Virtual Summit for the Smart Grid

The Smart Grid Virtual Summit on June 29 and 30, 2011 is expected to be an eye opener with top industry players sharing their expertise. It is an online conference via Cisco’s Webex platform, which makes it a fantastic way to listen to experts, interact with other attendees, all from the comfort of your home or office. No need to spend money and time traveling and staying in a hotel!

Sessions include: The Business of the Smart Grid, Plug-In Electric Vehicles, Strategies for Architecting the Smart Grid, Network Monitoring and Demand Response, Communication Networks for the Smart Grid, Bringing HAN / CEM Into the Smart Grid Equation and Smart Grid Security.  I will be participating in the last Stream 7 panel which will focus on smart grid security.  With recent news on cyber security breaches it is expected to be quite a discussion. Following is an outline of the people and the subjects covered in this two day online conference.

Where is the money?

The conference will start with the bang for the buck for both the utility business supplier and the utility consumer. Eric Nelson, Managing Principal, Synaptitude Consulting will begin by discuss how protecting revenue in the old manner — merely reporting on credit and collections, energy fraud, and energy theft — is no longer adequate. Utility organizations lose 2% to 5% of their revenue from preventable operational losses. Matt Dinsmore, Director of Smart Grid and Clean Tech Practice, Altman Vilandrie & Company takes on the key subject of how the right pricing model will be critical in the successful outcome of the demand response market.  And what about the customer? A session lead by Ogi Kavazovic, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, OPOWER will help educate smart grid leaders on how to design smart meter programs that people want to have in their homes. The smart grid has received a bad rap for being advantageous to the power companies and maybe not so much for the users. This session will focus on the win/win for both by reviewing lessons learned and success stories from previous smart meter deployments.

I’ll have 1.5 Kilowatts of regular

With approximately 1 million PEVs forecast in the US by 2015, PEV smart charging and vehicle to grid (V2G) have been described by experts as the ‘killer apps’ of the smart grid. So how and where are we going to going to charge up? Greg Haddow, Clean Transportation Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric Company will be presenting a real world case study from San Diego Gas & Electric Company on the realities of the electric car and the charging infrastructure that will support it. Ignacio Contreras, Manager, Machine-to-Machine Communications, Qualcomm will discuss how cellular networks and other communication technologies enable smart grid applications, particularly smart charging of Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEVs) and their integration with renewable energy sources. Dr. Lothar Stoll, Smart Grid Solutions, Nokia Siemens Networks and Jussi Palola, Head of Corporate R&D, Helsingin Energia / Helsinki Energy will be teaming up on discussing the benefits of E-Mobility. E-mobility is fast becoming real, and a multitude of market players expect benefits.

What the smart grid could do if it had eyes

We are just beginning to scratch the surface in sensing and monitoring applications that will be offered by the smart grid. These applications will include leveraging real-time monitoring, control, and health management systems to improve grid reliability and efficiency; using digital data from sensors and substation Intelligent electronic devices to continuously monitor system performance; using real-time information so that utility control center operators will be able to address outages, power quality issues and other anomalies to reduce the frequency and duration of outages; and installing GPS clocks in substations for synchrophasor data to accurately time align all collected data. Dan Brancaccio, Senior Technical Architect, BRIDGE Energy Group; and Technical Architect, WECC WISP will cover these upcoming applications while Nic Stover, Regional Sales Director, Northwest, EnerNOC  will look into the significant energy usage in agricultural settings and how this electricity can be better managed to support the needs of the grid.

What is a smart grid network?

The debate continues on just how and how much network build will be required in supporting the massive data bases of the smart grid. Ronald Holcomb, Vice President, Tantalus will discuss how many utilities find it challenging to balance factors such as practicality and cost with choosing the most optimal, long-term communications solution. Given that infrastructure investments in the utility industry are expected to last several decades, utilities can be hesitant to make a significant capital investment without first closely analyzing cost recovery, regulatory framework and future needs.

Narasimha Chari, CTO, Tropos Networks will discuss the role of public and private networks for smart grid communications as well as examine the six key requirements of utility communication networks as outlined by the Utilities Telecom Council. The discussion will show that harmony can be achieved if public and/or private networks are used in the right capacity. Thierry Pienaar, Head of Technology, SmartGrid & Energy Solutions, Nokia Siemens Networks, USA will end the discussion around  LTE deployments going on for a while now, yet still utilities want to know what’s real and what’s hype. This presentation outlines how utilities can and are using LTE, what options are available, as well as the private and commercial LTE applications.

It’s about the Home Area Network (HAN)

So is the power company running the customer or is the customer running the power company? Ankur Varma, Product Line Manager, Home Area Network Initiatives, Silver Spring Networks utilizes a case study to examine leveraging HAN devices in concert with DR programs dramatically improves the success of these programs. By installing a new customer-centric solution, more peak demand and energy savings will be an opportunity for both the utility and its customers. And how with this be done?  Peter Michalek, CTO Openkin Corporation describes open source applications for BAS, HAN/CEM, and cloud computing, as well as the advantages of applying open source strategies in these areas. This discussion presents use cases and deployments with oX Framework, creating a platform for data collection and processing and for add-on smart grid applications.

And of course . . . Smart Grid Security

I’ll be starting this session by discussing the recent real world breaches in cyber security and more importantly what we need to do today in developing, testing and deploying the right security technologies to secure the smart grid. From network to data collectors to data types, my session will focus on proven manageable, interoperable and economical security solutions that are now becoming a necessity to addres the complexities of the smart grid security. Scott Saunders, Information Security Officer, Sacramento Municipal Utility District will discuss why a common approach is needed to address the unique cyber security risks. Lead by Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation he will explain why stakeholders from across the electric sector need to work together to support advanced security in protecting these critical power grid assets.

InGuardians was the first to wave the security flag as it relates to the smart grid. Don C. Weber, Senior Security Analyst, InGuardians, Inc. Utilities will discuss how utilities must leverage the lessons learned by the business industry to ensure the technology deployment occurring now is reliable, cost affective, and secure. Rajeev Kak, Vice President, MetricStream Inc. will end the session by discussing essential solution/requirement stipulated by NERC regulations which helps manage smart grid cyber security, creating transparency in regards to compliance status and migration paths, mitigating risks, and enhancing audit management capabilities.

If there is one thing I have learned in covering the smart grid, you need to be continually updated in this ever growing and changing industry. The Smart Grid Virtual Summit conveniently offers such an opportunity from top professionals with the convenience of viewing hearing and participating from your on line computer. Register now and use my discount code SPKR-GUEST and get 20% off. This is expected to be one of the best smart grid summits ever.

* * * * * * * * *

Larry Karisny is the director of Project Safety.org, consultant, writer and industry speaker focusing on security solutions for public and private wireless broadband networks. Next speaking engagement, Smart Grid Virtual Summit, June 29th-30th, “Securing the Emerging Smart Grid: A Panel Discussion.”