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Engineering Lecture Series To Host Panel On “Smart Grid”

Published: October 17, 2011

“Smart Grid: How Smart Is It?” will be the topic of a panel discussion at CSULB at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, at The Pointe located in The Walter Pyramid. The event begins with registration and an opportunity to network and meet the panel of experts beginning.

Experts will discuss how the nation’s electric power infrastructure that has served so well for so long—also known as “the grid”—is rapidly running up against its limitations. Systemically, the risks associated with relying on an often-overtaxed grid are growing in size, scale and complexity every day. Today’s electricity system is 99.97 percent reliable, yet still allows for power outages and interruptions that cost Americans at least $150 billion each year—about $500 for every man, woman and child. From national challenges like power system security to those global in nature such as climate change, the near-term agenda is formidable.

California utilities have already begun a transition from its current centralized, producer-controlled network to one that is less centralized and more consumer-interactive. The move to a smarter grid promises to change the industry’s entire business model and its relationship with all stakeholders, involving and affecting utilities, regulators, energy service providers, technology and automation vendors and all consumers of electric power.

Many customers today have questions on how the Smart Grid will impact them both in the near and long-term future. The members of the panel will answer audience questions and discuss how the Smart Grid will be an enabling engine for the 21st century electric grid.

The panel of experts will include Lee Krevat, director of the Smart Grid Initiative, San Diego Gas and Electric; Joe Dada, chief executive officer, SmartLabs, Inc.; Charles Prescott, program manager, The Boeing Company; and Brad Gammons, vice president, sales and solutions, IBM Global Energy and Utilities Industry. Kent Peterson, a 1986 CSULB graduate, vice president and chief engineer at P2S Engineering, Inc., will serve as moderator.

The event is part of the College of Engineering’s Distinguished Lecture Series and is hosted by the college Dean’s Advisory Council. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required. RSVP online or by e-mail at coe-dev@csulb.edu by Monday, Oct. 24. Business attire is recommended, and complimentary parking will be available. Sponsorship opportunities are also available by contacting coe-dev@csulb.edu.

–Ken Swisher