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Top Voices in the Energy Central Community for 2020 – Grid Network

Posted to Energy Central in the Grid Professionals Group

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Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

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A few years ago, Energy Central created a Community Platform with the idea of connecting every power industry professional in a collaborative environment.  Our goal was to give professionals in the industry a way to share, learn, and connect.  Since that time, our communities have grown, engagement is at an all-time high, and we are seeing more and more collaboration and sharing.  Making all this happen is you!

We know there are plenty of places and ways in which you can stay up-to-date on what is happening in the utility industry, but what makes Energy Central unparalleled is the true sense of Community created by every one of you.  Whether you engage by contributing posts, sharing links, asking questions, adding your events to the EC calendar, conversing and debating issues in the comments section, or even just reading, it is your voice and your involvement that make Energy Central Communities thrive. So, thank you for that!

As we look back on a noteworthy year, the Energy Central Team wanted to recognize the members on Energy Central who went above and beyond—frequently sharing news and content, reliably starting conversations across the site, and providing genuinely high-value contributions.

Each day this week, we’ll be publishing an article highlighting the Top Voice of 2020 for each of our 6 Networks. As part of this recognition, we asked each of them to answer some quick questions to highlight the past year in the industry and give us more of an insight into their lives—I hope you enjoy!

So, without further ado, thank you and congratulations to the following Top Voices in the Grid Network in 2020!

See the already published Top Voices Articles here:

 

Rao Konidena– Independent Consultant with Rakon Energy LLC

Link to Rao’s Profile

What drives you to engage with your fellow Energy Central Community members on a regular basis?

“I aim to shed some light on the Regional Transmission Organization (RTOs) not to be a black box. I believe in energy markets and their positive impact on society. Just look at PJM’s chart on reduced carbon emissions since the market started.”

 

What topics do you hope to read/write about more in 2021?

“Alternatives to Transmission Solutions, Non Wires Alternatives, and MISO – are the topics I am looking forward to reading or writing about in 2021. Since I worked at MISO for 15 years, I am always curious about what MISO is doing and its impact on stakeholders.”

When you’re not espousing thought leadership in the utility sector, what are your favorite ways to unwind and pass the time?

“For some reason, I like watching cooking shows. I watch Pati’s Mexican Table, America’s Test Kitchen, and Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street regularly. My family also watches NCIS regularly. For me, I also watch the British series, Vera and Wallander. “

 

 

Paul Dumais—CEO of Dumais Consulting

Link to Paul’s Profile

What has been the most interesting utility-focused story for you to follow this past year?

“It is not one story but it is the happenings at FERC and rulings made that I bring to Energy Central to help members stay current on regulatory happenings.  My focus as a consultant is helping clients with ratemaking items at FERC, and I must stay current on these items, which I can share with Energy Central.” 

 

What topics do you hope to read/write about more in 2021? 

“FERC likely will issue a rule that will change incentives available to transmission owners.  And I expect the DC Court of Appeals and FERC to address the return on equity issue that has been in a state of uncertainty for 10 years.”

 

Is there a post or exchange on Energy Central that you’re most proud of?

“It is posts I did on the return on equity issue, which is an issue that is critical to the transmission business.”    

 

 

Rosana Francescato– Communications Director of Clean Coalition

Link to Rosana’s Profile

What has been the most interesting utility-focused story for you to follow this past year?
“It’s hard to narrow this down. As someone working at a nonprofit that’s been focused on proliferating Community Microgrids, anything about how utilities are handling microgrids catches my interest. But there are so many related issues, and one that’s stood out to me is a focus on expanding our transmission system. I believe it’s crucial to understand that we need to deploy more clean local energy, which avoids building more inefficient, expensive transmission lines and provides resilience that transmission just can’t provide. But utilities make a profit on transmission infrastructure, which incentivizes them to build more. So, it’s been interesting to see the focus on transmission and concerning that we might go too far down that path.”

What’s something that your fellow community members might not know about and would surprise them?
“It might surprise them to learn that, as the Clean Coalition’s Executive Director has written here, we can in fact quantify the value of renewables-driven resilience — using an effective methodology, VOR123, that’s simple, straightforward, and can be applied to any facility type. The Clean Coalition has already successfully applied the VOR123 methodology to a number of real-world projects.”

If you could give one piece of advice to newly joined members of the Energy Central Community, what would it be?
“I would say to expect people to disagree with you on things you may feel strongly about. For example, many of us who work in the energy industry are working hard to promote renewable energy, and we may be accustomed to being around those who share our views. Energy Central provides a platform for all kinds of views, so you should expect to find a robust exchange of ideas that may not always align with your own.”

 

 

Dave Bryant – Director of Technology at CTC Global

Link to Dave’s Profile

What has been the most interesting utility-focused story for you to follow this past year?

“I’m really excited to learn more about how FERC is changing policy and moving from risk-based approach in transmission investment ROIs to a consumer-benefits approach. I’m hopeful that the overall impact of these decisions will help the U.S. build a more robust and efficient electric power grid – and help us curtail GHG emissions.”

 

When you’re not espousing thought leadership in the utility sector, what are your favorite ways to unwind and pass the time?

“I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends and paddling a surf-ski, which is an ocean kayak designed for life saving. With that said, I usually stay inside the Newport harbor and avoid big surf.”

 

Is there a post or exchange on Energy Central that you’re most proud of?
“Last August, I wrote a short article that explained how efficient conductors such as ACCC can actually help save clean filtered water. I never realized that thermal power plants consume between 10,000 and 60,000 gallons of water per MWh generated. While many people are impacted by floods and can’t wait to ‘get rid of the stuff,’ in drier climates, water is a very precious commodity. The line loss reductions I mentioned about the AEP project saves over 3.6 million gallons per year.” 

 

 

 

Congratulations once again to our Top Voices in the Grid Network, and thanks to all Energy Central Community Members for enabling the community and platform to thrive this year! And keep an eye out for the next Top Voices Articles to come later this week…

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