PULLMAN, Wash. – This smart grid is old school: People connect face to face to transmit knowledge and generate ideas.
The Western Power Delivery Automation Conference is all about back to basics education. The focus in the papers and presentations is on practical applications, lessons learned and how to implement the latest technology in power delivery automation.
 
Because there is only one track, all attendees share and discuss the same information. Each speaker is given 45 minutes – more than other such conferences that include long breaks for perusing vendor exhibits.
 
‘Best conference in North America’
 
“I go to WPDAC to learn,” said Rick Piovesan, senior SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) technologist, strategic engineering, at AltaLink in Calgary, Alberta. “WPDAC is the best conference in North America to gain insight into current trends in electric utility automation.”
 
Washington State University’s Conference Management unit handles the Spokane, Wash., event, which ensures that education stays front and center.
 
The 2012 WPDAC will be March 27-29 at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane. Please submit abstracts by Sept. 23 to Tamara Kirk at tlkirk@wsu.edu. Registration will open in December.
 
“The WPDAC is university sponsored, highly juried and backed by WSU’s electrical engineering program,” said Kelly Newell, director of Conference Management. “The abstracts are the best of the best.”
 
Automation, security among topics
 
The conference reflects the new importance of automation issues amid the emergence of the smart grid, said Patrick Heavey, application director, automation systems, at S&C Electric Co. in Vancouver, Wash.
 
“The conference is moving to include not only substation automation,” Heavey said, “but newer applications such as feeder restoration, volt-VAR optimization, conservation voltage reduction, renewable integration, and DMS functionality.” Other hot issues in 2012 will be increasing security and digitizing substations.
 
While the 14th annual conference will include industry trends, Piovesan said, there are no real restrictions on the content of papers.
 
“This openness allows differing points of view and sufficient variety,” he said. “That results in some serendipitous knowledge transfers.”
 
Source:
Tamara Kirk, WSU Conference Management, 509-335-4248, tlkirk@wsu.edu
Media contact:
Richard H. Miller, Center for Distance and Professional Education, 509-335-5711, millerr@wsu.edu