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Screen shot 2009-11-18 at 1.05.26 PMThe seminal conference on the Smart Grid has arrived.

Our two-day inaugural GreenBeat conference kicks off this afternoon at the San Mateo Marriott, bringing together 400 utility, finance, political and entrepreneurial leaders working to make our electrical grid cleaner, reliable and more efficient.

This is the first time we’ve seen the entire Silicon Valley community converge around a cleantech issue. And we’re not just talking about the usual suspects. Everyone from big corporate hitters like Cisco Systems and Oracle, to bright-eyed startups like OPOWER and EcoFactor will be showing up in force — with Silicon Valley’s venture hierarchy in tow.

Sticking true to the “venture” in VentureBeat, we’ll launch today’s event with a keynote from Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr, one of the biggest names in Valley finance, and recently in cleantech. Immediately following, we’ve fielded a panel of companies operating in perhaps the sweetest spot for Smart Grid investors: consumer efficiency systems. CEOs at companies like Tendril, CPower and Comverge will look at the challenges and opportunities in serving actionable energy consumption data to commercial and residential customers alike.

Sharon Allan, Accenture’s Smart Grid guru, will present findings from when the firm checked the nation’s pulse on climate change, possible solutions and America’s electrical grid. Then John Gartner, editor in chief at Matter Network and a top analyst at Pike Research, will throw hardball questions at Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, perhaps the greenest coal-burning utility leader in the business.

And this isn’t even a full day of content. Tomorrow we’ll hear from Laura Ipsen, the woman charged with building Cisco Systems’ burgeoning super grid operating system, Ed Lu on how Google is applying its web expertise to the energy management, and a wide-ranging cast of top-tier executives breaking down Smart Grid development overseas, the importance of universal standards and security measures, and of course the not-so-subtle influence of the purse-string holders (both the government and private investors).

In the middle of the agenda tomorrow, we will turn the stage over to our Innovation Competition finalists — our picks for the most promising technologists and young companies working on the grid — some of whom have big announcements and launches in store for us. This is a must-see for any investors and similar entrepreneurs looking to make connections that will drive the grid’s evolution forward.

And of course the day culminates in former vice president Al Gore’s keynote — during which he will lay out his vision of a Super Grid that not only decarbonizes our electrical system, but empowers average Americans to control their energy use — and more importantly, power bills.

We couldn’t be more thrilled with our lineup. And there’s still time for you to sign up. Either go to, or just show up at the San Mateo Marriott and follow the signs. We’re happy to sell you a seat on the spot. Don’t miss you chance to take part in the most comprehensive conversation on the Smart Grid yet this year.

greenbeat_logo7213255VentureBeat is hosting GreenBeat, the seminal executive conference on the Smart Grid, today and tomorrow, Nov. 18-19, featuring keynotes from Nobel Prize winner Al Gore and Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr. Register for your ticket today at


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