Grid Enhancing Technologies Summit
Unlocking the Grid’s Hidden Potential
May 23rd - At Distributech
Interviewed by Smart Wires CEO Peter Wells.
Commissioner Allison Clements has two decades of public and private sector experience in energy regulation and policy, representing utilities, independent power producers, developers and lenders, nonprofits and philanthropies on grid policy issues. Commissioner Clements is the founder and president of Goodgrid, LLC, an energy policy and strategy consulting firm. Previously she spent two years as director of the energy markets program at Energy Foundation. Prior to her time at Energy Foundation and Goodgrid, Commissioner Clements worked for a decade at Natural Resources Defense Council in New York, NY, as the organization’s corporate counsel and then as director of the Sustainable FERC Project. Before that, Commissioner Clements spent several years in private legal practice, with the energy regulatory group at Troutman Sanders LLP (now Troutman Pepper) and then with the project finance and infrastructure group at Chadbourne & Parke LLP (now Norton Rose Fulbright). Commissioner Clements has served as a federal energy expert in several capacities, including as a member of a National Academies of Sciences committee on grid resilience, as co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s electric grid initiative, and as a clinical visiting lecturer at Yale Law School. Commissioner Clements grew up in Dayton, Ohio. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University Law School.
Peter Wells is an accomplished power industry executive, bringing over three decades of global leadership experience in renewable energy products and services and manufacturing. Mr. Wells joined Smart Wires from GE Renewable Energy, where he served as Chief Executive Officer of Onshore Wind for the Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Region for two years. During his tenure, GE went from sixth to third in the market, doubling its volume and market reach. Mr. Wells had previously held the role of Senior Vice President and COO for Services and Projects with Vestas Americas. In this role, he was responsible for all Projects & Services operations in the US and Canada and led the integration of UpWind Solutions into the broader service organization, improving top-line growth and margins, establishing the Vestas repowering model for the US, and introducing new operating models with digital tools. Prior to Vestas, Peter had spent five years with UpWind, where he was CEO, growing the business 10X to create the leading Independent Service Provider in the US, before successfully selling the business to Vestas in 2015. Before joining UpWind, Mr. Wells spent ten years with GE in various roles, including Six Sigma, Marketing, Parts GM, and VP New Plant Project Operations in different GE Energy business units. Mr. Wells, who is originally from the UK, previously spent time at a variety of European companies, mostly in the EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) space as a Chartered Surveyor, dealing with the commercial management of large and complex infrastructure projects. Mr. Wells has a Bachelor's Degree in Science for Quantity Surveying from The Nottingham Trent University and was a certified Associate of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Hear from utility companies as they describe the experiences deploying GETs, and how GETs impact grid operations - from the integration of new renewable generation to customer cost savings
Moderator: Dan Nelson, Vice President, Technology, VELCO
- Babak Enayati, National Grid
Babak Enayati received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University, USA in 2009. He joined National Grid, USA in 2009 and is currently the Manager of the Distributed Generation Standards and New Technology team, which is responsible for the implementation of the new technologies to meet National Grid’s Intelligent Electric Network objectives. Since Babak joined National Grid, he has held engineering positions in the Protection Engineering, Retail Connections Engineering, and New Energy Solutions departments. He joined Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2006 and currently is a Senior IEEE Member. Babak currently serves as the Vice President of Education on the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Governing Board. He is the current chair of the IEEE PES Transmission Subcommittee. Babak serves as the Vice Chair of the IEEE Std 1547 Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Energy Resources with Electric Power Systems, and IEEE P2800- Standard for Interconnection and Interoperability of Inverter-Based Resources Interconnecting with Associated Transmission Electric Power Systems. Babak is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Massachusetts.
- Giovanni Marin, Infrastructure Planning Engineer, Empresas Publicas de Medellin
- Casey Cathey, Director, System Planning, Southwest Power Pool
Mr. Cathey is a 20-year veteran of the power industry and a subject matter expert for energy markets, grid operations, and transmission planning. He was a leader in the Integrated Marketplace ‘Day 2’ energy market implementation from cost-benefit study through go-live. He has also operated and supported the Balancing Authority, Reliability Coordination, Tariff and Scheduling, & Transmission Operations functions. Mr. Cathey and his team are currently responsible for Transmission Planning, Modeling, Reliability Assurance, Resource Adequacy and Research & Development. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Louisiana State University, has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and has held a Professional Engineering license for fifteen years.
