By - Jon Brown

Fundamentals of Distributed Resource (DER) System Planning
June 25-26, 2018 | Chicago, IL

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The growth of distributed generation (DG) and distributed energy resources (DERs) is challenging many of the assumptions upon which traditional utility system planning relies.  In many regions already, DER penetration is reaching levels at which it has a measurable impact on system planning and operations. For example, DERs are creating two-way power flows on the distribution and transmission grids that legacy equipment was not designed for.  DERs are also confounding conventional load forecast methodologies and complicating system modeling by introducing new kinds of generation sources or modifying load profiles.

DER adoption is driven by three major developments:

  1. Advances in technologies that accommodate multi-directional, rather than uni-directional, power flows
  2. Fundamental shifts in generation, distribution and transmission grid profiles
  3. Changing, “more democratic” concepts about the relationship between utility service models and customer pricing

DERs, though, are not just one thing; rather, they are many things.  Therefore, a treatment of the system impacts of DER must address several elements that comprise DERs, and how they produce different impacts.

This program is a primer.  It is intended to collect — in one forum — the content necessary for utilities, load-serving entities (LSEs), grid operators, project developers and others to develop their own internal system for evaluating the impact of DG and DER development on their system(s).  It is not intended to be an advocacy forum for or against the adoption of these technologies, nor for their implementation.  Nor is it intended to offer detailed instruction in the analytical instruments referenced during the program.  It will, however, provide a useful cross-disciplinary blueprint for reference, adaptation and refinement.

Learning Outcomes

Through presentations and panel discussions, attendees will have the opportunity at this course to consider the following elements as to how distributed energy resources (DER) are changing utility and power industry norms:

  • Evaluate the different types and classes of DERs and their special requirements
  • Identify the operational differences between renewable and conventional energy DERs
  • Discuss DER interconnection issues at the distribution, sub-transmission and transmission levels
  • Review regulatory matters that determine how DERs are governed on a jurisdictional basis
  • Discuss challenges that DERs present to existing utility compacts/business models and what options are available to address these issues
  • Assess system data access and transparency requirements to facilitate DERs
  • Examine long-term/strategic planning assessment and analysis that properly incorporates DERs
  • Evaluate operational tools required for real-time DER modeling and forecastings



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 and be in attendance for the entirety of the conference to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.


Monday, June 25, 2018

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

8:00 – 8:15 a.m. :: Welcome, Overview and Introductions

8:15 – 9:45 a.m. :: Foundation Concepts, Types and Characteristics of DERs

  • Types
    • PV
    • Energy storage
    • Electric vehicles
    • Combined heat & power (CHP)
    • Turbines, generators and reciprocating engines
    • Microgrids
    • Virtual power plants (VPPs)
    • Demand side management
  • Size and Location
    • Regional power system considerations
    • Proximity/relationship to distribution utility
  • Primary generation (of offset) time of day

DER Development and Control

  • Applicable technologies and resources
    • Renewables
    • Non-renewables
    • Both of the above with and without storage
    • Storage (standalone)
    • DSM
  • Classes
    • Customer-developed
    • Utility-developed
    • Continuum of self-supply to grid-supply
    • Behind-the-meter
    • Utility side-of-the-meter

9:45 – 10:00 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:00 – 11:15 a.m. :: DER System-Level and Interconnection Aspects

  • System profile recognition
  • System layer analysis
  • Interconnection practices and rules
  • Drivers
  • Operational considerations and experience
    • Distribution level
    • Sub-transmission level
    • Transmission level

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: How DER System Analysis Differs from Traditional Distribution System Analysis

  • Power flow
  • Power quality
  • Fault
  • Dynamic

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:00 –  2:00 p.m. :: Challenges to Existing Utility Compact/Business Model

  • Reduced system operational transparency
  • System stability and protection
  • Load (and corresponding revenue) reduction
  • Cost / value methodology selection and analysis
  • Cost / value application and imposition process
  • Cost allocation provisions and measures
  • Tariffs and Market Designs
  • Utility rate structures
  • Risk evaluation and planning w/respect to reliability

2:00 – 2:45 p.m. :: Jurisdictional and Market Design Matters

  • DERs operating in Wholesale Markets
  • DERs operating in traditional vertically-integrated (non-markets) utilities’ service territories
    • Enabling legislation and state utility oversight governance
    • FERC
    • NERC
    • ISO/RTO
  • DERs in public owned utilities’ service territories
  • Transactive energy concepts

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:00 – 5:00 p.m. :: System Data Access, Transparency and Utilization

  • Systems integration and engineering analysis
  • Grid impact and optimization
  • Customer information and program optimization
  • Market strategies development
  • Locational value of DERs
  • Smart inverter support

5:00 p.m. :: Program Adjourns for Day

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

7:45 – 8:15 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:15 –10:00 a.m. :: Strategic Planning: Long-term Assessment and Analysis

  • Determining impact studies required
  • System power flow modeling
  • Hosting capacity requirements and availability
  • Distribution and bulk power systems’ impacts
  • Mitigation measures identification for protection/safety limit violations
  • Valuing locational costs and benefits
  • Monitoring and control options and requirements
  • Infrastructure deployment and system awareness
  • Utility-driven vs third-party-driven installations
  • Revenue (reduction) modeling

10:00 – 10:20 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:20 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. :: Planning and Operational Tools Required

