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26 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
California Braces for Fire, Massive Storage Deployments
In this episode of Grid Talk, Host Marty Rosenberg talks with Elliot Mainzer who is the President and CEO of the California Independent System Operator (ISO). The discussion focuses on the effort to bring on more renewable generation in California and what that means for the delivery of energy. Battery storage will play a significant role in meeting peak demand.“The next five to seven years, California is going to be bringing on a monumental amount of new supply into the system. The amount of storage on the California grid this summer is going to be one of the largest in the world,” said Mainzer.Mr. Mainzer also talks about what’s ahead for the evolving energy market in the West including the need for additional generation and new infrastructure.“There’s just no way we’re going to be able to meet our clean energy objectives reliably without additional transmission resource diversification.”The podcast ends with a discussion about the ongoing drought in the Southwest and the threat to the grid from wildfires.Elliot Mainzer took over as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Independent System Operator in September of 2020, following an 18-year career at the Bonneville Power Administration. The ISO is responsible for managing the flow of electricity that serves 80 percent of California and a small portion of Nevada. Mr. Mainzer earned his bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of California, Berkeley. He has an MBA and Master of Environmental Studies degree from Yale University.
27 minutes | Jul 9, 2021
Securing the Grid, Addressing Energy Poverty at USEA
Grid security and global energy policy are two of the top issues for the United States Energy Association (USEA). This episode of Grid Talk features Sheila Hollis who is the Acting Executive Director of the USEA. USEA’s members include more than 100 organizations from the U.S. energy sector, including governmental entities, nonprofits, and Fortune 500 companies and utilities. All of them are focused on securing the grid from attacks.“We have done an enormous amount of work on the cybersecurity issue which I must say is one of the peak key issues that keep me up at night,” said Hollis.“There are malefactors, there are gamesmen, there are unfortunately bad forces that have extreme capabilities to try and attack and sabotage the United States in many ways.” Another key issue for the association is global energy poverty. “Energy to me is a human right, it’s a human right. It’s like water and air. It’s a human right now to be part of the modern world, and in some cases, just to survive, you must have energy.”As the Acting Executive Director of the United States Energy Association, Ms. Hollis represents the broad interests of the U.S. energy industry and interacts with domestic and international leaders to advance knowledge and seek partnerships to develop and enhance energy infrastructure worldwide.Prior to becoming Acting Executive Director, she served as the Association’s Chairman of the Board. She has served on the USEA Board of Directors for 15 years.Ms. Hollis is also Of Counsel and Chair of the Duane Morris, LLP Washington, D.C. office. She practices in the areas of energy policy and, transactional and regulatory law worldwide. Ms. Hollis is a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law and the University of Colorado at Boulder, in general studies and journalism.
31 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Surging EVs and An Ongoing Fire Threat - San Diego Utility Responds
The wildfire season is in full swing and that has utility officials in the drought stricken Southwest preparing for an active summer. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Caroline Winn who is the CEO of San Diego Power & Gas (SDP&G). They’ll discuss how the utility has prepared for a fire season that lasts all year long, including how it uses technology to limit the impact of forced outages.“So having a more surgical approach has helped us ensure again that only the most endangered communities are turned off,” said Winn.They’ll also talk about renewables and promising new hydrogen storage technology.“The holy grail is really long-duration energy storage that can really provide backup power during extended power outages and help to synchronize the supply and demand across the seasons.”Finally, the discussion turns to meeting the demand as more EV’s hit the road.“The challenge ahead of us is how do we manage the electrification of everything; the cars, the buildings and other facets of our economy.”Caroline Winn has been with SDG&E since 1986 and became CEO in August 2020. Previously, she served as the chief operating officer of SDG&E, overseeing operations of the utility’s gas and electric infrastructure assets, and customer services. Winn also served as chief energy delivery officer, managing all energy delivery activities for SDG&E, including electric distribution operations and gas services, customer services, and external and state legislative affairs.Ms. Winn has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California State University Sacramento and is a registered professional engineer in the State of California.
