Much of America knows that power companies, engineers and government experts are focused on building something called the smart grid-but not everyone understands what the smart grid is. One of the world's leading smart grid experts is looking to change that. Throughout the year, John McDonald, general manager of marketing for GE Energy's transmission & distribution business, will be sharing his insight through the "Smarter Ways to a Smarter Grid" information series.
The program of seminars, lectures, college courses and electrical-industry educational events will take place throughout the United States. The schedule kicked off with a panel on smart grid standards at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power & Energy Society Executive Committee meeting April 23, 2009, in Arlington, Va.
"The thought of a smarter, more-efficient and better-managed way to deliver power is both intriguing and mysterious to the uninitiated," McDonald said. "But with the technologies currently being implemented or in development, we have the resources to change the way we think about electricity at every level. From the utilities that produce and deliver energy to the consumers who use it, we are beginning to build a grid that gives us more ways to get more benefit from every kilowatt of energy produced."
As past president of the IEEE Power & Energy Society, a director of IEEE, a director of the GridWise Alliance, a NEMA Smart Grid Task Force member and a member of the Department of Energy's Smart Grid Electricity Advisory Committee, McDonald is recognized throughout the world as a leading smart grid expert.
McDonald's engagements will outline the technology available and needed for smart grid implementation, new industry standards being developed and adopted and implications for cyber security around the information-rich power grid.
Utilities and engineers will learn how to reduce distribution power losses, manage peak loads more effectively and improve the reliability of their delivery systems. Consumers will see how smart grid advances will empower them to better manage and control the cost of their electricity use. McDonald also will share new ways to effectively integrate more renewable power sources, such as wind and solar energy into the power grid, seamlessly and efficiently.
Each of McDonald's presentations will be tailored to specific smart grid audiences, such as engineers and designers, utility decision makers, consumers and regulators. Currently confirmed engagements in the "Smarter Way to a Smarter Grid" series include:
- May 29: One-day smart grid workshop hosted by the IEEE PES Tampa Chapter at Seminole Electric in Tampa, Fla.-open to the public (http://time2meet.com/fwcs-pes4/index.html)
- June 23-28: IEEE Board Series Meetings in Los Angeles, Calif.
- July 26-31: IEEE PES General Meeting in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, including IEEE PES Governing Board Meeting
- Oct. 1-2: Smart Grid Course in Schenectady, N.Y.-open to the public (www.ge-energy.com/psec)
- Oct. 29-30: IEEE PES Executive Committee Meeting with focus on Smart Grid in Abu Dhabi
- Nov. 9-13: Modern Energy Management Systems course at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga. (www.dlpe.gatech.edu/elec/courses)
- Nov. 17-22: IEEE Board Series Meetings in New Brunswick, N.J.