Itron Utility Week: Itron targets youth with digital learning

Itron Resourcefulness Index 2015 energy and water
At Itron Utility Week, the company launched an educational app and classroom curriculum to engage young people with the energy and water management industry

In the US, energy and water management services company Itron unveiled an educational app and classroom curriculum at its Itron Utility Week event taking place this week in Los Angeles.

Itron has teamed with the University of Texas to develop a web-based app to help high school-age children better understand energy and water resources though an interactive learning experience.

The development comes as a measure to counteract a lack of talent in the energy industry by engaging young people in energy and water management, said Itron’s Sharelynn Moore, vice president of global corporate marketing and public affairs.

Dr Michael Webber of the University of Texas in Austin said the application will play a role in upgrading the way in which students are learning as they will access to modules on mobile devices.

Mr Webber said the full application will be available in high schools by May 2016.

Ms Moore also confirmed that Itron will allow utilities to use the digital curriculum for awareness raising in their communities.

Utility transformation

And in other Itron Utility Week news, utility industry observers have been talking about a perfect storm brewing – a coming together of ageing infrastructure, distributed energy resources, changing customer relationships, and a call for increasing amounts of renewable energy.

This is according to a blog by Cisco executive director Rick Geiger posted on Monday.

Mr Geiger said Cisco and Itron are bringing in new capabilities to address such industry constraints.

He said: “Cisco is increasing its supply of software technology required for securing high performance and enhanced communication of utilities’ grid systems.”

Geiger added that the adoption of smart grids requires sensors that “provide details on power quality, and near real time outage alerts. These sensors are the core of Itron’s portfolio”.

Geiger said Itron and Cisco are in support of measures to drive utilities towards the adoption of smart grids, such as through their membership of the Gridwise Alliance.

The alliance is a coalition of utilities, industry stakeholders and national regulatory authorities, advocating for the modernisation of the US electric system by engaging members in dialogue through research and recommendations.

Formed in 2003, other members include Duke Energy, IBM and Landis+Gyr.