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IEEE: The expertise to make smart grid a reality

Interview with Nicholas Abi-Samra

Nicholas (Nick) Abi-Samra of Quanta Technology recently served as both General Chair and overall Technical Program Coordinator for the successful 2012 IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting. He has more than 35 years of experience in power systems, planning, operations and maintenance.

In this interview, Nick Abi-Samra ties together three areas of power technology that will have lasting impact on the Smart Grid: Electric vehicles, utility readiness and the importance of communications technologies.

Question: Electric vehicles (EVs) and their impact on the grid seem to be something of a wild card. Has EV technology reached a point at which utilities can actually plan for the new load?

Interview with Doug Houseman

Doug Houseman's 30-year career in the power industry includes a lead role in the IEEE Power and Energy Society's Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee, helping develop the National Institute of Science and Technology's smart grid framework model and being closely involved in many U.S. and international power-related initiatives. Today, he serves as vice president for technology and innovations at EnerNex, LLC.

In this interview, Doug Houseman discusses current market conditions, challenges of grid modernization and the need to re-examine outdated power industry tenets. Houseman looks forward to results from the IEEE PES Grid Vision project and the good news about what he calls "the most reliable system in the world today."

Question: The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) stimulus-funded smart grid projects are coming to fruition, many related to interval meters and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Distribution automation is oft-cited as the next trend. What are you seeing in the market today?

Interview with Georges Simard

Georges Simard chairs the IEEE Power and Energy Society's Smart Distribution Working Group, participates in the Power and Energy Society's Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee and has been elected an IEEE senior member. After a successful career at Hydro-Quebec Distribution, he currently leads his own firm, SIMARD Smart Grid.

In this interview, Georges Simard discusses the challenges of extending intelligence into the distribution system. He also discusses the design practices, operating techniques and technologies that will produce the smart distribution system of the future.

Question: What is the IEEE Power and Energy Society's Smart Distribution Working Group (SDWG) working on?

Interview with Dick DeBlasio

Dick DeBlasio chairs the IEEE 2030 Working Group that brought together communications, information technology and power engineers in collaboration to develop the world's first system-of-systems, foundational standard created from the ground up to inform Smart Grid interconnection and interoperability. In addition to his work with IEEE 2030, Dick DeBlasio is a member of the IEEE Standards Association Board of Governors, chief engineer at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) facility of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and IEEE Smart Grid liaison to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

IEEE 2030® "IEEE Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS), End-Use Applications, and Loads" was approved and published in September 2011. In this interview, we talk to Dick DeBlasio, chair of the IEEE 2030 Working Group.

Question: Who is using IEEE 2030, and how?

Interview with Manimaran Govindarasu

Manimaran Govindarasu is a founding member and chair of the Cyber Security Task Force of the IEEE Power and Energy Systems Society's Computer and Analytical Methods (CAMS) subcommittee. He is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University.

In this interview, Manimaran Govindarasu discusses the importance of cybersecurity in today’s utility business environment. He also discusses policy and technical innovations needed in the industry to help utilities best protect the security of their Smart Grids.

Question: How do you characterize cybersecurity in the Smart Grid environment?

Interview with Andres Carvallo

Andres Carvallo, one of the early developers of the Smart Grid concept and technology, championed Austin Energy's industry-leading Smart Grid implementation from 2003–2010, and brings an unusually broad spectrum of experience to the Smart Grid dialog. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society and IEEE Power & Energy Society. Andres is also EVP and Chief Strategy Officer at Proximetry.

In this interview, Andres Carvallo outlines his vision for a fully realized Smart Grid, discusses why its importance goes beyond electric utilities, and pinpoints the major obstacles to success.

Question: You are a leading proponent of deploying the Smart Grid as an engine for economic progress in the U.S. What should our national goal be?

Interview with Nicholas Abi-Samra

Nicholas (Nick) Abi-Samra is with Accenture's Smart Grid Operations Technology practice and has more than 30 years of experience in the power system, from generation to customer systems. He is an active member of several IEEE technical committees and is the chair for the IEEE Power Electronics and Power and Energy activities in San Diego.

The 2012 Power & Energy Society General Meeting takes place July 22-26 in San Diego. This conference preview is courtesy of Nick Abi-Samra, who took on the dual challenges of serving as both General Chair and overall Technical Program Coordinator.

Question: As chair of the PES General Meeting, what did you look for in topics?

Interview with Oleg Logvinov

Oleg Logvinov is a member of the IEEE-SA Standards Board, Vice Chair of the IEEE 1901.2(TM) Working Group, and Director, Market Development, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics. He also serves as Chief Technical Officer of the HomePlug Alliance.

Oleg Logvinov discusses how the need for behavioral changes is key to Smart Grid’s success.

Question: When did you get involved with Smart Grid?

Interview with Tariq Samad

Tariq Samad is a member of the IEEE Smart Grid Steering Committee, a Fellow of the IEEE, and the former President of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He is a Corporate Fellow at Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions.

In this interview, Tariq Samad explains that many Smart Grid technologies can be employed today to substantially improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. In many cases, benefits can be realized almost immediately and a return-on-investment can be quickly achieved.

Question: What is your role as a member of the IEEE Smart Grid Steering Committee?

Interview with Jay Giri

Jay Giri has been named an IEEE Fellow in recognition of his contribution to advances in Energy Management Systems (EMS) technology.  He is also the director of Power Systems Technology and Strategic Initiatives at ALSTOM Grid.

In this interview, Jay Giri discusses recent advances in energy management technology with an emphasis on synchrophasors and their application to a range of service reliability and operating efficiency issues.

Question: The Smart Grid's value in energy conservation is well publicized but electric utilities also expect the Smart Grid to enhance service reliability. Can we look forward to the Smart Grid eliminating blackouts, for example?