SGIP: Collaboration to improve individual quality of life



Interview with Sharon Allan, President and CEO of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel.

In January 2015, the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) restructured “to bring better clarity focus and agility to the group,” says Sharon Allan, President and CEO.

“The initial phase of the work done by SGIP was around the identification of key standards affecting the smart grid. The original structure was built around accomplishing that piece of work. As I start to look at how SGIP moves forward, I’ve gone back to the clients of the smart grid – the folks that have the capital to deploy these projects such as utilities, IPPs who are deploying microgrids and smart technology, and service providers who are using smart grid technology – and asked them what their needs are and what we can do that is helpful for them.”

Because of the very broad focus that SGIP initially had, Allan believes that it is necessary to refocus in order for it to remain clear what SGIP plans to accomplish, and in order for the Association to operate in a streamlined, efficient manner.

Allan wants SGIP to be more than just a discussion forum for stakeholders to share ideas and discuss things. “Our end goal is to make a difference and to push the smart grid agenda forward so that customers have choices not only in how they use electricity but also around whether they should subscribe to a service provider, or choose to be a prosumer, or have community delivered electricity or grow their relationship with their current utility through new services. In the shorter term, by coming together and having utilities, vendors, regulators and government working together to remove barriers, it opens up that marketplace to clean energy adoption.

“In the long term, I want SGIP to be viewed as an organisation where member collaboration makes a difference. An organisation that drives results with a focus on improving individual quality of life by integrating energy resources in a secure, intelligent and efficient manner.”

Allan believes that organisations such as SGIP allow for workforce, technology and process threads to be worked through. “Bringing the people together in such a manner helps drive interoperability. Ultimately, whether here in the US or globally, costs are…

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