Engineering & Operations Virtual Conference

The conference of choice for public power professionals charged with designing, developing, and maintaining the nation's electric system.
March 23 - 24, 2021
The Engineering & Operations Conference will be a virtual event in 2021.

Register Now!

Includes a Virtual Expo!
You’ll enjoy opportunities to meet with companies that provide the products and services you need. The expo will be open throughout the conference for you to watch live demos, schedule individual appointments, make quick visits to booths, request additional information, and more!

Your challenges, shared solutions

Join the national network of public power professionals who focus on engineering and operations. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to compare notes, discover best practices, and learn from case studies. 

Meet other utility professionals — both veterans and those new to the electric utility industry — and share ideas and experiences in addressing critical areas such as: 

  • Environmental issues 
  • Grid modernization
  • Innovation 
  • Safety
  • Security 
  • Supply management
  • System planning
  • Transmission & distribution 

Who Should Attend

Conference attendees get the latest information from experts in their fields, learn about the national issues and industry-wide activities and trends that are affecting their communities and utilities, and share experiences and strategies for dealing with key issues and challenges.

Conference sessions are designed for utility employees at both the professional and management levels, in the areas listed above. Attendees typically include specialists, coordinators, analysts, supervisors, managers, directors and vice presidents in their area of specialty. The conference is also recommended for utility employees with interests and responsibilities in conference topics and with cross-departmental responsibilities, as well as rising stars and future leaders and those who would benefit from learning more about these strategic areas and making connections with the national public power community.

Join the interest list to receive the latest information about this event. If you have any questions or would like additional information on the conference, please contact us via email.

Agenda at a Glance

Detailed agenda / Download the brochure

Tuesday, March 23

All times are shown in Eastern.


Environmental Icon

Environmental Services

Grid Modernization

Grid Modernization



Supply Management

Supply Management

System Planning

System Planning/T&D

11 a.m. – Noon

Opening General Session:
Honoring our Colleagues: RP3
The State of Public Power

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Environmental Regulations: What’s New and What’s Next

Installing and Commissioning Optical Current Transformers

Understanding the Mutual Aid Process

Roundtable: Supply Management

Importance of Engineering Excellence

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Navigating the Complexities of Electricity Markets

Securing Substations from Vandalism

Lessons in Restoration: Hurricane Laura

How Does Your Warehouse Measure Up?

Securing Substations from Vandalism

3 – 4 p.m.

Managing the Risks with Natural Gas Supply

To Broadband or Not to Broadband?

Providing Real-World Experience Through Virtual Training

Tracking Contract Deliverables

Defining Resiliency: What Does It Mean for You?

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Reduce, Repower, Replace

Key Design Considerations for Energy Storage

Safety Manual Roundtable

Auditing the Warehouse Audit

Focus on Fuse Coordination

5:30 – 6:30  p.m.

Networking Event

Wednesday, March 24


Environmental Icon

Environmental Services

Grid Modernization

Grid Modernization



Supply Management

Supply Management

System Planning

System Planning/T&D

10 – 11 a.m.

Online Networking

11 – 11:30 a.m.

General Session:
Honoring Our Colleagues: DEED ACE Award and Safety Awards
Chair’s Address

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. 

Decarbonization Strategies for a Flexible Future

Securing the Supply: Risks and Best Practices

Evolving Your Safety Training

Securing the Supply: Risks and Best Practices

Planning Ahead for Distributed Energy Resources

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Implementing Coal Ash and Wastewater Requirements

Smart Utilities for a Smart Future

Safety Culture Excellence: Part 1

Why Can’t I Do That?

Smart Utilities for a Smart Future

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Making Community Solar Work for Public Power

Grid Modernization Roundtable

Safety Culture Excellence: Part 2

Supply Management Potpourri

Make a Drone Do It

4 – 5:15 p.m.

Closing General Session:
“Find a Way:” Fighting to Live Your Dream

More information

[email protected]
Phone: 202-467-2978

[email protected]


[email protected]

[email protected]

The Engineering & Operations Conference will be a virtual event in 2021.


Click here to learn more about the decisions made about Q1 2021 events.

