Great Lakes Symposium covers economic energy, Smart Grid

Technews Writer
Fri Sep 27, 2013

The third annual Great Lakes Symposium on Smart Grid and the New Energy Economy was organized at the Illinois Institute of Technology last week from the 23rd to the 25th of September. Continuing the trend set from last year, this year was also a grand success with attendees from all over the globe. Dr. Mohammed Shahidehpour, Bodine Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and also the Director of Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation thanked everyone for the grand success of the international symposium, attended by international researchers, experts, scientists and people from industries included keynote speeches, plenary sessions, technical presentations, and tutorials on smart grid and its applications.

The organizers described the Great lakes Symposium as a one-of-a-kind event that breaks new ground in smart grid design and development and showcases smart grid best practices from around the country along with new technologies and ideas that are spurring innovation, growing state economies, reducing emissions and empowering consumers to conserve and save.

Although, the dates announced were the 23rd to 25th September, the symposium organized a short course on 22nd September on various aspects of smart grids, i.e., its implementation, creation of its roadmap, security aspects and distribution automation. The official opening of the symposium featured keynote speech followed by plenary sessions. Dr. Shahidehpour welcomed all the attendees by addressing the crowd about the symposium agenda and then it was followed by a plenary discussion on “Smart Grid Innovations in Illinois.” The other plenary discussion on “Virgin Islands Solar PV Initiative” was an interesting topic. This is because Veriown, a Chicago based solar-energy startup has offered the University of the Virgin Islands a slash down of the Island’s incapacitating energy costs. Veriown has collaborated with the Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation at the Illinois Institute of Technology to develop the next generation of microgrids. Another interactive session was a panel discussion on “Will Smart Grid Create New Jobs?” This session was more focused on job creation in Illinois since there were speakers from ComEd, Illinois Green Economy Network and two community colleges, i.e., Lewis and Clark Community College and Lake Land Community College.

The second day too had a variety of topics starting from microgrid evolution, enhancement, grid modernization, etc. The day started with keynote speech by Jianhui Wang from Argonne National laboratory and Steve Pullins, President of Horizon Energy Group. The talk was about “Microgrid Evaluation in Distribution Service Restoration After a Blackout.” And it was followed by a plenary session on “Microgrids for Enhancing the Grid Resiliency” by people from S&C Electric, University of Luleo-Sweden, Electric Power Research Institute, MIT, Horizon Energy Group and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  It was indeed a very informative session. The plenary was followed by a series of simultaneous panel session on “Wind Energy from the Windy City”, “Grid Modernization for Power System Enhancement” and “Clean Energy Manufacturing.” The afternoon plenary session was another informative one, discussing the topic “Electricity Market and Regulations.” After the discussion, there were two panel sessions and one paper session. Both the panel discussions were more industry oriented while the paper session had student participation. The theme for paper session was “microgrids” and it had papers on various novel and interesting areas of microgrids.

The third and last day was pretty short comprising, each one of keynote speech, plenary and paper session and two panel discussions. The keynote session on “Building Resilience into the Smart Grid” by William Sanders from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign gave a broad and clear prospect about the research they’re doing at their university. He also gave an insight about Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG), the research group at University of Illinois where they collaborate with other universities to work on improving the national power grid making it more reliable, secure and safe. Following this was the plenary session on “Increasing Adoption: Intelligent and Trustworthy Smart Grid.” The day ended with two simultaneous panel discussion on “Big Data in Smart Grids” and “Advanced Electric Vehicle Technology”, and paper session on “Power System Operation and Control.”

Apart from the sessions, companies like S&C Electric, ComEd and Ameren Illinois had their stalls in the Herman Hall to attract the crowd.


Appears in
2013 - Fall - Issue 5
2013 - Fall - Issue 5