Participating in the Itron Experience strengthened my understanding of Itron’s vision for smart cities—and provided an important visualization of how energy and infrastructure could be connected and coordinated. The most impressive part of the Itron Experience was being able to dive into specific use cases and see how Itron technology interactions could solve real problems. For example, one demonstration showed how metering and lighting infrastructure could interact and respond during a natural disaster like an earthquake, disconnecting gas and water service, and illuminating exit signs and pathways out of a parking garage—all simultaneously. It showcased the full integration of communications and controls that make smart cities more than just a possibility.

At Exelon, we see the future grid as providing the connective tissue for communities taking on three interrelated challenges: climate change, economic development and quality of life. To do this, we need to design a coherent strategy which focuses not only on grid technologies, but also includes the customer service model and an enabling policy framework. Connected technologies, especially those reliant on grid infrastructure, form the basis for many of the new services we see desired by consumers and communities, and help stakeholders imagine what is possible.

Today, our utilities are investing in infrastructure foundational to our modernization vision, providing a platform to better connect with our customers and strengthen our communities. One recent example is the planned deployment of up to 140,000 municipal smart streetlights in ComEd’s service territory, responding to a need of our customers and helping provide lighting to places the city infrastructure currently does not reach.

With the Itron Experience playing a role in helping utilities and cities visualize the technologies that are central to achieving modernization, it’s exciting to imagine what’s possible with a strengthened energy ecosystem and the right technology partner. An intelligently connected world that responds to climate, cyber and physical threat, immediately, securely and autonomously, is one we can all get behind.

Check out the Itron Experience in action here.

Kristen Brown
Principal - Technology Innovation - Exelon Utilities
Kristen is experienced in defining, evaluating and supporting disruptive technologies. She has experience sourcing technologies across diverse applications in the energy sector, including power generation, chemical storage and energy efficiency. Areas of current specialization include: peer-to-peer energy trading, transactive energy (including vehicle-to-grid and building-to-grid), battery storage and blockchain applications.

Currently she works with Exelon's four regulated utilities to assess emerging technology trends and their impact on the regulated business model. Prior to Exelon, she was a Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy. She identified new opportunities to reduce the long-term and high-risk technological barriers in the development of transformative energy technologies.