Smart Grid Technology experts to huddle at UCLA in LA this week



March 28, 2012


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Current Speakers:

George Arnold Deputy Director NIST
Vikram Budhraja President Electric Power Group
Junwei Cao Professor and Deputy Director RIIT, Tsinghua University
Maryline Daviaud Lewett Business Development Manager, EV Business Schneider Electric
Paul De Martini Managing Director Newport Consulting Group,LLC
Marcelo Di Paolo Electrical Engineer Los Angeles Dept of Water and Power
Deepak Divan President and CTO Varentec
Rajit Gadh Professor & Director UCLA – WINMEC & Smart Grid Energy Research Center
Sanjay Gupta Senior Director Alstom Grid
Stephen Johnson Product Line Manager – Consumer Energy Management Itron
Doug Kim Director, Advanced Technology Southern California Edison
Lee Krevat Director – Smart Grid San Diego Gas & Electric
Liang Min   Lawrence Livermore National Labs
Lawrence Oliva Director, Tariff Programs & Services Southern California Edison
Michael Peevey President California Public Utilities Commission
Dan Ton Program Manager, Smart Grid R&D U.S. Department of Energy
Elizabeth Van Denburgh Managing Principal Van Denburgh Consulting Group
Alexandra von Meier Co-Director, Electric Grid Research CIEE

PARTICIPANTS – At the next UCLA Smart Grid Thought Leadership Forum Series, we will be joined by several leaders from government, utilities, technology providers, vendors, researchers, and academia.

Sponsor the forum – Limited sponsorship opportunities are available – for further information please contact :

Join UCLA’s Smart Grid Energy Research Center (SMERC, and UCLA WINMEC ( at its upcoming Smart Grid Thought Leadership Forum. On March 28, 2012, this leadership forum will focus on Fusion of Advanced Technologies, Government Policy, Consumer Input and Electric Infrastructure to create the Smart grid of the future.

With the rapid deployment of smart meters across the country, the pulse for highly granular electricity monitoring at the customer premises is now available to several utilities. Networked smart meters are allowing utilities to monitor the last mile of the grid at a level of detail – in space and time – that has never been possible before. Such a fine grained monitoring capability is enabling the creation of a much larger network within the grid than previously possible. The ability to monitor this Smart grid at various levels is resulting in an opportunity to also control the grid at these levels. As an example, utilities/consumers would theoretically be able to exercise control over whether a given residential solar rooftop should at a given point in time send energy back to the grid, or whether an EV’s battery should provide reverse power flow into the grid in case of a cloud covering the rooftop solar, or, whether a given HVAC in a building should be turned off during a peak consumption period on a hot summer’s afternoon by way of a Demand Response signal. A variety of technologies exist today that would allow some of the above to be feasible, while other technologies may still need to be invented. However, would the consumers be willing accept the changes that are sweeping across the world in the electricity delivery industry is a topic that would go through several iterations of trial-and-error. Additionally, incentivizing the consumer, whether on price incentives, or social incentives, would play a major role in the adoption and success of such technologies. Pricing options from policy makers should encourage the offering of differentiated products and services from the utilities and other partner service providers to the consumer. Policy makers need to be integrally involved with utilities, vendors and consumers in making the grid “friendlier” as it gets technologically more advanced. All of the above result in rapid changes to the grid, moving towards a Smart grid, in the near future. This would result in challenges and opportunities for the electric power grid operators. Researchers and academics, for their part, would need to study the grid features that enable consumer satisfaction, improved efficiencies and rapid and easy integratability of renewable energy sources and electric vehicles/transportation. The Thought Leadership Forum will address the rapid changes to the grid as it gets smarter.

One of the major changes in the grid as we fast forward to the next 20 years is that the Grid of the Future could potentially look more like the Internet. On the Internet, data is created and consumed by decentralized nodes in the network. On the electric grid while consumption is largely decentralized, as solar rooftops come on-line, the new generation sources would be more decentralized. While management of centralized generation is an area that utilities understand very well, if generation is intermittent and it is also geographically distributed, the existing grid control paradigms such as the SCADA networks may not work exactly in the manner as for the traditional hierarchically controlled grid. The utility on its part would therefore need to balance the local fluctuations in demand and supply which would imply the need for more refined monitoring as well as control. Substantial technological challenges and opportunities confront the power industry as we move towards a smarter and more modern grid.

