Improving Resilience Through Microgrids & Battery Storage
The utilization of microgrids plus battery storage is seen increasingly by public and private organizations as the wave of the future to help ensure energy reliability and security in the age of extreme weather events and cybersecurity threats. Our partner is Resilient Virginia, which works to accelerate resiliency planning in Virginia communities.
This event, which will take place at the Edison Electric Institute, will feature speakers and topics such as:
- technology that supports the utility/microgrid interface
- tools for developers to assess microgrid viability based on existing infrastructure and regulations
- how local governments in the DMV region are working with private companies to make microgrid development financially feasible
- how regional installations are including microgrids as part of their energy security systems
Meet leaders that are considering and implementing microgrid or battery storage in the Washington DC region and nationally.
Topics and Speakers:
Panel 1: National Perspectives
Moderator: Janine Finnell, Executive Director, Leaders in Energy
- Dr. John Caldwell, Ph.D., Director of Economics, Edison Electric Institute, who heads its Microgrid Task Force, will discuss the utility/microgrid interface. The EEI Microgrid Task Force was formed to support the industry’s advocacy effort for policies that support utility involvement in the construction, owning, and operating of microgrids. The group is also engaged in the exploration of business models and rate designs that enable the effective ownership and operation of these facilities.who heads its microgrid task force will discuss the utility/microgrid interface.
- J. E. “Jack” Surash, P.E., Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Energy & Sustainability, will highlight Army microgrid projects in the US and region.
- Robert B. Hughes, Executive Director, Air Force Office of Energy Assurance (OEA) will introduce the audience to OEA and its mission; provide the Air Force perspective on resiliency and the role of microgrids; discuss the types of Air Force microgrid projects OEA looks to develop (currently evaluating concepts for advancement); and current Air Force resilience projects (within the region and nation).
- Dan Ton, Program Manager, Smart Grid R&D, US Department of Energy, will present an overview of national research and development initiatives. The US DOE recently awarded $32 million in research funds for ”resilient distribution systems”, including $12 million for two microgrid projects.
Panel 2: Regional/Market Perspectives
Moderator: Annette Osso, Managing Director, Resilient Virginia
- Michael Yambrach, Capital Projects Manager, Montgomery County, will provide a regional example of innovation in the use of microgrids to increase resiliency in critical facilities, and in the development of “Microgrids-as-a-Service,” which is a public-private partnership approach to costs, construction. and management of systems.
- Bracken Hendricks, CEO and Founder, Urban Ingenuity, LLC., leads the implementation of the company’s vision: to finance and develop advanced energy infrastructure projects that speed the clean energy future. UI served as the lead energy development partner in the design of a state-of-the-art district energy system and advanced microgrid at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
- Brendan Owens, Chief of Engineering, US Green Building Council, will highlight Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER), the first certification system for sustainable power systems such as microgrids. PEER has been utilized locally to help assess feasibility of a microgrid project at Gallaudet University.
See further speaker information below.
General – $30 ($25 early bird through 10/12)
Job seekers and students – $20 ($15 early bird through 10/12); $35 for walk-ins.
Admission includes program, pizza, and beverages.
Sponsorship/Exhibitor Information: If your organization would like to sponsor and/or exhibit at our event, please call/text John Gaffigan at 703-283-6100. Kindly provide your email for a prompt reply. You can also email to email@example.com. Sponsorship information is available here.
John Caldwell, Ph.D., is Director of Economics at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). At EEI, Caldwell is addressing the growing role of microgrids in the evolving electricity system and how these can best be utilized. Since the onset of the Great Recession and the current recovery, much of his principal focus has been on identifying the short- and long-term impacts of the recent economic recession on the electricity industry, including demand growth and demographic changes in electricity consumption patterns, and exploring potential longer-term industry transformations, such as the modernization of the electrical grid. Recently, he has been working with industry consultants and colleagues at EEI in the development of new recommended regulatory policies and business models that will better enable investor-owned utilities to contend with the many imminent and potentially significant changes facing the electricity industry.
He has worked in the electric and gas utility industry for over twenty-five years, first at the Illinois Power Company (now part of Ameren) as a planning engineer, and then at NiSource, where he was involved in the development of long-term forecast models for energy use and peak demand, the introduction of innovative alternative rate designs, and the design and implementation of financial hedging strategies and risk management systems to support these products. Caldwell holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, an MBA from the University of Illinois at Springfield, an M.S. in mathematics from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Bracken Hendricks, CEO and founder, Urban Ingenuity (UI). UI served as the lead energy development partner in the design of a state-of-the-art district energy system and advanced microgrid at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. UI worked to optimize a series of Combined Cooling, Heating, and Power (CCHP) – or Tri-Gen energy centers, integrated with extensive solar photovoltaic, district heating and cooling, and energy efficiency investments. Hendricks leads the implementation of Urban Ingenuity’s vision: to finance and develop advanced energy infrastructure projects that speed the clean energy future. He has designed programs that deploy energy efficiency, renewables, and distributed energy within the built environment, working in the private sector and with federal, state and local governments.
