Schneider Electric hosts TAEBC Annual Meeting featuring Thomas B Ballard award, TVA DER progress

Another successful Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council Annual Meeting is in the books thanks to Schneider Electric.

In Franklin, TAEBC members, stakeholders and supporters gathered at Schneider Electric’s newest Nashville Hub and while there witnessed renowned Tennessee collaborator and partnerships builder Tom Ballard receive the Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award named in his honor.

The Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award honors exemplary leadership and success in championing, connecting, and strengthening Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council champions the state’s advanced energy economy as an economic development and job creation strategy through sharing information, connecting stakeholders, and strengthening the industry. These pillars are personally exemplified by the tireless work of Tom Ballard, an unparalleled leader, educator, mentor, and advocate of Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.

TAEBC also announced the Thomas B. Ballard Advanced Energy Leadership Award will be an annual award, accepting nominations every year and presenting the winner with the honor at future annual meetings.

Ballard stepped down as long time board member for TAEBC, and Ameresco’s own Steve Seifried was appointed by the board to fill Ballard’s vacancy.

Schneider Electric’s Vice President of Utility & Microgrid Solutions Don Wingate, touched on the new energy landscape emerging with more microgrid implementation happening across the United States and how Schneider Electric came up with a new line of business after assisting Montgomery County, Maryland in successfully completing two advanced public safety microgrids dubbing it ‘Microgrid as a Service.’

Wingate explained the approach Schneider Electric took is very different from a purchase power agreement. “We gave them a price per kilowatt hour less than what they were paying,” said Wingate.

He also underscored the innovative approaches that the corporation is taking by describing Schneider Electric Ventures. “It’s a new way to harvest ideas,” Wingate said, adding that it “is far more than a typical venture capitalist.” The fund made five investments in 2018.

Attendees also heard from Chris Hansen, TVA’s Director of Pricing Strategy & Origination, who spotlighted the energy company’s efforts to meet renewable energy expectations of Google and Facebook for new data centers the companies were constructing in the Valley. Both global giants are known for their commitments to sustainability and clean energy.

Working together, the corporations and TVA developed something called the “Renewable Investment Agreement” that is a new model for TVA. It met all parties’ key requirements and also uncovered a more than expected availability of renewable energy sources to help ensure that the region does not miss out on these types of projects in the future.

At the end of the event, Schneider Electric hosted a technology showcase highlighting the company’s microgrid solutions, energy automation & control systems, and smart home technologies.

Credit: Teknovation.biz for parts of this blog post.

TAEBC welcomes newest board members Trish Starkey, Marc Gibson and Chris Bowles

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council is welcoming three new board members amongst its leadership.

First, TAEBC invites Schneider Electric North America’s Trish Starkey to the board.

Trish serves as Business Development Manager for New Energy Landscape Strategic Alliances at Schneider Electric North America. In this position, she develops and supports commercial engagements across the Electric Utility and MicroGrid team.

She also serves as the ambassador to Schneider Electric’s most strategic partners including Dynamic Energy Networks and The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager with $174 billion in assets.

She leads strategic marketing and sales enablement initiatives that foster clear thought leadership and a strong position within the market.

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Trish has a Bachelors in Business Administration and Marketing.

Second, TAEBC welcomes University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s Marc Gibson.

Marc Gibson serves as the Executive Director of Industry & Economic Relations at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In this position, he oversees industrial partnerships at the university, and he manages a business center that collaborates across multiple units on campus including the office of research, office of development, system level partnerships office, career services and others.

Some of his many duties involve executing fundraising efforts and reaching research partnership goals, and he identifies connection points for corporate entities to access university assets. He also works extensively with Oak Ridge National Laboratory Partnerships Directorate to connect multidisciplinary opportunities, while coordinating economic development efforts for the university.

Marc holds a Masters in Sport Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Bachelors of Science in Marketing and Sports Management.

Third, TAEBC accepts Bradley’s Chris Bowles to the board.

Chris is a partner with the Bradley law firm in Nashville. His practice focuses on energy development and financing, including the real estate, tax incentives and regulatory aspects of project development.

His work on utility and commercial scale solar energy projects includes some of the largest solar developments in the eastern United States.

He is also active in energy policy, serving as the policy committee chair for the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association.

Prior to joining Bradley, Chris worked for Mayor Karl Dean as the first-ever Director of the Nashville Mayor’s Office of Environment and Sustainability.

TAEBC reflects on 2017 accomplishments so far

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council has been continuing its mission of championing advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy within the state.

Now that the year is more than halfway over, TAEBC wants to reinforce our commitment to our members and stakeholders:

  • Inform the national energy agenda.
  • Help Tennessee become the #1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
  • Foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups.
  • Support TVA’s efforts to become the utility of the future.

As we look forward to the rest of 2017, TAEBC shares its accomplishments so far this year.

