Utilities and Data Centers Conference

Utilities & Data Centers Conference

July 14-15, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

This is an Online Conference. In lieu of recent developments with COVID-19, for the health and safety of our speakers and attendees, we have decided to move many of our events to Online Events.

As we begin a new decade, we also enter a period of novelty and growth in the data center community, with new technology and energy innovation. Emerging trends call for high capacity data centers, low carbon footprints, and similarly low overall construction and maintenance (C&M) costs. Today’s data center operators must work to create effective designs with sustainable O&M costs, as well as maintain critical infrastructure in the midst of unforeseen conditions such as natural disasters and this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.

As data center facilities are incredibly expensive to design, build, manage and maintain; attractive incentives, partnerships and sites are also integral to the success of these projects. Utilities need to be prepared to address the needs of the data centers and the data center enterprise-end-user clients, while also internally preparing themselves for their own use of data centers for data storage and management, particularly as the inherent growth of smart cities infiltrate the power grid. Data Center operators have to be in tune with both the needs of their end user clients as well as with the benefits of working with utilities to build a successful data center.

The 8th Annual Utilities and Data Centers Conference will take a comprehensive look at creating the next generation data center using today’s available tools—exploring developments in hyper scaling, digital infrastructure, and sustainability. We will also explore the recent impact of COVID-19 and how the data center community has and will continue to respond under these emergent and extraordinary circumstances. This conference will provide a one stop shop for all data center stakeholders to collaborate and learn from professionals all across this community ecosystem. We will share journeys and best practices as to how utilities can drive data center growth throughout their regions by tying-in resiliency and renewable energies, what data centers need from their utilities to ensure they are providing the best product to their enterprise customers and how utilities are attracting and retaining data centers through mission-critical reliability standards. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine clean energy’s effect on data centers and utilities
  • Discover strategies to reduce energy & maintenance costs while improving reliability
  • Hear end users discuss strategic challenges and opportunities
  • Examine connectivity in the future data center
  • Analyze best practices in load management to meet increased data center power needs
  • Discuss the viability and costs of battery storage, microgrids, and other DERs
  • Explain the impact of cloud hybrid data centers from the AECI
  • Demonstrate successful methods for utility/data center relationship
  • Discuss disaster planning and create back-up power solutions for today & tomorrow
  • Create partnerships amongst utilities, data centers, local governments and service providers
  • Review industry trends affecting the role of the utility, data center operator AND data center end-user
  • Identify modern trends in attracting, onboarding, and training data center staff
  • Determine if AI and machine learning can assist in power consumption reduction
  • Assess what utilities need to do to attract, retain and manage data center clients
  • Discuss the needs and challenges data center operators are facing



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 1.0 CEUs for this conference and 0.3 CEUs for the workshop.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must be logged on each day for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Power Point presentations and open discussion will be used


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. :: Log In

1:00 – 1:10 pm :: Welcome

1:10 – 1:45 pm :: KEYNOTE: Surviving a Global Pandemic via Data Centers & The Evolution of Digital Economies

The world is going through the devastating COVID-19 pandemic virus. The fabric of our social and economic norms and our set expectations are tearing apart. In the midst of the crisis, meanwhile the digital abilities are keeping it together and the world is surviving through the deliverables of “data” centers. As human economy, throughout history, has evolved from diverse and fundamental industries to the digital economy of the modern era. How did we evolve? What the merits of a digital economy? What are the digital economy fundamentals, challenges, and benefits?

 Mehdi Paryavi, Chairman, International Data Center Authority

1:45 – 1:55 pm :: Break

1:55 – 3:15 pm :: End User Panel – A Look at the Future

End Users discuss the challenges, nuances, and major considerations on topics like hyper scaling, sustainability, and technology.


Rajan Battish, Principal, RSP Architects


Jim Collins, Director of Energy Markets – Americas, Microsoft

Bobby Holis, Head of Energy, Environment & Site Selection, Facebook

3:15 – 3:30 pm :: Break

3:30 – 4:15 pm :: Collecting and Sharing Knowledge – Data Management

Data Centers (DC) collect and produce unprecedented levels of data, yet the process of translating that useful information into more efficient and effective data centers has not truly been explored until now. Instead of having a reactionary approach, DC operators need to have clear methods for moving from facts to solutions through documenting, analyzing, categorizing, and sharing their open information. This presentation will explain how to synthesize and approach data and discuss how access a global DC information sharing system.

