Expanding on a successful platform that brings our members and community together for education, sharing, networking and moving the grid forward.
As Smart Grid Northwest, our organization, its members and affiliates produced a progression of events culminating in our new signature event, GridFWD 2018. This event proved the evolution of our focus and aspirations: from discrete technologies and techniques such as DR and blockchain, to themes based on shared outcomes including resiliency, flexibility, electrification and decarbonization. In 2019, our organization became Grid Forward, and we evolved GridFWD to meet the challenges of our electric grid as we faced COVID-19, wildfires, equity and the many other challenges of 2020. Looking forward, we will continue a diverse array of virtual events to keep our community engaged and moving forward, together.
Over eight days from October 6 to 15, 2020, GridFWD 2020 brought together our a wide range of stakeholders to address the biggest challenges and opportunities for grid modernization in our region. Over 500 people participated in this virtual event that explored the many changes, perspectives and solutions our regional stakeholders are pursing to support not just reliable, affordable electric service, but also the welfare of our customers, co-workers and communities. Attendees took their pick of a wide range of activities: from live podcast recordings to small themed social groups, from expert debates to interactive sessions. Click here to see the agenda.
Grid Forward members came together on August 20 for our first virtual annual meeting! We caught up on organization initiatives, elected board members, and recorded a live podcast with Audrey Zibelman, CEO of Australia Energy Market Operator. We also announced our first Grid Innovation Award winners. Congratulations to Uplight, Portland General Electric and Terry Oliver.
GridFWD 2019 took place at Benaroya Hall, in the heart of Seattle. The event comprised three interwoven themes that explore grid modernization across multiple dimensions: Modernization Best Practices in techniques and technology; Culture of Innovation, exploring the creation of an environment that welcomes and accelerates new ways of working; and Markets & Models, delving into regulatory and business frameworks that unleash the promise of new technologies and organizations. More than 420 attendees, 120 speakers and 30 sponsors came together to make this our most impactful event.
At GridFWD 2018, leaders from regional utilities, solution providers, regulatory agencies and governments came together in Vancouver, B.C. Together, they explored the evolution of the region’s energy systems to accommodate the radical changes in energy sources, distribution systems and usage that are surging through the electrical infrastructure of the Northwest. You can see the complete agenda and speaker presentations here.
Our members and the broader community from across the region – Washington, Oregon, Idaho and B.C. – came together at the 2018 Northwest Energy Resiliency Summit on June 12, 2018. At this unique one-day meeting, stakeholders participated in presentations, panel discussions and working sessions focused on helping regional stakeholders with developing resiliency solutions for energy systems in our region. This event dug deep into some our most critical topics: developing microgrids at critical facilities, preparing for cyber resiliency, asset monitoring, rapid restoration, all-hazard resilience, and finding metrics for tracking and quantifying resiliency efforts. For more details download the agenda.
Smart Grid NW hosted a lively discussion on how capital-efficient investments in grid modernization can improve energy reliability and resiliency. Today we enjoy an expanding portfolio of solutions to strengthen and better manage energy systems — diverse demand side management options, increasingly cost-effective storage, integrated resource management systems, various asset monitoring, sophisticated controls, rich analytics and more. But investing in energy resiliency improvements can be tricky, especially traditional infrastructure built-outs that have often become expensive. How can a new wave of solutions, paired with smarter policy and updated business models, help accelerate the right path forward? Participants engaged in this debate on how grid modernization solutions can help increase the resiliency of the Pacific NW energy system, and what regional stakeholders should do to make it happen. Get the details by downloading the agenda.
Demand response (DR) and energy storage are two interrelated pillars for building a more flexible and resilient electric grid and optimal energy resource mix for the Pacific Northwest. To help advance these important trends, Smart Grid Northwest hosted the Northwest Demand Response & Energy Storage Summit on September 27 and 28, 2017. Hundreds of leaders at regional utilities, and those working with them, came together to explore DR and energy storage options and implementations. See the speakers and topics on demand response here and energy storage here.