The smart grid market continues to grow faster than a young Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- if not in market size (yet), at least in the number of movers and shakers that are entering the space. That's worth something, right? As such, we've compiled a list of 100 people who are influencing this market on a daily basis, be it through innovating, regulating, evangelizing, planning, deploying, benchmarking, architecting, standardizing, investing, developing, etc. Are these folks in your Rolodex? If not, they should be. If you didn't make the list, don't feel bad. It's a big smart grid world out there. And if it weren't for dark horses like Conan O'Brian and Angus Young, your name might be in lights, too. (Please note that this list is not a ranking; it's organized in alphabetical order.)
- Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place
Over the coming years, the integration of PHEVs into the smart grid is going to be both a massive opportunity and a formidable challenge. Nobody is in a better place (ouch) to steer this segment of the market than Shai Agassi. Coming from enterprise software giant SAP, Shai is one of the industry poster boys for IT execs hoping to make a splash in the greentech world. One thing's for sure: expect big -- really big -- things from Better Place this year, as they just announced a $350-million Round B led by HSBC Group. That's a lot of shekels and a lot of kroner -- 1.85 billion kroner and 1.305 billion shekels, to be exact. It ranks as one of the largest cleantech deals in history, with a pre-money valuation of $900 million.
- Ron Ambrosio, Global Head of IBM Research for Energy & Utilities Industry, IBM
As Chairman of the 13-member GridWise Architecture Council (GWAC), Ron is leading the charge towards interoperability for systems, networks, devices and institutions for the U.S. electric system. The GWAC was originally formed by the DOE, and Mr. Ambrosio played a formative role in its creation, starting back in the year 2000. For his day job, Ron oversees IBM's energy and utilities industry-related activities in its eight research laboratories around the world. Mr. Ambrosio’s primary areas of expertise include embedded systems, sensor and control automation networks, operating systems, communications and distributed application frameworks.
- Jon Arnold, Managing Director, Global Utilities, Microsoft
Jon not only leads Microsoft’s Global Utilities Group, he (har har) moonlights as a blogger on the surprisingly decent (and at times, even introspective) Microsoft Power and Utilities Blog. Recommended.
- George Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid, NIST
As the National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability at NIST, Dr. Arnold has more balls in the air than Bruce Sarafian. In addition to his NIST responsibilities, Dr. Arnold is also the President of the IEEE Standards Association, as well as Vice President of Policy for the International Organization for Standards (ISO).
- Guido Bartels, Managing Director, IBM
Guido heads IBM’s energy and utility business, which includes electricity, gas, water and waste management companies. Bartels also leads IBM’s corporate initiative around building an 'Intelligent Utility Network' (ahem… the smart grid). For a side gig, Guido serves as Chairman of The Gridwise Alliance (the most relevant industry group in SG). Guido is one of several people on this list who get summoned to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. when Obama needs to get schooled on the latest smart-grid issues. He's also one of the inaugural members of Department of Energy's Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC).
- Ray Bell, Founder, CEO, GridNet
Former Cisco exec and one-time interim CEO of Silver Spring Networks, Ray Bell believes that WIMAX will play an instrumental role in the future of smart grid networking. WIMAX never really found the market that it was originally suited for, that is, broadband wireless access, so it remains to be seen whether this technology is still looking for a market. With that said, GridNet is doing some interesting things around policy-based networking, a concept that could certainly prove to be relevant for smarter grids. For the moment, however, there don’t seem to be many Valentine's Day cards going back and forth between the heads of SSN and GridNet.
- Jesse Berst, Founding Editor, Smart Grid News
Jesse Berst is a smart grid thought leader with a high-level focus on setting the stage for the “electricity economy” (his forthcoming book "Electronomics" is due to drop later this year). He is the Managing Director of GlobalSmartEnergy (GSE), a research and consulting firm. Jesse’s Smart Grid News is a trusted resource for the industry, and he has advised organizations such as Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, the GridWise Alliance, NETL and many others. Jesse can often be spotted having coffee with Niles and Frazier at Café Nervosa in Seattle.
- Tom Bialek, Chief Engineer, Smart Grid, SDG&E
As Chief Engineer to one the most advanced grids in the United States (SDG&E), Tom Bialek is a good person know if you are looking to get good and geeked on the latest tech developments in the smart grid space. Mr. Bialek’s responsibilities include developing smart grid strategy and policy for both distribution and transmission for San Diego Gas & Electric. Tom was gracious enough to participate as a panelist at GTM's Networked Grid conference in 2009. Let's hope he joins us again in May at TNG 2010 (details coming soon!).
- Ron Binz, Chairman, Colorado PUC
While there are obviously many states that are larger and more populous than Colorado, Ron Binz still seems to be everywhere we turn. Few PUC Commissioners have been as successful as Ron at developing not only a balanced view of the needs of their constituents and the need for smart grid technology (particularly Distribution Automation), but also a passion for scaling renewable energy. Ron also has the chops to be the sommelier at your next dinner party.
- George Bjelovuk, Managing Director, Marketing Research and Program Development, AEP
AEP is hoping to deploy roughly five million smart meters across their territories in the next five years, one of the largest deployments slated to take place in North America. So how do you engage five million customers in the shift towards smart grid technologies? Ask George. Mr. Bielovuk also serves on the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) Governing Board, a technical support forum charged with assisting NIST in standards coordination.
- Andy Bochman, Founder, The Smart Grid Security Blog
Andy is one of many IBMers on this list and co-founder of the sharp-witted and reliably on-point Smart Grid Security Blog. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, his blog is highly recommended.
- Terry Boston, President & CEO, PJM
We’ve been impressed by PJM’s thought leadership on PHEVs and storage, as well as its efforts to reward plug-ins (and larger storage providers, such as flywheels) that can add to frequency regulation to the grid. Mr. Boston clearly understands the challenges of integrating renewables, and has been a consistent voice warning the industry of the urgent need to scale storage faster in order to integrate sources of intermittent power. He has also been a vocal proponent of real-time pricing as a key to avoiding a PHEV catastrophe. Bravo on all fronts.
