Saving energy – and money – thanks to smart grids

By Dale Johnson Posted: June 3, 2015 6:00 a.m.

John McDonald will be speaking at the University of Regina about smart grids.
John McDonald will be speaking at the University of Regina about smart grids. (Photo courtesy of John McDonald)

One of the world’s leading experts on energy systems will be a guest speaker at the University of Regina on June 4, 2015, and will talk about how technology can help reduce power bills.

John McDonald will give a presentation on “The Future of Energy: Smart Grid and Beyond.”

McDonald says for a typical consumer, a smart grid means the ability to manage energy use – without  compromising lifestyle – to save energy and cut power bills.

“As a first step they can utilize in-home enabling technology, such as programmable communicating thermostats and load control devices. Second, they can take advantage of the smart meters their utility has installed on their home and go to their utility web site to see the electric usage at their home. They will see areas where they can reduce their consumption,” McDonald explains.

McDonald is Director of Technical Strategy and Policy Development for GE Energy Management’s Digital Energy business, and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a sought-after industry leader, technical expert, educator, and speaker. He has recently given keynote speeches in Australia, Qatar and Turkey.

He will be speaking at the University of Regina to the South Saskatchewan Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The organization's chair is Dr. Craig Gelowitz, Associate Professor and Program Chair of Software Systems Engineering in the U of R's Faculty of Engineering.

The IEEE is a professional association with a mission statement to promote “the engineering process of creating, developing, integrating, sharing, and applying knowledge about electro and information technologies and sciences for the benefit of humanity and the profession.”

Benefits of a “smart grid” include the ability of the system to detect a power failure and usually restore power automatically, as well as suppressing demand at peak periods to keep costs lower.

McDonald says visionary concepts include the integration of technology components and increased use of rooftop solar panels.

McDonald is looking forward to speaking at the University of Regina.

“I have a vision for the future of energy that is based on my 41 years of full-time work experience, and many industry leadership positions, that I can convey at many different levels to effectively connect with the audience. I'm well known and respected by key industry leaders worldwide. I mentor many young professionals and always enjoy speaking at universities and interacting with students.”

McDonald’s presentation is open to the public.

The event is sponsored by the University of Regina to the South Saskatchewan Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Event:       The Future of Energy: Smart Grid and Beyond
Date:         June 4
Time:        11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Location:   Kinesiology Centre – U of R
Room:       185
 
The University of Regina views its commitment to sustainability as critical to its future success as outlined in the Strategic Plan. The U of R, with assistance from SaskPower, is making the campus even more energy efficient. For that story please visit here.