‘You have to help define where is it okay to have failure, where is it not okay.’
Tom Flaherty is a partner with Strategy&, part of the PwC network, with over forty years of consulting experience. Most recently, he has led assignments related to standing up innovation programs and capabilities within utilities. Steve Mitnick is Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly and author of the book “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.”
At the recent EEI Annual Convention, PUF's Steve Mitnick and Tom Flaherty of Strategy& sat down with five utility CEOs to discuss how they are encouraging innovation at their companies. Below is an edited transcript of the interview with Pedro Pizarro.
Pedro Pizarro is President and Chief Executive Officer, Edison International. Pizarro has been the President and CEO of EIX since October 2016. Prior to that, he served as President of EIX from June 2016 to September 2016 and President of SCE from October 2014 to May 2016. Pizarro has held a wide range of executive positions at the EIX companies since joining EIX in 1999. Prior to his work at the EIX companies, he was a senior engagement manager with McKinsey & Company.
Tom Flaherty of Strategy&: What are your experiences over the last two years, as you focused on innovation?
Edison International's CEO Pedro Pizarro: Innovation, for us, takes a lot of different approaches.
Within the utility, the hub is our advanced technology group which we view as a broader corporate resource. That's where we have labs and can pilot and try out new technologies. We can work very closely with vendors and work closely with academia.
We sponsored some research projects at universities, including at Caltech. The hub is a nice place to have folks inside the company with engineering depth. They can help to test and adapt technologies for use on the grid.