Why do we need a Smart grid?
The reasons to move towards a Smart grid are manifold. First, the U.S. electric grid is technologically somewhat dated, and large parts of it have not seen a major modernization upgrade recently. The recent power outage in Southern California could be an indication of this (Southwest blackouts: How do power outages spread? Second, with increasing availability of lower cost renewable solar and wind technologies, especially in the backdrop of high prices in fossil fuel-based energy, renewables are becoming increasingly attractive, however, integrating such intermittent resources requires a Smart grid. In this context, policies in various parts of the world are also playing an important role in the adoption of renewables. Third, smart grid technologies can help improve control, efficiency and flexibility of the grid, reduce outages, and help manage high-priced peaks in energy consumption via Demand Response. Fourth, a Smart grid is essential to enable management, optimization and control of power flows in the presence of Electric Vehicles especially as their numbers increase. Fifth, but perhaps not last, the consumer today is very conscious of environment and energy related issues and the existing grid offers the consumer little opportunity to give their preferences in terms of what type of energy they wish to purchase, etc. In every industry the consumer is the most important driver of change and innovation, and the electric grid sector would be no exception. The above topics would provide the thematic basis for the Thought Leadership discussions.

Why does the Thought Leadership need Fusion of the above?
Advanced technology alone does not create user-friendly products or services. It is the advanced technology which is iteratively refined by the consumer that is using it, and that enables the technology to be adaptively become innovative and user friendly. This innovation process needs the constant support of government policies by way of appropriate incentivization, which is the responsibility of the policy makers. An example of an innovation is a mobile smart phone which contains sophisticated technology that was spurred by the availability of large amounts of wireless spectrum made available by the policy makers and coupled with technical innovations in display, software, apps, embedded computers and high speed wide area networks, which in turn was used and iteratively refined by the consumer. Likewise the smart grid needs to be nurtured by the ecosystem of the key stakeholders so that it can iteratively get more sophisticated, refined, useful, user-friendly, reliable, and have the ability to incorporate innovative technologies such as EVs, battery storage, renewables such as wind and solar technologies, and the resulting enabling benefits such as Demand Response, Grid Balancing, Efficiency Improvements, Grid Reliability or Grid Flexibility.

Content of Thought Leadership Forum
The forum will present a fusion of diverse topics from speakers representing the gamut of ecosystem players including utilities, technology providers, vendors, policy makers, researchers, government officials, standards organizations and academics. This forum would form the genesis for the next level of Thought Leadership in the series of forums that have been organized by UCLA SMERC. This Forum will present concepts, implementations, demonstrations, technologies, research, business/economic/engineering models and implementations that are based on fusion of the following subject matters – Advanced Technologies, Modern grid policies, Consumer Behavior and the Future Electric grid Infrastructure.

UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center or SMERC
The UCLA Smart Grid Energy Research Center or SMERC is working on wireless/communications and sense-and-control to enable the Smart Electric grid of the Future. A Smart grid allows optimum integration of renewable energy sources and electric vehicles, greater efficiency, flexible electricity pricing, and consumer participation. SMERC is working on Automated Demand Response, Electric Vehicle Integration (G2V and V2G), Microgrids, Distributed Renewable Integration, Storage Integration, Cyber-security, and, Consumer Behavior.

UCLA Smart Grid Living Lab
UCLA, with its own natural-gas fuel co-generation power plant, which in concert with the balance of its power requirement obtained from its local utility, forms a unique test-bed in the middle of a major metropolitan city – Los Angeles – that allows UCLA SMERC to perform research, experimentation and testing at varying scales. UCLA’s campus therefore offers a “Smart Grid Living Lab” as an opportunity to perform research, test advanced concepts and create innovations. At the forum, the current status of the UCLA Smart Grid Living Lab and its implementation plans will be discussed and results of the research done at UCLA on various Smart grid projects and grants will be presented.

TOPICS (include but not limited to):

