GTM members benefits:
- Updates and special offers on latest events and conferences
- Unlimited access to our free news articles
- Unlimited access to our free webinars, white papers, and videos
- Special offers and discounts on GTM Squared
We will kick-off the event with an overview of the current energy storage market on both sides of the meter, examining utility strategies, policies, and market designs. On Day 2, we’ll take a closer look at emerging technologies, business models and financing strategies.
Melisa Johns is vice president of Business and Product Development for Duke Energy’s Distributed Technology team. She is responsible for leading the development, origination, execution and implementation of investment opportunities and customer offers related to distributed assets for the regulated companies which includes solar, wind, energy storage, CHP and micro grids.
Previously, Melisa was responsible for developing strategy for the Emerging Technology team and directing Duke Energy’s technology demonstration projects which provide lessons learned regarding the technology application, operational implications, and technology transfer within the business.
During her tenure with Duke Energy, she also served as director of wholesale origination and was responsible for leading the wholesale origination team in the execution of long-term sales contracts from the regulated generation portfolios of Duke Energy Carolinas and Indiana and for the procurement of supply side resources for the company. In addition, she has operational experience in system, planning and operating, and power delivery, as well as experience in regulatory affairs and business planning.
Melisa earned her Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree, in Electrical Engineering, from Clemson University. She has also completed the Strategic Leadership Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Margarett Jolly collaborates with technology leaders to develop new solutions that open the grid for customers and grid participant. Her professional and personal background provides her the technical and policy tools, partnerships and passion that are making the grid a better place.
She is recent Director of R&D at Con Edison and currently Director Demonstration Projects in the Customer Energy Solutions organization where her team solicits, develops, demonstrates, and scales alternative ways of doing business with the utility. Demonstrations include new business models for storage, solar, rate design, low and middle-income customers, and web portals to connect residential and commercial customers with innovative energy management tools.
She has been with Con Edison since 1997. Margarett’s early career included power plant control systems and boiler operations, followed by regulatory and energy markets policy, electric distribution engineering, and as the Company’s DG Ombudsperson.
She graduated from New York City Technical College in 1993 and from the Cooper Union in 1997 with a BE in Mechanical Engineering. A licensed Professional Engineer in New York State since 2004, Margarett serves on the Boards of Green City Force and Grid Alternative Tri-State, and NY-Best.
Margarett speaks regularly about the evolving role of the electric grid.
Mike Della Penna, Principal on PG&E’s Energy Storage Development team, leads the company’s efforts identifying and developing opportunities for utility-owned, in front of the meter energy storage projects across PG&E’s territory. Over the past two years, Mike led project development and internal negotiations for PG&E’s utility-owned project proposals in the 2016 Energy Storage RFO and the 2018 Local Sub Area RFO. He joined PG&E in 2012 as an analyst working on customer rate analytics and served as an expert witness in support of PG&E’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Education Program application with the CPUC. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Notre Dame and is currently pursuing an MBA from the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley.
Jackie Sargent rejoined the Austin Energy team as General Manager in August 2016. She brings almost 30 years of utility experience, as well as the focus and passion to continue the utility’s cutting edge reputation while providing tremendous community benefits.
From 2010 to 2012, Sargent served as Senior Vice President of Power Supply and Market Operations at Austin Energy before joining Platte River Power Authority in Fort Collins, Colorado, as General Manager and CEO. Sargent also served as Vice President of Power Supply and Renewables Integration for Black Hills Corporation in South Dakota.
Throughout her career, Sargent has demonstrated leadership by working with teams to accomplish goals and plan for the future. Some notable accomplishments include managing major construction projects, developing resource plans, supporting acquisitions and mergers, leading utility rate cases, negotiating power purchase and sale agreements, developing and growing energy marketing departments, integrating renewable resources, and creating collaborative energy efficiency programs.
Sargent believes Austin Energy can be a great value to its customers by focusing on these five core values: safety, financial integrity, operational excellence and reliability, exceptional customer service, and engaged employees. A strong financial base along with operational excellence allows a publicly owned utility to be competitive while creating value for the community. By continuing Austin Energy’s standard of exceptional reliability and advancements in grid technology, the utility will be able to offer new levels of communication and collaboration with its customers. But these achievements can only happen with engaged employees in a safe environment that extends to the customers the utility serves.
