The Grid Edge World Forum in San Jose brought together experts who shared insights on how the grid of the future might function.

Allan Schurr (pictured, left) is president of Edison Energy, an Edison International company.

The Grid Edge World Forum in San Jose brought together experts who shared insights on how the grid of the future might function.

Edison Experts Help Drive Silicon Valley Discussion on Power Grid of the Future

Energy industry representatives gather at Grid Edge World Forum in San Jose.

  • By Paul Griffo
  • June 28, 2016

Environmental consciousness and new technologies are causing revolutionary changes in the world’s electric power grid. Edison experts recently joined hundreds of other representatives of the energy industry in Silicon Valley to share insights on how the grid of the future might function.

In the not-too-distant future, for example, during a heat wave, the energy generated by private rooftop solar combined with battery storage could be a powerful source of clean energy to meet heavy electricity demand created by widespread use of air conditioners.

“The challenge is to leverage new technologies to meet customers’ expectations of reliability,” said Russ Ragsdale, Southern California Edison principal manager of Grid Modernization and a panelist at the Grid Edge World Forum in San Jose. “The key is, when unforeseen events happen, can new technologies like solar and battery storage still provide the same reliability that traditional resources would have?”

Rooftop solar and battery storage are not new themselves. But the technology that makes it possible for these resources to communicate with and respond to signals from the grid is groundbreaking, allowing even electric cars to become what experts refer to as “distributed energy resources.” 

Electric cars plugged in during the day, for example, could be interconnected to provide a reservoir of stored energy that could be drawn upon to meet the needs of the electric power grid while the drivers are at work.

Lisa Cagnolatti, vice president of SCE’s Business Customer Division, highlighted one such pilot project that SCE is working on with the U.S. Department of Defense.

“The vehicle-to-grid pilot at L.A. Air Force Base is exciting because it’s helping us prove that two-way charging works and can support and serve the electric power grid,” she said.

“We actually helped the vehicle and charging station manufacturers develop and test bi-directional charging technology at SCE’s Electric Vehicle Testing Center in Pomona,” Cagnolatti added. “This is very different from what these vehicles and charging stations were designed to do.”

A challenge for those in the energy industry is helping energy customers understand how their lives — and businesses — can benefit from grid modernization as it is taking place.

“The complexity of grid operations is increasing, and customers have to respond to a tremendous number of options,” said panelist Allan Schurr, president of Edison Energy, an Edison International company that helps large energy users access the full value available in the quickly changing energy marketplace.

“Our business is trying to help them understand what's coming, when the windows of opportunity close and to make sure they're taking advantage of every opportunity,” Schurr added.

Rapid changes mean that electric power companies themselves must strive to stay ahead of the curve. SCE principal advisor John Bubb currently heads a national industry working group formed to help industry members navigate the new world of grid modernization.

During a Grid Edge roundtable session, Bubb said the purpose of the working group is to first bring like-minded utilities together as a starting point and then expand the conversation industry-wide.

“As we get our bearings on what the needs are, then we want to bring other stakeholders from the industry into the conversation,” Bubb added. “One of the key deliverables we’re looking for is a set of business requirements that can help unify the direction of the industry.”

Leave a Comment

We welcome your feedback and comments. We ask that you please keep them constructive, civil and respectful. If you wouldn’t say it in front of your mother, then there is a good chance it falls outside of our guidelines. Please read our comment policy here.

Related Stories

50,000th Residential Solar Customer Connected to SCE’s System This Year

50,000th Residential Solar Customer Connected to SCE’s System This Year

SCE Kicks Off Program to Speed Up Adoption of Electric Vehicles

SCE Kicks Off Program to Speed Up Adoption of Electric Vehicles

SCE Uses Smart Grid Technology to Help Address Climate Change

SCE Uses Smart Grid Technology to Help Address Climate Change

Top Stories

Infographic: Energy-Efficiency Tips for Businesses

Infographic: Energy-Efficiency Tips for Businesses

Income-Qualified Families to Receive Long Beach Green Homes

Income-Qualified Families to Receive Long Beach Green Homes

10 Energy-Saving Tips for Renters

10 Energy-Saving Tips for Renters

Edison Energy Group and its subsidiaries are not the same company as Southern California Edison, the utility, and they are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.

© 2017 Edison International

© 2017 Edison International

Download and Use Policy

This Site is owned by Edison International. Unless otherwise indicated, all of the content featured or displayed on this Site, including but not limited to, text, graphics, data, photographic images, moving images, sound, illustrations, computer code, trade marks and logos and the selection and arrangement thereof (referred to in this section as the "Content") is owned by Edison International, its licensors or its third-party image partners and all rights in relation to the Content are reserved. All Content is protected by copyright, trade dress, moral rights, trade mark rights and other laws relating to the protection of intellectual property. You may use the Content for your personal, or news-related, non-commercial use, but you may not otherwise reproduce, modify or in any way commercially exploit the Content.

Accept Decline