Utilities and Smart Cities

Utilities and Smart Cities

A utility guide to navigate smart cities and the next gen grid

March 4-5, 2019 | Birmingham, AL

The heart of the city is changing rapidly. With an unprecedented level of interconnectedness, cities are growing into a bustling metropolis of technology and communication. Upgrading to analytic LED streetlights and switching to EV are now expected practice for modern day utilities. In the midst of this smart revolution it is the utility that bares the unique responsibility of leader— guiding the energy industry into the next generation of grid control and power supply. 

At “Utilities and Smart Cities” we will discuss, learn, and experience the future of the smarter utility together. Through interactive panels, comprehensive presentations, and a tour through Alabama Power’s very own flagship smart neighborhood, this conference is designed to leave you educated. No matter if you are a visual learner or a data-driven analyst, there is a platform here for everyone.

Topics we will cover include data management, electrification, storage, distributive energy, customer service, and even a look into blockchain. This conference will be a “meeting of the minds” on innovative solutions to a power provider’s leading concerns about the smart city. The mission is to demonstrate how utilities can promote efficiency, accessibility, and safety all while moving towards a greener grid.  Join us as we kick off 2019 with a meeting of the minds on how to move the grid towards a more accessible, efficient, safe, and green future.

Learning Outcomes

  • Create and clarify a working definition of “smart city”
  • Learn about Exelon and Alabama Power’s green microgrid and connected design
  • Storage of the Future
  • Demystify blockchain and evaluate its utility potential
  • Evaluate breakthrough innovations in IoT technology and software management
  • Hear case studies from AEP, Xcel, and KCP&L
  • A municipal perspective on Smart City development
  • Discuss new principles in grid storage alternatives
  • Tour through Alabama Power’s flagship integrated smart neighborhood
  • Explain the next generation of billing & rating for smart city implements
  • Alternative power sources—Solar PV, wind, natural gas, lithium ion battery
  • Review pilot efforts between utilities, cities, and their partners
  • Describe the best practices in AMI data management
  • Identify latest development in fiber-optic cable utilization
  • Recognize utility efforts to promote integrated electrification in the city
  • Express current projects being executed in Street lighting, community Wi-Fi, and community rapid transit



EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.1 CEUs for the conference and 0.3 CEUs for the workshop.


Monday, March 4, 2019

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. :: Registration

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. :: Welcome Panel: Setting Up A Landscape for the Modern Smart City

The term “smart city” can mean a good deal of different things depending on who you are talking to. This panel features a number of utility veterans who will help us define what being “smart” really means and how it applies to the utility. Hear about current trends, initiatives, and ideas for the future of this technology and get a visualization of the bigger picture for the industry. Topics will include:

  • Utility of the future
  • Renewable generation
  • AMI & best rating practices
  • Grid modernization
  • Smart infrastructure design


Robert Wilhite, Managing Director, Navigant


Kristen Brown, Principal, Innovation & Partnerships, Exelon Utilities

Paul Lau, Chief Grid Strategy and Operations Officer, SMUD

2:15 – 3:00 p.m. :: Vision, Leadership, and Collaboration for Smarter Cities

As we grow and redevelop our cities, being smart about the way we produce and consume energy, the way we get around, and how we manage the host of other core components of urban life is critically important to reducing carbon emissions and building resilience into our communities.  Technology will be a piece of the equation, but to accomplish these smart city imperatives requires strong collective resolve and committed partnerships among a core group of partners including the local electric utility.  Electricity and communications infrastructures are foundational to realizing a smarter city, both of which need to be ubiquitous, secure, flexible and resilient.   

In one community within the City of Chicago, ComEd has established a ‘living laboratory’ to demonstrate the infrastructure technologies, customer projects and community collaboration necessary to make the smart city vision a reality.  ComEd, an electric utility serving 4 million customers in Northern Illinois, has been working with local stakeholders to co-create a “Community of the Future” vision for Chicago. 

