Brad C. Jones
President & Cheif Executive Officer
New York Independent System Operator
Bradley C. Jones became President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) on October 12, 2015. He is a distinguished energy industry executive with 29 years of wide-ranging experience, including grid operations, power plant operations, generation development, project finance, wholesale and retail market design, and regulatory and legislative affairs.
Prior to joining the NYISO, Mr. Jones had been with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) since 2013, where he was a Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for Operations, Grid Planning, and Commercial Operations. He had previously served as VP for Commercial Operations at the ERCOT.
Before joining ERCOT, Mr. Jones was VP for Government Affairs at Luminant, the competitive generation subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings. Prior to that, Mr. Jones worked at TXU Corporation where he began as a Plant Engineer and rose through the organization to become VP for Generation Development.
Mr. Jones earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University at Lubbock and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a licensed Professional Engineer.
Opening Session Speaker
President and Chief Executive Officer
Bill Magness became ERCOT’s president and chief executive officer in January 2016, after more than five years as ERCOT’s general counsel.
Mr. Magness has been in the utility business for 25 years, working with electric and telecommunications companies nationwide. He held executive management positions in the public and private sectors, and served as lead counsel in regulatory cases before utility commissions in 16 states. Early in his career, Mr. Magness served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Mr. Magness grew up in Orange, Texas, received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is the father of two daughters.
Electric Power Engineers, Inc.
Hala N. Ballouz is the President and owner of Electric Power Engineers, with multiple offices in the U.S. and internationally. She is also founding partner and Director of the International Institute of Geotechnics and Materials.
Miss Ballouz has over 20 years’ experience in integration of energy resources in transmission and distribution networks all across North America. She is an expert in transmission system analysis, substation and distribution system design, resource and grid feasibility studies, energy storage, renewable energy, as well as distribution system planning and operations. Recently she is very active on utility sector reform to open the barriers to facilitate market readiness for distributed energy resource integration, as well as the study and introduction of new models for T&D expansion. An industry leader in renewable energy integration, Ms. Ballouz currently serves as international consultant in this capacity in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Africa and Middle East.Before practicing professional engineering consulting, she earned her Bachelor of Science (1989) and Master of Science (1991) degrees in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. An Aggie at heart, Ms. Ballouz learned to also love the City of Austin where she resides and currently is the proud owner of the old Backyard concert venue which hosted Willie Nelson and other legendary bands throughout the 1990’s.
Fred C. Beach, PhD
Associate Director for Energy Technology & Policy
Dr. Beach is the Associate Director for Energy & Technology Policy at the Energy Institute. He is responsible for supervising and conducting research and studies related to the interplay between the development of Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, and Technology Policy. Dr. Beach also teaches Energy Technology Policy and International Energy Policy in the Cockrell School of Engineering and McCombs Business School.
Prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Beach served for twenty-five years in the United States Navy where he was a qualified Submariner, Naval Aviator, Surface Warfare Officer, and Acquisition Professional. Since retiring in 2003 he has also served as a consultant on defense-related topics for the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, MITRE, Naval Research Advisory Committee, Naval Research Laboratory, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Defense Science Board.
Dr. Beach holds a Ph.D. from the LBJ School of Public Policy, University of Texas at Austin an M.S. in Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He is also a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University and Certified Level III DoD Acquisition Professional and Program Manager.
Executive Vice President and Director
Mark Begert serves as Executive Vice President and Director of Meridian Solar responsible for operations, corporate strategy, and financing. Mark joined the company to develop the business strategy and to help execute Meridian Solar’s shift from a residential and commercial solar installer to a leading Engineering, Procurement, and Construction company focusing exclusively on solar in the commercial, public and utility-scale market segments. Mark led the financing of approximately $5 million in growth equity for the Company.
Previously, Mark served as Chief Financial Officer of Linktone Ltd., a leading wireless technology developer based in Shanghai, China successfully leading the company in its private financing activities, strategy decisions, major acquisitions and to its $86 million Nasdaq initial public offering in March 2004. Prior to that, Mark was a Vice President in the fixed income capital markets group of Merrill Lynch in New York, London and Tokyo. Mark also serves as advisor and seed investor to several young companies in China and the United States.
William O. Bojorquez, P.E.
unt Power, L.P.