33 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Massive Puerto Rico Grid Modernization Underway
As official hurricane season barrels down on the Caribbean, this month the LUMA Energy consortium embarks on an unprecedented $20 billion, 15-year project to rebuild the damaged, long-neglected electric infrastructure on Puerto Rico. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg follows up with two former guests to get an update on the project. Wayne Stensby is the President and CEO of Luma Energy. David Owens is the Vice-Chair of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.“We will be administering the deployment of the FEMA funding to rebuild what is desperately needed here in Puerto Rico in terms of a badly dilapidated and damaged… transmission and distribution…and kind of all the elements of technology in the power system,” said Wayne Stensby. FEMA, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, is providing $10 billion to support the effort, one of its largest undertakings ever. “We interact extremely well with the FEMA, with the Department of Energy, with other agencies who have a keen interest in the work that Wayne is going to be doing to rebuild the grid, so I think we’re on target,” Owens said. David K. Owens is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in public policies surrounding utility operations, strategic planning, technology development, rate making and regulation. He is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on electric utility issues, industry restructuring, and transformation. His experience in the electricity sector includes leading the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) efforts over a broad set of issues that affect the future structure of the electric industry and new rules in evolving competitive markets.He spearheaded efforts to enhance the public policy climate for investments in America’s electric infrastructure with emphasis on the role of new technologies to address climate change, and to enhance energy efficiency through smart buildings, smart appliances, smart meters, and smart electric grids.Mr. Owens is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor and Master of Engineering degrees. He also has a Master in Engineering Administration from George Washington University.Luma Energy was formed Quanta Services, ATCO, and Innovative Emergency Management to rebuild Puerto Rico's electrical grid.Mr. Stensby joined ATCO in 1988 and has held a variety of leadership positions, including assignments in Canada, the U.K. and Australia. Most recently, in mid-2019, Mr. Stensby was appointed Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, where he was responsible for the growth of Canadian Utilities’ global portfolio of investments in premier energy infrastructure. Mr. Stensby holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta and is registered as a Professional Engineer with APEGA.
30 minutes | May 24, 2021
Hawaii All-in on Solar - Goes Big on EVs
With nearly 90,000 rooftop solar systems, Hawaii is a national leader when it comes to solar power. Now, the state is taking the next step in its clean energy journey with a goal to electrify most ground transportation by 2035. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Constance Lau who is the President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries, the parent of Hawaiian Electric. The discussion focuses on Hawaii's renewable energy portfolio and the impact of going all EV.“We have to get ready for a lot more provision of electricity because we’ll be providing electricity not to just the normal parts of the economy - but now if transportation starts switching over to use electricity as a fuel, we’ll have to be prepared to provide that as well,” said Lau.A concurrent goal would see Hawaii become carbon neutral 2045. That means Hawaii is ramping up renewables. Ms. Lau explains why it’s more complicated than just adding more capacity.“We’re seeing very interesting discussions where competing land use policies are needing to be discussed and judgement calls made by our policy makers.”She also talks about the challenge of integrating all the distributed systems to create an efficient grid for powering homes, businesses, and vehicles.Ms. Lau joined the HEI companies in 1984 and has served in numerous legal, financial, operating and executive roles. She is a nationally recognized leader in the fields of critical infrastructure, resilience and physical and cyber security, banking, and energy. Ms. Lau graduated from Yale College with a B.S. in administrative sciences. She earned a juris doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law and a master’s in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
18 minutes | May 6, 2021
Renewables Land in Midwest - MISO Ready
EVs are coming across the nation. But before that - an avalanche of renewable electric generation will hit the Midwest territory served by the Mid-continent Independent System operator – MISO, with its 471 market participants serving 42 million people. Here is how its CEO John Bear put it to the Grid Talk podcast, www.smartgrid.gov/gridtalk: “Well, we’re having a significant portfolio change in the electric grid we’re operating. We’re going to – over the next five to ten years – double the amount of renewables that we have on our system, that being wind and solar, at a sort of scalable wholesale level.” The region has long relied on coal burning to generate power. That is now changing. “So, if you go out to 2040 for example, we’re looking at wind and solar being around 25% of our portfolio,” Bear said. To accommodate the changed generation fleet, MISO will have to expand on its bread and butter service: transmission. $4 billion worth of project are in the wings, and more is planned. “We are going to need some significant transmission changes… to make sure that we can move the wind and solar around so they don’t have to curtail it when we don’t have enough load to absorb it in the regions that it’s in.”Bear is energized by the challenge.“You know, I’m most excited about the decarbonization effort that’s ongoing. I think that it’s super exciting to see the pace and the velocity of which our industry is having to change and then having to think through how to make all of that work together in a reliable, affordable way.”John Bear joined MISO in 2004 and has more than 25 years of executive leadership in the utility industry. As Chief Executive Officer of MISO since January 2009, he leads MISO’s continuous efforts to work collaboratively and transparently with its members to reliably deliver low-cost energy through efficient, innovative, operations and planning.Bear graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
