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As the smart grid market continues to move from the fundamental ‘blocking and tackling’ of infrastructure and communications build-out to a wide swath of new, advanced applications ranging from consumer behavior analytics, to next-gen control and protection, to greentech integration and grid optimization, we thought it helpful to once again call attention to those leading the charge. The global upgrade to Grid 2.0 has billions, if not trillions, of dollars, euros, yen and yuan on the table, as well as the future safety and security of our power grids, and it is not a job for the faint of heart. Luckily, the folks on this list are all on top of it. Are these folks in your Rolodex? If not, they should be.
For a comprehensive understanding of the companies leading the global smart grid market, please refer to The Networked Grid 150: The End-to-End Smart Grid Vendor Ecosystem Profiles and Rankings report.
Sharon Allan, Partner, Accenture
As head of Accenture’s North American smart grid practice, Sharon Allan has led the consultancy into a leading position in utility deployments, with 9,300 employees working in a practice that has completed more than 105 smart grid projects around the world. Allan’s previous positions as President of Elster Integrated Solutions and Chief Knowledge Officer at Elster Electricity certainly give her in-depth knowledge of the industry. Accenture now faces the challenge of helping utilities integrate all their new smart grid technology -- and data -- into their back-office IT systems and broader business processes.
Ron Ambrosio, Global Research Executive for Energy & Utilities Industry, IBM
Ron Ambrosio’s role in guiding the smart grid’s architecture stretches all the way back to 2000, when he helped the Department of Energy create the GridWise Architecture Council, a first for the agency. His current work includes serving as chairman of NIST’s Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) Architecture Committee. At IBM, Ambrosio leads the company’s Energy & Utilities Industry activities in its ten major research facilities scattered around the world, where IBM’s smarter planet initiatives meet cutting-edge research and development.
Massoud Amin, Director, Technological Leadership Institute, University of Minnesota
Massoud Amin has a long and distinguished pedigree in managing smart grid complexity in the real world, stretching back to his work in 1998 on a joint EPRI/Department of Defense project aimed at securing the country’s critical infrastructure. His tenure at EPRI includes managing the research group’s Infrastructure Security, Grid Operations/Planning, and Energy Markets efforts, and coordinating all security-related R&D after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He has collaborated on projects with NASA-Ames, Rockwell International, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, MEMC, ESCO and others.
George Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid, NIST
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is ground zero for the hundreds of standards being developed around the smart grid, and George Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability at NIST, is in charge of it all. That includes everything from formulating the ways in which data will be shared in demand response events (OpenADR) and between utilities, customers and third parties (OpenADE), to the overarching rules that pertain to keeping the smart grid private and secure. Arnold also co-chairs the White House National Science and Technology Council’s Smart Grid policy subcommittee.
Guido Bartels, Managing Director, IBM
By day, Guido Bartels is the General Manager of IBM’s Global Energy and Utilities Industry, which oversees Big Blue’s smart grid initiatives. The GridWise Alliance grew six-fold under his chairmanship, and Bartels continues to bring an international focus to smart grid issues as chairman of the Global Smart Grid Federation. Likewise, his work chairing the smart grid subcommittee for the DOE’s Electricity Advisory Committee brings his global perspective to the Obama administration.
Michael Bauer, CEO, Sentient Energy
Michael Bauer leads Sentient Energy, a startup that’s quietly gotten its distribution grid sensor and monitoring technology into a growing number of utility projects, including with integration partner Silver Spring Networks. Foundation Capital is an investor in Sentient, and Bauer served as Entrepreneur in Residence at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy and Foundation Capital. His smart grid experience stretches back to his joining BPL Global in 2005, were he was responsible for product strategy. Before that, he spent over a decade in broadband and video networking in Silicon Valley.
Chad Bell, Senior Director of New Business Solutions Group, Best Buy
Want to know the latest greentech initiatives going on at Best Buy? Talk to Chad Bell. He’s in charge of many of the electronics retailing giant’s key green initiatives, which include sales of Brammo electric motorcycles and charging stations for Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV and Ford’s upcoming line of Focus electric vehicles. Best Buy is also hosting public charging spots as part of The EV Project, the nationwide government-industry car-charging initiative. Recently, Bell has been quoted as saying that Best Buy may even consider hosting the sale of plug-in electric cars built by startups.
Niraj Bhargava, CEO, Energate
Niraj Bhargava, CEO of Energate, has been making a big push into linking energy-smart, smart-grid connected thermostats into homes across North America. The Ottawa-based startup has its thermostats communicating with Silver Spring Networks-connected smart meters with Oklahoma Gas & Electric, and recently launched a commercial rollout of smart thermostats connected to utilities via broadband-to-the-home in Canada’s Ontario province. If the industry is looking for real-world data to determine which mix of communications and utility programs capture the most homeowner involvement with their smart thermostat, Energate is a good place to start.
George Bjelovuk, Managing Director of Enterprise Technology, AEP
AEP is deploying millions of smart meters, distribution grid management systems and energy storage technologies from substation to backyard scale across its territories. George Bjelovuk, managing director of enterprise technology at the multi-state utility, is in charge of putting all those grid pieces together. As project manager of AEP Ohio’s gridSMART project, he’s put the complexities of managing a modern smart grid in terms meant for consumers to understand. Bjelovuk also serves on the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) Governing Board.
Andy Bochman, Founder, The Smart Grid Security Blog
Smart grid cybersecurity: amidst a lot of happy talk on one end of the spectrum, and all the “sky is falling,” worst-case fear-mongering on the other side, it’s hard to know where the truth stands. Andy Bochman’s Smart Grid Security Blog is a must-read for anyone keeping abreast of what the security experts in the field are thinking. Bochman comes to his smart grid cybersecurity credentials via his role as energy security lead at IBM, as well as his contributions to national security working groups on the topic of energy security.