Sandor Williams, Manager of Smart Grid Innovation, Commonwealth Edison

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. :: Networking Break

 3:30 – 4:15 p.m. :: Case Study: Billing & Payments, Electrification, and Distributive Energy

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has a commitment towards creating a sustainable community strategy.   One that focuses on bringing technologies and new business models that benefit all segments of its customers and moves the community toward a low carbon energy future.   As cities evolve, the need to find ways to encourage deployment of technology and innovative rate design is paramount.   SMUD has made several partnerships to assure the best path forward is optimized such as implementation of an advanced distribution management system with OSI, a 5G project with Verizon and VW’s Electrify America. This session will offer the insight obtained on how to successfully develop a smart city that begins with the consumer and remains prepared for the technology.

Paul Lau, Chief Grid Strategy and Operations Officer, SMUD

4:15 – 5:00 p.m. :: It Takes a City: Best Practices in Customer Service & Innovative City Applications

Smart Communities – what is it?  KCP&L has first taken a holistic approach to how it is interacting with its cities on smart community initiatives, first by engaging with its customers on demand side management and low-income programs, to offering its first walk-in store, based on the Apple store concept.  Learn about KCP&L Connect and how KCP&L assists its customers with their home or business account through in person interaction, and how Connect helps customers explore energy-efficiency and electrification options that meet a customer’s lifestyle. 

Topics will include:

  • Streetlight opportunities
  • KCP&L’s flagship customer service experience
  • City/Utility relations

Mark Cosby, Senior Manager, Non-Regulated Products & Services, Evergy

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. :: Networking Reception                                                     

Tuesday March 5, 2019

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. :: The Smarter Utility

In his keynote titled “The Smarter Utility”, Andres will reveal how this new 21st century megatrend will deliver a new Energy world with virtually unlimited possibilities. “The Smarter Utility” is a non-stop, on-demand, re-design journey of the business models, business processes, technologies, organizational structures, and applied human capital to seamlessly blend existing and new stand-alone trends such as, Mass Customization, Open Sourcing, Crowdsourcing, eCommerce, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Mobility, mCommerce, Social Media, Vehicle Electrification, Distributed Generation, Energy Storage, Drones, and Internet of Things into a more reliable, more profitable, and more customer driven utility reality. Mr. Carvallo will share how The Smarter Utility delivers successes by committing to pervasive performance management, which helps streamline management processes by creating a smart, agile and aligned utility by enabling the close monitoring of performance, flexible integrated planning, and improving trust and loyalty among customers and stakeholders.

Andres Carvallo, CEO, CMG

8:45 – 10:00 a.m. :: Expert Panel: Demystifying Blockchain & Evaluating Its Real Potential

Blockchain has long been associated with cryptocurrency and online data transactive value. However, it should come to no surprise that as technology has evolved this data management tool has grown alongside it. Utilities continue to wrestle with new solutions to controlling and monitoring this wave of information through a next-gen grid. This panel will explore the possibilities of Blockchain and its potential application to the utility. Topics will include:

  • Setting up a working definition of blockchain
  • Explaining the pros and cons to its use in energy
  • Evaluate the data needs for a utility adopting smart city IoT systems
  • Interoperability Standards
  • Storage


Richard Shandross, Associate Director, Energy Practice, Navigant


Mark Knight, Industry Advisor, Burns & McDonnell

Marco Terruzzin, Director of Energy Storage, E.ON

10:00 – 10:30 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:30  – 11:15 a.m. :: Travel to Alabama Power Smart Neighborhood®

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. :: Tour of Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood®

We are excited to invite you on a tour through Alabama Power’s innovative Smart Neighborhood in suburban Birmingham. The project brings together for the first time in the Southeast high-performance homes, energy efficient systems and appliances, connected devices and a microgrid on a community-wide scale. This tour will provide a glimpse into future-focused, energy-efficient communities, showcasing what residential construction may look like in 20 years, and connection to a microgrid made up of solar panels, battery storage and natural gas generator.

