2023 Wildfire Mitigation for Utilities Conference

2023 Wildfire Mitigation for Utilities Conference

March 7-8, 2023 | San Ramon, CA

“The caliber of guest speakers and their presentations is unrivaled. Details of historical, present, and future strategies and technologies employed were covered, including deep dives into forecasting modeling. This is a must for individuals in the utility industry to keep up with wildfire mitigation strategies!” Electrical Engineer, California Department of Water Resources

“Really enjoyed hearing the lessons learned from other utilities in the west and things they are doing to move the wildfire and PSPS programs forward.” Project Manager, EWEB

“Good event for getting up to date on the impact of wildfires on the electrical systems of the western U.S.” Vegetation Supervisor, Pacificorp

Wildfires are bigger and more common than they were 35 years ago, and fire seasons are getting longer according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center and the USDA Forest Service. Electric Utilities operating in wildfire-prone areas will continue to face significant risks. Utilities must take additional measures to reduce exposure and mitigate financial liability.

This summit will bring together utility personnel & wildfire experts to discuss:

  • Regulatory Views of Proposed Mitigation Plans
  • De-energization to Minimize Risk
  • Wildland-Urban Interface and Challenges of Vegetation Management
  • System Hardening
  • Technological Advancements in Wildfire Mitigation

Register now for this unique event to hear lessons learned, the latest data collected, and best practices for wildfire mitigation in the utility setting. You’ll also discover innovative techniques that are working in the changing wildfire landscape.

Learning Outcomes

This conference will provide attendees an opportunity to:

  • Discuss regulatory views of successful utility wildfire mitigation plans
  • Demonstrate best practices on how to revise wildfire mitigation plans based on lessons learned from the latest wildfire season
  • Examine strategies for grid hardening, situational awareness, & vegetation management
  • Identify lessons learned from case studies of recent wildfires
  • Explore new and traditional ways of forecasting and planning for wildfire risk
  • Review best practices for public safety power shutoff events
  • Discuss how to collaborate with customers, community groups, federal agencies and other stakeholders to stay ahead of impending disasters
  • Detail current undergrounding projects
  • Discover how utilities can best position themselves to receive funding from grant programs

    Agenda

    Tuesday, March 7, 2023

    8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
    Registration & Continental Breakfast

    12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
    Lunch Break

    9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Conference Timing

     

    9:00 – 9:10 a.m. :: Welcome Message & Opening Remarks

    9:10 – 10:00 a.m. :: Panel Discussion: Regulatory View of Proposed Mitigation Plans: Key Objectives

    This panel brings together regulators from various states and British Columbia to discuss key objectives they are looking for in comprehensive utility wildfire mitigation plans. It is imperative for utilities to develop a clear action plan for the upcoming fire season, and to ensure efforts are building toward increased resiliency. This session will detail objectives and goals for successful mitigation plans.

    Melissa Semcer, Deputy Director, Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, California

    David Morton, Commissioner, British Columbia Public Utilities Commission

    10:00 – 10:30 a.m. :: Networking Break

    10:30 – 11:00 a.m. :: 2022 Wildfire Recap

    Wildfire indices suggest the potential for more frequent and severe fires across the U.S. It is imperative for utilities to develop an action plan for increasing fire threats and to ensure efforts are building toward increased resiliency.

    Rajdeep Roy, Director, Wildfire Safety, Southern California Edison

    11:00 – 11:30 a.m. :: Case Study: System Hardening Practices

    In this session, a representative from San Diego Gas & Electric will describe their strategies for system hardening and current project implementation.

    Tim Knowd, Electric System Hardening, Program Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric

    11:30 – 12:00 p.m. :: Case Study: 10,000-Mile Undergrounding Program

    In this session, attendees will get details of PG&E’s major initiative to expand the undergrounding of electric distribution power lines in High Fire-Threat Districts (HFTD) to further harden its system and help prevent wildfires.

    Jamie Martin, VP Undergrounding, Pacific Gas & Electric

    12:00 –1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

    1:00 – 1:30 p.m. :: Public Safety Power Shutoffs/Public Safety Outage Managment

    Investor-owned utilities have the authority to shut off the electric power to protect public safety. Utilities do this during severe wildfire threat conditions as a preventative measure of last resort through public safety power shutoffs. What factors need to be taken into consideration when adding PSPS procedures to a utility wildfire mitigation plan?

