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 Systems
Naimish Patel leads GridCo Systems, 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.