Top Utility Gathering in Sydney Next Week

Sydney, Australia, November 03, 2011 --( Ausgrid MD George Maltabarow will deliver the opening keynote at the meeting of some 600 top utility professionals from around Australia and New Zealand in Sydney from Tuesday 8-10 November. The Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand conference and exhibition will particularly focus on e-mobility and smart grid developments and 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 Electric Vehicles (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 Kristian who will give an update on the Victoria Electric Vehicle Trial during Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand next week.

Global experts
The event will have several global experts who will share his insight and experience. Joerg Lohr, Senior Manager E-Mobility at the global utility leader RWE Effizienz says: “Electric Vehicles will play a significant role as a storage facility of renewable energy.” RWE currently operates more than 1350 publicly accessible charging spots in Europe, each of them connected to its Electric Vehicle Management System, and another 80 in the USA and China are to be installed. Says Joerg 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, Southern California Gas USA Company, San Diego Gas and Electric and 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 modernising
Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand programme director, Elly Kreijkes, says utilities in Australia and New Zealand are modernising 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-benefits 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.”

Speaker highlights at Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand include:
· George Maltabarow, Managing Director, Ausgrid, Australia
· Joerg Lohr, Senior Manager E-Mobility. RWE Effizienz, Germany
· 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
· Thomas R. Brill, Director, Strategic Analysis, Southern California Gas USA Company, San Diego Gas and Electric, USA

Event dates and location:
8 - 10 November 2011, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia

Smart Utilities Australia & New Zealand
Annemarie Roodbol