Solar Power International & Energy Storage International

Residential Energy Storage Outlook

Tuesday, September 25
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: 204B

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Residential storage has yet to achieve widespread adoption beyond its role in backup power supply systems, but residential energy storage has the potential to be on key solution for effectively integrating distributed renewables into the future electricity mix and residential solar and storage companies are increasingly viewing themselves as grid service providers. What’s next for this technology as policy and regulation seek to value residential battery storage systems?

Julian Spector

Staff Writer
Greentech Media

Julian is a staff writer at Greentech Media, where he reports on energy storage, solar power and other clean energy sectors. He also has experience covering clean transportation, state and federal energy policy, and climate adaptation. Julian writes the weekly Storage Plus column for GTM Squared. Previously, he reported for CityLab at The Atlantic and conducted grant-funded climate change reporting in Bangladesh. He graduated from Duke University.


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Ani Backa

US Director, Regulatory Affairs and Utilities

Ani Backa

Ani Backa is the US Director of Regulatory Strategy and Utility Initiatives at sonnen, world’s premier leader in residential battery storage, where she leads sonnen's US regulatory strategy and utility strategic partnerships. A senior renewable energy attorney by vocation, prior to joining sonnen, Ani managed business and government affairs for Xcel Energy, one of the largest and most progressive Investor Owned Utilities(IOUs) in the US. Ani’s experience combines in-depth understanding of micro and macro market and technology applications in the residential arena, including residential battery storage advanced technologies such as sonnen, and to-market successful platforms and utility strategic partnerships.


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Audrey Lee

Vice President, Energy Services

As Vice President of Grid Services, Audrey leads Sunrun’s efforts to deploy and aggregate residential solar plus storage to create cleaner and less costly grid infrastructure while reducing customers’ bills. Before joining Sunrun, Audrey was responsible for the analytics and operations platform to optimize fleets of distributed energy resources as virtual power plants at Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Inc.. Prior to that, she advised the President of the California Public Utilities Commission on smart grid, energy data, demand response, and energy storage policy. Audrey also worked at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy and the International Energy Agency in Paris. She holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Princeton University.


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Howard Smith, BSEE

Manager, DER Policy
Southern Company Services

Howard Smith graduated Clemson University in 1977 with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering.

Howard is the Manager of DER Policy and is responsible for tracking current / future trends and activities involving the broad aspects of DER. Also, he is responsible for developing plans and policy positions related to DER in support of Executive Management’s efforts in the establishment of goals, actions and policies for the Southern system.

Howard is on the Advisory Council for SEPA, and was formerly the Chairman of the Board of Directors for ADS. He served on the Alabama Governor’s Advisory Team for Industrial Energy Efficient and CHP. He has made numerous regional and national presentations on integrated resource planning, DSM, smart grid, storage and other electric industry related topics.

Duke Power

Howard worked as a Quality Assurance/Special Project engineer in distribution. He worked in Duke Power's corporate office as a distribution staff engineer responsible for distribution design and equipment standards, outdoor lighting, and special projects.

Georgia Power

Howard held various jobs within Transmission, Generation, Regulatory, Bulk Power and Market Planning. He became responsible for developing the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Howard became the Metro Team Manager for Key Accounts in the Sales Organization and later became the Manager of Technical Sales. His team was responsible for promoting electric end use processes for non-electrical customer processes including Customer Cogeneration Opportunities.

Alabama Power

Howard became the Manager of Resource Planning and Demand Response Operations. He was responsible for the development of the generation supply-side and demand-response plan to meet the future needs of Alabama Power. This responsibility included seeking cost effective resources such as: combined heat and power generation, renewable resources (wind, solar, biomass, etc.), traditional generation and customer energy efficiency and demand controlled resources.


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Denise Soltero

Renewable Energy Technical Specialist
Tucson Electric Power

Denise Soltero is a Renewable Energy Technical Specialist at Tucson Electric Power Company in Tucson, Arizona. Denise holds a degree in Business Communications and more than 20 years’ experience in customer relations that allows her to strategically manage business relationships between all of the stakeholders in solar energy. In her position at TEP, she has managed system design, installation, and inspections with TEP’s Rooftop Solar Program. She now oversees interconnections of residential customer-owned solar and battery storage systems. Denise serves on several committees, including TEP’s & Unisource Energy Service Requirements committee for Customer Technologies, Distributed Generation and Energy Storage.


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