Exclusive interview with Oswaldo Kaschny, VP Electric Utilities, Schneider Electric (left) and Jesús Ríos Odero, VP Electric Business, Telvent (right) – joint platinum sponsors at Metering, Billing/CRM Europe.

What is on the calendar for the next year for Telvent/Schneider Electric?
Schneider Electric and Telvent have a very busy agenda for the coming months and into 2013, as we continue to bring together our two companies. We already have a convincing smart grid opportunities pipeline across different geographies and we aim to continue to significantly increase our share of this potential market.

Oswaldo Kaschny

Oswaldo Kaschny

At the same time, we have new challenges to create more value by combining solutions coming from the two companies. As one, we aim to improve the efficiency of mission critical infrastructures through a differentiated portfolio of solutions dedicated to the utilities industry.

What projects are you particularly excited about?
2012 is a critical year for some Telvent and Schneider Electric smart grid projects.

Telvent will be delivering function and system acceptance testing for ADMS projects in the US and Europe with Progress Energy and Dong Energy, while also leading three important smart metering projects for Fortum Finland, Fortum Norway and Vattenfall in Sweden.

Jesus Rios Odero

Jesús Ríos Odero

Schneider Electric will reach important milestones in terms of smart grid pilots, for example Greenlys in France delivering Volt/Var control and demand response for buildings innovations.

What do you believe are the main challenges in the industry?
Despite the world’s current financial issues, many utilities are committed to achieving new efficiency goals. Telvent and Schneider Electric are ready to participate and help utilities make their strategic plans happen in terms of improving operational efficiency, increasing renewable energies and reducing CO2 emissions.

Grid challenges often depend on network maturity and as new kinds of loads, sources, and equipment are implemented, the need to more effectively plan, engineer and operate networks is critical. Equally more smart metering projects mean that utilities want to understand, monitor and better control LV networks to enable active demand, distributed generation and energy efficiency ambitions.

What is your vision for the industry?
The industry is now ready to truly confront the smart grid challenge by adapting this broad and powerful concept to their specific situations and therefore improving their market positions.

Utilities already know that they are operating in a more competitive world and they need adequate tools to succeed in this environment. These tools can be ranked according to multiple factors, but utilities can accomplish their short, medium and long term plans by leveraging the impressive tools portfolio that companies such as Telvent and Schneider Electric can offer them.

What surprises you about the industry?
This is a difficult question. For Telvent and Schneider Electric, surprises are a way of life and we are used to adapting ourselves both technologically and organizationally to maintain our leadership in the utility market. However, over the last few years, the general slowdown in metering initiatives – clearly affected by regulatory and legal events – have delayed a lot of well-defined technical plans, particularly in Europe.

We remain confident that in the next two years, new initiatives are going to be launched and that European utilities will sustain their global leadership in metering projects, which are key to making the smart grid a reality.

Why do you keep returning to Metering Europe?
Both Telvent and Schneider Electric are renewing our participation in 2012 as this event is an ideal forum for high value interaction with our European-based customers and partners – an important opportunity for us to network and make new contacts, understand upcoming trends and critical issues for our key stakeholders.

We are also keen to show what we have to offer now we are working together. This is the first Metering Europe/T&D Smart Grids event since the Telvent acquisition by Schneider Electric and we are excited to demonstrate our joint technological capabilities as well as our future plans to create new solutions for the utilities sector.

What will be your specific message at the event this year?
Telvent and Schneider Electric will showcase how integrating our systems and solutions we can provide answers to the utility industry’s concerns. Schneider Electric and Telvent’s smart grid tools provide the critical functionality to help utilities manage resources, and operate their grids efficiently and reliably. As new concerns and challenges emerge, Schneider Electric and Telvent will evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of the industry.

So remember to drop by and see us on our stand for find out more about self healing network management, our advanced metering infrastructure and management solutions as well as our advanced distribution management system and other innovative grid management solutions.