William (Bill) Bojorquez joined Hunt Power in 2008 and has over twenty five years of leadership responsibility in electric transmission engineering, planning and operations with senior management roles at Southern California Edison, Cal-ISO, ERCOT and Hunt. Bill is recognized as an expert in multiple areas of electric system planning and reliability, competitive electric market operations, resource adequacy and the efficient integration of renewable technologies in Texas and North America. He is currently responsible for directing long and short range transmission planning and development activities, evaluating new techniques and preparing implementation plans for project deployment for Hunt throughout North America. Bill represents Hunt and Sharyland Utilities at regional ISOs/RTOs, government and regulatory bodies.
Prior to joining Hunt, Bill served as ERCOT’s Vice President of System Planning and was responsible for the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) definition and transmission optimization studies approved by the PUCT in 2008. While at ERCOT, Bill represented the US RTO segment at the NERC Board and served as the Chairman of the NERC Reliability Assessment Subcommittee.
Prior to joining the ERCOT staff, Bill worked at the California ISO as Director of Market Operations. Bill began his career at Southern California Edison in various positions in System Operations and Transmission Planning. Bill earned his Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering and Masters in Business Administration from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is also a certified Professional Engineer and a Senior IEEE member.
Patricia Sherman Bruce
Senior Counsel, Energy & Natural Resources
Patricia has years of experience working in commercial real estate transactions. Her substantial background in real estate includes title, survey and due diligence review; title insurance coverage, rules and procedures; and property development, with an emphasis in contract drafting and negotiations. Additionally, she is knowledgeable about drafting easements, restrictions, joint use agreements and other documents related to the development, acquisition, construction, operation and disposition of commercial property, including subdivision developments and retail centers. A member of the firm's Energy & Natural Resources team, she is experienced in working on development projects from beginning to end, representing lenders and borrowers, preparing and negotiating loan documents, and representing developers in the development of commercial projects. Patricia has drafted easements for development of land, and has worked with energy companies to amend easements areas; obtain consents to encroach; and enter into agreements related to driveways and streets crossing gas pipelines. Prior to joining Husch Blackwell, Patricia practiced at DuBois, Bryant and Campbell and held executive positions and served as in-house counsel to the LandPlan Development Corp., Republic Title of Texas and Fidelity National Title.
Sandia SWiFT Testing Coordinator
Sandia National Labs
Josh is a mechanical engineer with a BS from UCF, spending seven years of his career in the wind industry focused on technology development. He led the Vestas effort to convert the V27 turbines into a research platform for the Department of Energy’s Scaled WInd Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility. Josh also has a background using numerical solving methods in simulation and modeling for the design of wind turbines. His current work for SWiFT is the Testing Coordinator, planning and executing research at the facility.
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Eric Cotney has nearly 10 years experience in the energy industry and has previously held positions at Schneider Electric and Gridpoint. Eric has been leading commercial business development at Axium Solar since 2010 and is responsible for some of Axium Solar’s largest projects to date.
Eric has experience developing solar PV projects in many market segments including utilities, state and local governments, federal government and corporations. His experience and knowledge of PV applications covers everything from large scale ground mount systems to parking canopies to rooftop systems.
Eric travels throughout the State of Texas and beyond speaking to members of the design community and other industry related organizations about theproper design and application of solar PV.
Eric is a LEED AP, has received a certificate from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners in PV Technical Sales and holds a Solar Executive MBA Certification through the Heatspring Learning Institute. Eric has a BA from Midwestern State University and an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
J. Calvin Crowder
President, South Central Region
Calvin Crowder brings 25 years of electric utility industry experience, including expertise developing long-term expansion and regulatory and legislative approval plans as well as strong relationships with RTO officials and state and federal regulators.
Previously, Mr. Crowder served in roles of increasing responsibility at American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., serving nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. Most recently, Mr. Crowder served as Executive Director, Electric Transmission Texas, LLC (ETT) for AEP and President of ETT, where he led the establishment of AEP’s first transmission joint venture and its growth to $3 billion in assets. Mr. Crowder also led negotiations on a $4.9 billion ERCOT CREZ transmission expansion plan, securing a $1.5 billion investment for ETT. During his tenure at AEP, Mr. Crowder also led the RTO and Public Policy team, which was responsible for the development and advocacy of policy positions across an 11-state AEP footprint.
Prior to AEP, Mr. Crowder held a variety of executive and policy leadership roles at Central and South West Corporation (CSW), including Director, Restructuring Support Team and Director, Regulatory Services. During his time at CSW, Mr. Crowder played a critical role in helping to integrate CSW following its $14 billion merger with AEP, including working closely with management to develop and execute regulatory policies and plans for corporate restructuring. Mr. Crowder began his career in the electric utility industry at Central Power and Light Company in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he served as a regulatory analyst.
