2020 Smart Cities & Utilities Conference

2020 Smart Cities & Utilities Conference

June 8-9, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

This is an Online Conference. For the health and safety of our speakers and attendees, we have decided to move many of our events online.

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 EVs are now expected practice for modern day utilities. In the midst of this smart revolution it is the utility that bears the unique responsibility of leader—guiding the energy industry into the next generation of grid control and power supply.

At the 3rd Annual Smart Cities and Utilities Conference, EUCI is proud to present developers, and respected thought leaders to discuss the new age of energy connectivity and delivery. Presentations will cover innovative projects from all across the industry—from emerging new technologies and IoT applications to DERs and improved sustainability standards. This conference is a single opportunity to come learn, network, and grow your understanding of this growing field.

Learning Outcomes

  • Create and clarify a working definition of “smart city”
  • Review ComEd and Alabama Power’s green microgrid and connected design
  • Assess storage of the future
  • Evaluate breakthrough innovations in IoT technology and software management
  • Hear about Evergy’s Smart Community, Renewable, and DER Programs
  • City’s perspective on costs, 5G, and vision
  • Discuss new principles in grid storage alternatives
  • Review Austin Energy’s flagship Electric Drive EV stakeholder engagement program
  • Explain the next generation of billing & rating for smart city implements
  • Review 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
  • 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 this conference and 0.3 CEUs for the workshop.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

You must be logged in for the entire presentation and send in the evaluation after the online course is completed.

Instructional Methods

Power Point presentations and open discussion will be used


Monday, June 8, 2020 – Central Time

smart cities registration12:45 – 1:00 p.m. :: Log in and Sound Check

Energy Leadership and Vision

1:00 – 1:10 p.m. :: Welcome

1:10 – 2:30 p.m. :: Keynote Panel – The Next Generation Grid

2019 saw the rise of many innovative new projects and utility sector growth in the areas of technology, connectivity, and customer satisfaction. Power providers are now able to engage stakeholders in new and exciting ways through EV charging stations, interactive city kiosks, renewable assets, and more. This fireside chat will feature a discussion between lead developers and visionaries in our industry over what’s next and how to tackle challenges in developing the next generation grid. Topics include:

  • Future of the grid
  • Smart infrastructure and technology growth
  • Sustainability efforts
  • Data protection
  • Customer and community engagement


John Di Stacio, President, Large Public Power Council


Leonard Singh, VP— Manhattan Electric Operations, Consolidated Edison

Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy

Paul Lau, Chief Grid Strategy & Operations Officer, SMUD

smart cities break2:30 – 2:45 p.m. :: Break

Technology, Customer Engagement, & Innovation Projects

2:45 – 3:30 p.m. :: The Neighborhood of the Future: An Overview of the Alabama Smart Neighborhood Project

In 2016, Alabama Power partnered with Southern Company , Signature Homes, PowerSecure, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and technology vendors to introduce the Smart Neighborhood – a state-of-the-art community of 62 homes in Birmingham, Alabama, featuring high-performance homes, internet-enabled automation, smart devices, and a community-scale microgrid. The community-scale microgrid consists of 330-kW-AC PV system, 360-kW/681-kWh of battery storage, and a 360-kW prime/400-kW backup natural gas generator. This research pilot project was designed as an opportunity to learn about the technical benefits made possible with smart neighborhoods and distributed energy resources and the interaction and integration between the two.

The neighborhood has been operational and fully inhabited for almost 2 years. In this time, Southern Company, ORNL and EPRI have been testing and analyzing the neighborhood’s performance to understand how the various sub-components and technologies within the neighborhood can work together to provide both utility and customer value.

This presentation will provide project background, highlight deployment and field experiences, detail use cases and discuss performance results.

Olu Ajala, PE, MBA, Senior Research Engineer, Southern Company

3:30 – 4:15 p.m. :: Case Study: Portland General Electric “Smart Grid State” Test Bed

PGE has initiated a 2.5-year project situated at three substations, across three cities, involving 20,000 customers.  The project is a representational subset of PGE’s customers and infrastructure.  PGE will be working to accelerate the development of the “Smart Grid State” at each of these three sites in order to extract lessons, learnings and accelerate investment and development across the PGE system.  This Phase 1 is focused on customer engagement, participation and education through program offerings and the exploration of customer value propositions.  In the background PGE is advancing development of distribution system planning, load disaggregation, DERMS development, distribution automation, interconnection and new customer interaction platforms.  PGE will be deploying new customer technologies in the Test Bed before offering to the remainder of the service territory these technologies includes; fleet and business smart charging, residential smart charging, controllable smart heat pump water heaters, multifamily smart water heater, smart thermostats, unique EV time of use rates, residential batteries and other behind the meter technology. 