27 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
Colorado Aims for a Million EVs
Colorado leaders aim to have close to one-million electric vehicles zooming about the state by 2030. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks Alice Jackson who is the President of Xcel Energy – Colorado. They discuss efforts to lower the barriers for customers to purchase EVs, from tax credits to infrastructure.“It is a big target and a goal but it’s one that we’re really excited about taking on,” said Jackson.Jackson described Xcel as an enabler when it comes to transportation electrification, with the company providing more than just the electricity.“Whether that’s installing charging stations or helping customers understand what that lifestyle looks like; that’s where we’re getting engaged.” And she answers the question about what kind of impact the EV push will have on power generation and distribution. “This really is a partnership on figuring out how do you incentivize that charging to happen at the right times of the day so you don’t have to add more infrastructure to the system that would increase the cost.”Alice Jackson has been the president of Xcel Energy – Colorado since 2018. Previously, Ms. Jackson was area vice president of Strategic Revenue Initiatives, leading the company’s revenue growth strategy. From 2013-2016, she was regional vice president, Rates and Regulatory Affairs, Xcel Energy - Colorado. Jackson joined Xcel Energy in 2011 as regional vice president, Rates and Regulatory Affairs, Xcel Energy – Texas, New Mexico. She has a wealth of experience in managing government and stakeholder relations, as well as developing innovative products and services for customers gained over a 17-year career in the energy industry.Jackson received a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Texas A&M University and completed the Harvard Business School Program for Leadership Development.
31 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
Lesson of the Winter Power Collapse
In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks Barbara Sugg who is the President and CEO of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). The discussion focuses on February’s extreme cold weather event that knocked out power in parts of Texas and impacted some of SPP’s operations. “The issues that Southwest Power Pool had were similar to that in ERCOT in the case that we had more load than we could supply energy for, but it wasn’t nearly as significant as what happened in ERCOT,” said Sugg.Ms. Sugg will explain the key difference that allowed SPP to minimize the impact compared to Texas utilities and what should be done to prepare for similar weather situations in the future.“We would be naive to think that won’t happen again, and so we have to focus on that, and we’ve got to really shift our mindset to looking at what the projections are for the future.”Finally, she addresses cyber security threats to the power system.“It is definitely very much still our number one corporate threat.” Barbara Sugg became President and CEO of SPP in April of 2020. Ms. Sugg has 30 years of IT experience in the electric utility industry. She joined SPP in 1997 as a senior IT specialist, focused on application development and maintenance for computer systems in support of tariff administration, reliability coordination and regional energy scheduling. She has been a member of the SPP management team since 1999 and became vice president of information technology in 2010 and chief security officer in 2016.Ms. Sugg earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1986 and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2013.
31 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Diving into the Texas Grid Collapse
Texas energy regulators and operators are investigating the causes of a massive power outage that hit the state in February during an extreme weather event. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Ken Medlock who is the Senior Director for the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Mr. Medlock is leading a group digging through the micro-data to determine exactly what happened and how cold weather could knock out the system.“This is an issue of the entire energy ecosystem failing,” said Medlock. He’ll also to talk about whether the outage could have been prevented based on the knowledge gained after a similar cold snap knocked out power in 2011. “It should have been a warning shot. There was a study done that looked at what happened and there were suggestions, recommendations made that winterization was necessary.”Medlock explains why those recommendations for hardening the system were not implemented and what needs to happen this time around. In addition to his position at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, Ken Medlock is also the director of the Masters of Energy Economics program, holds adjunct professor appointments in the Department of Economics and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and is the chair of the faculty advisory board at the Energy and Environment Initiative at Rice University. He teaches advanced courses in energy economics and supervises Ph.D. students in the energy economics field. He has published numerous scholarly articles in his primary areas of interest: natural gas markets, energy commodity price relationships, gasoline markets, transportation, national oil company behavior, economic development and energy demand, and energy use and the environment. Mr. Medlock received his Ph.D. in economics from Rice University in May 2000.