Mr. Crowder earned his B.A. in Economics and his M.A. in Regulatory Economics from New Mexico State University.
Alliance for Retail Markets
Steve J. Davis graduated with Highest Honors from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications in 1979. He attended the University of Texas School of Law and graduated with Honors in 1983.
After graduation from law school, he joined the Office of Attorney General of Texas as an Assistant Attorney General in the Public Utility Section of the Energy Division until 1987. Steve represented the Public Utility Commission of Texas (“Commission”) in federal and state court during his tenure there. In his last two years at the Attorney General’s Office, he served as Section Chief.
After leaving the Office of Attorney General, Steve served as a regulatory attorney for a telecommunications utility for a two-year period. In 1989, he joined the Hearings Division of the Commission as an administrative law judge. After the restructuring of the Commission in 1995, he served as Deputy Chief and then Chief of the agency’s Office of Policy Development. He also served as an Assistant Executor Director for the agency from 1998 to 2000.
After an eleven-year tenure at the Commission, Steve started his own legal and consulting practice in 2000, representing clients in both the telecommunications and electric industries. In 2002, he began representing the Alliance for Retail Markets (ARM), an incorporated coalition of retail electric providers, in Commission rulemaking and contested case proceedings. Today, he serves as president of the organization and represents ARM before the Commission and the Texas Legislature.
Aurora Clean Energy Partners
Nisha is the managing director of Aurora Clean Energy Partners, a provider of growth strategy, business development, and project development services in renewable energy and clean technology. Previously, Nisha served as the Vice President, Distributed Generation for NRG Energy. In that position, she led a team of project development and engineering professionals to identify and create resilient and sustainable on-site energy solutions for commercial, industrial and institutional clients. Prior to NRG, Nisha had a number of leadership roles in the energy and water industries, with a significant focus on business model and technology innovation. Her development expertise included solar power, water infrastructure, energy storage, CHP, and fuel cell projects. Nisha has also served several years as a management consultant with Booz & Company’s energy practice, and she has held finance and business development roles with Enron and Mobil. She holds an economics degree from Yale and and MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was an American Association of University Women Selected Professions Fellow.
Founder & President
Texas Energy Aggregation
T.J. Ermoian is the founder, owner and president of Texas Energy Aggregation. He has served as a pioneer and innovator in Texas deregulation since 2002 and today operates one of the largest privately-owned energy aggregator/broker/consultant companies in Texas. His focus has remained on serving clients to simplify decisions regarding electricity choices, while working to promote ethical standards in the industry. He has served in various board positions with the Texas Energy Professionals Association (TEPA) and is a member of the National Solutions Council with the Rocky Mountain Institute, focused on sustainability. Texas Energy is also a member of the Texas Energy Manager’s Assn. (TEMA), Texas Rural Education Assn. (TREA), and the Texas Renewable Energy Industry Assn. (TREIA) and the Old Farmers’ Institute (EIEIO).
Texas Energy Aggregation was voted #1 by the top 30 TEPA energy providers in the nation for innovation, contract negotiation, customer service and ethics, and in a separate independent study, is ranked in the top 3 consultants nationally for overall satisfaction.
Texas Energy currently serve over 100 public schools, colleges, cities, and State of Texas clients using interlocal agreements with TIPS, the Region One Texas Energy Center, and State of Texas Council on Competitive Government. In 2015, Texas Energy netted the lowest contracted energy rate for any public entity for the Texas Dept. of Transportation, and it was accomplished using 100% renewable sources. T.J. was instrumental in the growth of the world’s largest solar energy company during the 1980s.
Head of Project Management
Bradley Feuge is the Head of Project Manager for KACO new energy, Americas with responsibility for all utility projects in the Americas with over nineteen years of Project & Program Management experience.
Before joining KACO new energy, Bradley was a Project Manager for JPMorgan Chase responsible for ATM installations throughout the United States, a Program Manager for Consert Inc. managing the implementation of the CPS Energy Home Manager system in residential customer’s homes, and responsible for operations management at Universal Hospital Services managing facilities in San Antonio, Austin and McAllen, Texas.
Prior to this Bradley was on active duty in the United States Coast Guard for over 20 years with assignments as the Electronics & IT Division Chief aboard the USCGC DALLAS, Executive Officer of LORAN Station Dana, as the Electronics Material Officer & Communications Officer aboard USCGC OAK, along with numerous other assignments prior to his retirement as a Chief Electronics Technician.