- Joey Lookup, Director of Asset Management, PPL Corporation
Zoom keynote by the Honorable Sean Casten, Co-Chair, House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) Power Sector Task Force
As a scientist, clean energy entrepreneur and CEO, and now as a Member of Congress, Representative Sean Casten has dedicated his life to fighting climate change. In Congress, Casten draws on his two decades of experience as a business leader to reduce emissions while creating jobs, lowering energy costs for Americans, and spurring economic growth.
Casten serves on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and is the Vice Chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets. He also serves as Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force and Co-Chair of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition (SEEC) Power Sector Task Force.
While working diligently in Washington on behalf of Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, Rep. Casten is also committed to keeping in close contact with his constituents. He lives in Downers Grove with his wife and two daughters.
Meet the the speakers and attendees of the Grid Enhancing Technologies Summit.
Michael Pesin is Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Advanced Grid Research and Development Division in the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Electricity. Mr. Pesin has 30 years of experience in the electric utility industry, much of it directing development and execution of advanced technology programs. His most recent assignment was with Seattle City Light (SCL) where he developed the technology strategy, managed research and development projects and directed strategic programs to management demonstration projects. His subordinate strategic programs included substation automation, distributed automation, advanced metering infrastructure, enterprise OT communication networks, energy storage, microgrids, transactive energy management and distributed management systems.
Mr. Pesin has numerous professional affiliations, publications and patents. He holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia, is a Licensed Professional Electrical Engineer in the State of Washington, a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA).
Recorded remarks from the Honorable Kathy Castor, Chair, House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
Kathy Castor is Tampa Bay’s voice in the U.S. Congress. She was elected in 2006 and represents Florida’s 14th Congressional district, which includes Tampa and parts of Hillsborough County. She is the first woman to represent Hillsborough and Pinellas counties in the U.S. Congress.
In June 2020, led by Chair Castor, Democratic members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive plan titled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.” The report lays out the Climate Crisis Action Plan, full of detailed, ambitious and actionable climate solutions that Congress should enact to benefit American families in communities across the nation.
Before her election to Congress, Castor served as a Hillsborough County Commissioner and chair of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission. As County Commissioner in 2005, she was the sole vote against a gay pride ban; this ban was finally repealed unanimously by the Hillsborough County Commission in 2013. In 2005, Castor was named as the Tampa Bay Business Journal's Woman of the Year in government. Castor is a graduate of Tampa’s Chamberlain High School, Emory University and Florida State University College of Law. Castor and her husband have two daughters. She is the daughter of former Hillsborough County Judge Don Castor and former University of South Florida President and statewide-elected Education Commissioner Betty Castor. She is the former President of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers and partner in a statewide law firm.
FERC, Congress and state utility commissions are all at work to ensure that GETs are more widely deployed across the U.S. Hear about what’s next for transmission policy in the U.S.
Moderator: Zack Hale, Reporter, S&P Global Commodities Insights
Zack Hale reports on federal energy policy for S&P Global Commodities Insights, a leading business news organization delivering actionable insights to industry professionals, NGOs, government officials and the broader public. His coverage primarily focuses on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Western Washington University and a master's degree in energy policy and climate from Johns Hopkins University.