Hendricks was a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress, working on policy solutions at the interface of clean energy and economic development. He has served as an advisor to former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation on issues of job creation, energy innovation, and resilient urban development, and he helped establish the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge as well as clean energy portions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He was a founding Executive Director of the Apollo Alliance for good jobs and energy independence. Hendricks holds a Master’s degree in public policy and urban planning from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Robert B. Hughes is Executive Director, Air Force Office of Energy Assurance (OEA), Washington, D.C. As OEA executive director, he leads the implementation of projects that increase energy assurance using more resilient, cost-effective, and cleaner solutions – ultimately supporting mission-ready installations. OEA serves as the central management office dedicated to providing a comprehensive, enterprise-wide approach to energy projects to include development and execution of strategic energy assurance initiatives. Prior to his assignment with OEA, Mr. Hughes served as the Director of the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron, 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. As director, he oversaw the plans, programs, designs, construction, operation and maintenance of 600 base facilities.
He has held various engineering positions during the course of his career both in and outside of the Air Force. Specifically, he served as a Design Engineer for the 82nd and 12th Civil Engineer Squadrons, the Military Construction and Operations & Maintenance Program Manager for the Air Force Materiel Command and the Air Education & Training Command, Senior Consultant with KPMG LLP/BearingPoint, Inc., and Housing Privatization Program Manager for Air Mobility Command. Hughes has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA in Finance, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX.
Brendan Owens is Chief of Engineer at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED Fellow, P.E. SVP. Owens oversees strategic development and integration of rating systems at USGBC, such as the Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER). PEER is the first certification system for sustainable power systems and the PEER Assessment Tool produces a foundation of project operation costs and how to optimize system design and operation such as for microgrids. In this role, Brendan collaborates with teams developing tools that transform the way we design, build and operate the built environment. He led the effort to establish the system goals for LEED v4 and is building on this work as the foundation to integrate other programs USGBC collaborates on.
Owens is a board member of the New Buildings Institute and is deputy director of the center for cycling technology at USGBC. Additionally, Brendan volunteers as a board member of the foundation USGBC is partnering with to build the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center in Port au Prince, Haiti. Brendan is proud to serve as an advisor to the Honor’s College at his alma mater Purdue University. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer and a LEED Fellow.
J. E. “Jack” Surash, P.E., became the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Energy & Sustainability in September 2016. In this position, he is responsible for overall program direction, establishment of policies, development and refinement of strategies, and oversight for implementation of all programs and initiatives related to Energy Security and Sustainability within the Army. As the Army’s Senior Energy Executive, Surash coordinates and integrates both installation (traditional as well as expeditionary) and operational energy programs and strategies. He comes to the Pentagon from duties as the Senior Project Management Advisor at the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM). Prior to that, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Project Management. Surash joined the Department of Energy as a member of the Senior Executive Service in 2005 as Director, Office of Infrastructure and Facilities Management at the National Nuclear Security Administration. He was also the Business Development Manager for Johnson Controls Inc., a Fortune 100 company, and Chief Business Officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the 4th largest K-12 public school district in the U.S., where he was responsible for facilities planning, design and construction, maintenance, food service, and school bus transportation.
Surash holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester and a Master of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in energy management, from Texas A&M University. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business and the Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership Program at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Surash is a registered professional engineer.
Dan Ton is Program Manager for Smart Grid R&D within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. He is responsible for developing and implementing a multi-year R&D program plan for next-generation smart grid technologies, including microgrids, to transform the electric grid in the United States, through public/private partnerships.
Ton has served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Power Systems Engineering Division within the DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. In that capacity, he was responsible for managing the development of projects for “next generation” electricity delivery technologies and supporting activities to accelerate their introduction to the marketplace. Key activities in the Power Systems Engineering Division focus on smart grid research and development, energy storage, and cybersecurity for energy delivery systems, all in support of the OE’s mission to drive electric grid modernization and resiliency. Previously, Ton managed the Renewable Systems Integration program within the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Program. Ton holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Business Management, both from the University of Maryland.
Michael Yambrach is the Capital Projects Manager, Energy and Sustainability, at Montgomery County and will discuss “Microgrids as a Service.” Yambrach is responsible for implementing and managing programs and projects initiated by the Energy and Sustainability group. He is currently developing 2 microgrid projects on critical facilities, and over 11 MW of solar projects on County buildings. He has over 26 years in the energy industry, managing both supply and demand programs. Yambrach had previously managed the District of Columbia’s energy program, along with development responsibilities at Enron and Johnson Controls. He has worked in both the public and private sectors and is experienced in developing new revenue streams and reducing operating costs. Yambrach has an MBA from Loyola University in Chicago.
Yambrach has over 26 years in the energy industry, managing both supply and demand programs. Yambrach had previously managed the District of Columbia’s energy program, along with development responsibilities at Enron and Johnson Controls. He has worked in both the public and private sectors and is experienced in developing new revenue streams and reducing operating costs. Yambrach has an MBA from Loyola University in Chicago.