The Institute for Electric Innovation’s annual celebration of innovation and change in the electric power sector – Powering the People –brought together about 200 industry thought leaders to discuss key trends driving that change.  Through a combination of debate, dialogue, and “TED-style” talks, the speakers at this year’s event underscored one important thing – smarter energy is a key driver to a smarter future. 

Smarter Future

Two senior industry executives kicked-off this year’s Powering the People focusing on customers, technology, digital, and data.

Southern Company Chief Operating Officer Kim Greene discusses the importance of keeping customers at the center of technology-driven change.

GE Power President and CEO Steve Bolze speaks out on data and digitization.

Smart Cities, Smart Connections

Cities nationwide are wrestling with how they can function better in the areas of transportation, power, water, and sustainability, and one thing surges through all smart city ideas – electricity. This session focused on how cities and communities – Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; San Diego, California; and others – are moving toward “smart” and the central roles that electric companies and technology companies are playing.

Bob Rowe, President and CEO, Northwestern Energy leads a lively discussion with city, technology, and electric company leaders on the how and why of smart cities.

Smart Regulation and Innovation

With technology moving faster than ever before, many agree that power-sector regulation also must change to encourage partnership, innovation, customer benefits, and investment in the energy grid. Through robust debate and Q&A among industry leaders and regulatory commissioners, this session focused on two key regulatory issues.  First, who plays in behind-the-meter solar and storage markets, and how do we ensure that all customers benefit and can participate?  Second, as the energy grid evolves to accommodate more DERs and devices, how could we look at things differently?

Bob Stump, Former Commissioner, Arizona Corporation Commission, leads a thought-provoking debate and discussion on behind-the-meter markets and accommodating growth in DERs and connected devices.

CEO Power Talks: Key Trends Shaping the Industry Today

In this session, four electric company and technology company CEOs shared their experiences and visions regarding specific key trends shaping the industry today – energy storage; data analytics; solar challenges and opportunities; and energy grid challenges.

AES Corporation President and CEO Andres Gluski highlights the many uses and flexibility of energy storage. 

TROVE Predictive Data Science CEO Ted Schultz speaks about competing in the data race.

Tom Werner, SunPower Corporation Chairman, President, and CEO, focuses on critical partnerships and how solar companies are adapting to stay competitive.

Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Alan Oshima discusses distributed energy integration challenges and collaborative solutions.

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