    • Timeline
    • Considerations
    • Precautions
    • Communication Before, During, and After

    Mark Regan, Wildfire Specialist, NV Energy

    1:30 – 2:15 p.m. :: Panel: Wildland/Urban Interface and Challenges of Vegetation Management

    Increased development in the wildland urban interface has resulted in higher risk and more suppression needs, costing billions every year. Vegetation management is a critical issue. It is one of the largest expense items associated with maintaining overhead transmission and distribution systems. NERC sets vegetation management requirements for transmission, but clearance requirements differ from state to state. This panel bring together WUI and vegetation management experts to discuss best practices for these critical steps in wildfire mitigation.

    Jessica Morse, Deputy Secretary of Forest Resources Management, California Natural Resources Agency

    Jeff Wissing, Vegetation Management Supervisor, Holy Cross Energy

    Dave Sapsis, Senior Environmental Scientist Supervisor, CAL FIRE

    2:15 – 2:45 p.m. :: Networking Break

    2:45 – 4:15 p.m. :: Technological Enhancements and Tools for Utilities

    This session will be a showcase featuring a series of presentations and/or case studies spotlighting the latest tech and tools available for utilities that will simplify forecasting, operational decision-making, and modeling fire behavior.

    Tim Barat, Co-founder & CEO, Gridware

    Brian Trager, Director of Technology & International, Marmon Utility LLC

    Kyle Gertridge, Co-Founder & Head of Business Development, Salo Sciences

    4:15 – 5:00 p.m. :: FEMA and IIJA Funding

    Recent wildfire and extreme weather events have had a devastating impact on communities throughout the West. Federal and state grant funding provided through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other agencies, provides utilities with an unprecedented opportunity to fund grid modernization, renewable energy, and multi-hazard resilience initiatives while limiting costs passed on to customers. How can utilities best position themselves to “win” national and statewide competitive grant programs?

    Meredith Derr, Senior Director, Disaster Management, ICF

    Ryan Arba, Senior Manager, Disaster Recovery, ICF

     

    Wednesday, March 8, 2023

    8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
    Registration & Continental Breakfast

    9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Conference Timing

     

    9:00 – 9:30 a.m. :: Best Practices for Wildfire Coordination and Collaboration

    Wildfire mitigation planning requires collaborative efforts of local emergency management experts, community members, climate adaptation specialists, and utility employees. This presentation will examine how coordinated planning can increase awareness improve response and outcomes in impact communities.

    Jeff Fuentes, Assistant Chief, CAL Fire Utility Wildfire Mitigation Program

    Patrick Haggerty, Forestry Program Manager, Cascadia Conservation District

    9:30 – 10:30 a.m. :: Technological Enhancements and Tools for Utilities

    This session will be a showcase featuring a series of presentations and/or case studies spotlighting the latest tech and tools available for utilities that will simplify forecasting, operational decision-making, and modeling fire behavior.

    Kate Burson, Head of Business Development, Overstory

    David Buckley, COO, Technosylva

    10:30 – 11:00 a.m. :: Networking Break

    11:00 – 11:30 a.m. :: Infrastructure and Grid Enhancements to Reduce Risk of Wildfire

    This session will examine the benefits and challenges of infrastructure and grid enhancement programs that are being deployed by utilities to reduce wildfire risks.

    Rajdeep Roy, Director, Wildfire Safety, Southern California Edison

    11:30 – 12:00 p.m. :: Operational Fire Prevention

    Many utilities are making significant enhancements in system design to minimize the threat of wildfires, but operational procedures, supplemental inspection, and maintenance work is imperative as well. What are best practices for employees and facilities relative to day-to-day operations? How is the culture changing for utility operations?

    Matt Pender, Sr. Director, Electric Operations Projects & Construction Programs, Pacific Gas & Electric

    12:00 p.m. :: Conference Adjourns

    Workshop

    Digital Twin Technology for Utilities

    Sponsored by:

    Wednesday, March 8, 2023

    Digital Twins are quickly becoming critical in several areas and deep learning can extract information on the fly. Democratizing critical internal data for utilities is here to stay and is used across organizations and with vendors/partners to harness the power of not only conditions but assisting with predictive analytics and preparedness. Join Sharper Shape for an in-depth look at how utilities are leveraging high resolution digital twins to support engineering, maintenance, planning and vegetation management within organizations.

     

    Agenda

    12:45 – 1:00 a.m.
    Check-in/Registration

    1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
    Workshop Timing

    Breaking down a Digital TWIN

    The term Digital Twin is commonly being thrown around but there are some misconceptions about what a digital twin actually is and what it can do. During this session, we will break down different types of digital twins and discuss the functions.

    Drone Data Collection Tools

    We will discuss a digital platform equipped with features required to successfully plan, coordinate, manage and deliver data collections for drone services.

    The Power of Mobile LiDAR Collection

    These sophisticated capabilities are rapidly replacing traditional processes. Manual work of assessing the built and natural environment is being automated and digitized. We will provide use cases on this technology and how this technology can change the way utilities look at inspection.

