Wednesday, October 30, 2013 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Distributed generation (DG) refers to power generation at the point of consumption. Generating power on-site, rather than centrally, eliminates the cost, complexity, interdependencies, and inefficiencies associated with transmission and distribution. Like distributed computing (i.e. the PC) and distributed telephony (i.e. the mobile phone), distributed generation shifts control to the consumer.

Historically, distributed generation meant combustion generators (e.g. diesel gensets). They were affordable, usually reliable, but not very clean.  Recently, solar has become a popular distributed generation option. Although the output is clean it is also intermittent, making it a challenging strategy for businesses that need power around the clock, including when the sun is not shining.

On October 30, plan to participate in discussion with a knowledgeable and experienced panel about the pros and cons of distributed generation and rooftop PV.

Farah Mandich, McKinsey & Co.

Farah Mandich is a Senior Research Analyst in McKinsey’s Americas Electric Power & Natural Gas Practice. She joined McKinsey in 2008 and has been building a specialty in renewable power, particularly solar, throughout her 5-year career with the Firm. Farah participates in studies across a variety of industries; recent client service includes assessing a utility’s potential to lose demand due to rooftop solar, and helping a state government determine opportunity for microgrids. Prior to joining McKinsey, Farah attended Texas Christian University, where she completed an internship in the White House National Economic Council, and earned a B.S. in Economics.

Deidra Cunningham, IKEA Atlanta

Deidra Cunningham is Marketing and Public Relations Manager for IKEA Atlanta.  She has been involved in a number of facets of IKEA’s business, which range from consumer products to commercial products and sales.  Since 2010 Deidra has been the face of IKEA in sharing the great strides the company takes locally to reduce its carbon footprint.  Prior to IKEA, Deidra’s experience includes roles at Kimball Office and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.  She is an active volunteer and is involved with numerous organizations that include the Green Business Conference & Expo, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Atlanta Women in Business.

Deidra has a B.A. from Duke University in Political Science, African American Studies and Education.

Steve Furtado, Turner Enterprises, Inc.

Steve Furtado is property and facilities manager for Turner Enterprises, Inc.  In this capacity, he oversees The Turner Building operations, special projects and new initiatives. He also manages renewable energy upgrades, where he oversaw the construction of the Luckie Street Property 200kw parking lot solar installation, which was completed in two phases over a two-year period. In addition, he served on the project management team for the construction of the Costilla Lodge solar project located on the company’s Vermejo Park Ranch in New Mexico.  A member of the Turner Enterprises Green Team, Steve’s tireless efforts positioned the Turner Building as a top contender in The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge.

Turner Enterprises, Inc. (TEI), a private company, manages the business interests, land holdings and investments of Ted Turner, including the oversight of two million acres in 12 states and in Argentina, and more than 55,000 bison. TEI also works closely with Turner’s philanthropic and charitable interests, including the founding and ongoing operations of the United Nations Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative, Turner Foundation, Captain Planet Foundation, and the Turner Endangered Species Fund. Turner Enterprises is headquartered in the Turner Building in Atlanta, Georgia, also home to the Ted’s Montana Grill restaurant chain and Turner Renewable Energy.

The Premier Sponsor for the Georgia Tech Clean Energy Series is The Tata Group.  The Tata Group is emerging as one of the world’s most trusted and respected corporate names. Combining ethical values with proven business performance and leadership, Tata has a heritage of deep social commitment that has earned the trust and respect of its stakeholders. In the United States, the Tata Group has had a presence for over 60 years. As the largest India-headquartered multinational in North America, Tata has 11 companies and more than 24,000 employees in the United States and Canada, including more than 3,800 employees in the Southeast. At Tata, innovation is a critical vector for improving quality, performance and competitiveness. The Tata Group has adopted a three-pronged strategy to encourage and enhance innovation across its companies. The three key drivers are better communication and recognition of innovative ideas and efforts; facilities and initiatives that enable learning from other companies; and support for collaborative research and partnerships with academia. For more information, please visit or



Rooftop PV and the state of Southeast markets – Farah Mandich

Renewable Energy @ IKEA: An Approach to On-Site Generation- Deirdra Cunningham

PV at Turner Enterprises – Steve Furtado

Comments are closed.

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