Download the agenda

Download the brochure 

Tuesday, March 23

Opening General Session

11 a.m. – Noon ET / 10 – 11 a.m. CT / 9 – 10 a.m. MT / 8 – 9 a.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

Todd Dlouhy, Manager, Procurement & Stores, Lincoln Electric System, Nebraska, and Chair, APPA Engineering & Operations Section

Honoring our Colleagues: RP3 Recognition

JDThe State of Public Power
Joy Ditto, President & CEO, American Public Power Association

The public power community faces many challenges – from quickly shifting operating procedures during the pandemic to responding to increasingly intense events and incorporating new technologies and generating assets. Get the latest update on how APPA is working to help our members navigate this increasingly complex industry, identify opportunities to propel public power forward, and protect your interests in Washington, D.C. and beyond.


Noon – 12:15 p.m. ET / 11 – 11:15 a.m. CT / 10 – 10:15 a.m. MT / 9 – 9:15 a.m. PT

Breakout Sessions

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. ET / 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT / 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. MT / 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Environmental Regulations: What’s New and What’s Next Environmental Icon
    A new Administration is likely bringing a new approach to air, water, and waste rules and regulations, all while rule changes from the previous Administration go into effect – which impose new requirements on generating units. Join this session to get a clearer picture of the regulatory and policy landscape on environmental issues – from the gray areas in the Clean Air Act to the future policies likely to affect your utility.

    Carrie Jenks, Executive Vice President, M.J. Bradley & Associates, Concord, Massachusetts; and Jim Roewer, Executive Director, Utility Solid Waste Activities Group, Washington, D.C.    

  2. Installing and Commissioning Optical Current Transformers Grid Modernization
    Walk through one utility’s experience in installing and commissioning optical CTs and a process bus relay system applied to Series capacitors. Gain lessons learned from the project from both the utility and vendor perspective, and tips for applying optical instrument transformers and IEC61850 process bus sample values.

    Adam O'Leary, P&C Engineer II; and Frank Ronci,
    Senior Director Electrical & Controls—New York Power Authority, White Plains, New York

  3. Understanding the Mutual Aid Process Safety
    The public power mutual aid network is a powerful ally in getting your system restored after a major event – whether a hurricane, winter storm, or pandemic. Learn how the network operates and who to call (and when) in the event a disaster strikes your territory, or how to offer help as part of the network. Also get an overview of what resources you can count on and use from the Public Power Mutual Aid Working Group for your storm preparedness and response.

    Kate Leese, Managing Partner, Kinetics Consulting, Detroit, Michigan; Kenny Roberts, Senior Training & Safety Specialist, ElectriCities of N.C.; Giacomo Wray, Engineering Services Specialist, APPA; and Brandon Wylie, CUSP, Director of Safety & Training, Electric Cities of Georgia

  4. Roundtable: Supply Management Supply Management
    Network with colleagues and discuss your supply management challenges and practices, including any lessons learned during the pandemic or related to new supply chain risk management rules.

  5. Importance of Engineering Excellence System Planning
    Recent storms and wildfires have highlighted the importance of having strong engineering practices to help reduce outages and outage times. For public power, engineers have often worked their way up the utility and have utility specific knowledge and insights into how day-to-day practices can make a big difference on reliability. Learn what tools and ideas public power engineers have brought to their utilities and the resulting improvements.

    Scott Sligh, Chief Engineer, Riviera Utilities, Foley, Alabama

  6. Industry Spotlight Session: Grid Modernization: Key Drivers for a Smart Energy Future
    The future for utilities includes increased customer interaction, decentralization and integrated distribution planning for integration of microgrids and energy storage, interoperability of various technologies, and cybersecurity--all critical components for successful operations.

    Join the utility solutions experts at Eaton as they discuss grid modernization technologies and the increased value of data analytics to monitor and manage grid assets while enhancing reliability and resiliency.

    Jacob Chacko, Utility Marketing Manager, Eaton, Waukesha, Wisconsin 


1:15 – 1:45 p.m. ET / 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. CT / 11:15 – 11:45 a.m. MT / 10:15 – 10:45 a.m. PT

Breakout Sessions

1:45 – 2:45 p.m. ET / 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. CT / 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. MT / 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Navigating the Complexities of Electricity Markets Environmental Icon
    The proliferation of renewables and changing resource adequacy requirements are making electricity markets more complicated to navigate, no matter which region you’re in. Discuss recent developments in multiple RTO/ISOs and get an overview of resource adequacy requirements. Understand how renewables factor in limits and how market rules differ around the country. Hear how utilities have been impacted by these requirements. Learn how you can ensure compliance as well as safe, reliable service to customers.

