This piece was originally published in the January/February 2019 issue of electroindustry.
Jonathan Stewart, Industry Director, Utility Products & Systems Division, NEMA
Just as the electrical power grid is developing into a system of systems with millions of interconnected parts, so, too, is the NEMA Utility Products & Systems Division moving toward an integrated coalition of product Sections.
The Division is creating a Leadership Committee that reflects a movement within NEMA from a focus on being a product-centric technical organization to one that looks at systems-wide approaches to strategic planning and problem solving. When NEMA uses its convening power to coordinate work outside individual product sectors, Members benefit. Examples include initiatives in workforce development, the Internet of Things, and government relations.
The concept of a Division-level leadership group is based on two NEMA Divisions that have operated under the guidance of an executive leadership group: the NEMA Lighting Division and the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA).
Under the guidance of its Leadership Committee, the Division will develop and oversee a three-year strategy with delineated goals and methodologies related to the digitization of the power grid and preparation for grid impact due to electrification of new industries. As the electrical power grid evolves into a self-healing, self-driving system, the committee will determine what role NEMA and its Members can play to lead in this space. Components of the strategy will include business, policy, and technical objectives.
Committee activities may include engagement with outside groups representing the utility community, formal studies and data collection, and briefings from business strategy groups with expertise in the field. Areas of focus/priorities will be determined by the committee and might include strategy-based work such as integration of digital twinning, development of best practices for equipment production modeling, and deep-dive analysis of utility rate structures.
The committee will assume the policy activities of the former Grid Modernization Leadership Council. Specific policy activities may include:
- engagement with public utility commissions and other state-level policymakers;
- written and verbal comments to federal agencies and other federal policymakers; and
- briefings with entities governing the bulk power market such as regional transmission operators and coordinating
Section chairs will oversee the development of new Standards, product promotion, and product- related research. They will also identify areas of cross-sectional work and create a strategy to oversee the execution of such work.
The overarching concepts of digitization and electrification affect the equipment that our customers purchase and inform their business decisions. NEMA represents a clear value proposition in its ability to convene a comprehensive group of Member representatives to ensure that our industry understands these decisions and prepares for the market dynamics that will result.