12:15  – 12:45 p.m. :: Return back to Conference Location

12:45  – 1:45 p.m. :: Group Luncheon 

 1:45 – 2:30 p.m. :: Case Study: The Green Microgrid—Design and Strategy

Having just toured through Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood facility®, you will have seen the powerful microgrid system designed by Southern Company. Being the first community-scaled microgrid, this power system features a 330 kWh AC solar array, about 600 kWh of battery storage and 400 kWh of natural gas backup generation. This session will present a hands-on overview of what went into the finished product for this microgrid and the way it’s been integrated within this residential community. Topics will include:

  • Green Energy Microgrid Solar Power
  • Battery Storage Design
  • Community-scale development and strategy
  • Detailed explanation of applications and power needs

Andrew Ingram, Senior Research Engineer, Southern Company

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. :: A Municipal Perspective on Smart City Development

As the landscape of traditional electric utilities continues to evolve, Alabama Power is focused on thinking beyond the current as a solutions-provider for the customers and communities it serves. These efforts include enhancing infrastructure to improve grid resiliency and security, that can also provide smart city solutions to cities across the state. Alabama Power has used fiber along its distribution system to help with communications for years and has proven that this technology can reduce the number of customers affected by an outage while also shortening the restoration time for an incident. The company recognizes that fiber, advanced communications networks and a smarter electric grid has additional benefits for customers and communities to serve as the backbone for smart city applications. Alabama Power’s George Stegall and Justin Harrison will provide background on how the electric grid of the future will operate, and outline opportunities for utilities to provide smart city solutions such as public WiFi, safety, LED lighting and more. Past success efforts to be highlighted will include the company’s ongoing smart cities partnerships with the City of Montgomery and Birmingham.

Justin Harrison, Distribution Engineer, Alabama Power

3:15 – 3:30 p.m. ::  Networking Break

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. :: An Analysis of Storage for the Utility of the Future

 Case Study: Storage Technology and Grid Adaptation

With much of the conversation on grid adaptation involving an increase in power consumption this session will focus on storage. By analyzing current storage restrictions, this presentation will break down the different grid functions of battery and grid storage, the costs, and the infrastructure investment.

Chuck Hookham, Director of Consumers Energy, CMS Energy

Paul Gruber, Product and Business Development, Consumers Energy

Energy Storage Applications for a more modern Grid

As the Grid evolves into a more integrated one with more operational efficiency, utilities look for ways to adopt innovative approaches that meet customer needs. Xcel Energy has recently partnered with the City and County of Denver, Panasonic and others in a smart cities application. Xcel Energy has deployed a battery storage system that supports renewable energy integration and other grid areas. Topics will include:

  • Project Overview
  • Design considerations
  • Lessons Learned
  • Testing Results
  • Next Steps

Beth Chacon, Director of Grid Storage & Emerging Technologies, Xcel Energy


Fundamentals of the Modern Smart City—From Concept & Design to Deployment

Monday, March 4, 2019

8:00 – 8:30 am :: Registration and Continental Breakfast:

8:30 – 11:30 am :: Workshop timing

Overview/Learning Outcomes

Cities are quickly adjusting to the new technological climate of IoT and connected devices. Similar changes are affecting the utilities tasked with providing electricity to customers.  The traditional means of city planning and utility planning are all being impacted by the accelerating change in technologies.  These technologies are putting an increasing amount of power into the hands of people.  With the rapid changes comes a new utility landscape that offers some difficult challenges, but also opportunity. From properly setting up a system design to integrate and manage distributed energy resources like electric vehicles, solar, and energy storage while maintaining reliability is evolving the grid into a more integrated network than ever before.