Sargent is a licensed professional engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Technology Management from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
Cris Eugster has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the energy and technology sectors. Cris currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of CPS Energy, one of the nation’s largest municipally-owned utilities with over 821,000 electric customers and 347,000 gas customers. CPS Energy is vertically integrated and includes generation, transmission and distribution, and retail services with annual revenues of over $2.5 billion and total assets of over $11 billion.
As Chief Operating Officer, Cris leads the Operations of CPS Energy and its approximately 2000 team members. Cris also leads overall corporate strategy, integrated resource planning, new products and services, research & development, and environmental oversight, driving the transformation of CPS Energy into a strong, innovative 21st century power provider. The strategy has led to significant investments in low carbon capabilities such as combined cycle natural gas, wind, and solar, in addition to large scale demand response programs and innovative smart grid solutions. CPS Energy is nationally recognized for its efforts in the New Energy Economy and has won numerous awards.
Cris sits on a number of Boards including Chairman of Smart Electric Power Association (SEPA), Association of Edison Illuminating Companies (AEIC), Chair of the EPIcenter, Texas A&M Smart Grid Center Advisory Board (SGC), Trinity University Business Advisory Council, and the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. Past Boards have included Build SA Green, Solar San Antonio, Mission Verde Alliance, Texas Renewable Energy Industry Association (TREIA), DOE State Energy Advisory Board, and the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In February 2018, Cris was named
Co-Chair of the Transformation Advisory Council for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and in August 2018 he was named to the Southern States Energy Board Blue Ribbon Task Force where he will lend his expertise towards creating a sustainable and customer-centric grid.
Prior to coming to San Antonio, Cris was the first Chief Officer for Sustainable Growth for the City of Houston as part of Mayor Bill White’s team. Prior to that Cris was Partner with McKinsey & Company, an international management consulting firm, serving Fortune 100 companies in the Technology, Energy, and Diversified Services markets. He received his PhD and MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT focused on quantum transport research in nanostructures. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University with Magna Cum Laude honors.
Cris is married and has two sons.
Mr. Boris Schubert is General Manager, solar and storage, at Shell New Energies and a Director at Silicon Ranch Corporation. With more than 15 years of experience in cleantech, electric utilities, technology and consulting, Borish has held executive roles at Q-Cells International USA Corporation, ET Solar Industry Limited, ET Capital Solar Partners, Inc., and Hanwha Q CELLS USA. He has deep expertise in solar project financing, development, EPC and O&M management. He started his career as a management consultant at Accenture, where his client work included developing market entry strategies for Distributed Energy Resource players, B2B CRM process optimization and data warehousing, and analytics reporting for utilities. Boris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree, both from the University of Augsburg, Germany.
Kari Smith manages energy storage policy and procurement at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Prior to the CPUC, she served as the Director of Policy and Market Development for SunPower Corporation, one the world’s leading solar manufacturers. Kari led renewable and energy efficiency policy advocacy for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and served on the board of directors of numerous clean energy trade associations, including the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). Kari co-founded the Solar Alliance and Texas Solar Power Association. She is a graduate of the University of California and has a Master’s Degree from the University of Colorado.
Lara Pierpoint joined Exelon in October 2016, focusing on energy technology innovation. She leads the Corporate Strategy technical team from her post in Danville, California, advising the company on energy technology trends and running Exelon’s partnership R&D program. Prior to joining Exelon, she directed the Office of Energy Supply Security in the U.S. DOE Office of Policy and Systems Analysis, where she was responsible for policy and analysis related to coal, gas, and nuclear power and energy cyber and physical security. Before her work at DOE she served as an AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, focusing on nuclear power and waste issues, energy finance, and electricity storage. She received her PhD in 2011 from MIT in Engineering Systems, studying deployment of advanced technologies for nuclear waste recycling, and she holds dual masters degrees from MIT in nuclear engineering and technology policy. She is a native Californian, and completed her B.S. in physics at UCLA in 2004.
As Vice President of Development, Evan leads the development team at Cypress Creek. The scope of this team is to move projects from confirmed site control to shovel and project finance ready. Evan formerly led the PV Performance Services Group at Black & Veatch where he provided independent engineering and/or development support for over 6,000 MW of utility, commercial and residential scale photovoltaic projects in various stages of development, construction and operation. Evan received a Master’s in Solar Engineering from the European Solar Engineering School and a BS in Physics & Mathematics from Indiana University.
