We’re delighted to announce the latest speakers for our GreenBeat event on Nov. 18 and 19. The caliber of the speakers and program content is helping to make this the first, comprehensive conference on the Smart Grid.
We’re bringing in the industry heavy hitters, the most exciting start-up entrepreneurs and politicians — mixing them all together — and expecting some great insights to come out of it. It all comes at the best time possible — pathbreaking energy legislation has just been passed in California, and the federal government is about to do something similar, all followed up by the global talks in Copenhagen in December. For now, though, there are a lot of questions left open-ended, and GreenBeat is the place to get some answers.
Here are the latest speakers, to be added to the marquee names already in the line-up, including former vice president Al Gore, leading investor John Doerr and Cisco’s Smart Grid czar Laura Ipsen.
Andres Carvallo — CIO of Austin Energy. Austin boasts the most fully-integrated urban Smart Grid deployments in the country. It has rolled out smart meters to every customer in the City. The system now has tens of thousands of thermostats and 2,500 grid sensors so that it can remotely lower power consumption during peak periods. The city’s Pelican Street Project combines renewable energy, energy storage, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, energy monitors and smart appliances for customers’ homes. The project includes a who’s who of high tech companies, including Dell, GE Energy, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Freescale Semiconductor and GridPoint. Carvallo oversaw the project for Austin Energy. Prior to his work at the utility, he held key titles at four start-ups and large companies like Philips Electronics, Digital Equipment Corporation and Microsoft.
Pamela Lesh — President of advisory company Graceful Systems. Lesh is a leading expert on decoupling and regulatory policy. Decoupling is an important regulatory innovation taking center stage right now, allowing utilities to unhook their revenue from the amount of energy they generate. This means they can still make money even if they take efficiency measures to reduce the amount of power they supply. Lesh recently completed work as a senior adviser to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) while also working at Portland General Electric (PGE) as vice president of regulatory affairs and strategic planning. At the NRDC, she worked on national energy policy and reviewed the results of decoupling policies nationwide. Lesh has worked in the electric utility industry for over 20 years and has expertise in both state and federal economic regulation, resource planning, federal legislative affairs and corporate communications.
Benno Ritter — VP Marketing & Business Development at the Zigbee Alliance. Ritter has 17 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, including work on wireless technologies such as WLAN, Bluetooth and GPS. He was a founding member of 802.15.4 and the ZigBee Alliance. Gaining more and more momentum these days, ZigBee is a group of high level wireless communication protocols using small, low-power radios — which is emerging as a standard for the Smart Grid. At Philips, he led activities for development of low-power/low-data rate wireless sensor networks in RF-Lite which later became the ZigBee Alliance and in introduced it into IEEE 802.15.4. From 2002 to 2006 after joining Infineon Technologies North America, Ritter was leading the regional marketing activities for Wireless Connectivity products with specific focus on Bluetooth, GPS, and WLAN. In 2006 he assumed for Infineon the global responsibility to manage the customer relationship with Intel.
George Arnold — National coordinator for Smart Grid, for the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST). Arnold leads NIST’s smart grid effort within the US Department of Commerce. NIST is important because the nations’ utilities and grid vendors are in the middle of agreeing on standards for the Smart Grid. Arnold previously served as a vice president at Bell Laboratories, where he directed the company’s global standards efforts and management of intellectual property. Earlier, Arnold worked at Lucent Technologies, and AT&T in research and development, product management, quality management and process re-engineering.
Frank Magnotti — President of Comverge. Comverge is one of the leading smart metering companies in the space. It’s important because it allows for “demand response,” a system that allows utilities to reduce the amount of energy distributed at peak times or when it is most expensive. It competes with other demand response companies like EnerNOC and CPower. Previously, Magnotti held positions leading Comverge’s Residential Business unit as well as global sales. He co-founded Comverge as an AEI subsidiary and served as president and general manager from 1997 to 2001. Before that, Magnotti founded AT&T Bell Labs’ Utility Solutions Division where he was the general manager. He also previously led Lucent Technology, Inc.’s Utility Solutions Division and served as general manager where he was responsible for worldwide marketing, sales, business development, project management and profit and loss efforts.
Pilgrim Beart — Co-Founder & CEO of AlertMe. AlertMe is one of several companies letting homeowners measure and control the energy used by their appliances. It recently raised a major round of funding to expand its efforts. By leveraging a household’s broadband connection, AlertMe transmits power consumption data recorded from individual appliances to a centralized web interface where customers can view the information and actually control their use. For example, users can flip switches, alter settings during peak energy periods, and adjust their thermostats from a remote location. It competes against players such as Trilliant, EnergyHub and Advanced Telemetry. Beart previously founded three businesses as well as held senior roles at a number of other companies. Most recently he was vice president of research & development at Splashpower, where he was responsible for creating and protecting the core technology of the wireless power company.
VentureBeat is hosting GreenBeat, the seminal executive conference on the Smart Grid, on Nov. 18-19, featuring keynotes from Nobel Prize winner Al Gore and Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr. Get your early-bird tickets for $625 before Oct. 31 at GreenBeat2009.com.