Electric Utility Industry Gathers at EUCG Fall Workshop to Discuss Benchmarking, Safety, Systems Reliability and Future Trends

      Electric Utility Industry Gathers at EUCG Fall Workshop to Discuss
         Benchmarking, Safety, Systems Reliability and Future Trends

PR Newswire

RESTON, Va., Nov. 8, 2012

RESTON, Va., Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Risk management, safety, support
cost analysis and systems reliability were just a few of the issues examined
by electric utility industry leaders during the EUCG Fall Conference &
Workshop in Denver.

EUCG, a global association of energy and electric utility professionals, meets
semiannually to discuss current and emerging industry issues, share best
practices and exchange data for benchmarking purposes. The association is in
its 39^th year of service to the power generation industry.

"Safety and systems reliability are two major focuses of the electric utility
industry today," remarked EUCG President George W. Sharp from AEP (NYSE: AEP).
"Our members gathered for this workshop to become better prepared to face the
challenges of the future and to make better and more informed decisions in
their roles in their organizations."

"There were a lot of synergies across multiple presentations from different
providers in this workshop that led to a common discussion thread on cost and
process definitions in the industry. The format was very informative and
encouraged open dialogue across member companies to share and analyze best
practices that have been implemented or are being planned," said David Ward,
Jr., chairman of EUCG's Nuclear Committee from Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

The workshop's opening remarks were provided by David Harkness, vice president
and chief information officer, Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL), responsible for all
information technology development, operations and governance, cyber security
functions, and the company's business continuity programs. Harkness described
Xcel Energy's business systems and its enterprise technology priorities
including modernizing the infrastructure foundation, deploying expanded mobile
functions, providing enterprise systems, data integration, and self-service
capabilities. Harkness noted that Xcel Energy's business systems principles
included thinking more strategically, maximizing outsource value, and
increasing throughput. Harkness also discussed the key inputs to an enterprise
IT plan, the information technology operating model, and the critical success
factors for IT.

Joining Harkness in the keynote welcome address was Mike Moon, senior director
of reliability risk management for the North American Electric Reliability
Corporation (NERC). Moon described NERC's statutory program areas and its
regulatory models for the electric utility industry. Moon focused his
discussion on preventing failures before they happen and "regulating" the
avoidance of failures, and on NERC's risk-based compliance monitoring and
enforcement program.

EUCG Committees held Forums to discuss current events and what the future will
bring to the utility technologies. During all of the Forums, members were
encouraged to continue to pursue EUCG's mission to support discussion and
dialogue among everyone and to continue to raise the overall performance of
electric utilities.

