DISTRIBUTECH Plus: Virtual connection in times of COVID


DISTRIBUTECH Plus is connecting utilities with the education they need in the time of the pandemic.

Sometime last summer it became clear to those of us at Clarion Energy who work to make DISTRIBUTECH and POWERGEN the fabulous in-person events they are that we’d have to postpone getting together face-to-face in order to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Not wanting to be away from our attendees and exhibitors for that long, we launched the Plus Series – monthly virtual events that took place for two days in September, October, November and December. We offered editorial and customer-driven sessions and built up an audience that, as of this writing, tops 3,200 people. We created a platform where attendees and exhibitors can connect, network, chat, set up meetings, and do business. Each month’s sessions fell under a specific educational theme.

The series continues in 2021. We hope you’ll check it out and watch some of the on-demand sessions and/or attend a session live.

Learn what we’ve offered and what is coming up below:

  • September 2020: We kicked off the series with sessions around The Utility of the Future, we looked at what customers want today and will want in the future, we examined The E-Mobility Revolution with a speaker from Forth Mobility. And we offered a fantastic panel discussion with the CEOs of Consumers Energy and Tri-State G&T and moderator Julia Hamm of SEPA in which the speakers discussed how they are achieving their carbon-reduction goals.
  • October 2020: This month was all about renewable energy and storage. We talked interconnection timelines and how to improve them, we looked at DERMS tools and Smart City Roadmaps.
  • November 2020: The focus here was on resiliency and sessions focused on storm resilience and disaster preparedness, vegetation management, workforce resiliency, and much more.
  • December 2020: December revealed a major cyberattack on Solar Wind’s servers, which are used by government, big tech, and many others. The AP reported that the attack was hard to detect and will be hard to undo as it had been in the works for many months, if not years. Coincidentally, DTECH+ was focused on cybersecurity and digital grids that month so our sessions were timely and well attended.
  • January 2021: Sessions in the new year covered Grid Modernisation and Energy Storage, which we felt was a great way to kick off the new year. Attendees attendance to almost 100. We talked digital transformation, Private LTE, AMI with Wi-Sun and looked at SCE’s Grid Modernisation Journey.

The remaining 5 DISTRIBUTECH+ series months (March, May, July, September, November) are set to cover the following.

  • March 2021: Digitalization and Data Analytics
  • May 2021: Distribution Automation and Outage Management
  • July 2021: EVs, Smart Cities and DERMS
  • September 2021: Resiliency and Asset Management
  • November 2021: Grid Edge and The Changing Utility Business Model

We look forward to “seeing” you online in 2021 and in-person in 2022 in Dallas, Texas!

Jennifer Runyon
Content Director – Clarion Energy.