We bring regional industry experts to your desktop or smartphone through Grid Forward Chats, our podcast series, and Grid Forward Insights presentations on YouTube.
We work with our members, advisors and friends to bring you current expert insights on how to pursue grid modernization, no matter what challenges are facing our community. Check out:
In about half an hour, each Grid Forward Chats episode gives you candid insights, new observations and a feel for how a prominent industry leader thinks, feels and grapples with the fast evolving energy landscape. You can find Grid Forward Chats on on these top podcast app: Apple, Google, Spotify and Podbean. Or follow the link below to listen through your browser. Subscribe to Grid Forward Chats to be first to hear upcoming episodes.
The fourth season of Grid Forward Chats podcast series is under way, with Bryce and guest hosts chatting with industry thought leaders roughly twice each month. If you have questions or topics that you would like us to consider including in these upcoming conversations, please let David know.
If you would have a great idea for a topic or a person who should be on Grid Forward Chats, please contact Bryce.
What are the barriers to building transmission infrastructure? We know them well as planning, permitting, and paying. Rob Gramlich (founder and president of Grid Strategies LLC, executive director of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid and executive director of the WATT Coalition) joins the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Rich Glick to unpack the complexities behind these barriers and update our listeners to the rulemaking that is in process to overcome these barriers. They also discuss how the tension between landowners and stakeholder interests can be balanced to reasonably move transmission development forward. To meet clean energy goals, stakeholders and policy makers must keep their eyes focused on this important issue.
This special episode of Grid Forward Chats starts with a conversation with Katherine Blunt, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. Katherine recently published book California Burning which has been widely read and details PG&E in regard to the devastating California wildfires. Katherine and Bryce talk about lessons that grid stakeholders are learning as wildfires have increasing impact on energy systems, what the toolkit of mitigating wildfire risk looks like, and how utilities and various energy stakeholders can work together to address the increasing risks of wildfire relating to grid infrastructure.
In the second part of the episode Bryce talks with LiAnne Drissen with Trilogy Excursions one of the largest Lahaina companies and saw first hand the devastation from the recent Maui wildfires. LiAnne recounts the impact of the wildfires on her family, the company and the wider community. If you would be interested to join us in contributing toward the long road ahead for Lahaina recovery please consider donations to:
Henry Sanderson, Executive Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and author Volt Rush, wrote the book after he became aware of the scale of the resources needed for the clean energy transition. For the supply chain to provide the materials necessary for next-generation batteries, sourcing needs to be diversified to decrease risk. Geopolitical issues must also be considered when creating a stable supply chain for the future. Automations may alleviate some supply chain pressure and allow the cost of materials to remain affordable. Henry also discusses how government policies and investments impact the speed and support behind the clean energy transition.
Debra Smith, the General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light, interviews Mike Hummel after his recent retirement as general manager and CEO of Salt River Project. They reflect on how the industry has changed during his career and look ahead to the exciting advancements SRP will make to provide clean, reliable energy to its customers. Mike shares about his career including some of his proudest accomplishments, lessons learned along the journey, and keys to leading others well.
On this episode Grid Forward Advisor and guest host Ann McCabe, commissioner with the Illinois Commerce Commission, interviews Audrey Zibelman, former market operator in Australia, former regulator in NY, former investor at Google X, now an advisor to clean tech companies and organizations. They discuss how the industry can prepare the grid for future flexibility, while also protecting the interests of consumers. As higher levels of renewable energy sources are integrated into the power grid, the need for grid flexibility becomes more urgent. Consumers are showing that they will drive much of the clean energy transition, with or without government and utility incentives. Therefore, the grid must be ready for the transition as consumers decide to electrify their homes, vehicles and more. How can regulators and other key grid stakeholders keep up with the demands on the system? Listen in to learn more.
How do we modernize the grid when fast-moving technology innovation hits the seemingly glacial pace of change in regulated markets like energy? To explore that quandary we gathered the CEOs of an earlier stage, a growth stage and a later stage innovative grid solutions companies. Kaitlyn Albertoli of Buzz Solutions, Bill Burke of Virtual Peaker and Josh Wong of GE Digital. Listen in as they dive into market barriers, utility adoption cycle, culture of innovation, funding landscape and more. Can utilities break through the ‘death by pilot’ dilemma? Can promising solutions companies navigate complex approvals processes? How do solutions scale to meaningful commercial levels? We cover the key issues related to what it takes for game-changing solutions to come onto the electric grid.
In this edition we explore the role of small modular nuclears (SMRs) in the energy system by talking with two industry veterans. Clayton Scott is EVP at NuScale Power, the first SMR company to receive Nuclear Regulatory Commission design approval. Ben Porath is COO at Dairyland Power Cooperative, a Midwest co-op looking to deploy SMRs on its grid. The two discuss the promise of modular nuclear power, how these systems fit into a changing energy mix, cost, safety, grid resiliency, system flexibility and more. Will SMRs play a significant role on the grid in the next 10 years? Listen in to decide for yourself. This episode hosted by Virtual Peaker.
