Ted Craver, Edison International Chairman, President and CEO, was recently honored with Electric Light & Power magazine’s Utility CEO of the Year award.

Each year, the industry magazine honors two CEOs of the year and Craver won in the large utility division for North American electric utilities with more than 400,000 customers.

“Mr. Craver has led Edison International through some of the toughest economic and regulatory times in California, yet the company has emerged stronger,” said Teresa Hansen, editor-in-chief of Electric Light & Power.

The awards were presented recently in San Diego during the sixth annual Electric Light & Power Executive Conference. Craver also keynoted the DistribuTECH Conference, which celebrated its 25th anniversary as an annual smart grid event with more than 10,000 attendees.

“We think it’s best to plan for change. We don’t want to be deniers of the change. It’s very dangerous to bet against technology," said Craver, during his speech at the conference. "If the industry is going to be disrupted, we want to be one of those disruptors. It won’t be for the faint of heart, but it is a fantastic opportunity.

"Some people see all this change as a ‘disruptive’ threat to the utility business. However, on balance I see it as an opportunity to make our nation’s power grid more flexible and ultimately better serve our customers.”

Craver also noted Southern California Edison’s (SCE) focus on building the next generation grid.

“The 21st-century grid must be capable of facilitating distributed energy resources and customers' demands for more flexibility and choice,” he said. “Why do we need to modernize the system — hasn’t it served us well for more than 100 years? The answer is that the demands of our customers are changing, and changing rapidly.”

Craver also spoke on key aspects of building the 21st century power system: integrating distributed energy resources, modernizing the distribution system, and the potential roles of energy storage in batteries and the electrification of transportation.

Electric Light & Power magazine plans to publish a full Q&A with Craver later this month.