Keynote/Plenary Sessions & Panels

Click here for full panel session listings and descriptions.

Keynote Speaker: Dave Velazquez, CEO of Pepco Holdings

18 February 2020, 8:30-9:00 AM

Dave VelazquezDave Velazquez has been President and CEO of Pepco Holdings since 2016 and is responsible for leadership of the company’s overall performance associated with service reliability, customer satisfaction, financial management, and regulatory and external affairs. Based in Washington, D.C., Pepco Holdings employs more than 4,600 people, owns more than $21 billion in assets and generates approximately $4.8 billion in annual revenues. Pepco Holdings serves 2 million customers as the parent company of Pepco, an electric utility serving Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland; Delmarva Power, an electric and gas utility serving Delaware and portions of the Delmarva Peninsula; and Atlantic City Electric, an electric utility serving southern New Jersey. Pepco Holdings is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, one of the nation’s leading energy services companies. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.

Velazquez previously served as executive vice president and leader of the power delivery business for Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI). He managed over 95 percent of the business and employee base, and was responsible for all utility operations in three states and the District of Columbia including customer care, asset management, operations, smart grid activities, support services, including IT, and four local unions. Velazquez was also responsible for the development of and now leads the successful enterprise-wide strategic vision to improve reliability and customer service for PHI.

From 2006 to 2009, Velazquez served as president and CEO of Conectiv Energy, PHI’s competitive merchant energy subsidiary, leading and directing the commercial and operational activities for the company. He served as vice president of strategic planning and chief risk officer of PHI from 2005 to 2006.

Velazquez serves on the boards of several educational and community organizations, such as the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, D.C. Policy Center of the Federal City Council, Emeritus Advisory Board of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, and United Way of the National Capital Area. He is also a board member of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies and the Greater Washington Board of Trade. In addition, Velazquez is a member of the Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation Management Committee and the D.C. Public Library Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Opening Committee.

Velazquez holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Widener University.

Plenary Session 1:
Distribution and Transmission Operations for the Grid of the Future

18 February 2020, 9:00-10:30 AM

Chaired by Ebrahim Vaahedi, Associate Vice President, Open Access Technology International

With ever increasing influx of renewable and distributed energy resources, the energy industry is going through a complete transformation. This transformation is disrupting generation resource portfolio, modifying grid requirements and characteristics as well as enabling more active consumer participation. The new generation portfolio includes renewable generation, electrical and thermal storage systems and Electric Vehicle chargers distributed all over the distribution system. The grid is evolving to a two way network moving electricity back and forth between the transmission/Distribution system and the consumers. Consumers are becoming active participants changing their consumption based on price signals or through participation in utility programs. Aggregators have started capitalizing on the customer enablement and renewable energy resources to create products for distribution and transmission services. These changes have started dramatic shifts in the system operation behavior which will be further accentuated as utilities comply with higher renewable portfolio standards. This disruption and paradigm shift in the energy industry requires innovative process and technology solutions for utilities to adapt and evolve. In this plenary session, the distinguished panelists will present their insight on the distribution and transmission operation challenges and opportunities. Furthermore, they discuss the innovative technology solutions needed to capture the benefits and mitigate the challenges associated with the evolving energy industry.

Keynote Speaker: Pat Vincent-Collawn, Chairman, President & CEO of PNM Resources

19 February 2020, 8:00 – 8:30 am

Pat Vincent-Collawn is Chairman, President and CEO of PNM Resources, the parent company for utilities PNM in New Mexico and TNMP in Texas.

Vincent-Collawn joined PNM Resources in 2007, serving as Utilities President with responsibility for overseeing the daily operation of PNM and TNMP.  In 2008, she was named President and Chief Operating Officer, and in March 2010 became President and CEO of PNM Resources.  The Board elected her Chairman in January 2012.

On a national level, Vincent-Collawn currently serves as the Chair of EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute).  She also serves on the boards of EEI (Edison Electric Institute) where she is a former chair, NEIL (Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited), and CTS Corporation (NYSE:CTS).  She is a former member of the Economic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism (magna cum laude) from Drake University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Plenary Session 2:
Distribution and Transmission Planning for the Grid of the Future

19 February 2020, 8:00-10:00 AM

Chaired by Charles Hanley

  • Rob Bennett, (President & CEO, Emera Technologies, Tampa, Florida)
  • Paul De Martini, (Managing Partner, Newport Consulting)
  • Pat Vincent-Collawn, (Chairman, President & CEO of PNM Resources)
  • Jean-Paul Watson, (Member of Technical Staff in the Data Science & Cyber Analytics Department of Sandia National Laboratories)

The second ISGT plenary session will continue the discussion initiated during the first plenary session on Tuesday. The focus will be on the future of planning tools and capabilities for electric transmission and distribution systems. Speakers in this session are industry leaders and researchers representing a broad set of approaches to meeting the needs of system planners in an evolving grid environment. Topics to be discussed include meeting goals related to 100% clean energy generation in the face of a rapidly changing fuel mix; the role of advanced microgrids at several scales within an integrated grid system; business, policy, and technology aspects of a more distributed system; and advanced computational tools for new approaches to system modeling and analysis. Panel discussion will address the challenges of integrating these and other types of tools to meet increasingly complex targets associated with capacity growth, resilience, and infrastructure interdependencies.

Keynote Speaker: M. Michelle Blaise, Senior Vice President of Technical Services of ComEd

20 February 2020, 8:00 – 8:30 am

M. Michelle Blaise, Senior Vice President of Technical Services, is responsible for Engineering, Project Management and Smart Grid & Technology for ComEd.

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). ComEd delivers electricity to more than 4 million residential and business customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.

Exelon is a Fortune 100 energy company with the largest number of electricity and natural gas customers in the U.S. The company does business in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada and had 2018 revenue of $36 billion. Exelon serves approximately 10 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania through its Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO and Pepco subsidiaries. Exelon is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with 31,000 megawatts of nuclear, gas, wind, solar and hydroelectric generating capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company’s Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 2 million residential, public sector and business customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100.

Plenary Session 3:
Success Factors on the Path to the Smart Grid

20 February 2020, 8:00-10:00 AM

Chaired by Veronika Rabl, Past Chair, IEEE-USA Energy Policy Committee and Don Hall, Executive Advisor, Quanta Technology

Keynote Speaker: M. Michelle Blaise, Senior Vice President, Technical Services, ComEd

Electric power industry throughout the world is experiencing unprecedented changes affecting all elements of grid operation and regulatory structures. New techniques, technologies, and sophisticated interconnections are essential to ensure sustainable electricity delivery. Responding to some of these needs, IEEE PES Industry Technical Support Leadership Committee (ITS LC) has been established to create and coordinate joint industry efforts directed at improving resilience, reliability, operations, and environmental aspects of the transmission and distribution grids.

This session will highlight the most recent accomplishments by ITSLC and its partners, as well as some of the work already in process.

Click here for full panel session listings and descriptions.