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Hitachi Energy Canada Inc. is thrilled to be a platinum sponsor for the upcoming 2022 Electricity, Distribution, Information Systems & Technology EDIST Conference & Exposition in Toronto from June 1-3. EDIST is the premier event for engineering, operations, and IT professionals working in Ontario's local hydro distribution companies (LDCs). The conference will cover such topics as cybersecurity, distributed energy resources, and the evolution of electric vehicles. We sat down with Tony Di Franco, Vice President Sales Ontario & Atlantic Canada, to discuss Hitachi Energy’s sponsorship at EDIST and how we are committed to advancing the clean energy transition in Canada.
The conference theme is “Leading a Bold New Narrative.” Can you tell us about how Hitachi Energy is helping to accelerate the shift from fossil-based to renewable power generation in Canada?
We are contributing to a greener world through our efficient electrification technologies and solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, we support the continued shift from fossil fuels to clean renewable power with our Grid-eMotion™ charging system for public transit, a full grid-to-plug solution that enables operators to charge more with less. Moving people faster and more efficiently means that clean energy and eMobility are playing a key role in global decarbonization efforts. In addition, our Grid Edge Solutions provide innovative battery energy storage solutions for utility applications. As new systems are needed to proactively address the challenges of climate change, Hitachi Energy is working with customers to provide game-changing solutions for a flexible, resilient, and sustainable energy future for all.
One of the conference topics is intelligent clean tech. Can you tell us about our digital solutions and how they help our partners achieve their digital transformation journeys?
One of the ways we help our partners achieve their digital transformation journeys through our innovative Lumada portfolio, which features technologies such as machine learning, AI, advanced data analytics, hybrid cloud management, and cybersecurity. Lumada is a digital ecosystem that offers advantages to customers in a number of key areas including Digital Transformation & Data Modernization, which improves access to and insights from data; Connected Asset Performance, which helps prevent asset failures; and Health, Safety & Environment, which enables safer environments for both workers and the public. As you can see, digital solutions are critical to addressing the challenges of the clean energy transition.
What are some of the advantages of digitalization for the utilities industry?
Like many other industries, electric utilities are currently undergoing a digital transformation, not only enabling greater access to clean electricity but moving toward more autonomous operations. There are a number of benefits of using digital solutions in the utilities sector, most notably, we can resolve customers’ issues faster and service their needs on a continuing basis to ensure optimal use. Other key advantages of digitalization include reducing operation and maintenance costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing workforce safety (especially through reducing the risk of electrical shock in substations), and improving power quality and reliability. Thus, digitalization can play a key role in the decarbonization of the economy.
What is your perspective on the future of distribution grids and how they can support the growing electrification of transportation, buildings, and industry sectors?
Distribution grids are currently navigating a growing demand for electricity, the development of smart cities, and digital technology. For Distribution System Operators (DSOs), the challenge is to provide reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity access to the communities they serve. In order to achieve this goal, there are three core areas that need to be addressed: connecting larger volumes of renewables; electrifying transportation, building, and industrial sectors; and introducing sustainable energy carriers. At Hitachi Energy, we want to ensure that our customers have solutions that help them plan for the management and integration of assets as grids continue to evolve, including improved asset reliability and utilization, risk-optimized maintenance, improved worker safety, and short and long-term simulation and planning.
What are you looking forward to most about this conference?
My team and I are thrilled to be able to reconnect safely in-person again with all of our customers and colleagues across the country. EDIST is an excellent forum to discuss the latest in the electricity and energy distribution industry- thank you to the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) for organizing a COVID-safe conference. In addition, I am eager to discuss our evolution to Hitachi Energy and how we are accelerating a cleaner, greener future for generations to come.
Hitachi Energy Canada Inc. is proud to be a sponsor and supporter of EDIST 2022, and we are committed to advancing a sustainable energy future across North America. If you are planning to attend the conference, join us at our booth #103. To learn more about how we are building game-changing sustainable solutions in Canada, check out our most recent project in Quebec and read our Sustainability 2030 strategic plan.