Terry Boston, President & CEO, PJM
Terry Boston, president and CEO of PJM Interconnection, has led the Mid-Atlantic grid operator as it has grown from the nation’s biggest demand response market to breaking new ground in linking the grid to power users. We’ve seen PJM affirm the first uses of energy storage for fast-reacting power markets, as well as cutting-edge virtual power plant technologies. PJM has also taken a stand on a key market dispute with U.S. demand response leader EnerNOC that could have broad ramifications for how the industry develops from this point out.
Andres Carvallo, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Proximetry
Andres Carvallo has brought his technical expertise and next-next-thing vision to the smart grid ever since he coined the term “smart grid” as an alternative to EPRI’s “Intelligrid” concept back in 2003, the same year he joined Texas utility Austin Energy. Carvallo ended up as CIO of the utility, which has broken ground on its smart grid efforts. In March 2010, he left Austin to join Grid Net as executive vice president and chief strategy officer, where he led that company’s move away from strict backing of WiMAX toward supporting LTE and other technologies. In April 2011, he made his most recent move to Proximetry, a startup promising an advanced network management platform to keep the smart grid’s disparate systems running.
Ralph Cavanagh, Co-Director of Energy Programs, Natural Resources Defense Council
The Natural Resources Defense Council has emerged as one of the most stalwart defenders of the smart grid amongst its cohorts in the environmental movement. As long-time energy program director for the NRDC, Ralph Cavanagh has played a key role in that support. For the past 30 years, he’s worked on ways to unite utilities and renewable energy, energy efficiency and other green ideals. He served on the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board from 1993 to 2003, and was appointed to the Secretary’s Electricity Advisory Board in 2008. Most recently, he’s emerged as a strong supporter of smart meter technology to counteract the anti-smart meter backlash growing around the country.
Ed Cazalet, Founder and CEO, TeMIX; Founder, Megawatt Energy Storage
With 35 years of electric power experience as an advisor to industry and government executives, and as a consultant, researcher, developer and entrepreneur, Ed Cazalet has his smart grid chops. His specialty is the interplay of energy markets, smart grid technologies, and renewable generation and energy storage. He is founder and CEO of TeMIX Inc., a transactive systems and services company, as well as many other companies. As vice president of Megawatt Storage Farms, he’s an advocate for California to bulk up its energy storage capabilities to manage the 33 percent of its energy the state expects to get from renewables by 2020. If you want to know how much storage per megawatt of intermittent wind or solar power you need to keep the grid stable -- and how to make it economically feasible -- call Ed.
Paul Centolella, Commissioner, Ohio Public Utilities Commission
Paul Centolella’s role in smart grid isn’t limited to his seat on the Ohio PUC. He also serves as the Secretary of the Organization of PJM States and a member of the NARUC-FERC Smart Grid Collaborative, the NARUC-FERC Demand Response Collaborative, NARUC’s Climate Change Task Force, and the NARUC Energy Resources and Environment Committee. Commissioner Centolella also sits on the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) Governing Board, a technical support forum assisting NIST in standards coordination.
Steven Chu, United States Secretary of Energy
While the Department of Energy’s $4 billion smart grid stimulus may be allocated and flowing out the door, Energy Secretary Steven Chu hasn’t lost his importance to the development of the U.S. smart grid industry. Most notably, this staunch advocate of energy efficiency and clean energy, winner of a Nobel Prize in physics, and the former director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has spearheaded the DOE’s ARPA-E program, which includes amongst its grant recipients several startups developing energy storage and power electronics technologies that, if brought to fruition, could redefine the smart grid. (P.S. -- When Chu was a research scientist at Berkeley, he reprogrammed his building’s energy management system to make sure his lab temperature didn’t vary, so he knows building energy efficiency first-hand.)
Carlos Coe, Founder, Xtreme Power
Carlos Coe founded and chairs Xtreme Power, a startup with battery solutions for the smart grid space. With the promise of high energy density and capacity with a lead acid-based chemistry that’s far less susceptible to thermal runaway than lithium ion, Xtreme has deployed megawatts of storage systems to back up substations, wind farms and remote grid applications. Coe previously led refrigeration company Anthony International and Whirlpool Corp., but his roots with Xtreme’s technology stretch back to 1986, when he served as general manager and executive vice president of the joint venture between Ford Aerospace and Tracor working on the battery technology that was to become Xtreme Power.
David Cohen, CEO, Infotility
What’s a Grid Agent? For Infotility, the startup acquired by Pacific Controls earlier this year, it’s an intelligent software agent build for the smart grid. Infotility co-founder and CEO David Cohen has decades of experience in bringing the world of distributed computing and energy together, having previously worked for Silicon Energy in developing its Distributed Energy Manager product, used for such systems as ABB’s Virtual Power Plant application. As a member of the GridWise Architecture Council, EPRI’s IntelliGrid project and other research projects, Infotility’s concepts could help form the next generation of smart, distributed energy management systems.
John Cooper, Founder, NextWatt Solutions
John Cooper has been active in the energy, telecommunications, IT services and government research industries since the mid-1980s, leading projects including utility IP networks, wireless AMI, distributed generation, demand response, energy efficiency, utility-scale energy storage, virtual power plants, and EV charging infrastructure. He’s also the co-author of The Advanced Smart Grid: Edge Power Driving Sustainability and author of The ABCs of Community Broadband, a handbook for community leaders, and his white papers and articles on the smart grid could probably fill a book as well.
David Crane, CEO, NRG Energy
NRG Energy has made one of the most aggressive moves into green technology of any U.S. utility, from massive wind and solar power investments to the launch of the country’s first private plug-in vehicle charging networks and its $350 million purchase of Green Mountain Energy in 2010. As CEO, David Crane has led the company’s green push, saying that green energy could be 25 percent of the company’s business by mid-decade. Crane previously served as CEO and COO of U.K. wholesale power generation company International Power, as well as senior vice president of global power for Lehman Brothers in New York and Asia.
