Top 10, er, 11

Top 11 knowledge centers for gaining smarts

Published In: Intelligent Utility Magazine March/April 2010

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If we 're going to make grids and utilities smarter , we have to get the knowledge from somewhere on how to do that. Therefore, it is important to take a closer look at the places out there to soak up that knowledge. So to help you quench your thirst, last year we developed a list of the top 10 knowledge centers in the smart grid and the intelligent utility. To improve the list (and in the spirit of Spinal Tap), we are taking it up a notch this year and looking at the top 11 knowledge centers. We whittled down a list of more than 30 organizations-from those that exclusively cover smart grid to those that cover smart grid as part of a larger organization-to arrive at the organizations that excel at delivering information about and building camaraderie around smart grid and intelligent utility. We rated each knowledge center on four factors:

  • Events, including their scope and frequency
  • Research, from thought leadership pieces to white papers
  • Members, particularly the number of members
  • News activity, including number of ''smart'' press releases

 

Based on our research, topping the list again this year is the GridWise Alliance. With its diverse membership- from utilities to vendors to influencing organizations, in particular universities-and all-inclusive resources (such as a list of all the smart grid events out there, not just their own), GridWise Alliance truly draws from all parts of the smart grid world. The Alliance also supports the Smart Grid Policy Center, which actively educates stakeholders about the smart grid. An interesting twist for this year, however, is that the Alliance is splitting off from the popular GridWeek event. The Alliance is now running its own event, the GridWise Global Forum, from September 21 to 23, 2010, in Washington, D.C. GridWeek will continue on without the Alliance.

GridWise Alliance is certainly a smart grid-focused organization, but this year's ranking saw the rise of two larger organizations that focus on more than just smart grid (see sidebar)- IEEE and United Telecom Council (UTC). Both groups have effectively developed a smart grid focus in their organizations. Second on our list is IEEE with its comprehensive smart grid Web portal, publications such as IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, and education programs.

Likewise, UTC, an organization focused on utility communications, is taking up a smart grid focus. In addition to webcasts and events focused on the smart grid and its supporting communications, UTC launched the Smart Networks Council, which focuses on:

  • Helping people select and maximize advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and demand response systems.
  • Ensuring the most favorable regulations for utilities deploying AMI and distribution automation applications.
  • Coordinating standards activities to support interoperability for AMI and demand response systems.

 

UTC is also partnering with Clasma Events on the GridWeek event, which will help expand UTC's coverage of the smart grid space.

Two accreditation organizations also made the list: the ZigBee Alliance, which appeared on the list last year, and the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. Both organizations have strong memberships that go well beyond the utility industry, but have a wealth of published references and an active involvement in the smart grid space. They will likely become increasingly important as the utility industry continues to focus more and more on end user technologies, which is a focus for both of these groups.

Overall this year, we didn't see many new organizations form to fulfill smart grid and intelligent utility knowledge needs. The top 11 list consists primarily of organizations that already served areas beyond smart grid, with the exception of the GridWise Alliance and the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition. It looks like existing, established organizations are stepping up to the plate, er, glass to help quench the industry's thirst for knowledge.

 
EVENTS
RESEARCH
MEMBERS
NEWS ACTIVITY
GridWise Alliance
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IEEE
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ZigBee Alliance
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United Telecom Council
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National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
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Advanced Power & Electricity Research Center
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HomePlug Powerline Alliance
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National Association of Regulatory Commissioners
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Peak Load Management Alliance
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Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition (DRSG)
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Edison Electric Institute
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Scaling system: ••••• = excellent ••• = average • = not available
Source: Energy Central

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