How Utilities Are Leveraging Storage & Microgrids

Microgrid Global Innovation Forum - N. America, March 10-11, 2020 in Chicago, to examine latest microgrid technology advances and deployments.

How Utilities Are Leveraging Storage & Microgrids
Chicago, IL, February 12, 2020 --( Utilities are looking to the future: both investor-owned and municipal utilities are exploring the role that energy storage and microgrid projects will play in their portfolios. Key deployments and initiatives are beginning to help map a course forward for utilities across North America.

To further this trend, a special utility perspectives panel led by NextEnergy at the Microgrid Global Innovation Forum – North America next month will focus on the activities of three leading energy providers in the microgrid space. The case studies will provide deep-dive insight into lessons learned to date by major utilities, with an eye toward key takeaways for future strategy development.

Speakers on the panel are:

· Tracy West, Director, Research & Development, Southern Company
· Andre Gouin, Business Technology Consultant, Xcel Energy
· Brandie Ekren, Executive Director, Strategic Planning & Development, Lansing Board of Water & Light (LBWL)
· Nathalie Osborn, LEED A.P., Director, Smart Grid Initiatives, NextEnergy

Southern Company will share lessons learned from their Birmingham Smart Neighborhoods ® Initiative which incorporates a community-scale microgrid, rooftop solar, battery storage, energy efficiency and smart home technologies. Xcel Energy will provide an overview of their Peña Station NEXT connected community powered by a microgrid, renewables and enhanced mobility solutions. Finally, Lansing Board of Water will provide the municipal utility perspective on how they are investing in community solar and energy storage projects.

The panel session just is one of several at this year’s MGIF – North America, March 10-11 in Chicago. The annual conference brings together key thought leaders, utilities, energy providers, and other stakeholders to examine the latest developments and lessons learned in the North America microgrid sector.

“As in previous years, this is a tremendous opportunity to interact directly with companies at the cutting-edge of microgrid deployment,” says Daniel Coran, Editor of Smart Grid Observer and program manager for the forum. “Top industry experts will be speaking who are pushing the envelope in terms of leveraging microgrids for grid resiliency, service flexibility, and DER integration.”

The conference zeros in on refining the value proposition and business case for microgrids in North America, integration with the larger grid, and case studies of grid-tied and off-grid projects and pilots to date. Special sessions on Day 2 will focus on the closely related topic of next-gen Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) and their emerging role in orchestrating and integrating distributed renewable energy resources into the energy mix.

Additional speakers at this year’s MGIF-North America include:

· Ross Malme, Partner, Skipping Stone
· Desmond Wheatley, CEO and Chairman, Envision Solar
· Lee Krevat, CEO, Krevat Energy Innovations
· Alden Hathaway, Senior Vice President, Sterling Energy Assets
· Mark Bailey, Chief Commercial Officer, Connected Energy
· Dr. Mohammad Shahidehpour, Distinguished Bodine Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology
· Dean Moretton, President, Adaptive Microgrids
· Michal Oprzadek, Senior Vice President, AlphaStruxure
· Richard Hoskins, Managing Director, Carlyle Group Infrastructure Fund
· Bob Wengel, Senior Vice President, Facilities, Shedd Aquarium
· Mark Feasel, Vice President-Electric Utility Segment and Smart Grid, Schneider Electric
· Phillipe Bouchard, Senior Vice President, Eos Energy Storage
· Stéphane Velut, Industry Director, Energy and Power, Modelon
· Matthew Willis, Vice President, Business Development, Concentric Power
· Nathan Adams, Director, Technology and Busienss Development, Microgrid and Energy Storage Group, ABB
· Larisa Dobriansky, Chief Business & Regulatory Innovations Officer, General Microgrids
· Michael J. Zimmer, Washington Counsel, Microgrid Institute
· Michael T. Burr, Executive Director, Microgrid Institute
· Peter H. Asmus, Associate Director, Utilities & Energy, Navigant Research
· Rahul Kar, Vice President, Industry Solutions, AutoGrid
· Allan Schurr, Chief Commercial Officer, Enchanted Rock
· Patrick Lee, President & Co-Inventor, PXiSE Energy Solutions
· Dr. Ashkan Rahimi-Kian, Founder and CEO, I-EMS Group Ltd.
· Jason Yedinak, Manager, Power Engineering, Doosan GridTech
· Dr. Mehdi Ganji, Smart City R&D Committee, Chair, IEEE; and Vice President, Willdan Energy Solutions
· Williams J. Agate, Jr., Vice President - Microgrid Services, Ameresco

Additional topics to be addressed include:

· How microgrids are transforming business
· Innovations in large-scale implementation EV charging and EV energy storage infrastructure
· Intelligent microgrid case studies: key lessons learned to date
· Microgrids as a strategy for grid resiliency and outage management
· Implementation strategies and business models for C&I energy users
· DERMs and VPPs for future smart grids
· The value of microgrids at the grid edge
· Changing the "Rules Of The Road" to capture microgrid value
· VPP international case studies & lessons for North America
· And more

“North America is a key market for microgrid growth,” Coran notes. “Attendees will hear directly from industry practitioners who have real world lessons to share and who will be discussing success strategies in this market going forward.”

The Forum will be held at the Chicago Conference Center, 205 W. Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago. Previous versions of the Forum have been held in Irvine, California; Barcelona, Lisbon, Pasadena, London, and Washington D.C. A Southeast Asia edition will be held next month, on April 22-23 in Bangkok.

West Monroe Partners is Gold Sponsor of the Chicago forum. Silver sponsors are Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) and Modelon.

For full information and to register for the conference, visit Attendees who enter the special discount code SGO20 when registering will receive 20% off the standard rates.

For further information, contact Daniel R. Coran, Editor, Smart Grid Observer at
+1-815-310-3343 or
Smart Grid Observer
Daniel Coran