2019 SEPA Utility Conference

April 8 - 10, 2019
Coronado, CA
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2018 Speakers Included:

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Jim Alberts

Senior Vice President, Customer Service, Hawaiian Electric Company, Board Nominating Committee Chair

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Jim Alberts

Board Nominating Committee Chair

Jim Alberts, Senior Vice President for Customer Service at Hawaiian Electric Company, spearheads the utility’s integration of distributed energy resources to help reach Hawaii’s mandate to run 100 percent on renewables by 2045. Jim joined Hawaiian Electric in 2012 as the Senior Vice President of Customer Service, coming to the company with more than 20 years of utility experience at Kansas City Power & Light and Aquila.

During his career, Jim has led teams and designed and implemented programs that focused on establishing top quality customer service and efficiency. While at KCP&L and Aquila as the Vice President of Customer Service, he was responsible for all customer contact channels, customer relations, quality assurance, e-services, billing, accounts receivable management, field services and meter reading. While at Aquila, he was a Lean Six Sigma Deployment Champion and certified Black Belt leading improvement teams across the Company.

He serves as a Board member of Hospice Hawaii, a non-profit organization dedicated to bring hope, reduce fears and impact lives in end-of-life care, and on the Hawaii Employers Council Board of Governors. Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Minnesota State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Drake University.

Caroline Choi

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Southern California Edison, Board Past-Chair

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Caroline Choi

Board Past-Chair

Caroline Choi is Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Southern California Edison (SCE). She is responsible for regulatory policy and affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs.

She previously served as Vice President of Energy and Environmental Policy and was responsible for analysis of federal and state energy and environmental policies; analysis and development of a long-term environmental, energy and technology strategy for SCE; and directing case management for key regulatory filings.

Prior to joining SCE in 2012, Caroline was executive director of Environmental Services & Strategy at Progress Energy, where she was responsible for leading environmental permitting, compliance and policy. She served the company in various roles, including Director, Energy Policy and Strategy as well as Manager of Federal Public Affairs.

Caroline has served on various non-profit boards and is a board member of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the National Forest Foundation and the California Advisory Board of The Trust for Public Lands. Caroline has a bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College.

Danielle Murray

Manager, Solar Energy Services, Austin Energy

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Danielle Murray

Danielle Murray is Austin Energy’s Manager of Solar Energy Services, overseeing the utility’s renewable energy offerings and local solar programs. These include the wind-based GreenChoice program, Community Solar program, rooftop solar incentive programs, solar inspections, solar rate development, and programs to expand access to solar to hard to reach markets. Previously, Danielle was the Renewable Energy Program Manager for the City and County of San Francisco, where she led efforts to develop the local solar market, reduce soft costs, and implement innovative financing mechanisms; coordinated wind, wave, and district energy research and development; and served as chair of the Mayor’s Renewable Energy Task Force. Prior to that, she worked for the City of Toronto’s Energy Office, where she designed and implemented the Toronto Neighborhoods Initiative which provided grants and low-interest loans to homeowners to install solar water heating systems and other energy efficiency improvements. Danielle has also worked for the Earth Policy Institute in Washington DC, researching and writing on the intersection of food, energy, and climate change, as well as serving in various volunteer and fellowship assignments in east and west Africa. Danielle received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University and Master’s degrees in Planning and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto.

Carlos Nouel

VP of New Energy Solutions, National Grid

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Carlos Nouel

Carlos Nouel is the Leader of National Grid’s New Energy Solutions (NES) team. NES is an agile team focused on developing and launching innovative solutions and technologies that unlock value for National Grid’s customers and communities and accelerate progress towards a sustainable future. This includes things like: Smart Grid, Distributed Resources, Alternative Transportation and Connected Home Solutions. Before becoming its leader, Carlos was the Director of Partnerships for the NES team. In that role, he was responsible for identifying customer’s energy needs and determining the most comprehensive, cost effective and sustainable strategies to fulfill those needs through the creation of innovative partnerships and alliances with key industry players. Prior to joining National Grid, Carlos worked for companies such as Pfizer, British American Tobacco, IBM and AES in the supply chain area. Carlos holds an M.B.A. from Hult International Business School, and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Andres Bello Catholic University in Venezuela. In 2015 Carlos was named one of the Worcester Business Journal’s top business leaders under the age of 40 in its annual “40 Under 40” rankings.

