June 2010

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Dan SullivanEMAIL INTERVIEW - Dan Sullivan & Ken Sinclair

Dan Sullivan is a rising senior at Harvard College and an employee at the Boston-based energy startup, Corefex.  Passionate about emerging smart grid technologies, Dan has spent the past two summers working at Isentropic, a grid scale energy storage startup, and Foundation Capital, a venture capital firm focusing on the cleantech industry among others.

 


YoungEnergy & ConnectivityWeek

 Iíve been excited about demand response for a long time and this conference gave me a new sense for its direction and its eventual place in the fully integrated smart grid.

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Sinclair:  As a college student, how did you hear about ConnectivityWeek?

Sullivan:  Iíve been excited about energy and the smart grid for a few years now and I try to stay on top of new advancements in the industry. To do that, I read new articles on AutomatedBuildings.com and GreenTechMedia.com every day and attend weekly energy club meetings at my school. I canít remember the first time I heard or read about ConnectivityWeek but itís been on my mind for a long time ago and Iíve been trying to find a way to make it here.

Sinclair:  Did it live up to these lofty expectations?

Sullivan:  Haha, it more than lived up to them. This conference made me realize just how passionate Iíve become about the smart grid. After years of reading Brattle, Pike and EIA reports, reading articles on AutomatedBuildings and talking about the business models and futures of EnerNOC, Akuacom, Control4 and dozens of others, getting to meet people like Ahmad Faruqui, Ken Sinclair and Ed Koch was really exciting for me.

Sinclair:  What part of the conference did you enjoy the most, the least?

Sullivan:  Haha, there wasnít a least. Actually, I guess it would have to be that I had to miss the first day of the conference.

My favorite part of the conference was watching discussion panels with the men and women at the forefront of this smart grid revolution and understanding the majority of what they were saying; realizing that I now knew more than 50% of the industryís acronyms and lingo and an equal percent of the federal agencies and companies involved. It was a validating experience after spending so much time trying to understand the field.

Reliable Controls Sinclair:  Tell us something you took away from the conference.

Sullivan:  How complex the industry is and how quickly itís changing with each new piece of federal legislation that passes.

More specifically, Iíve been excited about demand response for a long time and this conference gave me a new sense for its direction and its eventual place in the fully integrated smart grid. While I still see the classic, third party curtailment aggregators having a place in ISOs and with large utilities in regulated states for a long time, Iím now expecting a lot more from Demand Response Automation System providers like Akuacom and Bridge Energy Group in the MUNI and COOP markets.

Sinclair:  Tell us about YoungEnergy.

Sullivan:  Well, I said that Iíve been hoping to find a way to attend the conference. YoungEnergy was that way.

After I realized the $20 in my bank account wouldnít cover the cost of the conference, I figured Iíd just try to save up money over the next year and make it to ConnectivityWeek 2011. It was about a month ago that I heard that YoungEnergy, a forward thinking industry group established to get young people involved in this rapidly evolving industry, had established grants to cover the cost of excited (but penniless) college students and young professionals to attend ConnectivityWeek and GridWeek, the two largest smart grid conferences in the country.

I was thrilled to receive one of these grants and to meet the rest of the YoungEnergy Network. Iím 100% certain that Iíll be back in the future as a mentor with this group and I couldnít be happier about that.

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