GridFWD 2020

From October 6 to 15, 2020, GridFWD 2020 brought together leading insights from a wide range of stakeholders to address the biggest challenges and opportunities for grid modernization in our region. This page gives you a recap of the topics and sessions.

We would like to host GridFWD 2021 next fall. We will continue to monitor progress against the COVID-19 pandemic and expect to have a clearer picture this spring. Watch for an announcement at that time. 


Power to the Community

Ensuring that the innovation on our regional grid supports the progress our communities need. Check out the agenda below, then register to choose your sessions. Our Theme and Social sessions are full, but you can attend all the featured sessions and podcast recording using the $99 general session pass.

GridFWD 2020
October 6 – 15

PDF Agenda (download) >
Promotion kit >

Through dozens of sessions conveniently scheduled over two weeks, we will explore the many changes, perspectives and solutions our regional stakeholders are pursing to support not just reliable, affordable electric service, but also the welfare of our customers, co-workers and communities. Check out the agenda, session topics and discussion leaders below, then register for GridFWD 2020 to pick the sessions to you want to attend. Click image to expand.

Featured Plenary Sessions

When you register for GridFWD 2020, you can sign up for any or all of these plenary “Thought Leadership” sessions, as well as all three Case Study sessions.

  • Opening Session featuring utility leaders from communities most impacted by the recent wildfires including EWEB, Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp.
  • Live Podcast Recording with Alice Jackson, President of Xcel Energy Colorado talking about “The Pathway to Carbon Free Electricity at Xcel Energy.
  • Deregulation Debate entitled “Rate the Debate: Does Electricity Deregulation (Restructuring) Lead to Better Community Outcomes?” pitting Mark Kolesar, former chair of the Alberta Utilities Commission, against Bruce Edelston, former vice president of energy policy, Southern Company. Andy Stone, host of the Energy Policy Now podcast and Senior Fellow, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, will moderate the exchange.
  • What FERC Order 2222 means for the industry, a fireside chat with Jon Wellinghoff, GridPolicy, Inc. and former Chairman of FERC and Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association
  • Live Podcast Recording with Paula Gold-Williams, President and CEO of CPS Energy, being interviewed by Debra Smith, CEO/General Manager of Seattle City Light on the topic “Keeping People and the Community Value at the Core.”

Themed Small Group Sessions

As a GridFWD 2020 attendee, you can also select to sign up for up to four of the themed interactive sessions on Resilient Systems, Adaptable Models and Empowered People. And come to as many of the Social sessions as you can want!

Exploring technology solutions from deeper analytics and engaging customer portals to advanced controls and integrated platforms that help deliver better value and service to the community and customers.

Session Topics

  • Framing for Resiliency: What it Looks Like to Build Stronger Systems
  • Technology as a Platform to Build Resilience
  • Expanding Energy Network Resiliency
  • E-mobility & Grid Flexibility
  • The Dynamics of Targeted Generation and Storage as New Infrastructure
  • Bringing Resilience to the Community Core

Discussion Leaders

  • Miki Avila, PG&E
  • Mike Brozek, Anterix
  • Heidi Caswell, Pacific Power
  • Eleanor Ewry, Puget Sound Energy
  • Jason Fuller, PNNL
  • Jeni Hall, ETO
  • Derek Jones, Guidhouse
  • Nate Larsen, Pacific Power
  • Jared Leader, SEPA
  • Katie Lee, EDF
  • Rao Konidena, Rakon Energy

More Discussion Leaders

  • Mark McGranaghan, EPRI
  • Don McPhail, Uplight
  • Sara Mullen, EPRI
  • Seth Mullendore, Clean Energy Group
  • Mark Paterson, Strategen
  • Sashwat Roy, Renewable Northwest
  • John Taggart, Weave Grid
  • Louis Ting, LADWP

Focused on the business model and related regulatory / policy frameworks that allow or encourage investments in the energy solutions to progress the outcomes that communities are most interested in.