- Stacey Crowley, Vice President, External Affairs, CAISO
Stacey Crowley is the Vice President of External Affairs for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). She is responsible for delivering the organization’s communications strategy, developing strategic partnerships and overseeing governmental relations at the state, regional and federal levels. She also manages coordination with the EIM Governing Body and its committees to facilitate quality engagement and dialogue with stakeholders on a variety of western energy issues. Ms. Crowley’s strength in developing partnerships and fostering consensus grew in her previous role as the Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy and advisor to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. There, she helped define important energy opportunities in the state and worked to build enduring and effective regional partnerships. She implemented federal grant programs and economic incentive regulations for clean energy projects, served as Chair of the Western Interstate Energy Board and served on the board of the National Association of State Energy Officials. She is also a former practicing architect who specialized in environmental sustainability and client engagement, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan and Masters of Architecture from the University of New Mexico. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Tahoe Fund, a non-profit dedicated to enhancing the extraordinary environment of the Lake Tahoe Basin
- Pat Wood, CEO of Hunt Energy, and Former FERC Chair
Pat Wood III is the past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT). The son of a small businessman, Mr. Wood has been a forceful advocate throughout his career for replacing government-centered regulation with customer-focused, technology-unleashing competition. Today, as CEO of Hunt Energy Network, Mr. Wood’s focus is on new power system infrastructure and the related business systems to integrate it into competitive power markets. Mr. Wood also serves as the Lead Independent Director of solar pioneer SunPower (NASCAQ: SPWR), and Director of utility construction firm Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR). In the past, he was Board Chairman of independent power producer Dynegy, and a Director of TPI Composites, among others. In 1995, Governor George W. Bush named Mr. Wood to head the PUCT with a mandate to free power (and telecom) customers from monopoly utility control. The resulting restructured Texas electric market (ERCOT) is considered to be the most robustly competitive energy market in the country, with high infrastructure investment, diverse service and technology offerings, and customer prices well below what they were under regulation. During his four years at the helm of the FERC, under President George W. Bush, Mr. Wood led the responses to the 2000-2001 California energy crisis, the bankruptcy of Enron, and the 2003 North American power blackout. By the end of his term, over two-thirds of the country was served by the reliable, organized wholesale power markets he championed. Mr. Wood holds a B.S. degree (civil engineering) from Texas A&M University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He serves on the Executive Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star and The Joy School Board of Trustees. He, and his wife, Kathleen, have four sons and are proud to call Houston their home.
- Rob Gramlich, President, Grid Strategies LLC
Rob Gramlich is Founder and President of Grid Strategies LLC where he provides economic policy analysis for clients on electric transmission and power markets in pursuit of low-cost de-carbonization. He serves as Executive Director of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, Executive Director of the WATT Coalition, on the board of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy Foundation, on the Advisory Council for the Energy Systems Integration Group, on the Advisory Board of the National Regulatory Research Institute’s Regulatory Training Institute, and on the DOE “Beyond LCOE” External Advisory Board. Mr. Gramlich oversaw transmission and power market policy for the American Wind Energy Association from 2005 through 2016 as Senior Vice President for Government and Public Affairs, Interim CEO, and Policy Director. He was Economic Advisor to FERC Chairman Pat Wood III from 2001 to 2005, Senior Economist at PJM Interconnection in 1999 and 2000, Senior Associate at PG&E National Energy Group in 2000-2001, and an analyst at the FERC Office of Economic Policy, ICF Resources, the World Resources Institute, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the 1990s. He testifies frequently before the US Congress, US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), US Department of Energy, and state legislatures and regulatory commissions. He has served on advisory committees for the U.S. Department of Energy and the North American Energy Standards Board, on boards of a number of regional clean energy organizations, as Vice Chair of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and as Interim Executive Director of the Wind Energy Foundation (now Wind-Solar Alliance).
- Beth Soholt, Executive Director, Clean Grid Alliance
As Executive Director of the Clean Grid Alliance, Beth Soholt brings more than 20 years experience working with the electric industry in various capacities. At CGA she directs work in the areas of technical/transmission planning, state regulatory proceedings, legislative education and outreach. She holds a seat on the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Advisory Committee representing the Environmental Sector. She was also selected as one of three NGO representatives on the Stakeholder Steering Committee of the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative. Beth holds a law degree from Hamline University Law School, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.
Meet the speakers and attendees of the Grid Enhancing Technologies Summit.
Hear from renewable energy and electricity system experts about the real cost of renewable curtailment on climate goals and energy affordability.
A discussion with renewable developers on the true impacts of a constrained grid – delayed development and reduced production.
Moderator: Katie Segner, Rocky Mountain Institute
Katie Siegner is a Senior Associate with RMI’s Carbon-Free Electricity practice, where she focuses on expanding market opportunities for distribution-scale renewables. She also supports eLab’s work to engage thought leaders and changemakers in events that foster innovation, collaboration, and transformative ideas to decarbonize the electricity system. Prior to RMI, Ms. Siegner completed a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. While at Yale, she studied clean energy policy, deployment, and finance, and interned for Ranger Power, a utility-scale solar developer. Her research interests included pollinator-friendly solar, offshore wind, and cutting-edge clean energy solutions. She has a MEM from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a BA in International Studies from Middlebury College.
- Betsy Beck, Director, Organized Markets, Enel Green Power
Betsy Rosenblatt Beck is the Senior Director of Organized Markets at Enel North America where she oversees development and management of corporate strategy and engagement on wholesale markets and state regulatory issues in ERCOT, SPP, CAISO, and WECC. Prior to joining Enel, Ms. Beck worked in the electricity sector for over 10 years, primarily focusing on wholesale markets and transmission policy. She served as the Director of Electricity Markets and Transmission Policy at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), was detailed from FERC to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and served as an analyst at FERC in the Office of Enforcement. Ms. Beck holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a Series 3 license, and is a certified Energy Risk Professional.