27 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Electrification 2030 for the Empire State - Going Big on Offshore Wind
In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Gil Quiniones who is the President and CEO of the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The discussion focuses on NYPA’s investment in large scale renewable energy projects. It’s part of a ten-year plan called VISION2030 that includes significant investment in offshore wind.“The manufacturing of components for offshore wind will happen there (Albany and Brooklyn), and we’re creating jobs and stimulating economic development in our state,” said Quiniones.The plan also calls for increase transmission capacity with five projects breaking ground this year or early next year to add more than 250 miles of transmission.“The governor also announced the buildout of major transmission systems specifically in Upstate New York to bring renewables from Upstate New York down to the load centers in southeast New York; New York City; the suburbs, Long Island, Westchester, etc.”Mr. Quiniones also talks about the long-term planning to achieve 70% renewable by 2030, carbon-free electricity by 2040, and then net zero by 2050 while maintaining reliability and resiliency for the financial, communications, media capital of the world.“I’m optimistic with American ingenuity and its ability to innovate and I think that we will do that.”Gil Quiniones has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of (NYPA), the nation's largest state-owned electric utility, since 2011. He is responsible for developing and implementing the statewide utility's strategic vision and mission and for supervising its operations, legal and financial matters, and relationships with external stakeholders.Before joining NYPA in 2007 as Executive Vice President of Energy Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Quiniones served in several positions in the administration of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, including more than four years as Senior Vice President of Energy and Telecommunications. He previously worked for Con Edison for 16 years and was one of four co-founders of Con Edison Solutions, the utility's unregulated energy services company.
29 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
The ABCs of Electrification - Exelon Evolves in Atlantic City, Baltimore, Chicago and Beyond
Exelon Utilities is leading by example when it comes to electrifying our transportation system. In this episode of Grid Talk, Exelon Utilities CEO, Calvin Butler, talks about serving customers with affordable electricity, while transitioning to a clean energy future. “Electrification of the transportation industry is one of the biggest things that we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help our environment,” said Butler.With more and more people, companies, and government agencies adopting electric vehicles, Exelon Utilities is working to build the infrastructure to ensure the reliability of the grid.“It’s not only charging your iPads and your lights in your home; it’s also charging your vehicle, so you can get to work the next day.”Calvin G. Butler Jr. has been the CEO at Exelon Utilities since 2019. Mr. Butler oversees Exelon’s six local electric and natural gas companies in New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. He previously served as CEO of Baltimore Gas and Energy from 2014 to 2019. Mr. Butler earned a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and a Juris Doctor degree from Washington University School of Law. He received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Morgan State University in 2014.
30 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Transcending Success – Southern Company’s Tom Fanning
In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Tom Fanning who is the Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company. Southern Company has a physical presence in 18 states and is a recognized provider of customized energy solutions across the country. The discussion focuses on several topics including cybersecurity, a carbon-free future, distributive energy, and rapid changes in the utility industryThe podcast starts with a discussion about cybersecurity and the electrical grid following the SolarWinds hack.“It is a stark reminder for all the advantages the digital economy gives us, how vulnerable we can be if we don’t act with the right sense of propriety in protecting those assets,” said fanning.Mr. Fanning also talks about Southern Company’s goal of net-zero carbon operations by 2050.“Critical to getting to this future will be the development of technology whether it’s battery storage, whether it’s hydrogen, whether it’s doing something to attack the carbon atom itself, carbon capture and storage, EVs; there’s a whole lot we’ve got to do as a nation to get there.”Finally, he talks about Southern Company’s overall business strategy and he explains “pursuing creative destruction.”Tom Fanning has been Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company since 2010. With more than 35 years of experience at Southern Company, Mr. Fanning also serves as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and holds senior positions in several business and public policy organizations. He is an internationally respected voice on topics that range from energy innovation and economic growth, to cybersecurity.Mr. Fanning earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial management and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from Georgia Tech. His executive education includes programs at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, Harvard Business School and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
27 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
The Googlization of Electricity
In 2019 Google announced it was purchasing $2 billion worth of wind and solar energy to ensure the company is 100% renewable. Now the company is out with a new goal – carbon-free 24x7. In this episode of Grid Talk, we hear from Raiford Smith who is Google’s lead for Energy, Analytics, and Markets.Mr. Smith explains the difference between 100% renewable and carbon-free 24x7.“We now want to have carbon-free energy every hour of every day everywhere at all times by 2030… not just to do it on the annualized global basis but now, to actually get down into the details and do it at every data center everywhere we consume energy every hour,” Smith told Grid Talk.Mr. Smith discusses the challenges of the company’s new goal, how it could transform the energy market, and what it will take to make it happen.“It requires investments and innovations in those four areas: analytics, technology, the regulatory end, and commercial solutions.”Raiford Smith leads the teams responsible for energy strategy, energy supply, utility interconnections, renewable energy, regulatory engagement, economic development, and energy hedging for Google’s global fleet of data centers. Mr. Smith joined Google in 2019 after a 29-year career in energy and utilities, including executive positions overseeing complex, cross-functional transformation efforts. Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of Georgia, a Master of Business Administration from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and a Juris Doctor from the Charlotte School of Law.
