Spirae leads the Center for Smart Grid Advancement (CSGA), a collaborative initiative providing a forum for thought leadership and subject matter expertise to address the rapid transformation of the power industry.
Because many countries, regions, and utilities are in the early stages of evaluating smart grid projects, complete understanding of these intersecting issues is still emerging. In fact, the diverse technical, regulatory and market scenarios that underlie smart grids vary greatly within countries and even within regions.
Implementation of smart grids then requires an educated workforce, educated stakeholders and the tools to visualize smart grid concepts, the ability to carry out “what-if” analyses and develop cost-benefit comparisons with competing solutions. The Center aims to provide this infrastructure by creating a foundation that will benefit the smart grid industry for years to come.
The CSGA has four major focus areas:
With its educational partners, CSGA has launched the Smart Grid Technical Certification offered through Front Range Community College and engineering-level courses offered through Colorado State University. Spirae brings its subject matter expertise and unique facilities (the InteGrid Lab and the Network Operations Center) to illustrate complex smart grid concepts through coursework and lab exercises for power system technicians, professionals and policy stakeholders enrolled in these newly developed curricula.
Smart Grid Live, another CSGA initiative, is an annual event hosted by Spirae and CSGA featuring leading smart grid innovators, panel discussions, and networking with technical, governmental and business experts from around the globe. The event revolves around proven solutions demonstrated live by smart grid practitioners who share technologies, business models, best practices and lessons learned that address the complex issues presently facing the industry.
Through this initiative, Spirae and its partners are able to analyze numerous scenarios and cost-benefit comparisons to develop models in a collaborative environment that will set the foundation for smart grid innovation and large-scale implementation.
The Center for Smart Grid Advancement will meet the following objectives:
Through formal relationships with smart grid experts, innovative technology and stakeholder relationships, the Center has established a comprehensive and inimitable destination where visitors from around the world come to learn about, and experience smart grid technologies in action. By leveraging these, the Center seeks to develop the most innovative, credible and lasting smart-grid demonstrations to drive industry understanding while also educating stakeholders in meaningful and compelling demonstrations.
The Center will be driven by, and serve several stakeholder groups:
Through activities such as training courses, conferences, demonstrations, and outreach, the Center will promote a strengthened smart grid infrastructure and workforce that will enable members of these groups to become leaders in the field. This is accomplished by providing smart grid stakeholders with opportunities to learn, observe, share, demonstrate, and engage in myriad activities designed to propel the industry.
Around the world, utilities and smart grid technology companies face a shortage of workers who are adequately trained in smart grid power systems technologies and techniques. As a result of this shortage, utilities and technology providers must train workers on-the-job, which can take months, if not years, and consumes significant resources in the process.
To address this common need, Spirae will provide structured professional training to power system professionals. Concepts covered will include:
Smart grid short-length training courses provide the educational resources and technical understanding through hands-on power system activities and lectures in smart grid concepts, technologies and interoperable solutions.
Despite substantial funding dedicated to smart grid projects domestically and abroad, the demonstration of live, operational technologies that synchronize with markets is still rare. As a result, understanding of the underlying technologies and their applicability to meeting market and economic needs is lacking. Through offerings such as Smart Grid Live services, the Center and its partners address this need by leveraging the InteGrid Lab and the Spirae NOC to provide visitors with real, visually compelling demonstrations of smart grid projects testing real technologies and business models.
The Center for Smart Grid Advancement will have lasting impacts in the region and Colorado. Two of the primary objectives of the Center are: to develop an educated workforce familiar with smart grid systems and to foster economic development in the region by attracting smart grid and energy-related businesses.
Smart Grid Live 2012 Preview
Spirae is an innovative technology company that delivers scalable smart grid solutions to global partners and customers. Spirae specializes in the integration of large-scale renewable and distributed energy resources, the development of local and wide area controls, energy service platforms and power system simulations.
Spirae's Bill Becker attends VERGE Hawaii. Watch his interview with GreenBiz here.