23 episodes

The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. Each two weeks we’ll connect with an Energy Central Power Industry Network community member to discuss compelling topics that impact utility professionals. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community or with an industry leader that is interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.

The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ is the premiere podcast series from Energy Central, a Power Industry Network of Communities built specifically for professionals in the electric power industry and a place where professionals can share, learn, and connect in a collaborative environment. Supported by leading industry organizations, our mission is to help global power industry professionals work better. Since 1995, we’ve been a trusted news and information source for professionals working in the power industry, and today our managed communities are a place for lively discussions, debates, and analysis to take place. If you’re not yet a member, visit www.EnergyCentral.com to register for free and join over 200,000 over your peers working in the power industry.

Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast Energy Central

    • Business
    • 4.0 • 4 Ratings

The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ features conversations with thought leaders in the utility sector. Each two weeks we’ll connect with an Energy Central Power Industry Network community member to discuss compelling topics that impact utility professionals. Some podcasts may be a continuation of thought-provoking posts or discussions started in the community or with an industry leader that is interested in sharing their expertise and doing a deeper dive into hot topics or issues relevant to the industry.

The ‘Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast’ is the premiere podcast series from Energy Central, a Power Industry Network of Communities built specifically for professionals in the electric power industry and a place where professionals can share, learn, and connect in a collaborative environment. Supported by leading industry organizations, our mission is to help global power industry professionals work better. Since 1995, we’ve been a trusted news and information source for professionals working in the power industry, and today our managed communities are a place for lively discussions, debates, and analysis to take place. If you’re not yet a member, visit www.EnergyCentral.com to register for free and join over 200,000 over your peers working in the power industry.

    21: ‘Could DERs Have Prevented the Utility Turmoil in California This Summer?’ with Kyle Haas

    21: ‘Could DERs Have Prevented the Utility Turmoil in California This Summer?’ with Kyle Haas

    Utilities in the Western United States have had a rough summer, to say the least. In a season that began with them continuing to manage as best as they could with the coronavirus pandemic and its economic implications, a massive heat wave ended up bringing the California grid to its knees and requiring rolling blackouts before a particularly devastating wildfire season created even more problems. Amid these various disasters, citizens understandably look to the utilities to continue to keep their lights on with consistency and reliability, but the market forces driving the grid and the 20th century energy systems that make up the bulk of the utility sector may not be the optimal tools for the job. That’s the opinion of our guest on the podcast this week, at least.

    Kyle Haas is a Program Manager for K&A Consulting where he focuses on solutions in distributed energy resources, or DERs. In this episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast, Kyle guides host Jason Price and producer Matt Chester on a tour of how DERs might have been able to minimize some of the negative grid impacts felt during the past few months in California, as well as provides suggestions for how California’s natural resources and utility infrastructure might be approached in the future to minimize wildfire risk and maximize the ability of the state’s utilities to provide reliability and resilience to their customers.

    Key Links:
    Kyle Haas’s Energy Central Profile: https://energycentral.com/member/profile/257936

    Kyle’s response to Q&A on Energy Central on the topic of California’s rolling blackouts: https://energycentral.com/c/um/energy-central-community-deep-dive-massive-heat-wave-causing-power-demand-surge

    Link to register as a member of the Energy Central community: https://energycentral.com/user/register

    • 28 min
    20: ‘Is it Time for Time-of-Use Rates?’ with James Riley of Appos Advisors

    20: ‘Is it Time for Time-of-Use Rates?’ with James Riley of Appos Advisors

    Creative rate structures from utilities meant to give customers nudges on customer consumption behaviors are nothing new, but with the advent of smart technologies they are indeed becoming more common. As the recent spate of rolling blackouts in California demonstrated, giving the power markets more tools to influence when energy is consumed is needed more than ever to align supply with demand and ensure customers can depend on reliable and resilient energy systems.