    Matt Larson, Partner, Wilkinson, Barker and Knauer, LLP, Denver, Colorado; David Sapper, Director of Market Intelligence, Customized Energy Solutions, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  

  2. Securing Substations from Vandalism Grid Modernization System Planning
    Joint Session: Grid Modernization and T&D/System Planning
    The civil unrest in the past year has led to several high-profile cases of vandalism to property. Join this session to hear what mitigation strategies and technologies federal officials and other utilities have deployed to protect soft targets and field assets. Discuss ideas for reducing threats to these assets and what technologies can help monitor and protect your facilities.

    David Eisenreich, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D.C.; and Shaun Guilfoil, Security Analyst, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado

  3. Lessons in Restoration: Hurricane Laura Safety
    Gain insight into the restoration process and challenges from a major regional event from key players involved in restoration from Hurricane Laura in 2020. The category 5 hurricane damaged hundreds of miles of transmission lines, which left hundreds of thousands of electric customers without service and required weeks of construction before the first substation could be re-energized. Learn how smaller public power utilities managed restoration efforts, and how the nationwide (and sometimes worldwide) mutual aid network worked to get people and material to the most critical places.

    Kevin Bihm, General Manager, Louisiana Energy and Power Authority; Greg Labbe, Electric Operations Manager; and Jason Miller, Electrical Distribution Engineering Coordinator—Lafayette Utilities Systems, Louisiana 

  4. How Does Your Warehouse Measure Up? Supply Management
    Compare how your warehouse operations measure up to your peers in this review of the public power supply management benchmarking survey. Discuss practices in the areas measured in the survey, including warehouse efficiency, productivity, and turnaround times.

    Tom Finn, Materials Manager, Norwich Public Utilities, Connecticut; Chris McKinney, Warehouse Manager, Fayetteville Public Works Commission, North Carolina; and Brad Spratt, Manager of Supply Chain Services, Muscatine Power and Water, Iowa

  5. Industry Spotlight Session: Milwaukee Commitment to Safety
    Hear an overview of the multiple ways Milwaukee Tool is involved in health and safety--from an explanation of the "seven focus pillars" to improve H&S to how they fit in the NiOSH hierarchy of controls. Dive deeper into multiple solutions that showcase safety technologies, disruptive innovation in PPE, and highlights on how these all help to improve productivity along the way. 

    Mike Dumoit, Senior National Account Manager, and Raffi Elchemmas, National Manager, Health and Safety—Milwaukee Tool, Wisconsin


2:45 – 3 p.m. ET / 1:45 – 2 p.m. CT / 12:45 – 1 p.m. MT / 11:45 a.m. – Noon PT

Breakout Sessions

3 – 4 p.m. ET  / 2 – 3 p.m. CT / 1 – 2 p.m. MT / Noon – 1 p.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Managing the Risks with Natural Gas Supply Environmental Icon
    Natural gas is a key part of the public power generating mix, with more than 27% of generation coming from natural gas facilities. The shale gas revolution was a game-changer, but supply challenges from weather events and market price shocks persist. Explore the risks associated with natural gas production, transportation, export, and pipeline regulation and construction. Discuss how you can hedge future commodity price uncertainty and other implications for your utility with the natural gas market.

    Jude Clemente, Senior Market Analyst, Trane Technologies, Monroeville, Pennsylvania

  2. To Broadband or Not to Broadband? Grid Modernization
    Increased reliance on networked devices and strong internet connectivity has renewed interest in municipal broadband deployments - but is broadband right for you? Examine the pros and cons of offering broadband services (including economic development and utility automation) and learn how to avoid common mistakes in conducting a feasibility study.

    Thomas Asp, Senior Communications and Automation Consultant, Power System Engineering, Madison, Wisconsin; and Stacy Cantrell, VP of Engineering, Huntsville Utilities, Alabama

  3. Providing Real-World Experience Through Virtual Training Safety
    Virtual and augmented reality can simplify and improve safety training — providing an efficient and safe working environment for employees to learn key skills and practice important movements. Learn how utilities have used these new technologies for maintenance work, online testing, and accident investigation and recreation. Get a demonstration of a safety e-learning course to directly experience the technology and consider the possibilities for your training needs.