First, TAEBC hosted in February its Annual Meeting in Nashville. The meeting announced Mary Beth Hudson, Vice President Wacker Polysilicon NCA and Charleston, Tenn. Site Manager as well as Ryan Stanton, formerly with Schneider Electric, would serve as board members. Members also enjoyed hearing more about 2017’s energy outlook and opportunities. Clean Line Energy’s Executive Vice President and former DOE Assistant Secretary for former President George W. Bush’s administration Jimmy Glotfelty spoke about what we could expect in 2017.

This May, several TAEBC members had the opportunity to hear from Jay Stowe, Senior Vice President of Distributed Energy Resources at TVA during a listening session held in May. Members heard Jay’s thoughts on the state of the utility industry. They also got a chance to participate in active Q&A with Jay. This lead to a productive and open conversation and to a longer term relationship between TAEBC and TVA. In addition, TAEBC participates as a formal member in TVA’s newly formed stakeholder group: the “Distributed Generation – Information Exchange” or DG-IX for short.

Also, TAEBC and Launch Tennessee invited mentors to meet Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Innovation Crossroads’ Innovators. The event served as an opportunity for the Innovators to become acquainted with the Energy Mentor Network and its mentors. The Innovators were selected to work at Oak Ridge National Lab taking their next-generation ideas to solve some of our country’s greatest energy challenges. The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council and Launch Tennessee provide non-exclusive business mentoring services to the Innovators.

The Energy Mentor Network has had several Tennessee advanced energy startups continue through the program with panel presentations and mentoring sessions. During its first year, EMN welcomed more than 20 mentors and five companies to the program, and it’s continuing to grow. EMN company Solar Site Design had the chance to pitch at the 36|86 Entrepreneurship and Technology Conference in June for a $50,000 cash prize. Solar Site Design was the only cleantech startup pitching.

Finally, TAEBC’s board also engages throughout the year with local and statewide government officials.

Remember to save the date for the next TAEBC event! The WACKER Polysilicon Plant Tour will be Wednesday, August 9 in Charleston, TN. We hope to see you there.

TAEBC Annual Meeting welcomes new board members, talks of 2017 energy opportunities

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council hosted its Annual Meeting Wednesday in Nashville.

During the meeting, it was announced Mary Beth Hudson, Vice President Wacker Polysilicon NCA and Charleston, Tenn. Site Manager as well as Ryan Stanton, Program Leader Smart Cities and Urban Infrastructure at Schneider Electric would serve as TAEBC’s new board members.

Ryan fills Jim Plourde’s board term, as Jim has accepted a new position as Director of Energy Solutions at Powersmiths, a Canadian company that provides products and services that deliver energy and cost savings opportunities to customers.

TAEBC thanks Jim for his service and extends our congratulations on this new position. He’ll continue to be engaged with TAEBC championing advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. Thank you, Jim for your leadership during TAEBC’s formative years.

TAEBC would also like to thank Jimmy Glotfelty of Clean Line Energy Partners and Tom Rogers and Beth Conerty of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Innovation Crossroads for speaking during the annual meeting. Members enjoyed hearing more about 2017’s energy outlook and opportunities.

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council thanks member Bradley for hosting the annual meeting and providing a venue.

TAEBC’s continued success and growth is credited to its members as we look ahead to 2017.

Previous Story: Looking back on TAEBC’s 2016 accomplishments & what’s to come

TAEBC is positioning the state and its members to increase our leadership role in the $1.3 trillion global advanced energy market. In order to do this, TAEBC is focused on four goals in the New Year.

TAEBC wants to reinforce our commitment to our members and stakeholders:

  • Inform the national energy agenda.
  • Help Tennessee become the #1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
  • Foster the growth of Tennessee advanced energy technologies and startups.
  • Support TVA’s efforts to become the utility of the future.

TAEBC members discuss 2015 priorities and projects at annual meeting

TAEBC’s annual meeting in Nashville on March 26 served as a forum for members to provide feedback on 2015 projects and priorities that foster the growth of Tennessee’s advanced energy jobs, companies and technologies. As well as determine the best role for TAEBC to serve as a champion, facilitator and convener of advanced energy projects and initiatives. Topics covered during the meeting included TAEBC membership, 2015-2016 event calendar, Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report release strategy and 2014 successes.

Members agreed the greatest value of their TAEBC membership is networking opportunities and increased visibility of the industry. To build on this, TAEBC will launch a 12-month event calendar this summer. It will include another member delegation visit to Washington D.C. to meet with the U.S. Department of Energy to get our members questions answered and problems solved.

At the request of our members, TAEBC will submit comments on TVA’s draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Comments will align with our mission and we’ll use the Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Roadmap as the foundation for our remarks. Members who would like to be involved in commenting on the IRP should contact Allie.