    James Riley, a Partner at Appos Advisors, has spent plenty of time consulting utilities on how, why, and where to launch time-of-use rate structures that provide financial incentive to customers to shift their energy consumption away from peak hours, and he recently shared with the Energy Community his experience as a utility customer in California who changed to a time-of-use rate structure himself. With this lens, James walks Jason Price and Matt Chester of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast through the benefits of time-of-use rates, including the ability to more efficiently integrate renewable energy into the grid while optimizing the energy markets so that supply and demand can be more in sync, not to mention the benefits that such plans can bring to attentive customers.

    Key Links:
    James Riley’s Energy Central Profile: https://energycentral.com/member/profile/113802

    The Times They are a Changin’: https://energycentral.com/c/pip/times-they-are-changin%E2%80%99

    Link to register as a member of the Energy Central community: https://energycentral.com/user/register

    • 30 min
    19: ‘Is the U.S. Doing Enough to Secure the Grid?’ with Joe Weiss of Applied Control Solutions

    19: ‘Is the U.S. Doing Enough to Secure the Grid?’ with Joe Weiss of Applied Control Solutions

    In recent months, the federal government and the utility sector have come to a reckoning about the state of cybersecurity on the U.S. grid, leading to an Executive Order from the President to prevent foreign-made equipment to be installed on the grid due to potential creation of backdoors into our vulnerable systems by foreign adversaries. While this move and other security measures about what to do next have been getting plenty of attention from energy professionals, Joe Weiss has another important question: what about the equipment that’s already been installed across our grid?

    As Managing Partner of Applied Control Systems, Joe spends his time thinking through the vital questions surrounding cybersecurity of industrial control systems, both in the utility sector and in wider industry applications, and Joe joins Jason Price and Matt Chester in this episode of the Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast to provide warning about how critical the situation has become. Seeing the weaknesses that exist across the U.S. grid, Joe asks whether security professionals and government officials are doing everything that needs to be done to provide for sufficient defense of our energy systems, especially in the less obvious and more seldomly discussed areas. For anyone who recognizes the threat that an attack on our power industry would present (or especially for someone who hasn’t given that topic much thought), this episode is not one you’ll want to miss!

    Key Links:
    Joe Weiss’s Energy Central Profile: https://energycentral.com/member/profile/238118/about

    ICS cyber security is the second coming of the Maginot Line – and the Chinese have breached it: https://energycentral.com/c/iu/ics-cyber-security-second-coming-maginot-line-%E2%80%93-and-chinese-have-breached-it

    Presidential Executive Order 13920 was not due to a malware event - recent and upcoming events will discuss the event: https://energycentral.com/c/iu/presidential-executive-order-13920-was-not-due-malware-event-recent-and-upcoming

    Emergency Executive Order 13920 – Response to a real nation-state cyberattack against the US grid: https://energycentral.com/c/iu/emergency-executive-order-13920-%E2%80%93-response-real-nation-state-cyberattack-against

    Link to register as a member of the Energy Central community: https://energycentral.com/user/register

    • 26 min
    18: ‘Utility Leadership During Unprecedented Crisis’ with Patti Poppe, CEO of Consumers Energy

    18: ‘Utility Leadership During Unprecedented Crisis’ with Patti Poppe, CEO of Consumers Energy

    As utilities looked to 2020, the changing landscape of power generation, energy policy, and consumer needs already promised to make the year one of unprecedented change. But as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have spread and put utility companies and their workers squarely on the frontline, it’s safe to say that the pace of adaptation and innovation has gone beyond anything imagined by those sitting in the C-suite. But unexpected developments are not an excuse to fall behind for utilities that serve such a foundational role in modern society, and so leaders have found themselves called upon by employees, customers, and government representatives alike to step up and navigate these unchartered waters. Patti Poppe, the CEO of Consumers Energy, found herself in that role of leading her company through the unknown, and on today’s episode of the Power Perspectives Podcast she shares some of her lessons learned.

    Through shifting her workforce to be as remote as possible to adapting new programs that could ensure quarantined customers still found ways to integrate energy efficiency to many late nights and early mornings planning out next steps and communicating the latest developments to her employees, all while keeping an optimistic attitude and positive outlook, Patti has demonstrated the type of leadership that should be recognized and replicated, both among peers in other utility companies and in industry more widely. You won’t want to miss this captivating conversation where Patti leads Jason Price and Matt Chester through a mile in her shoes in what it takes to navigate unprecedented crisis from the CEO’s (virtual) office.


