Smart Grid Innovation Updates from California


Mark Walker,
VP North America
By Mark Walker, VP North America

The week when January turned to February, I drove from San Diego to Sacramento, with several stops in between totalling nearly 1000 miles.

Below are four interviews from the many meetings I held with some of the most innovative energy stakeholders in the state – SMUD, LADWP, the City of San Jose and the California Energy Commission’s R&D Division.

These give a positive snapshot, away from the larger IOUs, of the continuing innovation in the transformation of how energy is produced, delivered and consumed.

I hope you find it useful, and welcome comments as well as suggestions for further meetings in the coming months.

SMUD’s progressive stance toward the smart grid continues into 2012

Truly smart grid trailblazers, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) was already six years into the plan for upgrading their grid with modern technology when the Department of Energy chose the utility for an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Smart Grid Investment Grant in 2009. The DOE ultimately awarded SMUD with $127 million in funding, representing 66% of all money given to California’s utilities.

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Sustainable energy in the heart of Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is known as the beating heart of Web 2.0, where online businesses are built and thrive, surrounded by a culture of innovation, venture capital and mentoring from one generation to the next.


California Energy Commission’s R&D Division helps drive forward advanced grid developments for the state

Speaking with Michael Gravely, the deputy division chief of the Energy Research and Development Divisions at the California Energy Commission, it becomes apparent how busy they are working on the next generation of energy solutions to help support California’s smart grid overhaul.


Best foot forward for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in 2012

Speaking recently with Randy Howard, the director of Power System Planning and Development and chief compliance officer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), it becomes apparent what a seismic affect California’s state regulators have had in 2011 on the energy market there.