SEPA Power Players 2019 Finalists | SEPA Skip to content

SEPA Power Players 2019 Finalists


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. The individual’s ‘body of work’ can span a longer period of time, but should include activity and accomplishments during the 2018 calendar year.

Sue Kelly
CEO, American Public Power Association
During her tenure, Ms. Kelly showed leadership through APPA’s Public Power Forward campaign. The campaign was part of the 3-year strategic plan to position public power utilities to thrive in a world with new energy technologies, business models, and consumer preferences.

Ron Nichols
President, SCE – Southern California Edison
As president of Southern California Edison (SCE), Ronald O. Nichols (Ron) has been a tireless champion and industry leader for clean energy and the policies and technologies that are needed to transform the clean energy economy for the benefit of consumers, distributed energy resource (DER) providers and the grid.

Bryan Garcia
President & CEO – Connecticut Green Bank
As CEO and President of the Connecticut Green Bank, Bryan Garcia recognized that low to moderate income households were being left behind and were not benefiting from the growing green energy economy. With the Board’s support, the ‘Solar for All’ partnership with the private company, PosiGen was created to address this issue.



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

PPL Electric Utilities
PPL intends to be ready for the electric utility future through the creation of the next generation of advanced DMS functionalities through its Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS). This system dynamically manages DER connected to PPL’s grid to optimize power quality, while encouraging the adoption of DER like solar. The DERMS enables PPL to host more interconnected DER because it leverages these resources to counteract some of the negative impacts that DER can have in high penetrations (such as causing high line voltage or over-operation of capacitor banks).

Xcel Energy
In December of 2018, Xcel Energy was the first IOU to commit to going completely carbon-free by 2050, and 80 percent carbon-free by 2030.

Southern California Edison
Southern California Edison (SCE) developed the first-ever, comprehensive Greenhouse Gas (GHG) performance-based incentive program called the Clean Energy Optimization Pilot (CEOP). This pilot will focus on behind-the-meter strategies that reduce GHG emissions and have a significant impact on California and its vast number of communities.


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

CPS Energy
2018 saw significant milestones in CPS Energy’s goals including the Energy and Battery Storage Project with Southwest Research Institute. One of the first steps on the Flexible Path is the partnership with world-renowned and San Antonio based Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and RES Americas, a renewable energy infrastructure developer. This $16.3 million ground-breaking project will create a 5 megawatt (MW) solar power facility with a 10 MW battery storage system.

Tennessee Valley Authority
TVA’s Draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) provides direction on how TVA can best deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy in the Valley over the next 20 years, and the associated Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) looks at the natural, cultural and socioeconomic impacts associated with the IRP.

SMUD has displayed excellence in the expansion of their Marketplace reach beyond industry norms. They’ve utilized their Marketplace to provide energy-efficient products to low-income communities at free or reduced prices and have expanded their rebate offerings to include partnerships with multiple water utilities to deliver rebates on smart sprinkler systems for consumers. A consumer can purchase a smart sprinkler and apply the water rebate from their local water utility on the SMUD Energy Store.


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

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) began integrating DERs into its grid in 2008. In July 2016, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative ended its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission (TSGT)Cooperative and began working with Guzman Energy (GE) as its energy supplier. This strategic business decision set the stage to integrate DERs into the grid, set audacious goals, and become a national leader among cooperatives. KCEC made the commitment in 2017 to reach the goal of 100% daytime solar by 2022.

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
Throughout 2018, SMECO continued to advance several initiatives to promote clean energy, evolve their grid, reduce costs, and increase the satisfaction of over 160,000 individuals. Through these efforts, SMECO has been able to reduce distribution rates (saving customer-members $10 million per year), reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 46,364 metric tons (equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from 5,552 homes’ energy use for one year), and provide customer-members leading-edge opportunities to manage and reduce energy use in their homes.

Kaua’i Island Electric Cooperative
In order to improve system stability and continue weaning the island off imported fuel, KIUC is significantly ramping up efforts to integrate solar energy into the system by pairing it with large amounts of energy storage. Following on the heels of KIUC’s successful utility-scale solar + storage project in 2017 (the first in the United States), KIUC has built on this success in 2018 with even larger projects. KIUC members are now powering their homes with solar energy after dark.


A non-utility partner that has partnered with at least one utility in 2018, for a product or service that has significantly advanced clean energy, DER, grid modernization and its value as a resource to help meet the needs of the electricity consumer.

EnergyHub & Arizona Public Service (APS)
In 2018, utilizing EnergyHub’s services and platform, APS launched Cool Rewards and began operating smart thermostats to strategically lower peak demand during summer demand response (DR) events. The program is designed with pre-cooling in the mix, to provide customers with greater comfort during DR events and to shift load outside of the peak window, to the time of day when solar energy is abundant on our system.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association/Americas Electric Cooperatives and the Network Partners
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, NRECA just completed the Solar Utility
Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) project – a collaboration between NRECA, seventeen electric cooperatives and several network partners to develop models and resources for co-ops interested in developing solar energy and distributed energy resources.

World Resources Institute (WRI)
The World Resources Institute (WRI) launched the Special Clean Power Council for Customers & Utilities (CPC) in 2017 – a two-year initiative comprised of six leading U.S. utilities and eight commercial customers jointly committed to the deployment of low-carbon energy supply through innovative utility sector solutions.


Dynamic and prominent groups or individuals that are imagining and inspiring how the electric industry envisions the future of clean energy. This can include products, programs, plans, or white papers that are not yet implemented but have promising potential to change the energy world view.

Illinois Commerce Commission
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has helped guide the state’s energy transformation through its leadership of NextGrid: Illinois’ Utility of the Future Study, and through its approval and implementation of initiatives that promote a clean energy economy and innovation in the utility industry to benefit all customers.

In March 2018, the City of Tenino and TSD signed a Memorandum of Understanding appointing PECI as the project manager. PECI’s team conducted an energy inventory for renewable and smart grid hosting capacity in Tenino and analyzed electrical meter data for the community to assess which projects would be most beneficial. PECI moved early stakeholders toward coalescing around a vision, strategies, objectives, and a work plan for the project.

Pepco Holdings, Inc.
Pepco and Delmarva Power are leading the Maryland utilities into the future by creating a bridge between energy efficiency and demand response programs. The Maryland PHI Energy Efficiency (EE) Team has coordinated with the Demand Response (DR) Team to leverage smart thermostats installed in their territory. The Companies now offer customers the opportunity to simultaneously enroll in a new energy efficiency program, Thermostat Optimization Program (TOP), and participate in its demand response program, Energy Wise RewardsTM, through Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) participation option.


An individual or group of catalyst(s) for transformation; whether through developing standards, business development, regulation, or research. This individual or group should have significantly impacted the future of clean energy.

E3, Tampa Electric Company, and First Solar
First Solar, Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), and Tampa Electric Company (TECO) collaborated on a study which explored the economics of dispatching solar in a flexible manner at high penetration. The study showed that integrating utility-scale solar at high penetration levels into a grid operator’s dispatch stack would allow the operator to both commit fewer thermal units and operate the remaining committed thermal units more efficiently, leading to measurable cost savings for the overall system.

Bryan Hannegan, CEO, Holy Cross Energy
From working with his board to introduce the Seventy70Thirty – new energy goal set for 70% clean energy by 2030, to initiatives to electrify transportation, Bryan has shown leadership in
transforming the utility business model by engaging the member consumers to help meet those goals.

Powerley is the first Home Energy Management platform on the market bridging the smart grid to the smart home to create a unified, real-time home and energy solution that benefits both the utility and consumers, with their smart home energy management solution providing energy savings of 10+%.