Insights from our Editorial Team
Despite the huge promise that clean renewable energy presents, big challenges remain. Chief among them are the ability to deploy cutting-edge technologies that integrate energy from the sun and wind onto the electric grid. Thought leadership sponsored by Intel. (Photo by Kathleen Wolf Davis.)
Customer education, KPIs, data analytics, cyber security, all on agenda
The collaboration at Knowledge2012 covered customer service and IT topics extensively, especially in areas where the two overlap, as with mobile applications for consumers, for example. A number of small, medium and large utilities gathered to discuss smart grid customer education efforts, key performance indicators for smart grid success, social media issues, analytics, cybersecurity and even economic challenges.
Dan Hill, retired CIO of Exelon and IT chair for the conference, opened the session
Energy Central's 7th annual Knowledge Summit opened on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 with a utility panel discussion on the growing importance of consumers, the interaction of systems, and the growth of community outreach and education.
Best practices: automation, tailored conversations, improving `ease of doing business'
Energy Central's annual KITE Awards for customer service leadership go to executives at San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) and Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU). Caroline Winn at SDG&E and Monica Whiting at CSU explain their philosophies, strategies and tactics.
"Transformational journeys" in grid modernization detailed by winners
Energy Central's KITE Awards for CIO of the year go Mike Winters at Hydro One and Branndon Kelley at American Municipal Power for their leadership in transforming IT's role in their organizations as they pursue grid modernization. Both CIOs share details of their journey and the work at their respective utlities as the Knowledge2012 Summit gets underway this week in Houston.
Solid state transformers coming, but standards guide current work
Smart transformers are coming, but until then current technology and standards can handle the bi-directional flow of power between utilities and industrial customers with cogeneration or renewable, distributed energy resources.
'Smarts' overrated, some say; others envision symbiosis
Discussions about grid hardening and resiliency have gone in every direction: smarts should give way to traditional measures such as aggressive vegetation management, smart meters did play a role in post-Sandy restoration and end-users should play new roles if they expect to survive more extreme weather events. We discuss these ideas with our readers.
Sandy pushes thought leaders to write in
Readers of Intelligent Utility weighed in on the lessons, still unfolding, of Hurricane Sandy, even as a nor'easter struck the afflicted Northeast this week. Grid design, hardening, distributed generation, time, money and political will all found a place in the discussion.
A call for resiliency and evidence-based investment
Hurricane Sandy should call for evidence-based investments in hardening and resiliency, particularly where that dovetails with cyber and physical security. The performance of smart grid investments must be weighed against resources for traditional steps for hardening and resilience, including vegetation management. What works should be applied where it fits.
Association's focus remains awareness, education
Terry Jarrett, utility regulator in Missouri, also chairs the NARUC Committee on Critical Infrastructure, which plays a key role in cyber security education for regulators and their regulated utilities. Jarrett says that keeping cyber security on state regulators' minds remains a challenge.