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by Jeff St. John
February 12, 2019

Last week’s DistribuTech conference in New Orleans, the biggest electric grid technology trade show in the country, provided the latest glimpse into how utilities are seeking to reinvent themselves in a world of rooftop solar, behind-the-meter batteries, electric vehicles and other distributed energy resources.

Over the past decade of DistribuTech conferences, we’ve watched various technologies emerge from smart meters and distribution automation, to home energy management and customer engagement, to DER integration and grid optimization. We’ve also tracked the shifting vendor partnerships being formed to bring them to market, and where they’ve borne fruit or faded away.  

We’ve already covered some of the advances on these fronts from last week’s conference, including some of the first real-world products and deployments using the Wi-SUN field area network and the Open Field Message Bus specifications for managing networked nodes on the grid. But to get the big-picture view, it’s always good to check in with Mike Carlson, president of Siemens Digital Grid, who oversees the “digitalization” of one the broadest energy ecosystems out there, from wind and gas turbines to individual smart meters and behind-the-meter energy assets. 

At last week’s DistribuTech conference, Carlson offered an overview of the company’s latest announcements, as well as how it’s progressing on some long-running initiatives, and subjects of interviews at DistribuTechs past. We also checked in with Sentient and Landis+Gyr at the show (more on that below).