    Brian Doubinin, CEO, 3DInternet, Los Angeles, California

  4. Tracking Contract Deliverables Supply Management
    Walk through one utility’s journey in implementing a contract management system to relive the key lessons learned in developing contract life cycle management practices and strategies for overcoming common challenges in the implementation process.

    Gary Holcomb, Director of Procurement, Garland Power and Light, Texas; Joel J. Wilson, Contracts Manager, City of Garland, Texas  

  5. Defining Resiliency: What Does It Mean for You? System Planning
    As natural disasters are on the rise, resiliency has become the new buzz word — the federal government has embraced it, and many states and communities are trying to define it. Explore how to define resiliency for your utility – and the different ways to outline the unique risks and challenges within your environment and systems. Come and learn what other public power utilities are doing to harden distribution systems and to facilitate bouncing back after disasters.

    Brian Wilbur, Director of Power Transmission & Distribution, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, California

  6. Industry Spotlight Session


4 – 4:30 p.m. ET / 3 – 3:30 p.m. CT / 2 – 2:30 p.m. MT / 1 – 1:30 p.m. PT

Breakout Sessions

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. CT / 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. MT / 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Reduce, Repower, Replace Environmental Icon
    Learn how public power utilities are repowering or replacing coal-fired generation with natural gas combined cycle combustion turbines or installing reciprocating internal combustion engines. Discuss the common challenges constructing, permitting and operating new CTs and RICE units amidst the industry’s energy transition to lower and non-emitting generation resources.

    Mike Radakovitz, Electric Production Superintendent, Holland Board of Public Works, Michigan; and Loren Smith, Electric Utility Director, Stillwater Electric Utility, Oklahoma

  2. Key Design Considerations for Energy Storage Grid Modernization
    Battery storage has been called the "Swiss army knife" of solutions because of its versatility. But the tools on a Swiss army knife wear down if you use them the wrong way. Examine the different considerations in engineering a battery storage system, from the application to operating implications on the system, RTO/ISO requirements, market opportunities, and how to make it economically viable. Discuss findings from a recent DEED project, including best practices for sizing, procuring, and operating battery storage.

    Kyle Brown, Electric Planning Engineer, Greenville Utilities Commission, North Carolina; and Jim Tarpey, Project Executive, Convergent Energy and Power, New York

  3. Safety Manual Roundtable Safety
    Join the Safety Manual Revision Task Force to discuss revisions to the 17th Edition of the American Public Power Association’s Safety Manual – including suggestions for best practices and strategies to promote a culture of safety in public power.

    Jon Beasley, Vice President of Safety & Training, Electric Cities of Georgia; Bob Scudder, Ph.D., CSP, CIH, CET, Industrial Hygiene/Corporate Risk Manager, Grand River Dam Authority, Oklahoma; and Mike Willetts, Director of Safety and Training, Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association

  4. Auditing the Warehouse Audit Supply Management
    Dive into the key findings that public power utilities uncovered in conducting audits of their procurement practices and warehouse operations, and discuss what recommendations emerged from the audits that you can replicate at your utility.

  5. Focus on Fuse Coordination System Planning
    Gather together to debate the merits and challenges of different fuse coordination philosophies, share tips for fuse-saving coordination and strategies for fuse-blowing coordination.

    Caleb Harrison, Automation Systems Application Director, S&C Electric Company, Chicago, Illinois  

  6. Industry Spotlight Session

Virtual Pub Trivia

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. CT / 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. PT

Join us for Virtual Pub Trivia! Join a team of your public power colleagues to test your collective knowledge on general trivia covering a wide range of topics. From history to pop culture to public power and more, there’s something for everyone! Grab a drink and get ready for a fun-filled, fast-paced afternoon of trivia, camaraderie, and a chance to earn prizes.

Wednesday, March 24

Online Networking

10 – 11 a.m. ET / 9 – 10 a.m. CT / 8 – 9 a.m. MT / 7 – 8 a.m. PT

Choose from three online networking options:

  • Women in Public Power Hour: Our popular networking event for women working in public power takes on a new format this year. Join your peers for morning conversation to celebrate successes and share challenges.
  • Data Debate: Benchmarking Operations: Join your colleagues in an engaging discourse over several controversial and insightful findings on utility operations. Explore the latest public power operations benchmarking data while adding color to the conversation with your technical expertise.
  • Virtual Expo: Connect with industry suppliers.