Julia Eagles is a Public Policy and Strategy Manager at Xcel Energy. In this capacity, she works on tracking national trends around evolving utility business models, coordinating company regulatory strategies, and preparing comments on state and federal energy policy. Before joining Xcel Energy, Eagles spent eight years working for local energy and environmental organizations. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Macalester College. In her free time she enjoys biking, cross-country skiing, taking trips to beautiful locations, and growing and eating good food.
Shounok currently leads the Products & Structuring function for Constellation Energy’s Distributed Energy business. He is based in Baltimore and focuses on the renewable and distributed energy sector. At Constellation, Shounok has led the new product development, financial structuring and asset acquisition efforts for competitive bidding and internal underwriting helping deploy over $1B of capital on Distributed Energy development; opportunities span multiple asset classes including Solar PV, Storage, Fuel Cells & Biomass. In addition, Shounok has extensive experience in Project Financing and was involved in non-recourse debt offerings on utility scale renewable and gas generation assets totaling over $1.5B. Shounok holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Instrumentation Engineering from BMS College of Engineering, India and has a MBA from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Michael DeSocio has been involved in the evaluation, design, implementation, and operation of wholesale electricity markets at the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) for nearly 20 years. His tenure at the NYISO includes work in Market Operations, Market Design, Information Technology and Project Management.
Mr. DeSocio is currently responsible for the evolution of the NYISO wholesale electricity markets, improving market signals and incentives that support reliability needs and/or policy objectives. He also leads the NYISO’s efforts with integrating distributed energy and storage resources into New York’s wholesale markets as well as approaches that harmonize New York State’s REV and CES public policy objectives and competitive wholesale markets.
Mr. DeSocio has been involved in a diverse array of projects at the NYISO, including the integrating renewable technologies into the marketplace, working with emerging storage and generation technologies, enhancing interregional trade, minimizing regional congestion, and improving overall market efficiency.
Previously, Mr. DeSocio worked at Central Hudson Gas & Electric in the Engineering Group with responsibilities for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) standards, system protection studies and substation design.
He earned a Masters of Engineering degree in Electrical Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.
Mary Powell has served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Green Mountain Power Corporation since 2008, following seven years as Chief Operating Officer. Mary initiated and implemented a strategic and comprehensive restructuring of the company that dramatically transformed Green Mountain Power and has been the backbone of a cultural transformation and service quality improvement. Mary launched an ambitious energy vision to provide low carbon, low cost and reliable power to Vermonters. As a result, the company has built Vermont’s largest wind farm, made Rutland, Vermont the Solar Generation Capital of New England, and has installed smart grid technology across the entire utility infrastructure. Mary is leading an energy transformation, providing customers comprehensive energy makeovers that help them save money and use less energy. GMP is the first utility in the world to become a member of B Corp, showing a commitment to use energy as a force for good. In 2012, Mary led an acquisition of Central Vermont Public Service, with a promise to generate $144 million in savings for customers. GMP has grown from serving 88,000 customers in 2008 to serving well over 260,000 customers, with revenues of more than $640 million and $2 billion in assets. In 2014, Mary announced a new partnership with NRG Energy, Inc. to make Vermont a leader in sustainable energy. And in 2015, Mary led another partnership with Tesla, with GMP becoming the first utility to offer the Tesla Powerwall battery. In 2004 Mary was recognized by Fast Company magazine as one of the "top 50 fast leaders" in the US and in 2014 was recognized by PowerGen as the Woman of the Year.
Kelly Speakes-Backman is the first CEO of the Energy Storage Association. Kelly has spent over 20 years working in energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO and private sectors, including organizations such as United Technologies, SunEdison and Alliance to Save Energy. She is a former Commissioner of the Maryland Public Service Commission where she also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, co-vice chair of the NARUC Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment, and member of the EPRI Energy Efficiency & Grid Modernization Public Advisory Group. She is a mechanical engineer from Boston University.
Carla J. Peterman was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in December 2012. Commissioner Peterman is the CPUC’s assigned Commissioner for a number of proceedings including energy efficiency, alternative transportation, energy storage, and several rate cases. Commissioner Peterman serves on many boards including the NARUC Board of Directors and the California Broadband Council. She served as the Chair of the Plug in Electric Vehicle Collaborative for 2012-2013.