Mark Rathbun

Renewable Resources Lead, Great River Energy

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Mark Rathbun

As a member of Great River Energy’s Resource Planning team, Mark is responsible for developing and implementing GRE’s portfolio renewable resource strategies and assisting their member cooperatives with distributed energy resource additions. Mark has led several successful wind, solar and biomass request for proposals and power purchase agreement negotiations. Mark oversees GRE’s renewable energy standard compliance and M-RETS administration. He is a graduate of Hibbing Community College and the Red Wing Energy Center where his studies focused on solar energy technologies.

Ray Brooks

Manager of Renewable Energy, Arizona Public Service

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Ray Brooks

Ray Brooks is responsible for distributed energy resource policy at Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric utility serving 2.7M people across the state. Ray’s other responsibilities include managing applications for interconnection to the APS distribution grid; representing renewable energy programs at the Arizona Corporation Commission and interfacing with the media and other public stakeholders as APS’s principal spokesperson for the company’s 1.4-gigawatt renewable energy resource portfolio.

Patrick McCoy

Strategic Business Planner, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

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Patrick McCoy

Patrick McCoy is a Strategic Business Planner with the Energy Strategy Research and Development department within SMUD’s Grid Strategy and Operations business unit. Patrick is responsible for business strategy and planning encompassing both customer and utility sited solar PV. The strategy and planning responsibilities covers both stand-alone solar PV as well as an integrated distributed energy resource technology. Patrick has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Sacramento, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Graduate School of Management, University of California, Davis.

Adrianne Rogers

Senior Energy Services Specialist, City of Colton Electric Utility

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Adrianne Rogers

Adrianne Rogers has worked for the City of Colton Electric Utility (CEU) since 2008. She is the Senior Energy Services Specialist, responsible for advocating Energy Efficiency (EE) and assisting all customer classes with achieving measurable efficiency goals. Ms. Rogers is the Key Accounts Representative for the utility and works directly with the Industrial customers on Demand Side Management, Rate Analysis, Efficiency Rebates, Billing, and Outage Management. She manages all EE programs for the utility and processes coordinating rebates. As the Senior Energy Services Specialist she is also responsible for the Utility’s Photovoltaic (PV) program and assists customers with evaluating their solar needs, provides rebate approval, and guides customers through interconnection. Additionally, she is a part of the marketing team and plans special events for the utility.

Ms. Rogers is the 2017 Chair of the Public Benefit committee for Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) and the Co-Chair for the Customer Service working group and represents the City of Colton Electric Utility in the Key Account, and Community Solar working groups. She is also a new member to the Planning Committee for the Utility Energy Forum, and a member of the Association of Women in Water, Energy, and the Environment (AWWEE). Ms. Rogers has a Masters degree in Communication Studies from California State University, San Bernardino.

Alanya Schofield

Senior Director, Strategy, Consulting & New Products, E Source

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Alanya Schofield

Alanya Schofield manages the E Source DER practice area, including the subscription-based DER Strategy research service and DER consulting practice. She is also responsible for corporate strategy initiatives and new product development. She has expertise in strategy, policy, program design, and communications, with a focus on distributed energy resources and other emerging technologies. Before joining E Source, Alanya was the Strategy, Communications & Continuous Improvement Director for Duke Energy’s Emerging Technology Office. Prior to that role, she worked in Duke’s Office of the Chairman & CEO, Regulated Utility Renewable Strategy, Integrated Resource Planning, and Corporate Communications groups. She has also worked for GE Wind, Southern Company, and UNI-SOLAR. Alanya has an MBA/MS from the University of Michigan and a BA in architecture from Yale University.

Bryan Hannegan

President & CEO, Holy Cross Energy

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Bryan Hannegan

Bryan Hannegan is President and CEO of Holy Cross Energy, a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative utility providing electricity and energy products and services to more than 55,000 customers in Western Colorado. Prior to joining Holy Cross in July 2017, Bryan was the Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Systems Integration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), where he co-founded the US Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative and started up the successful Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), a unique “distribution grid in a box” enabling utilities, entrepreneurs and consumers to work together on cleaner, more affordable and more reliable energy systems.

Earlier in his career, Bryan served in multiple executive roles over seven years at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), leading power sector industry R&D programs in environmental science, energy analysis, fossil generation and renewable energy. From 1999-2006 Bryan was an active high-level contributor to U.S. and global energy and environmental policy, first as Staff Scientist to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, then as Associate Director for Energy and Transportation (and later Chief of Staff) for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). He also served as acting Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, helping to formulate the Advanced Energy Initiative and to implement the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Bryan holds a Doctorate in earth system science and a Master of Science in engineering, both from the University of California, Irvine; and a Bachelor of Science in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.