- Garry Brown, Chairman, New York State Public Service Commission
Apart from serving as the PSC Chairman to one of the largest states in the union, Chairman Brown sits on the Board of NARUC. He serves on the NARUC-Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Smart Grid Collaborative, and is also a member of the Advisory Council to the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Some good circles to run in, wouldn't you say? With a term that runs until 2015, Garry Brown will oversee NY’s transition into a smart state. Imagine that.
- Bill Capp, CEO, Beacon Power
Beacon Power has had a string of good news in the past six months, winning a $24 million stimulus grant and gaining access to new markets as more ISO/RTOs begin to allow flywheel energy storage/frequency regulation to plug-in. In November, Beacon broke ground on a 20MW flywheel frequency regulation plant located on the NYISO. Apart from running Beacon Power, Bill also serves as one of the directors of The GridWise Alliance.
- Andres Carvallo, CIO, Austin Energy
When you coin the term that spawns an entire industry, as Andres did with “smart grid,” guess what? You automatically make GTM's Top 100 list. When not thinking up catchy new nomenclature, Andres serves as Chief Information Officer at Austin Energy, where he is responsible for the technology vision, planning, development and operations for one of the most advanced grids in the nation.
- Paul Centolella, Commissioner, Ohio PUC
Regarded as a thought leader among PUC commissioners, Paul Centolella 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 Centolla also sits on the SGIP (Smart Grid Interoperability Panel) Governing Board, a technical support forum assisting NIST in standards coordination.
- Rachelle Chong, Commissioner, California PUC
The CPUC has approved funding for its three largest IOUs to install 11 million advanced electric meters, covering their entire service territories. The new meters are being installed now, with completion targeted for 2012. Commissioner Chong has also spoken up about the need for synchrophasors and microgrids, and has supported initiatives started by SCE and SDG&E, respectively. She also participates in the NARUC-FERC Smart Grid Collaborative.
- Steven Chu, United States Secretary of Energy, DOE
You know what we don't like about Steven Chu? Absolutely nothing. Even if he hadn't been named the 12th Secretary of Energy, this staunch advocate for renewable energy and smart grids (and former director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) would have probably found his way onto the list.
- David Coen, Chairman of the Board, President, NARUC
Meet the new boss. Recently, David Coen succeeded Fred Butler as the head of NARUC. NARUC represents the state public service commissioners who regulate essential utility services, such as electricity, gas, telecommunications, water, and transportation throughout the country. David Coen has been a Member of the Vermont Public Service Board since 1995; he is now in his third term, which expires in 2013.
- Peter Corsell, CEO, GridPoint
Peter Corsell is founder and CEO of GridPoint, a smart grid software company. While GridPoint has championed a suite of smart grid solutions for both utilities and end-users, to date the most impressive aspect of GridPoint may well be the prodigious amount of funding they have been able to raise (last we checked, somewhere between $200-300 million). It is still too soon to tell which of these solutions ultimately will find a market and which will fail; as it stands, GridPoint has become something of a private equity shop to the smart grid industry, looking to continue to raise big rounds and buy up additional revenue streams as they are able.
- Ted Craver, President & CEO, Edison International
As head of Edison International (NYSE:EIX), one of the nation’s largest IOUs, and a California-based one at that, Craver automatically makes the list.
- Rodney Dangerfield, Former Movie Star, Caddyshack, etc.
It may not have happened until 2010 was underway, but utilities have finally been getting some respect. Much of that respect has everything to do with the smart grid. As the enlightened Al Czervik (Dangerfield's Caddyshack persona) once said, "Hey baby, you must've been something before electricity." Noonan!
- Peter Darby, Chairman, CEO and President, PG&E
PG&E (NYSE:PCG) is building one of the most advanced smart grids in the country, and Peter Darby is helming the effort. For additional details about PG&E's smart grid deployment, see entry for Andy Tang.
- Desh Despande, Chairman of the Board, A123 Systems
Congratulations to A123 Systems' CEO David Vieau for a very successful greentech IPO last year. Who's Desh? Mr. Deshpande is the Chairman of the Board and one of the earliest financial backers of A123 Systems. Prior to backing A123, long before it was an obviously viable investment, Desh was the founder of two very successful telecom equipment manufacturers: Cascade Communications (acquired by Ascend and later Lucent) and Sycamore Networks, an IPO darling circa 1999. A123 is coming at the smart grid issue from multiple angles, kickstarting the EV market and eyeing the utility-scale grid storage market as well. Given his networking heritage, is it possible that Mr. Deshpande may have designs on more smart grid moves down the road?
- Paul DiMartini, Vice President, Advanced Technologies, SCE
This respected business and thought leader was responsible for overseesing SCE’s advanced metering initiatives (as head of Edison SmartConnect), and now heads up the company's Advanced Technology team, which is responsible for smart grid development (including advanced grid technologies, electric transportation, smart metering and integration of energy-smart consumer products).
- John Doerr, Partner, Kleiner Perkins
He’s John Doerr. He heads arguably the most successful VC firm in the nation. He green-lighted Sun Microsytems, Google, Compaq, Amazon.com, and Symantec. He’s one of the people Obama reached out to in the middle of the financial crisis. He’s a big believer in greentech and smart grid. He made the list.
- Eric Dresselhuys, Vice President, Markets, Silver Spring Networks
Mr. Dresselhuys is one of the public faces of one of the most successful stories in the smart grid market to date – Silver Spring Networks. Eric has been with SSN since its founding in 2002. Many expect that Silver Spring could go IPO in 2010, though it remains unclear if the industry will collectively have figured out how to pronounce Eric’s last name by then.