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Theodore Craver, President, Chairman and CEO, Edison International
As the chief of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, Ted Craver has a huge influence on how Southern California’s smart grid is evolving. Craver has held that position since 2008, and previously served as chairman and CEO of one of its subsidiaries, Edison Mission Group. He was also named chairman of the board of the Electric Power Research Institute in April 2011, giving him a position to influence the direction of that industry-funded group’s cutting-edge research.
Kevin Dasso, Senior Director, Smart Grid & Technology Integration, Pacific Gas & Electric
Kevin Dasso, a 30-year PG&E veteran, is tasked with integrating the utility’s multiple smart grid projects to deliver benefits that are greater than the sum of their individual parts. Those include such projects as integrating smart meter outage detection capability into PG&E’s ongoing distribution grid enhancement projects, including its $360 million Cornerstone Improvement program, as well as the next generation of distribution automation pilots for voltage regulation and distributed renewables integration. Integrating plug-in vehicle chargers with the smart grid, compressed air energy storage and a home area networking pilot are also on the agenda.
Dan Delurey, President, Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition
As president of the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition, Dan Delurey is point man for those industries when it comes to seeking support from Congress and federal regulators. Delurey’s roots in coalition-building run deep: he’s also executive director at the Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid (ADS), a nonprofit organization of ISOs, utilities and other parties that share data and expertise among regions and participants in the smart grid and demand response fields. Delurey has more than 25 years of experience in the energy industry, much of it working on demand side issues, policies and programs for the electric industry.
Paul De Martini, Managing Director, Newport Consulting Group
Paul De Martini spent some seven years building Southern California Edison’s smart grid programs as leader of strategic planning, policy development and research and development. In April 2010, he took his industry heft to Cisco’s new push into smart grid, serving as CTO and VP of innovation for connected energy networks, where he took a role in Cisco’s expansion of its ambitions, via partnerships and acquisitions, to become the preeminent networker of the smart grid. His abrupt departure in January 2012 to take up business consulting on the grid architecture and business development strategies he helped develop at Cisco -- along with the departure of Cisco smart grid head Laura Ipsen the next month -- has led some industry observers to question whether Cisco is as serious about the smart grid as it says it is.
Stephan Dolezalek, Managing Director of Clean Tech practice, VantagePoint Venture Partners
As a managing director of VantagePoint Venture Partners’ clean technology group, Stephan Dolezalek oversees one of the broadest portfolios of greentech companies out there. The list is a who’s-who across industry sectors, including solar startups MiaSolé and BrightSource Energy, for which Dolezalek serves as board member, and green transportation challengers Better Place and Tesla Motors. On the smart grid side, VantagePoint has backed smart grid networking startup Trilliant and home energy management contestants Tendril Networks and AlertMe.
Eric Dresselhuys, Vice President, Markets, Silver Spring Networks
Eric Dresselhuys has been with Silver Spring Networks since it was founded in 2002, and has watched the startup take a leading position in smart meter networking in North America. While the company hasn’t yet taken the plunge of IPO, it has been quite active in the past few months, raising an additional $24 million from EMC and $30 million from Hitachi and forming strategic partnerships with both companies, as well as announcing some big new projects with Commonwealth Edison and Progress Energy, among others. Will 2012 be the year it finally takes the IPO plunge?
Mike Edmonds, Vice President of Strategic Solutions, S&C Electric Company
As S&C’s vice president of Strategic Solutions, Mike Edmonds is responsible for the strategy, direction and execution of S&C’s portfolio of solutions families. Prior to joining S&C in April 2010, Edmonds was vice president & general manager of Siemens USA Energy Automation group, responsible for the real-time solutions business for energy management systems, market systems, substation automation and protection control. Edmonds’ previous roles include vice president & general manager for PTI, whose products and services serve 130 countries in system planning, including early adoption and endorsement of the common information model (CIM). As intelligence continues to get pushed further and further to “the edge” of the grid, expect Mike’s team at S&C to continue to be in a leadership position with both best-of-industry technology and expertise.
John Estey, CEO, S&C Electric
As CEO of Chicago-based S&C Electric Company, John Estey leads a company on the forefront of distribution automation and energy storage management technology for the smart grid. As a liaison between the smart grid industry and policymakers, Estey has been tapped in the past to brief the White House on smart grid matters, and also sits on the board of directors of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
Ahmad Faruqui, Principal, Brattle Group
Ahmad Faruqui is a leading expert at the intersection of the smart grid and power consumers, including residential time-of-use and dynamic pricing and commercial and industrial demand response programs. He has helped the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission prepare a National Action Plan for Demand Response, and has testified before utility commissions across the U.S. on the ins and outs of bringing time-of-use pricing to residential customers, a move that could realize the promise of the mass market smart grid -- or cause some enormous political problems.
Gary Fromer, Senior Vice President of Demand Response, Constellation Energy
Gary Fromer was CEO of C-Power, the demand response company that was bought by Constellation Energy in 2009. Since then, he has led Constellation’s efforts on the demand response front, which include an interesting combination of classic centrally controlled and managed demand management, as well as pushing control to their customers via the company’s VirtuWatt software platform. Constellation also trades energy for itself and on behalf of its clients, which presents the company with a different set of incentives and imperatives when it comes to demand response.
Matt Gillmore, Enterprise Architect, Consumers Energy
As Director of Enterprise Architecture at Consumers Energy, Matt Gillmore’s responsibilities include enterprise information models, application architecture, network architecture for wide area networks, AMI networks, home area networks, and distributed device management. Consumers Energy has put together an unusual plan to link residential smart meters via cellular networks, using SmartSynch as lead contractor and GE, Qualcomm and Grid Net as partners. Gillmore has over 11 years of IT systems development and architecture experience at Consumers Energy, was a key contributor to the OpenHAN system requirements specification and chairs the SG-Network task force within the UCA International Users Group, along with the IP Suite Working Group for the SGIP.