Clay Norris

Power Management Manager, Tacoma Power

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Clay Norris

Clay Norris has been the Power Management Section Manager (functionally, the power supply officer) for Tacoma Power section since 2015. Clay’s responsibilities include planning and managing the power supply portfolio, resource planning, marketing and selling wholesale power, scheduling and dispatching electricity generated at Tacoma Power’s hydroelectric projects, managing the utility’s energy efficiency services, energy policy, and overseeing its community and residential solar programs.

Clay has more than 30 years of energy industry experience, including a role as division director of power resources for Eugene Water & Electric Board, senior vice president of planning and marketing for ElectriCities of North Carolina, and various positions at Illinois Power Company.

Derek Kirchner

Supervisor – Demand Side Management, DTE Energy

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Derek Kirchner

Derek is a Principal Supervisor in Demand Side Management at DTE Electric Co. In this role, he is responsible for managing approximately 600 MW of Demand Response resources ranging from a residential direct load control air conditioning program to a number of commercial and industrial interruptible tariffs. He is charged with expanding Demand Response capacity through both existing programs and integration of new technologies and rate design, while increasing integration with existing energy efficiency programs.

Mr. Kirchner has worked in several areas at the company over his 17 years including Marketing, Generation Optimization, Major Account Services, Integrated Resource Planning and Regulatory Pricing. He has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Detroit-Mercy and is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM).

Daniel Payares Luzio

Project Manager, New Energy Solutions, National Grid

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Daniel Payares Luzio

Daniel is a Project Manager for New Energy Solutions (NES) at National Grid. In this capacity, he is responsible to drive innovation by leading complex projects that integrate new technology, renewable energy, and customer-centric research in order to create new business models and opportunities for National Grid to build the utility of the future. Currently, he is managing the first of its kind Distribution System Platform (DSP) pilot in Buffalo, NY while collaborating on other projects that involve renewable energy, Blockchain, and IoT. Daniel has experience in large scale deployment planning of smart grid technologies for utilities, electrical substations design, management of energy audits and energy efficiency projects within the Energy and Oil & Gas industries, as well as electrical installation project design for large residential and commercial buildings. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Daniel also holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Hult International Business School in Boston and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela.

Everett Aragon

Engineer Manager, Grid Modernization, Southern California Edison

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Everett Aragon

Engineer Manager for the Grid Modernization Grid Apps Integration team leading efforts to implement software solutions to plan and operate SCE’s grid of the future.

Industry Background

    • 10 years industry experience with SCE in areas of Distribution Field Engineering, Transmission and Distribution System Planning, and Grid Modernization.

Educational Background

    • Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering from California State Polytechnic University Pomona
    • Master’s of Science in Electrical Power Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Gary Stern

Managing Director of Regulatory Operations, Southern California Edison Company

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Gary Stern

Gary Stern is the Managing Director of Regulatory Operations in the Regulatory Affairs organization for Southern California Edison Company (SCE). In this capacity, he oversees all California Public Utilities Commission jurisdictional revenue requirements, revenue forecasting, load research, rate design and tariff functions. His responsibilities also include management oversight of SCE’s General Rate Cases (GRC) and Energy Resource Recovery Account (ERRA) proceedings. Previously, Gary directed SCE’s energy policy organization, and before that, resource planning, market design and analysis, and strategic project groups. Gary Stern holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at San Diego. He has an M.A. in Economics, and a B.A. in mathematics also from UC San Diego.

Gregg Kresge

Director, Renewable Energy Projects, Maui Electric Company

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Gregg Kresge

Greggory Kresge is the Director of Renewable Energy Projects for Maui Electric and works collaboratively across the three Hawaiian Electric Industries companies. Gregg is responsible for the implementation and technical analyses of distributed energy resource programs and interconnections, acquisition, integration and contract administration of renewable generation resources, and leading new customer programs. One such program is the JumpSmartMaui electric vehicle initiative and furthering the electrification of transportation in Maui County.

Gregg has a wealth of experience in the Asia-Pacific Region working in the utility, government and private sectors. At Maui Electric, Gregg previously served as the Environmental Compliance Engineer, Interim Manager and Environmental Specialist for the Power Supply Department. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Hawaii Maui College in the Sustainable Science Management program. Prior to Maui Electric, he was the Deputy Director of the Department of Environmental Management at the County of Maui. In addition to his experience in Hawaii, Gregg lived and worked on Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands where he was an environmental planner for the utility, an environmental investigator for the Attorney General’s Office, private environmental consultant and President of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce.

