By - Jon Brown

Electric Utility Systems 101
July 15-16, 2019 | Toronto, ON

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There is a paradigm shift occurring in the power industry brought about in part by advances in technology and, to a greater extent by the shift towards greener solutions to lessen the impact on our environment.

This seminar is intended to provide non-power engineers with a basic understanding of how power systems are planned, designed and operated. The goal is to provide individuals with a level of knowledge that will enable them to enter meaningful discussions with utility professionals. It will also provide the necessary information that will allow participants to make informed opinions on the various discussions on energy matters that are trending today’s media.

In addition to the basic concepts of power systems, the seminar will examine emerging trends in electric grid configuration and the role disruptive technologies play in shaping this evolution. It will also touch on how customer expectations are pushing the envelope of customer service.

The seminar uses only basic math (no slide rule required) and draws on the science skills learned in high school.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize how power grids started and how they continue to evolve as technology advances
  • Review utility demographics and how Canada and US systems are interrelated.
  • Examine the basic elements of a power system
  • Describe the components of a power system and have an understanding of how they work together
  • Identify the planning methods that are used to ensure continued service and to enable new growth
  • Discuss how the electric grid is operated and why health and safety management is critical
  • Discuss the regulatory environment under which power systems operate
  • Discuss the paradigm shift occurring in the industry today – smart and micro grids and disruptive technologies
  • Explain how customer expectations for value added services are driving innovation
  • Review technological innovations to the electric utility system



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 1.1 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 course 

Instructional Methods 

Power Point presentations, case studies, and open discussion will be used. 


Monday, July 15, 2019

registration8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

timing8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

lunch12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

Overviewing Electric Power Systems

  • Introduction to the course
  • Learning objectives
  • History of the electric grid
  • Power system components
  • Electric grids of the 21st century 

Relating the Canadian System to the US Grid

  • Structure of the provincial utilities
  • What is the role of the Federal Government
  • What are the size of the markets
  • What regions are deregulated
  • How the US structure is similar
  • Power pools and interconnectivity

Exploring the Basic Electrical Engineering Factors

  • Resistance, inductance and capacitance
  • Voltage and current
  • Power and energy
  • Losses
  • Frequency
  • Reactive power
  • Power factor and correction


  • Heat (thermal) energy generated from:
    • Fossil fuels
    • Coal
    • Petroleum
    • Natural gas
    • Solar thermal energy
    • Geothermal energy
    • Nuclear energy
  • Potential energy from falling water in a hydroelectric facility
  • Wind energy
  • Tidal energy from the ocean tides
  • Solar electric from solar (photovoltaic) cells
  • Chemical energy from: fuel cells, batteries

Transmission Lines

  • Characteristics
  • Conductors
  • Surge impedance Loading
  • St. Clair Curve
  • Sag
  • HVDC


  • Purpose of a substation
  • Components that make up a typical substation
  • Protection
  • Grounding
  • Security and related safety issues


  • How they work
  • Distribution type
  • Single and three phases
  • Ratings and operational factors

Distribution Grids

  • Familiar images – typical distribution equipment
  • Automated sectionalizing switches and reclosers
  • Lightning/surge arrestors
  • Protection

Operating the Power System

  • Reliability SAIFI, SAIDI and SAIRI
  • NERC
  • Operating control centers
  • Outage management systems
  • Response
  • Communication networks
  • Health and safety management

Planning for the Electric Utilities System

  • Load forecasts
  • Power flow analysis
  • Short circuit studies
  • Asset management

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

breakfast8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

timing8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Regulating Canadian Electric Utility Systems

  • Regulatory oversight
  • Rate applications

Evolving Systems to Smart and Micro Grids

  • What is a smart grid?
  • What is a micro grid?

Disrupting Technologies and Global Landscapes

  • Electric Vehicles
  • Charging stations
  • Energy storage
  • Distributed generation
  • Smart meters
  • Emerging technologies
  • Global influences

Emerging Customer Service expectations

  • Electricity as an essential service
  • Pricing matters
  • Mobile notifications
  • Web self-service requirements
  • Self-managed energy solutions
  • Plug and play
  • The value propositions

Wrapping Up: Closing Questions and Answers

  • Summary
  • Questions


Ron LaPier, P. Eng. Vice President, Engineer, Costello Utility Consultants

Ron LaPier is a professional electrical engineer with more than 30 years’ experience in the design, operation and management related to distribution systems. For more than six years, he was responsible for managing the engineering and operations for an Ontario distribution utility. Ron has worked with several LDCs on various design projects, system studies, and system planning. Some of the LDCs he’s worked with include: Innisfil Hydro, Five Nations Energy, Veridian Connections Ltd., Ottawa River Power Corp., London Hydro, PowerStream, Burlington Hydro, Woodstock Hydro, Westario Power, Enersource, Waterloo North Hydro, Entegrus (formerly Chatham-Kent Hydro), and Erie Thames Powerlines. He’s also worked with telecommunications companies for third party attachment projects. He is very familiar with Ontario Regulation 22/04 and the application of the USF standard design drawings.


Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre & Spa

8500 Warden Ave

Markham, ON L6G 1A5, Canada

Reserve your room:

please call 1-905-470-8500

Room Block Reserved For:

Nights of July 14-18, 2019

Room rate through EUCI:

$175 CAD single or double plus applicable taxes
Make your reservations prior to June 28, 2019.


Event Standard RateAttendees

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