Meet the Candidates

Meet the Candidates - What is your vision for the energy storage industry?

Julie Blunden Kenneth Boyce Javier Cavada
Jacqueline DeRosa Kiran Kumaraswamy Benjamin Lowe
Kate McKeever Peter Muhoro Polly Shaw
Julie Blunden
Executive Vice President of Business Development

The energy storage sector has turned the corner and become a critical element of new resource planning both at the central station and distributed scale. ESA’s strategic plan anticipates our organization representing the full range of storage activity in both electricity markets and the rapidly transforming transportation markets. Storage is the enabling resource for optimization of conventional power plants, much higher levels of renewable penetration for central station and distributed, resilience purposes not contemplated a decade ago, and most recently, the transportation sector. ESA is poised to seize the opportunity to become the glue between power industry stakeholders as well as transportation industry stakeholders. The intersection of power and transportation is now evident for companies like EVgo as we integrate storage into our fast charging network, the largest public fast charging network in the US currently serving customers in 34 states. ESA can be a leader accelerating both decarbonization of the power and transportation sectors.

Kenneth Boyce
Principal Engineer Director, Energy & Power Technologies

Our world simply must have energy storage, and the stakes are high for it to be done right. The ability for storage to complement renewable energy technologies, provide additional resiliency to the grid, and empower energy consumers all make storage essential for our energy future.  To unlock those benefits on a sustainable basis, advancing science and engineering to proactively address how people think about energy storage is an imperative. We need to make it easy for people to say “Yes!” to storage regarding policy, economics, decisioning, installation, approval and use. Supporting the art of the possible for new energy storage technologies, approaches and applications requires us to involve and collaborate with leaders from diverse institutions such as industry, user communities, National Labs, research facilities and academia. Fostering innovative and practical solutions that result from convergence of different sectors, such as the automotive and infrastructure communities and the storage and solar communities, will drive emergent energy system paradigms. Considering the needs of the entire value chain and stakeholder community – from consumers to finance to utilities to insurers to first responders and others – is essential. All these aspects of the energy future will require strong leadership to make sure that the decisions we make and the paths we choose offer the best holistic approach for energy storage. Because of this we must lead the way to advocate for the role of safe and sustainable energy storage in securing our optimum energy future. 

Javier Cavada
Highview Power
My vision for the energy storage industry is to make the promise of 100% renewables a reality now, not decades down the road. Educating the market to the fact that energy storage is critical for widespread renewables deployment is a top priority. Each storage technology has a role in making this happen. We’re seeing grid operators already turning to energy storage to help improve power generation economics, balance the grid and increase reliability. At giga-scale, energy storage resources paired with renewables are equivalent in performance to, and have the potential to replace, thermal and nuclear baseload. A thriving, robust and diversified energy storage industry can also support the electricity transmission and distribution systems and provide additional security of energy supply. Working together, we in the energy storage industry can make significant progress in accelerating the energy transition and ensuring a clean, sustainable planet today and for future generations.  
Jacqueline DeRosa
Vice President Energy Storage Systems

I envision a marketplace where energy storage is adopted as a commercially viable and cost-effective technology for a comprehensive set of applications. I embrace ESA’s ambitious vision to achieve 35 GWs of energy storage by 2025. For this to happen, the market rules at both at the wholesale and retail levels will need to continue to advance to ensure storage is treated on a level playing field with other types of energy resources.  Energy storage must be included in reliability and transmission planning processes. Interconnection and permitting processes must include clear rules for energy storage.  I envision a future where energy storage solutions are commonplace -- where hybrid resources and aggregations become conventional approaches, where distributed storage assets are fairly compensated for the multiple uses they provide, and peaking power needs are solved with energy storage solutions.

Kiran Kumaraswamy
Vice President of Market Applications
Almost every commodity that we think of commonly has storage embedded in it.  Whether it is natural gas, data or consumer goods - we have storage embedded in every aspect of the supply chain in these commodities.  Electricity is the only place where we have struggled for 100+ years without high volumes of storage; with recent technological advancements occurring in batteries, we have an incredible opportunity to embed storage in every aspect of our electricity system.  In my vision, I see energy storage at the grid level (in front of meter), in our homes (behind the meter), and in commercial, industrial locations.  This is the way I see the future for our industry.  In both peaking capacity and T&D applications I see significant value for energy storage that is still largely unrealized by the market.  In my view, we are still at "seeing the tip of iceberg" stage in both these applications.  Several utilities are now beginning to include storage in their Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) analyses; but this should increase multi-fold in the next 2 years.  If we come back by end of 2020 and sample IRP's across the US, we should find 75% or more of them to have the right storage analysis included for peaking needs.  In a similar way, I envision the traditional T&D planning to change and fully include storage as a resource.  Our job as being leaders in this industry is to help foster this type of change at the planning, policy and execution level across the country.  
Benjamin Lowe
Senior Consultant
Enovation Partners

