Massive data sets, real-time analytics and application-specific software platforms are unlocking opportunities for vendors, utilities, third-party service providers and energy consumers. Join us as we explore how to effectively manage, analyze and take action on the data generated by grid networks and intelligent, energy efficient endpoints to enable an energy system of the future.

Intelligent Leveraging of Intelligent Systems

Although the foundations of most tech industries are built upon advanced hardware, it is software that provides the tools for industry advancement, maturation and product differentiation. The electric grid industry is no different in this regard. The amount of data being generated on both sides of the meter is staggering and solutions are being put in place to analyze that data and take meaningful action. Now in its third year, The Soft Grid: Data, Analytics and Software-Defined Utility provides a two-day forum to understand the software layers of the grid modernization and how consumer evolution trends will shape the electric utility industry in the years to come.


Elisabeth S. Brinton
VP, Corporate Strategy Officer, PG&E

Elisabeth S. Brinton is VP, Corporate Strategy for PG&E Corporation. She is responsible for enterprise-wide utility strategy across both the electric and gas utility businesses, corporate strategy and corporate development. This work includes developing the company’s overarching go-forward strategy, identifying and pursuing business opportunities, partnerships or investments strategic to the company, and leading the utility’s long-range strategic planning to mitigate business model risk and advance PG&E’s leadership goals in priority areas ranging from climate change to core sector growth. Most recently, she was Executive Vice President of Operations for C3 Energy. In that role she served as the executive sponsor for the utility market and product development in addition to leading operations. Prior to that, Brinton was the Chief Customer Officer for SMUD, where she ran the vertically integrated utility’s $2B retail business. Under her leadership, SMUD: operationalized smart grid; earned a number one ranking in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power each year of her tenure; achieved EE savings of 1.5% of load; and improved the utility’s cost model and restructured rates, raising the company’s corporate bond rating. 

Earlier Brinton was a senior executive in three successful startups, including a member of Loudcloud’s founding executive team, where she ran global marketing, helped raise $280 million in venture capital and take the company public through its 2001 IPO. Brinton was also founder and CEO of her own company, which she successfully grew and sold. In 2013, Brinton represented the United States on an official diplomatic mission to Tanzania as part of USEA and US AID’s first energy and economic development program to that country. Brinton holds a triple major from Principia College, integrating hard sciences and the humanities. 

Ben Bixby
General Manager, Energy Services, Nest Labs

Ben Bixby is the general manager of energy services at Nest Labs, where he steers Nest's new product and global business development with its energy partners. Ben came to Nest in early 2013 when Nest acquired MyEnergy, the venture-backed energy data technology company he founded in 2007 and led as its CEO --- and which now powers a number of Nest's energy data capabilities. Ben earned his BS from Georgetown University. Together with his wife, he resides in Boston and Palo Alto --- fiercely supporting the Red Sox from both coasts.

Patty Durand
Executive Director, Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC)

Patty Durand is the Executive Director for the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, a 501c3 non-profit working to advance a consumer-safe consumer-friendly smart grid. SGCC conducts consumer-focused research, listens to consumers through polling and surveys, collaborates with industry stakeholders and consumer advocates, and educates consumers about the benefits of a modern grid.

Prior to SGCC Patty worked at Georgia Institute of Technology where she helped prepare and submit smart grid grant proposals to ARPA-E and DOE as well as conducted smart grid research. Patty also served for two years on the board for the Smart Grid Society of the Technology Association of Georgia. 

Prior to the nonprofit field Patty worked in Information Technology for ten years on B2B projects with Hewlett Packard and Compaq Computers. Patty has an MBA from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg Virginia and a B.S. in Business from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond Virginia.

John Carrington
CEO & Director, Stem

John Carrington, CEO, has over 25 years of proven leadership in technology, energy and industrial companies. John joined Stem from his role as CEO of MiaSole, the largest CIGS-based solar company with over $550 million in investment, where he oversaw its sale to Hanergy. Prior to MiaSole, John served as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at First Solar where he grew the company from $400 million to $2 billion in revenue, opening markets in the US, Asia and Europe. John spent 16 years at General Electric, most recently as General Manager and Chief Marketing Officer of the $7 billion GE Plastics global organization where he lead innovation and product strategy for 30,000 customers and executed its $12 billion sale to SABIC. With GE, John led innovation efforts in healthcare, electronics, business equipment, transportation, aviation, solar, wind, defense, telecommunications, security and media sectors. He is an alumnus of the University of Colorado.

Dr. Noa Ruschin Rimini
Founder & CEO, Grid4C (Formerly NRG-Pro)

Dr. Noa Ruschin-Rimini is the Founder and CEO of Grid4C (Formerly NRG-Pro). Grid4C empowers all Energy value chain participants by providing them the power to foresee, leveraging advanced Machine Learning capabilities to deliver accurate, granular predictions, which are crucial for tackling the rising challenges of today's Energy Industry.

Noa has more than 15 years of experience in the software industry. She held several positions in leading software companies, including Head of the Presales Department at Oracle, Sales Manager at IBM, and Business Development Director in several Start-Up companies. Noa holds a PhD in Machine Learning and Data Mining from the Engineering Faculty at Tel Aviv University, specializing in Anomaly Detection and Predictive Analytics of Time Series. She has published papers for prestigious conferences and journals in the field of Machine-Learning, and held a lecturer position.

Her other areas of expertise include ERP, CRM, PLM and BI systems.

Tim Heidel
Program Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)

Dr. Tim Heidel currently serves as a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). His focus at ARPA-E includes new approaches for controlling and optimizing the transmission and delivery of electric power, particularly in the context of high renewables penetrations.

Dr. Heidel also manages several programs at ARPA-E focused on high-efficiency power electronics, including new magnetic materials, new capacitor technologies, and wide band gap semiconductor devices. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Dr. Heidel was a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT and served as the Research Director for MIT’s 2011 “Future of the Electric Grid” study. In that role, he coordinated the research efforts of faculty and students from economics, policy and electrical engineering on the most important challenges and opportunities that are likely to face the U.S. electric grid between now and 2030. Dr. Heidel holds S.B., M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT.

Andrew Cronk
CEO, Tempo IQ

Andrew Cronk is an experienced engineer and entrepreneur driven to make better decisions through data. Andrew learned the power of data-driven leadership early in his career as an engineer at UPS and Motorola, and he used data to enable manufacturing decisions at the crowdfunding company he founded and successfully exited. Before TempoIQ, he partnered with his eventual co-founder Michael Yagley to lead the software development team at an innovative geothermal energy company. This experience revealed to Andrew and Michael the unique challenges of monitoring and analyzing massive streams of real-time sensor data, and they leveraged these insights in architecting TempoIQ’s sensor analytics backend. Andrew holds a Bachelors of Computer Engineering from Kettering University.

agenda 2014 Conference Themes
  • Next ¬≠Generation Energy System Analytics
  • Analytics for Distributed PV and Storage
  • Targeted Investment in EE and DERs
  • Cloud Infrastructure, Machine Learning, Data Science
  • Advancing Utility Operations and Reliability
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