- Sherman Elliott, Commissioner, Illinois PUC
Commissioner Elliott is among the small - but growing – number of state utility commissioners that truly get it. From the disconnect between wholesale markets and retail prices, to the potential value of decreasing system load factor, to the addition of renewables and PHEVs, Commissioner Elliott clearly understands both the opportunities and challenges of getting to Grid 2.0. Commissioner Elliott serves on Energy Resources and the Environment Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the joint Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)/NARUC Smart Grid Collaborative. He also serves as a member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Energy Infrastructure and Security Act (EISA) Business and Policy Domain Expert Working Group on the Smart Grid.
- John Estey, CEO, S&C Electric
John Estey is another person on this list that gets to go to the White House when the Prez wants to talk smart grid. S&C Electric offers a suite of smart grid solutions, including products designed to facilitate the integration of renewables onto the grid, to improve reliability, and to improve asset utilization and operating efficiency.
- Ahmad Faruqui, Principal, Brattle Group
Ahmad Faruqui is a leading expert on aspects of the smart grid related to the customer. He is currently assisting FERC in preparing a National Action Plan for Demand Response. He has also conducted comprehensive research for EPRI and the EEI on energy efficiency and dynamic pricing, respectively, and has testified before more utility commissions and NARUC events than we care to list.
- Jerry Fitch, CEO, Teridian
Jerry Fitch is the CEO at Teridian, one of the leading SoC (system-on-a-chip) providers to smart meter manufacturers around the globe. Of the roughly 90 million smart meters that were sold last years, 19 million of them had a Teridian chip inside, including several million that went into both GE and Landis+Gyr meters.
- Steve Fludder, Vice President, Ecomagination, GE
Steve Fludder leads GE’s prestigious Ecomagination division (which is taking aim at some of the world’s largest challenges). At $17B, Ecomagination represented nine percent of GE's total revenue in 2008 (and grew that year alone by 21 percent). Recently, GE announced that it would open a 10,000-square-meter demonstration lab in China. Fludder serves on China2049, a collaboration between the Brookings Institution, Columbia University's Earth Institute, and the National Development & Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China, for the purpose of advising the Chinese government on policies for China's next -- and 12th -- five-year plan. Fludder was elected a GE company officer in 2006. In 2009, Steve stated that if we could improve efficiency in the U.S. by a mere 5%, that would translate to 41 gigawatts of generating capacity.
- Bob Gilligan, Vice President, Transmission and Distribution, GE
Bob is VP of GE’s Energy Transmission & Distribution business, overseeing the delivery of smart grid products and solutions to utilities around the world. Bob was appointed to his current position in 2004. He became an officer of GE in 2008.
- Ray Gogel, President and COO, Current
Ray Gogel is a former Xcel Energy executive who now runs all operations for the Current Group. Ray was directly responsible for overseeing Xcel’s SmartGridCity project and is one of many members of the senior team at SmartGridCity that have jumped ship in last few years (in favor of jobs at smart grid start-up companies).
- Britta Gross, Director Global Energy Systems and Infrastructure Commercialization, General Motors
Britta Gross made the list by virtue of having the coolest title ever: Director of Global Energy Systems and Infrastructure Commercialization. Talk about 2010 and the future -- GM at least sounds like they are headed the right direction, right? Jokes aside, with a background in aerospace engineering, satellite systems development (weather and communications systems) and fuel cells, Ms. Gross is exactly the kind of person you want to see attempting to resuscitate our bumbling “Big 3” via the introduction of electric vehicles.
- Adam Grosser, General Partner, Foundation Capital
Adam Grosser and his team at Foundation are doing something right. They put first capital into EnerNOC, Silver Spring Networks, eMeter, and Control4. While copycat VCs abound, thus far, Foundation has had the secret sauce in terms of investing in successful smart grid companies. It will be interesting to see what moves they make in 2010. Mr. Grosser, it seems, has an aversion to investing in transportation start-ups (and, incidentally, to wearing shoes in meetings).
- Erich Gunther, Chairman, CTO and Co-Founder, Enernex
Enernex isn't exactly a household name -- unless you're in the smart grid space, that is. Are you tired of hearing marketing pitches about how the smart grid works? Is supposed to work? Might work someday? Well, if you want the skinny, Erich is your man. This guy gets it. Forget about the sexiness of IP, Erich can go there and then some, making your head spin with visions of Volt/VAR, synchrophasors, cap banks, SCADA systems, you name it. Erich and Enernex have set up shop in Knoxville, Tennessee, just down the road from Oak Ridge National Labs. This is smart grid country. 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. Mr. Gunther was part of the original team that developed EPRI’s IntelliGrid Architecture and led the team that refined and documented the IntelliGrid Use Case-based requirements development methodology through its first major application at Southern California Edison for their AMI and Smart Grid programs. The list goes on and on. He's a great guy, to boot!
- Katherine Hamilton, President, Gridwise Alliance
Katherine Hamilton is the President of the GridWise Alliance, and has overseen the alliance as it has grown from encompassing a few dozen companies to emerging as the leading advocacy group for the smart grid industry (with now well more than 100 member organizations). Prior to working at the Gridwise Alliance, Katherine held senior policy and government relations posts at Good Energies (a cleantech private investment group with a $6B portfolio) and NREL. Mrs. Hamilton has spoken in front of the U.S. Congress on many occasions. An expert witness on renewable energy, Katherine served as an advisor to the prior Vice President of the United States (yeah, that guy) as part of a task force to develop a national energy plan. It's amusing to imagine how those conversations must have gone... more green energy vs. more oil wars? "Hmmm, interesting ideas, Katherine. We'll get back to you on that."
- Steve Hauser, VP Grid Integration, NREL
At NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Mr. Hauser is responsible for creating new programs and partnerships to lead national efforts to create a smarter grid. Mr. Hauser is well known to just about everyone in smart grid, having worked in greentech for over 25 years, as well being the driving force behind the creation of the GridWise Alliance. Previously, Mr. Hauser has held senior positions at GridPoint, SAIC, and Battelle, as well serving as Chairman of The World Renewable Energy Congress.