Thierry Godart, President, North American Smart Grid Division, Siemens
As leader of Siemens’ North American smart grid division, Thierry Godart has a bird's-eye view on the German giant’s push to add smart grid IT smarts to its operations might, all to the purpose of creating a business out of smart grid integration. Siemens purchase of eMeter brought it meter data management software, while its partnership with TIBCO is aimed at fine-grained demand response, down to the building management systems that Siemens happens to provide. Godart’s past work as senior vice president at energy industry IT services company Nexant gives him the deep IT expertise Siemens will require to make good on its integration goals.
Jeff Gooding, IT General Manager of Smart Grid Engineering, Southern California Edison
Jeff Gooding is responsible for Southern California Edison’s SmartConnect project, the multi-million smart meter deployment that’s earned accolades around the country. Prior to joining SCE in 2003, Gooding was a senior manager in the Advanced Development & Integration division of CapGemini’s Utilities practice, and previously worked as an architect and technologist on projects at the California ISO, Ontario IMO, Portland General Electric and PG&E, giving him cross-country expertise in utility integration.
James Goodnight, Founder and CEO, SAS
As one of the world’s major enterprise business analytics software vendors, SAS has the kind of expertise that utilities are going to need to bring their new smart grid systems into integration with the rest of their IT operations. James Goodnight, who worked for NASA’s Apollo program before founding SAS in 1976, understands the challenges of managing complex systems. SAS has been expanding its energy forecasting, trading and risk management systems for utilities to back up their latest smart grid deployments. There’s big data to manage out there in the smart grid, and SAS will be managing it.
Erich Gunther, Chairman, CTO and Co-Founder, Enernex
Erich Gunther and the team at Enernex are a mainstay of the smart grid industry, but behind the scenes, in the deep technical details. Whether it’s the latest developments in federal standards or a review of the last few decades of technological development within the utility industry, Enernex consults with some of the world's largest utilities and vendors on how to plan, architect, deploy, test and scale smart grids from end to end. Gunther was part of the original team that developed EPRI’s IntelliGrid Architecture and helped oversee its development through its first major application at Southern California Edison for the utility's AMI and Smart Grid programs.
Mozhi Habibi, Strategy Manager, Emerging Solutions at IBM
Ms. Habibi leads IBM's emerging energy and utility solutions outside the existing solution set by assessing the white space market opportunities. She has more than 15 years of experience in the energy software industry with emphasis in global marketing, go-to-market strategy development, strategic alliances, business development, and product marketing. While IBM has already displayed an unmatched war chest for new analytics companies in the past few years with a wide range of acquisitions, don’t be surprised if Ms. Habibi and company continue to both pluck the best soft grid and data analytics companies, as well leverage the company’s hefty in-house expertise.
Becky Harrison, Smart Grid Director, Progress Energy
Harrison’s role as smart grid director of Progress Energy gives her oversight of the Southeastern utility’s cutting-edge projects, such as its conservation voltage reduction program and its multi-million smart meter rollout, backed by a $200 million Department of Energy stimulus grant. Harrison’s role as a director and finance chair of both the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative and the GridWise Alliance gives her a view on the latest developments in managing the rollout of smart grid technologies in the eyes of utility customers.
Steve Hauser, VP Grid Integration, NREL
Steve Hauser's job at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is to lead national efforts to create a smarter grid. To that end, he’s been setting up new programs and partnerships for causes ranging from renewable power-grid integration to standards consensus-building. He was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the GridWise Alliance, and previously held senior positions at GridPoint, SAIC, and Battelle, as well serving as chairman of The World Renewable Energy Congress.
Chris Hickman, Founder, Innovari
Chris Hickman has been in the utility industry for decades, and brings that experience to bear as he urges utilities to rethink their relationships with their customers and regulators. After his most recent roles at SureGrid and Ice Energy, Hickman’s latest endeavor, Innovari, seeks to bring together innovation and energy to create new business models to bring demand-side technology effectively into the market.
Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE
Patricia A. Hoffman was named the Assistant Secretary at the DOE in June 2010, after being the acting Assistant Secretary until then. She has played a key role in managing the $4 billion in smart grid stimulus funds that have been handed out to utilities and private, public and institutional partners, and also works closely with NIST and NERC on other issues such as cybersecurity on the grid.
Doug Houseman, Vice President of Technology and Innovations, Enernex
GTM Research favorite Doug Houseman has a hand in guiding smart grid technology development on multiple fronts, not least as head of technology and innovations at smart grid consultancy Enernex. He’s also a member of the NIST/EPRI smart grid framework architecture team and helped develop the NIST smart grid framework model. He is also a member of IEEE with a lead role in the standard body’s Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee. You can also always count on him speaking his mind -- and putting to rest any incorrect assumptions you may have about the future of the smart grid.
Craig Ivey, President, Consolidated Edison
As president of Consolidated Edison, Craig Ivey is overseeing a host of smart grid projects seeking to modernize a massive urban grid infrastructure and integrate millions of New York City power customers with their utility -- not exactly an easy task. Before joining ConEd in 2009, Ivey had spent 24 years at Dominion Virginia Power, where he served as senior vice president of electric delivery and senior vice president of transmission and distribution.
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Linda Jackman, VP Product Management, Oracle Utilities
Australia native Linda Jackman leads Oracle’s push to spread its utility business to the smart grid, starting from its foundation in managing backend meter data integration and customer billing systems. With more than 20 years of experience in information systems specializing in capital-intensive industries, Jackman certainly knows the ins and outs of delivering data for mission-critical utility systems -- like making sure the bills are done correctly and on time. But Oracle’s smart grid efforts aren’t limited to the backend. It’s also involved in some of the most innovative pilots in consumer-facing smart grid, like the Pecan Street Project and San Diego Gas & Electric’s Borrego Springs microgrid project.
Larsh Johnson, Founder and CTO, eMeter
It’s been a busy year for the company that Johnson founded. The meter data management company closed out a big year of growth by being acquired by Siemens -- a move that cements the market strength that GTM Research cited when it named it a top U.S. MDM provider in 2010. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company also broke ground on cloud-based meter management via a partnership with Verizon, and has been rolling out advanced analytics features to make more use of data, whether from smart meters or other smart grid devices.