  • Stimulus ARRA investment – status of progress by utilities, vendors, consultants and universities
  • Advanced Smart Grid Technologies – Communications, Sensors, Controls, Smart switches, Wireless and Mobile Technologies, Bi-directional power flow systems
  • Automated Demand Response – Integration of Consumer’s electricity infrastructure with utility’s infrastructure in combination with incentive-based pricing
  • AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) – Automation at various levels including billing and monitoring, Smart Meter Integration, Meter data management or MDM, Head-End Integration, CIS Integration
  • Electric Vehicles – Integration of EV and Battery Technology into a smart grid, Battery Management Systems, charge/discharge, V2G, G2V, aggregation, grid impact
  • Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) – Standards in EVSE developments – SAE J2293 J1772, J2953, Networking of EVSE, Low Cost EVSE, 110V/220V/440V infrastructure
  • Smart Appliance Integration – Communications interfaces, data formats, sense-control infrastructure, status of universally accepted standards
  • Customer and consumer response – Integrating customer response into the technological advancements associated with the smart grid
  • Transmission Integration – Bringing Transmission and Distribution Together, Phasor Measurement Units (PMU), Power Quality
  • Renewable Integration – Solar PVC Integration, Intermittency correction, Wind Integration
  • Energy Storage Integration – Battery integration with Battery management systems
  • Micro-grids – combining multiple technologies to achieve off-grid capabilities for limited time periods
  • Business Issues – ROI of smart grid investments, measuring benefits, prioritization of technology deployment by utilities
  • Modeling and architecture – Hierarchical versus P2P models, Information models, data models, Internet/Wireless Models, RF-sensor models
  • Scaling up – Balancing flexibility, reliability and cost with scalability
  • Cyber-infrastructure and Cyber-security – NERC CIP, Communications/data/app security, embedded device security, intrusion detection/prevention, layers of security, security policy
  • Visions of smart grid – From DOE, National Labs, Industry, Utilities, Government
  • Open-systems wireless and communications interface software and standards based approach for the smart grid of the Future
  • Consumer interface – Use of personal mobile device as a tool for interaction with the home electrical control systems
  • Standards – Standardization process, Role of Open systems in standards, Role of NIST, FERC, NERC, EPRI, SAE, ISO, etc.
  • Legislation and its impact on the smart grid Policies and Regulations
  • Communications networks in enabling smart grids – LTE, WiMax, GPRS, CDMA, WiFi, Zigbee, Zwave, PLC, et

Speakers from previous events:

Andres Carvallo Chief Information Officer Austin Energy
Bob Frazier Director of Technology Houston Electric
Bruce Hamer Principal Power Engineer Burbank Water and Power
Timothy Simon Commissioner California Public Utilities Commission
Dave Chassin Staff Scientist PNNL
David Watson Program Manager Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
David Wollman Manager, Electrical Metrology Groups NIST
Diane Wittenberg Chairman California Plug-in Vehicle Collaborative
Doug Kim Director, Advanced Technology Southern California Edison
Erich Gunther Chairman and CTO EnerNex Corporation
Glenn Steiger General Manager Glendale Water and Power
Jack McGowan Leader Galvin Perfect Power
Jayant Kumar Director, Strategy & Partnership AREVA T&D Inc
Jim Parks Program Manager, Energy Efficiency and Customer R&D Sacramento Municipal Utility District
John Nelson Chief, Electricity & Renewables Defense Energy Support Center
Josh Gerber Lead Architect for Smart Grid San Diego Gas & Electric
Kevin Dasso Senior Director of Smart Grid and Technology Integration Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Krishnan Gowri Senior Research Engineer Pacific Northwest National Lab.
Kshamit Dixit Director of IT Security Toronto Hydro
Lee Krevat Director – Smart Grid San Diego Gas & Electric
Livio Gallo Chief Executive Officer Enel Distribuzione
Luke Clemente General Manager, Metering & Sensing Systems GE Energy – Digital Energy
Malcolm Unsworth President & CEO Itron, Inc.
Marie Hattar VP, Network Systems and Security Solutions Cisco
Mark McGranaghan VP EPRI
Marvin Moon Director of Power System Enginering LADWP
Matthew Lampe Chief Information Officer Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Michael Montoya Director Engineering Advancement Southern California Edison
Mike Gravely Manager – Energy Systems Research Office California Energy Commission
Mukhles Bhuiyan Smart Grid Program Director Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Nancy Ryan Deputy Executive Director for Policy California Public Utilities Commission
Rajit Gadh Director UCLA WINMEC
Scott Backhaus Staff Scientist Los Alamos National Laboratory
Scott Pugh Science & Technology Directorate Department of Homeland Security
Shirish Sathaye General Partner Khosla Ventures
Stanton Hadley Power and Energy Systems Group Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Susan Covino Senior Consultant, Market Strategy PJM Interconnection LLC
Ted Reguly Director – Smart Meter Program Office San Diego Gas and Electric
Vikram Budhraja President Electric Power Group
Weston Sylvester Director Distribution Solutions/Smart Grid Siemens Energy, Inc.

SMERC – Industry Partners Program (SMERC-IPP)
To support its smart grid Research and Demonstration activities:

UCLA’s SMERC recently announced the SMERC Industry Partners Program or IPP for which there are currently 19 contributing members from industry. SMERC IPP has had three meetings to date. At the Thought Leadership Forum, a round table of select SMERC members will present some of the conclusions of the recent SMERC IPP meeting. Select SMERC IPP members will be invited to participate at this round table. If you are not a member SMERC IPP and are interested, please email


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