Gregg holds several degrees including Doctor of Philosophy in Sustainability and Green Building, Master of Business Administration in Sustainability, Master of Science in Environmental Management, and Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Communications. Gregg is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction (AP BD&C), Home Energy Survey Professional (HESP) Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and an Eagle Scout.

Jeanne Boyce

Director, Business Customer Division, Southern California Edison

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Jeanne Boyce

Jeanne is the Director of the Government Segment at SCE. She leads a team of managers whose teams support Federal, State, City, County, hospital, agriculture and water customers served by SCE. These customers include some of Southern California’s largest agencies and businesses including military bases, correctional institutions, universities and colleges, acute care hospitals, water and sanitation districts, farms and dairies. Jeanne has also worked in Advanced Technology and was tasked with overseeing the coordination and collaboration of all RD&D activities within the Company and worked as a cross functional team to prioritize and agree upon RD&D activities and resource allocation for the Company. In addition, she was responsible for oversight in development and implementation of process controls, assurance of regulatory and corporate compliance, contract, budgets, and business support. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University California San Diego in Communications, MBA from the University of Redlands and a certificate in Innovation from M.T.I.

Jeffrey Taft

Chief Architect for Electric Grid Transformation, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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Jeffrey Taft

Jeff is the Chief Architect for Electric Grid Transformation at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. As a member of the Energy and Environment Directorate, he is responsible for development and articulation of large scale architecture for grid modernization, as well as support of many cross-cutting activities at the Laboratory, including the Future Power Grid Initiative, advanced computing, and the Control of Complex Systems Initiative. He began working in the grid modernization area in 2001 and has held smart grid chief architect roles with Cisco, Accenture, and IBM. Jeff formerly worked for Westinghouse and has participated in several key smart grid projects since he first began to develop sensor architectures and analytics for distribution grids, and then became involved in the larger issues of end-to-end grid structure, integration, and control. Jeff earned a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual specialization in digital signal processing and digital control systems in 1986. He is a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society, is an emeritus member of the GridWise Architecture Council and is the holder of 37 patents in control systems, signal processing, and grid modernization.

Jim Kelly

Vice President, Corporate Relations, Hawaiian Electric Company

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Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly is Vice President of Corporate Relations at Hawaiian Electric Company. Before joining Hawaiian Electric in 2016, Kelly worked as manager of member services and communications for Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative. Kelly joined the energy industry after a 30-year career as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Massachusetts, Minnesota, California and Hawai‘i. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Justin Woodard

Principal Engineer, National Grid

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Justin Woodard

Justin Woodard is a Principal Engineer in the New Energy Solutions group at National Grid. His current area of focus includes developing company owned solar and storage programs. Mr. Woodard is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Massachusetts, and has received a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His areas of interest include power quality and the integration of distributed energy resources.

Kerry Klemm

Manager, Renewable Choice Programs, Xcel Energy

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Kerry Klemm

Kerry Klemm manages Xcel Energy’s Renewable Choice Programs team, overseeing the implementation and operations of the Company’s opt-in programs for renewable energy and alternate rates, including the nation’s largest community solar garden program, a leading subscriber green energy program called Windsource, and Renewable*Connect – the company’s latest evolution in green pricing options.

Kerry has spent most of her career at Xcel Energy working in Corporate Communications, DSM program operations and leading product development before transitioning into renewable programs.

Kathy Knoop

Principal Environmental Scientist - Electric Transportation, Salt River Project

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Kathy Knoop

Kathy Knoop is a Principal Environmental Scientist at Salt River Project the our Sustainability Policy and Programs department. She is responsible for SRP’s electric vehicle program including customer support, system impacts, fleet electric vehicles and employee programs. During Kathy’s 25 years at Salt River Project as a senior chemist, environmental scientist and sustainability analyst. Kathy was born in Phoenix, Arizona and attended Arizona State University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management and Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry.

Matthew Wallace

Lead Systems Architect, PPL Electric Utilities

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Matthew Wallace

Matthew’s focus at PPL is enabling the adoption of distributed energy resources, including renewables, energy storage, and microgrids. He is the lead systems architect for PPL’s Keystone Project, integrating behind the meter resources into distribution system planning and operations.

