Macon museum

Macon’s Tubman Museum

Take a look at the new home of Macon’s Tubman Museum, the largest museum in the Southeast dedicated to educating people about the art, history and culture of African Americans. Named for Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom, the Tubman Musuem’s new home is scheduled to open in June. Learn more about what’s going on in Macon and Bibb County in Georgia Trend’s March 2015 article “It’s Better in Bibb.” — Karen Kirkpatrick

Jannine Miller

Georgia Logistics Summit: Getting from A to B

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics (COI) holds its 2015 Logistics Summit at the Georgia World Congress Center March 31 and April 1. Thousands are expected to attend, learn and share new logistics trends and technologies. The themes for this year are e-commerce, intermodal and perishables. I caught up with Jannine Miller, the center’s new director and a member of Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2011. She’s enthusiastic about next week’s summit, and shared some of the things she’s most looking forward to. Georgia continues to see more intermodal shipping, Miller says, with

Main Street

Main Street USA

It’s hard to find anyone in the South who hasn’t watched — or at least heard of — The Andy Griffith Show. We all know that when somebody says, “That town was just like Mayberry,” they mean it was charming and filled with nice, hardworking folks and safe. While the Georgia Main Street program doesn’t aim to bring back the past, it does aim to bring more charm to our small towns, give our hardworking folks better places to work and make our downtowns safe — and fun — to visit. This year, the spotlight will be on Georgia’s Main

Georgia Museum of Art

Southern Culture

After months of hibernation it feels good to get out and partake in some local culture — whether indoors or out, art is best seen in natural light. A number of new shows happen to feature this writer’s favorite style: abstract painting. Chaos and Metamorphosis pretty much sums up this genre, so it’s fitting that it’s the title of a show of works by Italian artist Piero Lerda. Weaving weird symbols and recurring images into his colorful mixed-media collages, he strikes a tone at once funny and intriguing. His works are on view at the Georgia Museum of Art at

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40 Under 40 Nominations Now Open

Each year Georgia Trend honors 40 of the state’s best and brightest under the age of 40. Whether you know someone who’s making a difference on the national stage or is a mover and shaker in his or her corner of the state, if they are under 40 years old as of Oct. 1, 2015, we want to hear about them. The ideal candidate is someone who is successful in his or her profession and is passionate about community service. There are a few cases in which a day job alone is enough of a qualification, but the state is

Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Hosts Clean Tech Executive Forum

The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce recently held Clean Tech Executive Forum at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. The event was sponsored by Coca Cola, Cousins, Georgia Center for Innovation in Energy, Toto, and Nissan.

Jay Shaver (photo), Senior Project Manager GE Digital Energy, said the energy business is booming. “We expect demand to grow by 75 percent by 2030,” he said. GE employs 30,000 and brings in $137 billion in revenue. Smartgrid technology  has made efficiency/sustainability the “fifth fuel,” and GE's Grid IQ Experience Center in Atlanta has had 10,000 visitors since opening in 2010.

Explaining the “fifth fuel” concept, John Rossi, CEO of  Comverge, said that there are three points of leakage in the current distribution network per watt of energy. “Switching to natural gas alone won't bring us into compliance, the way EPA is headed,” he said. Efficiency remains “our biggest leverage.”

Renewables continue to play an increasing role but present challenges, according to Rossi. “With renewables, there is no longer a constant supply and variable demand; both supply and demand are variable. We have to create autometering infrastructure with a rate time that varies, is flexible, and software centric."

Phil Davis, Senior Manager, Demand Response Solutions for Schneider Electric, said “we are becoming so automated that human management is almost an afterthought. Through the smart grid operability panel, and open standards, you the owner will be able to dictate your things through programming, and let those things or devices interact on your own terms.”

And the consumer only represents the “first frontier,” says Shaver. “The industrial internet is the new frontier (in automation). In terms of efforts both here and in Silicon Valley, energy use is just one piece.”

“Natural gas has slowed the demand (for efficiency and renewables) but that will change,” said Rossi. “In California, solar renewables have created ramping problems, with a run-up at sun down. To make up the supply deficiency with gas is expensive. So there has to be a balance with demand response and efficiency.”

“Public policy needs to be less restrictive to utilities in the distribution of energy,” said Davis. "Microgrids are fashionable but complex in terms of repair and maintenance. In solar we are seeing dramatic changes. Here we may be behind the rest of the country but Southern Company is doing a remarkable job of integrating renewables. Pacific Gas and Electric is struggling with variability. They have 16 percent wind energy and when it's not up it wreaks havoc on the system."

“They've rushed into a mine field,” said Rossi. “At San Diego Gas and Electric, someone told me they have had 1,000 solar installations a month, and the residential is driving them broke. He was practically crying.”

“With Hurricane Sandy, we are engaging in how to rebuild and strengthen the grid. In tragedy we see an opportunity to rethink delivery,” said Shaver. Production is not the issue, agreed Davis, and smartgrid technologies like the Demand Response Optimization Engine will further help delivery challenges.

For more on smartgrid technologies, the panelists recommended myenergyuniversity.com, sgip.org, gedigitalenergy.com, and itsyoursmartgrid.com. 

Pictured above: Jay Shaver, Senior Project Manager GE Digital Energy

Image Credit: Ben Young

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