Intelect 2015 kicked off the PES year for me. It was an inaugural conference and exhibition, held in Mumbai, India, January 21st to 24th, 2015. Intelect was co-sponsored by 3 IEEE societies (Power & Energy, Computer, and Communications) and IEEMA (the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers’ Association). Please see www.-ii-intelect.org. The technical program addressed smart electricity and solutions for the future grid and the figure below shows the themes of the conference.
As the Intelect Technical Program Chair, I had the privilege to reach out to experts across the three IEEE societies, and beyond, including IEEE Standards, and IEEMA in an effort to organize panel sessions along four Technical Tracks:
- Building Automation (Homes and Buildings)
- Rural Electrification & Microgrids
- Smart Cities
- Humanitarian Impact of Smart Cities
The inaugural Intelect was deemed a success and this event is planned to be held every two years. The next Intelect is tentatively scheduled for January 2017. Relationships made at Intelect with local IEEE members continue to be maintained.
World Utility Summit
Another aspect of our relationship with IEEMA is the World Utility Summit (WUS) – an inaugural event that will be held February 14th to 16th, 2016 in Bengaluru, India. The theme will address the underlying question of “Utilities as Futureproof or Future Fit?” with topics including:
- The Future of Grid Architecture
- Business Models and Real Costs of Electricity
- Impact of Renewables
- Regulatory and Consumer Connections
The event is by invitation only for C-level Executive Officers of global generation, transmission and distribution companies, as well as utilities, and will feature panel sessions and expert keynotes. The goal is two-fold:
- Provide and encourage a thought leadership platform to share knowledge, experience, best practices, on ground issues and management of change
- Set an agenda for the future which enables the eco-system to develop optimal solutions, technology and products.
As a WUS organizing committee member, am working with the team to identify speakers and participants.
The IEEE Future Directions Committee (FDC) is also supporting promotion of WUS as a new event – with Angelique Rajski Parashis from the IEEE staff as the Project Manager – I was asked to be the PES representative.
History of Electricity Coffee Table Book
PES is also working with IEEMA to publish a coffee table book on the ‘125 years of Electricity.’ This book is being written and compiled by Bob Dent – one of our past PES leaders – and will be released at the WUS in February 2016.
Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT) Conferences
At the Denver General Meeting (GM), Tommy Mayne, PES VP Meetings held a meeting on ISGT conferences. Here it was re-iterated that one of the goals of the first ISGT in 2010 was to ensure we highlight utility and industry smart grid practical success stories.
It was agreed that future ISGT conferences should be planned with the following focus axes in mind:
- Researchers, academics and students
- Government, policy-makers and regulatory staff
- Utility and Industry staff
At the Denver PES Governing Board (GB) meeting, Utility and Industry outreach at PES conferences was established as a high priority – and was asked to help. Working with the VP of New Initiatives and Outreach (NIO), Robin Podmore, we jointly drafted a job description – within NIO – that focusses on Utility & Industry Outreach (UIO).
My initial UIO efforts were on upcoming ISGTs: working with the local organizing committees (LOC). Next, the focus was on other PES co-sponsored conferences. This involved working with planning teams for future conferences such as Intelect and the World Utility Summit (WUS).
The recent ISGTs successfully organized keynote and other panel sessions with key utility experts. Additionally, tutorials were conducted that had an appeal to practicing engineers – had the opportunity to teach a ½ day tutorial at each, on ‘Evolution of Control Centers and Synchrophasors.’
- ISGT Latin America, Montevideo, Uruguay
The Conference was a success, and Juan Carlos Miguez and his LOC team deserve well-earned kudos – with over 65% of the attendees from utility and industry. The local utility UTE enthusiastically supported the conference.
- ISGT Asia, Bangkok, Thailand
A keynote panel session was held with Utility executives from Sarawak, Western Australia and the local utilities – EGAT and PEA. Many local utility staff were on the organizing committee and provided great support. Prof. Weerakorn (my LOC contact) and the rest of the LOC are to be thanked and congratulated.
- Future ISGTs
Today, there are 4 ISGTs held every year – North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Work continues with IEEE PES staff and LOCs to ensure that the UIO objective is considered.November 9th 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the massive 1965 blackout of the Northeast. This blackout spurred innovation and research to develop better tools to make the grid smarter to prevent future large-scale blackouts – the ISGTs are perfectly aligned with this enduring mission.
Going forward, PES would like to develop a formal structured program focusing on utility outreach. We are requesting feedback from you (our members) on how we can provide more opportunities to engage – and learn – from PES utility members. One idea has been for PES to facilitate periodic 2-3 day workshops with utility staff, where they present some of their business priorities, challenges and success stories – these should target the executives as well as practicing engineers.
PES History Project
Another GB NIO decision was to capture our power and energy history by reaching out and interviewing our living industry icons – was asked to help coordinate. Here we compiled a list of living icons and prioritized based on age and diversity of technical domain. We are finalizing an agreement with an editor to conduct these interviews and to document them for communication to our membership. We are targeting five interviews in the next few months, with more planned for next year.
PES also provided support to the IEEE History Committee to help in their ongoing efforts as well.
IEEE Smart Grid
On another PES-related note, am working with the IEEE Smart Grid team. This team spans 14 IEEE societies and addresses transverse issues related to smart grid topics and is chaired by Dr. Massoud Amin. The team recently identified and defined the following Smart Grid Domains & Sub-domains:
The team continues to refine the sub-domain definitions. In July, many of us contributed to Smart Grid videos on different domain topics (mine was on Transmission). These videos will be released soon.
Other PES-related activities
Other PES activities included: publication in a PES open access journal, DLP presentations and participating in the PES Fellows selection committee.
IEEE Power & Energy Technology Systems (PETS) Journal
An article was published in the IEEE Power & Energy Technology Systems Journal (PETS). The topic was Proactive Grid Management.
PETS is an open access journal that focuses on contributions from utility and industry members. I strongly urge utility and industry members to contribute to this journal.
IEEE Distinguished Lecturer Program (DLP)
DLP presentations were made at the University of Minnesota and at the University of Michigan. The topic was ‘Managing the Future Grid – Evolution of Control Centers.’ It is always an invigorating and learning experience to interact with students, researchers, and utility and industry members on their own home turf.
In 2015, as an IEEE PES Governing Board Member at Large, I had the privilege of working on numerous interesting and challenging PES activities – am especially grateful for the enthusiastic support of fellow volunteers and the IEEE staff. We also look forward to you our members’ continued participation – we need your ideas on how to enhance our PES Industry Outreach activities – especially engagement of utility executives and practicing engineers – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions.
In 2015, the combined efforts of the large global team of PES volunteers, under the leadership of Dr. Miroslav Begovic, the PES President, have resulted in many positive outcomes that benefit our membership at large. PES for the very first time, just became the second largest society of IEEE and has over 30,000 members worldwide (an all-time record) – with the largest growth rate in the Asia Pacific region – Dr Henry Louie is the PES VP of Membership and Image.
I see PES becoming a more global society and actively reaching out to members worldwide. PES is pro-actively spreading its influence and expertise across other IEEE societies, as well as other companies and associations that are related to our industry. These initiatives will undoubtedly ensure that PES continues to be a valued society and a rich source of information for professional growth for our membership worldwide.