Senior Project Manager
Kevin Fok, Senior Project Manager, leads the LG Chem project management and execution in North America for electric grid energy storage systems. He is responsible for end-to-end project management, which includes onsite project execution, installation, commissioning, field deployment, and ongoing deployment support.
He has over 20 years of sales, business development, marketing, engineering, and project management experience in renewable and alternative energy, including lithium-ion batteries, solar photovoltaics (PV), nickel-metal hydride batteries, fuel cells, and hydrogen storage. His customers have included the military, state governments, systems integrators, and utilities.
Mr. Fok has presented at numerous conferences and moderated and served on several conference panels. Mr. Fok is a co-inventor of 13 U.S. patents.
He has Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees, both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
CFGO, Manager of Resource Planning and Integration for Georgetown Utility Systems
City of Georgetown
Currently the Manager of Resource Planning and Integration for the City of Georgetown, and has served in the capacity since 2008, with a primary role of managing the City’s Municipally Owned Utility power supply. Previous work includes managing payroll for the Health and human Services Commission, fixing computer equipment for CVS and Walgreens, and running his own tech repair company. Chris is a graduate of Georgetown High School, holding a bachelor’s in Economics/Finance from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Texas State. Chris is also a Certified Government Finance Officer through the Government Finance Officers Association. Chris is best known for orchestrating the successful transition of Georgetown’s power supply from a single provider that was over 90% fossil fuel based, to being 100% wind and solar powered by 2017. Outside of energy Chris acts as the City’s economist and lead contract negotiator including water rights, garbage contracts, technological systems, development agreements, etc.
Ran Fu, CFA
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Ran Fu is a Senior Analyst and is leading the system cost modeling efforts at NREL. He focuses on the techno-economic analysis of solar PV, solar + storage, and clean energy manufacturing financial analysis. His work has been widely cited by influential parties such as IEEE, Bloomberg, GTM, SEIA and Public Utilities Commission. Prior to NREL, he worked as a Project Engineer at Array Technologies, Inc. and had extensive knowledge in development of commercial and utility-scale solar PV projects: developed more than 600 MW solar projects worldwide in U.S., China, Canada, Spain and Chile.
NRG Business Solutions
Mr. Harkness leads a national team concentrating on the development and acquisition of combined heat and power and microgrid assets. During his 8 year tenure and NRG, he has also held positions in NRG's retail electricity companies in both portfolio management and strategy. Prior to NRG, Mr. Harkness developed diesel and natural gas power plants for Aggreko International Power Projects, completing projects in the Caribbean, West Africa and Asia. He holds degrees from Queen's University, The University of British Columbia and Cornell University.
Mark Harral, JD
Chief Executive Officer
Mark Harral’s introduction to renewable energy was negotiating a wind lease with BP to deploy thirty-four 2.5MW wind turbines in Pecos County, Texas. Subsequently, Texas Tech University employed Mr. Harral to develop an organizational structure for a testing and certification site at a former Air Force base – the Reese Technology Center in Lubbock, Texas. The organizational structure was implemented by Texas Tech to create The National Institute for Renewable Energy with a for-profit wholly owned subsidiary known as Group NIRE. This structure enabled Alstom Power Inc. to deploy a 1.67MW Eco 86 wind turbine at the Reese Technology Center. The testing and certification site has continued to expand to include a 1MW/hr Utility-Scale Battery, Gamesa’s G114 2MW Prototype, as well as the DOE-SNL Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility initiative. Mr. Harral oversaw project development, construction and management activities for the majority of the site. Mr. Harral has developed a commercial 80MW wind farm and negotiated the sale of the asset to a leading owner/operator of wind farms in the United States. Since May 2013, Mr. Harral has served as the CEO of Group NIRE. He also serves as an expert witness in wind energy litigation cases. To date, Mr. Harral has testified in arbitration cases concerning warranty disputes between manufacturers and owners with over $90M in disputes. Mr. Harral graduated from Texas Tech School of Law with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence after receiving a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Texas Solar Power Association
Charlie Hemmeline is the Executive Director of the Texas Solar Power Association. A native Texan, he returned to Austin after more than 8 years with the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, DC leading innovative programs for solar and energy efficiency. Serving originally under President George W. Bush and later President Obama, Charlie led wide-ranging efforts to break down the barriers to mainstream solar and reduce the soft costs of implementation. Charlie holds a master’s degree in Public Service & Administration and a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from Texas A&M University.