The Evergreen State has long pioneered efforts to advance the energy system. In this episode we talk with the U.S.’s longest standing governor, Jay Inslee of the state of Washington. Gov. Inslee is truly a leader on issues related to energy and the grid. We discuss the priorities for the state’s energy system, how the federal resources will impact the grid in the state, the role of state regulators, the importance of innovation, economic development opportunities and more. All of the efforts for the governor align to make sure states can do their part to progress climate action — progress he is confident we can achieve together.
To start season 4 of the Grid Forward Chats podcast, we sit down with Jon Creyts, the new CEO of RMI. He discusses how to ensure the energy system aligns to the requirements for the climate in light of roughly $110 billion a year coming into the system over the next five to ten years thanks to recent federal legislation combined with peak oil demand occurring in regions across the world. From virtual power and decarbonized heavy industry to hydrogen and transmission, listen in to this wide-ranging discussion on the key pillars of the energy transition in the near to mid-term. This transition requires various stakeholders row in the same direction, and Jon lays out his thoughts regarding the central role that the grid plays. For more resources on recent RMI efforts, check out:
Launch of VP3: https://vp3.io
Tracking overall energy investments: https://rmi.org/peaking-the-series/
The promise of green jobs: https://rmi.org/insight/realizing-the-green-jobs-promise/
The need for a more resilient power system in California, and locations across the country, is evident. In the recent past, wildfires, storms, extreme heat, and other threats have all wreaked havoc on the energy grid. Communities of the largest utility in America in Northern and Central California know this all too well. Patricia K. Poppe, Chief Executive Officer of PG&E Corporation, joined the podcast to discuss how Pacific Gas & Electric is working diligently to improve the resiliency of California’s grid and to serve their customers better. No magical solution exists that will address every issue, but with a combination of various improvements, and we cover a lot in this session, PG&E is aggressively working to leverage modern capabilities to manage their grid effectively. Grid Forward chats is supported by Itron visit Itron.com to learn more.
Success for the energy sector will not come overnight but through small, meaningful steps that move the industry forward in its goal of a sustainable future. Paula Gold-Williams and Jackie Flowers joined the show to discuss the challenges facing the electric industry as it seeks to evolve with the various dynamics that are currently in motion. With more visibility to the end state and less clarity on the path to get there, they discuss why innovation is critical and how a diverse workforce is needed who can think creatively, problem solve and embrace new solutions.
The landscape of energy is changing rapidly. Are the investments being made today enough to meet needs we put on our grid?
On this episode of “Grid Forward Chats,” Gary Rackliffe, VP market development and innovation at Hitachi Energy, and Sanjeet Sanghera, head of grids and utilities at BloombergNEF, discuss the need to invest dollars into the electric system today to prepare for future demand. They also talk about centralized versus distributed generation, policies and structures that may hinder investments, the electrification of transportation and the government’s role in expanding advanced grid capabilities.
This episode was recorded LIVE at DistribuTECH 2022 in Dallas.
Episode 14 – Creating the Grid We Need for Deep Decarbonization with Hunter Lovins (President, Natural Capitalism Solutions), Ralph Cavanagh of NRDC and Elliot Mainzer, CEO and president of the California ISO
Episode 13 – The Path to 100% Clean Energy at Xcel with Alice Jackson, President of Xcel Energy Colorado
Episode 12 – Opportunities for Transmission to Unlock Deeper Renewables with Lisa Grow, President and CEO of IDACORP, Inc. and Idaho Power
Episode 11 – How Do 2019 Plans Work in 2021 with Colorado PUC Chair Ackermann
Episode 10 – Energy Market Innovation with AEMO CEO Audrey Zibelman
Episode 9 – Ensuring Grid Resiliency Through Robust Applied Research with Carl Imhoff, leader of the Grid Modernization Lab
Episode 8 – Expanding Renewables and Grid Modernization at PacifiCorp with Stefan Bird, President and CEO, Pacific Power
Episode 7 – How to Build A More Effective Structure for Energy Ecosystems with Rich Sedano, CEO, Regulator Assistance Project
Episode 6 – Bringing Innovation to Life With Customer Needs at the Core with Maria Pope, CEO, Portland General Electric
Episode 5 – Making People Part of the Energy Solution at Uplight with Justin Segall, Chief Strategy Officer, Uplight
Episode 4 – Seattle City Light Adjusts Plans and Prioritizes Customers During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Debra Smith, CEO, Seattle City Light
Episode 3 – Putting Grid Modernization to the Test in Tacoma with Jackie Flowers, Director of Tacoma Public Utilities
Episode 2 – Regulatory and Business Model Toolkit in Dealing with COVID Impacts with Matthew McDonnell, Consulting Director at Strategen
Episode 1 – Modernizing Regulation in Hawaii for Renewables Through and Beyond the Pandemic with Hawaii PUC Commissioner Jennie Potter
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Watch our Grid Forward Insights videos in which you can hear from key people in our community about new data, trends and insights into grid modernization today. Please Subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you are first in line for new videos – and share it with others.
LADWP Load Impacts and Adjusted Forecasts from COVID-19 with Lous Ting, Director of Power Planning Development & Engineering at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Global Electric Load Impacts from COVID-19 with Mark McGranaghan, VP of Innovation at EPRI
Trends in Grid Venture Investing in the Midst of a Health and Economic Crisis with Cassie Bowe, Vice President of Energy Impact Partners.
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