Posted by : Allison Eckelkamp | On : September 30, 2011

As my introductory post, I wanted to take a moment to identify myself, define “grid” and give some general context on why I’ve created this blog in the first place.

  • Who’s Allison?  I am an under-30 female in the power industry — which, by itself, is a rarity. I am relatively new to it, but quite steeped in it. My foray into the space was with one of the global Smart Grid giants, which manufactures everything from smart meters to wind turbines. After spending time helping that company build its Smart Grid brand presence, I opted to venture off on my own, realizing (1) very few people know how to talk about this stuff and make it understandable to the masses; and (2) I do … well mostly. It’s almost impossible to understand the entire industry, given it’s scale and sheer number of stakeholders. Currently consulting in the space,  I work with one of the largest investor-owned utilities in the U.S., a home-energy-management vendor, a global energy conference organization, an energy news & analysis organization, an energy services company, and a handful of other energy-industry clients. So, I guess you could say I have some “street cred.” I spend most of my time trying to simplify energy jargon and make the stuff interesting to the “common (wo)man” — consumers, politicians, regulators, etc. On a more personal level, I am not an “environmentalist,” per se, but I do believe in protecting our Earth’s natural resources, treating the environment with respect and ensuring we leave the planet in the best shape possible for future generations. I am more of a “pragmatist” when it comes to Smart Grid — interested in the benefits of Smart Grid to society as a whole; interested in the business case behind it; interested in the economics of it.
  • So, what’s the “grid?”  I’m referring to the energy grid, or the electricity grid.  Essentially, the poles, wires, and other devices connecting a power plant to the end-consuming device. Why does it need to be smart? Oh, where to begin?! I guess you should read this blog.
  • What’s this blog about? — Mainly, I’m interested in sharing what I’m learning in the course of my day-to-day about the modernization and evolution of our electrical infrastructure. I’m not interested in the technical side, necessarily, but in the benefit side of Smart Grid — particularly to end users.

With that, I’d like to leave you with the text  from a cartoon one of my Facebook friends recently posted. This points to how important electricity is.

“Wikipedia: I know everything!
Google: I have everything!
Facebook: I know everybody!
Electricity: Without me, you all nothing.

Electricity: The boss!”

Until next time …

The image used is courtesy of Simon Howden on