These Innovators and Influencers have had such a significant impact on the wind industry that the staff of Windpower Engineering would like to celebrate their success in the second annual Innovators and Influencers of Wind Power special section.
Carlito P. Caliboso –Hawaii is more than 90% dependent on fossil fuels (oil and coal) for generating electricity, but as Chairman of Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission, Carlito Caliboso is trying to change that. Hawaii’s aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard is 40% renewable energy by 2030. As a regulator, Caliboso must balance the need to implement new energy policies against traditional regulatory objectives: seeing that electric utilities provide reliable service at just and reasonable rates, while allowing utilities to earn a reasonable return.
Caliboso was appointed to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and designated chairman in April 2003. In 2004, he was reappointed to a full six-year term through June 2010. He is now on his second full term. Before joining the commission, Caliboso practiced law in Hawaii for over 11 years, primarily in business and transactional matters. He holds several degrees: a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Hawaii in 1984 where he double majored in both finance and management, a Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii in 1991, and more recently an Executive MBA degree from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii in 2009.
Although the commission has a broad range of responsibilities (electricity, gas, telecommunications, private water and sewage, and motor and water transportation), energy issues have dominated the regulatory and political landscape since Caliboso’s appointment. He has been responsible for leading the legal, engineering, audit, policy and research, enforcement, and professional administrative staff. Although universally recognized as being short on resources, since 2003, the commission has aggressively tackled major energy policy issues such as its Renewable Portfolio Standard, energy-efficiency programs, distributed generation, competitive bidding, net-energy metering, feed-in tariffs, interconnection requirements, and decoupling. Under Caliboso’s leadership, the commission has addressed more energy policy issues than the administrations of the prior three chairs combined.
Wind power is important to Hawaii’s energy strategy, as well as Caliboso’s. Under his guidance, the commission has reviewed and approved wind projects on the Islands of Maui, Hawaii, and Oahu. In addition, the commission is discussing two large wind projects of about 200 MW each, which would be sited on the Islands of Molokai and Lanai.
Three wind farms are currently operating on the Islands of Hawaii and Maui, but there’s always more to be done. In 2010, the commission reviewed and approved a wind farm on Oahu, which includes an innovative battery energy storage system, and a second one on Maui. Caliboso is eager to see these wind farms succeed, and Hawaii reach its renewable energy goals with wind power and other sources of clean energy.
His responsibilities in this role include establishing strategy and priorities, defining technical and programmatic roles, business development, and performing management assurance for the renewable energy related activities of the laboratory. He manages and develops programs to:
• Bring together key renewable energy technology capabilities to consistently implement a science-based reliability and systems approach
• Leverage Sandia’s broader predictive simulation, testing/evaluation, materials science, and systems engineering capability with expertise in renewable energy technologies
• Expand and accelerate Sandia’s role in the innovation, development and penetration of renewable energy technologies
Mr. Zayas joined Sandia National Labs in 1996 and spent the first ten years of his career supporting the National mission of the labs wind energy portfolio as a senior member of the technical staff. During his technical career he had responsibilities for several programmatic research activities and new initiatives for the program. Mr. Zayas engineering research contributions, innovation and outreach spanned a variety of areas which include active aerodynamic flow control, sensors, dynamic modeling, data acquisition systems, and component testing.
After transition to the of program manager in 2006, Jose has engaged and supported a variety of national initiatives to promote the expansion of clean energy technologies for the Nation. Most recently, Jose has continued to lead the organization clean energy activities and has coordinated and developed the laboratories cross-cutting activities in advanced water power systems. This program focuses on developing and supporting an emerging clean energy portfolio (wave, current, tide and conventional hydro energy sources). Through developed partnerships with key National labs, industry and academia, Sandia is supporting and leading a variety of activities to accelerate the advancement and viability of both wind energy and the comprehensive marine hydrokinetics industry. Additionally, Jose is currently leading a Federal interagency research program to address barriers affecting the continued deployment and acceptance of wind energy systems across the nation.
Jose holds a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico, and a Masters degree in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from the University of California.
Karen Conover- Karen Conover has been guiding the wind industry for more than 25 years. A long time consultant and industry leader, she is one of the few women visible on the national and international wind stage during the surge in development in recent years.
Karen’s interest in the renewable energy business began at an early age – the 4th grade to be exact. At an energy fair in her NJ hometown, she was captivated by the solar and wind-energy displays. From that time forward, she pursued an involvement with renewables – first through science projects in grade school, then in a university program. She even wrote college application essays on the benefits of recycling and renewable energy – an unusual topic for the early 1980s.
After receiving her undergraduate degree at Duke University in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science, Karen sought out a graduate program that specialized in renewables. She obtained a Masters in Science and Engineering from University of Arizona in Renewable Energy Systems where she focused on solar, wind, and clean power generation.
After graduating, she joined a consulting company in the Pacific Northwest in 1987 and in 1994 started Global Energy Concepts (GEC), a wind-focused consulting company. Most of her firm’s work in the 1990s was in emerging markets, work that took her to Asia, Central and South America, and the Middle East. In 1995, she was nominated by a client for a position on the AWEA Board of Directors. She continues to serve on the AWEA Board today and currently holds the longest tenure of any board member.