Jason Klotz, Manager, Regulatory and Policy Strategy/Grid Architecture/ Integration/System Operations, Portland General Electric

4:15 – 5:00 p.m. :: Virtual Happy Hour and Networking Reception

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 – Central Time

smart cities day two breakfast8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log in and Sound Check

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. :: Evergy – Leveraging Technology

Evergy is leveraging our understanding of operational technology, grid automation and smart meter networks to create frameworks around I/IoT, connected communities and UAS deployment. This presentation will cover some strategy, process and support pieces needed to start implementing.

Matt Bult, Sr. Manager, Operations Technology, Evergy

9:45 – 10:30 a.m. :: The Utility of the Future – A Path to Enhancing Sustainability and Resilience Through the Use of DERs

Although storms, cyber-attacks, and other power disruptions can impact reliability across the centralized grid, utilities like Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) are developing microgrid technology specifically designed to mitigate grid disruptions and increase power system resiliency. ComEd, the largest utility in the state of Illinois, serving over 70% of the state’s population, is utilizing microgrid technology to help provide the resilience capabilities communities need to either prevent these long-term outages or restore service afterward. ComEd conducted a holistic, data-driven analysis of its entire service territory, selecting the neighborhood of Bronzeville in Chicago for the site of their Community of the Future Initiative and the Bronzeville Community Microgrid (BCM, identifying Bronzeville as a community which would most benefit from increased resilience and community-driven programs. This presentation will cover best practices of power system transformation, along with challenges on the renewable, regulatory, and electrification fronts for utilities modernizing. Topics include overviews of this work and considerations including:

  • Impact of the Bronzeville Community Microgrid – load, resiliency, societal effect
  • Future of the Grid – Energy Efficiency and Grid Transformation
  • Regulation technological disruptions (AMI, storage, EVs..)
  • Renewable costs and asset deployment programs

Daniel Kushner, Sr. Manager, Smart Grid Programs, ComEd

smart cities break10:30 – 10:45 a.m. :: Break

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. :: PANEL: Smart City Social Impact and Community Development

Developing smart cities requires a comprehensive vision to engage and improve all areas of the city, with all stakeholders in mind. This panel will consist of visionaries and thought leaders who are trailblazing new ways to improve opportunities for their communities to experience a more sophisticated and accessible grid with long and short term good. Panel topics will include:

  • Low-income community investment
  • Renewable access and affordable incentives
  • Job creation and training
  • Increased mobility
  • Business opportunity improvement
  • EVs for Schools public engagement program
  • Stakeholder kiosks for easy city navigation
  • Broader city streetlight coverage


Erin Hardick, Lead research Analyst, Zpryme


Amy Atchley, Senior Project Lead, Austin Energy

Michael Sherwood, Director of Information Technology, City of Las Vegas

Ted Lehr, IT Data Architect, City of Austin

Louie Tobias, Director of Telecom and Special Projects, City of Rochester

smart cities luncheon11:45 – 12:15 p.m. :: Break for Lunch

Electrification & 5G

12:15 – 1:00 p.m. :: AI for Community & Social Good

Cities are considering new technologies for their operations that generate, consume, analyze and take actions on data, often using artificial intelligence (AI).  Cities in open and democratic societies are responsible for equitable, open, just, efficient and transparent services to their communities.   Yet many current and evolving AI information technologies have been honed on use cases that are more tailored to the business world.   After an introduction that will give the audience intuitive understandings of  machine learning AI, this talk will explore current research and trends in AI that address social goods like equity, privacy and civility as well as projects the City of Austin is working on with the University of Texas – Austin.  

Ted Lehr, IT Data Architect, Business Application Services, City of Austin

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. :: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of 5G Deployment for Municipalities

There has been much buzz around the debut of 5th generation data capability now widely available to the public in 2020. As much has been promised with this technology, the ROI is still to be debated. This presentation will cover one municipality’s experience with the regulations, communication partnerships, costs, stakeholder engagement, and other variables like infrastructure and storm resiliency considerations for 5G.

