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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.
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.
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.
Kate McGinnis is Managing Director for North America at Fluence, a joint venture between Siemens and AES Corporation and a leading global provider of energy storage systems and services. In this role, she leads sales to utilities, IPPs, and developers in the region. Prior to joining Fluence, she spent three years working with AES Energy Storage, resulting in nearly 200MW of contracted projects in the western US. Her start in storage was with Chevron Technology Ventures, where she led development of stationary storage projects co-located with oil & gas infrastructure globally. She has nearly two decades of experience in the energy space, and has worked in areas including energy efficiency, carbon markets, and a variety of renewables. Kate is a board member and past chair of the California Energy Storage Alliance. She holds a BS in Environmental Science from George Washington University and an MBA from Cornell.
Tilak Gopalarathnam is currently the Director of Energy Technology Partnerships at LG Corp., the parent company of LG Electronics and LG Chem. In this role, he is responsible for open innovation, partnerships and new business development in solar photovoltaics, energy storage and grid edge technologies.
This corporate role enables Tilak to work across business units and develop the technology strategy for new solutions in partnership with startups as well as established companies. One of his focus areas has been the development of corporate strategy and solar + storage solutions for the residential, commercial and utility markets.
Tilak has been working on various aspects of renewable energy and energy efficiency for the past 20 years, including solar module manufacturing innovations, solar power conversion and automotive hybrid system power electronics. He has an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a power electronics focus.
Kevin Vannoy is MISO’s Director of Market Design. He has over twenty three years of Management and Consulting experience in the electric utility industry, including Regional Transmission Organizations, and regulated and deregulated markets. He has been with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) since 2005.
He was MISO’s Director of Forward Operations Planning from June 2015 to September 2017, his responsibilities included; Transmission and Generation Outage Coordination, Tariff Administration and Scheduling, Forecast Engineering and Seams Administration.
He was MISO’s Director of Market Administration from 2010 to June 2015, responsible for administering Auction Revenue Rights (“ARRs”), the Financial Transmission Rights (“FTR”) Markets, the Day-Ahead Energy and Operating Reserves Markets, Resource Adequacy Administration, Forecast Engineering, the Forward Reliability Assessment Commitment and Real-Time Ex-post Locational Marginal Pricing functions.
Kevin managed Market Services starting in 2005 following the launch of the Midwest Energy Markets. He led Market Quality and Dispute Resolution, Market Settlements, Tariff Pricing and Transmission Settlements until 2010.
Kevin has been involved with numerous Market development and improvement initiatives at MISO, including the Ancillary Services Markets implementation, Revenue Sufficiency Guarantee Allocation Redesign, Financial Transmission Rights Funding efforts, Transmission Multi-Value Project Auction Revenue Rights Allocation, Annual Resource Adequacy Auctions, and Extended Locational Marginal Pricing.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida. Prior to joining MISO, he held management roles with both the Structure Consulting Group LLC in their Regional Transmission Organization Consulting Practice, and Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) in their Utilities Industry Practice. Prior to joining Andersen Consulting in 1995, he served as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Navy.
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.
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.
Brandon currently leads Distributed Energy innovation & integration for Microsoft's Energy Strategy & Research team. Her background combines renewable energy asset management and project finance experience with political risk consulting and environmental policy. Prior to joining Microsoft, she has held senior positions at SunEdison, Bloom Energy and Albright Stonebridge Group. Brandon holds a BA, Environmental Studies and a MESc Environmental Science from Yale University; and an MBA from Stanford University.
Seth Baruch is National Director for Energy and Utilities at Kaiser Permanente and is responsible for managing sustainable energy programs across the organization, including solar projects at a hundred different hospitals, data centers and medical office buildings. Part of this program includes the development of microgrids and rapid installation of electric vehicle charging stations at selected sites in California. Seth is also helping lead the effort for Kaiser Permanente to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.
Mr. Mark A. Frigo currently is Vice President, Head of Energy Storage, North America for E.ON, an international privately-owned energy supplier which is focused on renewables, energy networks and customer solutions. Mr. Frigo has spent over a decade of his career at E.ON. He currently leads the energy storage business for E.ON in North America, and is responsible for all aspects of that business, including business planning, personnel, and project development and execution. Mr. Frigo was lead on E.ON’s successful endeavor to establish its first energy storage facility in Arizona, launching the company’s efforts to bring reliable and efficient storage solutions to that region. His team has subsequently built two additional energy storage projects in Texas helping to stabilize the ERCOT grid. During his time at E.ON, Mr. Frigo has also led other critical groups for E.ON’s North American business, including the Energy Marketing group, which was responsible for all revenue related activities including power purchase agreements, hedges, and renewable energy credit transactions, the Market Operations & Analysis group, which is responsible for all generation dispatch and scheduling, regulatory compliance, transmission, and market analysis functions in North America, as well as the Risk & Investment group, which was responsible for all structured finance, credit, financial modeling, and insurance functions. His past accomplishments at E.ON included assisting with implementation of a US$5.7 billion capital build program, which successfully brought 3,136 MW (20 projects) of wind generation and 73 MW (5 projects) of solar generation on-line, enabling E.ON to become one of the top renewable companies in North America.
