PowerTest24 Wrap-Up: Five Days of Education, Inspiration, Comradery, and Gratitude!

NETA World StaffNETA News, Summer 2024 NETA News

PowerTest 2024 Opening Session — Conference Chair Ron Widup and Keynote Speaker Chris Cassidy, President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, Welcome the Record-Breaking Crowd

More than 1,000 electrical power industry professionals gathered for NETA’s PowerTest24 Conference to advance their knowledge, share insights, and engage with colleagues, and industry leaders. 

Unique to this year’s conference, NETA partnered with the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation to salute our industry’s U.S. Military Veterans and Service Members. When asked during the opening ceremonies to stand and be recognized, their numbers were impressive. Conference Chair Ron Widup expressed gratitude for their service to our country and acknowledged their invaluable contribution to our industry. 

Chris Cassidy, NASA Astronaut, Navy Seal, and President and CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, delivered the opening session keynote address. His words were inspiring, encouraging, and motivational, relating to universal challenges faced every day: self-motivation, confidence, drive, trust, and demonstrating humility. 

The NETA PowerTest conference is recognized across the electrical power industry as the premier electrical power system safety and reliability conference. It is the largest annual gathering of experts and professionals responsible for designing, installing, maintaining, and managing electrical power systems. NETA Accredited Companies, engineering firms, utilities, manufacturers, and commercial facility owners send their teams each year to train and grow their knowledge. 

PowerTest24 delivered five full days of high-powered learning from Monday, February 26 through March 1, 2024, hosted at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, in Dallas, Texas. Electrical power system experts and professionals attended nearly 40 unique training sessions, advancing their expertise, engaging with new technologies, and previewing the latest products and services utilized in the power sector. In addition, attendees caught up with friends, strengthened existing relationships, and made new connections during the many social events throughout the conference.

True to PowerTest tradition, hundreds of industry professionals returned to get the training available only at this unique educational event to grow their knowledge and take advantage of the opportunity to earn up to 4.8 Continuing Educational Credits (CEUs) or 48 Continuing Technical Development credits (CTDs). 


Each year, PowerTest is made SPECTACULAR by the NETA network of companies that volunteer their expert speakers, sponsor events, exhibit state-of-the-art products and services, and collectively contribute their creativity and knowledge to make the event educational, fun, and engaging. 

Attendees kicked up their heels and immersed themselves in an unforgettable pre-conference experience at Gilley’s in Dallas. This wasn’t your average gathering — it was a fusion of music, food, and line dancing — because learning should be as memorable as the dance moves you mastered at Gilley’s!


Monday’s 27 engaging 45-minute training sessions covered six critical areas, offering opportunities to advance knowledge and learn from industry leaders about the latest developments in the electrical testing industry. Expert presenters came from all sectors of the industry. Specific sessions focused on navigating today’s challenges and identifying tomorrow’s industry trends. Session topics included:

  • Relay
  • Electrical Safety
  • Reliability
  • Renewable Energy
  • Transformers
  • Business Management

PowerTest24 Monday Educational Sessions

The NFPA 70B Symposium drew an impressive crowd and offered an in-depth discussion on the recently ANSI-approved NFPA 70B standard. Panel members helped attendees understand the new standard’s alignment with ANSI/NETA MTS, Standard for Maintenance Testing Specifications, and NFPA 70B’s impact on the electrical testing and maintenance industry. 

The annual NETA Members and Alliance Partners luncheon brought together over 300 guests, where NETA recognized the many volunteers who make the work of the Association possible. NETA also awarded special recognition to six outstanding individuals acknowledging their contributions to NETA and the industry (see NETA Alliance Partner Recognition Award article on page 141).

In addition, Mark Lauby from North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) made a keynote special appearance and offered insights on the future power grid and strategies to meet tomorrow’s power demand. 

Mark Lauby, NERC Senior Vice President and Chief Engineer, delivered a keynote presentation on the future of the electrical power industry to NETA Members and Alliance Partners.

Every year, the New Product Forum is one of the most well-attended PowerTest events. This year, 23 companies delivered lightning-fast presentations on their latest innovations and product offerings. Presenters bring their A-game, as each only receives 2–3 minutes to highlight their product’s most important benefits and engage the audience. It’s a fun and entertaining experience that builds interest and excitement for the PowerTest Trade Show.

