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2020 SEPA Power Players Award Winners

INDIVIDUAL POWER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes an individual who, while working in the energy industry, has demonstrated leadership and innovation to significantly advance an integrative perspective of clean energy, DER, grid modernization and its value as a resource to help meet the needs of their electricity consumers.

Jeff Guldner
Chairman of the Board and CEO, Arizona Public Service
Since his appointment as President in December 2018, Jeff Guldner has launched Arizona Public Service (APS) in a new direction, announcing a Clean Energy Commitment to deliver 100 percent clean, carbon-free and affordable electricity to their customers by 2050. This goal includes a nearer-term 2030 target of 65 percent clean energy, with 45 percent of the portfolio coming from renewable energy. Jeff has also made strategic organizational and leadership changes that align the company’s operations to support a future focused on customers, clean energy and economic development.

 

UTILITY OF THE YEAR

INVESTOR-OWNED

This IOU demonstrates industry leadership through unique innovation in an effort to significantly advance clean energy, DERs, grid modernization and its value as a resource to help meet the needs of their electricity consumers.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
As part of San Diego Gas & Electric’s “Power Your Drive” program, SDG&E has installed more than 3,000 EV chargers at over 250 locations including multi-unit dwellings and workplaces. They are one of the first utilities in the nation to deploy chargers to this scale and couple them with an hourly dynamic grid integrated rate: the VGI Rate. This innovative rate allows drivers to flex their charging needs and pay about 25% cheaper rates than SDG&E’s residential average while minimizing grid impacts for EV charging.

 

PUBLIC POWER

This Public Power Utility demonstrates industry leadership through unique innovation in an effort to significantly advance clean energy, DERs, grid modernization and its value as a resource to help meet the needs of their electricity consumers.

Alectra Utilities
Alectra Utilities is the largest municipally-owned distribution company in Canada, and the second largest in North America. Alectra has several active pilot projects underway, including AlectraDrive and GridExchange, that aim to accelerate emerging, clean, and customer-friendly energy solutions. Alectra’s POWER.HOUSE™ pilot used a group of homes as a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) to evaluate the economic and grid benefits that residential solar storage can contribute to electricity customers and the electricity system in Ontario. In 2019, Alectra expanded the project and developed the Power.House Hybrid demonstration project to evaluate the potential to create net-zero energy emissions communities by integrating a hybrid set of electrical and thermal equipment into a VPP platform.

 

ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

This Electric Cooperative demonstrates industry leadership through unique innovation in an effort to significantly advance clean energy, DERs, grid modernization and its value as a resource to help meet the needs of their electricity consumers.

Holy Cross Energy (HCE)
In 2018 the HCE Board adopted the Seventy70Thirty Plan, which established resource planning goals for the utility to attain 70% renewable supply by 2030. HCE is taking strong steps towards achieving these goals, including signing Power Purchase Agreements with a 100MW wind resource and with a 30MW solar resource in 2019. HCE provides industry-leading, successful support for its members’ installation of on-site renewable resources and energy storage. Their contributions to the utility industry also feature the Basalt Vista Project, a demonstration of distributed resource hierarchical control methods, including microgrid capabilities.

 

UTILITY BUSINESS MODELS POWER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes organizations, project teams and/or individuals who have demonstrated unique innovation and leadership in efforts to create new utility business models that advance the adoption of clean energy resources and help to achieve carbon reduction and clean energy goals.

Southern Company
Southern Company’s first-of-its-kind Smart Neighborhood® Initiative is a real-world R&D project designed to help inform how energy could be produced, delivered and consumed in the future. In Smart Neighborhoods designed and developed by Southern Company and its project partners, homeowners agree to allow data collection on power usage and environmental information from their homes which, along with data from the DERs, will provide researchers valuable operational experience as the company continues to evaluate microgrids, residential battery storage and rooftop solar. Data collected from the HVAC systems, heat pump water heaters and other technologies will help inform new programs and services that will better meet customer needs. The state-of-the-art homes and latest technologies benefit customers through improved comfort and convenience as well as lower operating costs. Additionally, Southern Company’s renewable energy subscription programs and grid investment plan demonstrate their commitment to building the future of energy.

 

REGULATORY INNOVATION POWER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes organizations, project teams and/or individuals who have demonstrated unique innovation and leadership in efforts to evolve state regulatory structures and processes in order to accelerate the adoption of clean energy resources and technologies at scale.

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission
Often serving as an industry leader on electricity reforms, the Hawaii PUC has stewarded the state’s energy transition by managing policy investigations and reviewing new utility programs and planning processes, while simultaneously tending to its core responsibilities for utility rate cases and oversight of other industries. By looking at both performance and revenue adjustment mechanisms, Hawaii’s updated PBR framework is expected to drive transformation throughout the state’s electricity system. With PBR complemented by integrated grid planning and innovative DER policies, the Hawaii PUC is pushing a portfolio of reforms to more effectively integrate and holistically value clean and distributed energy.

 

GRID INTEGRATION POWER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes organizations, project teams and/or individuals who have demonstrated unique innovation and leadership in efforts to integrate clean energy and distributed energy resources (DERs) into the grid to help achieve carbon reduction and clean energy goals, and meet the needs of their electricity consumers.

Heron’s Nest Microgrid
The Heron’s Nest Environmental Village neighborhood microgrid is an eco-friendly and sustainable residential community microgrid. A collaboration between Brunswick Electric, the local distribution cooperative, and its G&T, NCEMC, the project utilizes many energy-efficient and DERs including a 62 kW community solar array, a 255 kWh battery energy storage system and home DER components such as smart thermostats, water heater controllers, and 3 kW residential solar panels. The community solar and battery storage resources will be managed by an onsite microgrid controller that will be used to island the neighborhood from the distribution system during a loss of power to the site and deploy resources as a demand response asset while grid connected.

 

TRANSPORTATION ELECTRIFICATION POWER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes organizations, project teams and/or individuals who have demonstrated unique innovation and leadership in efforts to advance transportation electrification in the electric utility domain, especially Vehicle Grid Integration (VGI) efforts.

Dr. Karim Farhat
Director of Mobility Solutions, ENGIE Impact
Over the past several years, Karim has launched, led, and supported several initiatives focused on advancing Vehicle Grid Integration (VGI) in California and beyond. Karim was a driving force behind the California Vehicle Grid Integration Working Group (VGIWG), the impact and achievements of which will reach far beyond the state of California, setting the stage for a national approach to framing and articulating VGI opportunities, policies, and solutions. Karim’s efforts also extend beyond VGIWG, actively helping to shape strategy in the VGI Roadmap (led by the California Energy Commission), the DER Roadmap (led by the California Energy Commission), and Senate Bill 676 “Transportation electrification: electric vehicles: grid integration” (California Legislature).

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