Louie Tobias, Director of Telecom and Special Projects, City of Rochester

smart cities break1:45 – 2:00 p.m. :: Break

2:00 – 2:40 p.m. :: The Leadership Role for Utilities in Smart Cities; A Case Study from Austin, Texas

How do utilities collaborate and develop smart city programs? What are the lessons learned from Austin Energy, the nation’s 3rd largest city-owned utility, in its Smart City development/alignment to include the Smart Mobility Roadmap, Community Climate Plan, Resource Planning, over 30 transportation electrification initiatives, emerging & disruptive technologies to includes its SHINES project, and community engagement.

Karl Popham, Manager Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies, Austin Energy

2:40 – 3:30 p.m. :: Austin Energy – Electric Drive Tour & Virtual Reality Demonstration

smart cities tour

Electric Drive is Austin Energy’s showcase for electric transportation in Austin’s new Seaholm EcoDistrict. Electric Drive is a mobility hub that features bike sharing, car sharing, access the hike-and-bike trail, and charging options for two- and four-wheel electric vehicles (EVs). Lessons from incorporating Electric Drive into Austin Energy’s award-winning outreach campaign will be shared and the session will demonstrate the Electric Drive Virtual Reality experience.

Karl Popham, Manager Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies, Austin Energy

Jason Rodriguez, CEO, Zpryme

smart cities adjourns3:30 p.m. :: Conference Adjourns


Introduction to the Modern Smart City – From Concept & Design to Deployment

Monday, June 8, 2020

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log On

smart cities adjourns9:00 – 11:30 a.m. :: Workshop Timing


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 an expert 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.


Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO, CPS Energy

Paula Gold-Williams is the President & CEO of CPS Energy. Paula leads more than 3,000 team members with the vision she has coined “People First,” whereby CPS Energy is evolving its efforts to create and deliver value to its customers, community, and employees into a new age of energy solutions. Paula has more than 30 years of leadership experience in San Antonio, including being a Regional Controller for Time Warner’s cable and telephony regional office and the VP of Finance for Luby’s, Inc. before coming to CPS Energy in late 2004. Over her 14 years at CPS Energy, she has progressively served as Controller & Assistant Treasurer; VP & Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) – Organizational Excellence & Shared Services; EVP, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & Treasurer; and EVP – Financial & Administrative Services, CFO & Treasurer. In addition to her role at CPS Energy, Paula serves on a broad portfolio of boards and committees and is the Immediate Past Chair of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Further, Paula was awarded the inaugural Chief Trailblazer of the Year award by S&P Global Platts for her innovation and commitment to customers and her community. Paula has an associate’s degree in fine arts from San Antonio College. She earned a BBA in accounting from St. Mary’s University, as well as a finance and accounting MBA from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

John Di Stacio, President, Large Public Power Council

John Di Stasio became president of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC) in August 2014.

Di Stasio was formerly the General Manager and CEO of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) from June of 2008 through April of 2014.

Di Stasio is the past president of both the Northwest Public Power Association and the California Municipal Utility Association and the vice chair of the Large Public Power Council. He was also a board member of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the American Public Power Association. He was a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Members Representative Committee.

Di Stasio was also a gubernatorial appointee to the California Workforce Investment Board. He was the Electric Light and Power Large Utility CEO of the Year in 2013. Di Stasio was also active in international energy issues in other countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Botswana, India and Jordan. He was named Volunteer of the Year in 2013 by the United States Energy Association.

He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. Di Stasio is a native Californian and fourth generation farmer. He is the owner of Di Stasio Vineyards, a commercial vineyard in Amador County, California. Di Stasio enjoys foreign travel, golf, fishing and Amador Zinfandels.

Paul Lau, Chief Grid Strategy & Operations Officer, SMUD

Paul Lau is Chief Grid Strategy & Operations Officer at Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). He 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. Lau directs a number of departments and is the executive sponsor of SMUD’s deployment of advanced metering infrastructure and smart grid initiatives. Prior to this appointment, he was the Assistant General Manager of Power Supply & Grid Operations. Lau is active in international energy issues and serves as a delegate with the United States Energy Association. He is a registered professional electrical engineer in the state of California and has more than 30 years of utility experience. Lau 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.

Leonard Singh, VP— Manhattan Electric Operations, Consolidated Edison

Leonard has been a board member since 2014. He has worked with Consolidated Edison Company of NY Inc. since 1991, where he is currently Vice President of Manhattan Electric Operations. He holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT, a MS in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic University, and a MBA from Columbia University. He serves on the Board of Directors for The Salvadori Center and sits on the Building and Property Committee of the YMCA of Greater NY. He previously served as Executive VP of the Polytechnic Institute Alumni Association, was a member of the American Gas Association, and a Board Member of the McBurney YMCA. Drawn to Knology’s efforts to upend the status quo surrounding social challenges, Leonard joined our board to be an integral part of helping to solve problems in different communities.