Paul Kalv, Electric Director, Leesburg Electric
As electric director for the city of Leesburg, Fla., Paul Kalv has led the municipal utility into smart grid deployments from smart meters to transmission upgrades to help reduce the city’s power rates from their dubious distinction of being among the country’s highest. Leesburg has also taken on General Electric’s smart grid as a service offering to manage its deployment. Kalv is also Vice Chairman of the Florida Municipal Power Agency, and has spent the past 20 years of his 40-plus years of utility experience in the municipal utility sector.
Aseem Kapur, Department Manager Smart Grid Implementation Group, Consolidated Edison
Aseem Kapur’s task is a complicated one: rolling out smart grid technology to the country’s biggest metropolis. ConEd’s smart grid plans include substation monitors, automated switches and capacitor automation devices for 850 feeder lines, tapping Siemens and TIBCO to deploy an integrated smart grid solution for the city, and deploying several Department of Energy stimulus grant-funded projects to test the integration of greener energy sources, electric vehicles, smart meters and smart building technologies.
Jeffrey Katz, Chief Technology Officer, Energy and Utilities Industry, IBM
Jeffrey Katz has played a big role in IBM’s approach to the smart grid, working on the company’s strategic growth case, the IBM Innovation Jam workshops, and the IBM Intelligent Utility Network initiative. He comes with a deep background in grid and energy technology development, having previously served as manager of the Computer Science department at the U.S. Corporate Research Center of Swiss grid giant ABB, as well as for French power giant Alstom.
Chris King, Chief Regulatory Officer, eMeter
Chris King’s smart grid influence extends beyond his role at leading meter data management technology provider -- and Siemens acquisition -- eMeter. He’s also a nationally recognized expert on smart grid, and is a common sight at government and industry panels. And of course, his Smart Grid Watch blog is one of the most closely watched spots for leading analysis of the smart grid and the energy industry writ large.
Brad Kitterman, President, Aclara
As the new president of Aclara, Brad Kitterman has been tasked with carrying the long-time utility arm of ESCO Technologies into new smart grid roles. Those include its smart metering business, a growing smart meter customer engagement and presentment business with some of the country’s biggest utilities, and a demand response platform partnership with Calico Energy. Kitterman has led his share of companies, including U.S. Pipe & Foundry, LogicaCMG’s North America Energy & Utilities division, and the North American division of Asahi Glass Co., as well as serving as president of Schlumberger’s North American utilities division.
Chris Knudsen, Chief Technology Officer, AutoGrid Inc.
Chris Knudsen is CTO of AutoGrid, a company seeking to apply Big Data analytics to the smart grid. He formerly worked as head of smart grid deployments and developments at PG&E, as CTO of wireless wide-area networking standards and mobile performance labs at Intel’s mobile wireless group, and spent three years at Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, focusing on early-stage wireless investments. Knudsen also chairs the Open SmartGrid Technical Committee within UCAIug and sits on the NIST SmartGrid Architecture Committe.
Lee Krevat, Director of Smart Grid, San Diego Gas & Electric
Lee Krevat has been instrumental in guiding SDG&E’s groundbreaking smart grid deployments, from its multi-million smart meter rollouts and advanced distribution grid management and outage management deployments, to cutting-edge, Department of Energy-funded pilot projects for integration of renewable energy, energy storage, plug-in vehicle charging and microgrid technologies. Given that SDG&E has been named most intelligent utility in the U.S. for three years in a row by IDC Energy Insights, there’s little doubt that Krevat’s insights are sought after in the industry.
Shihab Kuran, CEO, Petra Solar
Shihab Kuran wants to reinvent the role of solar power as a utility asset. Petra Solar has been installing a megawatt per month of its utility pole-mounted solar panels, along with the New Jersey-based startup’s power electronics and software to manage it in a way to stabilize the grid and meet utility needs. Kuran previously served as vice president of Fairchild Semiconductor, senior vice president of strategic marketing at Sipex Corp., and other senior positions in the semiconductor industry.
Scott Lang, Chairman, President and CEO, Silver Spring Networks
Yes, yes, we know -- there still hasn’t been an IPO. But that doesn’t mean Silver Spring Networks hasn’t been busy. The company has capped an eventful 2011 with a $24 million investment from EMC and $30 million from Hitachi and by forming strategic partnerships with both companies, as well as announcing some big new projects with Commonwealth Edison and Progress Energy, among others. Lang has put together an impressive management team and board of directors, the most recent addition being Jonathan Schwartz, former President and Director of Sun Microsystems. Although there are many people still waiting for the IPO, Lang might also be grooming Silver Spring for acquisition.
Alex Laskey, Founder and President, Opower
Arlington, Va.-based Opower has taken the utility industry by storm with its behavioral analysis applied to getting homeowners to shift their energy using habits through old-fashioned mailed reports. The tens of millions of homes now interacting with the startup give it plenty of data to analyze, as well as opportunities to link smart thermostat technology from Honeywell and retail cross-promotion via Home Depot. Alex Laskey, Opower’s founder and president, has met with President Barack Obama to discuss green jobs, and comes to the greentech field via his role as a campaign manager, strategist and public opinion analyst for several candidates nationwide, as well as consulting on state ballot measures for The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, and The League of Conservation Voters.
Colette Lewiner, Global Lead of Energy, Utilities & Chemicals sector, Capgemini
Colette Lewiner has been involved in Capgemini’s energy and utilities unit since the consultancy’s 2000 acquisition of Ernst & Young Consulting. Since then, Capgemini’s utility business has grown to encompass hundreds of utility customers using its planning systems, as well as managing complex systems integration both on the operations and IT side for utilities like Hydro One, San Diego Gas & Electric and Fortum. Lewiner has cited the growth of intermittent renewable power as a driver for technologies that can instantly balance the grid.