Session Topics

  • Regional Market Updates and Evolution
  • Realizing the Untapped Potential of AMI
  • Creating Better Alignment For Utilities and Regulators Using the Resource Value Test
  • Addressing New Electricity Norms & Enabling A Zero-Carbon Future
  • Pathways to Dramatically Scaling Electrification

Discussion Leaders

  • Kavya Balaraman, Utility Dive
  • Giovanni Bertolino, Enel X
  • Cameron Brooks, E9
  • Tanuj Deora, Uplight
  • Therese Hampton, Public Generating Pool
  • Bryan Hannegan, Holy Cross Energy
  • Per Christian Honningsvaag, Microsoft
  • Marissa Hummon, Utilidata

More Discussion Leaders

  • Steve Kerns, Former BPA
  • Kathy Knoop, APS
  • Alex Laskey, Rewiring America
  • Carl Linvill, The Regulatory Assistance Project
  • Angela Long, Portland General Electric
  • Brian Stewart, Electrify Now
  • Mary Wiencke, PacificCorp

How individuals at our regional utilities and energy stakeholder companies can work more effectively to achieve the desired impact for customers, employees and the wider community across our region.

Session Topics

  • How Increased Grid Innovation Creates a More Equitable Future
  • Workforce Development and Diversity
  • Ensuring Flexible Demand Programs Bring Deep Customer Benefits
  • Beneficial Electrification for All

Discussion Leaders

  • Denise Abdul-Rahman, NAACP
  • Emeka Anyanwu, Seattle City Light
  • Sara Chandler, Elemental Excelerator
  • Skip Dise, Clean Power Research
  • Devin Hampton, UtilityAPI
  • Brandy Hyatt, Vote Solar
  • Laura McCarty, Flex Charging

More Discussion Leaders

  • Lisa Ann Pinkteron, Women in Cleantech and Sustainability
  • Andrea Reimer, University of British Columbia
  • Nathan Shannon, SECC
  • Debra Smith, Seattle City Light
  • Mischa Steiner, Awesense
  • Joe Tellez, Tacoma Power

Nine New Case Studies

Utilities and their partners walk through key lessons from recent projects. View the recordings here.

  • Central Hudson Gas & Electric + Sensus
  • Centrica + Amazon
  • Chelan PUD + Seeq
  • NIE Networks + Oracle
  • Pacific Power + TRC
  • Portland General Electric + PXiSE Energy
  • Puget Sound Energy + Greenlots
  • RWE + Enbala
  • SDG&E + Accenture

Informal, Themed Social Sessions

Sign up for casual conversations (and networking) around top-of-mind topics like these:

  • How progress on equity can be a driver for innovation led by Dana Clare Redden, Solar Concierge

  • Managing gigawatt scale wind to power zero-carbon data centers led by  Ralph Kappelhoff, Amazon

  • How to ensure tribes aren’t left behind in the transition to clean energy led by Elizabeth Doris, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  • How can energy policy and regulation support progress toward more equitable outcomes? led by Letha Tawney, Oregon Public Utility Commission

  • Can – or should – customer data be monetized…and if so, by whom? led by Rich Barone and Jim Harvey, TRC

  • How to stay the course in hard times led by Emeka Anyanwu, Seattle City Light

  • How can variable pricing support low income communities? led by Ahmad Faruqui, Brattle

  • Broadband as a grid reliability tool led by Mike Brozek, Anterix

  • Bridging utility DSM and distribution operations teams for DER led by Michael McMaster, APS with Tyler Rogers, Energy Hub and Tom Hines, Tierra Resource Consultants

  • What does resource adequacy mean in the NW moving forward? led by John Ollis, Northwest Power and Conservation Council

 Grid Forward Thanks All of These Generous Sponsors

For our current Supporters and Partners, this GridFWD 2020 Promotion Kit will help you spread the word about the event and your participation. Thanks again!

Please get to know our Premier Level Supporters

These organization also support GridFWD 2020.

GridFWD 2020 Media Partner

Clearing Up

Building on the Energy of GridFWD 2019

More than 400 executives and technical leaders from around the grid modernization ecosystem came together at GridFWD 2019 — a 50% increase over the prior year’s attendance. This highly diverse group included the top leadership from a dozen regional utilities, state legislative chairpeople, solution experts, municipal representatives, key media partners. GridFWD 2020 will expand on the momentum of last year’s event using a focus and virtual format that addresses today’s challenges.

Call for Topics – Closed

Our call for conference topics closed on Saturday August 15. If our conference planning team selects your topic idea, we will contact you by September 1, 2020.  Thanks for your interest.