Jeremy Wilson: Bringing Voltage Optimization to Saudi Arabia

July 2, 2014
Voltage management and optimization are new concepts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Jeremy Wilson of Utilidata is presenting the concept and technology at the Saudi Arabia Smart Grid Conference on November 16-19, 2014.

Voltage management and optimization are new concepts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Jeremy Wilson of Utilidata is presenting the concept and technology at the Saudi Arabia Smart Grid Conference on Nov. 16-19, 2014.

Wilson, co-founder of Utilidata and director of Technical Sales, will tell participants in the conference that over the last 30 years, Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) has been proven to reduce energy consumption and lower demand by 3-5 percent. While these savings have typically been achieved through the application of complex power-flow models, this approach is not well suited to the modern grid (e.g. PV, etc.). New technology has been introduced to the market that allows the benefits of CVR to be achieved without the constraints of traditional approaches. His presentation will describe this unique signal processing and control technology and the benefits that have been achieved using this technology in North America, and will provide insight into an application in Saudi Arabia.

“In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, electricity demand is growing even faster than the economy due to population growth, a rapidly expanding, energy-intensive petrochemical sector and heavily subsidized electricity rates,” Wilson said. “It has heavy air conditioning load and power generation fleet that is mostly fueled by oil. As demand in the Kingdom continues to grow and more varied usage patterns emerge, voltage reduction and optimization strategies can help manage the grid, improve efficiency and save energy when capacity gets constrained. And the behavioral grid information extracted by Utilidata’s digital platform can help drive reliability as they continue to develop.”

By leveraging a digital technology platform, the voltage optimization solution extracts behavioral information from the grid that has never been extracted before – and Utilidata is able to do this inexpensively.

“What I have seen over my years with the company is that while this unique information has so far been used to deliver adaptive voltage control and optimization, it is also more broadly valuable to utilities trying to manage reliability by ‘lighting up’ their grids.,” Wilson said.

For more than a decade, Wilson has been involved in developing the voltage optimization market in North America. In addition to the many years of development experience with the technology at Utilidata and collaboration with clients in the field, he have also developed partner relationships and alliance agreements with large utilities and other smart grid vendors, and has worked with regional energy authorities and industry experts to advance regulatory frameworks for the implementation of voltage optimization technologies.

“All of this experience has given me the tools and granted me the opportunity to begin to help develop other markets outside of North America with mature, proven technology. It’s a very exciting time for me – and for the industry,” Wilson said.

As co-founder of Utilidata, Wilson saw the potential in this new technology. “More than a decade ago, the truly innovative technology that was being developed by this young company, in a field that I was really interested in, offered me an opportunity to combine an analytical approach with out-of-the box problem solving required by a smaller company.”

Wilson has enjoyed building a team of voltage optimization experts over the past few years, and is now looking forward to bringing the technology to international markets. And as his business life has evolved, so has his personal life. In the past, his spare time was spent mainly on martial arts and cooking. These days, he calls himself more of a foodie (which helps with overseas travel) and is becoming an expert on juggling. “Babies, that is. My wife and I recently had triplets,” he said.

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