Eric Lightner, Director of Smart Grid Task Force, U.S. Department of Energy
Eric Lightner has a big job at the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability: to ensure awareness, coordination and integration of smart-grid-related activities, both with the Department of Energy and elsewhere in the federal government. That includes coordinating R&D, standards/protocols, utility regulation, infrastructure development, system reliability and security. Lightner does have 18 years of experience at the DOE as a program manager for advanced technology development, which brings him the experience to make it work.
Barbara Lockwood, Director of Energy Innovation, Arizona Public Service
Barbara Lockwood’s job involves managing the orchestration of smart grid, renewable energy and technology innovation efforts at Phoenix-area utility Arizona Public Service. It’s a natural evolution of her role at APS, where she has served as founding director for APS’ smart grid and renewable energy efforts. Lockwood is also on the board of directors of the GridWise Alliance and on the Solar Technical Advisory Board for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Wayne Longcore, Chief Solutions Manager, SAP Labs
Wayne Longcore wears a lot of hats in the smart grid industry. Now serving as chief solutions manager for SAP Labs, he previously served as director of enterprise architecture and standards at Consumers Energy, the Michigan utility trying out the United States’ first big cellular-backed smart meter deployment. Longcore is also a member of the GridWise Architecture Council and a governance board member at NIST’s Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), giving him a role in framing the standards that will guide smart grid developments of the future.
Chuck McDermott, General Partner, Rockport Capital
Chuck McDermott gets the distinction of being possibly the only person on the list who is a bona fide rock star, with more than a decade under his belt as a songwriter, performer and recording artist. But these days, McDermott is at Rockport Capital, placing bets on companies such as Comverge, EcoFactor, and Recurve, as well as a recent GE Ecomagination winner, Project Frog. With a heavy mix of distributed generation and energy management, McDermott and his partners at Rockport are making investments on getting the most from the smart grid on all sides.
John McDonald, Director, Technical Strategy and Policy Development at GE Digital Energy
For the past few years, John McDonald has spearheaded a new position at General Electric that is meant to set and drive the vision to keep GE’s Digital Energy at the forefront of the market while also driving collaboration through standards work and industry organization participation. He is a former director of IEEE and has a deep understanding of the problems and opportunities the grid possesses. In his 35 years of experience in the electric utility industry, John has developed power application software for SCADA/EMS and SCADA/DMS, developed DA and load management systems, and has also helped to integrate Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs).
Mark McGranaghan, Vice President of Power Delivery and Utilization (PDU) Sector, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Mark McGranaghan’s work at EPRI includes some of the research group’s most advanced R&D into the smart grid, a job he’s been doing at his current job, as well as from 2003 to 2008 as Director of Research in the Distribution and Smart Grid areas for EPRI. Prior to joining EPRI, he was vice president at Electrotek Concepts and helped develop power grid systems for McGraw-Edison. He’s an oft-cited expert on the most technical of smart grid’s technical issues, has worked closely with IEEE and IEC on standards development, is a member of the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Governing Board and is the Vice-Chairman of the CIRED U.S. National Committee.
Philip Mezey, President and Chief Operating Officer, Itron
Philip Mezey’s post at top smart meter vendor Itron affords him a wide view of the coming generation of smart meter deployments and integration. Under his direction, Itron has taken a lead in partnerships with key smart grid players such as Cisco, which is supporting a 2 million Itron smart meter deployment with Canadian utility B.C. Hydro. Itron has also acquired cellular smart meter networking company SmartSynch, with an eye toward broad integration of cellular technologies into Itron’s OpenWay platform. In the meantime, Itron has about 60 million AMR meters in the field, and is looking at ways to bring them into the smart grid fold as well.
Michelle Mindala-Freeman, Vice President of Marketing & Product Management, North America, Landis+Gyr
While some of the technology under the Landis+Gyr name has been around for decades, the smart meter/smart grid communications conglomerate is also taking a leading position in the latest generation of smart meters in Europe and North America. With its $2.3 billion acquisition by Toshiba last year, Landis+Gyr has the financial and technological heft of the electronics and energy giant behind it to accelerate its plans. Michelle Mindala-Freeman is in charge of L+G’s North American operations, and brings experience as the company’s VP of Strategy and Brand and VP of Product Management -- as well as her previous 18 years of experience at Motorola and AT&T -- to the table.
Terry Mohn, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, General MicroGrids
Microgrids are Terry Mohn’s passion. As Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at General MicroGrids Inc., Mohn has launched his latest push to develop technology that allows neighborhoods, campuses, factories and military bases to disconnect from the grid under their own power, as well as lend that power back to the grid. And, as Project Director at the Santa Fe Global Microgrid Center and Co-Chairman of International MicroGrids at the United Nations Foundation, and has his finger on the pulse of key developing markets for the technology. Mohn had 30 years of experience in technology investment, business strategy and large-scale systems architecture, and as chief technology strategist for San Diego Gas & Electric helped deliver that utility’s award-winning smart grid deployments. In 2009 he became Chief Innovation Officer for Balance Energy, a microgrid initiative of BAE Systems' newly formed Smart and Clean Energy group.
LeRoy Nosbaum, CEO, Itron
LeRoy Nosbaum served as CEO of Itron from 2000 to 2009, overseeing the company’s rise to smart meter kingpin status on the global stage. Then he retired, and in his absence, Itron saw its market capitalization and market share struggle in the face of an ongoing recession and competition from rivals such as Landis+Gyr. Itron’s board of directors brought Nosbaum back as CEO in August 2011, and he has since reiterated the company’s goal of growing to $5 billion in sales by 2015 -- and has laid plans to lay off about 750 employees in a broad restructuring.
Michael D. Oldak, VP and General Counsel, Utilities Telecom Council
Michael Oldak is a stalwart advisor to the utility industry. His current position as vice president and general council at the Utilities Telecom Council has given him a front seat on efforts, recently made successful, to open up new 700-megahertz spectrum to utilities that partner with public safety agencies. Oldak previously served as senior director of state competitive and regulatory policies with the Edison Electric Institute, and before that served as regulatory counsel for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, giving him insight into what small rural co-ops need in smart grid support.