Raina is currently a partner and the General Manager of Caprock Renewables, a renewable energy start-up focused on developing mid-market solar projects for C&I customers in Texas. Raina has worked closely with the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance (TREIA) over the past year through a rebrand and helped organize TREIA’s annual conference in November 2015. For the past 10 years, Raina was the co-owner of Cielo Wind Power and has been involved in every aspect of wind energy development.
Michael Kleinberg, PhD
Senior Consultant, Distributed Energy Resources Group
Michael Kleinberg, PhD, is a Senior Consultant in the Distributed Energy Resources group at DNV GL. His work focuses on energy storage and smart grid analytics, procurement, and testing. Michael has assisted California utilities developing and assessing their recent energy storage request for offers (RFOs) and has led development of DNV GL’s energy storage cost-effectiveness model, ES-Grid. In 2013, Michael led DNV GL’s efforts for the CPUC to assess the cost-effectiveness of distribution connected energy storage in support of the CA AB2514. He has led multiple technical due diligence efforts to support investments in both large-scale and distributed energy storage projects being developed across the US. Michael has experience with laboratory and field testing of energy storage systems including performance and abuse testing. Michael received his M.S and PhD. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University in 2007 and 2015, respectively.
Lloyd was born and raised in Texas and has lived in the Central Texas area since 1992. Lloyd worked in construction during college, which spurred his interest in building. After graduating with a degree in Industrial Technology from Southwest Texas University, Lloyd worked in the high tech industry and gained an appreciation for using new technologies to solve old problems. His passion for building and interests in technology led him to pursue an active role in sustainable construction and renewable energy system integrations. As the Native CEO since 2008, Lloyd cultivates a culture of empowering team members to excel within their individual talents. Lloyd is very proud of his team and considers Native’s long term viability to be a direct result of the passion and hard work each person brings on a daily basis.
Senior Manager of Product Development
Rick manages a product portfolio that includes energy efficiency, demand response, distributed solar, electric vehicles and rate and billing options. He has 20 years of experience in the electric utility industry in account management, rate design, and economic development. Rick joined CPS Energy in 2005. Prior to CPS Energy, Rick worked at TXU Energy and the Brownsville Public Utilities Board. He holds a B.A. in economics from Columbia University.
Thomas McAndrew founded Enchanted Rock in 2006. Mr. McAndrew brings over 30 years of experience in energy asset management ranging from large, complex nuclear plants to small distributed generation.
Mr. McAndrew’s introduction to energy was in engineering and operations on two US Navy nuclear power surface ships, the USS Eisenhower and USS South Carolina. He spent six years operating and maintaining nuclear propulsion plants and qualified as a Naval Nuclear Chief Engineer for the Nimitz Class aircraft carrier. After his time in the US Navy, McAndrew worked as a maintenance support engineer for the Southern Company at their Plant Farley nuclear power station. His grounding in reliability systems came from this time in the nuclear business, where the cost of loss of electricity to critical loads is extremely high. He then shifted to the financial side of energy, helping several energy merchants build highly profitable trade floors. At his last merchant energy company, Calpine, Mr. McAndrew also supervised the commercial startup of many new natural gas combined cycle power plants.
He founded Enchanted Rock in 2006, focusing on technologies at or close the point of final electric consumption that increase reliability, decrease cost and decrease carbon footprint.
Mr. McAndrew received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M, Masters Equivalent in Nuclear Power Operations from the US Navy and Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Neil F. McAndrews
Enterprise Risk Consulting
Mr. McAndrews has over 30 years of experience in the energy industry. He was a founder and later Chief Operating Officer of one of the first integrated risk management programs for an electric utility in the US. This program was innovative because it applied risk management controls and techniques to both financial and physical market risks. Risk metrics included financial derivative performance, physical supply uncertainty and risk reporting and control. Later he assisted in establishing enterprise wide energy risk management and power trading programs at utilities in several NERC regions, working with both executive staff and boards of directors. He has extensive energy risk management experience with some of the largest wholesale power transactions in Texas and in PJM over the last five years. He has conducted risk management training at the Texas Public Power Association and the American Power Association membership seminars, and is the author of numerous technical papers and economic and financing studies related to the subject of risk management in power markets.
Mr. McAndrews holds a BS in Geology from the University of Iowa and a MA in Energy and Mineral Resources from the University of Texas.
