers seminars on governance issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and the American Public Power Association (APPA). He has also taught at the Center for Professional Advancement in New Jersey, and engineering courses at the University of South Florida in Tampa and has also participated as a speaker in many IEEE, EEI, EPRI, NRECA, APPA and Statewide Association conferences. Mr. Barron holds a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University. Mr. Barron has been an expert witness in the areas of System Planning, DSM, Forecasting, Load Research, and Market Research and has submitted testimony on those topics in dockets before the Florida Public Service Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver
845 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K6

To reserve your room, please call 1-604-682-5511
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

Room Rate:

The room rate is $CAD 185.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of March 18 – 19, 2018.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to February 18, 2018. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


Please Note: Confirmed speakers do not need to register and are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the event. If you are a speaker and have any questions please contact our offices at 1.303.770.8800

EventEarly Bird Before
Friday, March 02, 2018
Standard RateAttendees
Power System Basics for Non-Engineers - Canada$ CAD 1495.00
(+ 5 % GST tax )
$ CAD 1695.00
(+ 5 % GST tax )

Register 3 Send 4th Free!

Any organization wishing to send multiple attendees to these conferences may send 1 FREE for every 3 delegates registered. Please note that all registrations must be made at the same time to qualify.

Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before February 16, 2018 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800