Avista Utilities’ Don Kopczynski to explore the advantages of the smart grid at upcoming Seattle conference


A collaborative smart grid initiative is being undertaken between Avista Corp. and a research team from Washington State University (WSU), called “GridStat”. The interest in communication between power system operators came to the fore following the August 2003 power outage that hit the East Coast of the United States. And although utilities in the West are more interconnected, there is still a nationwide issue of guarding against such outages.

Don Kopczynski currently serves as vice president for Avista Corporation and vice president of transmission and distribution operations for Avista Utilities. A 25-year veteran, Don most recently served as general manager of energy delivery for Avista Utilities. In his present role he is responsible for all aspects of energy delivery for Avista Utilities’ 325,000 electric and 300,000 natural gas customers.

Kopczynski, a Cottonwood, Idaho, native, began his career with Avista in 1979 as an electrical engineer and has served in a variety of management positions throughout the company. His experience includes leadership roles within Avista subsidiaries, where he served as president of Avista Fiber and director of engineering at Avista Labs, now ReliOn.

He is a graduate of the University of Idaho, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. In addition, he earned a master’s degree in business management from Washington State University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University.

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides electric and natural gas service to customers in four western states. Avista’s non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage and Avista Energy.

Smart Metering West Coast 2008 will take place from August 18-19, in Seattle, WA.

Topic highlights for Smart Metering West Coast 2008 will include:

  • Reviewing the policy, regulatory, technology and commercial drivers for smart metering
  • Realizing smart grid and smart meter communication options and strategic integration issues
  • Investigating the strategies, standards and systems behind smart meter data management
  • Assessing smart pricing options, and exploring the role of advanced metering in the evolution to an intelligent grid.

For more information or to submit your abstract, please contact Ryan Matthews ryan.matthews@spintelligent.com