John Palmour, CTO, Cree
As co-founder and CTO of one of the biggest companies around in LED technology, John Palmour is someone you must talk to if green lighting is part of your smart grid plan. Palmour has been integral to Cree’s business development and research into wide bandgap RF, microwave and power switching devices. Cree has been fielding integrated LED devices as part of its colonization of the potential LED market, and has been acquiring startups in the space at a rapid pace to keep its technology fresh.
Naimish Patel, CEO, Gridco System
Naimish Patel leads Gridco System, a company pioneering the use of solid state power electronics to revolutionize the way electricity is managed from generation to consumption. The stealthy startup raised $12.5 million last year, and while it’s been secretive about its goals, Patel has spoken of reducing the magnetics in solid-state transformers to bring down costs on what’s otherwise a great improvement on traditional transformers in terms of power density, adaptability, and performance. Patel has been an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at General Catalyst Partners and was a founding team member of Sycamore Networks in 1998.
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Michael Peevey, President, California Public Utilities Commission
Michael Peevey’s signature has been on the key rulings the state has written to guide its utilities in their smart grid deployments, and that makes him a power player in the industry. Peevey was appointed CPUC president by then-Governor Gray Davis in 2002, so he’s been around since before the term 'smart grid' was coined. From 1995 until 2000, Peevey was President of NewEnergy Inc., and before that, he was President of massive California utility Edison International and Southern California Edison Company. But that hasn't stopped him from demanding that the state’s big three utilities provide strong smart grid data privacy, security and accessibility to their customers.
Steve Pullins, President, Horizon Energy Group
Steve Pullins heads Horizon Energy Group, a smart grid consultancy based in Knoxville, TN. As part of Horizon’s Modern Grid team, which also includes Joe Miller, Pullins helped first establish the seven key characteristics of a smart grid. He also leads modern grid strategy development for the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). That’s put him to work with more than 20 utilities to help them develop their respective smart grid strategies, renewable strategies, power system optimization operations transformation, RTO/ISO operational processes, and strategic consulting.
Gary Rackliffe, Vice President, Smart Grids Operations, ABB
Gary Rackliffe was appointed to Vice President of Smart Grids North America in May 2009. He leads ABB's Smart Grid initiative in North America, including business development, strategic partnerships, and ABB’s marketing and product strategies. Cutting-edge technologies he’s helped develop include ABB’s Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) for the U.S. and ABB’s Network Management business that provides SCADA/EMS/DMS/OMS and market systems. Rackliffe has over 25 years of industry experience in both transmission and distribution and has worked for ABB for 17 years in Raleigh, N.C. If you’re in town for The Networked Grid, ask him to guide your journeys around the city, including ABB’s new Smart Grid Center of Excellence testing lab.
Saifur Rahman, founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech
Saifur Rahman has dedicated his professional life to researching cutting-edge energy technologies, including energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy and microgrid and distributed generation and storage. The latter set of technologies may be particularly applicable to developing economies in India and Africa, and Rahman has experience with such developments as former consultant to the World Bank’s Africa Energy Program. At Virginia Tech, where he is Joseph R. Loring Professor of Electrical Engineering, Rahman founded the university’s Advanced Research Institute, and directs its Center for Energy and the Global Environment. Last summer Virginia Tech announced that it had posted a beta version of its Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse (SGIC) web portal that will provide information related to smart-grid technologies, standards, and rules and regulations.
Luis Ramirez, CEO, GE Energy Industrial Solutions, GE Energy
Luis Ramirez is corporate vice president and CEO of GE Energy Industrial Solutions, which has more than $3.5 billion in annual revenue, 17,000+ employees and more than 60 manufacturing sites around the world. Ramirez has also served as president of GE Energy Parts and GE Energy Rentals and general manager of contractual services at GE Energy. Talk about covering the channels to market. Lately, Ramirez has been on the road promoting GE’s WattStation plug-in vehicle charging station and its solar carport partnership with InnovateUs, as well as promoting the EV concept via the GE Electric Vehicle Experience Tour.
John Rappaport, Chairman and Founder, USNAP Alliance
As chairman and founder of the USNAP Alliance, John Rappaport is promoting an industry-wide push to make sure today’s home energy management devices are built to interoperate with the plethora of communications options available today, as well as tomorrow. As Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Zome Energy Networks, Rappaport is promoting the startup’s new brand of active analytics, energy networking, and smart device-embedded software. Rappaport understands the home-grid nexus from both ends of the market, having served as segment leader of HAN and demand response at Sensus, as well as co-founding 4Home, the home networking startup acquired by Motorola and being deployed as part of Verizon’s home monitoring product.
Jonathan Read, CEO, ECOtality
Jonathan Read believes that the electric vehicle revolution won’t be complete without the networked car charging infrastructure to link plug-in vehicles into the smart grid. ECOtality, the car charging infrastructure startup he co-founded, is taking a build-and-partner approach to spreading its Blink charging network infrastructure around the world, with partners including ABB, Nissan, Ford and the U.S. Department of Energy’s EV Project. Read also founded and led the Park Plaza International hotel chain and served as chairman and CEO of Shakey’s International, giving him experience in growing customer service-oriented companies to international scale.
Wanda Reder, Vice President of Power Systems Services, S&C Electric
Wanda Reder leads S&C Electric’s power systems services, and serves as the global architect for S&C’s global service operations, supporting overseas technical activity analyzing, engineering and constructing smart grid technologies including large-scale batteries, micro grids, and renewable installations. Before joining S&C in 2004, Reder held numerous leadership positions at Exelon and Northern States Power, now Xcel. Reder also chairs IEEE Smart Grid, has served as the president of IEEE Power & Energy Society and is a member of Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s Electricity Advisory Committee.
