Keywords: Distribution Automation, DistribuTech, Electric Distribution, Networks.
"Content is King. Distribution is Divine." – Juliette Adams
In the smart energy space, each year begins with a "big show" event, North America's DistribuTech. Before the event, Pennwell, the organizer of DistribuTech, hosts a more intimate Utility Executive Conference. This meeting of about 75 executives provides some worthwhile perspective on the industry direction in advance of all the hoopla that is inevitable in a huge trade event like DistribuTech.
Executive Conference Focus on "Disruptive Events"
The Executive Conference covers many different areas; score card evaluations of ARRA stimulus spending, politics and economics, company image and messaging. While utility executives are necessarily concerned with all these areas, the session entitled "Preparing for Disruptive Events" had special resonance this year. It was weather-related disruption that was at the top of many minds.
Parts of the United States have experienced three "hundred year events" in the past two years: Hurricane Irene in August 2011, the unnamed blizzard of October 2011, and Superstorm Sandy in late 2012. Each of these storms caused massive destruction to electrical infrastructure. Customers, and large parts of major cities, were without electric power for days. Utilities feel the cost in both capital investment and lost customer confidence.
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