The 2020 Utility Working Conference Virtual Summit promises to be a valuable experience for all attendees—and may exceed previous in-person UWC meetings in some ways.
“This program overall is the most aggressive and complex that we have ever put together,” said Vince Gilbert, this year’s technical program chair, who has been actively involved with the UWC since 1998.
The normally three-day event is being shortened to a one-day online meeting—August 11—due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Don't miss out on this unique event. Register now for the virtual summit.
Can't participate live? No problem, you can access all of the sessions afterward on demand at your convenience.
What’s on tap: With the theme “It’s Go Time: Creating Momentum Toward Transformational Change,” the 26th annual UWC features an opening plenary session, along with 26 educational sessions broken into three blocks.
UWC General Chair Daniel Churchman calls the opening plenary session “must-see TV” because of the array of speakers and topics involved. “The session will focus on ‘Driving Transformational Change,’ and we will have an opportunity to learn from the experiences of three utilities, INPO, and the NRC,” Churchman said.
The presenters will be:
Christopher T. Hanson, commissioner, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Jeff Place, executive vice president of industry strategy, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations
Tim O'Connor, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, Xcel Energy
Maria Lacal, chief nuclear officer, Arizona Public Service Company
Scot Greenlee, senior vice president for engineering and technical support, Exelon
The show must go on: Despite the challenges inherent in turning a three-day, in-person event into a one-day virtual one, the organizers have put together a robust program. The event may even exceed past UWC meetings in attendance.
“Some advantages of the online meeting include reduced average participation cost, the recording of all meeting sessions, online notes being taken by our knowledge managers, and improved availability of our speakers,” said Gilbert, of Model Performance LLC. Gilbert pointed out that the UWC has been a valuable venue for the exchange of technical and work practices since the mid-1990s. This year will be no different.
“UWC has always been a problem-solving platform for industry improvement,” he said. “UWC was an active contributor to the overall capacity factor improvement results and development of standard fleet processes between 1998 and 2005. Since that time, UWC has also explored new and emerging issues post-9/11 and post-Fukushima. It has also explored performance and cost challenges brought on by renewable energy subsidies and lower natural gas prices.”
Churchman added: “The theme this year is highly relevant to the industry. Our industry needs to undertake transformational change in all areas to continue to provide clean, safe, reliable energy.”