Top electric utility managers, engineers learn from industry’s leaders
HAILEY, Idaho (March 2, 2018) ‒ Nearly 300 of the nation’s top electric utility managers and engineers gathered in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Feb. 28-March 1 to learn from the best in the business at the Power Delivery Design Conference presented by POWER Engineers Incorporated (POWER).
Gregory N. Dudkin, president of PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, presented the keynote address on “Investing for the Future.” PPL provides electric delivery services to 1.4 million customers across a 10,000-square-mile service territory in central and eastern Pennsylvania. An experienced utility executive, Dudkin oversees the largest capital program in the utility’s history with investments including major transmission expansion, local reliability improvements and smart grid technology.
The conference has grown in both size and content since the first gathering in 1991. This year’s conference attracted attendees from dozens of electric utilities as well as 55 speakers, including Otto Lynch. Lynch serves on the Governmental Affairs Committee on America’s Infrastructure of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The committee publishes the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which is referenced frequently in news stories and by public officials.
Every PDDC is unique, but each one always features technical and general sessions on overhead and underground transmission lines, substations and electrical systems studies.
The conference mix also includes a discussion of timely issues in the industry. Among the sessions this year were discussions of:
- Grid safety, reliability and resilience
- Permitting, design and construction challenges in crossing the Mississippi River
- Horizontal directional drilling crossing beneath Newark Bay
- Demonstration projects on IEC 61850, the international standard for communication protocols for intelligent electronic devices at electrical substations, and communication architecture, and many other current topics.
“We continually develop new ideas to make the conference more valuable to participants,” said Randy Grass, the conference’s emcee and also POWER’s vice president of the Power Delivery Production Division.
Two engineers founded POWER in February 1976 in Pocatello, Idaho. In 1978, the company moved its 10 employees to Hailey. While Hailey remains the company’s headquarters, POWER has more than 2,500 employees working in more than 45 offices throughout the United States and abroad.
The 2019 Power Delivery and Design Conference will be held Feb. 27-28, 2019, again in beautiful Sun Valley. Utility managers and engineers who would like to attend next year may call their POWER contact, or email Sara McClarin at email@example.com.