    Workshop Instructor:

    James Conlin, Product Manager, Sharper Shape

    James Conlin is a product manager for Sharper Shape. He joined the company in 2019, participating in some of the world’s largest UAV operations, and quickly progressed to become a valued member of the project management team, where he oversaw the planning of operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Popular and Contemporary Music and possesses a unique combination of technical expertise, creative problem solving and an ability to understand and anticipate consumer needs.

    He is committed to using technology to empower individuals and is passionate about software development and customer feedback. Under his leadership, he has achieved several notable accomplishments, such as:

    • Developing advanced tracking and management tools for quality assurance, which have been used to manage petabytes of data across multiple projects.
    • Meeting exact utility functional business requirements across leading edge geo-content cloud platforms within a lean software development team.
    • Coordinating the day-to-day logistical operations of a large number of UAV field teams.
    • Working with large quantities of proprietary data across many projects to create predictive models in order to assess and evaluate global market trends and growth opportunities.
    • Creating guidelines and tools for monitoring safety, leveraging data from the field to measure and control risks in order to facilitate safe operations.

    Speakers

    • Ryan Arba, Senior Manager, Disaster Recovery, ICF

    • Tim Barat, Co-founder & CEO, Gridware

    • David Buckley, COO, Technosylva

    • Kate Burson, Head of Business Development, Overstory

    • Meredith Derr, Senior Director, Disaster Management, ICF

    • Jeff Fuentes, Assistant Chief, CAL Fire Utility Wildfire Mitigation Program

    • Kyle Gertridge, Co-Founder & Head of Business Development, Salo Sciences

    • Patrick Haggerty, Forestry Program Manager, Cascadia Conservation District

    • Tim Knowd, Electric System Hardening, Program Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric

    • Jamie Martin, VP Undergrounding, Pacific Gas & Electric

    • Jessica Morse, Deputy Secretary of Forest Resources Management, California Natural Resources Agency

    • David Morton, Commissioner, British Columbia Public Utilities Commission

    • Matt Pender, Sr. Director, Electric Operations Projects & Construction Programs, Pacific Gas & Electric

    • Mark Regan, Wildfire Specialist, NV Energy

    • Rajdeep Roy, Director, Wildfire Safety, Southern California Edison

    • Dave Sapsis, Senior Environmental Scientist Supervisor, CAL FIRE

    • Melissa Semcer, Deputy Director, Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, California

    • Brian Trager, Director of Technology & International, Marmon Utility LLC

    • Jeff Wissing, Vegetation Management Supervisor, Holy Cross Energy

    Location

    San Ramon Valley Conference Center

    3301 Crow Canyon Road

    San Ramon, CA 94583

     

     

    Nearby Hotels

    San Ramon Marriott
    2600 Bishop Dr, San Ramon, CA 94583
    (925) 867-9200
    1.5 miles

    Hyatt House San Ramon
    2323 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583
    (925) 743-1882
    1.0 miles

    Residence Inn by Marriott San Ramon
    1071 Market Pl, San Ramon, CA 94583
    (925) 277-9292
    1.5 miles

     

    Register

    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

    REGISTER NOW FOR THIS EVENT:

    2023 Wildfire Mitigation for Utilities Conference

    March 7-8, 2023 | San Ramon, CA
    Individual attendee(s) - $ 1395.00 each(early bird rate)
    (price after February 17, 2023 is $ 1,595.00)

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


    RELATED WORKSHOPS:

    Digital Twin Technology for Utilities

    March 8
    Individual attendee(s) - $ 495.00 each

    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 03, 2023 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

    CEUs

    Credits

    AP_Logo

    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 0.9 CEUs conference, 0.4 CEUs workshop.

    Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

    Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

    Instructional Methods

    Case Studies, Panel Discussions and PowerPoint presentations will be used in the program.


    Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

    Course CPE Credits: 10.0 conference, 4.5 CEUs workshop
    There is no prerequisite for this event.
    Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
    Program Level: Basic
    Delivery Method: Group Live
    Advanced Preparation: None

    CpeEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site: www.nasbaregistry.org

     

    Who Should Attend

    Individuals working in the following areas will benefit from attending this event:

    • Electric Utility Leaders
    • Utility Risk Management Professionals
    • Utility Grid Planning and Operations Specialists
    • Utility Transmission and Field Services Personnel
    • State and Federal Agencies
    • Mitigation Specialists
    • Policy makers
    • Researchers
    • Corporate Communications Specialists
    • Insurers
    • Consultants
    • Fire Prevention & Mitigation Technology Providers

    Host Sponsor

     

    Sponsors

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