This session will assist new and veteran utility operators on how to be truly smart about investing in technology that saves money and builds an infrastructure in preparation for the changes occurring across the industry. This workshop is meant to be a jumpstart for prospective utilities seeking to better understand the smart city landscape and related technologies. This will be an interactive opportunity to understand the many technologies and topics under discussion across the country and the subject of the conference.   This session will provide attendees the opportunity to get an understanding of these issues before they are more deeply explained over the next couple days. We will discuss opportunities that convergence between the smart city and the advanced utility brings to the utility industry today as well as innovative solutions to help save money and optimize the technology. Some of the topics to be covered will include:

  • Distributed energy resources
  • System planning
  • Grid modernization
  • Rate Design and Compensation Methods
  • Data security
  • Microgrids
  • Policy Practices

This session will be led by experts from across the industry with expertise in regulatory, policy, and technological innovation and lead the attendees across the evolution occurring in the industry today.  This interactive session will engage attendees and presenters to better understand how smart cities and grid modernization will build off of each other to create a more modern, engaged, and networked industry.

Workshop Instructor

Christopher Villarreal, President, PluggedIn Strategies

Chris has over 10 years of experience working for and with state utility commissions, providing them assistance with policy development and analysis on a wide ranging set of topics, including grid modernization, distribution system planning, distributed energy resources, market design, rate design, data access and privacy, and cybersecurity.

Chris was Director of Policy for the Minnesota Public Utilities. In that role, he assisted the work on the Commissioners, and provided policy and regulatory guidance on matters relating to demand response, rate design, grid modernization, data privacy, data access, cybersecurity, energy storage and distribution system planning. Prior to joining the Minnesota PUC, Chris spent nine years with the California Public Utilities Commission as a senior regulatory analyst. At the CPUC, Chris was lead staff on its Smart Grid proceeding, and participated in many other CPUC proceedings related to rate design, data privacy, data access, energy storage, energy efficiency and demand response.

Chris oversaw the development of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) “Distributed Energy Resources Rate Design and Compensation” manual. The Manual was released to assist utility commissions around the country in considering the impacts of distributed energy resources on rate design and compensation methodologies. In addition to the NARUC manual, Chris has also authored several white papers on topics such as pre-pay, cybersecurity and microgrids.

Chris previously served on the Board of Directors for the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative and the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB). At NAESB, Chris chaired the Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) task force which is the standard that supports Green Button, and the Data Privacy task force. Chris is also an associate member of the GridWise Architecture Council.

Chris started his career in Washington, D.C. as an energy law paralegal focusing on FERC matters. Chris has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Baylor University.


Andres Carvallo, CEO, CMG

Mr. Andres Carvallo is the founder and CEO of CMG, a strategy consulting and advisory company focus on enabling Smart Grids, Smart Utilities, Smart Cities, and Smart Buildings. Outside of CMG, Mr. Carvallo is a Board Director at Spirae, Board Director at Gridmates, Board Advisor at Smart Electric Power Association, Board Advisor at Texas State University Ingram School of Engineering, and Board Advisor at The University of Kansas Energy Council. Mr. Carvallo is also an Adjunct Professor at Texas State University and teaches a class in Telecommunications in the Fall and a class in Energy in the Spring. Mr. Carvallo is the author of three books and the Editor of 33 titles in Power Engineering and Building Technologies. Mr. Carvallo has received 36 industry awards since 2005.

CMG’s mission is to help define and accelerate the digitalization and transformation of its customers using its knowledge library of 500 use cases and 16 frameworks. CMG provides world-class expertise in Energy, Water, Transportation, IoT, Telecommunications, and Software markets and technologies. For utilities, cities, and enterprises, CMG provides world-class strategies, processes, and best practices on how to design, build, run, and optimize all elements of planning and operational execution. For vendors and startups, CMG offers proven strategies and tactical methods to accelerate product innovation, go-to-market planning and commercialization, and build ecosystems. As CEO of CMG, Mr. Carvallo is responsible for the company strategy, growth and day-to-day operations. Mr. Carvallo also leads or co-leads many practices and has driven multiple projects for large, medium and small customers.