- Tim Healy, CEO, EnerNOC
Tim founded and leads EnerNOC (NASQ:ENOC), one of the most successful companies to date in the smart grid market. EnerNOC, founded in 2001, has begun to shift its focus from solely that of a demand response player to a total energy management firm (pulling in revenue from both utilities and C&I customers) – a neat trick in an emerging industry where many young companies are still trying to identify who their primary customers are. Under Tim’s leadership, EnerNOC continues to increase the amount of megawatts under management (now more than 3 gigawatts). Recently, EnerNOC had a quarter where they earned in excess of $100 million.
- Chris Hickman, SVP Utility Solutions, Ice Energy
Ice Energy has a concept that it's hard not to like. They’ve developed systems that make ice with cheap electricity at night and use it to chill air conditioners during the day to save on expensive peak-power demands. The idea can be further extended into a distributed storage solution, and many expect this to be applied to utility-scale storage needs. As SVP of Utility Solutions, Chris can be proud that his company recently garnered the highest rating ever awarded by Erich Gunther’s Smart Grid Scorecard. Many industry observers are expecting big things from Ice Energy in 2010, and GTM Research is definitely among this group.
- Brent Hodges, Director, Reliant
Brent is Director of Smart Grid Partnerships at Reliant Energy, leading their vision, strategy and execution with vendors, channel partners and standards bodies. (Reliant Energy was recently awarded $20 million in stimulus funds.) Brent is well known in the industry; prior to working at Reliant he was at the Zigbee Alliance, and before that, Ember Corporation. Mr. Hodges also sits on the SGIP (Smart Grid Interoperability Panel) Governing Board, a technical support forum assisting NIST in standards coordination and advising on behalf of retail service providers.
- Patricia Hoffman, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE
The Honorable Patricia A. Hoffman, Acting Assistant Secretary at the DOE, not only heads up the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, she is also the point person for many external projects that report to DOE, including the NARUC/FERC Smart Grid Collaborative. Any regulator worth his or her salt should have her contact info. When the DOE needs to testify in Congress (such as, in front of Chairman Ed Markey’s Energy & Commerce Committee/Energy & Environment Subcommittee), Patricia Hoffman can always be counted on to represent.
- David Hubbard, Co-Founder, EVP and CTO, Ecologic Analytics
Mr. Hubbard is responsible for the development of Ecologic Analytics MDM (Meter Data Management) system, as well as supporting technologies and systems architecture. Like several other individuals on this list, David is a former Xcel Energy employee; he worked as a meter engineer at Xcel and was responsible for OEM product evaluations, as well as joint testing with OEM and AMI providers. What do ya know? He saw room for a MDM start-up!
- Ken Huber, Manager, Advanced Technology, PJM
Ken Huber is the Manager of Advanced Technology at PJM Interconnection. In this role, Ken is responsible for conceiving, developing and applying technological solutions to address the needs of the PJM business units. Mr. Huber has been leading efforts towards an intelligent RTO through research into demand response, electric vehicles, PMUs, and battery storage.
- Randy Huston, Program Delivery Executive, Xcel Energy
Randy Huston is the program lead at SmartGridCity at Xcel Energy. At the time, many observers questioned the costs associated with laying fiber to get a comm network across the distribution grid in Boulder, Colorado (a project that was rumored to have exceeded its initial budget of $100 million by an additional $150 million). On the upside, Xcel now has a pretty bad-ass DMS in place. In any case, for those looking to learn more about the benefits of not having to deal with disgruntled customers, Xcel's SmartGridCity is definitely now regarded as the industry leader in this department. However, if you do want to talk to Randy, we suggest that you do so ASAP. We've noticed that the thing about SmartGridCity executives is that their experience is highly sought after, and the pursuit of start-up success has ultimately lured many away.
- Erfan Ibrahim, Technical Executive in the Intelligrid program area of the Power Delivery & Utilization Sector, Electic Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Dr. Erfan Ibrahim is a technical executive in the Intelligrid program area of the Power Delivery & Utilization Sector at EPRI. His research is currently covering comm networks, HAN/BAN, AMI, EMS – you know, the smart grid. He’s a sharp guy though he’s not a rocket scientist; he’s actually nuclear engineer. For the past few months Erfan’s been leading the EPRI SG Info Sharing Calls. Two Thumbs Up.
- Marija Ilic, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Marija Ilic, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and public policy at CMU, also serves as Director of the university's new Electric Energy Systems Group. Marija is helping to spread the good news about smart grids to students: suddenly, power engineers are cool again! Move over, Stanford and MIT, because nestled in the hills of Pittsburgh's East End is CMU. Carnegie Mellon is actually attacking the issue of smart grids on all fronts; their Software Engineering Institute (SEI) was entrusted with the Smart Grid Maturity Model (started by IBM and friends) last spring. Don’t be surprised if the next hot KPCB/Foundation/Rockport Capital-funded SG start-up is run by a bunch of Carnegie Mellon grads. Also, don’t be surprised if the authors of this list (both originally from Pennsylvania) are somehow involved!
- Laura Ipsen, Senior VP & GM, Smart Grid, Cisco Systems
When Cisco made it clear that they were intent on stepping into the smart grid market, the industry stood at attention. As recently as one year ago, Cisco's take on the whole smart grid idea was rather fragmented, to be honest. Since then, they've put a stake in the ground by creating a formal business unit with its own budget, P&L, product roadmap, potential acquisition plans, etc. Who leads that group? Laura Ipsen. We've had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Laura and many of her team members face-to-face; they're a great group of people. Laura's a long-time Cisco veteran, and it's going to be an interesting year for her and her crew. Will they build the smart-grid equivalent of the CRS-1? Will they buy the Kalpana of the smart grid? Who, how, when? We have a feeling we'll find out the answers to some of these questions as the year unfolds.
