Lecture: April 14, 2015


Emerging Electricity Distribution Grid Technologies

James Bullock, Pacific Gas and Electric Company


Jim Bullock is a Principal in the Emerging Grid Technologies group at Pacific Gas and Electric, where he leads assessment and development of new electric distribution operations technology. Jim began working with PG&Es Customer Energy Solutions team in 2012, focusing on energy efficiency technologies and core products. During his time with CES, he oversaw more than 15 emerging technology studies across various market verticals. Jim joined Electric Distribution Operations in 2013 and has been actively involved with multiple technology pilots, including volt-var optimization (VVO), fault location, and situational intelligence. Prior to joining PG&E, Jim worked on several large engineering projects including the design/build of a 550MW combined cycle power plant for Sempra Energy, new light rail system design/build for the Phoenix Valley Metro, as well as various control system upgrades for Chevron, LADWP, and AES. He has a BS in Engineering from Clarkson University and an MBA from the University of Washington.


As the electric grid grows increasingly complex, situational intelligence has become an important aspect of operations. Currently, utility operators have limited access to tools that provide near real-time awareness on key data sources such as circuit loading, weather and fire, crew locations, and distributed energy resources. Distribution Operators must access a variety of internal and external applications and data sources to assess grid dynamics. The Grid Operations Situational Intelligence (GOSI) project focuses on providing end-users with a platform that enables improved real-time operational decisions in a critical operating environment. The platform aggregates multiple data sources into one application, and provides a visualization layer and dashboards across workstations, desktop computers, and digital wall-maps. As part of this project, PG&E is evaluating use cases that leverage existing grid data as well as providing a conduit for future grid data. Visualization and advanced analytics models are a core component of the platform and will be employed to optimize and improve decision making.

Lecture Notes

Presentation on Emerging Grid Technologies for Distribution Systems Operations by Jim Bullock (pdf)