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Itron Inspire Day Two: Paving the Way to a Sustainable Energy Future

Itron Inspire 2023 Day 2 Recap

Thank you to all Itron customers, partners, colleagues and industry leaders who attended Itron Inspire 2023 and made it a success! It was fantastic to share strategies for driving the energy transition forward with solutions and technologies that create better-connected communities. Keep reading to get the highlights from day two. 

Innovating For a Better Future 
On Thursday morning, Itron’s vice president of global marketing, ESG and public affairs, Marina Donovan, invited author, journalist, podcaster and film producer, Robert Byrce, to the stage. He has been writing about energy, politics and innovation for decades. In his keynote, “Energy, Innovation and the Future of the Electric Grid,” Bryce discussed how innovation has been the hallmark of the electricity sector since the days of Edison and Samuel Insull, changing humanity like no other form of energy. He also emphasized the uncertainty and enormous challenges facing the utility industry.

Itron Inspire Day 2 Keynote

Enhancing Outcomes by Leveraging Data 
The Thursday morning general session was followed by the second and final big picture session, “AI, Machine Learning and What It Means for Utilities,” which discussed the quickly evolving revolution of artificial intelligence (AI). This panel discussion covered the various uses of AI to power the energy transition, the importance of balancing data hygiene and integrity, as well as resulting challenges including security and privacy concerns. Panelists highlighted the increased efficiencies and improved decision-making the utility industry is already seeing due to AI, while stressing the importance of data governance. This is key for utilities everywhere as the energy industry produces more data than any other industry, and the transition of the grid is all about leveraging data to make more informed decisions.  

Making the Most of Your AMI Network 
While upgrading lighting, leading utilities are also connecting smart lighting controls to establish an industrial internet of things (IIoT) network canopy, essentially futureproofing their infrastructure investments. In this session, “Avoiding a Lost Opportunity: Upgrading to LED Streetlights with Smart Controls,” Donna Corr, Mississippi Power and Larry Paulhus, AEP Ohio discussed the approach they took to provide lighting savings and propagate a next-generation IoT network. Both organizations wanted a multi-application foundation with the ability to layer in additional applications over time and to maximize the large investment. They knew that increasing the number of endpoints would only make the network stronger and faster, which led to the deployment of smart streetlights. Both organizations emphasized that collaboration between the two was integral to leveraging the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) network, leading to reduced lighting costs, improved sustainability, improved location accuracy, reduced truck rolls and much more. 

 Day 2 AMI Session 

Advancing Itron’s Cellular Strategy 
The utility segment continues to be a leading growth area for Cellular IoT solutions. In this panel discussion, “Exploring Itron’s IoT Strategy for Water, Gas and Battery Powered Devices,” Itron’s Brett Kaffenberger and Brandon Carlson shared Itron’s cellular strategy as we explore new ways to leverage the enhanced coverage, capacity, lower power consumption and reduced costs of new cellular technologies specifically designed to support battery-powered water and gas solutions. A few updates to Itron’s strategy include recognition that the industry is reaching an inflection point for automation and that many water and gas utilities’ technologies are nearing the end of life. In addition, cellular advancements are creating new solutions for data collection, such as better longevity and performance as well as the release of water and gas cellular devices with hosted data collection. Speakers went on to share key updates to Itron’s portfolio with a focus on new use cases for gas and water, enabled by cellular endpoints. 

Itron Inspire Day 2 Session

Thanks for joining us for day two of Itron Inspire! Interested in our day one recap? You can read it here. On-demand session content will be available soon.