  • Real-time modeling, forecasting and scenario balancing
    • System impacts
    • Load shape
    • Utility rate structures
    • Customer adoption rate
    • Relationship of incentives to load shapes
    • Mitigation considerations
    • ADMS systems
    • Solar impact studies
  • Case Studies

11:45 a.m. :: Symposium Adjourns


Thomas (Lynn) Allen, Managing Director of Management Consulting, Black & Veatch

Thomas (Lynn) Allen is Managing Director of Management Consulting at Black & Veatch.  leading business development and project delivery efforts within the Transaction Advisory group.  He has more than 18 years of power sector experience, spanning US and European markets.  Mr. Allen’s industry expertise spans a broad range of initiatives that includes strategy and business development, M&A, deal origination, commodity pricing and structuring, hedging and risk management, portfolio optimization, project financing, deal structuring, and economic valuation.  He has held management positions with major integrated multinationals, investor-owned utilities, energy development companies, energy trading and marketing firms, as well as leadership positions with leading consulting firms.  Some of his notable accomplishments include directing and supporting M&A transactions in excess of $5 billion, negotiating and structuring executed commodity transactions in excess of $1.5 billion, directing the acquisition and energy management of a 1,300 MW power generation portfolio, and providing ongoing advisement to senior and mid-level management at leading utilities, IPPs and private equity firms. 

Mike Coddington, Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Michael Coddington is a Principal Engineer with the Integrated Devices and Systems Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) – a Department of Energy owned laboratory in Colorado.  Before coming to NREL nearly 10 years ago, he worked as a Distribution Planning and network Engineer, System Planning Engineer, Key Account Executive, and numerous other roles at two electric utility companies.  His work at NREL focuses on the integration of photovoltaic systems (and other distributed generation systems) to the electric distribution system, with a focus on high penetration PV concerns and solutions.  Mr. Coddington has authored and collaborated on dozens of technical reports and papers focusing on integrating distributed generation systems onto the grid in a safe, reliable and cost-effective manner.  He is active in standards and codes development, is a Senior Member of the IEEE, was Secretary of IEEE 1547.6, and is a voting member of the UL1741 Standards Technical Panel (STP).  He received his electrical engineering degree from Colorado State University, is a licensed Master Electrician and licensed Electrical Contractor in the State of Colorado, and is a licensed commercial electrical inspector.

Kyle Garton, Principal Manager, AutoGrid Systems

Kyle Garton is a Principal Product Manager at AutoGrid Systems, responsible for DERMS, virtual power plant applications and co-optimization of energy storage, smart inverters, electric vehicles, and load control for residential to industrial scale deployments across the globe.   Prior to joining AutoGrid, he held product management positions at Stem and SunPower and responsible for commercializing distributed behind-the-meter energy storage products.  Mr. Garton drove early deployments of distributed energy storage systems across the US, Germany, Japan and Australia, providing value to both customers and utilities with local energy optimization and virtual power plants capabilities. Prior to focusing on energy storage, he held a business development role at SunPower, developing landmark solar projects for Fortune 100 clients, ranging from small rooftop systems to >20MW power plants. In his early career Kyle worked in academic research and development of next generation energy harvesting nanomaterials.

Dave O’Connor, Director – Distributed Energy Solutions, Atonix Digital

Dave O’Connor is Director of Distributed Energy Solutions at Atonix Digital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Black & Veatch, serving previously as Solution Lead for Distributed Energy.  He has a wide variety of experience in the electric sector, with a focus on electric power generation technologies. At Black & Veatch, Mr. O’Connor leads efforts to develop software solutions for understanding the technical, regulatory, and financial interplay between modern distributed energy systems and the grid. He has more than 25 years’ experience with managing complex, multi-party research and development activities, and has planned multi-million dollar R&D programs, including driving stakeholder engagements, identification of program goals and success metrics, and construction of the project team. Mr. O’Connor has executed successful R&D programs with utilities, federal and state agencies, non-government organizations, and other business entities. Before joining B&V, he was a program manager at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) for 28 years and was a project manager for Bechtel Group for the six years prior to that.

Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher – Energy and Environment, National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)

Tom Stanton is Principal Researcher, Energy and Environment, at NRRI. He joined NRRI in fall 2010 after a 32-year career in Michigan state government. Mr. Stanton specializes in policy research for renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, and global climate change. Mr. Stanton has worked in Michigan state government — in the fields of public utility regulation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy — including 10 years at the State Energy Office and over 22 years at the Michigan Public Service Commission. For several of those years, he worked on administration of Michigan’s solar and renewable energy tax credits program and later served as manager of the renewable energy section at the Michigan PSC. He earned a B.A. in Communications and an M.A. in Journalism, both from Michigan State University, as well as an M.S. in Public Administration from Western Michigan University.

Elizabeth Waldren, Electrical Engineer – Renewable Energy Group, Black & Veatch

Elizabeth Waldren is an Electrical Engineer in the renewable energy group with Black & Veatch, where she started in 2012. She works primarily in the areas of high voltage transmission, for clients focused on utility-scale renewable energy development and strategic planning for renewables. From 2011 to 2012, Ms. Waldren worked as a Design Engineer for POWER Engineers in the T&D Substation Group.


Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel
163 E Walton Pl
Chicago, IL 60611

To reserve your room, please call 1-312-751-8100
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

Click here to book online

Room Rate:

The room rate is $229.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of June 24 – 25, 2018.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to June 11, 2018. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


Event Standard RateAttendees

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