The hospitality suites are always one of the most popular conference events. Big Tex, friends, and colleagues joined in PowerTest24’s tribute to the Texas State Fair, held annually since 1886. Eight hospitality suite hosts provided just the right mix of entertainment and networking opportunities amidst midway games and carnival activities, traditional tasty delights, entertainment, and more.


After gathering for breakfast, Tuesday morning’s technical content included panel discussions on electrical safety, transformers, cables, and relays. Attendees had the option to participate in two sessions, but many wished they could have attended all four. Discussion, debate, and storytelling kept participants engaged and able to take away valuable information and insights they could use in their day-to-day responsibilities.  

The PowerTest24 Trade Show featured the industry’s top-tier electrical power vendors whose mission is electrical safety and reliability. Record participation, interactive activities, games, new product demonstrations, and sensational exhibits made for a high-energy atmosphere. Attendees mingled with customers, vendors, and colleagues, making this year’s expo an event to remember.=

Technical Panel Sessions — A Series of Lively Discussions on Important Issues Related to Electrical Safety, Transformers, Cables, and Relays

New this year! The PowerTalk Stage debuted at the PowerTest24 Trade Show. Presentations and panel members were future-focused on emerging technology and EV challenges. Featured topics included:

  • EV Charging and Its Impact on the Electrical Testing Industry
  • Emerging Electrical Equipment Technology Shaping the Future of the Industry
Following the PowerTest24 Trade Show, attendees came together for Tuesday evening’s PowerBash reception.

The PowerTalk Stage also provided a sneak peek at the new Electrical Power Innovations Conference (EPIC) coming October 13–15, 2024. 

Hosted by NETA, the EPIC event will return to the Hilton Anatole, Dallas, Texas. It brings together thought leaders and innovators, equipment manufacturers, engineers, utilities, investment groups, and service providers who are defining the next generation of electrical power advancements, reliability, and safety.  For more information, visit EPICPower.org.

After Tuesday’s trade show, sponsor A-Rent Test Equipment hosted an evening of rodeo-themed fun, awards, and recognitions. PowerBash is always a can’t-miss event featuring good company, food, drinks, and entertainment. The event drew over 500 guests and provided just the right atmosphere for relaxed conversation and creating deeper connections. 


Wednesday’s offsite in-depth sessions were back by popular demand. Participants toured the greater Dallas area, attended seminars, and visited the facilities of NETA Accredited Companies and Alliance Partner organizations. Session hosts and topics included: 

  • intellirent and Megger presented on Advanced Testing Applications for Oil Transformers.
  • Shermco and Protec presented on Electrical Testing and Maintenance Best Practices.
  • AVO Training Institute presented on Solar Systems Advanced Certification and Photovoltaic, NEC, and Battery Storage Safety.
  • IPS presented on NFPA 70B Standard Use in Conjunction with NETA Standards.
  • BCS Switchgear presented on Reconditioning Switchgear and Testing.
  • Group CBS presented on MAC Testing by Vacuum Interrupters’ High Voltage Test Lab.

Thursday’s on-site seminars offered eight unique In-depth technical sessions. Attendees could choose four of the eight topics to deepen their understanding and develop new skill sets. Sessions included:

  • Uncovering Hidden Faults: Advanced Techniques for Accurate and Efficient Cable Fault Locating — Jason Aaron, Megger
  • IEC 61850 Digital Substation Overview, Commissioning Techniques, and Tools — Scott Cooper, OMICRON
  • Power Monitoring — Ross Ignall, Dranetz Technologies
  • Instrument Transformer Design, Theory, and Testing — Ben Clark, RESA Power Service
  • What Can You Do and Where Should You Do It Concerning Low- and
  • Medium-Voltage Switchgear — Finley Ledbetter, Group CBS
  • Cable Fault Location Strategies for Low, Medium, and Complex Cabling Networks — Thomas Sandri, Vector Power
  • Field Testing Data Analysis Techniques for Various Substation Apparatus — Mike Anderson, Doble
  • Digital Substation LAN Design and Testing — Tim Walker, OMICRON


Friday, the final day of PowerTest24, featured Transformer Fundamentals, hosted by Doble Engineering. This interactive course combined theoretical background with practical field experience to provide engineers, managers, and technicians with detailed knowledge regarding how transformers are designed and manufactured, major transformer components, installation and commissioning, in-service and off-line electrical testing, and insulating-oil laboratory diagnostic testing. The content was geared toward engineers, managers, and technicians who work in the field. This session received one of the highest reviews from conference attendees.


