Top Voices in the Energy Central Community for 2021 – Intelligent Utility® Network

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Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Dec 14, 2021

Energy Central strives to be the go-to platform for utility industry professionals to share what they are working on, to learn from their peers in the power sector, and to collaborate 24/7, 365 with the leading voices in the world of energy. We put a lot of effort behind different avenues in which engagement and learning actively takes place: from our Special Issue Series to our regular Q&A sections featuring answers from community experts to our Energy Central Power Perspectives Podcast and so much more.

But the obvious truth is this: none of that would matter without the intelligent, active, and excited community that's built this platform into what it is! This wouldn't happen without you, whether you're a daily contributor or an occasional reader. 

To celebrate the importance of our community members in making Energy Central the powerhouse that it is, the Energy Central Community Team wanted to once again recognize the members on Energy Central who went above and beyond—frequently sharing news and content, reliably starting conversations across the site, and providing genuinely high-value contributions.

Each day this week, we’ll be publishing an article highlighting the Top Voice of 2021 for each of our 6 Networks. As part of this recognition, some of those recognized were kind enough to answer some quick questions to highlight what they found valuable in the sector in 2021, their predictions for the year ahead, and even just peeling back the curtain to get to know them more personally. I hope you enjoy!

So, with that, thank you and congratulations to the following Top Voices in the Intelligent Utility Network in 2021!

See other entries in this series: 



Bill Meehan - Directory, Utility Solutions at Esri

Link to Bill's profile

Recommended submission from Bill: Common Information Model (CIM) CIMplified – Part 1 – The Basics

What has been the most compelling utility-focused story in your opinion this year?

One that stands out is Episode #56 of the Power Perspectives Podcast, Embracing Utility Data Journey with Mike Murphy of Con Edison & Paul DeCotis of West Monroe by Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast. We are moving from fossil fuel extraction to a data extraction economy. Utilities play an enormous role in that movement. Historically, utilities have focused on hardware, poles, wires and less on data. However, today with so many changes coinciding, utilities rapidly recognize that data and data analytics must drive their business. This podcast provides excellent examples of that shift.

Is there a post, piece of content, or discussion on Energy Central that you’re most proud of?

My favorite post links my storytelling with my love of music: Digital Transformation, the Beatles and the Complete GIS.

Can you share something interesting about yourself that your fellow community members might not know?

I performed in various rock bands over the years and wrote some of the original songs performed by the bands.


Ryan Gerbrandt - Chief Operating Officer, Anterix

Link to Ryan’s Profile

Recommended submission from Ryan: Private LTE as Communications for Grid Modernization

What has been the most compelling utility-focused story in your opinion this year?

This has been the year that utilities really started to embrace private LTE as the communications foundation for grid modernization--and when you consider how foundational private broadband communications will be for the industry's decarbonization, resiliency, and security efforts, it becomes clear how compelling a story this really is.  I think it boils down to this:  the industry MUST modernize the grid, and the modern grid must be built on a secure and resilient broadband communications network.  And this year, utilities and policymakers really started to act on that realization--from executing agreements for use of spectrum for private LTE networks to the bipartisan infrastructure package enacted last month, which recognized the important role of broadband communications for utilities. 

What area in energy and utilities do you hope gets more focus in 2022?

If 2021 was the year individual utilities really started to embrace private LTE for grid modernization, I hope 2022 will be the year they embrace the industry-wide adoption of private LTE in the 900 MHz band to create additional value and scale for their individual networks with utility private networks across the country.  This "Network of Networks" would build upon both the industry's long standing culture of collaboration and the economic phenomenon known as the "network effect" in which each participating utility realizes additional value with each additional utility that joins the network community.  I hope 2022 is the year electric utility leaders organize and energize the industry to make the Network of Networks a reality.

Is there a post, piece of content, or discussion on Energy Central that you’re most proud of?  

The post we contributed for the EC Special Issue at the end of September was particularly important because it described the first few months of the Anterix Active Ecosystem Program (AAEP), launched in May to help leading technology companies innovate and bring to market equipment and services specifically for utilities to use on their new 900 MHz private LTE networks.  Starting out with 37 members, the AAEP now has over 70 participants, including the six initial members of the AAEP's Security Collective, which we just announced on December 7.  By creating the AAEP community--and getting the word out via EC--Anterix is marshaling the combined power of collaboration and market forces to make private, robust, secure wireless broadband networks more easily available, and more valuable, to our utility partners.


Mark Damm - Founder and CEO, FuseForward

Link to Mark’s Profile

Recommended submission from Mark: The Colonial Pipeline Attack: How Can We Protect our Systems Today?



Congratulations once again to our Top Voices in the Intelligent Utility Network, and thanks to all Energy Central Community Members for enabling the community and platform to thrive this year! And keep an eye out for the next Top Voices Articles to come as this week unfolds


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