29 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
Texas Wind - The ERCOT Story
Texas leads the nation when it comes to wind energy. In fact, there are only four countries in the world with more wind energy than Texas. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Bill Mangess, who is the President and CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Mr. Magness talks about the challenges of managing and delivering large amounts of intermittent wind energy. “We had to get educated about when and where the wind blows and make our best forecast for when those resources would be there,” said Magness. “It’s affected most every part of our planning and our operations to try to manage these different sorts of resources because they do behave really differently on the system.”Getting the energy from where the wind blows to the state’s population centers was also a huge undertaking. “In 2020, we energized over a billion dollars’ worth of new transmission projects.”Bill Magness became ERCOT’s president and chief executive officer in January 2016, after more than five years as ERCOT’s general counsel. Mr. Magness has been in the utility business for 25 years, working with electric and telecommunications companies nationwide. He held executive management positions in the public and private sectors and served as lead counsel in regulatory cases before utility commissions in 16 states. Mr. Magness received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
28 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
Leading Puerto Rico to Electric Resilience
A new company is starting a $10.5 Billion rebuild of Puerto Rico's electrical system. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Wayne Stensby who is the President and CEO of Luma Energy. The company is in charge of Puerto Rico's energy transformation after hurricanes devastated the Island's electrical infrastructure. "It will be more resistive to storms and have fewer outages, but following storms and subsequent outages, it will be able to come back into service more quickly," said Stensby.He talks about the challenges and opportunities related to taking over from a bankrupt utility in the wake of hurricane destruction. Luma will have accountability for nearly all aspects of Puerto Rico's electrical system. That includes everything from new technology and equipment to customer service. "It takes investments, and it takes systems, and it takes methodical approach, but it’sabsolutely possible and it’s what people in Puerto Rico deserve and what the economy here frankly requires."Luma Energy was formed Quanta Services, ATCO, and Innovative Emergency Management to rebuild Puerto Rico's electrical grid.Mr. Stensby joined ATCO in 1988 and has held a variety of leadership positions, including assignments in Canada, the U.K. and Australia. Most recently, in mid-2019, Mr. Stensby was appointed Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, where he was responsible for the growth of Canadian Utilities’ global portfolio of investments in premier energy infrastructure. Mr. Stensby holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta and is registered as a Professional Engineer with APEGA.
25 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
Pivotal Energy Research Ahead - New Leader at EPRI
In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Arshad Mansoor of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Mr. Mansoor is the President at EPRI and will take over as CEO on January 1, 2021. The podcast focuses on EPRI's research efforts to address the challenges of delivering reliable and affordable electricity, including coming up with a pathway to accelerate the transition to clean energy. "We need to rethink, what is the design basis of this power system to be more resilient in 2040 when A) the weather is different, and B) because of electrification, societydepends more on electricity, " said Mansoor.He'll also talk about rethinking the power system by advancing new technologies and making them widely available to the utility industry."We’ll have to move faster as an industry and we’ll have to move faster as a research arm."Mr. Mansoor joined EPRI in 2006 as Vice President for Power Delivery and has since held numerous leadership positions throughout EPRI. Immediately prior to his current role, he served as Senior Vice President of Research and Development, overseeing a broad-based EPRI research portfolio enhancing global electricity generation, delivery, and use around the world.Mansoor earned a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas in Austin. He also completed the Harvard Advanced Management Program and the MIT Reactor Technology Course.
