Utility executives poured into Boston from across the country this week for the Edison Electric Institute’s annual conference. They talked about everything from crazy national politics to rate design to artificial intelligence and the future of workers.
We brought our recording gear and tracked down some top names in the industry. In this episode, we hear what's on the minds of utility executives.
Here are some highlights from the interviews.
Tom Fanning, CEO of Southern Company, on why decarbonization will continue under Trump: "We don't chase fads. Our business approach, our strategies, our models, have a much longer life than any political party or any particular administration."
Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources CEO, on automation and the future of work: "We're not thinking about that enough yet."
Julia Hamm, the CEO of SEPA, on how distributed energy is wrapped up in smart cities and artificial intelligence: "Utility executives are really starting to think about how that suite of distributed energy resources fits into an even bigger picture."
David Owens, retiring VP of regulatory affairs at EEI, on the new priorities for investor-owned utilities: "We've gotten very aggressive in the industry's vision. And that vision is focused around cleaner energy, a smarter energy infrastructure, and providing customized or individualized solutions so we can respond to customer needs."
And here's our reading list mentioned at the top of the show:
- R Street Institute report on why baseload retirements don't necessarily mean unreliability.
- Rocky Mountain Institute piece on outdated notions of baseload power
- Researchers debunk the premise of Rick Perry's baseload report in The Conversation
- GTM article summarizing a report on why ARPA-E is a success so far
- Wall Street Journal article on oil giants shifting their focus to electricity
The Interchange is brought to you by AES Energy Storage. AES is helping utilities harness the power of battery-based energy storage to make the electric power system cleaner, more flexible, and more reliable. Find out more.