The utilities industry gathered in San Diego last week for DISTRIBUTECH International 2023, the largest DISTRIBUTECH conference to date with more than 12,000 attendees. It was three jam-packed days of sessions and networking and the perfect way to kick off the year.
Here are four big takeaways from the event.
There was no shortage of topics to discuss
With 13 tracks and nearly 300 speakers, it was impossible to get to everything I wanted to hear throughout the conference. From distributed energy resources (DER) and grid modernization to distribution automation and security, DISTRIBUTECH covered the industry from a number of angles.
Grid modernization resonated and was a track I kept coming back to over the course of the week. It was fantastic to hear Chad Carsten from our client Evergy speak on the panel “Grid Modernization Experiences from Large and Small Utilities Across North America,” and others around real-world benefits of Advanced Distribution Management Systems (ADMS).
Sustainability was a major theme of the conference
Climate and renewable energy topics were front and center, from the electric car track to sessions that hit on renewables in microgrid standardization, using technology to cut carbon emissions, and more. But DISTRIBUTECH also worked with the San Diego Convention Center to put a number of sustainability initiatives into place during the week, from energy efficiency within the convention center to recycling and reduced printing efforts.
Some of the best discussions took place between the track sessions
Along with the content taking place throughout the day, I was lucky to participate in the Breakfast Roundtable event – where our table discussed customer engagement in outage management – and the Powered by Diversity Luncheon where the 1st Annual Powered by Diversity Award was presented to Dominion Energy and included an insightful panel discussion with DE&I leads at Dominion, Exelon, and Sempra.
These event settings led to great conversation and the chance to come away with new perspectives. I was also able to participate in larger networking events such as the ‘It’s Electric’ networking party, where I made several new industry connections.
The future of the industry was on display
The expo hall was buzzing with booths and experiences showcasing the latest technology and innovation within the utilities space. The Smart City area of the expo hall was an interactive area displaying how utilities and government brands can collaborate to be more efficient and intelligent. I participated in a virtual reality display at Accenture’s booth where they featured an experience highlighting an interactive way to learn important industry facts and trends, and then I experienced a great demo at the Itron booth on their portfolio of solutions that provide analytics and insights to improve management across utility services.
I’m sure I was in the majority that left San Diego with a wealth of new ideas and inspiration for how to innovate and evolve technology and business processes in the industry. Whether you missed the event in person, weren’t able to get to everything over the course of three days, or just are struggling to determine how to put all of this knowledge into action, reach out to schedule a conversation and we can help customize these takeaways to your business.