A Leading Role for Technical Requirements in Grid Transformation

by Dr. Elizabeth Cook, VP of Technical Strategy, AEIC

It’s no secret that the electric utility industry is undergoing transformative change. The grid is evolving at an unprecedented pace, energized by rapid technological advancements and the commitment to transition away from fossil fuel-based power generation to a wide array of cleaner, more sustainable sources of electricity.

Historically, with ever-growing load growth, the industry focused on programs designed to reduce usage. Now, with an increasing emphasis on electrification, we are intentionally increasing demand. This transition has placed electric utilities at a critical confluence.

The industry is still operating under traditional regulatory and business models developed over the past one hundred years to meet the mandate of safe, reliable, affordable power. Now, on top of that, there are rapidly rising expectations to increase efficiency and sustainability while influencing consumer behavior and delivering high customer satisfaction. 

Central to navigating this confluence is the understanding that the technical requirements of the electric utility should be the primary driver that enables and fosters change. This means that utilities, as the owners and operators of grid assets, should be embracing and leading the imperative shift toward new ways of thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.