Daniel Kushner, Sr. Manager, Smart Grid Programs, ComEd

Daniel Kushner is Manager of Smart Grid and Technology Programs at Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy supplier. Kushner leads development and strategic planning for grid of the future initiatives including external communication and content development on emerging technologies, energy storage, microgrids and smart city deployments. Mr. Kushner has published industry trend reports ranging from smart cities to smart grids in publications including IEEE Smart City, T&D World, and Asian Survey. He holds a BA degree in history from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in political science from Brown University.

Michael Sherwood, Director of Information Technology, City of Las Vegas




Karl Popham, Manager Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies, Austin Energy

Karl Popham is the Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies Manager at the nation’s 8th largest public power utility, Austin Energy. Karl has been the Principal Investigator on three U.S. Department of Energy grants advancing next generation transportation and smart utility technologies. He has published several articles on emerging trends to include autonomous vehicles and is the electrification lead for Austin’s Smart Mobility Roadmap for shared, electric, and autonomous transportation. Karl is co-author of “Smart Cities: Applications, Technologies, Standards & Driving Factors” a book published by Springer in 2017. Previously he served as Austin Energy’s interim Chief Information Officer and Division Manager of the Program Management Office, a Managing Director at Hewlett-Packard Services, Director at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, and a Captain in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Matt Bult, Sr. Manager, Operations Technology, Evergy




Louie Tobias, Director of Telecom and Special Projects, City of Rochester




Ted Lehr, IT Data Architect, Business Application Services, and Communications/Technology Management, City of Austin

Dr. Ted Lehr is a Data Architect with the City of Austin, Texas. He is part of Austin’s Smart City team, advising on technology, business partnerships and the use of data for better services, more open government, and development of opportunities for entrepreneurs and other private sector entities.   Ted is also the staff member facilitating the Mayor’s Office’s White House TechHire workforce initiative. He is facilitating or participating in several university-industry-city research collaborations. Ted has published over 20 articles and often speaks on conference panels regarding open data entrepreneurship, research and smart cities.  Dr. Lehr is also an adjunct lecturer in Computer Science at Texas State University.  Texas State recognized him as Outstanding Part-Time Faculty in 2015 for the quality of his teaching and research outreach.  He has over 20 years of experience in the private sector in large and small companies.   Ted received his Ph.D in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon-University.

Olu Ajala, PE, MBA, Senior Research Engineer, Southern Company

Jason holds a JD and Masters in Environmental Policy and Law from Vermont Law School. Jason has worked for the Office of General Counsel for the FERC and the Vermont Public Service Board. While in Vermont Jason worked on GHG issues in preparation for Vermont’s participation in the Regional Green House Gas Initiative and on Efficiency Vermont, Vermont’s third party energy efficiency provider. Subsequent Jason worked for the California Public Utility Commission on GHG issues and wholesale market interface. Jason’s work with the CPUC involved restructuring and re-establishing the State’s demand response programs. Jason then worked for the Bonneville Power Administration where he led the entities efforts to initiate and establish the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project. Through this project Jason worked with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on early development of transactive control.

Jason Klotz, Manager, Regulatory and Policy Strategy/Grid Architecture/ Integration/System Operations, Portland General Electric

Olu Ajala is a research engineer for the R&D organization of Southern Company, a leading U.S. energy company. In this role, he is responsible for projects within the renewables, storage and distributed generation program area. Olu has 10+ years of experience in the oil, gas and electric power industries. He began his Southern Company career with Southern Power, where he managed financial, contractual and commercial operation activities for large renewable power plants with an estimated annual revenue of $90 million. He also implemented solar PPAs for power plants in Texas with a total capacity of 280 megawatts. Prior to joining Southern Company, Olu worked as an engineer in oil and gas refining and gas exploration businesses and managed a microgrid development company.  Olu holds a BS in electrical engineering from Louisiana State University, an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Alabama. 

Erin Hartnack, Lead Research Analyst, Zpryme



Amy Atchley, Senior Project Lead, Austin Energy

Jason Rodriguez, CEO, Zpryme

Online Delivery

Our courses are designed to be the best possible use of your valuable time – get the information you need to improve your position in the market in an interactive, dynamic format.

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time. 
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


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