As the leading Canadian conference dedicated to discussing the future of Canada’s utilities, this event brought together leaders from across the utilities community. Some of the key topics we covered were:
These discussions have helped to advance the Canadian utilities sector. Thank you for being a part of it. We look forward to seeing you in 2017 when we will continue the conversation with the latest developments in this field.
Joel Austin is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Oncor, the sixth largest electric Transmission and Distribution Company in the United States. As head of Oncor’s Information Technology organization, Austin is responsible for strategy, information security, new systems development, production operations, inclusive of all networks and field telecommunications, and management of Oncor’s extensive sourcing relationships.
Beginning five years ago, Oncor initiated one of the most comprehensive advanced grid investment programs. As a result of this $1-billion-per-year investment program, Oncor is quickly proving itself a technology company as much as an electric utility. Austin oversees the implementation and operation of information technology platforms and communication networks, as well as management of the massive influx of data that enables the company to improve grid operation and customer interaction. He also is responsible for safeguarding Oncor’s data, ensuring that Oncor’s and its customers’ data is managed and secured in the safest way possible and meets the highest industry standards.
Under his leadership, Oncor’s grid, one of the nation’s most advanced smart grids, safely communicates billions of bits of data through a secure network while its power lines move electricity to 3.2 million homes and businesses in Texas. The data is used by Oncor to measure the amount of electricity its customers are using and is available for Oncor’s customers to monitor their electric usage through web-enabled solutions that can help them lower their electric bills. In 2012, Austin was part of the team that linked Oncor’s advanced metering system with its outage management system, allowing for wireless and automatic communication and repair of potential power issues on the grid.
He has more than 27 years of experience in the energy, finance and software industries at Informix, ENSERCH, Deloitte & Touché and the Texas Utility companies, where he has held a number of business operations, IT and leadership roles.
Austin serves on several educational and civic boards, including the Information Technology Operations Management Advisory Board at Southern Methodist University and Treasurer, and Board Member for the North Texas Business Council for the Arts.
Austin holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in business from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
Lawrence Slade is the CEO of Energy UK. Lawrence was Energy UK's first Chief Operating Officer when it was formed in 2012 and had specific responsibility for all energy supply activities including retail markets, smart metering & grids, energy efficiency and consumer engagement.
Lawrence has been involved in the energy industry since the 1990’s working in many countries building an understanding of the geopolitics of energy and how the sector is central to everyday life and thriving economies. He believes innovation can harness new sources of energy, helping generate and use energy more efficiently while ensuring our power sector is resilient as it moves to a low-carbon economy.
Lawrence ran the Energy Retail Association before Energy UK and previously ran the Society of Petroleum Engineers, expanding the society's operations in Russia, the Caspian and Africa. He was also Deputy CEO and Technical Director of the Energy Institute in London.
Peter Fraser is Vice President, Industry Operations and Performance at the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), the energy regulator in the province of Ontario, Canada. This Division focuses on the OEB’s interface with industry, including the OEB’s regulations, licensing, and the reporting, assessment and audit of utility performance.
Prior to joining the OEB in 2004, Peter worked for six years at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, France, as senior electricity policy advisor and spent nearly nine years as energy policy advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Energy. Peter holds master’s degrees in physics from Queen’s University and in environmental studies from York University and a BSc in physics from the University of Toronto.
Jim is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Entegrus Inc. and has been with Entegrus since 2001. Prior to joining Entegrus, Jim worked in leadership positions in finance and regulatory in utility companies in the gas, water, electrical and cable television sectors.
Under Jim’s leadership Entegrus has purchased and merged with 3 other Utilities in South-western Ontario which brings the total communities served to 16 and has been active in promoting large renewable projects in South Western Ontario.
Jim is active in the Ontario Energy sector as the past Chair of the Electricity Distributors Association and a participant in the Ontario Energy Board Chair’s Leadership Roundtable and Industry Advisory Steering Committee.
