Microgrids are not Snowflakes & Other Quotable Quotes Overheard at Microgrid 2018

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microgrid 2018 quotes

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Microgrid 2018 offered a richness of discussion, insight and humor. Here’s some of what we overheard during the three-day event in Chicago, May 7-9.

David Chiesa, S&C Electric‘s senior director for global business development, explains why it’s time to retire a phrase he coined: “If you’ve seen one microgrid, you’ve seen one microgrid.”

The time has come for industry to scale, he explained. “We need to work on simplification to get the adoption curve moving faster…The financing needs to be simple, the contracting needs to be simple, regulation needs to be simple.”

So what’s Chiesa’s new phrase?

“It’s nice to build a snowflake, but it’s even nicer to build a snowstorm.”

microgrid 2018 quotes

Omer Ghani, Kilowatt Labs

Keeping things in perspective

In the US we are unhappy if we lose power four hours every few weeks. “But Kilowatt Labs works in countries where you get four hours of electricity every few weeks. That’s where you realize how important microgrids can be.” — Omer Ghani, Kilowatt Labs, co-founder and managing director

No alligators in Chicago
Microgrid 2018

Val Jensen, Commonwealth Edison

“As a utility you can either try to put up moats…with alligators, or you can reconcile yourself to the fact that world is changing in some fundamental ways and reorient your business to be a business that can prosper in that new world, which is what we are trying to do…We ultimately believe that our system will evolve into something that is much more like a confederation of small community-based systems, where the utility provides the orchestration function.” – Val Jensen, senior vice president, customer operations, Commonwealth Edison

Yes, there is financing…

“If it’s a rational project, there is money available.” — Jack Griffin, vice president & general manager, SourceOne, Veolia North America

microgrid 2018

Lee Krevat, PXiSE Energy Solutions

First solar, then storage, now microgrids

“As I walked around yesterday talking to people at the booths, it seemed like everybody that I talked with was really in the game and on the field. That is very, very exciting — like we’ve seen with renewables, solar and energy storage, where the conferences grow and grow and grow. I expect this conference to continue to grow significantly in the next few years as microgrids become more part of the fabric of the energy system.” – Lee Krevat, director of new ventures, PXiSE Energy Solutions, a Sempra Energy Company

Move over Earth, Wind & Fire
Microgrid 2018 quotese

Paula Robinson, Bronzeville Community Development

“I’d like to acknowledge that this conference has made us feel like rock stars.” — Paula Robinson, president, Bronzeville Community Development Partnership

Light talk

“Not only are microgrids fun, but they happen after dark.” — H.G. Chissell, Microgrid 2018 master-of-ceremonies and founder and CEO of Advanced Energy Group, commenting on the Microgrids-after-Dark party held at Microgrid 2018.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of MicrogridKnowledge.com. She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.


  1. Wasantha Karunanayake says:

    You do not have to be an award winning scientists to support the sustainable energy drive.putting together the resorces and knowledg available will take us to next level


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