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Top 4 Reasons to Attend DistribuTECH 2017

Now that 2016 is behind us, the utility industry begins to look forward to the New Year and what technology innovations can help improve their business processes.  To see what new products and solutions vendors are now offering, most utilities plan to attend DistribuTECH, the leading annual electric power transmission and distribution conference & exhibition.  In its 27th year, DistribuTECH continues to draw more than 11,000 industry professionals from electric utilities, water utilities and other municipal utilities. 

This year the event returns to San Diego Convention Center, located right on the San Diego Bay adjacent to the Gaslamp Quarter.  For 2017 in San Diego, the theme of the conference is Harboring Energy Innovation.  San Diego has been the home for DistribuTECH every other year for the last decade.  But as the event attendance continues to grow and along with the popularity of San Diego as a convention destination, the future dates of the conference exclude America’s Finest City.   In 2018 and 2020, San Antonio will host DistribuTECH, with a stop in New Orleans in 2019. 

Here are the top 4 reasons you should attend DistribuTECH

1. Mega Sessions

Beginning a few years ago, the conference planning committee began to look for common themes that arose from the many abstract submissions.  The common themes stretched across multiple disciplines and the birth of the Mega Sessions were formed.  Positioned on the afternoon of the second day of the conference, the feedback from the mega sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.  This year there are six mega sessions. 

  • How Utilities And Cities Can Both Benefit In The Smart City Revolution
  • How IOU IT Executives Are Embracing The Smart Grid
  • The Next Generation Distribution Grid: Grid 3.0
  • A Primer On Next Generation In Big Data And Energy / Grid Analytics - Road To The Future
  • Microgrids And Utilities: Moving From Load Defection To System Operational Solution With Benefits
  • Establishing A Data Management Fabric For Grid Modernization

2. Exposition Hall

For many industry professionals, attending DistribuTECH is all about walking the halls of the exposition and visiting with vendors.  Attendees have 18 hours spread across the three days of the conference to see technology from the 568 exhibitors.  The San Diego Convention Center is fairly massive, but has a logical layout with a main center isle running the length of the room where vendors are set up on either side of the isle.  With so many options, the best approach is to plan in advance on which vendors you would like to see.  The heaviest traffic times are during the open hours when no sessions are being held.  Tuesday and Wednesday are generally busier times, with less people still in attendance on Thursday, the final day of the conference.  If you want to have a dedicated visit with a vendor, it is best to schedule ahead.  Many vendors provide options to schedule a time with them in their booth.

3. Utility University

While the conference officially begins on Tuesday, attendees can expand their value by attending one of the numerous Utility University courses on Monday.  With three full day, six morning and seven afternoon half day options, these sessions provide continuing education learning opportunities for utility professionals.  These courses are designed to provide in depth look at specific topics in energy innovation. 

All Day Sessions

  • UU 101: DMS Solutions for Modern Distribution Systems
  • UU 102: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) With Advanced
  • UU 103: The IEC Common Information Model (CIM) Standards - The key to Integrated Grid Interoperability

Morning Half Day Sessions

  • UU 201: AMI Operations: Best Practices for Achieving Value from Your AMI Solution
  • UU 202: Line Sensor Deployment for Distribution Automation: Practical Deployment, Data Collection and Use Cases
  • UU 203: Planning for Integration of Distributed Energy Resources and Microgrids in Smart Distribution Systems
  • UU 204: Selecting Communications Infrastructure For SCADA, DA, AMI and DER
  • UU 205: The Future of Outage Management Systems
  • UU 206: IEC 61850 for your Smart Grid Initiative: Benefits, Challenges and Practical IEC 61850 Use Cases Behind Your Grid Modernization Strategy

Afternoon Half Day Sessions

  • UU 301: MDM: Why Do I Need It? What Can I Do With It?
  • UU 302: Applying Synchrophasor Technology to Enhance Distribution System Operations
  • UU 303: Capital Project Justification for Utilities of the Future
  • UU 304: Control System Cybersecurity
  • UU 305: Deployment of IEC 61850 in a Nutshell - Step By Step Guidance to Realize an IEC 61850 System
  • UU 306: Implementing Distributed Energy Resources Management Systems (DERMS) to Meet the Challenges of Distributed Resources Integration
  • UU 307: Utility Enterprise Transformation, Digitization and Cloud - A Primer

4. Networking Opportunities

Attending a massive conference and exposition with over 11,000 other industry professionals provides a great opportunity to network with vendors and colleagues.  But it can also be overwhelming!  Pennwell has created specific events that enable the attendees to meet with others in more intimate environments.  The best of the networking opportunities are the breakfast roundtables.  These discussions are focused on specific industry topics and are moderated by leading professionals in each field.  The roundtable discussion requires advance registration.  For larger networking opportunities, delegates can attend the opening reception on Tuesday along It's 5 o'Clock Somewhere on Wednesday, both in the exhibit hall. 

But networking is not limited to just the coordinated in-person events.  The social networking opportunities of the event bring people from all over the world together.  DistribuTECH is active on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  The hashtag #DTECH2016 had a total audience reach of 6.7M and was used by almost 3,000 people and companies last year.   

I am excited about the event this year to learn about the new technology that can help fuel the energy industry.


Looking forward to it!  If you want to chat re Home Energy Management, IoT, Automation etc and how you can provide solutions for residential and commercial customers be sure to reach out.

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