We've asked the NextEnergy team to share the industry-related news, stories and information that have grabbed their attention this month. We hope you find it useful!

Latonya Binford, Accountant

What he’s reading: These are the Bots You’re Looking For
Media: Strategic Finance
What makes it interesting: Robot Process Automation (RPA) or bots usually come to mind when we think of the internet or mobile apps, but they can be extraordinarily useful in the world of finance, as well. Bots are basically a series of scripts that can be used to perform routine and time consuming financial tasks. Unlike machine learning and AI, bots are not designed to learn or solve problems. They simple carry out instructions more efficiently than a human being. While some of us have and will be replaced by bots, education on design and maintenance of bots (and whatever comes next) will always ensure our human value in the future.

Angella Durkin, COO

What she’s reading: Interior LEDs Can Make Autonomous Driving Safer, More Comfortable
Media: Wards Auto
What makes it interesting: Interesting read on how vehicle design will change as cars become autonomous, impacting rider safety and comfort. Also explores the role lighting can play in addressing these issues.

David Jackson, Director, Business Development & Industry Partnerships

What he’s reading: Undaunted Courage
What makes it interesting: A History buff. I love the story and Stephen Ambrose is a great Author.

Eric McDonald, Director, Facilities & Infrastructure

What he’s reading: 2019 Strategic Directions: Electric Report
Media: Black & Veatch
What makes it interesting: Black & Veatch interviewed 900 “stakeholders” from the power transmission and distribution industry on the future of the industry. The findings show the industry is awakening to the fact that the power industry needs to be more proactive on many fronts: resilience, environmental sustainability, technology, distributed generation, EVs and more. To quote the philosopher Pogo, the industry “have met the enemy and he is us.” The industry sees it needs to heed the move from behind the meter towards storage, distributed generation and EVs. Industry can not afford to keep customers at arms length. Seventy percent believe industry must cooperate, collaborate, and plan for alternative energy solutions or face a “utility death spiral.”

Nathalie Osborn, Director, Smart Grid Initiatives

What she’s reading: ACEEE Integrated Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Programs Report
Media: ACEEE
What makes it interesting: Report addresses the large missed opportunity for utilities to boost power grid flexibility and benefit customers through fully integrated energy efficiency and demand response programs. ACEEE completed a robust review of 44 utility filings and found 22 utility programs that integrate energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) to some degree. ACEEE discovered only five fully integrate them into a single program and discusses how doing so could help grid operators meet customer demand reliably and at low cost, as more renewable resources enter the grid.

Tim Slusser, Director, Smart Mobility Initiatives

What he’s reading: EV Managed Charging: Lessons from Utility Pilot Programs
Media: Smart Electric Power Alliance
What makes it interesting: Growth in the EV segment will eventually create the need for managed charging services. This article provides some excellent insights on how those services can provide benefits to all.

Melissa Smith, Director, Marketing & Communications

What she’s reading: Ford is betting its future on an electric Mustang SUV
Media: Fast Company
What makes it interesting: It will be interesting to see if Ford’s (Hackett’s) idea that the Mustang brand, good design and ample space will be enough to get people to go electric. It doesn’t hurt that Ford will integrate its EV charging infrastructure into the communications platform so drivers will know when, where, and how long to charge.

Wayne Snyder, Director, Technology Development

What he’s reading: Insights into Future Mobility
Media: MIT
What makes it interesting: As this MIT study concludes, innovations from both the public and private sectors must occur together in a well-designed and timely manner to address our global growing mobility challenges. At NextEnergy, we support public private partnerships to address these challenges to meet evolving needs for cities and communities.

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