General Session

11 – 11:30 a.m. ET / 10 – 10:30 a.m. CT / 9 – 9:30 a.m. MT / 8 – 8:30 a.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs .5 / CPEs .6

Liz Jambor, Ed.D., DEED Board Chair and Manager, Data Analytics & Business Intelligence, Austin Energy, Texas

Honoring our Colleagues
Recognition of Safety Award winners and the recipient of the 2020 DEED Award of Continued Excellence

JTChair’s Address
Jolene Thompson, President & CEO, American Municipal Power, Inc., Columbus, Ohio; and Chair, American Public Power Association

Well before APPA was founded, public power utilities set a strong foundation in their communities that allowed for resilience and innovation. Then as now, engaging with our communities and connecting with our customers reminds them of the value of community ownership.


11:30 – 11:45 a.m. ET / 10:30 – 10:45 a.m. CT / 9:30 – 9:45 a.m. MT / 8:30 – 8:45 a.m. PT

Breakout Sessions

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. ET / 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. CT / 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. MT / 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Decarbonization Strategies for a Flexible Future Environmental Icon
    Public power utilities are increasingly on the hook to find cost effective means to reducing CO2 emissions. Learn how two leading public power entities have steered a path toward carbon free generation without getting locked into high-cost supply contracts. Explore the details of unique multi-utility modular nuclear projects in the West and get strategies for setting realistic goals to meet the evolving needs of the times.

    Mason Baker, General Counsel, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems; and Angela Rodriguez, Director of Climate Strategy & Sustainability, CPS Energy, San Antonio, Texas

  2. Securing the Supply: Risks and Best Practices  Grid Modernization Supply Management
    Joint session: Grid Modernization and Supply Management
    Mitigating and managing risk is increasingly critical to supply chain management. Ask the experts about your supply chain risk management challenges and how new NERC supply chain management security standards and federal R&D efforts will affect your standards and practices. 

    Shari Gribbin, Managing Partner, CNK Solutions, Washington, D.C.; and Brian Irish, Manager of Cyber Security Assurance, Salt River Project, Phoenix, Arizona

  3. Evolving Your Safety Training Safety
    Linework has evolved and your crews have adapted to new tools and structures, but chances are, your training hasn’t changed much. Hear how the experts recommend you refocus your priorities to adjust your training and work processes to promote a culture of safety at every level. Discuss how to incorporate new ideas and methods – while staying grounded in fundamentals – at this back-to-basics session.

    Mike McCleary, Manager of Member Services Development, Florida Municipal Power Agency 

  4. Planning Ahead for Distributed Energy Resources System Planning
    You’ve heard the warnings: if you don’t have a plan to manage the impending boom of customer-sited distributed energy resources, then you can expect a severe impact on your distribution system. Discover how other utilities have structured plans for managing DERs and walk through how to perform a good engineering analysis before you act. Discuss and share strategies for assessing and handling intermittent generation, operational islanding, power quality disruption, and safety and security concerns. Hear case studies of DER system integrations using Fault-Location, Isolation and Service Restoration (FLISR), Volt-Var Optimization (VVO) and Distribution System State Estimator (DSSE).

    Steve Rupp, Director of Consulting Services, and Dr. Jens Schoene, Director of Research Studies—EnerNex Corporation

  5. Industry Spotlight Session: Public Utility Asset Data: A Common Thread for Improved Maintenance, Compliance, and Reliability
    Hear about a clear approach and practical actions to make the most of utility asset data for maintenance and operations. Learn how small changes to existing processes can provide tangible benefits to stakeholders while improving maintenance effectiveness, regulatory compliance, and overall reliability. Topics include: capturing inspection and test data, ensuring good data stewardship, providing transparency into asset condition data, and making informed decisions from asset data insights.

    Come away with actions to improve your existing processes or begin a new effort to improve maintenance and reliability with better data management.

