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Vera Silva with GE Grid Solutions
24th August 2022 • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie
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On this week's Industrial Talk we're onsite at Distributech 22 and talking to Vera Silva, CTO at GE Grid Solutions about "The requirements for developing the grid of the future". Get the answers to your "Grid of the Future" questions along with Vera's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2022. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!

VERA SILVA'S CONTACT INFORMATION:

Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vera-silva-67822220/

Company LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gegridsolutions/

Company Website: https://www.gegridsolutions.com/

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPT:

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

grid, solutions, industrial, work, technology, ge, industry, collaborate, customers, changing, system, vera, continue, enable, people, connected, control, modernize, cybersecurity, journey

00:00

Hey industrial Talk is brought to you by CAP Logistics. You want to minimize downtime. Absolutely. increase reliability, you bet ensure operational profitability. Yes you do. That means you need 24/7 365 insights into your supply chain, look no further CAP Logistics, go to CAP Logistics.com Or just call them. They're great people 800-227-2471 Also, AiDash. AiDash is on a mission to create a greener, cleaner, safer planet from space. AiDash helps core industries become more resilient, efficient, and sustainable through the power of satellites and AI. Go out to AiDash.com Find out more

AiDash welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard head, grab your work boots,

01:13

and let's once again welcome to industrial talk the number one industrial related podcast in the universe that celebrates industry professionals all around the world. You are bold, you are brave and daring greatly. You're solving problems. And you're changing lives. Therefore you are changing the world each and every day, why not celebrate, you must be celebrated and we are mon sight distributech 22, Dallas, Texas is the place. And we're just having a great time because there are a lot of great people. It's fun talking about people who have met people for the first time and only knew them virtually. However, we have very in the hot seat. GE Grid Solutions is the company GE is a GE just grid solutions are G.

02:01

That's a big topic that everybody has a grid around the world. How

02:08

is the greatest industrial system done by mankind?

02:12

See, I never heard that one. That's a good one. You wrote about that? Right? Yeah, yes. Because when I was, again, when I was an old lineman, it was pretty simple. It was pretty linear. It was like generation down to me consumer flipping a switch, and it was good. Now it's completely different. It requires companies like yours.

02:33

Well, there's quite a big change, you start by you enable the energy transition. So we're changing the way we generate electricity. It's no longer predictable. dispatchable is gonna be renewables connected, the transmission connected the distribution, even connecting in the rooftops of the houses. So that's a massive transformation on what the grid needs to host and to enable

02:58

it that's a that's a technology equation. I mean, there's a human component, but but to be able to do that in a as real time as possible, and be able to match load, you know, you still want to be able to say, hey, flip the switch, it all works. You know, that's that's a challenge.

03:18

I would say there's a human component, which is society's expectation, yes, on energy transition on prosumers, being part of the choice on how they produce when they consume, wanting to support the system with demand side flexibility. But definitely the technology play will be critical to enable all this transformation.

03:41

So where do we in this whole journey? This? Again, it's it's the ability to be able to communicate with these these. I can't, I can't, I'm not saying disconnected. But if I have a car and it has a battery, I'm a part of the solution, theoretically. And then if, if my neighbor has a battery we do together are part of the solution of being able to make sure that supply man demand and we might be able to be called into action. With Where do you see it's starting? I mean, you mentioned something about pulling all of these elements together, can you sort of help the listeners understand what GE grid solutions is providing.

04:24

So we're helping to pull the elements together with quite of the hardware equipment, so the grid is and will be a physical infrastructure. But at the same time, we're working on the control and digital layer that orchestrate the different resources across the system to make sure we still have the lights on when we need

04:46

so definitely, so you're at the hardware of course yeah, you're G Come on. As I as I shrug my shoulder now absolutely. And then of course that digital later because But how do you see it sort of rolling out? What is your what? What's your expectation of this grid of the future.

05:09

Some of the key places that this we need to enable this transformation while we keep the system resilient, stable, reliable, that's, that's really an expectation from society, from our customers. And the grid, the digital layer, we'll be working in very strong coordination with the way we control the grid operations with how we digitize, we maintain, we run the assets, as well as how we operate it in real time. So I would say hardware controls are going to continue to be deeply connected communications infrastructure, so I would say is like, a multi layered grid, where everything needs to be interoperable, and work seamlessly together.

