Expo Encourages Lawmakers to Modernize the Grid

Expo Encourages Lawmakers to Modernize the Grid

This piece was originally published in the September 2017 issue of electroindustry.

Patrick Hughes, Senior Director, Government Relations and Strategic Initiatives, NEMA

Hosting the first Grid Innovation Expo on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the U.S. House Grid Innovation Caucus were EEI President Tom Kuhn, Rep. Bob Latta, GridWise Alliance CEO Steve Hauser, and NEMA President and CEO Kevin Cosgriff. Photos by Pat Walsh

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI), GridWise Alliance, and NEMA hosted the first Grid Innovation Expo on Capitol Hill on July 25 in conjunction with the U.S. House Grid Innovation Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA).

“As our nation’s energy infrastructure continues to age, it’s imperative that we commit to a serious discussion about how to improve grid resiliency and stability and bring our system into the 21st century,” said Congressman McNerney during his remarks.

Congressman McNerney (right) discussed solar technology with Mike Connolly and Betty Watson of Tesla.

Congressman Latta agreed. “We want a future where energy is delivered in a more reliable, efficient, and secure way to households and businesses across the country. In order to make this a reality, it’s critical that we embrace cutting-edge technology,” he said.

According to NEMA President and CEO Kevin Cosgriff, recent advancements by electrical manufacturers have the potential to significantly improve the efficiency, reliability, and security of electricity delivery.

“Policymakers and grid regulators should embrace these modern grid technologies to upgrade and better protect our critical infrastructure,” he said.

Siemens Industry partnered with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative to increase grid reliability. At the Siemens booth were NEMA President & CEO Kevin Cosgriff, Jason Satterwhite of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Farel Becker of Siemens, Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Samuel Wilson of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

In his remarks, GridWise Alliance CEO Steve Hauser praised the modernization technologies that “save money for businesses and consumers by reducing or avoiding power outages, empower consumers to better manage their electricity usage, and ensure the reliable and secure integration of resources, such as storage, microgrids, and electric vehicles.”

“The electric power industry is leading a profound transformation, and electric companies’ continued focus on innovation is essential to developing smarter energy infrastructure that benefits our customers,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn.

Companies at the expo showcased energy storage, distributed energy management, advanced metering, and storm hardening. Exhibitors included ABB, American Electric Power, CenterPoint Energy, Florida Power & Light Company, G&W Electric Company, General Electric, Innovari, Itron, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, S&C Electric Company, Siemens, Southern California Edison, Tesla, Vermont Electric Power Company, Xcel Energy, and others.

Kate Cummings of G&W and NEMA Vice President of Government Relations Kyle Pitsor posed at the G&W exhibit.

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