    Dennis Washburn, Principal Product Manager, Electric Grid Ecosystem, DNV GL, Corvallis, Oregon  


12:45 – 1:15 p.m. ET / 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CT / 10:45 – 11:15 a.m. MT / 9:45 – 10:15 a.m. PT

Breakout Sessions

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 ET / 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. CT / 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. MT / 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Implementing Coal Ash and Wastewater Requirements Environmental Icon
    Explore a case study that details the challenges and technology options of a public power utility seeking to implement and comply with new ELG/CCR requirements, including how the utility is navigating this evolving regulatory landscape.

    Kimberly Deschenes, Process Engineering Team Lead, AECOM, Austin, Texas

  2. Smart Utilities for a Smart Future Grid Modernization System Planning
    Joint Session: Grid Modernization and T&D/System Planning
    What makes the myriad “smart” devices (thermostats, speakers, metering, lighting, etc.) truly smart is the integration with and application of these technologies to systems and services to create efficiencies. Review the opportunities and threats from integrating smart devices and connecting to communications networks, and potential solutions to deliver new services, improve efficiency and reliability, foster economic development, and enhance the quality of life in your community.

    Tim Blodgett, President and CEO, Hometown Connections, Inc., Lakewood, Colorado; Robbie Carlson, Sales Engineer, Milsoft Utility Solutions, Abilene, Texas; Joel Eves, Power Department Director, Lehi City Power, Utah; Sean Hamilton, General Manager, Sterling Municipal Light Department, Massachusetts; Doug Westlund, Senior Vice President, AESI-US, Inc., Tucker, Georgia

  3. Safety Culture Excellence: Part 1 Safety
    This 2-part Safety Culture Excellence session is designed to ensure that all employees are familiar with the process to achieve safety excellence. Part One will focus on insights into effective safety cultures and proven safety management principles such as the six criteria for safety excellence, safety accountability, why incidents happen, and the traditional incident reaction cycle. Hear an overview of CAT’s Zero Incident Performance (ZIP) continuous safety improvement process and review a quick Safety Culture Assessment tool.

    Kevin Ellison, Senior Associate, Caterpillar Inc., Parrish, Florida 

  4. Why Can’t I Do That? Supply Management
    Get a briefing from the FBI on ethics in the workplace and how to recognize scams and other fraudulent activities. From how to spot fraudulent invoicing to removing collusion from the bidding process and preventing money laundering – learn how you can keep your supply chain from furthering nefarious activities.

    Victoria Madtson, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Indianapolis, Indiana 

  5. Industry Spotlight Session: Improving System Reliability through Holistic Planning & Data Analytics
    With increased pressure on customer rates, public power utilities are looking for ways to improve system reliability with fewer resources and smaller budgets. By leveraging data and decision analytics, utilities can confidently plan their budgets to maximize reliability improvement. 

    Review the decision framework, data analytics, and asset management tools that have been successfully used for several utilities across North America. Learn about turning a utility’s T&D data into quantifiable asset health scores, leveraging decision analytics to develop an optimized portfolio of actionable projects, understanding the business case for these projects, and geospatial visualization of the investment plan. Review recent case studies, including results used to identify optimized investment portfolios. Learn how their existing data can be utilized to understand long-term investment needs, identify actionable projects into an investment plan, and communicate the plan for both internal and external stakeholders.

    Joey Nichols, Director of Grid Modernization & Distribution Planning, and Jason De Stigter, P.E., Director of Utility Investment Planning—Burns and McDonnell


2:15 – 2:30 p.m. ET / 1:15 – 1:30 p.m. CT / 12:15 – 12:30 p.m. MT / 11:15 – 11:30 a.m. PT

Breakout Sessions

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. CT / 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. MT / 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

  1. Making Community Solar Work for Public Power Environmental Icon
    Explore the opportunities, challenges, and latest developments about community solar from the Department of Energy and from public power utilities. Dive into what factors public power utilities examined that make for a successful community solar program through a recent DEED project and learn about recent progress in APPA’s ongoing work with the national labs in solving public power community solar challenges. Share your own community solar challenges and learn how to get involved in APPA’s initiative.

    Marilyn Del Bosque Gilbert, Energy Manager, Imperial Irrigation District, California; Kyle Fricker, Technology Manager, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.; and Paul Zummo, Director of Policy Research and Analysis, APPA

  2. Grid Modernization Roundtable Grid Modernization
    Connect with other future-focused utility pros to talk about your biggest challenges and brag about your latest successes in doing your part to ready your system for the future or exchange big picture ideas for moving forward together.

