The Sun was Shining on DistribuTECH 2024

Last week the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL was the place to be for DistribuTECH 2024. This year’s conference in the ‘sunshine state’ did not disappoint with over 400 speakers, 17,000+ attendees, 600+ exhibitors and 3,500+ utilities all under one roof.

As promised for those who attended, it was an inspirational event to be among organizations and industry leaders empowering progress and sharing ideas that will transform the way we live.

The conference agenda was packed with sessions that touched on several industry trends including, distributed energy resource management, renewable energy, and EVSE interconnection, together with advancements in resiliency and reliability, advanced metering, and T&D system operations.

As for the OpenADR standard it was a focal point in its own right. According to OpenADR Alliance member Codibly in a recent LinkedIn post: There is a growing importance of Demand Response.  Although not all providers have adopted communication protocols like OpenADR, the industry’s momentum is undeniable. Many are actively exploring these technologies and strategizing on how to unlock new value for customers and the grid at large.

This momentum was recognized by many attending this year’s event, which resulted in a steady flow of foot traffic to the OpenADR Alliance booth, as well as visits from a number of utilities, including NextEra, Nova Scotia Power, Duke Energy, Liberty Utilities, PacifiCorp, PPL, Salt River Project, Dominion Energy, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Eversource, Alabama Power, and Southern Company.

 Alliance members fly the OpenADR flag

Over 20 members including: AmpControlAutoGriddriivzItronLandis+GyrmetergramPARSONSSol-ARKSWTCH and more, showcased solutions and developer resources based on the OpenADR standard for renewable energy, energy storage, demand response (DR), and electric vehicle (EV) charging.

Managed EV charging platforms are the fastest growing component of Alliance membership, and Vehicle to Grid has joined solar/storage as distributed energy resource use cases leveraging the OpenADR protocols.  At our booth this year, member AmpControl showcased its One EV charging management system to increase fleet efficiency, reliability, and security.

Klas Eliasson, the technical co-founder at member company Metergram, has been instrumental in shaping Metergram's pioneering approach to modern EV charging solutions. His session at DistribuTECH was on implementing a software system for managing EV chargers as Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in the context of DR.  He discussed interfacing the grid/utility side with Charge Point Operators (CPOs) using protocols such as OpenADR, alongside a deep-dive into a tailored implementation of OCPP, enabling the chargers as DERs.  His talk provided an insightful perspective on the future and current trends in EV charging.

In addition, the OpenADR standard was featured in a session from Sunil Goyal who joined the OpenADR Alliance Board of Directors last year. Sunil is manager of Grid-Energy Services Technology at Ford Motor Co. With a focus on developing in-house capabilities for charging management through telematics, he spearheads the technical strategy and capability development for grid/energy services. He actively engages in forging new business partnerships, defining platform opportunities, and leading the Open Vehicle Grid Integration Platform (OVGIP) to facilitate seamless integration between OEMs and utilities.

Sunil’s session on Ford Customer Experiences, Behaviors, and Performance in Vehicle - Grid (VGI) Integration Programs was well attended and highlighted the role of OpenADR in the Ford/Duke Energy partnership.

Sunil was also our guest for the OpenADR Networking reception at our booth on the Wednesday evening, which attracted plenty of delegates eager to learn more about the Alliance and the Ford program.

Interest from down under

This year also saw a strong presence by senior Australian utility industry executives and experts.  Australia has the world's largest interconnected electricity grid and has seen the world's fastest uptake of residential solar.

With rapid uptake in EVs forecasted, there were sessions discussing the challenges faced by Australian electricity networks in managing reliable customer supply and cost, while meeting the challenges of mass DER adoption and the requirements of Net Zero transformation across the national electricity grid. 

This interest validates the potential for the OpenADR 3.0 standard in Australia. We are excited to be a sponsor and to exhibit (May 7-8) at Power + Utilities in Melbourne – a great opportunity to learn more about energy efficiency efforts in Australia and to educate attendees on the importance of the OpenADR protocol. Rolf Bienert will be presenting a Knowledge Hub session on ‘CER flexibility with the customer in charge – The OpenADR Approach’. That same week, the OpenADR Alliance is proud to sponsor the 49th PLMA Conference in Portland, OR, with director of Business Development, Don Dulchinos attending.

DistribuTECH 2024 was once again a success and we are thankful for the productive and insightful meetings and conversations we had throughout the week. We look forward to carrying this momentum into the rest of the year and look forward to seeing you in Dallas 2025!

Make sure you visit our LinkedIn page to see the in-person videos we did with members AmpControl, Metergram, PARSONS and Ford Motor Company from the show floor.


Note: Don Dulchinos will be attending EPRI’s Electrification Conference in Savannah, GA next week where the OpenADR Alliance is exhibiting in booth 413. If you’re attending do contact him at [email protected] to set up a time to meet.


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