The GIS Journey: Look Back at Highlights From This Past Quarter

Posted to Esri in the Digital Utility Group
image credit: Photo 144295536 © Mia Stendal |
Bill Meehan's picture
Director, Utility Solutions Esri

William (Bill) Meehan is the Director of Utility Solutions for Esri. He is responsible for business development and marketing Esri’s geospatial technology to global electric and gas utilities.A...

  • Member since 2002
  • 205 items added with 245,816 views
  • Aug 19, 2021

I'm always excited to share new insights and perspectives in the world of GIS, and there's surely no shortage of exciting topics in this area. Knowing how fast the news cycle moves in the utility industry, I wanted to put out a quick summary post to highlight some of the most critical and compelling topics I've had the pleasure of writing about during the past few months. 

See below for my Quarterly Highlights:


Bill Meehan's Quarterly Highlights


Why I Got Into GIS

Three situations drove me to GIS. My first one came from my boss. He was the chief electrical engineer for the engineering firm I worked for. Jack was a grouchy, chain smoking, black coffee drinker. He was brilliant. I was a young engineer working on the design of large power plants at the time. In order to make money, firms had to come up with ways to create accurate designs at the lowest costs. That meant, doing things fast with a minimum of billed labor. One of the biggest headaches was detailing where each of the cables had to go. There were thousands of them. Control, sensor, power, lighting. You name it.

Keep reading here. 


Locational Technology Forms the Foundation for Grid Modernization

How are utilities dealing with shrinking revenues, rising costs, and skyrocketing customer demands while strengthening resiliency? The answer: create a tougher, smarter, more secure, and healthier grid. Location technology anchors Grid Modernization (GM). Without solid data about where assets are, their relationships to other assets, any GM program will fall short. It provides an understanding of, engagement with, and insight into nearly all dimensions of grid operations.

Keep reading here. 


GIS Helps Utility Workers Do Their Jobs

When I worked as an executive for a power company, I embraced the idea of “management by walking around.” I would hang around power plants and substations.  What I really liked was visiting the crews in the field. The workers told me about their challenges, obstacles, and frustrations. They were never shy. They also instilled in me a sincere admiration for their skill and dedication to their jobs. All they wanted to do was their jobs. And do them well.

Keep reading here. 


Common Information Model (CIM) CIMplified – Part 1 – The Basics

Early in my career, I taught a night school graduate course. It was about computer methods to solve electric grid simulations. It was basically a math course. The math was tough. I had two problems. First, half the class consisted of full-time sleepy utility engineers. They had to race from their jobs to the class. The others were international students. English was their second language. So, I had to communicate the complex subject simply. Instead of dealing with the math first, I decided to tell stories of how things worked. Then I would teach math.

Keep reading here.


GIS Elevates Utility Customer Care

The utility world has shifted. Not that long ago, power companies focused heavily on asset management. While assets are still important, utilities are more and more becoming customer-centric. Why not? Consumers are so used to deliveries that happen the next day or sooner. Customers have more energy choices than ever before. Energy choice means utilities must focus more intently on those they serve. Understanding the relationship between customer behavior and network impacts is critical. New behaviors such as installing renewable energy resources or charging electric vehicles affect power supply and grid stability. Utilities must deeply comprehend their customers alongside the network that supplies their energy needs.

Keep reading here. 


Special Edition: GIS, Digital Twin, and the Intelligent Reality of Utilities Today with Pat Hohl and Bill Meehan of Esri [an Energy Central Power Perspectives™ Podcast]

Listen to the podcast episode my colleague Pat Hohl and I did with the Energy Central Team on trends utility leaders should be watching today

Listen (or read the transcript) here



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Thank Bill for the Post!
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