Electric Utilities 101

Electric Utilities 101

June 6-7, 2024 | Online :: Central Time

“Brent was fantastic! I really appreciated his knowledge, as well as the humor, jokes, and cartoons. So often these courses get very dry, so this was a welcome addition.” – MISO

“Brent was extremely engaging and made the course enjoyable.” – CT PURA

“Brent is an amazing instructor. The material that he covers is on point and his fun deliverance in the virtual environment is fun and engaging.” – CPUC

“One of the best speakers I’ve seen in a long time.” – Avangrid

“Brent is an excellent instructor. He helped me to understand concepts that I never fully understood before.” – CPUC

“Brent was an excellent instructor! He kept everyone engaged and was very knowledgeable!” –Utilities Examiner, Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority

“Highly energetic and knowledgeable. Always providing real world experiences and examples is a plus!” – Principal Engineer, Salt River Project

“Brent’s instruction style made it very easy to grasp all the comments. It was very conversational, and he shared lots of great analogies and stories to make all the content relatable.” –Supervising Engineer, ATCO Electricity

“Brent was great. He was informative and funny. I thought I would have a difficult time with the virtual format, but Brent made the class fun and engaging.” – Regional Business Manager, Schweitzer Engineering Labs

“Brent made the experience fun and interactive, I would gladly attend another training session he leads!” Security Risk Analyst, OPPD

“The best training class I’ve ever attended.” Admin Assistant, Project Services, Eversource

This course is targeted towards increasing the knowledge of non-technical staff who work or have an interest in the electric utility industry. Since this is a basic seminar, a prior background in electric utility systems or engineering is not expected or required.

The program unpacks basic concepts related to the history of the industry, how electricity works, generation, transmission, distribution, substations, balancing, storage, and ancillary services. It will review the grid, different types of generation and how they work, common acronyms, underground vs. overhead distribution, and the components of a substation. Attendees will gain a full understanding of balancing authorities and energy markets, as well as energy storage technologies and distributed energy resources. All will leave with an appreciation of renewable energy, goals, challenges, and new mechanisms to balance its variability with reliability.

Come with questions and leave armed with a solid foundation of the intricacies of how Electric Utilities work.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review the history of the industry and the fundamentals of electricity
  • Appreciate the diversity of electricity generation and the reasons for the use of each in the electric system (i.e., solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, gas, coal, and what’s next)
  • Discuss transmission and distribution, including differences between underground and overhead, right-of-way, outage causes, and more
  • Explain what substations are used for and their components
  • Analyze the major technological changes occurring with bulk storage, distributed energy resources, resiliency, and more
  • Assess renewable integration goals, challenges, tools, and mechanisms to achieve the goals
  • Discuss the different organizations to generate and sell electricity such as Direct Access, Electric Service Suppliers, Qualifying Facilities, and Independent Power Producers


Thursday, June 6, 2024 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Course Timing


  • How are Utilities organized?
  • How are Investor Owned Utilities unique?
  • What are Public Utility Districts, Municipal or public power?
  • What are Rural Electric Cooperatives and how did they come to be?
  • How do PUDs, IOUs and Co-ops compare in size and quantity?
  • Why the price of electricity varies wildly between utilities
  • Are Electric Utilities monopolies?
  • Electric Service Suppliers and Community Choice Aggregates
  • Decoupling and how is it helping energy efficiency
  • What is a Vertically Integrated Utility and its pros and cons?
  • Qualifying Facility (QF) and how the interconnection process works
  • Direct access and the history of how it came to be
  • Avoided cost, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
  • Tariffs and Schedules and where you can find yours


  • Overview of the complexities of balancing the grid
  • Demand curves and system peak demand
  • What is the Duck curve, surplus capacity, and ramp rate?
  • Who and what are FERC, NERC, ISO (Independent System Operators), PP (Power Pools), BA (Balancing Authorities), RTO (Regional Transmission Operators), and Interconnections?
  • What are the different energy markets such as long-term, day-ahead, and real-time, and how do they balance a demand curve?
  • What are the responsibilities of a balancing authority?
  • What is Direct Access, Energy Service Supplier, and Community Choice Aggregate?
  • How are upcoming disruptive business models and technologies changing the traditional model of a utility?


