IEEE Utah Section – 09 March 1917


Power and Energy (PES) Society

2016 Officers

PES Chair
Masood Parvania
PES Vice-Chair
Marc Bodson
PES Treasurer Marc Bodson





Please see Calendar for upcoming activities and meetings.

Utah Section special targeted email list and national PES links

– We have a special local PES email list, if you would like to be added please email Marc Bodson. This email list is sent to people interested in PES events that may not make advance notification.

PES has developed some additional resources for all PES members on social networks.


Friday, 19 February 2016

Speaker Event – Harnessing Flexible Transmission for Reliable and Economic Operation of Power Systems

Mostafa Ardakani received his Ph.D. in energy engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA in 2013. He also holds the M.S. and the B.S. degrees in electrical engineering from University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. He is currently a post-doctoral scholar at Arizona State University working on a variety of topics in power systems and electricity markets. He has experience working on an ARPA-E funded project on topology control, and an NSF/DHS funded project on cyber-physical security of the power grid.

“Harnessing Flexible Transmission for Reliable and Economic Operation of Power Systems”

The annual revenue of the US electric power industry is more than 350 billion dollars. The industry also plays a critical role in the US economy by producing a vital commodity. Therefore, the electric power system should be operated as efficiently and reliably as possible. To achieve these goals, traditionally, power system operators have dispatched generation to minimize the operating costs, ignoring the flexibility of the transmission system. Implementation of smart grid could allow operators to co-optimize flexible transmission alongside generation dispatch. Technologies that would allow such co-optimization include topology control, via transmission switching, and impedance control through variable-impedance power electronic devices. Flexible transmission provides significant power flow control, which can substantially increase the transfer capability over the existing network. This flexibility can be harnessed in various time stages, such as day-ahead and real-time markets, and for different applications, including but not limited to cost reduction and corrective adjustments in response to occurrence of contingencies. This talk will discuss the state of the art challenges of incorporating flexible transmission in power system operations and present results on a variety of large-scale systems. The results suggest that flexible transmission, as an essential ingredient of the smart grid, is a powerful solution to the challenging problems of future sustainable energy systems with high renewable penetration.


ECE Graduate Seminar

 PDF Seminar March 22 2013

March 22 – WEB 1230 – 3:05 p.m.

“Microgrid-based Power System Expansion Planning”

Microgrids generate, distribute and regulate the flow of electricity to local customers, representing a modern small-scale power system with a high degree of flexibility and efficiency in both supply and demand sectors. The integration of microgrids in distribution systems will offer a decentralized control of local resources for satisfying the network reliability and the power quality required by local loads. The high investment cost of a microgrid, however, is a major drawback to its development.

In this talk, research experiences in microgrid-based power system expansion planning will be shared. The proposed mathematical model to incorporate microgrid investments to grid-based generation and transmission expansion planning will be presented. The objective of the expansion planning problem is to minimize the total system expansion cost comprising investment and operation costs of local microgrids, the
co-optimized planning of large generating units and transmission lines, and the expected cost of unserved energy. The proposed model is decomposed into a planning problem and annual reliability subproblems to enhance the computational efficiency, and the final solution is obtained using an iterative approach. Numerical simulations demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed microgrid-based power system expansion planning and explore the economic and reliability merits of microgrid planning as compared to grid-based generation
and transmission upgrades.


“Integrating Electric Vehicles into the Power System through Vehicle-to-Grid”

March 25 – WEB 1230 – 3:00 p.m.

PDF Seminar March 25 2013

Dr. Eric Sortomme
Senior Power Systems Engineer
Alstom Grid – Seattle, Washington

As the number of electric vehicles (EVs) increases, so might the impacts on the power system performance, such as over loading, reduced efficiency, power quality, and voltage regulation particularly at the distribution level. Intelligent control of EVs charging with vehicle-to-grid (V2G), the provision of energy and ancillary services to the grid from an electric vehicle, is a possible solution to these problems. In this presentation V2G scheduling in energy markets is optimized to provide maximum benefits to the customers and the system. The algorithm accounts for distribution feeder constraints and customer driving profiles Simulations in the Texas energy market show that scheduling V2G services within a feeder constraints reduces line losses, and eliminates line overloads and voltage sags below ANSI standards. This is done while achieving significant economic benefits for customers and utilities.

Biography of Eric Sortomme
Eric Sortomme (S’08) received the B.Sc. degree magna cum laude in electrical engineering from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, in 2007 and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, in 2011. He has authored or coauthored a plethora of technical publications with a research emphasis is on smart grid technologies, including microgrids and vehicle-to-grid, and wind power integration. Dr. Sortomme is a co-recipient of the 2010 UW Department of Electrical Engineering Chair’s Award. He is currently a senior power systems engineer with Alstom Grid.

The public is invited


Plain Talk

Denver, CO

April 30 – May 2, 2013

There are also other sessions being offered throughout the US (see schedule below).

One of our missions at PES is to provide education within the marketplace to people that work with, or in, the Power Industry, but are not necessarily formally educated in this technical discipline.The “Plain Talk About the Electric Power System” series was created to meet this educational need. These courses provide insights into the concerns of engineers, the demands of regulators and consumer groups, and the factors and trends that impact the operation of today’s electric power systems. The courses are also beneficial for non-power engineers who are transitioning to the electric power industry.

I am writing to you today to invite you to share this course offering with any colleagues or business associates that you feel would benefit from this knowledge. For your convenience I have included an email draft below that you can forward. (See gift info in first paragraph!)

As you can see from the sampling of job titles that registered for the courses in 2012 the audience that is interested in gaining this knowledge is broad.

2012 Plain Talk About the Electric Power System” Course Attendees
A sampling of people that have taken the courses includes Business Systems Analysts, Marketing Professionals, Assistant Risk Managers/Project Risk Administrators, Business Development Managers/Directors, Commodity Managers, Compliance Coordinators/Engineers, Enforcement Analysts/Engineers, Industry Managers – Utilities, IT Client Service Consultants/Solution Architects, CIP Audits Managers, Engineering Smart Grid Standards Managers, Market Development and Intel Managers/Officers, Risk Managers, and Switchgear Development Engineers.


 Past Events



PDF Grad Seminar March 1 2013 (1)

Daniel Molzahn
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
March 1 – WEB 1230 – 3:05 p.m.

“Application of Semidefinite Optimization Techniques to Problems in Electric Power Systems”

The increasing interconnectedness of electric power systems provides both opportunities in improving economics and challenges to maintaining reliability. Recent advances in semidefinite optimization techniques provide promising avenues for
addressing these opportunities and challenges. The ability to obtain a globally optimal solution to semidefinite optimization problems provides an advantage over existing techniques, which are only guaranteed to find local solutions. This seminar discusses two applications of semidefinite optimization techniques to topics in electric power systems. The first application contributes to power system economics with a semidefinite relaxation of the optimal power flow problem that is capable
of providing a globally optimal system dispatch. The second application contributes to power system reliability with a sufficient condition for power flow insolvability that yields a voltage stability margin to the power flow solvability boundary.
Biography of Daniel Molzahn

Daniel Molzahn received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and the Masters of Public Affairs degree in 2008, 2010, and 2012, respectively, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is currently a candidate for the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering. His research interests are in application of optimization techniques and policy analysis to electric power systems.