Erin Minear is a Technical Leader for the Energy Storage Program at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), managing projects related to integrating energy storage assets into the utility grid. Erin has previous experience in developing commercial behind-the-meter and utility distribution-connected energy storage systems for an engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) firm. She also has 7 years of experience as a power systems engineer implementing projects to drive reliability and efficiency improvements, including transmission and distribution upgrades, microgrids, renewable energy, and energy storage. Erin is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California and has a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Howard Smith graduated Clemson University in 1977 with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering.
Currently, Howard is the Manager of Distributed Energy Resource Policy. In this role, he is responsible for tracking current and future trends and activities involving the broad aspects of DER. Also, he is responsible for developing plans and policy positions related to DER in support of Executive Management’s efforts in the establishment of goals, actions and policies for the Southern system.
At the present time, Howard is on the Advisory Council for the new Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) which is the merged Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and Association of Demand Response and Smart Grid (ADS) associations. In addition, he was formerly the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the ADS, and he served on the Alabama Governor’s Advisory Team for Industrial Energy Efficient and CHP. He has made numerous regional and national presentations on integrated resource planning, demand-side management, smart grid and other electric industry related topics.
Prior Work Experience:
While attending Clemson, he worked as a student engineer for Duke Power Company in their Anderson operating district. Upon graduation, Howard worked as a Quality Assurance/Special Project engineer in distribution. In 1979, he worked in the Duke Power corporate office as a distribution staff engineer responsible for distribution design and equipment standards, outdoor lighting, and special projects.
In July 1981, Howard went to work for Georgia Power in their Transmission Substation Design department. From 1983 through 1992, he held various jobs within Transmission, Generation and Market Planning. In 1993, Howard became responsible for developing the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). In addition, he was responsible for the development, filing and approval of Purchase Power Contracts that were the result of competitive bidding of generation needs through a Request-for-Proposals process. Also, in 2003, Howard became the Metro Team Manager for Key Accounts in the Sales Organization. In 2005, he became the Manager of Technical Sales and his team was responsible for promoting electric end use processes for non-electrical customer processes. Also, his team was responsible for the evaluation of Customer Cogeneration Opportunities.
In May 2008, Howard became the Manager of Resource Planning and Demand Response Operations for Alabama Power. He was responsible for the development of the generation supply-side and demand-response plan to meet the future needs of Alabama Power’s customers. This responsibility includes seeking cost effective resources such as: combined heat and power generation, renewable resources (wind, solar, biomass, etc.), traditional generation and customer energy efficiency and demand controlled resources.
Natalia is an Investment Professional with over 5 Years of experience in the Financial Industry. She joined the SUSI Energy Storage team in 2016 where she was involved in several storage opportunities worldwide. Prior to joining SUSI, she worked at UBS in Zurich and São Paulo, where she gained in-depth knowledge in Fixed Income Investments with a special focus on Emerging Markets, as well as international M&A Transactions. Natalia speaks 5 languages and holds a Master Degree in Banking and Finance with specialization in Quantitative Finance from the University of Zurich.
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 is the Managing Director of Strategic Planning for General Electric Company as of February 2018. In this role, she is responsible for managing long-term strategic planning across GE. As a 20-year veteran in the energy industry, Alta is a consummate analyst who seeks to maximize value and drive outcomes using data, numbers and good judgment. Her experience spans several business cycles, multiple large-scale energy crises and the massive disruption currently undertaking the energy industry.
In 1999, Alta joined GE Structured Finance Group as a portfolio manager where she ultimately managed and worked-out a $1.4 billion portfolio consisting primarily of distressed assets related to Enron, PG&E and Mirant. In 2004, she helped launch GE Energy Financial Services, a debt and equity investor specializing in the energy sector through an operational role and in 2005, she returned to the investing side. In 2007, Alta was promoted to Managing Director and served as the Chief Risk Manager for the $4 billion energy lending business. There she led or played a critical role in numerous transactions, most notably the ~$1 billion project finance loan acquisition from the Bank of Ireland. In 2013, Alta became head of the Investment Strategy team responsible for developing long-term investing strategies based upon energy fundamentals and leading the unit’s new business development activities, notably in the commercial & industrial solar and storage sectors.
Prior to joining GE, Alta worked in New York City and Hong Kong before joining a Taipei-based freight forwarding company in business development.
Alta earned a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University, a certificate in advanced Mandarin from the Inter-University Program (“The Stanford Center”) and received a M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from The University of Michigan. In 2016, she co-founded the Greater New York City Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network where she remains a board member today.