Jim Rogers, CEO, Duke Energy
Jim Rogers has served as chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy since 2006, when Cinergy, the utility he had led for the previous 11 years, merged to make the country’s third-largest utility. Rogers has been an outspoken proponent of the utility industry’s responsibility to push for smart grid, renewable energy and energy efficiency, while also leading Duke into a proposed $26 billion acquisition of Progress Energy, which would create the country’s largest utility. Rogers’ previous experience points to a deep understanding of the economic and policy issues of the energy industry, including working as deputy general counsel for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as executive vice president of interstate pipelines for the Enron Gas Pipeline Group, and as a partner in the Washington, D.C., law office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Members of the media should know that Rogers also worked for three years as a reporter for the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader.
Pat Ryan, Executive Director, IEEE Power and Energy Society
For the past five years, Pat Ryan has been leading one of the world’s premiere organizations of technical experts on the smart grid. IEEE’s Power and Energy Society is approaching 30,000 members and has more than 300 chapters. Ryan is a principal investigator for the Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse, and he’s also been a key proponent of training and outreach to beef up the utility industry to face a looming workforce challenge, as half of the country’s power engineers will be eligible for retirement in the next five years.
Paul Savage, CEO, Nextek Power Systems
Nextek Power Systems is a startup in the emerging field of powering data centers with direct current systems, a field that includes giants in the industry like ABB and General Electric. It’s also developing technologies to allow LED lights to be powered with rooftop solar panels, and is a member of the EMerge Alliance, a group of companies exploring direct current for a broad set of in-building applications. Savage leads the company’s IP, financial, and partnering strategies, and is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Savage’s past experience includes bond trading at CS First Boston and risk management at Lehman Brothers, as well as serving as marketing and customer finance director for the startup operations of the Caterpillar dealership in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Richard Schomberg, EU Vice President of Innovation, Electricite de France (EDF)
Richard Schomberg has spent the past quarter-century holding various management positions in EDF’s research and development programs, and currently holds responsibility for R&D activities and partnerships in North America, as well as smart energy standards across EDF Group. He is chairman of EPRI’s Intelligrid Architecture and Strategy Committee and IEC’s Smart Grid Strategic Group, an emeritus member of the Department of Energy’s GridWise Architecture Council, a member of Southern California Edison’s smart grid technology advisory board. In other words, Schomberg speaks smart grid in many languages.
Howard Scott, Managing Director, Cognyst Advisors
If you’ve been following the smart grid industry for any length of time, you’ve doubtless read, or sought out a copy, of "The Scott Report," the most widely quoted primary market study of the automated metering industry worldwide. That’s Howard Scott’s baby, and represents his work as managing director of Cognyst Advisors, consulting with most of the major metering equipment manufacturers and investors in the world, as well as with the Obama administration’s transition team. Prior to Cognyst, Scott worked a dozen years at Bell Labs and Bellcore developing innovative telecommunications technologies.
Bob Shapard, CEO, Oncor
Bob Shapard has led Texas utility Oncor since 2007, but his background has taken him across Texas’s deregulated energy landscape, with former positions including executive vice president and chief financial officer of Exelon and vice president of finance and treasurer at TXU. Shapard has also worked with TXU’s Australian subsidiary, and had led bioenergy company Covanta through its bankruptcy and oil refiner Ultramar Diamond Shamrock through its merger with Valero, giving him a wide background in broader energy markets. As the current chairman of The Gridwise Alliance, Shapard helps shape the agenda for smart grid advocacy in the halls of Washington, D.C.
Joaquin Silva, President and CEO, On-Ramp Wireless
On-Ramp Wireless is a San Diego, Calif.-based startup bringing technology to extend and deepen the coverage of wireless networks to serve hard-to-reach utility assets in remote regions or under manhole covers and pavement. Prior to founding On-Ramp Wireless, Joaquin was a co-founder of Ostendo Technologies where, as president and COO, he helped develop the company’s unique curved display technology. He previously served as a vice president at the investment banking firm Montgomery & Co., where he led the wireless & semiconductor franchise for the firm for six years. Earlier in his career, Silva was an officer in the United States Air Force.
Nick Sinai, Senior Advisor to the CTO, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Nick Sinai is a venture capitalist and communications policy expert who has taken his experience and contacts to the White House. Sinai is a senior advisor to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he has served the first U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra. Previously, he served as energy and environment director of the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan, which laid out the government’s vision for bringing a nationwide broadband and advanced communications network to the country over the next decade. He also brings his experience as a principal at Tenaya Capital, a senior associate at Polaris Venture Partners and management consultant with Cambridge Strategic Management Group to his role of advising the White House on how to support the private sector in bringing national communications plans to fruition.
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Ivo Steklac, COO, Tendril
Mr. Steklac, a 20+ year industry veteran, is responsible for the day to day operations of Tendril globally, including business development, sales and marketing, product management and development. Most recently Steklac was CEO of Greenbox Technology, a company that provides interactive energy management for the smart home, which was acquired by Silver Spring Networks in late 2009. Previously, he worked as Vice President of Marketing for Energy and Utilities at Schlumberger, and founded Enspiria Solutions, a consultancy and systems integration firm. While Ivo started in a rather limited role at Tendril in 2010, it didn’t take him long to move into the COO chair.
Rick Stevens, VP of asset management, Hydro One
Rick Stevens has been with Hydro One, Ontario, Canada, for 27 years where he currently serves as vice president of asset management. Rick developed the overall business strategy and business case for the deployment of Hydro One’s smart meter program and led Hydro One’s Smart Meter/Smart Grid initiative which involved the rollout of 1.2 million meters. He is a past chairman of the Utilimetrics board of directors.
Dr. J. Kelly Truman, President & CEO, Deeya Energy
Kelly Truman has been President and CEO of Deeya Energy since 2010, bringing over 25 years of experience in renewable energy, semiconductor manufacturing and thin film technology. Prior to joining Deeya Energy, Kelly was a founding team member and SVP at Solyndra, where he led Marketing, Sales, Business Development,