Generac Grid Services, Holy Cross Energy and Hawaii PUC Commissioner Jennifer Potter are recognized for their industry-defining contributions to modernizing the electric grid during the past year.
June 10, 2022 (Portland, Ore.) – Grid Forward announced the winners of the 2022 Grid Innovator Awards during its Annual Member Meeting on June 7 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Generac Grid Services, Holy Cross Energy and Hawaii PUC Comm. Jennifer Potter were honored for their roles in helping to lead the electric utility industry forward in grid modernization across the western U.S., Hawaii and Alaska.
“Generac Grid Services, Holy Cross Energy and Commissioner Potter are truly on the front line of advancing our grid,” said Bryce Yonker, Grid Forward CEO and executive director. “We are proud to have them as our Grid Innovation Award winners this year and as representatives of the wider community. We thank them for the leadership they have shown and look forward to more exciting work they each have ahead.”
Grid Innovator Award Winner, Industry: Generac Grid Services
Generac Grid Services was formed primarily through the acquisition of Enbala Power Networks in October 2020. Their Concerto software platform is a vendor-agnostic, open solution for virtual power plants (VPP) and distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS). With their platform, power-generation and storage products that might otherwise sit idle are now able to be dispatched and orchestrated as part of a distributed energy solution, thereby generating value for the home or business owner while also delivering value to the energy grid. Through Generac’s accompanying acquisitions of ecobee, Pika Energy, Apricity, and Neurio, they are demonstrating how VPPs can be deployed both in turnkey and vendor-agnostic applications, meeting a diverse set of market/grid needs. Generac Grid Services has scaled and demonstrated the capabilities of diverse, mixed-asset VPPs in a wide array of contexts, from award-winning projects with Portland General Electric to solar + storage VPPs in Australia, and frequency restoration reserves with RWE in Germany.
“Generac Grid Services is thrilled and honored to receive this award from Grid Forward. Grid Forward has established itself as an influential and highly respected thought leader in the Smart Grid and DER space,” said Bud Vos, President, Generac Grid Services. “We would also like to thank our long-time customer, Portland General Electric, for nominating us for this award, as well as for their vision and industry leadership, and their commitment to building a sustainable ‘Grid of the Future.’”
Grid Innovator Award Winner, Industry: Holy Cross Energy
Holy Cross Energy (HCE), a not-for-profit electric cooperative serving more than 44,000 members and communities in Western Colorado, has consistently punched above its weight, demonstrating leadership across all areas of the power system. In 2020, HCE announced an ambitious new 100×30 goal to provide 100% carbon-free electricity to its members and communities by 2030. They have been at the forefront of decarbonization, with projects ranging from solar + storage installation at the community and customer level, innovative program designs and advanced grid capabilities. HCE has been particularly forward-looking in grid operation, where they have leaned into the Distribution System Operator model, demonstrating how the utility can be the facilitator of two-way power flows through cutting edge projects with the National Renewable Energy Lab and software startup Camus Energy.
“Holy Cross Energy is delighted to be named a 2022 Grid Innovation Award winner, and we thank Grid Forward for the recognition,” said President and CEO Bryan Hannegan. “As one of only six utilities in the country with a 100% clean energy goal by 2030, Holy Cross Energy recognizes that a smart, flexible electric grid is the key to decarbonizing our energy system and addressing the risks and impacts of climate change. That’s why we are investing in cutting edge technologies and practices for planning and operating a distribution system with high amounts of distributed energy resources, even as we foster uptake of those DERs – solar PV, energy storage, electric vehicles, smart appliances and more – by our member owners in a way that provides more reliable, affordable and resilient electric service. Through our participation in Grid Forward, we can learn from our fellow utilities and innovators who are heading in the same direction. We look forward to hosting you in Denver later this year. Thank you, Grid Forward!”
Grid Innovator Award Winner, Industry: Commissioner Jennifer Potter
Commissioner Jennifer Potter has already made an incredible contribution and continues to advance progress on decarbonization and grid modernization. Currently serving on the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, she has significantly contributed to how the industry thinks about critical issues like performance-based ratemaking, DER integration, distribution system planning, and advanced rate design. Commissioner Potter was previously a faculty member at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), where she conducted research on DER technologies, locational benefits of DERs, and energy efficiency. Prior to joining HNEI, Commissioner Potter was a Sr. Scientific Engineering Associate in the Electricity Market and Policy group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she was the project lead on the groundbreaking 2025 California Demand Response Potential Study for the California Public Utilities Commission.
“I am tremendously honored to receive the Grid Innovator Individual Award for 2022. To be recognized amongst so many innovative and outstanding individuals is a compliment of the highest degree,” said Commissioner Potter. “Over the last few years, I have dedicated my career to advancing the inclusion and integration of demand side resources into utility resource planning and utilization. I’ve helped to stand up programs that offer generous incentives for residential batteries coupled with PV to address capacity shortfalls and to implement Performance Incentive Mechanisms that reward the utilities to incorporate advanced grid technologies that will improve flexibility and visibility while addressing adequacy of supply. I am honored to work alongside so many brilliant minds at Grid Forward that help flesh out ideas and contribute to developing programs that address problems in real time. Thank you so much for this honor!”
Annual meeting also features DOE’s Patricia Hoffman
The winners of the awards were introduced at Grid Forward’s Annual Member Meeting on June 7, 2022. They were chosen from a short list of finalists:
- Industry finalists: Holy Cross Energy, Seattle City Light, SMUD
- Utility: AutoGrid, Generac Grid Services, Virtual Peaker
- Individual: Tanuj Deora, U.S. White House; Ralph Kappelhoff, former Amazon; Elliot Mainzer, California ISO; Jennifer Potter, HI PUC; Audrey Zibelman, Google X
The Annual Member meeting also covered member-driven association business as well as opening remarks by Patricia Hoffman, head of the new Office of Grid Infrastructure, U.S. Department of Energy. She discussed the objectives of the Office as well as the status of grid funding programs under consideration.
About Grid Forward
Grid Forward is a 501(c)(6) non-profit, member-driven trade association dedicated to promoting and accelerating innovation on the regional electric system. We deliver community, expertise and resources for leaders who are working to modernize the grid across the western U.S. and Canada. More information can be found at gridforward.org.