27 minutes | Nov 13, 2020
Lights On, Puerto Rico! David Owens’ Career Capstone
The second season of Grid Talk kicks off with a discussion about rebuilding and modernizing Puerto Rico's electric grids after devastating hurricanes. Host Marty Rosenberg talks with David Owens who is the Vice-Chair of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. Mr. Owens talks about how his organization is working to use solar energy and microgrids to build a more resilient and reliable energy system. "A grid for renewable technologies is a grid very distinctly different in many respects from a grid that’s been built around central station facilities, which is traditionally how the Puerto Rican grid has evolved. So, you have to move from the kind of grid that we have today to one that has---that’s more digitized," said Owens.He also discusses why it's more than just building a new grid."This is really about the future of Puerto Rico. This is about bringing jobs back to Puerto Rico, enhancing economic development, re-establishing businesses in Puerto Rico, getting Puerto Ricans employed." David K. Owens is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in public policies surrounding utility operations, strategic planning, technology development, rate making and regulation. He is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on electric utility issues, industry restructuring, and transformation. His experience in the electricity sector includes leading the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) efforts over a broad set of issues that affect the future structure of the electric industry and new rules in evolving competitive markets.He spearheaded efforts to enhance the public policy climate for investments in America’s electric infrastructure with emphasis on the role of new technologies to address climate change, and to enhance energy efficiency through smart buildings, smart appliances, smart meters, and smart electric grids.Mr. Owens is a graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor and Masters of Engineering degrees. He also has a Masters in Engineering Administration from George Washington University.
23 minutes | Oct 16, 2020
Buildout of the Digital Grid - CenterPoint's Leading Edge
CenterPoint Energy is leading the digital revolution in the electric industry. In episode 24 of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Kenny Mercado who is the Senior Vice President of Electric Operations at CenterPoint Energy. The discussion focuses on CenterPoint’s investment in technology to provide a premiere digital platform for service delivery.“I think we have a leadership model not only in the Southwest region of the U.S., but across the country and across the globe,” said Mercado. He also talks about what is driving this new era of technology advancement.“The wholesale market is competitive, and the retail market is competitive, and so many entities can participate and it enables the real evolution of technology to come to the forefront and we make investments across the supply chain.”Mercado says CenterPoint Energy will have the largest supply of wind power in the world within the next year. We’ll learn what other advancements his utility expects and why cross-industry collaboration is generating new value as well as new opportunities.Mr. Mercado has been with CenterPoint Energy and predecessor companies for more than 25 years. He oversees the company’s electric business, responsible for leading electric transmission, distribution, engineering and power delivery solutions in the greater Houston area and Evansville, Indiana, where he also leads electric generation.Mr. Mercado received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Houston. He also received an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.
31 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
Grid Evolution, Northwest Style
NorthWestern Energy has one of the largest, and most rural, service areas in the United States, taking in most of Montana and South Dakota. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Bob Rowe, who is the President and CEO of Northwest Energy, about the challenges of delivering power in rural America. “The entire West is concerned about the ability to meet peak. Within the Pacific Northwest, that concern has, for a number of years, been more acute, but for us the arrow has been at red really going back to our 2015 electric supply plan.”We’ll hear how NorthWestern Energy is balancing the demand for power with its objective of providing affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible energy. Mr. Rowe also explains the impact of setting up microgrids in sparsely populated areas.Bob Rowe has been the President and Chief Executive Officer at NorthWestern Energy since August of 2008. Mr. Rowe has 20-plus years of energy and utility industry experience. He is Co-Chair of the Institute for Electric Innovation, an Institute of the Edison Foundation focused on advancing the adoption of innovative and efficient technologies among electric utilities and their technology partners that will transform the power grid. He is the former chairman and commissioner of the Montana Public Service Commission, and served as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
27 minutes | Sep 11, 2020
Transmission Challenges in a Carbon-Free World
The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) delivers federal hydropower to more than 40 million Americans every year. In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Mark Gabriel who is the CEO and Administrator for WAPA. Mr. Gabriel explains how market dynamics are pushing the transmission grid to its limits. “We’re adding more and more of the very thing that is pushing us to those limits. I think we’ve got to get a balance of those things.”We’ll also hear what’s holding up dozens of projects to improve our transmission infrastructure. Mark Gabriel is Administrator and CEO of the Western Area Power Administration. Gabriel manages the nonprofit federal organization, which markets and delivers low-cost federal hydropower from 57 hydroelectric plants to wholesale customers. Mr. Gabriel holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fordham University in New York and completed the coursework for a master’s degree in administration and management from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont.
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