Chris Benedetti, Principal, Sussex Strategy Group
Chris Benedetti is a Principal with Sussex Strategy Group, and Head of its Energy andEnvironment Practice. With experience in both federal and provincial governments. Mr. Benedetti provides an in-depth insight and expertise into various policy development and political processes, and brings to Sussex an extensive background in strategic communications and public affairs.
Mike Berlinski, Director, Emerging Technologies, Customized Energy Solutions
Mike Berlinski is Director, Emerging Technologies at Customized Energy Solutions (CES). Mike joined CES in 2014 in the Emerging Technologies group and is a recognized leader in the energy storage industry. Mike assists his clients by providing market intelligence, guidance for project development, and market analysis. Mike is an expert in FERC-related energy storage issues, and has specialized expertise in the PJM and New England markets. Mike’s work supports clients engaged in the advancement of nondiscriminatory and efficient wholesale market rules for electric storage resources.
Shawn Bremner, Senior Business Development Engineer, OPG
Shawn Bremner is a Senior Business Development Engineer with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Shawn has 18 years of experience working in the power generation field with experience working on; gas turbines, nuclear generation, hydro electric, solar PV and battery energy storage systems.
Cam Carver, General Manager, NRG Peaks Corp.
Cam is an entrepreneur and executive in technology commercialization and electricity markets. His experience spans a range of industries including energy storage, energy efficiency, power generation, and waste technologies. Mr. Carver joined NRG Peaks Corp in 2018 as an investor and serves as a director and general manager for the business. Cam is the founding Chair of Energy Storage Ontario (now Energy Storage Canada), Canada’s energy storage industry association. He was the CEO of energy storage company Temporal Power Ltd from 2010 to 2015. During that time, the company commissioned Canada’s first energy storage plant to provide ancillary services to the power grid.
Rob Coulbeck, Principal, RC Energy Markets Consulting
Rob has over 30 years of electricity industry experience with a strong focus on ISO/RTO wholesale electricity markets, power grid management, generation portfolio optimization, energy trading and demand-side management. Rob is recognized as a leader in the Ontario wholesale electricity market through participation in numerous IESO-led market evolution stakeholder initiatives. From the first Market Affairs Working Group through to the current Market Renewal Program, he has been an advocate for the continued development of efficient wholesale markets. In addition to his extensive work in Ontario, Rob was instrumental in PJM, developing and implementing rules designed to permit load participation in the ancillary services markets.
Lisa Demarco, Senior Partner at Demarco Allan
Lisa DeMarco is a lawyer with over two decades of experience in law, regulation, policy and advocacy relating to energy and climate change. She represents several governments and leading energy clients in a wide variety of natural gas, electricity, pipeline, and energy storage matters before various regulatory tribunals, including the Ontario Energy Board and the National Energy Board. Ms. DeMarco also assists leading Canadian energy companies on domestic and overseas power project development, renewable power projects, alternative fuel projects, cleantech development and finance, energy storage, carbon capture and storage, corporate social responsibility, environmental disclosure, clean energy finance, and sustainable business strategy.
Hassan Fayaz, Electrical Team Lead, Power Ontario, Stantec
Hassan Fayaz is the Electrical Team Lead for Power Ontario with Stantec. He has more than 27 years of engineering experience in utility and industry and he has performed as a technical lead on projects. The services that he has provided are spread along the entire range of the projects’ life cycle. His most recent projects are energy storage, solar, wind, microgrid, transmission, distribution, power generation, mining, industrial and recently transportation. Hassan has been the technical lead on many transformational smart technology projects such as the Nova Scotia Power Microgrid where he was instrumental in evolving protection and control strategies required to safely operate an islanded microgrid.
Jim Fonger, VP, Business Development & Distributed Resources, Ameresco Canada
As VP of Business Development & Distributed Resources at Ameresco Canada, Jim Fonger is responsible for all top line Sales at Ameresco along with developing the strategy that is establishing Ameresco as a leading Distributed Energy Resource provider. With over 30 years of business leadership in both the telecommunications and energy sectors, Jim brings unique experience to this post at Ameresco having lead the development of many energy service and smart city projects in the municipal sector.
Ryan Franks, Business Manager, Global Energy Storage, CSA Group
Ryan Franks is Business Manager, Global Energy Storage at CSA Group charged with developing and executing strategy for energy storage. Prior to CSA Group, Ryan led international and domestic standardization projects for energy storage, microgrids, smart cities and other strategic and emerging electrotechnical concepts at NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Green Building Council. Ryan serves as a member of the Technical Management and Conformity Assessment and Policy Coordinating Committees of the US National Committee to the IEC. Ryan graduated with a BS in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Illinois, is pursuing an MBA at John Carroll University, and is the inventor on two patents.
Alex Fuentes, VP, Business Development and Marketing, Hydrostor
Alex’ role spans various aspects of the company’s activities including business development, marketing and communications, as well as new market entry, origination and project development. At Hydrostor Alex has been actively engaged in various international markets including the U.S., Australia, Chile and Canada. Alex has 20 years of professional experience, including over 12 years in business development and marketing within the Energy Storage, Renewable Energy and Corporate Sustainability sectors, as well as various engineering and project management roles with companies such as Siemens-Westinghouse and Honeywell. Alex holds a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, an MBA from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.
Bala Gnanam, VP, Energy, Environment & Advocacy, BOMA Toronto
Bala is responsible for managing and facilitating the development and delivery of educational contents, programs, and initiatives that promote energy efficiency, sustainability, and regulatory compliance to the membership. Bala is also actively involved in the association’s advocacy initiatives, working closely with all three levels of governments and industry stakeholders contributing to policies and programs impacting the Commercial Real Estate industry. Bala is an industrial engineer and a Certified Energy Manager with over eighteen years of experience in the energy, manufacturing, and building sectors.
Tyler Hamilton, Director, Cleantech Ecosystem, MaRS Discovery District
Tyler Hamilton is Director of Cleantech Ecosystem at MaRS Discovery District, responsible for building a network of investors, innovation organizations and government agencies that can help Canadian cleantech ventures raise capital and scale globally. Previous to MaRS, Tyler spent two decades as a business journalist (Globe and Mail, Toronto Star) and wrote extensively about Canada’s clean technology sector and global cleantech trends. A recipient of the Cleantech Group’s “Pioneer” award for his early writings on the sector, Tyler was also recognized in 2016 on Canada’s “Clean50” list for his thought leadership on clean energy and climate issues.
Patrick Judge, VP, Business Development, New Solutions, Hydro-Québec
Patrick Judge is Hydro-Québec’s Vice President, Business Development, New Solutions. He is in charge of evaluating and coordinating the commercialisation strategy of Hydro-Québec’s Innovations. Over that past 13 years within Hydro-Québec, Patrick has worked in IT’s strategic planning group and has deployed the IT portfolio planning methodology throughout Hydro-Québec’s divisions. For 6 years he managed the Generation group’s IT software development team, responsible for integrating or developing the custom applications. For more than three years now, Patrick has led the Business Development practice in Innovations.
Kathleen Kauth, Director of Transactive Energy, Peak Power
Kathleen Kauth is the Director of Transactive Energy at Peak Power, a Toronto-based software start-up focused on leveraging big data and machine learning to optimize distributed energy resources and energy use for its customers. Prior to Peak, Kathleen was the Director of Partnerships for the Advanced Energy Centre at MaRS. While there, she worked with large energy companies to help them develop their innovation capacity. Kathleen originally got her start in cleantech at a solar development and project aggregation firm, Blackstone Energy Solutions, based in Toronto. She has also passed all three levels of the CFA program. Additionally, Kathleen is an Olympic bronze medalist, playing for Team USA in Torino 2006. She is also a World Championship gold and silver medalist with team USA.
Stephen Koch, Director of Emerging Issues, Canadian Electricity Association (CEA)
Stephen Koch is the Director of Emerging Issues at the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), the National Voice of Electricity in Canada. As Director of the National Emerging Issues Committee, Stephen works with senior CEA members and industry experts to identify, predict, and prepare for technological innovations and potentially disruptive market changes across the energy sector. Stephen was previously President of the Canadian Heat Oil Association and held other leadership roles which included Chairperson of Envirocentre and Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance. Stephen is also a guest lecturer at Carleton University.
Leonard Kula, COO & VP, Planning, Acquisition and Operations, IESO
Leonard Kula is Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, Planning, Acquisition and Operations at the IESO. In this role, Mr. Kula is responsible for the reliable and efficient province-wide power system both today and in the future. This includes planning, market design, resource and transmission procurement, real-time operations and engineering, and the Market Renewal Program. Prior to this position, Mr. Kula held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at the IESO.
James Larsen, CEO, E-Zn
James has two decades of business leadership and engineering experience spanning cleantech and startups, to strategy and operations, to design and engineering. Currently, James is CEO of e-Zn, an energy storage company with a proprietary long-duration technology that can economically enable 100% renewable energy solutions. James is also a cleantech Advisor and former Director with MaRS Discovery District, North America’s largest innovation hub, where he supports young companies grow into sector leaders. James holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University and an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University.
Thomas Leyden, Senior Director, Distributed Solutions, EDF Renewables
Thomas Leyden is Senior Director, Distributed Solutions with EDF Renewables. In his 30 years in solar he has held a number of executive management positions. He was VP of Sales and Marketing at WorldWater, a remote-power and water pumping company installing solar projects in Africa and Asia. He served as VP of East Coast Operations for SunPower, and later was VP of US Commercial Development at SolarCity. In 2012 he became CEO of the start-up Solar Grid Storage that was acquired by Sunedison in 2015. He joined EDF Renewables in 2016 to help develop and deliver innovative solar and storage business models.
Travis Lusney, Manager, Procurement and Planning, Power Advisory LLC
Travis is a Professional Engineer with experience in the regulated and commercial electricity sectors. He offers relevant experience in transmission and distribution power system planning, generation procurement strategy, policy development and power purchase agreement negotiations. Travis provides clients with a unique expertise in the integration between generation development and transmission/distribution planning by providing advice on project risk assessment and strategic investments. He is an expert in competitive energy procurement having worked on various procurement initiatives as the independent administrator incl. Nova Scotia wind RFP in 2012 and Emera’s Atlantic Link Notice of Solicitation for renewables in 2017.
Brad Marks, Country Manager Canada, Stem
Brad Marks leads all Stem operations in the country, including management of partnerships and acquisitions, marketing and sales, and strategic growth. Brad brings extensive experience in energy management including ICI and utility infrastructure, distributed energy resources, operational and information technologies and services and project delivery. For over the past decade, Brad has held leadership roles with Survalent, Oracle, and General Electric, where he led commercial efforts into the Canadian electric utility market to deliver cost savings, operational efficiency and network reliability. Brad has also built, led, and managed national sales organizations from very small startups to global leaders.
Claude Mindorff, VP Project and Business Development, Switch Power
Claude has over 30 years of energy and construction expertise and has been active in the renewable energy industry for 20 years. He has led the establishment of four wind development companies that have created portfolios in Ontario, Alberta, California and Illinois, totalling 1,800MW. He has held senior positions in global Independent Power Producers overseeing M&A and project and portfolio development in excess of 4GW throughout North America, of which 700MW are in operation today. At Switch Power, he is responsible for supporting business development and project origination, technical development and market strategy and leads the project development team.
Bob Oliver, Senior Associate, Change Energy Services
Bob Oliver is considered an independent source of knowledge and expertise on advanced vehicle technology deployment. He is actively consulted by governments, business and civil society groups throughout Canada. Bob’s clients include Jacobs-CH2M, Fasken Martineau and Hydrogenics, collaborating on their behalf with several global automakers, regional public transit operators and infrastructure developers. Notably, Bob played an instrumental role in Metrolinx’s assessment of hydrogen technology and its decision to consider fuel cell-powered locomotives as a valid means of electrifying GO rail service in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.
Peter Plumptre, Senior Account Manager, Cleantech Team, EDC
Peter Plumptre helps early commercializing cleantech companies in Ontario grow internationally by providing a variety of solutions including equity investments, debt lending, bonding, and insurance. EDC also works closely with our banking partners through our guarantee programs to help them support cleantech companies. He worked in banking for over 10 years including Lloyds Corporate Markets in London, BMO Capital Markets, and Scotiabank Global Banking & Markets in Toronto. He holds a MBA from the Rotman School at the University of Toronto.
Sue Rauth, Deputy Director, Trade Commissioner Service
Sue Rauth is a Trade Commissioner working within the Ontario Regional Office of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service of Global Affairs Canada. Sue has worked within international business development for 20 years and has never had a dull business conversation in her career. She leads the Physical Technology sector team at the Ontario Regional Office, located in Toronto, but serving all of Ontario. In this role she manages a team of officers who support Ontario-based companies as they internationalize their business. She has served short assignments at both the Canadian Consulate General in Mumbai, India and in Ottawa.
Ata Rehman, Director, Operations Planning and Engineering, Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)
Ata Rehman is the working sponsor of the Energy Storage initiative. He joined the AESO in April 2004 and has more than 30 years of experience in the field of transmission system planning, power system studies, power system operations planning, interconnections, project delivery and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining the AESO, Ata worked at Acres International Ltd, Toronto (1998 – 2004) and Nespak, Pakistan (1988 – 1998) in the field of power system planning. Ata is a registered Professional Engineer in Alberta and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Raj Retnanandan, Principal, EMRC
Raj Retnanandan’s practice is focused on economic regulation of public utilities. As an independent regulatory consultant he has assisted consumer groups, utilities, regulators and policy makers in regard to tariffs and regulatory policies. Raj is also the Lead consultant to the Northwest Territories Public Utilities Board. He is familiar with the functioning of electricity markets and is currently engaged in regulatory and market-based approaches that could help monetize and maximize the value of distributed energy resources including storage.
Jason Rioux, Vice President & Chief Development Officer, NRStor
Jason Rioux has a proven track record in developing and operating all forms of energy projects, especially carving new paths through complex energy markets, contracting, regulatory, and political environments. As Chief Development Officer of NRStor, Jason leads the operations and business development activities across Canada and internationally, and thrives on the challenge of marrying new storage technologies with new commercial business models — a key success factor in developing energy storage projects. Previously the Director of Business Development for Ontario Power Generation, Jason led a wide variety of business development initiatives and played a large role in decarbonizing the Ontario power sector.
Brett Simon, Senior Analyst, Energy Storage, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables
Brett Simon is senior energy storage analyst at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, focusing on the U.S. behind-the-meter energy storage market. He project manages Wood Mackenzie’s quarterly U.S. storage market report, The U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, published in collaboration with the Energy Storage Association. Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, Brett earned a Master of Science degree in sustainable systems at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. He first became interested in energy storage systems and their potential to revolutionize the energy sector through his coursework and master's project. Brett also holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and environmental studies from New York University.
Blaire Stewart , Director, Business Development, Rodan Energy
Blaire Stewart is responsible for driving the development of the Demand Response and Distributed Energy Generation revenue streams for Rodan Energy. She works with various commercial, industrial and institutional partners to help them secure the benefits of Demand Response and other market programs in Ontario. Prior to joining Rodan, Blaire worked in the solar industry focusing on large commercial rooftop and ground mounted PV projects. Through this role, Blaire gained experience leading multi-national teams across Canada, the USA and Europe. She has spearheaded the development of over 1GW of solar PV opportunities focused across North America and Europe. Blaire has participated in Leading Change and has been named as one of Canada’s Emerging Environmental Leaders.
Francois Vitez, Energy Consultant
Mr. Vitez has over 20 years of experience in the development, engineering and construction management of hydropower projects in Canada, USA and internationally, namely in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Previously, he led the Business Development activities for Global Hydropower & Power Delivery Business Unit at SNC-Lavalin. Early in his career, he worked at developing numerous small hydropower projects in Nepal including his own Khudi Hydropower Project which is considered as a model for integrated renewable energy development in Nepal and well recognized in Canada, winning both the Quebec and Canadian Engineering Association awards in 2008 in the International Projects Category.
Mike Voll, Global Sector Leader, Smart Technologies, Stantec
Mike Voll is the Global Sector Leader for Stantec’s Smart Technology services. He has over 33 years of experience with both industrial and power clients serving positions with equipment suppliers, manufacturers, system integrators and the last 15 years with Stantec. In the last 8 years. Mike has supported the rehabilitation of Ontario’s electricity system through Stantec’s involvement in over 1GW of solar PV in addition to nearly 50MW of energy storage projects. Mike is also leading a research project to deploy a commercial microgrid for a research park near the University of Waterloo which should pave pathways for mass deployments of community microgrids globally.
The Honourable Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy, Ontario
MPP, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound
Bill Walker is a third-term Member at Queen’s Park. He was appointed Associate Minister of Energy on June 18, 2019. Previously he served as Minister of Government and Consumer Services and the Chief Government Whip. Before the 2018 election, Bill served as a Member of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in multiple Critic roles, including Seniors, Long-Term Care and Accessibility, Community and Social Services, Long-Term Care and Wellness, Children and Youth Services, as well as Deputy Health Critic for Rural and Northern Ontario. He is also a long-time PC Caucus Nuclear Chair. Prior to his election to provincial parliament, Bill worked as Operations Manager at Bruce Power, and was Executive Director at the Bruce Peninsula Health Services Foundation where he led a successful campaign to raise $3 million for the Lion’s Head and Wiarton hospitals. He was born and raised in Hepworth where he developed a strong sense of family values and a deep appreciation for our rural heritage. For this reason, Bill has long been active in Grey and Bruce, committing his time to social and economic causes. He has served on the popular Wiarton Willie Festival, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Bluewater Education Foundation.