Some sad news. Smart grid industry pioneer Erich Gunther passed away "unexpectedly on June 18 at the age of 57," according to a release from EnerNex, the company he co-founded and where he served as chairman and CTO.

It's shocking. Erich was a long-time friend of GTM. We were supposed to be seeing and hearing from him this week at our upcoming Grid Edge World Forum. He will be missed. But all of us in this industry share Erich Gunther's life's mission of advancing the modernization of the electrical grid.

The last discussion I had with him was about an article he wanted to write for GTM on potential new regulatory rules that would allow utilities to take bigger technology risks.

Gunther worked with some of the world’s largest utilities and vendors on "how to plan, architect, deploy, test and scale smart grids from end to end. He was part of the original team that developed EPRI’s IntelliGrid Architecture and helped oversee its development through its first major application at Southern California Edison for the utility’s AMI and Smart Grid programs."

According to EnerNex, "Gunther was a licensed private helicopter and instrument-rated fixed-wing airplane pilot and aircraft owner, as well as an accomplished home brewer and grill master."

He will be missed.