Forum 2021

Dates: June 28 and 29, 2021 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm each day

Venue: Virtual (MS Teams and

Click here to access recordings for this event.

The 2021 APIC Forum is the second forum to be held as part of the ‘Towards Future Interconnected Electric System’ project supposed by NSERC and the APIC companies (AESO, AltaLink, ATCO Electric, Enmax, Epcor, and FortisAlberta). This project involves researchers and highly qualified personnel (HQP, graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows) from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary who are working with the APIC partners on the following themes:

  • Theme 1: System Modeling and Artificial Intelligence for Power Systems
  • Theme 2: Advanced Power Electronics for the Smart Grid
  • Theme 3: Grid Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy
  • Theme 4: Safety and Security for the Smart Grid

At the Forum, presenters from the APIC companies will provide keynote talks on the new technologies being utilized in their organizations. Academic researchers and HQP from the universities of Alberta and Calgary will provide introductions and updates on their individual sub-projects within the above mentioned themes.

APIC Forum 2021 Agenda

Day 1, June 28, 2021:
TimeActivities and Speakers
1:00 – 1:10 pmOpening Remarks Kevin van Popta, APIC Board Chair
1:10 – 1:40 pmKeynote 1: Grid Transformation: Lessons from History to Imagine a Future Grid
Hamid Zareipour, University of Calgary
1:40 – 1:45 pmBreak
1:45 – 2:30 pmKeynote 2: Waterton BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) Project
Brent Smith and Keaton Wheeler, FortisAlberta
2:30 – 2:40 pmBreak
2:40 – 3:25 pm Keynote 3: Old Topic, New Problem, Future Challenge – Grounding Scheme
in DERs and Onsite generation
Changling Luo, AESO
3:30 – 4:30 pmDrop-in poster session #1

Day 2, June 29, 2021:

TimeActivities and Speakers
1:00 – 1:05 pm Welcome Remarks Kevin van Popta, APIC Board Chair
1:05 – 1:50 pm Keynote 4: Futuristic T&D UAS Applications – Definitely Not Your Grandfather’s Drones
Brian Townsend, Altalink and Patrick Arnell, Fulcrum Air
1:50 – 2:00 pmBreak
2:00 – 2:10 pmEnergy Hackathon 2021 Winning Team Presentations
2:10 – 2:55 pmKeynote 5: Fort Chipewyan Microgrid – From Planning to Execution
Hesam Yazdanpanahi and Alex Nassif, ATCO
2:55 – 3:00 pmClosing Remarks
3:00 – 4:00 pmDrop-in poster session #2

A PDF version of the Forum 2021 agenda can be downloaded here.

Speaker Bios

Keynote 1

Dr. Hamid Zareipour received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Waterloo in 2006. He is currently a Professor with the Department of Electrical and Software Engineering at the University of Calgary. Dr. Zareipour’s research focuses on the operation, planning and economics of electric energy systems in a competitive electricity market environment. In particular, he is interested in the integration of non-conventional technologies (e.g., energy storage, wind/solar power and hydrogen) into electricity markets, utility business models, and the applications of data science in electricity markets. He is the current Chair of IEEE Power and Energy Society’s Working Group on Energy Forecasting, the past Chair of IEEE Working Group on Business Models for Energy Storage, a member of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)’s Energy Storage Integration Council, and a contributor to the International Energy Agency’s Initiative on Modeling Energy Storage for Simulation Optimization of Energy Systems. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. 

Keynote 2 (FortisAlberta)

Brent Smith is a Sr Distribution Planning Engineer at FortisAlberta with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the U of Saskatchewan and an MBA from the Haskayne School of Business (U of Calgary). Brent has over 15 years of utility experience in transmission, distribution and regulatory roles while employed at Enmax, City of Lethbridge Electric Utility, City of Medicine Hat Electric Utility, and FortisAlberta. This is on top of an additional 8 years of private industry experience in the oil field and food manufacturing industries.

Keaton Wheeler is a Distribution Planning Engineer at FortisAlberta with a Bachelors degree from Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia before completing his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. Keaton has 8+ years of experience in the utilities industry with specialties in microgrids, distributed energy resources and distribution systems.

Keynote 3 (AESO)

Changling Luo joined the AESO in 2008. He has over 15 years experience in power industry. He is currently manager in Project Engineering. In the past years, he had been in technical and management positions to work in Operations including Energy Management System, System Controller training, and System restoration. He received Master of Engineering from McGill University, Master of Business Administration from University of Calgary and he is currently holding NERC Reliability Operation Certificate and Project Management Certificate. He is also a senior member of IEEE and published several journal papers.

Keynote 5 (ATCO)

Hesam Yazdanpanahi received his BSc and MSc in Electrical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Hesam also received his PhD in Energy Systems from University of Alberta in 2014. His PhD research focused on Distributer Energy Resources (DERs) and their impacts on utilities. Hesam joined ATCO in 2013 and he is currently a senior electrical design engineer with Strategic Projects team. In his current role, Hesam has been involved in several Solar PV, Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects.

Alexandre Nassif has over 19 years of engineering experience, with a background in power quality, DER interconnection, and power system protection. He is currently a Specialist Engineer at ATCO seconded to LUMA Energy, where he created the distribution line long term investment plan and is the supervising engineer of the PV Modeling and Special Studies team. He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Alberta, is a Professional Engineer licensed in the province of Alberta and a Senior Member of IEEE.

For access to APIC Forum 2020 schedule and files, click here.