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Leaning into Energy Transformation

By Rich Barone, VP of Advanced Energy TransformationTRC

Rapid energy transformation is the new norm. From in front of the meter to behind the meter and operations centers, no part of our energy system is unchanged. Grid assets have evolved from traditional grid infrastructure and early demand response solutions ten years ago to complex, agile, and both small-scale and large-scale distributed energy systems today.

This transition is happening rapidly, with meaningful impacts on both utilities and customers alike. So how do we navigate through the rocky terrain? As we are experiencing with COVID-19, transformation can take the form of reactivity and struggle. Difficult, unforeseen challenges become a catalyst for growth. Or alternatively, we can anticipate where our needs are going to be, rather than where we are today, and make plans and implement solutions with that future in mind.

A Forward-Solving Mindset.  A forward-looking, forward-solving mindset is critical to strategically morph our energy paradigm. Prior to recently joining TRC, I had a front-row seat to the challenges and opportunities of energy transformation at Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO). The business-as-usual model is no longer working for utilities and I participated in HECO’s efforts to evolve their approach, leading a team of ‘intrapreneurs’ who embraced the challenge of rethinking our systems and implementing new technology and business innovations.

Just as the grid is becoming more flexible, so too must our business and operations frameworks embody agility and resilience. Utilities and energy providers are embracing distributed energy as an orchestration partner in these complex systems. They are developing interesting solutions for customer asset integration, non-wires alternatives, new market creation, and long-term operational strategies and business models.

I am pleased to join TRC because its integrated advanced energy and digital services are critical to helping energy providers bring their transformation visions to life; and with the continued COVID-19 as well as a multitude of grid and decarbonization needs, many energy providers are accelerating their transformation goals to realize reliable, flexible, and clean power today.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.


West Monroe Partners Thought Pieces on COVID-19West Monroe

The Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Utility Operations
Utilities need to prepare for changes in load, employee availability, and the ability to execute existing projects. West Monroe shares how to create a more digital workplace and improve productivity.

What Can Utilities Expect from the COVID-19 Stimulus Package?
With the $2.2 trillion stimulus package passing, it's critical that utilities remain proactive so customers are able to maximize benefits. Here's how West Monroe says to stay ahead of their questions.


For Immediate Release, March 31, 2020

PLMA Names New Executive Director and Chief Development Officer

Richard Philip will become PLMA’s Executive Director on May 1, 2020. Rich, who was PLMA Chair from 2015 to 2017, will retire from Duke Energy to accept this full-time PLMA position. In addition, Judy Knight will become PLMA’s Chief Development Officer on April 1, 2020. Formerly Director of Communications at the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), Judy has also held various senior roles in the nonprofit sector, including marketing, business development, and member engagement. Ed Thomas continues as Operations Director, and Tiger Adolf as Member Services Director. “We are excited to bring on Rich and Judy to help us further drive the mission of PLMA while continuing to ensure rock solid member support and programming,” said PLMA Chair Michael Brown.

The 41st PLMA Conference, originally scheduled to be presented in Scottsdale, Arizona, will instead be presented online with a mix of live and pre-recorded content presented at no charge to members and non-members alike. The updated conference agenda includes live 2-hour-long webcasts on Tuesday, April 21 and Wednesday, April 22, as well as pre-recordings of as much of the rest of the previously-scheduled conference content as practical. The pre-recordings will be made available to all conference registrants for your binge-watching learning beginning on April 20.

We hope you will make time to view and share this online conference content to reinforce the value of networking and learning among our load management practitioner community during these challenging times. Together, let’s make this the biggest and best conference that PLMA never had... and set our sights on being together again this November 9-11 for the 42nd PLMA Conference in Baltimore.


IPKeys commences cyber security monitoring services for up to 50 Utilities within the American Public Power Association (APPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) Cooperative Agreement

IPKeys Power Partners Logo

Contract award based on recently acquired N-Dimension technology addition to IPKeys Cyber Lab as a Service IPKeys-CLaaS™ platform:

Tinton Falls, N.J., Mar. 17, 2020, IPKeys Power Partners announced today the launch of a cooperative agreement with APPA and DOE to provide cyber security monitoring services for up to fifty public power utilities in the United States.