Project Development Manager
EDF Renewable Energy
Melissa Miller, Project Development Manager at EDF-RE, has over 13 years of experience developing Texas renewables. As former President of Miller Wind + Renewables and Vice President of Texas Development for Cielo Wind Power, Ms. Miller has diverse experience in large-scale commercial wind project development, including the operational 161MW Brazos Wind Project, 78MW Golden Spread Panhandle Wind Ranch, 161MW Spinning Spur Wind Ranch, and the 161MW Spinning Spur Two Wind Ranch and the development of the 200MW Unity Wind Project.
Through Miller Wind + Renewables, Ms. Miller consulted in the areas of tax abatement and real estate negotiation for a number of renewable energy developers and developed large-scale wind and solar projects for landowners in Texas. As a longtime advocate for Texas economic and energy initiatives, Melissa currently serves as a TREIA's board President. She is also the former Executive Director for the Austin Independent Business Alliance.
Director of Grid Solutions
S&C Electric Company
Troy Miller is the Director of Grid Solutions at the S&C Electric Company. He has over 25 years of experience in the Power Engineering industry. Mr. Miller has lengthy experience in the application and implementation of all aspects of power electronics and power quality. Mr. Miller is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Energy Storage Association (ESA), and a member of the board at the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (NAATBatt). Mr. Miller is a speaker at industry events around the world covering market trends and economic benefit analysis. He has published numerous papers and articles in technical journals and media outlets. He currently has global responsibility for the Grid Solutions market segment at S&C Electric, which includes Energy Storage, VAR compensation and microgrids.
Peter Muhoro, PhD
Director of Energy Research and Strategies
Pedernales Electric Cooperative
Dr. Peter Muhoro is the Director of Energy Research and Strategies at Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), the largest electric distribution cooperative in the United States. Peter works to strategize on the implementation of cutting-edge, cost-saving technologies such as energy storage, demand response, advanced lighting, and micro-grids, to mention a few. His role oversees initiatives that help the cooperative advance in technology while keeping rates affordable for the members.
Prior to PEC, peter served as an Advisor at the Cooperative Research Network (CRN), the technology research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Peter worked with the whole CRN research portfolio providing both technical and project management support. His specific areas of research were in Renewables, Power Generation, and Environmental Issues. His goals were to find innovative ways to advance technology in power generation while keeping rates low and addressing environmental issues.
Peter is an entrepreneur at heart. He has launched two small businesses, a consulting firm focused on addressing bottom of the pyramid issues and poverty reduction through the access of electricity and serves on the board of directors of two not-for-profit organizations and several committees. He is a sought after speaker both on the national and international arena.
Peter holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics with an emphasis in energy policy from the University of Michigan.
Murvat M. Musa
Reese Technology Center
After serving as the Deputy Executive Director of the Reese Technology Center; a technology, education, and energy research facility located in Lubbock, Texas, Murvat Musa was appointed as its Executive Director on July 1, 2016.
Murvat’s prior position was as city manager for the City of Ransom Canyon, Texas. She is originally from the Washington D.C. area and has over 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. Murvat’s background and work experience includes executive management positions in such industries as defense, mortgage banking, and public administration.
Murvat has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from George Mason University, and Master of Public Administration from Texas Tech University, she is also a Certified Public Manager.
H. Christine Richards
H. Christine Richards is a researcher whose expertise includes the use of advanced technologies in the energy, water and transportation. Christine is currently the research director for Zpryme, based in Austin, Texas, and adjunct faculty with the University of Denver. Prior to these roles Christine worked at Energy Central as research director for the Utility Analytics Institute, and editor-in-chief of Intelligent Utility magazine. She also served as the lead analyst for the intelligent grid practice at IDC Energy Insights. Ms. Richards received her master’s degree from Cornell University and a bachelor of science from Colorado State University.
Associate Vice President, Strategic Renewables
Renewable Choice Energy
Hans Royal helps lead the Strategic Renewables division at Renewable Choice Energy, which helps the largest institutions and corporations in the world transition to renewable energy, with a goal of saving money while reducing environmental impact. Hans has particular expertise with large-scale corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) and has a background in origination, marketing, wind & solar M&A, and project development. Hans has held various leadership positions in the renewable energy industry, most recently at Akuo Energy USA where he successfully originated, negotiated, and signed several long-term wind PPAs with the largest brands in the world. Hans holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Double Major, a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Millikin University in Illinois, and a BBA in International Business from Ecole supérieure de Gestion in Paris, France.
Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT)
David B. Smithson is an engineering specialist at the Public Utility Commission of Texas. With a background in telecommunications where he held senior management positions at C3 Communications, ChoiceCom and Alpheus Communications and held a series of management positions at American Electric Power and Central and South West Services. He has a B.S. Degree from the State University of New York.
Vice President of Power Supply and Energy Service
Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC)
Ingmar Sterzing is currently serving as Vice President of Power Supply and Energy Services for Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) in Johnson City, Texas. At PEC, Ingmar is responsible for management of the Cooperative’s power supply, developing and maintaining competitive rate plans and pricing options, energy project development, regulatory affairs, and suppling members with beneficial energy programs and services.
Ingmar came to PEC from LS Power, a leading U.S. power and transmission development and private equity firm. Sterzing has also held positions at Westinghouse Electric Company, General Electric and the Lower Colorado River Authority. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Ingmar is a 6th generation Austin Texan living with his wife Deborah and two boys Deven and Wyatt.
Zachary Taylor, PE
Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc (GVEC)
Zachary Taylor, PE serves as a System Engineer at Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. (GVEC). Prior to joining GVEC, he served as Manager of Engineering at South Plains Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SPEC). While at SPEC, he was the project manager for the 2009 ARRA SGIG deployment (EPC of Substation P&C Devices & SCADA Equipment & AMI Meter Deployment). He conducted coordination studies & system planning developing multi-year work plans. He also served as project manager/engineer for multiple member-owned distributed generation (Wind/Solar) installations including GroupNIRE at the Reese Technology Center. Zach also served as a Project Engineer providing P&C engineering consulting services for multiple clients (electric cooperatives & municipalities) in the state of Texas. Zach graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas.
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Office of the Senior Vice President of Research
Texas Tech University
Thomasson serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research (OSVPR) at Texas Tech University. In his university role, Russell works with faculty, industry and governmental decision makers in pursuit of major research and development opportunities in collaboration with GLEAMM, Group NIRE, National Labs, federally funded facilities and regional economic development corporations.
In addition to his role at the university, Thomasson serves as President and Board Chairman of GLEAMM-Global Laboratory for Energy Asset Management and Marketing, a Texas nonprofit corporation and controlling shareholder in Group NIRE, a for-profit energy field testing and commercial development company. GLEAMM is focused on advancing technologies and services for modernizing the electricity grid infrastructure and business model. GLEAMM is supported by the largest public-private research and development award in the history of Texas Tech University.
Prior to joining the OSVPR, Thomasson served as Associate Vice President of Research Commercialization. Thomasson also served as Chief of Staff to Kent Hance, former Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, where he oversaw, among other responsibilities, the research and development strategy for the entire university system.
Mission Solar Energy
Trevor Charles Udwin is Product Manager at Mission Solar Energy, a solar cell and module manufacturing company and subsidiary of OCI Enterprises. With 8 years of experience working at the intersection of clean technology investment and deployment, Trevor provides valuable understanding of solar technology, specifically with respect to quality, reliability, and industry standardization of products. Trevor earned Masters degrees in Energy and Earth Resources at the Jackson School of Geosciences and Public Affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Bachelors degrees in International Relations and Spanish language from American University.
Ron Van Dell
President & CEO
Over 30 years in semiconductors, electronics, power, communications, computing, industrial control, electrical distribution and clean tech. CEO of SolarBridge (SunPower), Primarion (Infineon), Legerity (AMD spin off). General Manager for Dell Computer’s Dimension Line of Business. VP-GM of the Communication Products Business at Harris Semiconductor (Intersil). Executive positions for Schneider, Square D Company and General Electric. Local Solar Advisory Committee, Austin City Council. NSF Center for Next Gen PV, University of Texas.
Ryan Wartena, PhD
Co-Founder and President
Growing Energy Labs, Inc (Geli)
Ryan co-founded Geli with the mission to design and deploy the world’s renewable energy network. As President and Director of Product, he guides Geli’s Vision and Products toward advancing energy storage and Internet of Energy business models. Prior professional experience includes working as a battery startup CTO, providing diligence services to VCs, consulting for international battery companies, and integrating energy storage systems into the grid. Prior technology experience includes visualization of computational chemistry, developing solid state batteries, micro-batteries, and self-assembled batteries. Ryan holds degrees in Chemical Engineering from UC San Diego and Georgia Tech, where he earned his Ph.D. in 2001. He completed his postdoctoral research at the Naval Research Lab (2003) and MIT (2007).