- Makarand “Mak” Nagle, SVP Head of Development, Pine Gate Renewables
Mak Nagle is responsible for leading Pine Gate’s solar and storage development effort that also consists of Project Siting, Grid Integration as well as Energy Storage teams. Under Mr. Nagle’s leadership. Pine Gate has over 16 GW of projects under development in 22 states. Mr. Nagle brings 20+ years of experience in project development, origination, power marketing, market design, transmission operations and planning. He also provides guidance on technical issues as well as emerging technologies (e.g., energy storage, Grid enhancing technologies etc) while coming up with unique value propositions for Pine Gate’s clients. Prior to entering renewable space, Mr. Nagle worked at one of the Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO), Southwest Power Pool where he was responsible for developing their Day 2 energy market and running transmission studies and planning groups. Mr. Nagle has also spent 6+ years as planning engineer in Entergy’s Transmission group where he was involved in restoring the electric grid after hurricane Katrina and Rita. Mr. Nagle holds BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.
- Ajay Pappu, Senior Manager, Interconnections and Grid Analysis, Invenergy
Ajay Pappu is Director, Interconnections & Grid Analysis at Invenergy, North America’s largest privately held sustainable energy company. He joined Invenergy in 2019 and currently leads and manages the interconnections business process for a large portfolio of wind (onshore and offshore), solar, storage, transmission, and other energy projects in the U.S. (WECC, CAISO and ERCOT), Canada, and the UK.
Ajay has more than a decade of experience in the electric energy sector leading various projects and teams. Prior to joining Invenergy, Ajay worked in diverse areas of grid planning, economic wholesale market assessments, generation integration, operations planning, and regulatory rule changes at ERCOT, supported different utilities with their generation and transmission projects integration needs while at Electric Power Engineers (EPE). His areas of expertise are sustainable energy grid integration and transmission solutions, transmission system planning, electricity markets, and complex/critical grid issues risk assessment.
Ajay graduated from Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in 2010 with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from VIT University, Vellore, India.
- Julia Matevosyan, Chief Engineer, Energy Systems Integration Group
Julia Matevosyan is ESIG’s Chief Engineer and has more than 20 years of experience in the power industry. Prior to joining ESIG, Matevosyan was the Lead Planning Engineer of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). In her time with ERCOT, she worked on adequacy of system inertial response, system flexibility, frequency control and performance issues related to high penetration levels of inverter-based generation and ancillary services market design. Dr. Matevosyan received her BSc from Riga Technical University in Latvia, and her MSc and PhD from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden.
Meet informally with Grid Enhancing Technologies experts until the Distributech reception.
Hear from policy and technical experts about how Grid Enhancing Technologies can expand the capacity of the U.S. transmission system.
The world is undertaking an energy transformation that will reshape electricity networks with renewable, clean, and resilient energy solutions. Yet, the electric grid and related transmission assets at the core of this energy transition were designed and built between 40 and 80 years ago – and much of that infrastructure is at or near the end of its useful life while being challenged to do more. Power utilities are at the center of this challenge; tasked with integrating record levels of new, renewable, energy assets while accommodating dramatically increased multidirectional power flows, and hardening the grid to prepare for increasingly severe weather events exacerbated by climate change.
To meet the world’s ambitious climate goals, utilities must use innovative solutions to optimize the existing grid to help ensure a safe and expeditious transition to a de-carbonized world. Building new transmission will be necessary to ensure an energy transition, however given the timelines associated with financing, siting, permitting, and building new power lines, Grid Enhancing Technologies must also be utilized to optimize the existing grid.
On May 23rd, 2022 The WATT Coalition will be hosting the preeminent event on Grid Enhancing Technologies, or GETs.
The one-day conference will be held at and co-hosted by Distributech.
The event will showcase thought leadership from industry leaders, with presentations and panel discussions outlining the challenges the grid faces with an energy transition and will identify various solutions in optimizing existing grid assets. The conference will also provide an overview of policies and regulations intended to integrate GETs adoption. Guests will include representatives from leading utilities and RTOs/ISOs, who will share their experiences with the integration of GETs on networks.
This event will offer attendees insight on: