San Diego Energy District

2020 Virtual Symposium

Decarbonize & Take Control of Your Community’s Energy Needs

Speaker Bios


Gerald W. Braun, Senior Advisor, IRESN (Integrated Renewable Energy Systems Network)

TOPIC: Pathways to Least-Cost Clean Energy

Gerald Braun is founder and senior advisor of The Integrated Renewable Energy Systems Network (IRESN), a registered non-profit business league working to inform holistic clean local energy planning and collaborative implementation.  He is an energy utility and solar industry veteran and founding director of USDOE, State of California, energy utility (SCE and PG&E) and university-based (UC Davis) renewable energy RD&D programs.  He is a member and former chair of the Gas Technology Institute’s Public Interest Advisory Committee, the City of Davis Utilities Commission, and the Valley Clean Energy Community Advisory Committee.  He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and Nuclear Engineering from MIT.


David Burdick, Executive Vice President of Business Development, TerraVerde Energy

TOPIC: Best Practices in DER Program Design & Implementation

David Burdick serves as Executive Vice President of Business Development for TerraVerde Energy, an independent energy advisory firm that supports CCAs in evaluating, deploying, and managing Distributed Energy Resource (DER) programs.  Over the past 10 years, TerraVerde developed over $400Million of energy programs on behalf of its clients, including over 100 MWs of distributed solar PV and battery energy storage systems for which TerraVerde provided feasibility analysis, project development & implementation oversight, as well as ongoing asset management services.  In addition to their continued efforts (funded by the CEC and NREL) in developing DER Program Software for CCAs, TerraVerde is currently supporting several CCAs in deploying programs that incentivize battery energy storage deployment that will both increase community resiliency and reduce CCA procurement costs.  Prior to joining TerraVerde, David served as a General Manager for a solar & battery EPC firm.


Howard Choy, General Manager, County Office of Sustainability (retired), County of Los Angeles

TOPIC: How CCAs Can Develop Customer Programs

Howard Choy has spent over 30 years in the energy industry which included:  development and administration of Los Angeles County’s Office of Sustainability, private sector consulting services for utilities and utility customers, and engineering and management of projects for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.  He created the County Office of Sustainability (COS) within the Internal Services Department and led COS’ activities under a $250 million annual budget.  COS included the County’s internal Energy Management organization and the County’s community-facing energy programs.  Also included was the development of the County’s CCA feasibility study and business plan, and Board authorization to proceed with a County-wide CCA program.  Howard established a private consulting firm focused on assisting public agencies with energy projects and programs, including Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program assessment, development, implementation and operations.  He is the Past Board Chair, Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition,; Past Administrator, Southern California Regional Energy Network .  In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and is a Registered Professional Engineer and Certified Energy Manager in California.

Contact:, (323) 204-6134

Rosa Hilmarsdottir Cucicea, Vice President – Clean Energy Division Manager, River City Bank

TOPIC: Startup and Working Capital Financing for CCAs

Rosa Hilmarsdottir Cucicea manages River City Bank’s Clean Energy Division, which currently includes 15 CCA relationships, a portfolio of renewable energy projects, and various other energy clients. The Clean Energy team provides financing and banking services for companies with a clean energy and sustainability focus.  Rosa started her career working at Wells Fargo and joined River City Bank in 2014 with a desire to build a career with a community-based bank that had values that aligned well with her own. She began working in the Bank’s Cash Management department, later moving into the Credit Analysis department, followed by a Relationship Manager role. With her well-rounded commercial banking experience, and deep industry knowledge, Rosa delivers personalized, hands-on implementation specific to each client’s commercial banking needs.  Rosa graduated from UC Davis with honors, receiving a B.A. in Economics, with a minor in English. Prior to graduating from UC Davis, Rosa attended Reykjavik University’s Business Administration program in her native country of Iceland.


Jessie Denver, Manager, Distributed Energy Resources Program, East Bay Community Energy

TOPIC: Electrifying Local Government Fleets: The Role of CCAs

Jessie leads development of demand side solutions that deliver benefits to residents and businesses in Alameda County.  Priority initiatives include development of EBCE’s electric mobility strategy and local solar and energy storage projects to increase community resilience.  Prior to joining EBCE, Jessie served as the City of San Francisco’s Distributed Energy Resources Program Manager.  In this role her team developed and implemented citywide building and transportation electrification, energy efficiency, distributed solar and energy storage policies and programs.  With 20 years of experience, Jessie also served as a Program Director with Vote Solar and was the City of San Jose’s Energy Officer.  She holds a Master’s degree in Environment and Community Planning and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies.


Angelina Galiteva, Board of Governors, CAISO (California Independent System Operator)

TOPIC: The Role of the Grid in Ensuring Successful Decarbonization

Angelina M. Galiteva is the Founder and Board Chair of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, an organization dedicated to accelerating global transition to 100% renewable energy.  Since 2011 Ms. Galiteva was appointed to the California Independent Systems Operator Board (CAISO), one of the largest transmission operators in the World.  In March 2020 Ms. Galiteva was reappointed for another term and continues to serve as the Vice Chair of the CAISO Board of Governors.  In addition, Angelina serves as Chairperson of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and is a Founding Board Member of the Global Clean Energy Desalination Alliance.  Ms. Galiteva is an expert in strategic issues related to renewable energy, new technology development and implementation, optimizing power system resiliency and efficiency, as well as overall sustainability and environmental policy programs for public and private entities. As such she is frequently sent as a US State Department representative expert on renewable energy and power grid resiliency and reliability issues.  In addition, Ms. Galiteva is founder and principal of NEOptions, Inc., a renewable energy product and project development firm. Previously, Ms. Galiteva was the Executive Director of Strategic Planning for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), overseeing the utility’s renewable energy program, she also worked at the New York Power Authority. Ms. Galiteva is an attorney with a JD Degree and Master’s in International and Energy Law.  Angelina has overseen numerous utility scale renewable energy, bulk storage, combined heat and power project developments, including distributed generation and microgrid specific installations.  She has experience structuring electric vehicle infrastructure programs as well as financing large scale renewable power project development both in the US and abroad.  Ms. Galiteva is a globally recognized expert in the area of designing regulatory structures and programs to support the development of carbon free technologies and the transition to a reliable, resilient carbon free future.


Michael Thos Griswold, Owner, Ansergy WECC

TOPIC: The Art of the Hedge

Analyst, trader, and serial entrepreneur, working for utes, banks, hedge funds, or himself, Mike has been in the thick of the WECC’s wholesale power markets since 1990.  A CPA/MBA, Mike is a numbers guy who has forever been modeling the WECC.


Stephen Gunther, Distributed Energy Resources Policy Manager, Center for Sustainable Energy

TOPIC: Optimizing Local Efforts: Opportunities to Align CCA Programs with Local Government Initiatives

Stephen Gunther is the Policy Manager for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) at the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE).  In his role, Stephen engages at the regulatory, legislative, and local level to inform policy on microgrids, building decarbonization, energy efficiency, and other demand-side programs that advance clean energy goals.  Prior to joining CSE, Stephen’s experience ranges from providing strategic communications for energy-related federal programs to managing government affairs for clean energy trade associations.  He published research on the growth of Community Choice Aggregation in California and continues to engage with CCAs in his role at CSE.  He holds a B.A. in Political Science from James Madison University and a Master of Public Policy with an energy policy concentration from Oregon State University.


Woody Hastings, Energy Program Manager, The Climate Center

TOPIC: How CCA Programs are Responding to Community Needs

Woody Hastings, the Energy Program Manager at The Climate Center, is celebrating his tenth year at the Center.  He is an energy and environmental policy analyst, strategic planner, and community organizer with over 32 years of experience in the non-profit, governmental, and private sectors.  Woody specializes in Community Choice Energy, a state policy that fosters energy democracy by empowering communities to establish their own not-for-profit electricity service, thereby taking control over decision-making about energy sources for electricity generation.


Brian Jones, Director of Distributed Energy Resources Incentive Programs, Center for Sustainable Energy

TOPIC: PV, EVs and Energy Storage – How to Leverage Existing Incentive Programs for CCA Customers

The Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to decarbonize transportation and the built environment.  At CSE, Brian oversees a suite of incentive programs that drive market transformation for distributed energy resources and ensure equal access for traditionally underserved communities.  Brian’s areas of focus include distributed generation, energy storage and building electrification.  Prior to joining CSE, Brian spent a number of years supporting community-based management of small-scale fisheries in Madagascar.


Randal Kaufman, Sales Director, Black & Veatch

TOPIC: Clean Resilient Energy Infrastructure for Zero Emission Transportation and Facility Power

Randal Kaufman is Sales Director for Black & Veatch’s Transformative Technologies business.  With over 15 years of experience in the electrical power industry, Randal has expertise in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and complimentary energy delivery systems, data centers, distributed generation, energy management, power quality, and backup systems.  He also spent two years in the stationary fuel cell power generation business, with special focus on application engineering and product development.  His previous work experience includes ABB, ClearEdge Power, and Schneider Electric.  Randal holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from California State University-Chico, and an MBA from the University of California-Irvine.  Randal is currently working on resilient, zero emission, efficient, available, and secure energy infrastructure to support clean transportation and facility power applications, including hydrogen generation and fueling infrastructure.


Lorenzo Kristov, Consultant on Electric System Policy, Structure, and Market Design

TOPIC: Local Energy Planning for Decarbonization, Resilience and Equity

Lorenzo Kristov is a consultant working in California, nationally and internationally on electric power system transition to high levels of renewable generation and distributed energy resources (DER). From 1999 to 2017 Lorenzo was a principal at the California ISO in market design and infrastructure policy, where he was a lead designer of the locational marginal pricing (LMP) market system the ISO implemented in 2009. Areas of expertise include: wholesale market design; DER participation in wholesale markets; coordination of transmission-distribution system operations; distribution system operator (DSO) models and distribution-level markets; microgrids and energy resilience strategies; whole-system grid architecture.


Craig Lewis, Founder and Executive Director, Clean Coalition

TOPIC: Unleashing Solar on Rooftops, Parking Lots, and Parking Structures Throughout San Diego

Craig Lewis has over 30 years of experience in the renewables, wireless, semiconductor, and banking industries.  Previously VP of Government Relations at GreenVolts, he was the first to successfully navigate a solar project through California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard solicitation process.  Craig was energy policy lead on Steve Westly’s 2006 California gubernatorial campaign.  His resume includes senior government relations, corporate development, and marketing positions at leading wireless, semiconductor, and banking companies such as Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Barclays Bank.  Craig received an MBA and MSEE from the University of Southern California, and a BSEE from the University of California, Berkeley.


Jan Pepper, Chief Executive Officer, Peninsula Clean Energy

TOPIC: Leveraging Funds to Expand the Reach of CCA Programs

Jan has been the CEO of Peninsula Clean Energy since its inception in 2016. During that time, Peninsula Clean Energy has aggressively pursued electric vehicle charging infrastructure and other community investments and programs that have tapped into funding sources such as CALeVIP.  Jan has more than 30 years of energy and utility experience overall, with a focus on renewable energy contracting and financing.  She formerly worked at Silicon Valley Power and has founded four energy-related start-ups.  Jan is currently Mayor of Los Altos and has served on its city council since 2012.  She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and earned a BS in civil engineering and an MBA from Stanford University.  Jan is a registered professional engineer in California.


Brian Rahman, P.E., Executive Director of Engineering, ZGlobal

TOPIC: Renewable Distributed Generation

Brian Rahman is ZGlobal’s Executive Director of Engineering with over twenty-nine years of extensive experience in areas of electrical engineering, management of market systems, operations, design/technology updates, and project coordination in a variety of utility/energy-related disciplines.  Brian brings a comprehensive understanding of utility and power system operations, both functional and financial, with experience in hydrogeneration and control area operation, financial analysis of transmission and generation, implementation of large projects and renewable integration. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University and is a registered Professional Electrical Engineer, State of California – E14914.


JP Ross, Senior Director, Local Development, Electrification and Innovation, East Bay Community Energy

TOPIC: Developing Local Resilience

JP Ross has been actively engaged with solar market development and commercialization since 1999. After completing a Masters Degree in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley, JP joined Greenpeace to advocate for wind and solar as an alternative to 50GW of new gas plants in response to the California Energy crisis. JP then moved to Vote Solar, and successfully campaigned for California’s Million Solar Roofs helping make solar energy the most cost-effective source of energy. JP lead Vote Solar’s activities in pro-solar rate design regulatory proceedings across the US. In 2007 JP moved to Sungevity, where helped grow the business from 4 to 750 employees as the third largest residential solar installer in the US. JP developed and managed Sungevity’s procurement and installation operations, market expansion, strategy and channel development. In 2015, JP joined Origin Energy, Australia’s largest energy utility, where he lead the development of Origin’s commercial solar business, IT Program and Channel Strategy. JP is now the Senior Director of Local Development, Electrification and Innovation at East Bay Community Energy, a CCA serving electricity to 1.5M people in Alameda County. In his spare time JP rides bikes, brews beer and makes wood fired pizza with his wife Monique and two children, Hazel and Keenan.


Chris Sentieri, Senior Manager, EcoShift Consulting

TOPIC: Transformative Local Programming: Emerging Perspectives and Opportunities for CCAs

Chris Sentieri is a Clean Energy, Climate Change and Sustainability policy consultant and program manager who has extensive knowledge regarding GHG quantification and mitigation planning, stakeholder engagement, community organizing, and public policy development.  His areas of expertise include Community Choice Aggregation, local clean energy program design, rate design, stakeholder engagement, systems-level planning, distributed energy resource planning, data systems, and microgrid technologies.


John Sarter, Founder, Microgrid Development Group, SF Bay Area

TOPIC: Taming the Duck; Aggregation of stationary and mobile energy storage systems – Virtual Power Plants

John Sarter is an innovator and entrepreneur in the converging fields of real estate, renewble energy, and EV transportation. The goal of his team of partners and colleages is carbon neutrality and GHG elimination within those 3 sectors. John has owned and operated his Design/Build and Development firms, Sarter Construction & Design, Off The Grid Design, and US DOE Award Winning Sol Lux Alpha in California since 1986. With Off the Grid Design, John is leading the industry in the integration and development of Carbon Neutral Living + Transportation systems. John Founded the Microgrid Development Group SF Bay Area in 2014 and currently consults with industry and policy leaders in the area of Zero Carbon community development. John and colleagues ares currently planning and developing renewable energy + stroage projects in California and Narionally, creating resilience and ghg reductions through the development of nanogrids, microgrids,and ommunity microgrids, He brings project development expertise to the Climate Center’s Advanced Community Energy (ACE) Core team, and is on the Bprad of Directors for SmartBlick Communities.. John completed sustainable design and entrepreneurship studies at Santa Rosa J.C., Sonoma State University, and Stanford University.


Carl Stills, Vice President, Imperial Valley Development & Storage Integration, 8minute Solar Energy

TOPIC: Hybrid Solar + Storage – Affordable Clean Energy Is Here To Stay

Carl oversees solar development within California’s Imperial Valley at 8minute Solar Energy and works closely with the energy storage team to develop cohesive strategies for integrating solar-plus-storage into utility operations.  He has over 40 years of utility industry experience managing energy for California’s sixth largest utility, the Imperial Irrigation District, where he served as Energy Manager and the Portfolio Management Officer.  During this time, Carl initiated strategic project management and implemented processes that saved hundreds of millions in costs, and oversaw the implementation of battery storage projects.  As a member of the Geothermal Energy Association board, Carl helped initiate the use of renewable energy as a catalyst for addressing the Salton Sea environmental issues.  Most recently, at 8minute, Carl was part of the team that closed the deal with Los Angeles’ municipal utility on the Eland Solar & Storage Center, the nation’s most affordable solar-plus-storage project. Carl also sits on the board of the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA).


Christine Vangelatos, Executive Director of Market Analytics, ZGlobal

TOPIC: Managing an Effective Procurement Evaluation Process

Christine Vangelatos is ZGlobal’s Executive Director of Market Analytics. Christine has over twenty-eight years of experience in the day-to-day operations of the market and its settlements. She has extensive experience with implementing large market systems, providing market settlements design, business analysis, financial impact assessments, overseeing infrastructure development, and has thorough knowledge of CAISO Tariff. She is an expert in the CAISO Nodal Market, asset valuation, and economic analysis for a variety of generating and transmission assets.  For several years Christine successfully managed CAISO settlements, totaling several hundred million dollars annually. Christine brings valuable skills in project and program management to ZGlobal, while exhibiting leadership in process reengineering and implementation, technology, and organizational change. Her years of experience provide our clients with solid energy market information that is essential when making investment decisions.  At ZGlobal, she leads a highly skilled team of engineers and analysts that develop and use various deterministic and stochastic models to perform energy market and operations analyses in support of ZGlobal’s energy scheduling and trading operations, portfolio optimization, risk management, and asset valuation assessments for clients.  Their expertise includes developing and maintaining ZGlobal’s production cost models to forecast LMPs and dispatch under varying scenarios for the CAISO energy markets.  Christine also manages ZGlobal’s settlement processes.  ZGlobal’s settlement staff has over 10 years’ experience managing energy market settlement processes, checkouts and reporting.  Also, Christine provides leadership and coordinates many of ZGlobal’s information technology implementation efforts having several years of experience leading market and settlement application implementation projects at CAISO. Christine holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo as well as a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from the University of Phoenix, Sacramento.