Dennis Cronin, CEO, Resilient Solutions

4:15 – 5:00 pm :: Virtual Networking Reception

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

8:30  – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In

9:00 – 9:45 am :: Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project

As many are doing now, Dominion has a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The goal covers carbon dioxide and methane emissions, the dominant greenhouse gases, from our electricity generation and gas infrastructure operations. One of the important investments is a the CVOW project, which included challenges, benefits, and considerations as the nation’s first utility owned offshore wind project.

G.T. Hollett, Director of Generation Projects, Dominion Energy

9:45 – 10:30 am :: Opportunities in Mid-Atlantic Network Access Point (NAP)

What is a a NAP and how does it work. This presentation will highlight Richmond as well as Piscataway, Hillsboro Eemshaven, and finally finish with an overview of the underlying IEIC connection. This presentation will cover a global perspective on data center interconnection and technological growth.

Sean Baillie, Chief of Staff and Chief Marketing Officer, QTS Data Centers

10:30 – 10:45 am :: Break

10:45 – 11:30 am :: Applying Distributed Generation in Data Centers

The presentation will discuss available technologies for distributed generations in data centers. The best application of the technologies and limitations in their use. This will include utilizing for load profile, resiliency and power quality. The presentation will show a concept study of hyper scale data center project in northern Virginia. How distributed generation solutions were deployed to address the utility limitation in capacity and resiliency. The concept study will show cost model for utilizing distributed generation in data centers.

Rajan Battish, Principal, RSP Architects

11:30 am – 12:30 pm :: Green Panel – Partnering for Sustainable Success

Renewable energy is no new conversation for data center operators, but how will this community be affected with new corporate goals for 100% clean energy? By 2025, professionals predict that 21% of data center power will come from renewable resources such as wind and solar. Hear how different organizations are tackling this problem and integrating cost-saving methodologies to drive sustainable operations.

Stan Blackwell, Customer Solutions and Strategic Partnerships, Dominion Energy

Jim Collins, Director of Energy Markets – Americas, Microsoft

Travis Wright, VP, Energy and Sustainability, QTS Data Centers

Todd Gale, VP, Data Center Architect, Flexential – Colocation Data Centers

Sturgis Sobin, Vice President, Global Commodities, Citigroup

12:30 – 1:30 pm :: Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:15 pm :: Data Centers Technologies Overview and Energy Efficiency Design Savings

Data Centers are massive energy consumers, but they have also been the source of some the industry’s largest EE projects in history. Corporate and state commitments to be green have caused engineers to design new ways of power deliver, causing facilities to be eligible for rebates, offsetting project cost by up to 50%. This presentation will walk through opportunities for data centers to receive money back for sustainable practices and energy efficient design.

Terry Fox, Business Development Manager, Vertiv

2:15 – 3:00 pm :: Our New Hybrid Data Center – How this Cooperative is Benefiting from On-Prem and Cloud Infrastructure

Transforming our traditional On-Premises data center into a hybrid cloud data center wasn’t easy. It took long hours and careful design to open our walls to the internet. But was it worth it? Considering the risks, costs, and new technologies associated with hybridization, is investing in a hybrid data center the right decision for the industry? Does all that effort pay off? The good news is that we at Associated Electric Cooperative have already done it and we’re ready to share our experience moving to a “cloud first” methodology.

In this session you will hear about how our Cooperative embraced cloud technologies. We will talk about what motivated AECI to make the change, how we approached the project, lessons learned from the implementation, and the future now that we have the new cloud tooling in our tool belt. So, whether you’re running your hybrid data center, or just curious what the other side is like, this session should have plenty of opportunity to learn about the end to end process.

Shaun Hall, Manager of the Site Reliability Engineering, Associated Electric Cooperative Inc

3:00 – 3:15 pm :: Break

3:15 – 4:00 pm :: Economic Diversity Panel – Attracting Data Centers and Power Delivery

33 states have approved tax incentives for data centers with more considering the ROI these incentives can provide. This panel will provide a unique perspective on how utilities, economic developers, and DC operators interact with each other in this conversation and some of the major considerations to be aware of.

Ken Wooten, Director of Business Development, DTE Energy

4:00 – 4:50 pm :: Grid Edge Strategy for Data Center Operators

As Data Centers are some of the highest consuming power users on the grid, a thoughtful strategy for technology implementation is necessary to manage, control, and optimize their energy supply. This presentation will discuss some of the important grid edge technologies Data Centers can use to address a growing power management problem including microgrids, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), battery energy storage systems (BESS), back-up generation, and on-site renewables. Also covered will be the important role distributed renewable power systems play in Data Center operations.

John Glassmire, Senior Advisor, Grid Edge Solutions, ABB

4:50 – 5:00 pm :: Conference Closes


Introduction to Data Centers: An Industry in Transition

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020


It is said that the growth of the Data Center Industry is currently larger than the Industrial Revolution of 1760 to 1840. This may be an exaggerated claim, but one thing is clear—the data center world is a fast-moving and sophisticated place, full of changing technology and complex relationships between operators, end users, utilities, and many other supply chain partners. With the enormous growth of infrastructure investments and increased methods to drive sustainability while cutting down C&M costs, there is a lot to stay on top of in order to maintain a modern and up-to-date Data Center.

This workshop will cover the basics and need-to-knows for any data center stakeholder seeking to understand an industry growth overview, design site selections, engineering designs for the electrical and mechanical infrastructures for critical support, latency, power usage effectiveness (PUE), cost of electricity.

Introduction to Data Centers: An Industry in Transition serves as a basic introduction to current methods in industry and setup for the topics and points to be discussed in the conference to follow. This workshop will be intended for new and experienced data center operators, maintenance personnel, and general stakeholders, so anyone can successfully build, operate, and understand a data center.

This workshop will

  • Provide a fundamental grasp of how data centers work
  • Identify the relationships between data centers, utilities, and 3rd party vendors
  • Discuss DC construction methods and energy efficient design
  • Explain DC sustainable operations and maintenance practices
  • Provide a benchmark for compliant and safe operations
  • Deliver a robust and rounded education for attendees to enter the following conference topics



8:45 – 9:00 am :: Log In

9:00 – 9:45 am                       

  • The data center foundations
  • Concepts and terminology
  • Trends and metrics
  • Discuss uptime understanding – Tier management and reliability
  • Review the basic approach to infrastructure design, including electrical and mechanical
  • Gain the basics of electrical service for data center facilities

9:45 – 10:00 am :: Morning Break

10:00 am – 12:00 pm :: Sustainability

  • The march to Zero Carbon
  • New technologies

Practical methods for implementation

  • Case studies
  • Questions and comments

Wrap up & Close


Workshop Instructor

Denis Cronin, CEO, Resilient Solutions, LLC

Dr. Cronin is the CEO of Resilient Solutions, LLC a Mission Critical Consultancy firm founded in 2003 that is focused on data center Management, Operations, Marketing, Forensics and Research. Previously, Dr. Cronin has also held the positions as Technical Managing Director for the Research Foundation at Binghamton University, COO of Steel ORCA and 20 years handling back office operations for multiple Wall Street firms.

Currently, his efforts are spotlighting data center efficiency research, data center education, application of 400V direct current power distribution, integration of renewable resources.

Dr. Cronin is a founder of 7×24 Exchange, serves as a Columnist and Advisor for Mission Critical Magazine, is a Subject Matter Expert in developing a Mission Critical academic degree program, is the creator of the “Containerized and Modular Data Center” discussion group on LinkedIn and sits on the Boards of several Mission Critical Industry groups. 

For over 30 years Dr. Cronin has been a leader in the operational aspects of technology in both Enterprise and Colocation operations. The greater part of his career has been with large fortune 500 financial and retail organizations.

Dr. Cronin is a graduate of Villanova where he earned a BS in Accounting and holds a Doctorate of Mission Critical Operations from AATC University.


  • Sean Baillie, Chief of Staff and Chief Marketing Officer, QTS Data Centers
  • Rajan Battish, Principal, RSP Architects
  • Stan Blackwell, Director – Strategic Partnerships, Dominion Energy
  • Jim Collins, Director of Energy Markets – Americas, Microsoft
  • Dennis Cronin, CEO, Resilient Solutions
  • Terry Fox, Business 
  • John Glassmire, Senior Advisor, Grid Edge Solutions, ABB
  • Shaun Hall, Manager of the Site Reliability Engineering, Associated Electric Cooperative Inc
  • G.T. Hollett, Director of Generation Projects, Dominion Energy
  • Bobby Holis, Head of Energy, Environment & Site Selection, Facebook
  • Mehdi Paryavi, Chairman, International Data Center Authority
  • Sturgis Sobin, Vice President, Global Commodities, Citigroup
  • Ken Wooten, Director of Business Development, DTE Energy
  • Development Manager, Vertiv
  • Todd Gale, VP, Data Center Architect, Flexential – Colocation Data Centers

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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