The Most Outstanding in Ten Categories
Steve Mitnick is President of Lines Up, Inc., Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly, author of “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.
For this year's Fortnightly Top Innovators, among the forty-three nominations we selected the most outstanding — in our judgement — in ten categories. Specifically, we selected the Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in customer service, distributed resources, energy efficiency, environmental care, infrastructure safety, new technologies, regulatory effectiveness, smart grid, system efficiency, utility culture.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in customer service is the team of Emmanuel Ansah, Will Barnes, Lauren Biernacki, Julie Duncan, Lisa Garcia, Sal Orsino and Jared Osorio of PSEG. They developed a comprehensive and easy-to-use real-time customer service interface for those customers with Alexa.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in distributed resources is Larry Bekkedahl of Portland General Electric. He led the development of a virtual power plant within the utility's distribution system to enable integration of distributed resources at scale.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in energy efficiency is Kristol Simms of Ameren. Under her leadership, the utility teamed with minority and women-owned businesses and community organizations to significantly increase efficiency opportunities for low and moderate-income customers.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in environmental care is the team of Kirk Ellison and Jeffery Preece of the Electric Power Research Institute. They created a wastewater encapsulation technology to manage - over the long-term - wastewater at electric power sites.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in infrastructure safety is the team of Tom Langlois, Magdalena Michniuk, Anuja Nakkana and Kevin Wasserman of Consolidated Edison, Bob Laird, Bob Luben, Eric Toperzer and Daniel Smires of Itron, and Joe Deluca, Akira Nakao, Yoshinori Nishiie and Kazuya Saito of New Cosmos. The three companies collaborated to deploy nine thousand smart natural gas detectors in New York that alarm anyone nearby of a leak and the local fire department.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in new technologies is Clifton Black of Southern Company. He established a grid visualization and analytics center to expeditiously demonstrate and evaluate new power grid technologies.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in regulatory effectiveness is Patrice Jones Hunter of the District of Columbia Public Service Commission. She developed the energy supplier workshop and the integrated case management system.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in smart grid is Luke Benedict of Exelon. He developed a real time alerts dashboard to alert operators of the distribution system if the alarms pass a threshold suggesting possible equipment damage.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in system efficiency is Luiz Cheim of ABB. He developed a wireless inspection robot to maneuver through a liquid-filled power transformer.
This year's Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in utility culture is the team of Cynthia Butler Carson, Jennifer Downey, Wiley Elliot, John Jost, Paul Loeffelman, Ram Sastry and John Schwarck of AEP. They created a process working internationally to drive more start-ups, pilots and faster results from innovation.
Fortnightly Top Innovators 2019 articles:
- Fortnightly Top Innovators 2019
- Fortnightly Foremost Innovators 2019
- Profiles in Innovation
- PSEG's Emmanuel Ansah, Will Barnes, Lauren Biernacki, Julie Duncan, Lisa Garcia, Sal Orsino, and Jared Osorio
- PPL Electric Utilities' Patrick Barnett, Mychal Kistler, and Ihab Salet
- Southern Company's Clifton Black
- ABB's Luiz Cheim
- EPRI's Kirk Ellison and Jeffery Preece
- EPRI's Charles Vinsonhaler
- Arizona Public Service's Kim Wagie