Date: 19 June 2015
ECNMag.com

In this blog for ECN, IEEE Smart Grid Expert Steven Collier shares his thoughts on how the Internet of Things (IoT) and the electric grid will work together. While paying homage to the current and historic electrical system, Collier explores what will make the smart grid truly "smart." Even today, the thought of IoT becoming the foundation and supporting infrastructure for the transmission and distribution of electricity seems unfathomable. However, Collier provides all the details on how these systems work together seamlessly to create a harmonious network of consumer services.

"The IoT will be the new reality of the grid," says Collier. "The electric grid will converge with the Internet."

Read more.

Date: 16 July 2015

Two New Cities Will Join Guadalajara, Mexico; Trento, Italy; and Wuxi, China

IEEE Smart Cities Initiative is inviting applications from municipalities worldwide already in the process of planning smart cities for growing urban populations. Two cities will be selected from submissions received by 14th August to receive funding and support from IEEE experts to host a workshop in their city before the end of 2015.

IEEE Smart Cities has already provided investment to three selected IEEE Core Smart Cities – Guadalajara, Mexico; Trento, Italy; Wuxi, China, which are municipalities that have successfully demonstrated plans to invest human and financial capital into their smart city project. Two additional IEEE Core Smart Cities that are able to demonstrate a comprehensive plan and funds for their smart city evolution effort to join these municipalities will be selected.

Municipalities interested in applying to become an IEEE Core Smart City and host an inaugural workshop in 2015 can download an application form here.

The deadline to submit completed applications is Friday 14th August 2015. Successful submissions will provide clear, compelling evidence that the applicant municipality is well-positioned to utilize the resources offered through the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative, that its evolution into a smart city has the potential to substantially enhance a city's capacity to act on key issues, and that the city can demonstrate plans to invest human and financial capital into the project.

Municipalities not selected in this round will be eligible to become IEEE Affiliated Smart Cities. As a member of a worldwide network of cities, IEEE Affiliated Cities receive several benefits and raise discussion on the smartification topics that are at the heart of the city’s smartification plan.

For more information on the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative, including criteria and how to apply, visit the web site at http://smartcities.ieee.org. Completed applications should be submitted via email to Harold Tepper, IEEE Smart Cities Program Director at smartcities-cfi@ieee.org by the Friday 14th August deadline.

Date: 17 June 2015
Public Utilities Fortnightly

The future of the electric grid and its growing and evolving infrastructure exists in the convergence of energy with telecommunications, transportation, Internet, and electronic commerce. In his Public Utilities Fortnightly article, IEEE Smart Grid Chair Dr. Massoud Amin examines the past, present and future of the electric grid. While a self-healing smart grid could be the answer to providing stable infrastructure, it's the efficiency of the system that is of primary benefit. Dr. Amin highlights that real-time monitoring and reaction, anticipation, and rapid isolation is at the core to detect, reduce and minimize the effects of power outages. Ultimately, a smart grid system--in Dr. Amin's assessment--can detect when people use electricity the most, study usage behaviors, and then help the entire system better manage and efficiently use electricity. Read more.

Date: 17 June 2015
Public Utilities Fortnightly

While the smart grid is a viable solution to the current issues surrounding the unreliability and inefficient electric grid, security should be at the forefront of development. "Security cannot be added as an afterthought," said Dr. Amin. "We need to start from scratch, at the very beginning." In this Public Utilities Fortnightly article, Dr. Amin offers his insights for each of the industry's top concerns: defining threats; assessing risks; regulatory impediments; consumer privacy; and price, service and value. Over time, in order to modernize the grid, investments need to be made and a systematic approach is required. Read more.

Early in June 2015, IEEE Smart Grid Chair Dr. Massoud Amin provided a state of reliability report at the FERC Reliability Technical Conference. In his statements, Dr. Amin discussed the current state of the nation's electricity system and the activities, accomplishments, and challenges ahead.

Dr. Amin's remarks included acknowledging that the industry has achieved significant milestones over the past five years, with more to come. To look ahead, he highlighted key drivers for changes in the electric power sector, which include:

  • Acceleration of efficiency (energy intensity dropping 2%/yr.);
  • Distributed generation and energy resources (DG & DERs), including energy storage & microgrids;
  • More cities interested in charting their energy future;
  • District energy systems;
  • Smart Grids;
  • Electrification of transportation;
  • New EPA regulations, such as for greenhouse gases under Section 111(d) of Clean Air Act;
  • Demand response (and 3rd-party aggregation of same);
  • Combined heat & power (CHP), plus waste heat recovery; and
  • The increasingly interstate and even trans-national nature of utilities (and contractors too, which leads to security concerns).

Read Dr. Amin's entire FERC conference keynote.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and IEEE-USA recently co-hosted a congressional staff briefing focusing on developments related to smart grid technologies. The briefing, entitled, “Grid Security and Advancements in Smart Grid Technology,” was convened in conjunction with the Congressional Reach and Development (R&D) Caucus.

