Breaking Through the 'Grid'-lock

Tuesday 2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. - Potomac C

Clive Crook, Columnist and Editorial Board Member, Bloomberg View
Lauren Azar, Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
David Mohler, Vice President, Emerging Technology, Duke Energy
Cheryl Roberto, Former Commissioner, Ohio Public Utilities Commission
Audrey Zibelman, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Viridity Energy Inc.

Many innovative technologies under development could transform the electric industry, offering a more robust, reliable and flexible electric delivery system than that developed over the last century. However, the market is not ready to embrace all of those technologies. Often, the motivations and interests of the critical players are not aligned which impedes traction on implementation. This panel will investigate the types of innovative technologies being affected, what is creating the market barriers, and who needs to act to eliminate those barriers.

Lauren Azar
Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
Lauren Azar Photo

As DOE Secretary Steven Chu’s Senior Advisor, Lauren Azar works closely with and advises the Secretary on the electric industry and on the institutional barriers to developing the Nation’s electric infrastructure. Among other things, Azar co-leads the negotiations among nine federal agencies to overhaul their evaluation of transmission projects of regional and national significance. She represents the DOE in President Obama’s initiative to streamline federal permitting. Secretary Chu also tapped Azar to ensure the DOE’s power marketing administrations are leaders in the development of a modern, secure and reliable transmission grid. With top secret clearance, Azar is familiar with cyber security vulnerabilities and threats. She has frequent contacts with Congressional members, Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners, and their staffers on issues relating to electric infrastructure. Azar regularly engages with state public utility commissioners on issues of mutual interest.

Clive Crook
Columnist and Editorial Board Member, Bloomberg View
Clive Crook Photo

Clive Crook is currently a columnist and member of the editorial board at Bloomberg View. He was previously senior editor of The Atlantic. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

David Mohler
Vice President, Emerging Technology, Duke Energy
David Mohler Photo

David Mohler is vice president of emerging technology for Duke Energy. He is responsible for the development and application of technologies in support of Duke Energy’s strategic objectives.
Mr. Mohler has operational experience in both nuclear and fossil power generation, as well as experience in corporate marketing, human resources and business development. He also led the establishment of the technology office at
Duke Energy in 2006. Mr. Mohler is a member of the advisory boards of GridPoint Inc., Verizon Wireless and the Carnegie Mellon Electric Utility Industry Center. He is a member of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Research Advisory Committee. He also serves on the board of directors of the Asia Clean Energy Innovation Initiative. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University, a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the State of New York at Albany, a Master of Arts degree from Xavier University of Cincinnati, and a Master of Science degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed the Columbia University Marketing Management Program and Penn State University Executive Development Program.

Cheryl Roberto
Former Commissioner, Ohio Public Utilities Commission
Cheryl Roberto Photo

Cheryl Roberto recently completed her service as a Commissioner on the Public Utilities
Commission of Ohio where she had served since April 2008. She was co-chair 2012 National
Electricity Forum, co-Vice Chair of the National Regulatory Utility Commissioner’s Association
(NARUC) Critical Infrastructure Committee, and a member of both NARUC’s Task Force on
Environmental Regulation and Generation and the Electricity Committee. She also served on the
Board of National Regulatory Research Institute and the Advisory Board for the Financial
Research Institute at the University of Missouri. She currently serves on the State and Local
Energy Efficiency Action Network’s Executive Group. In January, the Midwest Energy
Efficiency Alliance awarded her the 2013 Inspiring Efficiency Leadership Award for her work
leading a PUCO/DOE pilot promoting combined heat and power in Ohio. Previously, she
managed municipal utilities serving seven counties in Central Ohio as Public Utilities Director
for the City of Columbus, Ohio. An environmental attorney, she has served as an assistant
attorney general for the state of Ohio and an assistant counsel for the Pennsylvania Department
of Environmental Protection. Ms. Roberto received her B.A. in political science cum laude with
general honors from the Honors College, Kent State University, her J.D. from the Moritz College
of Law at The Ohio State University, and a certificate of completion in Strategic Management of
Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of
Government, Executive Education.

Audrey Zibelman
Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Viridity Energy Inc.
Audrey Zibelman Photo

Audrey Zibelman formed Viridity Energy after more than 25 years of electric utility industry leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Zibelman is a recognized national and international expert in energy policy, markets and Smart Grid innovation. Prior to forming Viridity Energy, Ms. Zibelman was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PJM, a Regional Transmission Organization that operates the world’s largest wholesale power market and serves 14 states throughout the eastern United States. While there she was responsible for all aspects of PJM’s transmission planning, market grid operations and corporate administration. Ms. Zibelman was previously an executive at Xcel Energy, Inc., where at various times she oversaw transmission operations and planning, energy market trading, risk management, fuel procurement and renewable energy development. She is a former General Counsel of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, and has participated as both a counsel and an expert in numerous electric utility proceedings before state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies. She has testified before Congress and federal and state agencies on the benefits of power markets and Smart Grids to consumers. Ms. Zibelman has served on the Boards of numerous entities responsible for assuring security and reliability of the nation’s power system, including Reliability First and GridWise Alliance. Ms. Zibelman earned her Juris Doctor degree from Hamline University Law School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Pennsylvania State University.