Erich Gunther probably generated more smart grid–related sales for NEMA members than anyone else in the industry. Until his death in June, he was a trusted partner to many utilities, often bridging the gap between good ideas and actually getting something installed. He touched many utility projects that led to the installation of NEMA member products.
A co-founder of EnerNex, an electric power research, engineering, and consulting firm, Mr. Gunther served as its chairman and chief technology officer. The company received multiple contracts by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to support its mandate under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 to develop an interoperability framework for the smart grid.
Mr. Gunther helped NIST sustain the accelerated development of the hundreds of standards that will be required to build a secure and interoperable electric power grid through the creation and administration of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP). He was an advocate of NEMA’s work with the SGIP to develop and publish ANSI/NEMA SG-IPRM 1-2016 Smart Grid Interoperability Process Reference Manual.
Mr. Gunther built a technical resume that few in the industry have or could ever obtain. He worked with some of the world’s largest utilities and vendors on how to plan, architect, deploy, test, and scale smart grids from end to end. He was part of the original team that developed the Electric Power Research Institute’s IntelliGrid Architecture and was appointed to the U.S. Department of Energy GridWise® Architecture Council and served as its chairman.
A Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), he served on its governing board for the Power and Energy Society until his death. He was also active on several corporate boards and technical committees.Read the November 2016 issue of electroindustry.