Providing industry and general public recognition to utilities, their industry partners, individuals and other stakeholders that are on the front lines of energy industry transformation in the United States.

The awards focus on projects, initiatives and thought leadership that promote collaborative, innovative and replicable models for change by:

  • Expanding knowledge about and access to distributed energy resources
  • Transforming public perceptions and understanding of the electric industry
  • Advancing progress toward an integrated, clean energy future


2018 Power Player Finalists

Power Player of the Year

For an individual who, while working at an electric utility or utility organization, has demonstrated above-and-beyond leadership and innovation to significantly advance an integrative perspective of distributed energy resources for utilities, the electric power industry, and for the benefit of the customer.

Alice Jackson | Xcel Energy - Colorado
Demonstrated the utmost leadership and collaboration by acting as point person for Xcel Energy during their 2016 and 2017 “global settlements” that brought together 26 stakeholders to create a plan for Xcel and their customers to surpass the state’s 30 percent renewable energy standard by 2020.
Chairman Asim Haque | Public Utilities Commission Ohio
Looks to remake the utility landscape in Ohio over the next 10 years through the robust and comprehensive PowerForward Initiative.
Tim Johnsson | Founder, PhotonWorks Engineering
Served as catalyst for Kahauiki Village in Hawai’i. Growing the community from vision to reality, he was instrumental in transforming the lives of homeless families. At the center of it all, a 98 percent renewable powered microgrid with shared solar PV, a Tesla modular energy storage facility, the utility and emergency backup generators.


Utility of the Year

Recognizing Investor-Owned, Public Power and Electric Cooperative utilities that demonstrate leadership through unique or thought-provoking innovation in an effort to significantly advance knowledge of or access to distributed energy resources and expand their value as a resource to help meet the needs of electricity consumers.


Hawaiian Electric Company
Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light – the Hawaiian Electric Companies – developed a Grid Modernization Strategy with multiple stakeholders to meet its 100 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2045.
Public Service Company of New Mexico
Took the opportunity to address energy industry changes by streamlining the interconnection process, bringing new facilities online to meet commercial customers desire for sustainable energy and releasing a coal-free vision.
Xcel Energy
Accelerated the development of new technologies on the utility system that reduce carbon emissions and test distributed energy resource (DER) capabilities.

Public Power Utility

Austin Energy
Austin SHINES is integrating solar and energy storage and employing new demand response programs that reduces load and costs while testing one of the nations first Distributed Energy Management Systems (DERMS).
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
Opened the first-ever utility-scale farm on the Navajo Nation brought new job opportunities, increased economic activity and generated revenues to extend electricity to many of the 15,000 families living without.
New York Power Authority
Conducted research to demonstrate how DERs can provide grid support while minimizing impact on distribution feeders and provide insight into the locational impact and the need to communicate and control DERs.

Electric Cooperative Utility

Anza Electric Cooperative
A 5,000 member cooperative, headquartered in California, worked across state lines with their Generation & Transmission provider in Arizona to meet California clean-air regulations with solar, and educated members throughout the process.
BARC Electric Cooperative
Expanded on their groundbreaking community solar project, BARC completed the largest public school solar project in Virginia, providing 55% of Bath County school district’s annual energy needs at rates that are fixed to today’s electric prices.
Poudre Valley REA
Partnered with GRID Alternatives and the Colorado Energy Office, to construct an additional solar array designed with parameters ensuring that all income levels and group types have an opportunity to participate.


Innovative Partner of the Year

This category recognizes a non-utility partner for a unique method, project, leadership, or innovation that has aided in the expansion of or access to distributed energy resources while working with one or more utilities.


Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company
Established an innovative partnership with member municipal utilities to work individually on implementing DERs and related technologies into their municipal distribution systems efficiently and economically.
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Converted lessons learned from 17 cooperatives deploying 30 MW of photovoltaic solar into an array of training, tools and technical assistance for coops nationwide, catalyzing cooperative solar, which quadrupled over three years.
S&C Electric
Is proving the potential for wide-scale DER adoption through collaboration with Ameren Corporation by building the first utility-scale microgrid in the nation powering real customers.


Visionary of the Year

This category is for dynamic and prominent groups or individuals that are imagining and inspiring how the electric industry envisions the future of clean energy, which may not have brought results to fruition yet.


Maui Electric
Brings together grassroots community engagement, innovative utility solutions, creative customer options, and alternative financing possibilities for the residents Moloka’i to transition the small island to all renewable generation as early as 25 years ahead of the Hawai’i state goal.
Natan Barak | CEO & Founder, mPrest
Is the driver behind breakthrough technology that gathers data from countless sensors and subsystems, applies big data analytics using artificial intelligence algorithms, and enables cross-discipline correlations in real time to help utilities optimize grid operations.
Walter W. Haase | General Manager, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
Fulfilled his pledge to build the first large-scale solar farm upon Navajoland that created jobs, boosted economic progress and demonstrate that the Navajo Nation is ready to progress into the world of renewable energy development.


Change Agent of the Year

A change agent is a catalyst for transformation. Those who fit this category have examined the results of their catalytic actions and their impact on the direction of the clean energy future.


Clean USA Power
Challenged forward-thinking private investors to step up and replicate the infill real estate model to progress the renewable energy revolution.
Achieved unprecedented consumer engagement in its Rush Hour Rewards program during the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 by recruiting 750,000 Nest devices to save 700 MW of energy.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Coordinate a portfolio of activities that aggressively targeted the most urgent soft cost barriers to solar energy market growth to aid in establishing a self-sustaining solar industry in New York.