- Linda Jackman, Group Vice President Global Utilites, Oracle
Linda Jackman, a GTM Research favorite, is the Group Vice President of Product Strategy and Management for the Utilities Global Business Unit at Oracle. She has over 20 years of experience in information systems, specializing in capital-intensive industries. In 2005, Linda joined SPL WorldGroup as Vice President of Product Management for Customer Care & Billing. She was promoted at the acquisition of SPL by Oracle and now directs a team of product managers focusing on mission critical applications for utilities. Hailing from the land down under, she may well be the only Aussie represented on our list.
- Steve Jobs, Founder & CEO, Apple
We won't dare to try to go back to the beginning of Apple-genius and computer-time, but the iPod, the iPhone -- what's next, Steve? Actually, we have no idea if Apple is REALLY going to get into the smart grid space in a meaningful way, though there has been speculation to this effect recently, as they have filed patents for a device that could be used for energy management. We mainly put Mr. Jobs on the list in hopes that someone from Apple will see this and get back to us with the real story of what they're up to and who the real smart grid guru is inside the Cupertino-based company.
- Stephen Johnston, CEO, SmartSynch
Stephen Johnston came to SmartSynch in 2000 was quickly named CEO prior to the commercial launch of the company's first product. Mr. Johnston, a former banker with Wachovia, has led the company’s efforts to raise more than $80 million, and recently oversaw the release of SmartSynch’s new GridRouter, which has set a lot of people in the industry to talking (and presents the technical opportunity for any network or device to communicate back and forth). Like Peter Corsell at Gridpoint, Stephen didn’t wait long to take the reins, first captaining the SmartSynch ship in his early 30s.
- John Joyce, CEO, Ambient
John is the Chairman & CEO at Ambient, a powerline networking SG communications company. While their OTC stock (ABTG.OB) trades at around 15 cents, they have brought in a modest $15 million in revenues from their four-year relationship with Duke Energy (via their nodes that were installed to support a 50,000 smart meter deployment in Cincinnati). Being that Duke’s smart grid team is widely considered to count some of the real visionaries of the industry among its members, it has to be viewed as a major validation for the efficacy of their communications products. Obviously, their fingers are crossed that they land a larger portion of Duke’s territory, a move that would hold the potential for hundreds of millions in new revenue. Ambient feels strongly about its growth opportunities, and the company has recently converted all of their long-term debt into equity. Mr. Joyce is a former exec at ABB, Price Waterhouse and Citicorp, and the company’s board includes former President and CEO of ABB, while their advisory board includes a former U.S. Senator and the Director of Resource Planning at ConEd. Good connections…
- Wilett Kempton, Senior Policy Scientist/Mid-Atlantic Grid Interactive Cars Consortium Project Lead, University of Delaware
“The revolution will not be televised.” – Gil Scott-Heron
Instead, the revolution will begin in places like the University of Delaware under the leadership of Dr. Willett Kempton, where their V2G (vehice-to-grid) team has been conducting on-going research, and now demonstrating the immediate value of providing ancillary services, such as frequency regulation, on the PJM. Earning revenue from your car when you're not using it. Now that’s a Big Idea.
- Dr. J. Patrick Kennedy, CEO and Founder, OSIsoft
As real-time data becomes increasingly important to utilities, expect OSIsoft to continue to play well with others in the smart grid space. For the last two years, OSIsoft has been a partner on Xcel Energy's SmartGridCity initiative in Boulder, Colorado, and Dr. Kennedy's OSIsoft has been providing real-time event management, retrieval, and deep archiving of volumes of data for for scalable management for over 25 years.
- Vinod Khosla, Founder, Khosla Ventures
We all know, or at least know of, Vinod Khosla, don't we? Prior to becoming a deep-pocketed cleantech venture capitalist, Mr. Khosla was a legendary partner at KPCB, backing such home runs as Nexgen/AMD, Juniper Networks and Cerent (acquired by Cisco for $7B), not to mention being a co-founder of Sun Microsystems prior to his life as a VC. In the world of smart grid, though, Mr. Khosla has made it pretty clear that he's not a big believer in the space. So why would he be important? Save time, young entrepreneurs, and don't stop by 3000 Sand Hill Road, Building 3, Suite 170, Menlo Park, CA to give your A-Round pitch for that ZigBee-enabled thermostat.
- Lynne Kiesling, Senior Lecturer, Northwestern University, Member GWAC
A member of the prestigious GridWise Architecture Council (GWAC), Lynne is an expert in smart grid economics, dynamic pricing, end-use technology, and retail competition. Ms. Kiesling is a Senior Lecturer at Northwestern University. A tireless researcher and writer, she has written more book chapters, journal articles, and policy studies than we can recount, most of which analyze electricity policy and market design issues. Meanwhile, her days are spent dropping knowledge on students in Northwestern's Economics, and Business Management and Social Enterprise departments. If you ever wondered who is looking out for the consumer in smart grid, fighting in the trenches to ensure that we get the participatory end-user experience (and the market to go with it!) that many of us are envisioning -- the answer is Lynne Kiesling. Lynne sometimes covers issues pertaining to smart grid on her excellent website Knowledge Problem, which is highly recommended.
- Lee Krevat, Director, Smart Grid, SDG&E
Lee Krevat leads enterprise-wide smart green grid strategy, policy and project alignment at San Diego Gas & Electric. Krevat’s prior positions at SDG&E include director of program delivery, where he was responsible for overseeing IT for advanced technology projects and the development of new systems to improve the operating efficiency and customer experience. Krevat was also the director of IT strategy and business partnership where he worked to align strategic direction between IT and the utility business units, as well as director of infrastructure engineering & operations. Being Director of Smart Grid for one of the most advanced grids in the nation…now that is a cool job!
- Tom Kuhn, President, Edison Electric Institute
Mr. Kuhn is President of the Edison Electric Institute, the association of investor-owned electric companies whose members generate and distribute approximately three-quarters of the nation's electricity. Guess what? He made the list. Mr. Kuhn served on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board and the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on a multitude of boards including: the United States Energy Association, the Alliance to Save Energy, and the Electric Drive Transportation Association.
