Utilidata at the National Governors Association Meeting

For a few days in mid-July, the nation’s governors descended on our home town of Providence RI for the National Governors Association Meeting – and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to help welcome them. Co-hosting a kiosk with National Grid in the event’s ‘Innovation Pavilion’, we had the opportunity to meet six governors (!!) and countless business leaders, public administrators, and event staff. We were particularly proud to present alongside our partners at National Grid, and speak to the exciting grid modernization initiatives underway in Providence.

A key theme of this year’s conference was cyber security, and we appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the important dialogue around protecting our states’ critical infrastructure. The Chair of the NGA this year, Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, chose as his initiative “Meet the Threat: States Confront the Cyber Challenge”, in which he spurred state leaders to develop strategies and resources to meet growing cyber threats. We’ve seen here in Rhode Island that cyber defense requires collaboration between policymakers, utilities, their regulators, and vendors. Events like the NGA, where state governments can share best practices and directly engage with public utilities and technology providers, are an excellent opportunity to strengthen security within and between state borders.

Most fun for us at the NGA meeting was the opportunity to share with attendees our Augmented Reality demonstration of Providence’s electric grid. For those brave enough to put on the Hololens glasses, the demo provided a 3D hologram of the city of Providence and it’s energy infrastructure. We loved watching visitors’ amazed reactions – and chose to believe that they were responding as strongly to grid modernization concepts as the floating holograms…