She was previously appointed by Governor Brown, in 2011, to the California Energy Commission where she was lead Commissioner for renewables, transportation, and natural gas.
Commissioner Peterman has conducted research at the University of California Energy Institute and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and was an investment banker focused on energy financing at Lehman Brothers.
Commissioner Peterman holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Energy and Resources from The University of California Berkeley. She also earned a Master of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Commissioner Peterman holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Howard University.
Roy Kuga is vice president, Grid Integration & Innovation, a team responsible for developing strategies and plans for:
• PG&E's grid of the future
• distributed energy resources, including energy storage, demand response, and net metering
• clean transportation
• technology pilots and demonstration projects.
Roy previously served as vice president, Energy Supply Management, overseeing the Company's procurement of gas and electric supplies, storage, transmission, financial hedging and greenhouse gas allowances. He has worked on renewable and conventional power contracting and resource development, wholesale market design, and bidding, scheduling and dispatching PG&E's energy portfolio into California’s wholesale market. Earlier in his career, Roy led the Company's strategic planning team for electric industry restructuring.
Roy has also worked in the oil and gas and telecom industries. He holds Bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics, and a Masters degree in operations research.
Janice Lin is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Strategen, where she provides insight to global corporations, utilities and public sector leaders, helping them to develop impactful clean energy strategies. Over the past ten years, she has advised a diverse range of clients, including renewable energy equipment manufacturers and service providers, large corporations diversifying into clean energy, and real estate developers building sustainable communities. Janice brings more than two decades of experience in clean energy strategy, market development, and corporate strategy to Strategen.In 2014, Janice co-founded the Global Energy Storage Alliance (GESA), an international non-profit organization, and currently serves on the Board of Directors and as Chair of the Executive Committee. Janice also co-founded the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA) in 2009, and currently serves on the Electricity Advisory Council of the US Department of Energy, the Board of Advisors for the Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) and the Energy Storage Committee of Joint Venture Silicon Valley. Janice is also a Member of
the Advisory Council of the German American Chamber of Commerce, the UCSD Strategic Energy Initiatives Advisory Council, and Co-Founder and Chair of the annual Energy Storage North America (ESNA) conference. Prior to founding Strategen in 2005, Janice held several senior management positions with PowerLight Corporation (now SunPower Corporation), including Vice President of Product Strategy and Vice President of Business Development. During her tenure at PowerLight, Janice led initiatives in product and new market strategies, business development, regulatory affairs, strategic partnerships, investor relations and customer
finance. Janice holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a BS from the Wharton School,University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Erik Ellis is currently the manager for Technology Assessment and Integration at APS. APS Technology Assessment investigates new distribution, transmission, and DG technologies with respect to technical and business merit. Specific responsibilities include development of the energy storage and microgrid business plans, implementation of projects thereunder, and the design and integration of 1,500 smart inverters under a master controller in the 10 MW APS residential-rooftop Solar Partners Program.
Mr. Ellis joined APS in early 2011. He has over 15 years of experience in the power industry in leadership positions at GE, Areva Solar, and EDF Renewable Energy.
Alta Yen leads the Investment Strategy group at GE Energy Financial Services, where she is responsible for developing a long-term strategy for the business that holds approximately $16 billion in energy assets. GE Energy Financial Services’ experts invest globally across the energy spectrum in essential, long-lived and capital intensive energy assets that meet the world’s energy needs.
Alta joined GE Structured Finance Group, the predecessor business to GE Energy Financial Services, in 1999. In 2001, she was promoted to Vice President in the global energy portfolio group where she managed a $1.4 billion portfolio consisting primarily of distressed assets related to Enron, PG&E and Mirant. In 2004, Alta accepted a project manager role, where she helped to establish the newly formed GE Energy Financial Services and in 2005 returned to the Risk function in debt underwriting. In 2007, she was promoted to Managing Director and served as the chief risk manager for the $4 billion energy lending business. Alta has been the Managing Director of Investment Strategy since 2013.
Prior to GE, Alta worked at an American law firm with roles in New York and Hong Kong before joining a Taipei-based freight forwarding company in business development.
Born in York, Pennsylvania, Alta earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in International Relations from Tufts University, a certificate in advanced Mandarin from the Inter-University Program (“The Stanford Center”) and holds a Masters of Business Administration, concentrated in finance, from the University of Michigan.