Beth Chacon, Environmental Policy Relations Manager, Xcel Energy

Beth Chacon is Environmental Policy Relations Manager at Xcel Energy. Her responsibilities include supporting and developing environmental policy initiatives. She has worked on environmental and sustainability reporting, state and legislative initiatives related to renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction initiatives and the company’s solar energy strategy. Beth has worked for Xcel Energy for over 15 years. Prior to her time in environmental policy, she worked in marketing and supported the development of customer energy efficiency programs and the Solar*Rewards program for customers interested in PV. Beth is a licensed Professional Engineer and received her engineering degree from Purdue University and her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.

Charles (Chuck) Hookham, Director of Consumers Energy and CMS Enterprises

Mr. Hookham has over 36 years of experience in the electric power and other heavy industrial sectors, involved with project development, strategic planning, engineering, and EPC delivery of domestic and international projects for industrial, utility and independent power producers. His recent focus has been on energy storage, integrated resource plans, economic/technical analyses, risk analysis, generation/transmission siting studies, and EPC project management. He has been active nationally in infrastructure improvement, energy efficiency, sustainability, and resilience. In the 1980s, he assisted in piloting DTE Electric’s customer-focused energy management practice. More recently, he has led the development, design, and construction of wind farm, biomass combustion and gasification, solar photovoltaic, grid battery storage, T&D, and multiple international natural gas-fired generation projects. He also co-authored the City of Ann Arbor’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plans.

Paul Lau, Chief Grid Strategy and Operations Officer, SMUD

As Chief Grid Strategy & Operations Officer, Paul Lau is responsible for the operations of SMUD’s power markets, transmission and distribution grids, including the Balancing Authority of Northern California (BANC), the development of a holistic smart grid strategy and SMUD’s research & development programs. Departments under his direction include Energy Trading & Contracts, Grid Operations, Grid Planning, Energy Strategy, Research & Development, Distribution System Operations, and Resources & New Business Strategy. He is the executive sponsor for SMUD’s deployment of advanced metering infrastructure and smart grid initiatives.

Lau is an Executive Board Member & Commissioner of the Transmission Agency of Northern California and the Balancing Authority of Northern California. He also serves on the board for the Smart Electric Power Alliance. Locally, he is the Past Chair of the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce.

Active in international energy issues, Lau serves as a delegate with the United States Energy Association, where he has helped with electrification, operations, and demand-side management in countries such as Bangladesh, India, and Jordan.

A registered professional electrical engineer in the state of California, Lau has more than 30 years of utility experience. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical power engineering from California State University, Sacramento. He also is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.

Kristen Brown, Principal, Innovation & Partnerships, Exelon Utilities

Kristen Brown is a Principal in the Innovation & Partnerships team for Exelon Utilities. In this role, she works with Exelon’s 6 regulated utilities to understand the impact of emerging technologies on the road to a “Connected Communities” strategy. She works closely with external partners to identify and assess emerging trends and capabilities, and translates opportunities into recommendations for utility projects. Prior to joining Exelon, Kristen was a Fellow at the “Advanced Project Research Agency – Energy” (or ARPA-E) with the U.S. Department of Energy, and responsible for designing new program concepts to accelerate our pathway towards reduced emissions and low-cost energy. Kristen has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and a B.S. in chemical engineering.

Mark Knight, Industry Advisor, Burns & McDonnell

Mr. Knight is an experienced professional with deep experience of utility companies. His experience includes distribution, transmission, metering, systems integration, deregulation, smart grid, interoperability, asset management, risk management, and transactive energy systems. He is also Emeritus Chair of the GridWise Architecture Council (GWAC), a group formed by the U.S. Department of Energy to promote and enable interoperability among the many entities that interact with the nation’s electric power system.

Mr. Knight is responsible for providing thought leadership and project/program management for the Laboratory’s research portfolios in interoperability and transactive systems. These roles include collaborating with other national laboratories as part of the GMLC to improve interoperability and adoption of transactive energy systems. Mr. Knight also provides technical direction, connecting research to industry needs though interaction and participation in industry groups.