05:56

That's a bold vision. Now, as a utility, let's just say I'm an investor owned utility. And where do I even start? I mean, this. This has multi layers. And I don't know how to, can I do it incrementally? Can I? Does it have to be sort of all or nothing? How do you approach a project like that?

06:20

There is an incremental side to it, because we're we're building and transforming an infrastructure that has about 100 years, and that we're not going to restart from scratch. But it depends very much every system will have challenges that come first. So I would say systems with a lot of PV, decentralized resources will need to modernize the distribution grid, that comes from advanced energy management systems for distribution, for casting observability control. In many cases, where we have offshore, as well as the big wind offshore, you're going to have to bring this off sea infrastructure, the super grids and connect them to the shore. And that is a whole new challenge that needs to be addressing. And in all cases, we're transforming the physics of the grid. So making sure we have a stable system that we provide, somehow the same type of ability for the work that are operable operability of the grid as we had in the past, is going to be something that will be key across all the different systems.

07:29

And maybe it's me, but it's, it's challenging to know, because if you know the physical realities in the field, and I think of all the relays I think of all of the the equipment that's out there, in these boxes that are in the there's a box over there, and then 20, there's there's boxes everywhere, and to be able to do it effectively. And modernize the grid is monumental. And of course, you need to do it incrementally. I don't know how you and of course, the cost. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna go out there and say, Hey, I gotta change this relay, I'll change that relay. And I just didn't just change relays. That doesn't make sense if that if, if you don't have that overall strategic vision of where you're trying to take that grid,

08:18

I think it's important to have this transformation roadmap and understand what are the different areas to modernize. And the strategy to do that modernization of protection and control is a critical piece of this evolutions to advanced software tools that are helping to orchestrate the grid. So this is very much areas where the customers are focusing quite a lot. And then in many cases, we are connecting with technology, high voltage, DC, bikes, devices to help stabilize the grid. So I would say this is a journey that we're only together.

08:54

That's an understatement, because I and you have to get it right. You don't have many bites at the apple, shall I say? Because if if, if I as a consumer have flickering lights, I'm not happy at somebody's going to know about it. And I'm not the only one that has flickering lights. And so you have to get it right the first time. How do you address the issue of just technology? There's a velocity that exists here today. You know, here's, here's version one, and then next week, there's going to be version 20. But whatever that looks like, and it's like one week, how do you how do you? How do you bake that into the strategy? You're saying, Hey, I just bought this and it's already obsolete. I need it. You know, how do you do that?

09:43

I think what we're trying to go to the customers is really having solutions that go from the monolithic solutions where you as you say you will need to replace everything into modularized solutions, microservices, ways that you can patch for example, cybersecurity up Rate software upgrade, remote device management. So all of these are critical things to enable the transformation, while making sure that we keep the cost and that customers will still be able to operate this grid that is becoming different. With many more devices connected devices that you need to visualize, you need to control you need to manage, making sure that we did this by facilitating that task.

10:28

Because as you continue to digitize this, this grid that we glossed over briefly, but there's that cybersecurity component, this is critical infrastructure, it has to be done delicately, I would imagine done. That's just one guy's opinion. But to be able to do it, and do it correctly, you have to secure those devices for you got an issue.

10:58

This is definitely something that industry has been working on ready for quite a long time, because digitization of the grid is not something new, and starting and it is in a way a new vulnerability to the grid. So something we need to control. And there's been quite a lot of work in terms of standards in terms of protocols in terms of architecture of systems to enable the cybersecurity, as well as quite a lot of investment to making sure that we have products that are secure by design, and that we can easily upgrade compatible systems because it's it's a constant, constant changing race, I would say

11:37

it's dynamic. There's no doubt about it. It's to some extent, it's like nailing jello to the wall. Because it's not just GE there are other companies that are creating new use cases that are coming up with new technology, new innovation, and and how do we how do we manage that properly? Wow,

12:00

this is definitely something we are working on. As an industry. There's an ecosystem of partners and ecosystem of solutions. And it's definitely not a problem that one company can claim to solve on its own and provide a one solution fits all. It's really a joint effort.

12:17

So you bring up an interesting point. And I've mentioned this, I think, although the challenges of the pandemic are obvious, don't get me wrong, I got God. But then there's this other side of the pandemic, where it really amplified the need for us to collaborate, where we don't have all the answers. And I need, I need trusted people like GE and others to come up with a solution. That makes sense. And I saw I don't like the bad side. But I think the good side is people realize I can't do it myself.