Michael Backstrom

Managing Director, Energy & Environmental Policy, Southern California Edison

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Michael Backstrom

Michael Backstrom is the Managing Director, Energy & Environmental Policy for Southern California Edison (SCE). In this role, he is responsible for leading the analysis of proposed energy and environmental regulations; developing regulatory engagement strategies; overseeing advocacy at state and federal environmental agencies; and ensuring effective case management of key energy policy proceedings.

Mr. Backstrom joined SCE in 2005 as an attorney in the legal department, responsible for regulatory proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission. He subsequently held positions in both regulatory and legislative affairs, developing policy positions and advocating for the company in Washington D.C. and California.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University in 1997, and a juris doctor from the University of Southern California in 2000.

Mike Bull

Director of Policy, MNCEE (Center for Energy & Environment)

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Mike Bull

As Director for Policy and Communications for the Center for Energy and Environment, Mike Bull is responsible for development, evaluation and communication of effective clean energy solutions for CEE. Over the years, Mike has held a number of policy positions in Minnesota state government, including Senior Policy Advisor for Energy and the Environment for former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and later worked for Wind on the Wires, the Midwest regional partner for the American Wind Energy Association, and Xcel Energy, one of the nation’s largest combination electric and gas utilities.

Significant projects Mike has worked on since joining CEE include:

– Minneapolis Energy Pathways project, resulting in the formation of the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership, the first City-Utility clean energy partnership in the nation between Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy
– Designing a net-zero carbon emission strategy for the Destination Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, and
– Co-directing a nation-leading utility business model project known as the Minnesota e21 Initiative.

Mike earned a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School, and a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Nick Smith

Senior Product Manager, Alliant Energy

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Nick Smith

Nick Smith is the Senior Product Manager for Solutions Operations at Alliant Energy. Nick started with Alliant in 2007 and manages the Iowa distributed generation interconnection process, independent power producers, and negotiates Power Purchase Agreements. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and Finance from Mount Mercy University.

Nathan Shannon

Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

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Nathan Shannon

Nathan Shannon is the Deputy Director of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative. In this role, he is responsible for advancing a consumer-friendly, consumer-safe smart grid through research and education. SECC has grown to over 150 members and produced many pieces of foundational consumer focused research. Nathan is also responsible for member recruitment and engagement as well as presenting SECC research at conferences and providing thought-leadership on smart grid enabled technologies and programs. In his previous role as Director of Operations and Major Gifts Officer at Athens Land Trust he had a focus on policy and sustainability through his work with land conservation and carbon credits. He also gained extensive knowledge in the realm of non-profit development and capacity building. Nathan has a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Georgia and a background in financial management.

Naim Darghouth

Senior Scientific and Engineering Associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Naim Darghouth

Naïm is a researcher in Berkeley Lab’s Electricity Market and Policy group, and conducts research and analysis on renewable energy policy, including electricity rate design and its impact on the value of residential renewable energy systems, economics of renewable energy technologies, and federal and state energy policies, having authored over 40 peer-reviewed journal publications, LBL reports, and conference proceedings. Naïm has a PhD in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, and holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively, as well as a master’s degree in Energy and Resources at UC Berkeley.

Tammy Bramlett

Director, Business Development and Renewables, Tennessee Valley Authority

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Tammy Bramlett

Tammy Bramlett is the Director of TVA’s Business Development and Renewables group. She is responsible for guiding and shaping TVA’s renewable energy direction, mainly at the distributed generation level. She is also responsible for new business ventures and business development growth, adding value to the public power model. Over the 20yrs that Tammy has been with TVA, she has served as strategist, project manager, and in product manager roles associated with TVA’s commodity management, energy trading, industrial marketing, and energy efficiency functions.

Richard Benedict

Director, Project Development, Indianapolis Power & Light Co.

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Richard Benedict

Richard Benedict is the Director of Project Development at Indianapolis Power & Light Company, and has helped move the utility from a generation mix in 2007 dominated by coal and oil (86%), with no renewable energy, to a mix in 2018 where wind, solar and natural gas make up 55% of the portfolio. He developed the 20 MW Advancion® lithium-ion battery project in Indianapolis, which is the first such grid-scale system in MISO.

Richard’s work also helped position Indianapolis to be #4 in United States for solar photovoltaics per capita through a feed-in-tariff. In his career, Richard has developed 3.1 GW of power projects in the United States, Canada, Colombia, and Argentina.

Richard earned his bachelors at the University of Chicago and an MBA at Harvard. He is married with two adult children.