IEEE PES Plain Talk About the Electric Power Industry

IEEE Power and Energy Society Plain Talk classes are designed for the non-engineer power industry professional to gain an expanded understanding of the technical aspects of the electric power industry.  In these courses,  insights into the profile of the electrical or power systems engineer will be explored – their concerns as engineers, the demands of regulators and consumer groups, and the factors and trends that impact the operation of today’s electric power systems. These webinars are also appropriate for new engineers to the industry, or for engineers in other fields who are transitioning to the electric power industry. These courses aim to increase the understanding of the electric power system by providing practical knowledge that can be utilized in your professional career.  

Meet our expert instructors here.

Early bird and group discounts apply.  The course fee includes all materials – access to the live event, electronic booklet, on-demand recording, and Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

  • Conference registration is not mandated to attend Plain Talk courses.
  • Registration will be available once the main event registration is open, scheduled for early February.

Plain Talk Registration Costs

Power System Basics – Understanding How the Bulk Electric Power System Works

Date: Tuesday, 18 July       8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Instructor: Brent Olsen

The focus of this course is to provide a fundamental foundation in electric power systems, from basic formulas to the planning, operations, and equipment involved in generating, transmitting, and distributing electric power. Basic electrical terminology will be explained in simple-to-understand language with regard to the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of power plants, substations, and transmission and distribution lines. Topics covered in the course include an introduction to the fundamentals and basic formulas of electricity as well as the equipment involved in the electric power system. An overview of generation, substations, transmission, distribution, and utilization is provided. Protection, reliable operation, and safety are among the topics covered.


Distribution System – Delivering Power to the Customer

Date: Wednesday, 19 July               8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Instructor: Douglas Houseman

The prerequisite for this course is Power System Basics or familiarity with basic formulas and power system equipment.

The focus of this course is to provide attendees with an overview of the issues associated with the planning, engineering, design, operation, and automation of electrical distribution systems. Types of distribution systems and network circuits, as well as engineering issues related to distribution systems, will be explored. New concepts in the design, challenges, and operation of the smart grid will be addressed. This course is intended for those who are not familiar with the delivery of electricity to the end user.

Topics covered in the course include an introduction to the types of distribution systems, issues associated with distribution planning such as outages and reliability, distribution engineering considerations relating to radial and secondary networks, and distribution automation. The course also provides an overview of electrical distribution operations, including the roles of utility personnel, construction and maintenance considerations, and trends in the industry. The smart grid and its impact on the distribution system will be explored.


Transmission System – The Interconnected Bulk Electric System

Date: Thursday, 20 July               8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Instructor: Douglas A. Bowman

The prerequisite for this course is Power System Basics or familiarity with basic formulas and power system equipment.

The focus of this course is to provide participants with knowledge of how electric power is transferred from generation sources to distribution systems via the interconnected electric bulk power system known as “the grid.” Basic physical laws governing the grid will be introduced, as well as the regulatory agencies involved in its governance. The great blackouts will be explored. This course is intended to increase participants’ understanding of the electric grid and how it functions in the electric power system. Topics covered in the course include an introduction to the fundamental concepts of power, energy, and power system stability as they relate to the grid. The grid is explored in terms of its interconnections, power flow, North American interconnections, and governing bodies such as NERC/ERO, ISOs, and RTOs. Reliability standards and contingency analysis are addressed. Issues related to the planning and operation of the grid, such as transmission and economic constraints, determining transmission transfer capability, and dealing with congestion are reviewed. The course also discusses the great blackouts, their root causes, and lessons learned.