As governments begin mandating storage on the grid, big questions loom: Who's gonna pay for it? How much will it cost? Can we survive without it? Decision makers at the policy and utility levels mix it up onstage with the tech companies providing solutions.
Moderator: Eric Wesoff, Senior Analyst, Greentech Media
Ed Cazalet, VP & Founder, Megawatt Storage Farms
Nat Goldhaber, Managing Director, Claremont Creek Ventures
Christopher Villarreal, Policy and Planning Division, CPUC
Ed Cazalet is Vice-President and Co-Founder of MegaWatt Storage Farms. Dr. Cazalet has over forty years of electric power experience as an executive, board member, consultant, and entrepreneur. Dr Cazalet was appointed by California Governor Schwarzenegger in 2004 to a three-year term as a member of the five-person Board of Governors of the CAISO. The CAISO is charged with safe and reliable real-time operation and planning of the high voltage transmission system in California. Dr. Cazalet founded APX in 1996 and served for many years as CEO. Dr. Cazalet conceived the business opportunity, and raised $66 million in investment capital in three rounds. APX provides independent transaction services for electric power and environmental registries. Dr. Cazalet founded Decision Focus, Inc. (DFI) in 1976 and led DFI to become a leading firm in energy and electric power market modeling and decision analysis consulting. Previously at SRI International he was an early member of the pioneering Decision Analysis Group at SRI International. With both companies, and also as an independent consultant, Dr. Cazalet has participated in and led high-level consulting and decision analysis engagements for several of the world's largest corporations and many government agencies. Dr. Cazalet holds a PhD from Stanford University focused on economics, decision analysis and power system planning and degrees in engineering from the University of Washington.
Nat is a Managing Director at Claremont Creek Ventures. He is the resident expert on energy conservation and management systems. His focus in these investment areas is built on twenty years of experience in IT as: CEO of Cybergold, founder of Centram Systems West, founding CEO of Kaleida Labs and Vice President of Sun Microsystems. Prior to his business career, Nat served as Special Assistant to Pennsylvania's Lt. Governor, William Scranton, III. He ran the state's Energy Agency as its Interim Director. Some past investments include: Ask Jeeves, Shiva and Macromedia. Nat holds a Master's degree in Education and is an emeritus member of the Executive Board of the College of Letters and Science at UC Berkeley. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs, as a member of the US Secret Service Electronics Crime Taskforce and is a Board Member of the Federation of American Scientists. Nat lives in Berkeley, California with Marilyn, his wife of 31 years. Their three boys are in college.
Christopher Villarreal works in the Policy and Planning Division of the California Public Utilities Commission.
Eric Wesoff is a Senior Analyst at Greentech Media and Author of the Greentech Innovations Report. Prior to joining Greentech Media, Eric Wesoff founded Sage Marketing Partners in 2000 to provide sales and marketing-consulting services to venture-capital firms and their portfolio companies in the alternative energy and telecommunications sectors. Eric Wesoff has become a well-known, respected authority and speaker in these fields. He also was the publisher of the Venture Power newsletter, a subscription-only newsletter covering venture-capital investment in renewable energy.
Eric Wesoff's expertise covers solar power, fuel cells, biofuels and advanced batteries. His strengths are in market research and analysis, business development and due diligence for investors. He frequently consults for energy startups and Silicon Valley's premier venture capitalists. From 1988 to 1996, Eric Wesoff served as product marketing manager for Siemens Optoelectronics, where he oversaw complex product lines and managed relationships with global customers. He then became the U.S. marketing and sales manger for Akzo Nobel Photonics, which was acquired by JDS Uniphase. Eric Wesoff later served as the sales director for Dicon Fiber Optics, where he was responsible for selling millions of dollars of fiber-optic telecom-equipment. He has consulted for Merck, JDSU, Coherent, IBM and scores of other firms, governments and organizations.
Venture capitalist Nat Goldhaber predicts that as more homeowners continue to install solar panels and store energy off the electric grid, utility companies will be forced to raise rates on those still on the grid in order to remain solvent.