TUC 2024 Recap

Top Takeaways from TUC 2024: Modernizing the Grid by Harnessing the Power of Data

By Pete Londa, President & CEO, Tantalus Systems

 

The Tantalus Users Conference (TUC) took us to Fort Worth, Texas this year, where we hosted approximately 300 attendees from over 75 utilities, 14 sponsors, our Board of Directors, employees, covering research analysts and investors. In total, we welcomed a dynamic group of individuals for three days of learning, sharing and bonding.

I’ve often been asked “what is TUC?” and “why is it important?” – so let me try to not only recap the dynamic conference we hosted this year, but also provide some perspective as members of our user community contemplate attending in the future.

 

 

While TUC provides an opportunity for Tantalus to showcase our technology, recent advancements, new analytics tools, partnerships and case studies, the most important aspect of the conference, from my perspective, is the interactions between the utilities in attendance and the opportunity to learn from each other.  Collectively, TUC allows everyone in attendance to gain a broader perspective of the challenges facing the utility industry and how some of those challenges are already being addressed, either by a utility, Tantalus or one of our attending partners.

As the conference continues to evolve each year, the sharing of information, the camaraderie among attendees and the sense of community is paramount. It is extremely unique and I take great pride in knowing the hard work of our team is translating into an impactful event with an increasing number of attendees approaching me directly to share that TUC is the most important conference they attend each year.

 

 

With that in mind, here’s a summary of what we accomplished in Fort Worth – in addition to seeing the full eclipse unfold while in Texas.

 

Primary Theme of TUC 2024: Harness the Power of Data

Throughout TUC, we focused our attention on the importance of modernizing the distribution grid by harnessing the power of data from connected devices deployed in the field. Between presentations, panel discussions and conversations, we developed a broader understanding of how to leverage the data from existing infrastructure to accelerate our respective journeys towards grid modernization.

During this year’s opening session, we focused on a series of major shifts that are unfolding across the utility industry, including:

  1. Grid modernization is a necessity,
  2. Perspective must change from being device-centric to being more data-centric,
  3. The edge of the grid needs to move from the traditional meter to the smart appliances, smart circuit breakers, DER inverters and EV chargers located behind the meter, and
  4. Data interoperability across the utility is the problem that needs to be solved.

 

For the first time in our conference’s history, we were honored to include a utility state regulator as a keynote speaker. Jayapal Parakkuth, CIO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), set the stage by reiterating how these shifts in the utility industry are impacting the grid across Texas. Fast growth in energy demand, lack of visibility into what’s happening on the distribution grid and rapidly increasing complexity of consumer’s energy consumption are presenting challenges and opportunities for utilities. By harnessing the power of data, Jayapal stated that utilities could gain better insights into what’s happening on the grid, enabling them to not only prepare for severe storms but also be proactive by identifying what infrastructure needs to be upgraded and modernized to avoid outages.

 

 

In an effort to illustrate how to harness the power of data, we hosted Maestro Roger Nierenberg and 50 professional musicians from the Dallas and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras who entertained and educated us through a dynamic workshop. Maestro Roger and the musicians walked us through an enlightening exercise to better understand the importance of identifying blind spots and leveraging data (in the form of musical notes from the performance and visual cues from the musicians) to ensure the grid operates in a balanced and orchestrated manner. For those in attendance, it was a captivating and inspiring session that culminated with a live performance of Symphony #No.5 by Felix Mendelssohn.

 

 

Breakout Sessions and Panel Discussions

Attendees participated in technical sessions to learn how to deploy and use the TRUSense Gateway™ and TRUSync™ Grid Data Management, received training on applications in the TRUGrid™ Automation suite and saw how our solutions work together within the Tantalus Grid Modernization Platform™ (TGMP™). We also benefited from several great case studies presented by utilities as part of our Partners track.

We also incorporated panel discussions in the main room about electrification, grid modernization and the power of data.

 

 

I particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to moderate our first panel that included Matt Wallace of PPL Electric Utilities, Brian Chabot, formerly of Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and Andres Carvallo of CMG Consulting. It marked the first time in TUC’s history that we incorporated learnings from investor-owned utilities (IOUs) that are deploying Tantalus’ solutions. We got into the challenges and opportunities around accessing and managing data for utilities. We heard that many utilities feel that grid modernization is a huge undertaking – but by leveraging the data from sensors that are already in place, utilities are already further along than one might think. As highlighted during the panel, utilities can learn from one another – public power, electric cooperatives and IOUs too.

We also included a panel focused on demand-side flexibility and behind-the-meter capabilities that included Shawn Stover from GE Appliances, Andy Li from Savant Power, and Rick Szijarto from Tantalus.  In addition to discussing the exciting partnership between GE Appliances, Savant and Tantalus, we learned that consumers can now control the energy management of their home appliances, HVAC systems and water heaters leading to more demand unpredictability for utilities. By implementing next-generation technology to gain command and control of these new devices, utilities can implement effective programs to shift peak loads, prepare for storms and improve affordability.

 

Community Strong Award Recognition

Tantalus also proudly celebrated programs that our customers do back home in their communities. Each year at TUC, we recognize the corporate social initiatives that our customers support with our Community Strong Award. This year’s winner, People’s Energy Cooperative, received a $5,000 donation from Tantalus for their Care for Community Initiative. Though there can only be one winner, we recognize and applaud each and every one of our customers who work hard to give back to their community, including the Community Strong Award nominees for 2024:

Reconnecting with the Tantalus Community

The primary purpose of TUC is to educate, train and learn from each other – but we also enjoy reconnecting with friends and colleagues across our vibrant user community. This year, we collectively enjoyed epic eclipse viewing right in the path of totality – what a spectacle!

 

 

We coordinated with Soldiers’ Angels to assemble 450 care packages for deployed U.S. service members – a special thank you to all that came out for that effort.

We also enjoyed a festive and memorable evening at the River Ranch Stockyards replete with bull riders – both real and mechanical –, line dancing and games! It truly was rewarding to be together and meet new members of our User Community who attended their first TUC.

 

 

TUC 2025

From all of us at Tantalus, a special thank you to all the individuals who helped organize TUC, the speakers who gave us those great breakout sessions, the Board members, investors and research analysts who attended and – most of all – thank you to all the customers who not only made the time to attend but who also shared their insights and learnings with each other. That’s what makes the Tantalus community so special – the personal connections and commitment we have to helping each other adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

And now a drum roll . . .for TUC 2025 . . .

 

 

Tantalus is grateful to have had all of you at TUC 2024, and we’re excited to see you again at TUC 2025.

 

 

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