Even that the conference is held in a relatively small city, it is the largest specialized conference in North America dedicated to the field of electric power systems protection. It is an annual event that always takes place at the same location and the same time of the year.
The 2006 Western Protective Relaying Conference was held from 17 through 19 October at the International Agricultural Trade Center (IATC) in Spokane, Washington.
The City of Spokane is home to about 200 thousand residents; with more than 400 thousand living in the metropolitan area. It is located in the heart of the Inland Northwest, close to the border of several states and Canadian provinces. Spokane serves as a shopping, entertainment, and medical hub for an area that includes Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, North Idaho, Western Montana, and southern portions of Alberta and British Columbia. The Spokane River runs through our downtown with spectacular falls on the western end of the city core.
IATC is part of the Spokane Convention Center complex and sits along the banks of the Spokane River with beautiful views of the 100-acre Riverfront Park that can be enjoyed by the participants in the conference during the coffee or lunch breaks.
The conference is hosted by Washington State University and offers the attendees the opportunity to discuss new developments or applications in the field. Papers about the application of protection technology in generation, transmission and distribution systems, and how it is used in utility and industrial facilities are presented. The conference relies on papers from utilities, manufacturers, industry, educators, and consultants to offer a well-rounded, informative program.
The conference was started more than 30 years ago by Dr. Clifford Mosher as he felt there was a need for a protective relaying conference. He has been a professor with Washington State University and started the conference with the university and is still the Chair of the conference Program Committee. So this conference has been a part of the university it's full running.
It is the largest specialized conference in North America dedicated to the field of electric power systems protection. It is an annual event that always takes place at the same location and the same time of the year.
The 2006 conference continued the trend of growing attendance and increased number of papers. For the first 29 years of its existence the conference consisted of 20 papers presented over 2 and a half days.
In 2003 the committee added 10 papers for a total of 30 papers and increased the conference length to 3 days with 490 attendees.
In 2004, 10 more papers were added making it a total of 40 papers and 8 sessions and 4 concurrent sessions were added with 510 attendees. In 2005, 55 papers were presented over 3 days in 11 sessions and 10 concurrent with 550 attendees.
From the 118 abstracts submitted for 2006 the program committee selected 50 presented over 3 days in 10 sessions, 8 of which were concurrent.
574 power system protection professionals from 28 countries participated in the conference. Representatives from more than 60 utilities and 45 manufacturers were between the attendees. They had a chance to discuss the latest hardware and software tools for protection, analysis, coordination and testing in the hospitality suites open for visitors every evening after the end of the paper presentations.
The next Western Protective Relay Conference is scheduled for 16-18 October 2007.