Sydney, Australia --- (METERING.COM) --- November 2, 2011 - Ausgrid MD George Maltabarow will deliver the opening keynote at the Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand 2011 meeting of some 600 top utility professionals from around Australia and New Zealand taking place in Sydney November 8-10.

The Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand conference and exhibition will particularly focus on e-mobility and smart grid developments, and will feature real life practical insights based on recent trial results and lessons learnt from the region and abroad.

Electric vehicles

“It would be great to hear an Australian utility announce a strategic plan for EVs along the lines of what is being done by DTE Energy in Michigan or PG&E in California,” says Kristian Handberg, project manager – low emission vehicles, at the Australian Department of Transport.

“I'd give it maybe another 2 to 3 years, but maybe I'll be proven wrong,” notes Handberg, who will give an update on the Victoria Electric Vehicle Trial during the event.

Global experts

The event will have several global experts who will share insight and experience. Joerg Lohr, senior manager e-mobility at RWE Effizienz, says: “Electric vehicles will play a significant role as a storage facility of renewable energy.” RWE currently operates more than 1,350 publicly accessible charging spots in Europe, each of them connected to its EV management system, and another 80 in the U.S. and China are to be installed.

Says Lohr: “We are one of the biggest operators of intelligent infrastructure for electric vehicles in the world, and unique within Europe.”

Start of exciting “smart grid” journey

“We are at the beginning of an exciting journey to improve efficiency, reduce emissions, and empower energy consumers,” according to Thomas R. Brill, director, Strategic Analysis at Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas and Electric in the U.S. and a speaker at Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand.

SDG&E has been deploying smart grid technology for many years. He continues: “My vision for smart grid investments is to create a secure utility platform for the ‘smart customer’ of the future that empowers customers with reliability, choice, control and convenience.”

Australian utilities modernizing

Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand program director, Elly Kreijkes, says utilities in Australia and New Zealand are modernizing their networks to better serve their customers but that this also brings about challenges in the industry. She explains: “These challenges include trying to ensure that smart grid rollouts benefit the customer rather than adding to the costs. In addition to the cost-benefit analysis, utilities need to look at how to best deal with information flows and privacy. Finally, with growing developments in new technologies utilities are confronted with a lot of choices and need to make justified investment decisions.”

Other speaker highlights at Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand include:

  • Patrick Hayes, Engineering Director, Glendale Water and Power, USA
  • Belinda Jones, Manager Retail Operations, Hunter Water Corporation, Australia
  • Inji Choi, Researcher, Kepco, Korea
  • Donny Helm, Director Technology Strategy & Architecture, Oncor Electric Delivery, USA
  • Ari Sargent, CEO, Powershop, Australia

The event takes place at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre in Sydney, Australia.

For more information, visit www.smartutilities-ausnz.com