The Western Load Research Association


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The Spring 1995 conference was held in Bend, Oregon. It was hosted by Pacific Science & Technology with Christopher Dent as host, with assistance from Tacoma Public Utilities. A wide range of topics were presented ranging from non-traditional uses of load data to discussions of the central limit theorem to end-use metering in support of load research.

A sampling of presentations: Load Research Data and Distribution Engineering, in which Thomas Noll, Idaho Power, demonstrated using load research data to support distribution transformer sizing; Jamaica's First Load Research Project - A Learning Experience, in which Steve Kearney, A&C Enercom, recounted the adventure of third world metering; Colorado Residential End-Use Metering: A Joint Project, in which Craig Williamson, Public Service Company of Colorado, Bill Switzer, Fort Collins Light & Power, and D'Arcy Swanson, Pacific Science & Technology presented lessons in mountain survival for end-use metering, and Cooking the Data, Slicing the Pie: A Discussion of Alternative Presentations of Data, in which Joe Taffe, Tacoma Public Utilities, presented stimulating ideas on recycling data to answer various questions.

The conference was highlighted by two excellent roundtable discussions on how competition will impact utility research, moderated by Craig Williamson, Public Service Company of Colorado, and on how utility researchers are being asked to do more with fewer resources to apply to the job moderated by Herb Rooney, Public Service Company of New Mexico, and a luncheon speaker, Staffan Lagergren, VetaMera of Sweden, who spoke on the deregulation of the Swedish electric utility industry. A hayride and bonfire with cowboy stories and songs gave the conference a truly western flavor.

The Fall 1995 Conference was held in Tucson, Arizona, at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. It was hosted by Tucson Electric Power Company, with Ned Cullen as member host.

The Future of Load Research was the theme of a luncheon talk by Gary Huff, Southern Company Services, followed by a lively roundtable discussion on Your Future of Load Research, moderated by Joe Taffe, Tacoma Public Utilities. Other presentations addressed this same theme: Why Competitive Utility Markets Will Require Load Research and Other Real Live Field Data Collection, by Scott Fletcher, Florida Power and Light, and Robert Uhlaner, Quantum Consulting; and Positioning Load Research for a Competitive Environment, by Joe Hayek, TASC.

A second theme of the conference was developing and using end-use data. Roger Wright, RLW Analytics, presented Cost Effective Methods of Data Collection: Developing Commercial End Use Profiles Using DOE-2 and CEED Data. Claude Davis Idaho Power, spoke about an Impact Evaluation of Idaho Power's Partners in Industrial Efficiency Program.

Cary Neal (Arizona Electric Power Cooperative) and Tom Taylor, Taylor Engineering, presented Practical Challenges in a Theoretical Environment-doing load research data analyses with less than perfect data.

A vendor hour the first evening allowed attendees to "test-drive" hardware and software and gave them the opportunity to talk with vendors about their products and services. The group dinner, held at The Last Territory Steakhouse and Music Hall, allowed members to interact in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

At the business meeting, members decided to: stagger the terms of the two co-chairs so as to provide continuity, but with an influx of fresh ideas annually; continue with two meetings per year; make the Vendors' Hour a formal part of every meeting; not set a theme for the meetings; and provide more time for roundtable discussions.

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