Tech Insights

Building a Smarter, Safer, Stronger Energy Grid: How CenterPoint Energy Did It

When Hurricane Ike swept through Texas and neighboring states in September 2008, Houston-based energy delivery company CenterPoint Energy powered into action to tackle the devastation. Given the sheer magnitude of the storm’s impact, the recovery was extremely challenging. At one point 2.4 million customers were without power, and assessing the extent of the damage took weeks.

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Fast forward to 2017, when an even more destructive cyclone, Hurricane Harvey, made landfall in Texas, triggering massive flooding in the Houston metro area. This time was different though, according to CenterPoint’s CTO, Dr. Steve Pratt. “With the implementation of intelligent devices across our grid, we’re able now to assess the damage in a much more expeditious way. … Our recovery time was significantly reduced over Hurricane Ike, ten years ago, due to the implementation of those types of technologies.” An impressive number that Dr. Steve quotes is 7 million service calls that CenterPoint was able to handle automatically.

Dr. Steve tells the story in the video below, where he’s joined by HPE’s Dr. Tom Bradicich, VP and GM for IoT and Converged Edge Systems, and interviewer Lisa Martin. Watch the video to learn how HPE Intelligent Edge technologies are helping energy companies like CenterPoint, and businesses in a host of other sectors, to tap into the full power of artificial intelligence and drive customer satisfaction.

Some highlights of the discussion:

What changed between Ike and Harvey – how new platforms and HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems enabled CenterPoint to evolve its smart grid architecture and increase resilience (Dr. Steve’s comments, starting at 02:20 in the video).

Why converging IT and OT at the edge delivers exceptional benefits – Dr. Tom explains the “massive and (metaphorically) genius capabilities” that HPE Edgeline provides to enable the smart grid (at 03:18).

How the edge becomes intelligent – Dr. Tom describes the three Cs of the edge and how they power its (again metaphorical) transition “from child, to adult, to capable professional” (05:10).

How the smart grid drives customer service and satisfaction – Dr. Steve looks at the benefits from the customer’s point of view, including CenterPoint’s ability to handle more than 7 million service calls automatically (7:18)

What’s next for HPE Edgeline technology – why CenterPoint is “very enthused” by the development of HPE’s intelligent edge systems, and how the company sees its ongoing collaboration with HPE (Dr. Steve at 11:10).

We continue to drive the evolution of HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems. At HPE Discover 2018 Las Vegas in June, we announced new edge-to-cloud solutions to enable customers to run unmodified enterprise-class application and management software at the edge. Dr. Tom gives an overview in this post: Unleash the power of the cloud, right at your edge. The latest HPE Edgeline Systems capabilities.

Keep an eye on this blog; we’ll be publishing more content from HPE Discover in the coming weeks.

Follow Dr. Tom on Twitter:  @TomBradicichPhd

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About the Author


Technologist in the making and proud geek. I crave chaos from disruptive tech trends: #5G #IoT #BigData #AI. Currently leading Marketing for @HPE_Telco

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