  oNuclear Committee: The Nuclear Committee, led by Ward of Duke Energy,
    focused on many areas, including task team reports, inventory management,
    cyber security and emergency planning, and an "open forum" addressing
    nuclear issues. Recurring themes included support cost analysis and
    knowledge transfer processes. One of the highlights of the Forum was a
    panel discussion of central versus site staffing organization models
    featuring Mike Purcell of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Glenn Inouye of
    Ontario Power Generation, and Mike Kramer of Exelon (NYSE: EXC). The panel
    provided perspectives on fleet operations for central and site
    relationships including governance, coordination, autonomy and efficiency.
  oFossil Committee: Plant safety, discovering new ways to operate at
    low-load, better cycling, and coal to gas conversion were the main issues
    of the Fossil Forum led by Fossil Chairman Ed Taylor, Ohio Valley Electric
    Company. The group had a panel discussion led by Alex Doddoli and Jason
    Gunawardena of the Salt River Project and Steve Royall of Pacific Gas &
    Electric (NYSE: PCG). In addition, a panel discussion on Lay-Up and
    Decommissioning Procedures for Coal Plants was moderated by Ed Healy of
    Southern Company. Ameren Missouri received the best performer award for
    the top performing steam plants for 2011.
  oInformation Technology (IT) Committee:  The IT Forum, chaired by Kathleen
    Heffelfinger of PPL Corp (NYSE: PPL), sponsored two sessions that were
    shared with the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) committee including an
    update on Xcel Energy's grid modernization strategy, which highlighted
    successes to date, lessons learned and next steps related to their
    SmartGridCity project in Boulder, Colo.
  oHydroelectric Committee: Hydroelectric Committee Chairman Jim Miller,
    Tennessee Valley Authority, presented the opening remarks and
    introductions for the Forum. One of the main topics was safety and
    included the safety survey results. According to Miller, "The results of
    this year's analysis indicate plant and safety performance at many of the
    member company hydroelectric plants continue to improve." Patrice Blais
    and Daniel Lanciautt of Hydro Quebec led a discussion on the capital
    improvement survey findings. Chris Utracki of Ontario Power Group and John
    Schuknect of Pacific Gas & Electric presented the results of the Leading
    Performer Analysis of 293 hydroelectric plants. Fifteen companies
    submitted this year.
  oTransmission and Distribution (T&D) Committee:  Chaired by Jesse Medlock,
    Oncor Electric, the T&D Committee had a successful meeting focusing on
    sharing best practices in the T&D area and data emphasis tailored to
    employee safety and systems reliability. In addition to the
    "SmartGridCity" presentation, T&D also joined with the IT committee for an
    informative and interactive presentation by Martin Marquardt's team from
    Tosan, Inc., on "Generations in the Workplace." Additional highlights
    included a session on drive cameras by Joe Martucci of Public Service
    Electric and Gas Co. which focused on safety and the drive cameras
    installed in its company vehicles.

During the Membership Meeting, the 2012-2014 EUCG Officers and Directors were
announced and are as follows:

  oPresident: George Sharp, AEP
  oVice President: Kathy Shirley, Tennessee Valley Authority
  oTreasurer: Evelyn Grant, Lower Colorado River Authority
  oEmerging Issues Director: Bill Bunker, Pacific Gas & Electric
  oMarketing Director: Stephen Thornton, Duke Energy
  oNuclear Committee Chair: David Ward, Jr., Duke Energy
  oHydroelectric Committee Chair: Jim Miller, Tennessee Valley Authority
  oInformation Technology Committee Chair: Kathleen Heffelfinger, PPL
    Services
  oTransmission & Distribution Committee Chair: Jesse Medlock, Oncor Electric
    Delivery
  oFossil Committee Chair: Ed Taylor, Ohio Valley Electric Corp.

The conference was held Sept. 23-26 at the Denver Marriott City Center and
attracted more than 100 electric utility professionals from various utility
technologies from all over the world. "We were all very pleased with the
educational and networking opportunities with this workshop and conference.
Our workshop theme was 'Reaching New Heights,' and our attendees are certainly
poised to reach new heights with the information and knowledge gained at the
meeting. I am extremely grateful for the commitment from all of our members
and participants," Sharp said.

The next EUCG Conference will be held in Nashville, Tenn., April 14-17, 2013,
at the Hilton Nashville Downtown. For more information, please visit the EUCG
website, www.eucg.org.

About EUCG: EUCG is a global non-profit association of energy and electric
utility professionals who discuss current and emerging industry issues, share
best practices and exchange data for benchmarking purposes. The 38-year-old
association is organized into committees that represent specific utility
functions: Fossil, Nuclear, Hydroelectric, Transmission & Distribution, and
Information Technology. Members attend semiannual workshops that focus on
strategic planning, maintenance practices, operations management, outage
management and various other aspects of the electric utility business.
Membership is open to all utility companies and professionals worldwide.
Interested parties should contact Don Kaiser, EUCG Executive Director, at
703/234-4116 or Kaiser@eucg.org.

SOURCE EUCG

Website: http://www.eucg.org
Contact: George W. Sharp, EUCG President, +1-614-552-2205, gwsharp@aep.com
 
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