In 2002, AWEA recognized GEC with an award for “building one of the worlds leading wind consultancies.” The company reached approximately 100 people and expanded from its original Seattle headquarters to an east coast office near Boston. The company’s success was based on providing a broad range of services from wind resource assessment to turbine development support and due-diligence services. Clients included developers, equipment manufacturers, investors, government agencies, and utilities. The focus has always been on quality, value, and integrity.
Establishing a good workplace environment consistent with the mission of the company was always a high priority for GEC. The company promoted environmentally friendly practices and encouraged employee commitments to reduce their carbon footprint long before it was fashionable. “Our success is based on the quality, competence, and happiness of our people,” she said, “It’s always possible to have fun and do a good job at the same time. Most people feel that working in the wind industry is meaningful work, so motivating employees to do their best work was never a problem.”
Karen was thrilled to join the Women of Wind Energy (WOWE) Board of Directors in 2005. “We always had a high percentage of women engineers at GEC, said Karen, “As a female CEO, I was please to support the work of WOWE and become a mentor to other women entering the workforce”. WOWE promotes the education, professional development, and advancement of women to achieve a strong diversified workforce and support a robust renewable energy economy.
In June of 2008, GEC was acquired by Det Norse Veritas (DNV), a global risk-management firm with a long history in the wind industry. “DNV’s values and commitment to clients was a good match for us” said Karen, “They let us broaden our competence and expand our global reach.” Following the acquisition, Karen took over the position of Global Wind Energy Segment Director with responsibility for coordinating DNV’s global wind units in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Until recently she was based in DNV’s London office honing her knowledge of offshore wind projects.
Following her return to the US in Spring 2011, Karen expects to balance her work in wind between onshore and offshore wind markets as North America and Asia expand their offshore activities. “Let’s hope that the US is able to enact a long term energy policy that propels the US back to a wind-energy leader,” she says, “ A bit less travel wouldn’t be bad either.”
Ken Salazar- Ken Salazar is part cowboy, part lawyer, part businessman, and farmer, all adding up to make him a fine wind advocate. He’s been developing his vision for a renewable-energy economy that’s less dependent on foreign oil since his time as executive director of the Department of Natural Resources in his home state of Colorado.
Through this position and his service as a Colorado senator, he helped strengthen his state’s focus on renewable energy. He pushed for reforms in oil, mining, and gas operations to better protect the state’s environment and residents. He also fought to uphold Colorado’s interstate water contracts, and created a program to educate young people about natural resources. His position as the first chairman of the Great Outdoors Colorado movement helped make it a successful land conservation effort. He’s also been involved in many major bipartisan legislative efforts on energy, including the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007.
In January 2009, the Senate’s unanimous vote made Salazar 50th secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). In this position, he is in charge of the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and other federal agencies overseen by the DOI. He heads a vast agency with bureaus to manage water, fish, wildlife, mining, public lands, and national parks, as well as maintain federal relationships with American Indians.
But to the wind industry, his biggest achievement as Secretary of the Interior may have been his signing the lease of the nation’s first offshore wind farm last October, Cape Wind on the Nantucket Sound. At the end of his keynote address at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual North American Offshore Wind Conference in Atlantic City, he said this step was the beginning of a new era for offshore energy production. “Responsibly developing this clean, renewable, domestic resource will stimulate investment, create solid jobs for American workers, and promote our nation’s competitiveness, security, and prosperity,” he said. The project will help pave the way for more offshore wind development, but, with Salazar’s history, this is surely just a small glimpse of what he has up his sleeve to stimulate the renewable industry.
J. Rachel Shimshak- Rachel Shimshak has served as Executive Director of Renewable Northwest Project – a leading non-profit advocacy group – since its inception in 1994. Under her leadership, the organization has supported the implementation of more than 5,000 MW of wind, geothermal and solar resources in the Northwest. The region has become a national clean-energy leader, attracting robust renewable industries and manufacturing clusters. With Rachel at the helm, Renewable Northwest Project has grown to include over 50 member organizations – including businesses, non-profits and academic institutions – working toward the shared mission of a clean energy future and a healthy economy, workforce and environment.
Rachel has a rich history of leadership in the energy field. In 2005, she was chosen by the Governor of Oregon to represent the state on the Western Governors’ Association Clean and Diversified Energy Advisory Committee. She was selected by the Northwest Governors to serve on the Comprehensive Review of the Northwest Energy System in 1996. Before launching Renewable Northwest Project, Rachel served as Policy Director for the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, where she worked on an array of energy issues, from natural gas and oil to conservation, renewables and emergency planning. Prior to that, she was Legislative Director for a Massachusetts consumer group and an advocate in Colorado and Washington, D.C.
Rachel has served on the boards of several non-profit, clean energy and educational organizations and has been recognized by an array of groups for her contributions to clean energy. She is currently Secretary of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. She received the Northwest Energy Coalition Headwaters award in 1997, the Green Power Leadership Award/Green Power Pioneer Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions in 2003 and was recognized as Woman of the Year by Women of Wind Energy in 2008. Rachel is a graduate of the University of Oregon and is a native Oregonian.
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