As part of the collaboration, the parties have agreed to share cyber incident notification reports developed involving public power utilities to the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center "E-ISAC", Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center "MS-ISAC" and/or other information sharing organizations provided that all parties agree to maintain the confidentiality of the information. 

IPKeys Power Partners will share additional information regarding the cyber monitoring program implementation during a webcast on Mar. 24, 2020.  To register for this webinar click here.

"On behalf of IPKeys and the N-Dimension team, we are honored to be selected to commence fulfilling the delivery of Cybersecurity Monitoring Services to be deployed at selected public power utilities throughout the USA," said Robert Nawy, CEO IPKeys Power Partners. "The recent acquisitions of N-Dimension with our proven Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) SigmaFlow platform enables IPKeys-CLaaS™ to now provide the same level of end-to-end cyber risk mitigation services to the utility sector that we have provided in the Department of Defense (DOD)and federal sectors over the past 15 years." Nawy added.

"APPA, through our cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy, has contracted with IPKeys Power Partners to subsidize the deployment of N-Dimension’s N-Sensor technology at public power utilities  We are pleased to kick off this pilot to further mature the cybersecurity programs of our members," said Nathan Mitchell, Sr. Director of Cyber and Physical Security Services, American Public Power Association. "We are excited to see public power utilities take the next step on monitoring cyber threats to critical electric infrastructure. This is in line with our efforts to foster a culture of cyber security at public power utilities starting with a self-assessment using our Cybersecurity Scorecard on to data driven benchmarking using commercial tools," added Mitchell.

"In our team’s collective experience serving municipal utilities since 1999, we have witnessed first-hand the growing cyber threats and vulnerabilities facing our municipal electricity providers," said Mark Ponder, CIO IPKeys Power Partners.  "We are pleased to participate in this grant that represents a defining moment in advancing the technological capability and consciousness necessary to mitigate the imminent cyber threats confronting our electricity providers," Ponder added.

About IPKeys Power Partners

IPKeys Power Partners’ provides secure technology solutions to the complex challenges faced by our country’s utilities and cities. These challenges encompass cyber secure energy infrastructure, optimized electricity demand management and reliable public safety communication networks. Our technology solutions portfolio encompasses networks, data centers, cybersecurity, software, hardware and smart energy grids.

The company is headquartered in Tinton Falls, NJ and has national installation including Shreveport LA, Stafford VA, San Diego, CA, Annapolis Junction, MD, Austin & Dallas TX and Toronto Canada.

About APPA

The American Public Power Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. APPA represents public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the more than 49 million people that public power utilities serve, and the 93,000 people they employ. APPA advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations.

About the DOE

The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America's security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.

To learn more about the cyber security monitoring program please contact:
Carter Schoenberg, EVP CyberSecurity Solutions
IPKeys Power Partners
(202) 660-8066, [email protected]


Nathan Mitchell, Sr. Director of Cyber and Physical Security Services
American Public Power Association

[email protected]



Navigant Research Has Published Utility Online Energy MarketplacesNavigant


Utility Online Energy Marketplaces
E-commerce Platform Drivers, Barriers, Key Industry Players, Global Market Forecasts, and Analysis Demand Side Management 

A 10% discount is available for PLMA members.

Customers are growing comfortable with smart home products and continue to look for ways to orchestrate energy management and comfort. This awareness has spurred recent developments in utility online energy marketplaces, which create the opportunity for utilities to deepen engagement with customers and serve as an energy ally. In response, customers are seizing opportunities to interact with their utility online. Although still relatively small, with a few key industry players across North America and Europe, the utility online energy marketplace is beginning to differentiate with advanced customer engagement offerings. 

Evolving partnerships, merger and acquisition activity, and priority market shifts are changing the utility online energy marketplace landscape. Where online stores traditionally targeted residential customers, offerings are of growing relevance to the small and medium business (SMB) community. Further, business models look distinct between existing markets in North America and Europe and provide room for regional-level growth. Integrated distributed energy resource and other demand side management (DSM) programs will continue to develop over the coming decade and create the demand for smart home products and increased customer engagement, both of which can be provided through utility online energy marketplaces.

This report by Navigant Research, a Guidehouse company, examines the global online energy marketplace landscape. The study provides an analysis of market issues including drivers and barriers. Profiles of key industry players across North America and Europe are included. Global market forecasts for marketplace revenue is provided by region and customer segment through 2029.


Click here for more information.


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