After months of planning, the power industry will soon reconvene at POWERGEN International in New Orleans.

There will be much to discuss this year as the event kicks off in less than two weeks. The power sector continues to evolve at a frenetic pace to meet decarbonization goals and increasing demands for electrification. The industry will need to navigate new policies and leverage emerging technologies while maintaining resource adequacy and reliability.

The destination is 2050, but how do we get there?

POWERGEN’s technical conference program guides the conversation for how we navigate the issues of today and offers a way forward. The jam-packed program features presentations highlighting case studies, new breakthroughs and leading insights relevant to the power and utility industries.

As we begin counting down the days until the event, here are five educational sessions we’re looking forward to at this year’s show. And when you’re finished reading, go to the POWERGEN website to learn about all of our educational sessions and register here.

1. So you’ve won a hydrogen hub award – what’s next?

Jan 25, 2024 | 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

In October the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) named seven regional clean hydrogen hubs expected to receive $7 billion in federal funding, a long-awaited announcement for an initiative aimed at scaling up clean hydrogen production, storage, delivery, and consumption. The awardees are now going through a negotiation process to obtain a commitment from DOE.

This dynamic panel will feature representatives from multiple selected hydrogen hubs, including the Appalachian Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) and the Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub (HyVelocity H2Hub). Speakers will share their projects’ concepts for hydrogen production and end-use, insights from experience working with DOE and other lessons learned. There will be a moderated Q&A following the presentations, and the audience will have time to ask questions of their own. 

Make sure you stick around until the final day of POWERGEN for this panel. It will be well worth the wait.

2. Utility perspective on near-term nuclear projects

Jan 24, 2024 | 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM

Advanced nuclear reactors are not the nuclear tech of our grandparents’ generation.

Small modular reactors and microreactors offer the promise of lower costs and faster build times than large, conventional reactors, yet this promise of simplicity and standardization has yet to be tested. Large utilities will be expected to help usher these projects in.

Executives from utilities including Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Duke Energy will come together in this engaging panel to discuss their preparation for future nuclear generation deployment, the challenges they are facing and who they’re looking for in a nuclear project partner. 

RELATED: Duke Energy proposes site for new nuclear in North Carolina

3. Complications with cycling HRSGs

Jan 24, 2024 | 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM

Cycling a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) is not new, but with the increase in renewable energy sources, these plants seem to be cycling harder than ever.  

A cycling plant makes it difficult to maintain the cycle chemistry and instrumentation, minimize the potential for deposition, and differentiate between mechanical and chemical issues. Furthermore, layup of HRSGs during downtime seems to be the root cause of many failures. Because some issues are chemistry-related and others are mechanical in nature, a water treater must understand both, and be able to perform effective root cause analyses to provide solutions.  

This presentation will cover recent case studies of problems and solutions related to cycle-water chemistry in cycling HRSGs.

4. ISO Trio: The future of storage with America’s 3 most dynamic grid operators

Jan 23, 2024 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The electric power sector is deploying a variety of energy storage options that range in terms of duration and technology. U.S. battery storage capacity is especially growing and could nearly double in 2024. But the need for storage can look very different, depending on who you ask.

In this panel, we’ll sit down with three grid operators – CAISO, ERCOT, and NYISO – to discuss how they are shaping the role of energy storage in their regions.

5. Tackling new regulatory changes at the technology level

Jan 25, 2024 | 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Regulations. Technology. Supply chain constraints. The last year has brought changes from a regulatory perspective for air, water, and solid waste from power generation facilities.  

This panel will discuss some of those regulations and their impacts at the plant level. It will also provide background and insight into the technologies that may play a role in meeting these new requirements.

Of course we could not talk about POWERGEN’s technical conference program without plugging our two mega sessions, which are 90-minute, high-level industry panels with thought leaders who dive deep into the most relevant topics related to the power sector. These mega sessions are open to all attendees. Learn more about those sessions here.

This post appeared first on Power Engineering.