Senior Analyst, Market Design and Development
Paul Wattles is Senior Analyst in the Market Design and Development group at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Independent System Operator for 90% of Texas electric load. The Market Design team leads initiatives for long-term market enhancements such as enabling demand response participation in the Real-Time Energy Market, developing and implementing Fast Response Regulation Service, redesigning the Ancillary Services markets to meet the needs of the grid of the future, and developing a market framework for Distributed Energy Resources. Paul has been with ERCOT since May 2004. He has over 15 years of electric industry experience with an emphasis on wholesale markets, advanced metering, demand response, and governmental affairs. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson with a degree in Journalism.
Robert J. White
The AES Corporation
Bob White is a Project Director with The AES Corporation. In this position he is responsible for developing electrical generation projects suing varied technologies including thermal projects, renewable energy projects and energy storage projects. Bob focuses on developing projects in the eastern and southern United States including the following markets: NEISO, NYISO, eastern PJM, SERC, parts of MISO, ERCOT and SPP. His responsibilities include leading all aspects of development from early stage project identification through to financing the project. Bob joined AES in 1998 as a Project Manager working on the development of power plants including natural gas projects, coal projects, biomass projects and hydro projects. In 2002 Bob joined AES’ newly formed Performance Group as a Project Director with responsibility to work with AES’ generation plants around the globe to improve the plant’s technical and managerial performance. In 2004 Bob was one of the first to join AES’ Wind Group and focused on developing wind energy projects through 2009 when he resumed developing all types of generation projects.
Prior to joining AES, Bob worked for Ogden Energy in operations. Over his 8 years at Ogden, Bob was responsible for the performance of several waste-to-energy plants. Before entering the power industry in 1990, Bob was a partner in a recruiting firm, held general management and financial management positions in a manufacturing company and worked in public accounting in Philadelphia. Bob has a BS in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University and is a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania.
Senior Consultant in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Steve Wiese has been a leader in Texas’ distributed solar, wind energy, and energy efficiency sectors for nearly 20 years. He pioneered development of, and has made major contributions to, the continued success of most of the state’s utility-sponsored solar incentive programs, played key roles in enabling solar leasing and commercial PACE financing in Texas, and achieved a unanimous recommendation to substantially boost local solar goals as Chairman of Austin’s Local Solar Advisory Committee in 2012. Steve has been an active contributor to both TXSES and TREIA, having recently served as TREIA’s President for 3 years. Steve currently works as a Senior Consultant in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at Frontier Associates, where he leads and contributes to diverse projects related to distributed solar energy, energy efficiency, demand response, behavioral approaches to conservation and load shifting, and energy market and policy development. Prior to joining Frontier, Steve was a Founder and Principal at Clean Energy Associates, and worked at Conservation Services Group, Planergy, and the Congressional Research Service.
Deputy Director, Policy & Electric Markets
Christine leads SolarCity’s government and regulatory affairs efforts in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Before joining the policy team, she worked at the Public Utility Commission of Texas, where she was responsible for developing and implementing policies for retail and wholesale competitive markets. At the commission she led staff teams on numerous rulemaking projects, provided expert testimony and negotiated settlements among interveners in contested cases. She was the primary author of reports to the legislature on demand response and smart grid in 2006, 2008, and 2010. Previously, Ms. Wright’s was employed by Energy Strategies, LLC., where she consulted on energy procurement, contract negotiation, demand-side management and external affairs. She supported clients’ energy market activities throughout the West, including several competitive bid processes for clients to acquire their natural gas and power requirements. She also managed the Utah Association of Energy Users (UAE), a trade association comprised of the state's largest energy users before the Utah legislature and regulatory agencies.
Vice President of Sustainable Solutions
Maura Yates is the Vice President of Sustainable Solutions for MP2 Energy where she is responsible for solar retail and generation solutions. Prior to joining MP2 Energy 2 ½ years ago, Ms. Yates oversaw government affairs for the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions for SunEdison and developing DG and utility-scale solar solutions for Arizona Public Service. Maura also spent time with Robert Kennedy’s environmental organization, Riverkeeper, prior to joining Standard Renewable Energy, a DG and energy efficiency provider previously based out of Houston during the mid-to-late 2000s. She was named one of the ‘Top 50 Smart Grid Pioneers of 2015’ by SmartGrid Today magazine.
Anna Thomas Young, PhD
Research Assistant Faculty & Associate Managing Director, National Wind Institute
Texas Tech University