Written by: Xara Gobhai

2024 Copperleaf Summit in Whistler: A Collaborative Success

This year, it was our pleasure to engage with our clients and partners in beautiful Whistler, Canada to discuss the future of Asset Investment Planning (AIP).

In addition to the beautiful view, and the local bears that some guests had the pleasure to view (from a safe distance, of course), attendees also experienced demonstrations of new solutions, met industry colleagues and nurtured existing connections, and engaged in sessions to explore new approaches to pressing challenges.

Here are some highlights this year:

Keynote Presentation and Plenaries

Keynote speaker Joe Bentley, Senior Vice President of Electric Engineering at Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), emphasized the critical role of data-driven and value-based decision making in aligning with renewable energy mandates and supporting ambitious sustainability goals. The theme of using advanced technologies and strategic investments was later echoed by Jay Castleberry, Industry Advisor at SAP, who highlighted how material sciences, cloud technologies, and the energy transition are reshaping the utility landscape.

Both sessions underscored the importance of integrating technology solutions into capital planning to stay competitive and sustainable. Our Senior Client Success Manager Bethany Pollock shared her insights on technology adoption best practices that help maximize the value of investment planning using effective staffing structures, governance models, and adherence to ISO 55000+ standards, which reinforce the necessity of a holistic, collaborative approach to AIP.

Together, these presentations painted a comprehensive picture of how forward-thinking strategies and technologies are essential for driving the world towards an efficient and sustainable future.

Product Innovations and Collaborative Partnerships

The Copperleaf Product Development team unveiled some exciting product roadmaps, and new features like interactive GIS and upcoming usages of Generative AI. After attendees got a sneak peek into the future of our solutions, they booked live demos on site to see our solutions in action. Attendees that participated in our Tenured Track used their familiarity with Copperleaf solutions in deep dives with the Product Team to elevate usage and unlock new benefits.

Our Partners Accenture, PwC, SAP, SIEMENS, Slalom, and Black & Veatch (this year’s Hospitality Sponsor) were also presenters and participants, showcasing just how their deep industry expertise and experience complements Copperleaf’s decision analytics capabilities as we help companies around the world manage risk across the asset lifecycle and make better decisions that push for innovation and excellence.

Copperleaf with one of our newest clients, Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR), who joined us at the Summit to discuss and celebrate our collaboration

Change Management and Regulatory Confidence

Enterprise-wide business transformation requires a firm hold on change management best practices. From overcoming resistance points and gaining executive sponsorship, to effective governance and storytelling, Partners PwC and Slalom demonstrated how strategic change management is possible with buy-in and understanding from the right people and teams.

Many industries face the ongoing challenge of meeting evolving regulatory requirements and demonstrating the strategic value of investment plans. It’s no wonder one of our most popular sessions this year was Black & Veatch’s presentation on recent regulatory filings where companies have used structured decision-making frameworks, to demonstrate both alignment with regulatory expectations and cost-effectiveness of investments.

Energy Transition and Climate Resilience

A major force of disruption, especially in recent years, is the energy transition. With stakeholders demanding greater environmental stewardship, customers needing affordability and reliability, and regulators requiring equitable investment plans, it’s crucial that companies have a clear understanding of the impact of their decisions.

In the climate resilience roundtable hosted by our Director of Product Marketing Damien Quentin, we talked about how companies are getting the right climate data to put into technology solutions to inform decision making. AES Corporation also covered how they’re integrating renewable energy into existing capital planning processes. To make investment decisions that will contribute effectively to a just transition and clarify decision making to regulatory bodies, companies can apply the six-step equity toolkit presented by our Senior Client Success Manager Julie Scrivner.

Case Studies and Executive Experience

Many of our clients shared their firsthand experiences with top-of-mind concerns such as system reliability, regulatory confidence, and data management. It was evident that to enhance capital planning, companies must find new ways like Intelligent Bundling to maximize asset value, increase data agility through user-friendly and customizable dashboards, and continuing to enhance system reliability, optimize grid planning and budgets, and and clearly communicate investment benefits.

We thank all client speakers, including AES Corporation, Alabama Power, Ameren Illinois, Essential Energy, National Grid, PG&E, Southern California Gas, and Southern California Edison.

The Executive Experience included a half-day discussion for our client executives about major industry disruptors, and the resulting and emerging risks and opportunities. We capped the experience with a visit to the coldest vodka tasting room in the world (-32°C/-25°F!), followed by an intimate networking dinner.

Sector Meetups and Interactive Gameplay

Attendees also had the chance to participate in smaller group discussion sessions tailored to their respective industries, so they can address unique challenges and opportunities together.

The ever-popular Optimization Game was a hands-on and interactive way to inspire friendly competition and apply learnings from the Summit. Attendees teamed up to create the best-possible capital plans under specific and changing constraints without the help of technology—which further illustrated the complexity and difficulty involved in doing so without the appropriate supports. Participants now have a fun, engaging way to socialize the concepts around value-based decision making and optimization with their teams.

Looking Ahead

Our 2024 Summit in Whistler wasn’t just about presentations and discussions—it was about building a community of like-minded professionals dedicated to advancing AIP. The insights and connections made at the summit shape our future initiatives and innovations and the momentum from these conversations continued at the 2024 Copperleaf Summit experience in Brussels.

Sincere thanks to everyone who participated and contributed to the success of the 2024 Copperleaf Summit in Whistler. We can’t wait to see you at our next event!