RMI announces faculty for e-Lab Accelerator 2017

Wednesday December 21, 2016 0 comments Tags: Boulder, RMI, Sunil Cherian, Peter Bronski, Steve Corneli, Lorenzo Kristov, Karl Rabago, Richard Sedano, Eleanor Stein, Leia Guccione, e-Lab Accelerator

BOULDER -- Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) today announced its initial faculty members for its Electricity Innovation Lab (e-Lab) Accelerator 2017 event, a bootcamp for innovators in the electricity industry that has as a proven track record of delivering transformative change across North America.RockyMoutnain_Institute_logo

The Accelerator, now in its fourth year, will be held in Sundance, Utah, April 18–21. Accelerator is a core initiative within e-Lab, a unique multi-year collaboration led by RMI of leading industry actors to develop, implement, and spread new solutions to enable greater adoption of economic distributed energy resources in order to create a cleaner and more resilient electricity system.

RMI expects to announce more faculty members in the coming weeks.

Accelerator 2017 faculty members now include: 

  • Peter Bronski, who leads marketing and content strategy for three initiatives at the nexus of renewable energy and smart cities: Panasonic CityNOW, the Energy Solutions Group of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, and Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic. Bronski previously served as director of program marketing at RMI, where he oversaw marketing and communications strategy for the organization’s electricity work. He was also RMI’s editorial director.
  • Sunil Cherian, founder and chief executive officer of Fort Collins-based Spirae, a specialist in the integration of large-scale renewable and distributed energy resources, the development of local and wide area controls, energy service platforms, and power system simulations. Prior to Spirae, Cherian founded Sixth Dimension, Inc. for providing networking technologies for the energy industry and served as its CEO from 1997 until 2002. Sixth Dimension was acquired by Comverge in 2003.
  • Steve Corneli, a recognized national expert on the intersection of new technologies and new business models and ideas, with a focus on clean energy entrepreneurship in both business and policy arenas. Before leading NRG Energy’s development, government and regulatory affairs, climate policy, wholesale market design, and broader policy and strategy practices, he was a utility consumer advocate in the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.
  • Lorenzo Kristov, principal, market and infrastructure policy at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). For most of the 2000s, Kristov was a lead designer of the locational marginal pricing-based market structure CAISO implemented in 2009. He later led initiatives to redesign the transmission planning process and the new generator interconnection process to accommodate rapid growth of renewable energy projects triggered by California’s renewable portfolio standards. Since then he has focused on integrating distributed energy resources into the CAISO markets and grid operations.
  • Karl Rabago, who leads Pace University Law School’s Energy and Climate Center, has more than 25 years of experience in the electric utility industry around the world. Rabago has been a public utility commissioner, a federal executive at the U.S. Department of Energy, a utility executive, a researcher, an advocate, and a member of the RMI team. He is widely known as a thought leader and innovator in electricity regulation, markets, and technology.
  • Richard Sedano, who leads the U.S. team at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), which provides policy and technical support on energy to governments via direct technical assistance and through writing, collaborating, and other means. Before joining RAP, Sedano was a commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service for nearly a decade. From 1998 to 2000, while commissioner, Rich was chairman of the National Association of State Energy Officials and, in 1993, he cofounded EVermont, a public-private consortium focused on promoting the development of electric vehicles.
  • Eleanor Stein, who from 2014 to 2015 was project manager for the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative at the New York Public Service Commission. As part of the REV leadership team, Stein’s responsibilities included representing REV publicly, coordinating the many aspects of the initiative, managing the REV public participation process, and developing the environmental justice agenda. Since 2000, she has taught Law of Climate Change: Domestic & Transnational at Albany Law School and at the State University of New York at Albany, and has written extensively on climate change and environmental justice issues, among others.

“The intellectual rigor and advanced perspective these experts bring to the e-Lab network are a tremendous benefit to Accelerator teams attempting to speed high-impact and innovative projects that benefit both electricity customers and the grid as a whole,” said Leia Guccione, a principal at RMI who oversees the e-Lab ecosystem of activities.

“Following the tremendous success of our e-Lab Summit earlier this month, our largest industry convening to date, we are excited to build upon the many successes Accelerator has already delivered across the country, while continuing to elevate Rocky Mountain Institute and e-Lab as the preeminent venue to tackle tough operational challenges and speed the transformation to an electricity system that is cleaner, more resilient, and more customer oriented.”    

Expert e-Lab faculty will be on location throughout the meeting to offer training and insights to Accelerator teams on critical content areas. Faculty expertise includes topics such as regulatory transformation, portfolio design for renewable resources, transition strategies for energy system change, best practices for stakeholder engagement, and venture capital in electricity. e-Lab faculty are also available throughout the Accelerator meeting to provide specific feedback and coaching to support each team's project.

The application process for Accelerator 2017 is open until Jan. 13. The Accelerator application is available here.