12:53

That's really something we've been becoming very clear to the industry, which is that collaboration will be absolutely critical for us going forward collaboration with customers collaboration, even between competitors, to making sure that we said technology fast, and we work on the solutions. And I would say that innovation collaborations, we have launched a Digital Innovation Lab, where we're working with customers on these future use cases, incubating solutions with making it very concrete going from the slides to use cases to test cases, to demos, and then expanding it and I see that this is something that we need to continue doing foreign we will bring Firstly, we really need to collaborate much earlier with our customers on technology.

13:41

Yeah. Yes. Because if you don't, and I make this recommendation, if you're thinking about getting involved, you need to do it now. Now. In fact, you need to do it yesterday, because you're gonna be behind the eight ball so quickly, because of people like you and G, you know, that you're just you're just constantly saying, this is the way we need to go. And it's always a human equation, right? Like the technology is the technology. It's that human element. All right. How do people get a hold of you? Because they need to get a hold of you. Because you're that good?

14:20

I wouldn't say but I'm quite available. I'm quite active on social network and very connected to the industry communities, research environment. So I think it's easy to get ahold of the

14:33

guy don't come complaining to me because I know it's gonna be out on industrial talk. That's one. So that's Vera Silva, CTO GE grid solutions. Absolute stellar. Your guy bad.

14:46

Thank you. Alright, listeners.

14:47

We're gonna wrap it up on the other side, all the contact information, prepare and then some. So stay tuned. We will be right back.

14:55

You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.

15:00

Thank you once again for joining industrial talk the leader in industrial entertainment, I just came up with that. And it's an ever expanding ecosystem of problem solvers like Vera reached out to be or go out to her stead card on LinkedIn reach out, you will not again be disappointed because she knows what she's talking about. And in the space of utilities, it is changing and you need incredible leaders like Vera, like GE grid solutions to help you along with the journey, go out, visit Barra all the contact information will be out on industrial talk. As you can tell by the noise in the background, we were at DistribuTECH 22. Now you need to put that one on your calendar for next year or 23. It's going to be bigger, grander, and the way in the way technology is growing and expanding and the speed and the velocity. The only thing that I can recommend and suggest is that you get engaged, you begin to collaborate and you've got to educate just because it's happening and it's happening fast. And the only way that you're going to keep up with it is that you're involved and engaged, go out to industrial talk, find out more if you are interested in collaborating and getting your story on the podcast. All right. Be bold, be brave, daring, greatly say it all the time. That's what you are doing. You are changing lives and you're changing the world. The ecosystem is wonderful, get engaged, and you're going to continue to change the world. Thank you very much. Once again, thank you to Barra and we're going to have another great conversation coming to you from DistribuTECH shortly so do not go away. We will be right back.

Transcripts

00:00

-:

AiDash welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard head, grab your work boots,

01:13

and let's once again welcome to industrial talk the number one industrial related podcast in the universe that celebrates industry professionals all around the world. You are bold, you are brave and daring greatly. You're solving problems. And you're changing lives. Therefore you are changing the world each and every day, why not celebrate, you must be celebrated and we are mon sight distributech 22, Dallas, Texas is the place. And we're just having a great time because there are a lot of great people. It's fun talking about people who have met people for the first time and only knew them virtually. However, we have very in the hot seat. GE Grid Solutions is the company GE is a GE just grid solutions are G.

02:01

That's a big topic that everybody has a grid around the world. How

02:08

is the greatest industrial system done by mankind?

02:12

See, I never heard that one. That's a good one. You wrote about that? Right? Yeah, yes. Because when I was, again, when I was an old lineman, it was pretty simple. It was pretty linear. It was like generation down to me consumer flipping a switch, and it was good. Now it's completely different. It requires companies like yours.

02:33

Well, there's quite a big change, you start by you enable the energy transition. So we're changing the way we generate electricity. It's no longer predictable. dispatchable is gonna be renewables connected, the transmission connected the distribution, even connecting in the rooftops of the houses. So that's a massive transformation on what the grid needs to host and to enable

02:58

it that's a that's a technology equation. I mean, there's a human component, but but to be able to do that in a as real time as possible, and be able to match load, you know, you still want to be able to say, hey, flip the switch, it all works. You know, that's that's a challenge.