- Scott Lang, Chairman, President and CEO, Silver Spring Networks
Forget a top-100 list; the Upper West Side dwelling I-Bankers at the likes of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs probably have Mr. Lang on a top, um, 1 list. When it comes time for him to sign off on the distribution of "friends and family" shares, we suggest you try to hang out in the SSN parking lot in Redwood City and give him a wink as he exits the building. Let's get serious. What makes a good leader? Hiring great people. There are a lot of great minds at Silver Spring, so we're not going to bore you by listing all of them here. In the second half of 2009 alone, Mr. Lang managed to beef up his executive team by adding all-stars such as Judy Lin (ex-Cisco Ethernet Switching SVP) as Chief Product Officer, Brad Whitcomb (ex-PG&E) as EVP to head up customer delivery teams, Gary Gysin (ex-USVP and Asempra) to run worldwide sales, and Amy Cappellanti-Wolf (another ex-Cisco VP) to head up HR. Not to mention expanding his board of directors with big guns and stuffing the coffers with an additional $100M last December. To us, these are all signals that scream scale, scale, scale.
- Annabelle Lee, Senior Cyber Security Strategist in the Computer Security Division (CSD), NIST
As the lead for the smart grid cyber security task force at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Annabelle Lee has one of the most important jobs of anyone on this list. Her current title is actually Senior Cyber Security Strategist in the Computer Security Division (CSD) at NIST. Annabelle returned to NIST after a four-year detail to the Department of Homeland Security, where she was the Director, Security Standards, Best Practices and R&D Coordination and Director, Supply Chain Risk Management in the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD). Previously at NIST, Annabelle was a member of the team that developed special publications (SPs) and Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) for the FISMA Implementation Project. While her acronym-laden resume is impressive, to hear her speak about the massive effort and warp-time speeds that continue to go into the NIST coordination of standards for the smart grid is even more inspiring.
- Eric Lightner, Task Force Director, Office of Electric Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE
Mr. Lightner serves as the Director of the Federal Smart Grid Task Force within the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. The mission of the task force is to ensure awareness, coordination and integration of smart grid related activities both with the Department of Energy and elsewhere in the federal government (including R&D, standards/protocols, utility regulation, infrastructure development, system reliability and security) - it's a big job. Eric has worked at the DOE as a program manager for advanced technology development for the last 18 years. At Greentech Media, we like that Mr. Lightner rightly gets that consumer education is one of our biggest challenges that this industry will face.
- Ed Lu, Program Manager in Advanced Projects, Google
After several space shuttle missions with NASA, including a stretch of six months living on the International Space Station, Ed Lu was bored and looking for something more advanced to work on. He founded the B612 Foundation, whose goal is to be able to significantly alter the orbit of an asteroid, but still felt a nagging sense that he needed to find a challenge worthy of his talents. It was then that he discovered the smart grid. In 2007, Dr. Lu announced he was jumping (space) ship from NASA to Google, where he became a program manager for Advanced Projects, leading the team that is developing/perfecting Google’s PowerMeter (their consumer energy portal). Last year, Lu went to Capitol Hill to argue that the consumer data generated by advanced meters “rightfully belongs to consumers,” setting the stage for one of the unfolding dramas of smart grid – namely, determining which players will gain access to this consumer data.
Here’s what we expect: in 24 months, you’ll be able to Google the answer to this question.
- Yakout Mansour, President & CEO, California ISO
Apart from running the CAISO, Yakout serves as Vice Chair of the Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC). The mission of the EAC is to provide advice to the U.S. Department of Energy in implementing the Energy Policy Act of 2005, executing the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and modernizing the nation's electricity delivery infrastructure. Mr. Mansour has been outspoken about the need to get transmission lines to bulk renewables. He’s also extremely aware of the importance of mitigating peak demand: In 2006, the CAISO experienced a new record peak of 50,270 megawatts due to a heat wave, up roughly 5,000 megawatts from the previous year (and commensurate with a level that the CAISO was not expecting for another 5 years).
- Chuck McDermott, General Partner, Rockport Capital
Former Chairman of the GridWise Alliance (and still one of six directors on their executive committee), Chuck McDermott has been working in greentech since well before it was called such, and was also instrumental in the creation of the nation’s first independent bulk electric power trading company some 25 years ago. Thus far, Rockport Capital has placed fewer bets on the smart grid market than have other VCs (Eka Systems appears to be their only SG pure play, while inverter companies like Satcon and Enphase are tangentially related, and a bevy of their other investments fall into the distributed gen category - anyone ever heard of Solyndra?). Expect Mr. McDermott and his partners at Rockport to remain central to the birth and future development of this industry, as they clearly -- and correctly -- regard venture capital and green/smart tech as forces of positive change.
- John McDonald, GM, Marketing, GE Energy T&D, GE
As past president of the IEEE Power & Energy Society, a director of IEEE, a director of the GridWise Alliance, a NEMA Smart Grid Task Force member and a member of the Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Electricity Advisory Committee, John McDonald is everywhere you turn in the smart grid universe, which is a good thing, because John clearly understands the challenges that our grid is facing. John serves as general manager of marketing for GE Energy T&D. 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). Got a question about advanced utility control systems (or legacy systems for that matter)? John is definitely your man.
- Don McDonnell, Founder, Managing Director, McDonnell Group
Being that smart grid can rightly be seen as the convergence of power engineering and IT, few people “get” smart grid more than those with extensive energy engineering and enterprise software backgrounds. Mr. McDonnell has both. Don McDonnell has built tech companies in the energy and enterprise software sectors (including experience in fields like nuclear, T&D asset management, outage and network management, energy trading and risk management, SCADA, and advanced metering related companies) and currently manages the research/advisory/PR firm that bears his name.