PowerTest24 will be remembered for NETA’s and the National Medal of Honor Museum’s salute to the many U.S. Military personnel serving our country and our industry. It was another attendance record-breaking year offering extraordinary educational opportunities and engaging professional events.  

Attendees came from across the country and around the globe to learn and connect. As always, there were representatives from nearly all of the NETA Accredited Companies, engineering design firms, power producers, distributors, contractors, manufacturers, and commercial entities, along with hundreds of organizations that provide products and services in support of the electrical power industry — all part of the NETA network of companies. The many training sessions and special events that are always a part of PowerTest delivered opportunities for learning, advancement, networking, and laying the groundwork for future collaborations. 

PowerTest speakers are pillars of the industry and are critical to the advancement of industry knowledge. Each year, PowerTest speakers receive high praise from attendees, and NETA is grateful to them for their contributions. 

The PowerTest sponsors work with NETA to lend their creativity to create excitement and ensure that the conference experience is always an event to remember. 


Each year, attendees vote on the best presentations and speakers. This year’s top picks included:

Award: Best Business Management

Title: Available Market Study of the Electrical Testing Sector
Winner/Company: Paul Seppanen — A-Rent

Award: Best Transformer

Title: Understanding Exciting Current Test Patterns on Transformers
Winner/Company: Charles Sweetser — OMICRON Electronics Corp.

Award: Best Relay

Title: Getting the Lines Crossed: How a Three-Phase Series Fault Caused a Sequence of Relay Operations
Winner/Company: Ryan McDaniel — Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Award: Best Renewables

Title: Understanding Grid-Connected Renewables and Energy Storage Commissioning
Winner/Company: Stephen Cialdea — Sigma C Power Services LLC

Award: Best Electrical Safety

Title: What Is My Residual Risk Level?
Winner/Company: Terry Becker — TW Becker Electrical Safety Consulting Inc.

Award: Best Reliability

Title: Life Extension of Existing 15 kV GE Magnablast Switchgear Using Vacuum Circuit Breakers
Winner/Company: Albert Livshitz & Seth Kravetz — Qualus

Award: Best Overall Presentation

Title: What Is My Residual Risk Level?
Winner/Company: Terry Becker — TW Becker Electrical Safety Consulting Inc.

Terry Becker received the Best Overall Presentation Award from Ron Widup.


Most Entertaining – Saber Power

Most Hospitable – ECP Solutions

Most Technical – A-Rent

Most Visited – RESA Power

Most Innovative – IPS PowerServe

Most Appetizing – Shermco

Best In Show – Shermco 


More than 200 NETA Accredited Company representatives, Alliance Partners, and Corporate Alliance participants gathered on Sunday, February 25, for NETA’s 2024 Annual Member and Alliance Meetings. The annual meetings are held the day before PowerTest and are the traditional kickoff to the conference.

NETA Member Meeting

This gathering of representatives and technicians from NETA Accredited Companies brought reports from all sides of the association including updates on membership and strategic initiatives, a review of program plans for the coming year, and recognition of volunteers and committee chairs. 

The meeting also included the nomination and election of officers to NETA’s Board of Directors: Dan Hook (CBS Field Services), President; Chasen Tedder (Hampton Tedder Technical Services), 1st Vice President; Virginia Balitski (Magna IV Engineering), 2nd Vice President; Scott Blizard (Asplundh Electrical Testing), Secretary; and Jim Cialdea (Sigma C Power Services), Treasurer. 

NETA Member/Alliance Meeting

This year’s Member/Alliance Partner Meeting included an introduction and overview of NETA’s new Qualified Electrical Equipment Maintenance Contractor and Worker Program. (Details can be found at www.netaworld.org/qemc-qemw). NETA’s Industry Awareness and Promotions and Marketing Committee Chairs also highlighted NETA’s recent expansion of collaborative initiatives with NETA Industry and Corporate Alliance Partners as well as influential trade media partners. Participants were invited to engage with NETA in these new enterprises, working together on co-branded programs that advance the industry and their organizations. 



Save the date: Tuesday, March 11 through Saturday, March 15, 2025. Mark your calendars for next year’s largest annual gathering of electrical power and electrical testing professionals and explore 5-plus days of content tailored to the needs of the electrical power industry at PowerTest25. Learn more at

Speaker presentations are currently being accepted. Abstracts are due by the extended deadline of June 1, 2024.

  • Sponsorship opportunities are available now. 
  • Attendee registration opens August 1, 2024.