My apologies to George Lucus and the many wonderful power plant operators that have faithfully served our communities for over a century with reliable and affordable power. Distributech 2020 has shown that there really is no longer a divide in the old/future energy grid “force”. In my mind, the only thing that is in question is how best to accelerate that change as each community will have unique evolutionary journeys. I attended my first Distributech two years ago, and it is was much more an empire centric event with a few brave rebels trying to be heard. This year it was clear from the opening keynote and curation of program speakers that the future of energy force is strong with this one.

Working with Zpryme over the past three years on Energy Thought Summit and Start@ETS competitions, I have had the privilege to talk to some interesting people that want to do everything they can to aid the industry in this evolutionary journey. The following innovative Zpryme event introduced Rebels exhibited at Distributech 2020 and have transformative products and services ready for utility-scale deployment.

Athena Power has developed an advanced sensor and analytics capability targeted at utilities underground assets. They enable new data insights into the reliability of your buried assets and help proactively identify transient faults before your customers are impacted by a widespread cable outage. Here is an older pitch video from Athena which describes the solution.

GridX Inc. Developing new utility rate designs and tackling a next-generation utility billing engine are probably two of the most difficult changes facing the utility of the future. GridX has taken on both of these challenges by leveraging their past experience in the Telecom market and its transformation. The ten-year-old company uses large volumes of utility meter interval data and applies advanced machine learning algorithms to identify data patterns not possible with traditional utility billing or reporting systems. Want to predict how a new time of use rate might be adopted by your customers? GridX is a company to investigate.

LO3Energy You have likely already heard of transactive energy, blockchain, and green energy marketplaces and thought that sounds way too complex to implement with our existing tools. Well, LO3Energy has taken care of all the complexity and developed an elegant platform with an easy-to-use mobile and web application that allows your forward-thinking customers a next-generation product offering.

Packetized Energy I first learned about Packetized while judging Zyprme’s Start@ETS 2019 competition. Unfortunately, I did not get to catch up with them at their DistribuTECH booth but I was so impressed with their pitch I recommend keeping a watch on this company. Packetize is a combination software provider with hardware device controllers with aggregate controllable load devices such as water heater, electric vehicle chargers, distributed batteries, and solar inverters to balance grid resources to shift demand curves into areas of the day where cheaper or greener energy is available.

Quantum Spatial is a large company that is always innovating on new products and services for utilities. I was first introduced to their lidar, spectral imaging applications for vegetation management and pole analysis on overhead distribution systems. At DistribuTECH they were showing a new autonomous robotic rover for high-value substation/switching station assets. Have a unique field data collection requirement? Quantum Spatial probably has something that can help.

Quantum Spatial demonstrating robotic product.

ResilientGrid helps the people operating our grid to be more effective by providing the right amount of information needed for decision making without the clutter of displaying all data elements from multiple systems on multiple screens. ResilientGrid has taken the science of Human Factors to complex control room environments allowing for relevant data to be combined into an operator single screen that only highlights critical information when it is important. This human-centric approach helps reduce operator fatigue and supports better real-time decision making.

Treverity  First off, congratulations to the Treverity team for being named a Winner of the DistribuTECH 2020 Initiate! competition. Integrating legacy data from multiple siloed applications is never a simple process but Treverity seems to have no problem with any obscure data types thrown at them. Advanced workflow, visualization, and analytics across these multiple data sets are handled with uncanny simplicity. New for the DistribuTECH competition was a customer 360 application that provides google-like search capability allowing knowledge of everything impacting a customer, its past interactions with the utility, and upcoming work that might impact service to them in the future. Great for field personnel, call center advisors, or any authorized employee with frequent customer interaction responsibilities.

Thank you for spending your time on these Zpryme Insights from DistribuTECH 2020. I hope you have found this series valuable and somewhat entertaining. May the Grid be with you!