- Kevin Meagher, CTO, EDSA
We wouldn’t very well be GTM Research if we didn’t have our finger on the pulse of who’s coming up around the bend. Do you think mission-critical, real-time data management and advanced power analytics software are going to be important to the smart grid? Well, if you do, it’s time to welcome EDSA to the smart grid market. These guys already provide similar solutions to everyone from VISA, eBay, BP, NASA, and Boeing to the FAA (and many other world class companies, to boot). Notably, look for EDSA to continue to provide master control and energy management systems for microgrids, as they’ve done for the University of California at San Diego. Mr. Meagher’s areas of expertise include data acquisition, data analysis, expert systems and artificial intelligence.
- Philip Mezey, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Itron North America, Itron
Philip Mezey oversees operations at Itron, the largest metering company in North America (and one of the global leaders, to boot). Mr. Mezey is responsible for the direction and strategy of Itron's software and hardware solutions, including the operations of advanced metering, R&D, marketing, and sales. He has served the company in several different capacities, including Vice President and General Manager for Software Solutions, followed by Senior Vice President, Software Solutions. Philip Mezey joined Itron as managing director of Software Development for Itron's Energy Management Solutions group. Minutes from the northern Idaho border, Liberty Lake, WA is a beautiful place to set up shop.
- David Mohler, SVP and Chief Technology Officer, Duke Energy
Serving as SVP and Chief Technology Officer at Duke Energy, Mr. Mohler is a recognized thought leader in the world of smart grid, and is respected (and liked) by everyone we’ve ever spoken with. He is responsible for the development and application of technologies in support at Duke Energy (which is considered, for good reason, one of the smart grid pioneers in the electric power industry). When not at his desk in Charlotte, David is very much part of the circuit of individuals who advocate the shift towards smart grid technologies and applications (including PHEVs) at conferences and industry meetings around the globe. Mohler serves on the boards of directors of GridPoint, and Advanced Energy Corp, as well as the Electric Power Research Institute’s Research Advisory Committee.
- Tery Mohn, VP, Chief Innovation Officer, Balance Energy
Terry Mohn is CIO (Chief Innovation Officer – why not!) for Balance Energy and Vice President at BAE Systems' newly formed Smart and Clean Energy group, working to integrate and aggregate dispatchable, scalable distributed generation and storage resources, with a strong focus on the emerging microgrid market. Terry was previously chief technology strategist for Sempra Energy, with an emphasis on smarter grids. He has 30 years of experience in large-scale system architecture, business strategy, and technology investment strategy. Terry specializes in the business integration of technologies, primarily supporting smart grid, home automation systems, communication systems, distribution automation, smart metering, demand response, and sense and control. Mr. Mohn is also very involved in technology research, funding and commercialization, and works closely with several major California universities. Terry presently serves as Vice Chairman of the GridWise Alliance.
- Rilck Noel, VP & Global Managing Director, Verizon
Verizon has been playing up their strength in cyber-security in an attempt to break into the smart grid market. They are not only looking to compete in the FAN build-out, but are also now offering professional consulting services through Verizon Business, led by Mr. Noel. If your utility is looking to meet 2010 NERC CIP standards, Rilck asks, "Can you hear me now?"
- Conan O'Brien, Ex-Tonight Show Host, NBC
Fresh off his last Tonight Show appearance as host, Coco needs a new gig. We don't think he's heard of the smart grid yet, but it's only a matter of time. Maybe he'll be the new celebrity poster boy for SG. If not, there's a keynote slot open at our Networked Grid summit in May.
- Cameron O’Reilly, CEO, Landis+Gyr
Mr. O’Reilly heads up the Swiss-based, industry-leading meter maker Landis+Gyr. In addition to smart meters, he presumably knows a lot about cheese and watches. A recent GTM Research survey showed that Swiss-based Landis+Gyr was more recognized by North American utilities than any other meter manufacturer, including Itron -- suggesting that Cameron’s team is doing something right. The company has secured heavyweight deals in North America with utilties such as PG&E, Oncor, PHI (Pepco) and AEP, and in late 2009, Landis+Gyr raised an additional $100 million from a round of shareholder funding.
- Terry Oliver, CTIO, Bonneville Power Administration
Since 2005, Terry has served as BPA’s first Chief Technology Innovation Officer, a role in which he has been responsible for re-energizing, focusing, and managing the company's research and development activities. Mr. Oliver has been with Bonneville for nearly three decades and has worked globally to advance the issues of energy conservation and renewable energy. In the Pacific Northwest, he managed one of the world's largest residential energy conservation programs. Terry has also participated in EPRI's Intelligrid grid architecture initiative, and chaired the GridWise Alliance Demonstrations Working Group.
- Rob Pratt, GridWise Program Manager, Pacific Northwest National Lab
Mr. Pratt is one of several highly respected leaders at PNNL (others include Carl Imhoff, Mike Davis, Jeff Dagle and many more) that are working on smart grid research and development projects. Rob also leads PNNL’s GridWise initiative, with a focus on communications architecture, advanced control technology, simulation and analysis. Rob has a detailed understanding of utility planning processes gained from an assignment with the Northwest Power Planning Council. He also boasts specialized expertise in the application of metered load and end-use data to the analysis of energy systems planning and performance. You might remember that PNNL (along with BPL) held an extensive smart grid trial in 2007 with customers on the Olympic Peninsula, which was widely regarded as a success, as it reduced consumer costs by 10 percent. Peak demand also fell by 15 percent during the year the trial project was conducted.
- Steve Pullins, President, Horizon Energy Group
Mr. Pullins currently leads the nation's Modern Grid Strategy for the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). He has been deeply involved with the business and technology efforts of more than 20 utilities regarding their respective smart grid strategies, renewable strategies, power system optimization operations transformation, RTO/ISO operational processes, and strategic consulting. Mr. Pullins also heads Horizon Energy Group, a smart grid consultancy based in Knoxville, TN. The Modern Grid team (which also includes Joe Miller) first established the seven key characteristics of a smart grid (which hopefully everyone’s already seen by this point).
