The Agile Utility: Aligning Distributed Generation With Consumer Demand

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Nationwide, the role of distributed generation, e.g., solar and wind, among utilities is becoming increasingly important for generation portfolio diversification, operating profitability and reliability, and meeting consumer demand. As distributed generation resources become integrated, utilities find themselves under increasing pressure to better manage and optimize resources because of ROI considerations and market/service expectations. (See Georgia Tech Energy Series program, March 2014.)

Innovation, which brought forward distributed generation technologies, is also bringing forward tools to integrate, manage and optimize these resources. For the long-term, utility business models, which incorporate distributed generation and tools for demand management and resource optimization, are emerging with positive results.

On Wednesday, November 12, plan to join a half-day seminar on this timely topic.

The discussion will include speakers from:

Eelco de Jong, McKinsey & Company

Eelco serves energy companies on a range of topics including downstream and customer strategy, operations and organization.  He is a core member of McKinsey’s Electric Power & Natural Gas Practice where he co-leads special initiative on disintermediation & growth.  He has led an effort to quantify the impact of disintermediation for a major US utility and has conducted dives on Energy Efficiency, Solar PV, micro-CHP, microgrids, and Electric Vehicles (including battery storage).

Prior to McKinsey, Eelco worked at Generation Investment Management, an $5B asset management company focused on integrating research on sustainability with classic value investing, where he analyzed and invested in multiple new businesses (including a VC investment in SolarCity in 2009).

Eelco has a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and a M.A. and B.A. from Utrecht University.

Carl Pechman, Senior Advisor for Electricity, US Department of Energy

Carl is an expert on the economics of electricity with extensive experience in state and federal regulation. During his tenure as an economist at the New York Public Service Commission, he worked on a wide variety of issues, including performance-based ratemaking, generation and transmission siting, avoided cost theory and estimation, Integrated Resource Planning, cost analysis and pricing, and creation of the New York Independent System Operator.

In 1997, Dr. Pechman founded Power Economics, Inc., a firm providing consulting and strategic advice to a broad array of clients (including major utilities, an array of customer groups from low income to industrial customers, Attorneys General, cities and national environmental groups), navigating the move to competition in the electric power industry. While at Power Economics, Dr. Pechman was involved in power market design, resource adequacy and power system design in various regions throughout the country. He acted as a special consultant to the Speaker of the California Legislature on efforts to resolve the California Energy Crisis and served as an expert witness to the California Parties on the causes and damages associated with the crisis.  Dr. Pechman led review and made public the Enron Trader tapes that demonstrated their market manipulation practices.

Dr. Pechman left Power Economics to join the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where he worked on issues related to power market design, demand response, renewable resource integration and transmission planning. He is author of numerous papers on issues related to power markets, as well as the book “Regulating Power: the Economics of Electricity in the Information Age,” which focuses on the role of models in the regulation of utilities and power markets.

Carl received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University.

Marilyn Brown, Professor, Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology

Marilyn joined Georgia Tech in 2006 after a distinguished career at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. At ORNL, she held various leadership positions and led several major energy technology and policy scenario studies. Dr. Brown remains affiliated with ORNL as a Visiting Distinguished Scientist.

Marilyn’s research has included an assessment of the U.S. Climate Change Technology Program, development of a national climate change technology deployment strategy, and an evaluation of the supply- and demand-side electricity resources available in the Southeast. She has authored more than 200 publications including a recently published book on Energy and American Society: Thirteen Myths.  Her research interests encompass the development and deployment of sustainable energy technologies and issues surrounding the commercialization of new technologies and the evaluation of energy programs and policies.  Marilyn serves on the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Alliance to Save Energy, the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.  In addition, she serves on the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change.

Marilyn has a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, a M.R.P. from the University of Massachusetts, and a B.A. from Rutgers University.

John Rossi, Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Comverge

John is a co-founder of Comverge and he has held a variety of senior management positions within the company, including heading Engineering and Business Development. This varied background in the technology and business aspects of demand response contribute to his current role as leading Corporate Strategy. His current responsibilities including developing strategies for bringing new solutions to our residential, commercial, and industrial customers and using partnerships and innovative business models to better serve our customers.

Prior to joining Comverge, John spent 25 years at Bell Laboratories, the research and development arm of AT&T and Lucent Technologies. At Bell Labs, John held a number of engineering and management positions with a focus on signal processing, high speed communications, and utility solutions. He holds over a dozen patents on utility-related technologies.

John received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Detroit.

Santiago Grijalva, Associate Director, Strategic Energy Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology

Santiago leads research efforts on future electricity systems and smart grid that include effectively interconnecting renewable resources within the existing electric power system and to provide improved management strategies for demand response and transportation electrification.  He has pioneered work in distributed power system controls and cyber-physical energy security systems.

Most recently, Santiago served as Director for Power Systems Engineering for the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).  His additional industry experience includes senior software architect for PowerWorld, which is a developer of innovative real-time and optimization applications used today by utilities, control centers, and universities in more than 60 countries.  Santiago also worked for the the Ecuadorian National Center for Energy Control (CENACE) as engineer and manager of the Real-Time EMS Software Department.

Santiago has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has published widely on the topics of power systems and smart grid.


Integrating Energy Efficiency into the Distributed Energy Resource Mix- Marilyn Brown

From adapting to transforming in a changing utility industry- Eelco de Jong

Prosumer-Based Decentralized Control- Santiago Grijalva

The Agile Utility: Aligning Distributed Generation with Consumer Demand- John Rossi

Find Us

The regular venue for the Series is the Hodges Room in Tech Square:

Centergy One
75 5th Street, NW; Hodges Room
Atlanta, GA 30308