University of Texas at Austin
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McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

AEC Conference Details

The conference will be held at the AT&T Conference Center and Hotel in Austin, Texas. If you need an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact McKenzie Jackson no later than five business days prior to the event. Check out the event details below; a comprehensive list of keynote speakers, presentations, and conference sponsors is coming soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2018 >

Thursday, April 12, 2018

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Outside of Classroom 105 Registration and Breakfast

9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m.  Classroom 105

Introduction and Conference Overview
David Spence, University of Texas at Austin
9:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Classroom 105
*Coffee Break from 10:45 a.m -11:00 a.m outside of classroom 105

Panel 1 Discussion:  Information-Technology Web

12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Classroom 103

Lunch with Keynote Speaker
1:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Classroom 105
*Coffee Break from 2:45 p.m - 3:00 p.m outside of classroom 105

Panel 2 Discussion: Forecasting and Operations

4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Amphitheater Patio 


Friday, April 13

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Outside of Classroom 105 Breakfast 
9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Classroom 105
*Coffee Break from 10:00 a.m - 10:15 am. outside of classroom 105

Panel 3 Discussion: Advanced Analytics

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Classroom 103 Lunch with Keynote Speaker
1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Classroom 105
*Coffee Break from 2:00 p.m - 2:15 p.m outside of classroom 105

Panel 4 Discussion: Cybersecurity of the Grid

3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Classroom 105 Wrap Up


PANEL 1: Information-Technology Web: The ongoing electricity-information transformation involves a web of technologies all along the electricity value chain, such as advanced sensing technologies in transmission and distribution (T&D), advanced supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for transmission and, increasingly, distribution, wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) based generation, smart meters, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), and so on.  These disparate technologies are often lumped together as the “smart grid.” What important data are needed for enabling these smart grid technologies (e.g., weather forecasts for wind and solar resources) and generated by these technologies (e.g., metrics on the condition of physical infrastructure)? What demands do these shifts in what data are needed and generated make on the analytical and decision-making apparatus of the electricity industry? Where are the biggest gaps in existing practices in addressing the emerging data and analytical needs?

Moderator: David Spence

Panelists: Bert Haskell, Jamie Howard, Lynne Kiesling, Dave Tuttle

View the 2018 Panel 1 Presentations Here:
The Economics of Transactive Energy Distribution Platforms
PEV-Grid Coordination

PANEL 2: Forecasting and Operations: In the 2000s, integrating just a few percentage points of renewable generation in the mix was considered challenging, but now most ISOs have a significant portion of the mix coming from renewable generation (e.g., 54% peak instantaneous penetration in SPP on 19 March 2017 and 50% peak instantaneous penetration in ERCOT on 23 March 2017 and 15% for the energy produced in 2016 in ERCOT). What has enabled grid operations to respond and adapt to these unprecedented levels of renewable generation? How much of this change has been reliant on infrastructure investments, changes in market rules, or real-time data? How has the operational experience varied for the different ISOs, for example in terms of forecasting resources and defining, procuring, and deploying ancillary services? What are the most pressing challenges faced by ISOs in terms of data and analytics?

Moderator: Ross Baldick

Panelists: Tim Aliff, Guillermo Bautista Alderete, Beth Garza, Arne Olsin, Sandip Sharma

View the 2018 Panel 2 Presentations Here:
Panel 2 Overview
Forecasting and Operations
Forecasting and Operations II
Forecasting and Operations III
Wind Integration in ERCOT
Achieving High Renewable Penetration with Grid-Friendly Operations
Renewable Integration and Adapting to the Changing Resource Mix in ERCOT

PANEL 3: Advanced Analytics:  Application of machine learning and predictive modeling techniques to electricity data offer promising avenues for unlocking performance improvements in the electricity industry. How have utilities and third-party service companies used data and analytics to offer new or improved services, such as forecasting on the supply and demand sides, demand management/response, customer targeting/segmentation, infrastructure investments? What are the most promising algorithmic developments underlying analytical innovations in decision-making? What are the most important regulatory and policy instruments in this space? What are the main challenges to fully realizing the benefits of advanced analytics? 

Moderator: Varun Rai

Panelists: Easan Drury, David Inbar, Sudeshna Pabi, Dalia Patino Echeverri, D. Cale Reeves

View the 2018 Panel 3 Presentations Here: 
Panel 3 Overview
Precision Price/Load Forecasts for Renewables-centric Grids
Seeing much more and better: Satellite imagery and algorithms for automatic detection of power system infrastructure
Advanced Analytics: Residential Solar PV Diffusion as a Social Process
Advanced Analytics to Understand Impact of the Integrated Customer

PANEL 4: Cybersecurity: Increasing digitization of electricity operations has also heightened concerns about cybersecurity threats to the grid. What are the plausible threat scenarios, how likely are those scenarios, and how serious are the potential repercussions? What do we know from past cyberattacks both within and outside of the electricity sector? What were the objectives, modus operandi, impacts, actors, post-event actions/changes, and lessons learned from past cyberattacks on the grid? What are the biggest unknowns? What laws and policies do we have in place to prevent or mitigate cybersecurity threats? Where are the biggest policy and legal gaps? What technological, operational, and policy changes are essential to making the grid more cybersecure and what are the key barriers to adopting and implementing them?

Moderator: David Adelman

Panelists: Michael Legatt, Gus Lott, Matt Tait, Alex Athey

View the 2018 Panel 4 Presentations Here:
Panel 4 Overview
Cyber-Security Thoughts for Austin Energy Conference (A funny thing happened on the way to utopia)
Engineering Cyber Resiliency
Cyber Resilience


Conference Organizers

David Adelman
UT School of Law

Ross Baldick
Cockrell School of Engineering

Varun Rai
Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs & Cockrell School of Engineering

David Spence
Red McCombs School of Business and UT School of Law

Melinda Taylor
UT School of Law


McKenzie Jackson
McCombs Energy Initiative


Accomodations for the 2019 Conference will be announced in February 2019.


Thank You to Our Corporate Sponsors:

Oncor LogoAlfred P. Sloan Foundation Logo 

Hosted By:

Texas Law Logo Energy Institute Logo Texas McCombs Logo Kay Bailey Hutchison Logo


Conference Organizers

Headshot of David Adelman

David Adelman

UT School of Law

Headshot of Ross Baldick

Ross Baldick

Cockrell School of Engineering

Headshot Varun Rai

Varun Rai

LBJ School of Public Affairs & Cockrell School of Engineering

Headshot David Spence

David Spence

McCombs School of Business & UT School of Law

Headshot of Melinda Taylor

Melinda Taylor

UT School of Law