03:18

I would say there's a human component, which is society's expectation, yes, on energy transition on prosumers, being part of the choice on how they produce when they consume, wanting to support the system with demand side flexibility. But definitely the technology play will be critical to enable all this transformation.

03:41

So where do we in this whole journey? This? Again, it's it's the ability to be able to communicate with these these. I can't, I can't, I'm not saying disconnected. But if I have a car and it has a battery, I'm a part of the solution, theoretically. And then if, if my neighbor has a battery we do together are part of the solution of being able to make sure that supply man demand and we might be able to be called into action. With Where do you see it's starting? I mean, you mentioned something about pulling all of these elements together, can you sort of help the listeners understand what GE grid solutions is providing.

04:24

So we're helping to pull the elements together with quite of the hardware equipment, so the grid is and will be a physical infrastructure. But at the same time, we're working on the control and digital layer that orchestrate the different resources across the system to make sure we still have the lights on when we need

04:46

so definitely, so you're at the hardware of course yeah, you're G Come on. As I as I shrug my shoulder now absolutely. And then of course that digital later because But how do you see it sort of rolling out? What is your what? What's your expectation of this grid of the future.

05:09

Some of the key places that this we need to enable this transformation while we keep the system resilient, stable, reliable, that's, that's really an expectation from society, from our customers. And the grid, the digital layer, we'll be working in very strong coordination with the way we control the grid operations with how we digitize, we maintain, we run the assets, as well as how we operate it in real time. So I would say hardware controls are going to continue to be deeply connected communications infrastructure, so I would say is like, a multi layered grid, where everything needs to be interoperable, and work seamlessly together.

05:56

That's a bold vision. Now, as a utility, let's just say I'm an investor owned utility. And where do I even start? I mean, this. This has multi layers. And I don't know how to, can I do it incrementally? Can I? Does it have to be sort of all or nothing? How do you approach a project like that?

06:20

There is an incremental side to it, because we're we're building and transforming an infrastructure that has about 100 years, and that we're not going to restart from scratch. But it depends very much every system will have challenges that come first. So I would say systems with a lot of PV, decentralized resources will need to modernize the distribution grid, that comes from advanced energy management systems for distribution, for casting observability control. In many cases, where we have offshore, as well as the big wind offshore, you're going to have to bring this off sea infrastructure, the super grids and connect them to the shore. And that is a whole new challenge that needs to be addressing. And in all cases, we're transforming the physics of the grid. So making sure we have a stable system that we provide, somehow the same type of ability for the work that are operable operability of the grid as we had in the past, is going to be something that will be key across all the different systems.

07:29

And maybe it's me, but it's, it's challenging to know, because if you know the physical realities in the field, and I think of all the relays I think of all of the the equipment that's out there, in these boxes that are in the there's a box over there, and then 20, there's there's boxes everywhere, and to be able to do it effectively. And modernize the grid is monumental. And of course, you need to do it incrementally. I don't know how you and of course, the cost. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna go out there and say, Hey, I gotta change this relay, I'll change that relay. And I just didn't just change relays. That doesn't make sense if that if, if you don't have that overall strategic vision of where you're trying to take that grid,

08:18

I think it's important to have this transformation roadmap and understand what are the different areas to modernize. And the strategy to do that modernization of protection and control is a critical piece of this evolutions to advanced software tools that are helping to orchestrate the grid. So this is very much areas where the customers are focusing quite a lot. And then in many cases, we are connecting with technology, high voltage, DC, bikes, devices to help stabilize the grid. So I would say this is a journey that we're only together.

08:54

That's an understatement, because I and you have to get it right. You don't have many bites at the apple, shall I say? Because if if, if I as a consumer have flickering lights, I'm not happy at somebody's going to know about it. And I'm not the only one that has flickering lights. And so you have to get it right the first time. How do you address the issue of just technology? There's a velocity that exists here today. You know, here's, here's version one, and then next week, there's going to be version 20. But whatever that looks like, and it's like one week, how do you how do you? How do you bake that into the strategy? You're saying, Hey, I just bought this and it's already obsolete. I need it. You know, how do you do that?

09:43

I think what we're trying to go to the customers is really having solutions that go from the monolithic solutions where you as you say you will need to replace everything into modularized solutions, microservices, ways that you can patch for example, cybersecurity up Rate software upgrade, remote device management. So all of these are critical things to enable the transformation, while making sure that we keep the cost and that customers will still be able to operate this grid that is becoming different. With many more devices connected devices that you need to visualize, you need to control you need to manage, making sure that we did this by facilitating that task.

