The Ultimate Resiliency Plan: Microgrids and the Continued Segmentation of Electric Grid Assets

This event originally aired on November 16, 2015.

Spurred by favorable state-reliability initiatives, the U.S. microgrid market has reached a notable tipping point between technology development and wider-scale commercial deployment. Though substantial regulatory overhauls will be necessary for this market to truly flourish, policymakers and regulators are increasingly funding and considering legislation to further promote the development of microgrids for a variety of applications, most notably resiliency and renewables integration. Simultaneously, factors such as increasing customer demands, technological maturity and the decreasing price of DG are driving project economics forward, creating more viable business cases for end-use customers looking to attain energy surety, as well as vendor opportunities to expand the addressable market to new customer classes.

This panel will dive into the major drivers, stakeholder challenges and ongoing regulatory and implementation efforts shaping today’s microgrid market.


Omar Saadeh – Senior Analyst, GTM Research at Greentech Media

Omar Saadeh is a Senior Grid Analyst at GTM Research. Before joining GTM Research, Omar completed a Master of Engineering degree in power engineering at McGill University, where he was awarded a Graduate Excellence Fellowship and contributed as a staff writer to The McGill Daily. Prior to graduate school, Omar worked as a bilingual building efficiency sales associate at Johnson Controls in Montreal.  He also holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from McGill University with a minor in economics. Omar has published research for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Conseil International des Grands Réseaux Électriques, focusing on the advantages of plug-in electric vehicles and the economic dispatch of distributed resources in microgrids, respectively.


Brent Hollenbeck – Founder and CEO at TimberRock Energy Solutions

Brent Hollenbeck is a leading expert in the design, deployment and operation of advanced distributed energy resources (DERs) that create value for the host site while also improving grid efficiency and reliability. He has 24 years of combined executive leadership in the military and private sector. His military career culminated at Camp David during the George H. W. Bush administration where he was awarded the Presidential Service Badge. Upon leaving the Marine Corps, Hollenbeck earned his MBA from Mt. St. Mary’s College and has subsequently held senior roles in marketing, business development and general management within Philips N.A., Airpax Corporation, Sensata Technologies and the Potomac Energy Fund. He is the founder and CEO of TimberRock Energy Solutions and the co-founder and CEO of TimberRock Energy Finance.

Hollenbeck’s focus on distributed energy began in 2004 after acquiring and then running an early-stage microgrid firm. During the subsequent eleven years, he has been responsible for the deployment of numerous first-of-their-kind, award-winning projects that integrate renewables, energy storage and electric vehicles into dispatch-capable power plants. To support these deployments, Hollenbeck led a team that architected a sophisticated DER management platform – called DE-MAP – that combines IoT hardware and cloud-computing to maximize the value of distributed energy resources both behind and in front of the meter. DE-MAP has been deployed on over 2,000 distributed energy projects and for customers like General Motors and the Federal government.

Bradley Kranz – Vice President, Business Development at NRG Energy Inc.

Bradley Kranz is Vice President, Business Development within the East Region at NRG and has been with NRG since 2007.  He is responsible for working with business-to-business customers, utilities, municipalities and other clients to understand their energy related economic, sustainability, and resiliency goals and to develop tailored solutions to achieve those goals.  This includes accessing NRG’s diverse capabilities in distributed and renewable energy generation, microgrids, demand response and retail energy products and services to meet each customer’s needs.  Prior to this, Mr. Kranz oversaw NRG’s wholesale regulatory and market policy activities in the New York, New England and PJM market regions.  Before joining NRG, Mr. Kranz worked for the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) where he held various positions in Operations, Engineering and Market Services.  Before the NYISO, he was employed by Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation in upstate New York as an engineer at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear station.  Mr. Kranz holds an MBA from Union College and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Paul Belnick – Vice President, Integrated Grid at New York Power Authority

Paul was recently named Vice President of Integrated Grid at the New York Power Authority and his role is to align NYPA and its programs with the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative and to expedite the implementation of REV projects across New York State.

Prior to this Paul held the position of Vice President Energy Efficiency at NYPA and for over twenty years implemented energy efficiency, cogeneration, and clean energy projects across NYS.  During this time Paul completed over 950 projects representing an investment of over $1.5B, plus developed an ongoing pipeline of over 300 projects.

Paul is a graduate of the University of Buffalo with a degree in Industrial Engineering and obtained an MSBA from Indiana University. 

John Bradley – Associate Vice President for Sustainability, Energy, and Technical Services at New York University

John’s responsibilities include sustainability, recycling, demand side management, energy procurement, technical services, building services and the operation of the campus cogeneration facility. Prior to joining NYU, he held leadership positions with the U.S. Navy, Union Carbide, PSEG Nuclear and PSEG Energy Technologies. John holds degrees in Nuclear Engineering, Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Global Affairs – Energy and Environment concentration.