Richard Shandross, Associate Director, Energy Practice, Navigant

Rich Shandross, an Associate Director in Navigant’s Global Energy Practice, has over 25 years of experience as a project and program manager, consultant, systems engineer, and researcher. He has led many engagement teams in management consulting, technology consulting, and contract R&D. Rich focuses on blockchain solutions for energy, as well as the transition of the modern power grid to include transactive energy, distributed energy resources, and microgrids. He also performs feasibility and commercialization studies for new energy technologies and products. Rich’s clients have included utilities, leading global energy firms, the U.S. Department of Energy, design and engineering firms, and National Laboratories. Rich holds a BS degree in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT.

Marco Terruzzin Director of Energy Storage, E.On

Mr. Terruzzin is an innovator and internationally recognized expert in climate change mitigation strategies with proven track record of growing businesses at the intersection of clean-tech (renewable energy + environmental markets) and digitization (IoT + blockchain). Having launched two international companies, Mr. Terruzzin has also developed extensive experience in building teams and transforming innovative ideas into successful businesses. He is a founding advisor of the Energy Blockchain Consortium, the founder of Sustainable Blockchain, Director at E.ON Climate & Renewables, and has held strategic positions at GE, Evolution Markets and Roland Berger Management Consulting. Mr. Terruzzin holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business, a PhD in Applied Statistics (Energy Economics), and an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Padua (Italy).

Jan Vrins Managing Director, Navigant

Jan Vrins leads Navigant’s global Energy practice. He has extensive energy management consulting experience and a history of growing businesses in diverse, global markets. Jan advises executives on developing and operationalizing their strategies and achieving sustainable excellence and increased shareholder value. This covers enterprise and operational strategy, go-to-market and product development strategy, operating model design, organizational (re)structuring, business process improvement, business transformation and change management, performance management, post-merger integration, and technology strategy and implementation. Since joining Navigant in 2014, Jan has guided his team to develop thought leadership, solution offerings, and capabilities to support clients as the energy industry experiences major transformation. With over 1,000 energy consulting projects each year, Navigant is at the forefront of helping clients navigate the energy transformation’s opportunities and challenges. With over 600 management consultants, Navigant has one of the largest energy consulting teams globally focused on the energy transformation. The team has developed an industry-leading framework, The Energy Cloud, which helps clients understand climate change, new opportunities in the energy market, policy and regulatory changes, changing customer needs, new technologies, strategic options, and emerging business models.

Kim Winslow Director, Energy Solutions, Kansas City Power & Light

With 25 years of utility experience, Ms. Winslow is currently the Director of Energy Solutions at Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L). In Ms. Winslow’s role, she oversees the company’s product and services strategy as it relates to demand side management, electrification, and small scale renewables. In addition, she is responsible for the management of non-regulated products. She has led her team to implement successful demand side management programs under the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA). The team has proven innovation through its thermostat program, demand response, and strategic energy management programs, and as well as built a well-rounded portfolio of renewable programs for both residential and business customers. She has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology and an MBA from Rockhurst University.


Birmingham Marriott Grandview

3590 Grandview Parkway

Birmingham, AL 35243

Reserve your room:

please call 1-205-968-4561

Click here to book online.

Room Block Reserved For:

Nights of March 3 – 4, 2019

Room rate through EUCI:

$142.o0 single or double plus applicable taxes
Make your reservations prior to February 20, 2019.



Utilities and Smart Cities

March , 2019 | Birmingham, AL
Individual attendee(s) - $ each

Buy 4 in-person seats and only pay for 3! For this event every fourth in-person attendee is free!


Tour of Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood

Individual attendee(s) - $ 0.00 each

Fundamentals of the Modern Smart City — From Concept & Design to Deployment

Individual attendee(s) - $ 595.00 each


By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. more information

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. We use cookies during the registration process and to remember member settings.