    Key Links:
    Patti Poppe’s Energy Central Profile: https://energycentral.com/member/profile/257141

    Consumers Energy’s Support for Small Business During COVID: https://www.consumersenergy.com/-/media/CE/Documents/news-and-information/small-biz-covid.pdf

    Big Picture Clean Energy Plan for Michigan: http://www.MICleanEnergyPlan.com

    Consumers Energy Providing 100,000 Google Nest Thermostats to Michigan Households During Pandemic: https://www.consumersenergy.com/news-releases/news-release-details/2020/05/19/consumers-energy-providing-100k-google-nest-thermostats-to-michigan-households-during-pandemic

    Link to register as a member of the Energy Central community: https://energycentral.com/user/register

    • 25 min
    17: ‘Putting People First’ with Kristol Simms of Ameren Illinois

    17: ‘Putting People First’ with Kristol Simms of Ameren Illinois

    Utilities are, first and foremost, a people business. The product being sold to customers isn’t a luxury, but rather an essential product for daily lives and ensuring customers’ safety and wellbeing. As such, safe and reliable delivery is paramount and making sure that all customers have the ability to afford energy is a requirement. Recognizing how energy efficiency programs from utilities can play a key role in those goals, especially in assuring affordability for low-income or disadvantaged customers, Ameren Illinois has become a recognized leader in ensuring energy efficiency is provided for all, as evidenced by them winning the 2020 AESP Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Customer Engagement.’

    Leading this charge to assure that Ameren Illinois innovated in ways to help low-income residents, as well as small and minority-owned businesses, capitalize on energy efficiency programs has been Kristol Simms, Director of Energy Efficiency Strategy & Innovation. Kristol joins Jason Price and Matt Chester for a conversation about how Ameren Illinois continually puts people first and what the utility sector should be doing to embrace the idea of energy efficiency for all.

    Key Links:
    Kristol Simms’s Energy Central Profile: https://energycentral.com/member/profile/241660

    Energy Efficiency For All: Market Development at Ameren Illinois: https://energycentral.com/o/leidos/energy-efficiency-all-market-development-ameren-illinois-webinar-brought-you

    AESP Conference Impressions from Kristol Simms: https://energycentral.com/c/ee/aesp-conference-feedback

    Link to register as a member of the Energy Central community: https://energycentral.com/user/register

    • 18 min
    16: ‘How Public Power is Leading Utilities’ with Joy Ditto, CEO of American Public Power Association

    16: ‘How Public Power is Leading Utilities’ with Joy Ditto, CEO of American Public Power Association

    The year is only half over, but it’s safe to say that 2020 is already one for the record books within the utility sector. With the year already starting off to be hectic for utilities among an energy transition, fluctuating energy markets, grid modernizations, and more, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was just another screwball the industry was forced to adapt to on the fly. But adapt it has, and, as you’ll hear in this episode, it’s been the public power utilities who have been in many ways setting the standard for how utilities should prepare before a crisis, react to it, and adjust to it as time goes on.

    In this riveting episode, Jason Price and Matt Chester are joined in the podcast booth by Joy Ditto, who recently became the CEO of the American Public Power Association. Joy takes us through what public power utilities across the country have had to do to react to an everchanging landscape, while simultaneously keeping an eye forward on potential for innovation, transition, and more. You won’t want to miss this episode to learn what the community-owned difference is in the utility sector and what lessons can be learned across the wider energy industry.

    Key Links:
    Joy Ditto’s Energy Central Profile: https://energycentral.com/member/profile/238361/about

    The Community-owned Difference: Lessons for Maintaining a Customer Focus: https://energycentral.com/c/cc/community-owned-difference-lessons-maintaining-customer-focus

    Link to register as a member of the Energy Central community: https://energycentral.com/user/register

    • 25 min

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