  • How Solar, Wind, Nuclear, Gas, and Coal plants work
  • Baseload vs. peaker plants
  • Renewable integration including future types of power generation
  • Direct Access, Electric Service Suppliers, Qualifying Facilities, and Independent Power Producers


  • What is “the grid” and what is “the smart grid”?
  • How the grid evolved to what it is now and is continuing to evolve
  • Series, parallel, loop, and radial circuits
  • How microgrids work
  • What is a feeder and how does it route and connect to homes and businesses?
  • Distribution drawings and how to read them
  • What are protective relays, programable logic controllers, and switchgear?
  • What is SCADA and how is it evolving?
  • What is new about ADMS (Advanced Distribution Monitoring Systems) and how are they evolving?
  • Virtual Power Plants (VPP) and Distributed Energy Resources (DER)

Friday, June 7, 2024 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Course Timing

Energy Storage and Ancillary Services

  • Different energy storage technologies. (i.e., pumped hydro, batteries, electrolysis, etc.)
  • Distributed Energy Resources and decentralized generation
  • Frequency response
  • How flexible loads, Demand Response, peak shaving, and contingency reserve obligations are helping to create a flexible and resilient grid


  • What is deregulation and how has it affected the industry?
  • How does a Public Utility Commission use a Rate Case process to set rates?
  • What are the financial regulating entities governing a utility company?
  • How does FERC regulate wholesale electricity and interstate commerce via transmission lines?
  • What are the entities regulating an electric utility?
  • Integrated resource plans help utility commissions play an active role in utility long range planning
  • What is the difference between rate base, rate case and rates?

Utilities Finance and Operations

  • What is unique about how utilities make money?
  • How do utilities earn money using the ratemaking formula?
  • When a utility invests in an asset where does that money come from?
  • What are the primary forms of financing activities?
  • Which costs are recovered in rates and which by shareholders?
  • What is the difference between an above-the-line and below-the-line cost?
  • Difference between Capital (Asset) and O&M (Expense)
  • How does depreciation of capital assets work?
  • What is accelerated depreciation?
  • What are stranded assets?
  • Why are utilities so risk averse?
  • How do utilities financially prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies?
  • The different components of a residential and commercial bill

Course recap, questions, and other topics of interest from the participants


Brent Olsen, President, 3 Phase Consulting

Brent is an electrical engineer specializing in power systems with a masters in Energy Policy and ManagementHe also has an MBA, PMP, Lean Six Sigma certification and a degree in SpanishBrent has 25+ years of experience working at a variety of large electric utilitiesHe has worked in distribution, transmission and generation engineering and currently works in Specialized Energy Operations where he manages the installation of microgrids, generation facilities, distributed energy resources and various grid edge research and development projectsHe owns Three Phase Consulting and established and leads a user group of utility professionals who follow and discuss business and technological changes in the electric utility industryHe was also the second place winner of his third grade renewable energy drawing competition.

Online Delivery

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.

  • Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a separate email with a unique link to a personalized landing page which will include links to join all sessions of this event.
  • 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.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all attendees for 7 days after the event


Electric Utilities 101

June 6-7, 2024 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 1295.00 each

Volume pricing also available

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 attendees - $ 5,180.00 (20% discount)
Pack of 10 attendees - $ 9,065.00 (30% discount)
Pack of 20 attendees - $ 15,540.00 (40% discount)

This event is related and may be of interest.

Electricity 101

June 5, 2024 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 895.00 each

Volume pricing also available

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 attendees - $ 3,580.00 (20% discount)
Pack of 10 attendees - $ 6,265.00 (30% discount)
Pack of 20 attendees - $ 10,740.00 (40% discount)

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 May 03, 2024 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



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 event.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

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

Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations, group discussions, and active participation.

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

Course CPE Credits: 11.0
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group Internet Based
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 

  • New or seasoned professionals who need a better overall understanding of the intricacies of how electricity works, is made, and distributed
  • Vendors, contractors, regulators, or anyone who works with a technical organization that would like to better understand electric utilities
  • Utility professionals interested in communicating at a higher level across a broader range of disciplines and management levels
  • Anyone who need to follow and understand these concepts being discussed in conversations and meetings
  • Non-technical staff that collaborate with or work around engineers or people who use these terms
  • Individual contributors with plans to someday transition to a leadership role
  • New employees who want to get up to speed and add value
  • Those who have heard any of these terms and concepts and would like a to better understand them
  • Customer service or sale representatives without an electrical background