Coming off the heels of our first-ever Itron Utility Week Asia-Pacific (APAC) conference, we're excited and energized for the opportunity to discover new ways to solve problems, improve operations and redefine the industry in APAC. IUW APAC brought our customers, partners and prospects together for a two-day virtual conference unlike any other-one filled with opportunities to learn from one another as utilities and municipalities share their experiences in starting and mastering their automation transformation.
Itron's president and CEO, Tom Deitrich, kicked off IUW APAC with the opening keynote session by highlighting some of the major challenges facing our industry. From implementing 100% renewable energy generation to transitioning to a carbon-free society, many countries are moving rapidly to address these rising pressures as well as water scarcity issues and aging infrastructure.
As urbanization fuels growth in the Asia-Pacific region, a significant increase in demand drives the need for reliant and resilient infrastructure. Electric, gas and water distribution systems are being strained in both developed and developing countries at the consumer level. The rapid growth and demand in APAC requires a multifaceted strategy that balances the priority between protecting the environment and domestic growth. These challenges present opportunities for our community to share information and innovate together.
Paul Nelsen, vice president of sales for APAC at Itron, joined Tom in discussing trends that are transforming the industry in Asia-Pacific. Paul stressed how our world is changing and we need to embrace that change in the following ways:
Adapting to rapid urbanization and development
Providing access to clean, safe and reliable water
Addressing and overcoming infrastructure challenges
Following the keynote, Pongsakorn Yuthagovit, assistant governor at Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) in Thailand, joined Mike Wetselaar, director of sales in Thailand at Itron, to discuss PEA's AMI deployment. Yuthagovit shared PEA's implementation challenges, which included roadblocks with its IT architecture and business process changes such as cross functional organization and integration with existing IT systems. In short, the technology moves too quickly and business processes cannot follow. However, expected benefits from PEA's AMI deployment include reduced operating costs and outage costs, as well as reduced peak load of the system.
During one of the other sessions, David Lukcic, director of AMI Strategic Solutions at Tampa Electric Company (TECO), shared distributed intelligence best practices from the U.S. with the APAC based audience. DI is distributing analysis, decision making and action to the edge. With the ability to provide highly intelligent computational devices at the edge of a utility's distribution system, Lukcic emphasized how DI is part of TECO's strategy to make a transformation investment in new customer experience and operational programs. Lukcic discussed the value of DI, including how it manages transaction and power flows in real time, predicts and manages energy needs across the entire network, and empowers an open and vibrant ecosystem of solution providers.
Day two of IUW consisted of six different engaging sessions. One session concentrated on reducing non-revenue water (NRW) by improving operational visibility and efficiency. During this session, we heard from Fatah Setiawan Topobroto, CEO at Pereum Perikanan Indonesia, about how they replaced their old water meters with Itron meters, consisting of hundreds end points with the Temetra solution. After transitioning to Itron's meters, Pereum Perikanan's NRW went from 41% to 4-8% and generated a margin of $47K/month.
Sheila Kee, senior product manager at Itron, then highlighted global trends and industry drivers, as well as water operations management (WOM) solutions that enable utilities to optimize and manage their water distribution networks and reduce NRW. These solutions include leak management applications, advanced pressure management and theft management, among others.
Another great session was our smart city panel focused on discussing the economic, environmental and social benefits of smart city deployments. We were joined by Ken Suganda, CEO at PT Jasnita Telekomindo, Itai Dadon, global head of Smart Cities & IoT at Itron, Geoff English, senior transport asset engineer at Christchurch City Council, along with George Verghese, business manager at Schreder Lighting.
Geoff English highlighted Christchurch's smart lighting deployment and how they're leveraging Itron's streetlight technology to monitor traffic volumes and air quality. They are also using smart streetlighting controls on cyclist paths to turn the lights up when cyclists are detected and to turn down the lights when there are no cyclists present. Additionally, Christchurch added noise sensors to the streetlights that can also be used on construction sites to control noise.
Missed IUW APAC?
If you were unable to attend this year's event, or if you would like to review sessions, all content will be available on demand through May 21, 2021. To access the content, clickhere and select the REGISTER tile on our event landing page (if you have not already done so). Registration is quick, simple and free.
Vice President, Global Marketing and Public Affairs- Itron
Marina Donovan has more than 20 years of global technology marketing and public relations experience with a background in data security, networking and mobile. She joined Itron as vice president of global marketing and public affairs in January 2018. Prior to joining Itron, she was vice president of marketing for Silver Spring Networks.