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.