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

Intelligent Leveraging of Intelligent Systems

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


Elisabeth S. Brinton
Industry Thought Leader

Elisabeth Brinton is a trusted senior executive, thought leader and entrepreneur with a track record of successful innovation, execution, value creation and disruption across multiple industries, including Energy, Water, Food, Agriculture, and High Tech. 

Most recently, Elisabeth was the Corporate Strategy Officer for PG&E Corporation, a F200 Energy Holding Company that has been a global utility pioneer in renewables, customer solar, T&D, and energy efficiency.  She launched PG&E’s groundbreaking IOT “Grid of Things” business strategy, ran M&A and strategic investments, and led California’s exploration of new utility business models. Earlier, Elisabeth was the Chief Customer Officer of SMUD, running the $2 Billion Retail P&L for that vertically integrated utility, including complex 24x7, high-stakes operations and a team of 1,000 employees.

An entrepreneur at heart, Elisabeth has been in the C-Suite as an executive officer, CEO or Founder of four successful Silicon Valley start-up companies with technologies and products that were pioneering and disruptive for their time.  Ventures include, Loudcloud that pioneered the ASP business model and the now ubiquitous Cloud, where Elisabeth was on the founding leadership team and ran global marketing, helping the company scale and go public in record time for a US company.  Earlier, Elisabeth was the founder and CEO of her own technical product development and marketing agency where she created a business delivering over $100 million in value, serving both major consumer brands like Pepsico and Nike, and innovative start-ups delivering deep, pioneering work in food, agriculture and high tech, including the development of several patents and commercializing new category creating products like branded, value-added produce and early organic and specialty products from ice cream to natural sodas.

Elisabeth is a chemist and passionate creative, blending scientific/technical expertise with customer centric market innovation, business strategy and policy leadership.  She is a top honors graduate of Principia College with a triple major across scientific and humanities disciplines and both a Harry S. Truman and Lincoln Academy Scholar.  Out of College, Elisabeth worked for the US House of Representatives as a legislative assistant for a member of Congress and the House Judiciary Committee.

Currently, Elisabeth is a voluntary faculty Co-Chair for Singularity University’s Global Energy & Climate track (2013 Executive Program Alum) and serves on the Advisory Boards of Smart Wires, Rancho Purisima Farms, and the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center.

Ben Bixby
General Manager, Energy Services, Nest Labs

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

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

Patty Durand joined the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) in January 2011 as its first Executive Director. In this role, she is responsible for advancing a consumer-friendly, consumer-safe smart grid through research and education. Under her leadership SGCC has grown 85 percent in five years to over 120 members and produced many pieces of foundational consumer focused research. Before joining SGCC, Durand worked for the Georgia Institute of Technology where she assisted in smart grid research projects. While there she helped to submit $10 million in three grant proposals to the Department of Energy and ARPA-E. Prior to her time at Georgia Tech, Durand served as the Executive Director for the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club where she focused on energy policy and climate change programs as well as citizen advocacy. Durand also served on the Board of the Smart Grid Society for the Technology Association of Georgia for two years. In 2013, Durand was named as one of Smart Grid Today’s “Smart Grid Pioneers” of today, an honor given upon experts, thought leaders and risk-takers for newsworthy moves, insights and advances in the industry. Additionally, Durand was named as one of 2012’s “Fierce 15” Women in Energy by FierceEnergy for her dedication to driving consumer awareness and understanding of the smart grid.

John Carrington
CEO & Director, Stem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Cronk
CEO, Tempo IQ

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

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