He has a Certified General Accountants Designation and an MBA from the University of Windsor. Jim also recently obtained the Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation from The Directors College (a joint venture of McMaster University and The Conference Board of Canada).
Carmine Marcello is the Special Advisor to the Chairman and President & CEO. Carmine previously served as the President & CEO of Hydro One Inc. (January 2013 – September 2015) and Executive Vice-President, Strategy (2010). His work to transform the business upon the de-merger of Hydro One included the development, construction and implementation of the Ontario Grid Control Centre. The Centre opened in 2004 and was a North American first, drawing together complete transmission control in a single geographic point, operating the grid for a service territory that stretches 640,000 square kilometres and reducing costs for rate payers. Carmine provided technical and business leadership that allowed for Ontario’s successful effort to shut down coal generation, introduce renewables into the grid and foster the smart grid. Carmine is the current Chair of Hydro One Brampton, guiding the organization through the merger process underway with adjacent utilities. He also serves on the board of directors for Plug’n Drive. Carmine has served as a North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Member Representatives Committee (MRC) and in 2011, was elected to the North American Transmission Forum Board of Directors for a two-year term. He is a past Chair of the Canadian Electricity Association Transmission Council. He has played prominent roles on issues such as cyber security, technology and grid security with U.S.-based North American Electricity Reliability Corporation, the Edison Electric Institute and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Carmine holds a Master of Business Administration from York University, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers.
Ray is responsible for the development and integration of Essex Power Corporation and its three subsidiaries into successful businesses: Essex Powerlines, Essex Power Services and Essex Energy He is past Chair and current board member of the Utilismart Corporation Board of Directors,. He is the previous co-chair of the Retail Settlement Code Committee, and sat on the Market Ready Task Force representing Essex Power along with a select group of other utilities that participated in Electricity Market Retail Testing for the Province of Ontario. Ray was appointed and served two terms as the Distributor Representative to the Technical Panel of the Independent Electricity System Operator (I.E.S.O.) which is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Ontario's electrical system. Ray is also a member of the Ontario Energy Board’s Forum Planning Steering Committee
Ray serves as the Chair on the board of directors of the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) for the 2015-2016 terms.. Ray represents the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) on the I.E.S.O Smart Grid Forum. Ray has been appointed to the EDA Industry Environment Council to provide feedback for Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) on emerging policy issues and draft submissions. Ray currently also serves in the role of Chair for the EDA Western District.
Ray holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Windsor, and registered with the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario in 1988. Ray has 30 years of proven experience in engineering, planning, market settlement, business integration and innovation.
Usman Syed is the Director of Conservation and Energy Efficiency at the Ontario Ministry of Energy. Usman is responsible for the implementation of the province's electricity and natural gas conservation programs and frameworks, as well as energy efficiency codes and standards. Prior to this role, he held a number of positions at the Ministry of Energy where he led a variety of key initiatives, including the province-wide implementation of smart meters and time-of-use pricing as well as the design and launch of Ontario's $50 million Smart Grid Fund.
Usman represents Ontario on various working groups and committees including the Canadian Energy Strategy Energy Efficiency working group and the federal governments Steering Committee on Energy Efficiency working group.
Prior to joining the Ministry of Energy, Usman worked as an IT consultant in the Banking and Telecom industries where he specialized in Project Management of large scale software development and IT infrastructure deployment initiatives.
Usman holds an Honours B.A. in Economics from the University of Toronto and a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation from the Project Management Institute.
Nicholas has over 23 years of experience in the electricity sector in a number of fields, from the construction and upgrade of hydroelectric and combined cycle gas generating stations, working in a number of IT and project management roles, government and regulatory affairs, internal audit as well as market and system operations. Nicholas has been with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for 16 year and in his current role as Director, Market Operations at the, Nicholas is responsible for real-time system operations, operational effectiveness and market forecasts and integration.
Nicholas has participated in a number of industry committees including being a member and past Chair of the Canadian Electricity Association’s Regulatory Development Task Group, a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) Severe Impact Resilience Task Group and NERC’s Reliability Metrics Working Group.