Top Innovators and More
Fortnightly Magazine - October 25 2021
A culture of innovation is an imperative for the utilities industry, if only because the challenges we face, from the threat of climate change to the demand for customer centricity to the complexity of today’s grid to the aging of the legacy infrastructure, and so on and so on, require continuous learning, invention, and integration.
Conversations with this year’s Extraordinarily Inspiring Innovators: Arizona Public Service’s Jim Holbrook, Miguel Bravo and Christine Helmuth, California Public Utility Commission’s Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma, Leuwam Tesfai and Forest Kaser, CenterPoint Energy’s Eric Easton and David Mercado, PPL’s Horst Lehmann and Eric Rosenberger, Southern California Gas’ Eric Coene, Matt Gregori and Ron Kent, and Xcel Energy’s Nadia El Mallakh.
Arizona Public Service
APS introduced a targeted fast-track emergency air conditioning program in 2020 to support vulnerable customers with heat relief and partnered to help provide various heat-relief assistance.
California Public Utilities Commission
The Microgrids and Resiliency Team develops and executes regulations, tariffs, and programs for microgrids to enhance resiliency of the electric grid and reduce barriers for microgrid deployment. Their work has streamlined the interconnection process to ease customer burdens for microgrid installation while maintaining the safety of customers and utility workers, and empowered local and tribal governments looking to leverage microgrids as part of their resiliency planning.
Their contributions helped PPL to use Dynamic Line Rating technology successfully to address congestion and market efficiency issues.
Southern California Gas
The Gas Research, Development, and Demonstration Program Team develops and demonstrates products and technologies that promote decarbonization across the natural gas value chain and a diversified portfolio of clean energy sources, distributed networks, tools, and applications.
During Winter Storm Uri and the power generation shortfall, the Real-Time Operations Team of 44 helped protect the Texas electric grid and prevent a statewide blackout, by complying with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’s orders to shed load. They simultaneously worked to restore electricity to customers and devise innovative ways to rotate power outages among customers.
The Electric Transportation Team works to address customer barriers to EV adoption and build out EV infrastructure. Over the last year, the team has worked to approve and implement the Colorado Transportation Electrification Plan.
PUF is excited about the Fortnightly Top Innovators 2021, because their stories are inspiring and uplifting. It's what we all need after a most trying and unusual pandemic time in our lives. It's about looking to the future and making it better.