  3. Safety Culture Excellence: Part 2 Safety
    This 2-part Safety Culture Excellence session is designed to ensure that all employees are familiar with the process to achieve safety excellence. Part Two will focus on the Zero Incident Performance (ZIP) process, a high-level overview of the Safety Perception Survey/assessment, applying these principles to the continuous improvement process, and identifying next steps to improving your safety culture.

    Kevin Ellison, Senior Associate, Caterpillar Inc., Parrish, Florida 

  4. Supply Management Potpourri Supply Management
    Get a series of short presentations on supply management. This rapid-fire format features panelists covering topics from pre-bids to procurement laws and making pandemic practices permanent.

  5. Make a Drone Do It System Planning
    From expediting power restoration to enhancing visual inspections and removing some risk from maintenance, drones are touted as a versatile solution for utilities. Cut through the hype and examine the pros and cons of using drones for day-to-day utility operations, directly from public power utilities that use drones for line design, maintenance, damage assessment, and issue spotting in remote areas. Also discuss how to effectively sort through data and identify priority project areas.

    Solomon Brackett, System Engineer, and Charles Collins, UAS Program Director—Troy Utilities, Alabama 

  6. Industry Spotlight Session: Getting Ahead of Distribution Problems with Grid Edge Analytics
    Without analytics, public power utilities have been blind to much of what’s happening on their distribution networks. Even with advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), a team of data scientists was required to turn power-quality data into actionable insights for improving grid reliability or business operations.

    Several utilities have used are using the insights from data analytics software to improve their overall reliability, increase customer satisfaction, save on equipment and operating costs, gain true operational awareness and reduce regulatory and hazard risks. 

    Sarah Clark, AMI Coordinator, Town of Estes Park Power & Communications, Colorado; Frank Geiger, Product Owner, SLC, DA, LM; Peter Londa, President & CEO;  Rick Szijarto, Director, Solution Marketing DA/LM —Tantalus


3:30 - 4 p.m. ET / 2:30 – 3 p.m. CT / 1:30 – 2 p.m. MT / 12:30 – 1 p.m. PT

Closing General Session

4 – 5:15 p.m. ET / 3 – 4:15 p.m. CT / 2 – 3:15 p.m. MT / 1 – 2:15 p.m. PT
Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1.25 / CPEs 1.5

Hogo Photo“Find a Way:” Fighting to Live Your Dream
Guided by his philosophy, ‘Find A Way,’ former running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears; cancer survivor; and ESPN analyst Merril Hoge will inspire you with his story of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Hoge didn’t just dream about this goal. From a young age, he found a way and took action to overcome any obstacle and attain any goal. Concussions that prematurely ended his NFL career, cancer, chemo – nothing could stop him.

Recharge your life with Hoge’s unique perspectives on the importance of uncommon behavior, commitment that separates the leader from the pack, and parenting that motivates children to overcome obstacles and take ownership of their lives.

Merril Hoge, Retired NFL Running Back and author of “Find a Way: Three Words That Changed My Life”

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Registering five or more people? Scroll down for information about our Group Registration Discounts and contact [email protected] to save. The group discount will not be applied to online registrations. 

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Group Discounts

Save money on each registration for the E&O Virtual Conference when your organization registers five or more people. The larger your group, the more you save!

Contact [email protected] for the group registration form. You must use the group registration form to receive this discount. The group discount will not be applied to online registrations. 

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(per person)

Fee (per person)

















Contact [email protected] for more information and to request the group registration form to receive this special discount.   

Cancellation, Refund, and Substitution Policy

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before Tuesday, March 16, 2021, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after March 16 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for the 2021 E&O Virtual Conference only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel on or before March 16 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund of their registration fee. 

Requests must be made in writing to: [email protected].

Code of Conduct

Attendees of American Public Power Association meetings agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If attendees engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the Code of Conduct, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings with no warning or refund.

Contact Us

[email protected]
Phone: 202-467-2978

[email protected]


[email protected]

[email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I get more information about how to participate in the virtual conference?

Registrants will receive information on how to join the virtual conference a few days before the event. If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].

What is a virtual event?

A virtual event simulates an in-person event, but involves people interacting online, rather than in a physical environment. 