- Gary Rackliffe, Vice President Smart Grids, ABB
A lot of smart grid-sters like to chat up their fancy-schmancy link-state routing protocols. Gary, on the other hand, likes to keep it real with talk of protocols like GOOSE (Generic Object-Oriented Substation Events). As more and more utilities look to implement Distribution Automation and DMS solutions, expect Gary's team to have a big year in 2010. Mr. Racklife leads ABB's Smart Grid initiatives in North America, overseeing their business development and strategic partnerships, as well as marketing and product strategies. Apart from leading ABB, one of the big players in the electric power industry (along with GE and Siemens), Gary serves as a senior member of the IEEE, a member of GridWise Smart Grid Implementation Committee, a member of DistribuTECH advisory committee, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Pennsylvania. Great speaker, great guy -- Gary is an all-around good person to know.
- James Rogers, Chairman, President and CEO, Duke Energy
Jim Rogers has been one of the staunchest voices in favor of smart grid from inside the utility world. Duke Energy has been up-front in admitting that they are the third-largest emitter of CO2 of all the companies operating in the U.S., and that they intend to do something about it. Jim has been broadcasting the message that regulators need to find a new and better way to compensate utilities in order to provide a financial incentive for "negawatts" - the concept of reducing consumer demand in order to meet load requirement, rather than creating more supply (i.e., burning more coal). Frankly, irrespective of whether you agree with every idea Jim Rogers has, we need more utility CEOs that are 1) willing to admit we have a carbon problem and 2) working towards creating new utility business models that will serve us in the coming century.
- Matt Rogers, Senior Advisor to Secretary of Energy, DOE
Matt Rogers recently cut checks worth approximately $4.5 billion dollars for smart grid-related projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Ergo, he made the list. (Okay, so technically not all of the funds have gone out the door yet.) Mr. Rogers was hand-picked to oversee the ARRA stimulus funds disbursement. Rogers, formerly a senior partner of McKinsey and Company, has more than 20 years of experience working with the energy industry and has done extensive work on the economics of addressing the global climate crisis. He served the Obama Presidential Transition Team in a special effort to develop opportunities to reduce the cost and increase the use of renewable energy in federal energy procurement; word up.
- Enrique Santacana, CEO North America, ABB
Enrique Santacana is President and Chief Executive Officer of ABB Inc., Region Manager of ABB North America. Enrique is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. An ABB “lifer,” (he started working at ABB when Jimmy Carter was in office), he clearly understands the need for smarter grids and the business opportunities that now lie in wait. Enrique sits on the Board of Governors of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and is a member of the Business Roundtable, where he is on the Energy Task Force and leads the group's efforts on issues related to transmission efficiency. Mr. Santacana is also one of the inaugural members of Department of Energy's Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC).
- Allan Schurr, Vice President, Strategy & Development, IBM Global Energy and Utilities Industry, IBM
In conducting the research for The Smart Grid in 2010, there was perhaps no individual that was as insightful or helpful in helping to review, clarify and shape our thinking (particularly as smart grid pertains to the scale management challenge of renewables and new opportunities in energy efficiency) than Allan Schurr. As Vice President of Strategy and Development for IBM's Energy and Utility Business, Mr. Schurr is responsible for the company's market strategy, regulatory policy, and partner management. In addition, you know those IBM ads for the company's Smarter Planet campaign? Well, Allan leads the energy group under this umbrella, working with utilities to accelerate the development of smart grids and to foster the seamless integration of renewables and PHEVs. Before taking the reins at IBM, Allan was a VP of Integrated Solutions at Itron (and led their "Utility of the Future" project).
- Joaquin Silva, CEO, On-Ramp Wireless
Hey, this list can’t just be exclusively comprised of captains of industry and people Obama has over for lemonade -- we've got to leave some elbow-room for the start-ups. On-Ramp Wireless' networking solutions were recently gifted with major validation when they were selected by San Diego Gas & Electricity to help pioneer one of the nations’ most sophisticated smart grid projects. CEO Joaquin Silva has operational management experience within wireless networking, defense electronics, and the display and semiconductor industries, as well as I-banking (which could come in handy if this young company ever hits its marks).
- Alison Silverstein, Project Director, North American SynchroPhasor Initiative
NASPI is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Energy, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and North American electric utilities, vendors, consultants, federal and private researchers and academics. NASPI activities are funded by DOE and NERC, and by the voluntary efforts of many industry members and experts. Apart from serving as the project director to NASPI, Ms. Silverstein works independently with a variety of private and federal clients, providing research and consulting on strategic, marketing and regulatory matters (including electric transmission, electric reliability, energy efficiency, and energy policy).
- Ed Solar, President & CEO, Arcadian Networks
We're talking smart grid here, but we at GTM love solar, too. Mr. Solar shone down on Arcadian from Cellnet Technology, which was acquired back in 2006 by Bayard Group for a cool $705M and ultimately become part of the newly branded Landis+Gyr behemoth. Regardless, networking the grid is a hot topic. Arcadian's been at it for a while, trying to differentiate from competitors with their use of a 700-MHz private, licensed spectrum. One of the challenges in building a wireless network is to establish a reliable communications link between field assets and the central management control system. Arcadian specializes in in connecting rural areas that have mission-critical assets beyond the reach of other carriers.
- Steve Specker, President and CEO, EPRI
Dr. Steven R. Specker was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Power Research Institute in 2004. Specker retired from General Electric (GE) after thirty years of diverse technical and business leadership experience with the company. He held various general management positions in GE business units, providing products and services for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power. From 1992 to 2000, Specker was President of GE's Nuclear Energy business, where he was responsible for all GE activities in the global commercial nuclear power industry. Later, Steve was appointed President of GE Digital Energy, where he was responsible for the formation and startup of a new business venture serving the growing needs of the digital economy for highly reliable electricity. He was named Vice President of Global Marketing for GE Energy in September of 2001. He holds both a master's and a doctorate