The briefing included presentations from Dr. Massoud Amin, an ASME and IEEE member, the chair of IEEE Smart Grid and recognized as a smart grid expert; Dr. Damir Novosel, president-elect of the IEEE Power & Energy Society and expert on smart grid-enabled technologies; and Kerrick Johnson, VP of strategy and communications from (VELCO) Vermont Electric and member of the Gridwise Alliance. All three and others spoke about how electric utilities are utilizing smart grid technologies to reduce costs to consumers and improve the reliability and resilience of the electric grid.

The briefing was moderated by the chair of ASME’s Inter Sector Committee on Federal R&D, Tommy Gardner, and featured an introduction to smart grid issues from Veronika Rabl, chair of IEEE-USA’s Energy Policy Committee.

To view the presentations, click here.

To view IEEE-USA Insight Summary, click here.

Date: 19 May 2015
Intelligent Utility

In continuation of Intelligent Utility’s women-in-energy series, the publication interviewed Mariesa Crow, vice president of publications for the IEEE Power and Energy Society, to gain her insights into renewables, reliability and educating engineering talent for the future. The interview covers her thoughts on the challenges faced with renewables as it pertains to the smart grid and what advancements she sees transpiring in power systems over the next ten years. Mariesa Crow is a professor of electrical engineering with the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri.

Read more.

Date: 21 May 2015
Publication: Electricity Today

Electricity Today’s Editor-in-Chief connected with Doug Houseman, IEEE senior member, to discuss technologies, standards and challenges the utility industry faces moving forward. The article explores underground a variety of underground Smart Grid technologies that improve system reliability and resilience. Doug Houseman is the vice president of technical innovation at EnerNex. Read more.

Date: 18 April 2015
New York Times

The solar-rich state of Hawaii is at the forefront of a global upheaval in the power business with home solar rapidly spreading across the country. Rooftop systems now sit atop roughly 12 percent of Hawaii’s homes, according to the federal Energy Information Administration, by far the highest proportion in the nation. Dr. Massoud Amin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Minnesota and IEEE Smart Grid chairman, is quoted in the article referencing the percent growth of solar installations and what that means to the industry.

Read more.

Date: 5 May 2015
IEEE Smart Gird

The Grid 3.0 Workshop held on March 26-27, 2015 built on the success of the November 13, 2015 “Electricity Sector Issues Roundtable: Grid 3.0 and Beyond” is part of a planning process that aims to help shape the grid’s future. The Grid 3.0 activity series was organized by a partnership of several government and industry organizations, including IEEE Smart Grid. The Grid 3.0 Workshop was designed to dive in deeper into the interoperability challenges identified at the Roundtable and to work collaboratively to develop the action plans needed to overcome these challenges.

The Grid 3.0 Workshop brought together experts from a variety of stakeholders including utilities, ISOs / RTOs, regulators, federal agencies, manufacturers and researchers to key topics emerging from the Roundtable discussion, such as: Resilience; reliability (including efficiency and sustainability); emerging and evolving markets; new actors in the grid ecosystem; and the pace of technology innovation. These key topics were developed by the organizing committee, including several derived from the IEEE Smart Grid focus areas.

Some of the “common themes” that emerged from the workshop include the need for:

  • Ubiquitous, low cost, reliable, resilient communications
  • Clearly defined common and stable (control) business, data management, communications, and physical systems architecture
  • Well defined points of interoperability with built in security
  • Reference designs (e.g. microgrid systems, distributed generation support systems)
  • Regulatory jurisdictional certainty (state/feds) – also need clear metrics
  • Education of the workforce
  • Broad, equitable collaboration model

Following up on the information that came out of the workshop, the Grid 3.0 Organizing Committee will continue its work to identify the critical actions needed to realize the Grid 3.0 vision. Specifically, it will:

  • Continue to refine the common themes from the workshop
  • Develop aspirational “future statements” for each theme
  • Conduct a gap analysis of: What organizations are working in this space? What relevant work is each organization doing? What’s missing?
  • Develop Action Plans around priority gaps

Several of the gaps identified are uniquely suited to being addressed by IEEE Smart Grid and its member societies. Several IEEE PES standards activities such as IEEE 1547 and IEEE 2030 series directly address the gaps identified in architecture, interoperability, and reference designs. The Grid 3.0 Leadership Committee looks forward to working with IEEE Smart Grid and its other members to conduct the gap analysis and suggest specific work items to accelerate progress. Public discussion of Grid 3.0 is encouraged on the IEEE Smart Grid LinkedIn group.

A summary report of the Grid 3.0 Workshop may be found here.

The presentations that were made during the panel sessions can be found here.

View video recordings of several of the sessions. More videos can be found here.

Participate in the Ongoing Discussion During the Next Webinar

A webinar will be held on May 12 at 1 pm (EDT) to provide an update on the process.

Registration information can be found here.