An engineer with JEA, Melinda is responsible for electric system planning and looking ahead 10 to 20 years to predict how many generations JEA will need to acquire to meet customer demands. As someone who plans energy generation, she felt it was her business to be aware of whatever technologies are out there that can make energy delivery easier and more effective.
She knew she wanted to learn more, and when she learned about the online smart grid classes offered through Bismarck State College and EPCE, she signed up for Renewable Energy Sources and the Smart Grid and Operation Considerations for the Smart Grid. “Taking these courses will help me in my career since in the future when smart grid is implemented I’ll be more aware of what it is and the benefits for our electric system and be able to implement it in my planning,” she said.
Because Fischer’s job focuses on the future, and she believes the smart grid is the way of the future, she’s satisfied that the courses helped prepare her for what’s coming down the pipeline. “I view smart grid as an ideal solution to a lot of our generation, our electric system and things we’re encountering these days. It gives you information of what smart grid can do and what kinds of problems it will help solve, improve efficiency, improve reliability and so forth,” she said.
Fischer said that this is the first training course she’s taken in her career, and it’s opened her mind to taking more. “This training opens the door to what smart grid can do, and by understanding what smart grid can do as I do my planning I’ll always have that in the back of my head—if we had smart grid than we could have done this. It makes me look forward to smart grid being integrated.”