Plain Talks

Plain Talk About The Electric Power Industry

On-demand Plain Talks About The Electric Power Industry are available in the IEEE PES Resource Center here. These on-demand courses are free for PES members, discounted for IEEE members, and available to non-members for purchase.

PES University Plain Talk Courses: 

  • Provide an overview of the power and energy industry’s technical aspects for the novice
  • Offer insight into the demands of regulators, consumer groups, and trends that impact power systems operations
  • Are live presentations by subject matter experts over the course of three days, or online through 12, 80-minute modules

Upcoming In-Person Live Plain Talks

Want a Plain Talk at your location?  We can come to you!

Plain Talks On Demand: In-Person or Online

The Electric Power System

About this course:

  • Provides overviews of the power and energy industry’s technical aspects for power industry professionals and engineers new to the industry
  • Offers insight into the demands of regulators, consumer groups, and trends that impact power systems operations
  • Is presented live in-person taught in a classroom setting by subject matter experts and Online.

The course curriculum includes:

Day 1:  Power System Basics – Understanding How the Bulk Electric Power System Works
Day 2:  Distribution System – Delivering Power to the Customer
Day 3:  Transmission System – The Interconnected Bulk Electric System

Pricing for in-person events:

You may enroll in one, two, or all three courses. In-Person events are eligible for 0.8 CEUs per session.

One-Course Enrollment

  • Early Bird:     $715.00
  • Regular Fee: $795.00

Two-Course Enrollment

  • Early Bird:     $1,360.00
  • Regular Fee: $1,510.00

Three-Course Enrollment

  • Early Bird:     $1,935.00
  • Regular Fee: $2,150.00

What you will learn:

  • Basic understanding of concepts and equipment used in the modern power grid
  • Fundamentals of electrical generation, transmission, substations, distribution, control center operations and consumption
  • Important concepts surrounding power grid resiliency and safety
  • Knowledge of important issues facing planners and operators
  • Understanding of terminology used by technical personnel in the electric power industry
  • If you are involved in the electric power industry, you will benefit from attending this easy-to-consume course, conveniently delivered online.

Who will benefit:

  • Non-technical personnel working at electric utilities
  • Engineers and other technical personnel transitioning to the power industry
  • Sales, marketing and support personnel at power system suppliers
  • Power industry policymakers, attorneys, regulators and their staff
  • New hires at any power industry employer

*Online courses are eligible for up to 0.1 CEUs per session.

What attendees are saying about this course—read our testimonials!

“Great course! Hard to believe the amount of material we covered in one day. Instructor did a great job of simplifying complex subjects. Very knowledgeable and experienced.” – Gary Wiseman

“Instructor is a subject matter expert on a wealth of knowledge across the power industry, the players and participants. This cross knowledge application was powerful. This investment of time will enhance my productivity by reducing technical knowledge learning curve.” – Jason Parmalee, Central Hudson Electric and Gas

“The instructor did a great job relating real life experiences to the topics in the presentation keeping the audience captivated. He did an awesome job answering all questions that were posed during this session. I feel that I have a much better knowledge of the interconnected bulk electric transmission system.” – Andrew Salemo, Central Hudson Gas & Electric

Access online Plain Talks On-Demand at the PES Resource Center

Plain Talk Library Recordings Available

You can access recordings for the three tracks through the PES Resource Center: Power System Basics, Distribution System, and Transmission System. 

Electric Power System: Power System Basics

Basic understanding of concepts and equipment used in the modern power grid, Fundamentals of electrical generation, transmission, substations, distribution, control center operations and consumption, Important concepts surrounding power grid resiliency and safety, Knowledge of important issues facing planners and operators, Understanding of terminology used by technical personnel in the electric power industry, If you are involved in the electric power industry, you will benefit from attending this easy-to-consume course, conveniently delivered online.

Presenter - Steve Blume

Length - 1 hour, 3 minutes

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Basic understanding of concepts and equipment used in the modern power grid, Fundamentals of electrical generation, transmission, substations, distribution, control center operations and consumption, Important concepts surrounding power grid resiliency and safety, Knowledge of important issues facing planners and operators, Understanding of terminology used by technical personnel in the electric power industry, If you are involved in the electric power industry, you will benefit from attending this easy-to-consume course, conveniently delivered online.

Presenter - Steve Blume

Length - 1 hour, 13 minutes

Learn More >

Basic understanding of concepts and equipment used in the modern power grid, Fundamentals of electrical generation, transmission, substations, distribution, control center operations and consumption, Important concepts surrounding power grid resiliency and safety, Knowledge of important issues facing planners and operators, Understanding of terminology used by technical personnel in the electric power industry, If you are involved in the electric power industry, you will benefit from attending this easy-to-consume course, conveniently delivered online.

Presenter - Steve Blume

Length - 1 hour

Learn More >

Basic understanding of concepts and equipment used in the modern power grid, Fundamentals of electrical generation, transmission, substations, distribution, control center operations and consumption, Important concepts surrounding power grid resiliency and safety, Knowledge of important issues facing planners and operators, Understanding of terminology used by technical personnel in the electric power industry, If you are involved in the electric power industry, you will benefit from attending this easy-to-consume course, conveniently delivered online.

Presenter - Steve Blume

Length - 1 hour, 2 minutes

Learn More >

Electric Power System: Distribution System

Session 1 (of 4) discusses Overview & Terminology and Overhead & Underground. Topics covered 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. Smart grid and its impact on the distribution system are explored.

Presenter - Brent Olsen

Length - 1 hour, 30 minutes

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Session 2 (of 4) discusses Distribution Equipment and Power Quality. Topics 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. Smart grid and its impact on the distribution system are explored.

Presenter - Brent Olsen

Length - 1 hour, 30 minutes

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Session 3 (of 4) discusses Grid Transition and Planning. Topics covered 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. Smart grid and its impact on the distribution system are also explored.

Presenter - Brent Olsen

Length - 1 hour, 30 minutes

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Session 4 (of 4) discusses Operation & Maintenance, Functional Changes and Communication Systems. 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. Smart grid and its impact on the distribution system are also explored.

Presenter - Brent Olsen

Length - 1 hour, 30 minutes

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Electric Power System: Transmission System

In Part 1, the overall structure of the electric power system is discussed with emphasis on how the transmission system fits into this structure. Regulation of the U.S. electric transmission system and its development over the years is also discussed. Lastly, the evolution of the U.S. electric transmission system infrastructure from its inception to today is recounted.

Presenter - Douglas Bowman, PE

Length - 1 hour, 24 minutes

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In Part 2, the transmission system is broken down into its constituent parts, describing each structure or apparatus and its function in the overall system. Emphasis is placed on the role that transmission infrastructure plays in the overall power system picture. Design and construction of transmission lines and substations are also covered, and lastly, grounding for safety.

Presenter - Douglas Bowman, PE

Length - 1 hour, 19 minutes

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In Part 3, the transmission system's response during normal and abnormal conditions is explored, thus providing an understanding of the limits by which the system must be operated. Secondly, the method by which utilities protect the transmission system during severe disturbances is explained. Lastly, threats to the grid are discussed, along with steps to ensure grid security.

Presenter - Douglas Bowman, PE

Length - 1 hour, 21 minutes

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In Part 4, we explain the art of transmission planning (including risk-based planning) and how technologies such as wind, solar, and HVDC can change planning assumptions. The future of the grid is discussed by examining technologies on the horizon as well as their function as part of the grid.

Presenter - Douglas Bowman, PE

Length - 1 hour, 12 minutes

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