Grid Modernization Forum to Examine Energy Storage and the Integration of Renewables and Distributed Energy Resources


Source: Smart Grid Observer

There is an urgent call for energy storage to solve the challenges of variability and intermittency that accompany solar and wind generation. Grid modernization will require substantial deployment of storage resources, yet innovation seems to be taking place faster than the ability to regulate it. In the absence of assurances from regulatory bodies, some utilities are wary about the way forward.

A panel of key industry experts at at the 2nd Grid Modernization Forum, April 3-5, 2017 in Chicago will take a look at this challenge by discussing new storage technologies that are pushing the boundaries, and how to manage the complex integration of storage with the grid. The panel will also examine how utility pilots are testing options to solve their own challenges, such as pairing grid storage with inverter technology.

Panelists are David Dobratz, P.E., Energy Efficiency Supervisor at Eversource Energy; Michael Hopkins, CEO at Ice Energy; and Clay Collier, Co-Founder and CEO at Kisensum.  The panel will be chaired by Ryn Hamilton, President of Ryn Hamilton Consulting.

“Energy storage is a critical enabling technology for the next-gen grid,” says Daniel Coran, Program Manager for the Grid Modernization Forum. “This session will help utilities get a handle on how to leverage storage to integrate renewables and manage various distributed energy resources in their territories.” 

The session is just one of several over the two-day Chicago Forum.  Other expert presenters include: 

  • Brien J. Sheahan, Chairman, Illinois Commerce Commission
  • Keith Lorenzetti, Program Director, Energy Smart Community, AVANGRID
  • Robert D. Sheridan, P.E., Director, Utility of the Future, National Grid
  • Joseph J. Hally, Manager, Energy Transformation & Solutions, Central Hudson Gas & Electric
  • Paul Hofmann,  Team Lead, Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse, Alliant Energy
  • Kelly Ziegler, Manager, State Regulatory Affairs, Stakeholder Ombudsman, Con Edison
  • Howard Smith,  Manager, Distributed Energy Resouces Policy, Southern Company
  • Keith Hock,  Director,  Transmission Services, Amren
  • Kevin Bricknell, Energy Data Services Program Manager, ComEd
  • Jason Iacobucci, President, PowerRunner
  • Paul A. DeCotis, Senior Director, Energy & Utilities Practice, West Monroe Partners
  • Michael T. Burr,  Director, Microgrid Institute
  • Mike Danziger,  Managing Director, Power and Utilities Practice, Deloitte Consulting          
  • Jeffrey D. Taft, PhD,  Chief Architect, Electric Grid Transformation, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Sharon S. Allan,  CEO & President, Smart Grid Interoperability Panel
  • Doug Houseman, Vice President, Innovation and Technology, EnerNex    
  • Bill Abolt,  Vice President, Energy, AECOM      
  • Dennis Quinn,  Chief Operating Officer & Founder, Joule Assets    
  • Arthur (Bud) Vos,  President and CEO, Enbala Power Networks
  • Dave Mulder,  Senior Consultant, Emerging Technologies, Leidos Engineering
  • Jamie Peters,  Director, Client Solutions, EnergySavvy 

Additional topics to be addressed throughout the event include: 

  • Grid Edge Integration Techniques
  • Illinois' New DER Valuation Approach to Bridging the Utility-Solar Divide
  • IoT and Big Data Analytics for New Business Models and Operational Excellence
  • Case Study Perspectives on Enhancing Grid Reliability
  • Better Programs, Better Performance, with Customer + Grid Data Analytics
  • Mitigating Physical and Cybersecurity Attacks to Critical Utility Infrastructure
  • Determining the Value of DER through Distribution Locational Marginal Pricing
  • Business Change and System Impacts a Result of DER
  • Unlocking the Value of Grid Modernization and DER for Commercial Customers
  • The Evolution of US Power Grids: Complexity and Clarity
  • Microgrids, Nanogrids, and Virtual Power Plant Advances and Strategies
  • Regulatory Trends and Developments Impacting Grid Modernization
  • Standards, Interoperability, and Legacy Systems Integration 

The main conference will be preceded by a tour of S&C Electric's Smart Grid Demo Center on the afternoon of Monday, April 3.  The Center will allow attendees to view demonstrations of the most recent smart grid and energy storage technologies up close.  Details on the tour are available here.

The tour is preceded by a half-day, pre-conference workshop on “Upgrading to a 21st Century Utility: How to Build Your Smart Grid.”  The workshop is led by Dale Pennington, Managing Director, UtiliWorks Consulting.

“This event will bring together utility professionals who are seeking to implement next-gen smart grid capabilities, and who are facing similar challenges and opportunities,” says Coran. “It’s a unique setting in which to discuss what is working and what is not in a focused, educational environment.”

The conference is organized by the Smart Grid Observer (, an online publication that delivers the latest news and information on a daily basis concerning key developments, deployment updates, and market trends in the smart grid and energy storage industries.  Subscription to SGO’s weekly online newsletter is free.

For full information regarding the 2nd Grid Modernization Forum and to register, visit

The 2nd Grid Modernization Forum will be held at Conference Chicago at University Center, 525 S. State Street, Chicago

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