Celebrating Innovation and Leadership: The 2024 SEPA Power Player Awards | SEPA Skip to content

Celebrating Innovation and Leadership: The 2024 SEPA Power Player Awards

In a world where the pursuit of clean energy solutions has never been more urgent, recognizing and celebrating excellence along the way becomes paramount. It is for this reason that SEPA hosted the 2024 Power Player Awards last month, in conjunction with the Energy Evolution Summit in Coronado, California.

Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving energy landscape, the recipients of this year’s Power Player Awards stand as beacons of innovation, leadership, and collaboration. From enhancing grid resilience to advancing transportation electrification and pushing the boundaries of energy storage technology, each winner exemplifies the spirit of progress and the unwavering commitment to a cleaner, carbon-free future.

With the assistance of internal and external energy leaders, SEPA thoroughly evaluated over 120 nominations from utilities, corporations, regulators, policymakers, and other energy stakeholders from around the globe. This wide array of stakeholders emphasizes the collaborative effort required to address the challenges and opportunities in our industry.

Photo curtesy of Cali Griebel Photography

Senior Director of Resilience, Jared Leader, echoed the sentiment shared by many at SEPA when he shared, “If I could, I would award all of the people and organizations nominated, as their contributions are truly deserving of recognition” at the ceremony. The task of selecting a single winner for each category presented a delightful challenge, highlighting the abundance of excellence within our community.

SEPA selected six award winners and 17 finalists across six categories, and proudly honored the winning organizations at the Power Player Awards ceremony for their exceptional achievements in driving actionable solutions across SEPA’s focus areas: Resilience, Transportation, Energy Storage, Emerging Technology, Policy, and Energy Equity.

After a long day of addressing shared challenges and learning from one another during the Energy Evolution Summit, the Power Player Awards ceremony was what everyone needed to turn their learnings into a newfound hope.

The gratitude and thoughtfulness from the winners reminded us all of something very important: there are people, human beings, behind every organization, every program, that are passionately and diligently affecting change. Every person accepting an award on behalf of their organization had a long list of colleagues and collaborators to thank for making their initiatives possible. It became clear for all: we cannot do this work alone.

SEPA President & CEO, Sheri Givens, expressed, “Beyond the impressive technologies and initiatives, it is the passion and devotion of the individuals and teams behind these projects that truly inspire us. Their unwavering commitment to driving positive change serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder of the transformative power of collective action.”

Winners span across many organizations types, size, and regions, serving as examples for the entire industry. The scalability, replicability and innovation of these projects and initiatives can help entities across the energy landscape reach their carbon-free goals.

Photo curtesy of Cali Griebel Photography

Among the distinguished winners that made it through rounds of evaluation is Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s largest investor-owned utility, recognized for its groundbreaking initiatives in grid resilience. Through programs like Lift the Cap, Zero Outages, and Resilient Neighborhood, Green Mountain Power is not only keeping communities connected during severe weather but also addressing the impacts of climate change with foresight and ingenuity.

In the realm of transportation electrification, the Electrifying School Buses in the Bronx project shines as a guiding light of innovation and inclusivity. Led by NYC School Bus Umbrella Services (NYCSBUS) and partner Mobility House, this initiative highlights the transformative potential of electric school buses, laying the groundwork for nationwide adoption and a cleaner, healthier future for children.

Energy storage, a cornerstone of the transition to renewable energy, sees remarkable advancements with the Desert Blume long-duration energy storage pilot in Arizona. Through a partnership between Salt River Project and CMBlu Energy, this project promises to revolutionize energy storage with its non-flammable, recyclable SolidFlow™ battery technology, setting new standards for efficiency and sustainability.

The advent of emerging technologies brings new possibilities for grid modernization and operational efficiency. Sensewaves‘ Adaptix.Grid, in collaboration with AEP Texas, harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to enhance grid reliability and integrate distributed energy resources seamlessly, paving the way for a more resilient and adaptive electric grid.

In the realm of policy advocacy, Edison International and Southern California Edison emerge as champions of progress, driving forward the Countdown to 2045 initiative in California. By advocating for ambitious clean energy goals and spearheading legislative action, they are leading the charge towards a net-zero future, setting a precedent for other states to follow.

Highlighting the vital importance of energy equity, we proudly honor the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) as the recipient of the Equity Power Player of the Year Award for its steadfast dedication to inclusivity and equity. By prioritizing the needs of underserved communities and fostering a diverse, inclusive workforce, SMUD is not only building a more sustainable energy future but also creating opportunities for all to thrive.

As we celebrate the remarkable achievements of these Power Player Award winners, let us be inspired by their vision, dedication, and persistence to driving positive change. Together, we have the power to shape a future where clean, renewable energy is not just a possibility but a reality for all. Congratulations to all the winners, finalists, and nominees for their outstanding contributions to a brighter, more sustainable tomorrow.

To learn more about our Power Player Award nominees, finalists and winners, check out our interactive map here.