Solar power. Electric cars. Battery storage. Smart homes. The rapid growth of renewables and other technology in the 21st century is quickly changing the way the power industry does business.
Instead of the century-old model of simply generating and distributing power to customers, utilities increasingly find themselves in a partnership with their customers who not only may receive electricity from the grid, but generate power for it.
Bill Chiu, Southern California Edison’s director of engineering, recently was honored by the Chinese-American Engineers and Scientists Association of Southern California with a distinguished achievement award in recognition of his leadership in this new grid of the future.
“Chiu and his dynamic team have broken new ground, establishing new industry standards that have led the way for others to follow, including: designing and engineering a 500-kilovolt underground transmission line in Chino Hills — the first project of its kind in the Western Hemisphere — and developing SCE’s grid modernization plan to pave the way for a two-way flow of power to and from customers,” said the association in presenting the award.
Founded in 1962, the association is one of the largest and oldest established Chinese-American professional organizations in Southern California. It is dedicated to promoting the interests, aspirations and professional excellence of Asian-American engineers and scientists in the U.S.
Also recognized at the association’s 54th annual convention were Steven Chu, who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1997; Henry Tzu-Yow Yang, chancellor of UC Santa Barbara; Yang Yang, a UCLA materials physics professor and C. Y. Chang, principal engineering fellow at Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems group.
Chiu said he was honored to be included among such distinguished company, but he said the award really recognized the accomplishments of his entire SCE team.
“I feel privileged to be able to shape the vision of our group and help in leading the transformational changes of our industry with the integration of renewable resources into the grid to provide safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy,” Chiu said.
This is Chiu’s second recent industry award. Last year he was honored by Region 6 of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for his personal contributions to the power industry and active role in the institute.