10:28

Because as you continue to digitize this, this grid that we glossed over briefly, but there's that cybersecurity component, this is critical infrastructure, it has to be done delicately, I would imagine done. That's just one guy's opinion. But to be able to do it, and do it correctly, you have to secure those devices for you got an issue.

10:58

This is definitely something that industry has been working on ready for quite a long time, because digitization of the grid is not something new, and starting and it is in a way a new vulnerability to the grid. So something we need to control. And there's been quite a lot of work in terms of standards in terms of protocols in terms of architecture of systems to enable the cybersecurity, as well as quite a lot of investment to making sure that we have products that are secure by design, and that we can easily upgrade compatible systems because it's it's a constant, constant changing race, I would say

11:37

it's dynamic. There's no doubt about it. It's to some extent, it's like nailing jello to the wall. Because it's not just GE there are other companies that are creating new use cases that are coming up with new technology, new innovation, and and how do we how do we manage that properly? Wow,

12:00

this is definitely something we are working on. As an industry. There's an ecosystem of partners and ecosystem of solutions. And it's definitely not a problem that one company can claim to solve on its own and provide a one solution fits all. It's really a joint effort.

12:17

So you bring up an interesting point. And I've mentioned this, I think, although the challenges of the pandemic are obvious, don't get me wrong, I got God. But then there's this other side of the pandemic, where it really amplified the need for us to collaborate, where we don't have all the answers. And I need, I need trusted people like GE and others to come up with a solution. That makes sense. And I saw I don't like the bad side. But I think the good side is people realize I can't do it myself.

12:53

That's really something we've been becoming very clear to the industry, which is that collaboration will be absolutely critical for us going forward collaboration with customers collaboration, even between competitors, to making sure that we said technology fast, and we work on the solutions. And I would say that innovation collaborations, we have launched a Digital Innovation Lab, where we're working with customers on these future use cases, incubating solutions with making it very concrete going from the slides to use cases to test cases, to demos, and then expanding it and I see that this is something that we need to continue doing foreign we will bring Firstly, we really need to collaborate much earlier with our customers on technology.

13:41

Yeah. Yes. Because if you don't, and I make this recommendation, if you're thinking about getting involved, you need to do it now. Now. In fact, you need to do it yesterday, because you're gonna be behind the eight ball so quickly, because of people like you and G, you know, that you're just you're just constantly saying, this is the way we need to go. And it's always a human equation, right? Like the technology is the technology. It's that human element. All right. How do people get a hold of you? Because they need to get a hold of you. Because you're that good?

14:20

I wouldn't say but I'm quite available. I'm quite active on social network and very connected to the industry communities, research environment. So I think it's easy to get ahold of the

14:33

guy don't come complaining to me because I know it's gonna be out on industrial talk. That's one. So that's Vera Silva, CTO GE grid solutions. Absolute stellar. Your guy bad.

14:46

Thank you. Alright, listeners.

14:47

We're gonna wrap it up on the other side, all the contact information, prepare and then some. So stay tuned. We will be right back.

14:55

You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.

15:00

Thank you once again for joining industrial talk the leader in industrial entertainment, I just came up with that. And it's an ever expanding ecosystem of problem solvers like Vera reached out to be or go out to her stead card on LinkedIn reach out, you will not again be disappointed because she knows what she's talking about. And in the space of utilities, it is changing and you need incredible leaders like Vera, like GE grid solutions to help you along with the journey, go out, visit Barra all the contact information will be out on industrial talk. As you can tell by the noise in the background, we were at DistribuTECH 22. Now you need to put that one on your calendar for next year or 23. It's going to be bigger, grander, and the way in the way technology is growing and expanding and the speed and the velocity. The only thing that I can recommend and suggest is that you get engaged, you begin to collaborate and you've got to educate just because it's happening and it's happening fast. And the only way that you're going to keep up with it is that you're involved and engaged, go out to industrial talk, find out more if you are interested in collaborating and getting your story on the podcast. All right. Be bold, be brave, daring, greatly say it all the time. That's what you are doing. You are changing lives and you're changing the world. The ecosystem is wonderful, get engaged, and you're going to continue to change the world. Thank you very much. Once again, thank you to Barra and we're going to have another great conversation coming to you from DistribuTECH shortly so do not go away. We will be right back.