For ESA to achieve its goal of 35 GW by 2025, energy storage technologies need to become a standard technology for utilities and grid operators, no different than transformers, power plants, substations or transmission lines. That means utilities and grid operators need to understand how energy storage provides value and need to become comfortable with the operation, durability, safety and resilience of energy storage technologies. In addition to utilities, ESA should partner with large commercial and industrial energy users, including data center operators (Amazon, Facebook, Google) and national retailers (Target, Wal Mart). Energy storage’s value comes from its versatility, and ESA should ensure that large energy users – who are frequently influential at state commissions – understand that the technology’s ability to perform multiple services over the course of a day or simultaneously means better electric service, lower system costs and lower electric rates for customers.  ESA has rightly focused on policy development at this early industry stage and should take credit for significant milestones such as FERC Orders 755 and 841. Given that, however, ESA should expand its role as the industry matures. To help utilities and grid operators get more comfortable with storage technologies, ESA should take the lead on becoming a clearinghouse for technical information and data, as well as guiding best practices for developers, utilities and other energy storage industry participants. ESA should also recruit large energy users (data center operators and national retailers) so that they better understand the benefits storage can provide to the grid.

Kate McKeever
Director of Regulatory & Institutional Affairs
Enel Green Power North America

For the past 100 years, the power sector has operated under a centralized, utility rate-based model. While this model has mostly ensured access and reliability for many consumers, it has failed to address the climate crisis we face, to promote innovation and competition, and to give customers real choice, like in other evolved industries.  Energy storage is the game changer!  Energy storage is the singular technology that will transform the power sector allowing us to transition to a clean, resilient, and flexible electric grid.  Energy storage will allow for increased renewable penetration reducing GHG emissions by replacing peaker plants and eventually fossil fuel plants. Energy storage will balance supply and demand ensuring a reliable electric grid by allowing for direct and indirect customer-directed choices about consumption, charging or discharging to provide customer benefit and grid support.  Energy storage will save ratepayers money by allowing for transmission and distribution deferrals and reducing demand charges.  These numerous benefits and many more are undeniable but they need to be monetized so that energy storage can be deployed now.  In the short to medium term, we need to have ambitious energy storage goals in every state and policies and programs that will allow for the deployment of energy storage projects.  At the same time, we need to be diligently engaged at the federal and ISO/RTO level to develop market rules that will allow for energy storage in all forms to fully participate and be compensated for its many attributes.  To realize this change, the energy storage industry collectively needs to promote diverse approaches to deploying energy storage projects.  We need to support behind-the-meter and in front of the meter projects, stand-alone energy storage projects and hybrid resources, as well as acknowledging that the utilities will play a major role in this transition and deserve to earn a rate of return based on their performance and the services they provide to their customers. 

Peter Muhoro
Vice President, Strategic Industry Research and Analysis
National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC)

The 35x25: A Vision for Energy Storage lines up with my vision to see gigawatts of energy storage deployed within the electric cooperative footprint. The 900+ electric cooperatives serve nearly 60% of the land-mass in the U.S., territory that is primarily very rural with many challenges on the grid. Energy storage continues to become the opportunity to address such problems, providing a more reliable and resilient grid with fewer emissions. As I enter into my last term as a director on the ESA board, my vision for the energy storage industry is a fast developing time-line that will allow for more deployments of different technologies from two perspectives: largescale storage on the side of the utility and behind-the-meter products. Each will provide benefits while keeping costs low and with no revenue loss. With energy storage, I see growth of more renewable energy, transmission and distribution asset deferral, savings from high energy peak pricing, enabling of transactive energy, and the capability for consumers to truly utilize energy in the most ideal way. It is my vision to the see the energy storage industry work closer with utilities to find affordable solutions of integrating energy storage and provide a roadmap for further deployment.

Polly Shaw
Vice President, Regular Affairs and Communication
Stem, Inc.
By 2025, the following objectives need to have been won. Energy storage is a ubiquitous technology platform to integrate high penetrations of renewable energy, modernize the grid, and enable customer choice. Energy storage has surpassed 35 GW in the US and is well on the road towards Bloomberg’s 942 GW global projection by 2040. All 13 Rocky Mountain Institute service streams of energy storage are proven and shown to be cost effective in at least one ISO/RTO or local market. Energy storage projects deployed after 2020 are viewed by policymakers as safe, reliable, and cost-competitive in at least half the US states. Energy storage has had at least a five-year track record of predictable cost declines due to economies of scale, frictionless trade, and efficient policy design and implementation. The storage industry employs a diverse workforce and supports equitable access to its services and job opportunities for all Americans and has well-defined mutually supportive roles and coordination between national and local voices. In achieving this vision, ESA is the clear national go-to leader on policy design, data, research, communications, and event networking, promoting all storage technologies, services, and configurations. ESA has a compelling value proposition and narrative for standalone storage and storage integrated with other technologies (generation, EVs, etc), and the association maintains a rich library of data points to use in allies’ coordination, advocacy, and public relations.