APPA is committed to delivering an engaging, accessible, and inclusive platform to convene the national public power community to connect, learn, and share knowledge and solutions. Our virtual conferences allow participants to easily learn about important topics, attend informative presentations, and connect with other participants for face-to-face conversations using video chats. Registrants will receive additional information about this virtual experience as the event gets closer.

How was the registration fee for the E&O Virtual Conference determined?

The registration fee reflects the costs and value of the meeting being held. We took a number of details into consideration in calculating the fee for the virtual conference.

Some of the meeting expenses include speaker fees for the keynote speakers, the cost of the platform to deliver the event, and the costs (and staff time) of program development, as well as costs and risks associated with cancelling the in-person Engineering & Operations Conference (originally scheduled for Pasadena in 2021).

We also looked at the benefits of attending the meeting for members. The program features keynote speakers, several breakout sessions (which will be recorded so participants can view the breakout sessions they missed after the fact), and most importantly an opportunity to connect with other public power utilities, learn from their experiences and come together in this unique time.

Finally, we evaluated the fees being charged by other organizations that have converted in-person meetings to virtual meetings. As we have, many of them have reduced fees to account for saved costs, but are still charging fees to cover costs and reflect the value of the meeting being held. 

What platform will the Engineering & Operations Virtual Conference be held on?

APPA will be using Zoom for the virtual conference.

Zoom was chosen for its ease of use, great handling of video, and accessibility. Attending a Zoom meeting doesn’t require any additional software installed on the attendee’s computer – it can run completely out of a web browser. We know that many organizations limit the installation of desktop clients, so using a service that can run using a web browser makes the meeting more accessible to our members. Zoom’s ability to support multiple video feeds will also enable online networking beyond the capabilities of many other platforms.

To ensure the best experience for attendees, it is also important that our staff have experience using the platform. APPA staff have such experience with Zoom, both as attendees and administrators. Zoom has been successfully deployed for Public Power Connect Virtual Summit & Business Meeting (our largest event of the year); in addition to several other summits, classes and meetings.  Staff have also participated in a number of other virtual conferences using Zoom, including events held by the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE); Dragos; the Energy Bar Association; among others.

We are aware some organizations have cybersecurity concerns regarding this platform.

Zoom had several high-profile problems at the start of its recent rise to prominence. The company was responsive to these issues and addressed many of them. While it still may not be appropriate for hosting sensitive discussions, we do not feel Zoom presents any problems for hosting general interest discussions, like the sessions we have planned for the virtual summit.

APPA has implemented all the recommended precautions and best practices recommended to minimize the possibility of security issues, such as authenticating all participants are registered for the event, utilizing virtual waiting rooms, requiring meeting passwords, and creating unique URLs for all attendees to participate in the meeting.

What is the policy on refunds, cancellations and attendee substitutions?

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before Tuesday, March 16, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after March 16 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by March 16 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund. Cancellations must be made in writing and emailed to [email protected].

Can I earn educational credits for attending this virtual conference?

Yes, you can earn the following kinds of educational credits for attending live sessions during the conference:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

Please note that you will only be able to earn educational credits for the sessions you attend live during the virtual conference. We are not able to offer educational credits for any session recordings you watch later.

Is there international registration?

Online meeting registration is for U.S. and Canadian residents only. International registrants must provide a signed registration form — signed by the authorized cardholder — if paying with a credit card. Email the completed registration form to [email protected].  

Alternatively, you could send a check from a U.S. bank payable to American Public Power Association. Please mail completed form with full payment to our bank lock box:

American Public Power Association
P.O. Box 418617
Boston, MA  02241

Where and when is the next Engineering & Operations Technical Conference?

We’re planning the 2022 conference for Austin, Texas.

How can I present at the conference?

We welcome your topic and speaker ideas for future conferences and events. To submit your idea for consideration, complete this form. Conference topics are generally determined 6-8 months before the event is held. Ideas will be kept on file for a full year, so if the agenda for the conference has already been determined, your ideas will be considered for the next year’s event, or in case any space opens up in the current year’s program. You will be contacted only if your idea is selected for an upcoming conference.

What is the APPA Code of Conduct for meeting attendees?

Attendees of American Public Power Association meetings agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If attendees engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the Code of Conduct, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.