Raiford Smith, Products and Technology, X: The Moonshot Factory
Abstract: Learn how the rise of the three D's - decarbonization, digitalization, and distributed resources - are transforming the electric utility industry, giving rise to the need for analytics, data governance, data engineering, automation, and business intelligence. Mr. Smith will talk about the latest trends and how utilities are beginning to pivot to using data and analytics to provide value to their companies and customers.
Bio: Raiford Smith leads the product functions for X’s moonshot for the electric grid.
Traditional data, simulation, and analytics tools used to design and operate power systems were developed in a bygone era. They are no longer sufficient for the digital, decentralized, and decarbonised power systems of tomorrow. At X, Raiford’s teams are working with leading utilities, system operators, and other industry players worldwide to design and develop new solutions, enabled by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, to enhance the resilience, reduce the cost, and improve the sustainability of the electric grid across the globe.
Raiford has spent three decades leading energy and technology-related organizations with the goal of making power cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable. He is an international expert in energy-related technology, transformation, new products and services, and analytics.
Prior to his role at X, Raiford led Google’s global data center planning analytics, energy, water, and wastewater teams and was responsible for a multi-billion dollar budget while consistently delivering new data center capacity and hitting annual carbon-free energy targets. Before joining Google, Mr. Smith worked in various leadership and staff roles with electric and gas utilities such as The Southern Company, Duke Energy, CPS Energy, and Entergy in analytics, smart grid, product management, energy trading, legal, mergers and acquisitions, and technology functions.
A native of Savannah, Georgia, Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Georgia, a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and a Juris Doctor from the Charlotte School of Law. Raiford has also earned his Business Analytics Certificate from the Harvard Business Analytics Program.
Mr. Smith is a licensed attorney and member of the North Carolina Bar Association; holds seven patents on grid optimization and electric grid technologies; has published several papers on the future of the electric grid, energy efficiency, asset optimization, and price forecasting; and has served on several advisory and not-for-profit boards.