J. Chris Baker, SVP- Strategic Planning and Technology, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas Cp.
The increase in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications is changing the way we do business at SDG&E. As is happening in many industries, more and more "smart" devices are communicating with each other and delivering vital information about the status of our electric grid. M2M communications can be seen in smart meters providing near real-time energy usage data to customers, new power line sensors detecting outages faster than ever before and utility control systems helping to integrate more intermittent renewable energy.
The rise of M2M is also a key element of the “Big Data” challenge, which is the increase in information that comes with our reliance on technology. SDG&E sees this transformation in our industry as a true opportunity and is fast becoming an expert at managing and protecting very large datasets.
We are investing in people with new skills and innovative ideas, installing data management technology and collaborating with community and government partners to proactively shape this transformation for the benefit of all.
By confronting this challenge head on, we can reap the rewards of creating a more versatile, "self-aware" energy grid that can enhance reliability, bolster environmental sustainability and provide innovative services to customers that they value.