December 8, 2020 / Session 1  8:00am PT / 11:00am ET / DOE Keynote Panel


Communities of Profit VS Communities of Purpose … and other Grid Myths

“It can’t be done.”  “We can’t get there from here.” “It’s too risky.”  “We have nothing in common.” Most people (and organizations) walk away when these statements arise, but DOE often uses them as a test for when to push forward.

DOE is not a monolithic organization but rather a collection of communities with specific purposes, and sometimes only united at the very top of DOE’s mission statement: to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.  The one thing DOE is not is a community of profit, but no solutions to America’s energy challenges can succeed without profit as a motivation.  Get three perspectives from within DOE on what unites us, what divides us, and how to forge a common purpose.

Christopher Irwin

Christopher Irwin has spent over 20 years in a diverse spectrum of high technology fields from HVAC to semiconductor manufacturing, communication networks for advanced metering, and Smart Grid infrastructure.At the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, he has managed over $1.5B in grid modernization projects. He has seen some of the top utilities in the country, from very large to very small, tackle technology, integration and business challenges necessary to bring about the Smart Grid.Chris leads DOE’s Smart Grid standards and interoperability efforts, working alongside NIST, FERC and others in the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel. He founded DOE’s participation in the Green Button Data Access Initiative to empower customers with improved access to their own energy data, and works with the GridWise Architecture Council on Transactive Energy concept development.Prior to joining the DOE, he served as Director of Products at an AMI communications vendor, gaining a perspective on the electric energy sector, as well as natural gas and water infrastructure. Chris holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an M.B.A. from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Erika Gupta

Erika Gupta is the Sensors and Controls technology manager in EERE’s Building Technologies Office with the Emerging Technologies program. Her work at BTO leverages her controls background, focusing on building energy management controls and projects supporting controls for grid-integrated efficient buildings.

She first joined EERE as a technology development manager in the Fuel Cell Technologies Office in 2012, managing projects that could lower the cost of delivery of hydrogen. Under her management the subprogram achieved its delivery cost goal a year ahead of schedule and lowered the cost of hydrogen stations by 40% through innovative control strategies. Her portfolio was recognized through R&D 100 awards and the receipt of an outstanding regional partnership award for the highly successful H2FIRST project.

Prior to joining FCTO she worked in the fuel cell industry as a systems reliability engineer and then as a lead control systems engineer on fuel cell battery hybrid systems for forklifts and distributed steam methane reforming systems at Nuvera Fuel Cells. Prior to that, she spent time as a program engineer at Luminus Devices working on their Phlatlight LEDs. Erika also has a background in reliability engineering and predictive failure analysis.

She attained her B.S. in mechanical engineering at Boston University and M.S. in mechanical engineering, with a focus on control systems, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Alejandro Moreno

Alejandro Moreno is the Director for the Water Power Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). In this role, he manages efforts to develop and commercialize innovative technologies and market solutions for clean, domestic power generation from hydropower and marine energy resources across the United States.

Working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s national laboratories, academia, and industry, the program funds research, development, and deployment of water power systems through competitively selected, cost-shared projects with businesses, federal, state, and other stakeholder groups. Between his stints at DOE, he served in the energy groups of the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, where he designed and led regulatory reform programs to spur investment in clean energy and rural electrification.

Mr. Moreno holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree in economics and energy policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.




December 8, 2020 / Session 2  9am PT 


Architecting a Resilient Grid

The GridWise Architecture Council will introduce the 7 workshops of this conference and their relationship to Future States of our rapidly transforming energy systems.