Janine Finnell, Clean Energy Ambassador and Founder
(703) 803-0766

Media Relations, American Public Power Association
(202) 467-2900

Deepak Swamy, CEO, Business Radar
(408) 694-3387


Washington, DC, July 28, 2015 – Over the past 10 years, the top five extreme weather events, including hurricanes, flooding, tornados, and droughts, have cost the country over $527B or over half-a-trillion dollars, according to NOAA.1 Each natural disaster puts electric utility companies on the front lines to keep the electric infrastructure up and the lights on. “Building a Resilient Energy Infrastructure for the Future,” co-hosted by Leaders in Energy American Public Power Association (APPA) and Business Radar will explore how utilities respond to weather challenges. Policy options and business opportunities for the integration of microgrids and distributed generation, technology changes, and conventional power jobs will be discussed. The event will be held at the APPA facility in Crystal City, VA, from 6-8 p.m.

Global investment in renewable energy surged to $207B, up 17%, in 2014, according to the United Nations Environment Program. In the U.S., investment in renewables topped $38.3B. However, with these new sources of energy come new challenges. Communities are placing new requirements on electric utilities to integrate renewables into the infrastructure. Utilities are beginning to experiment with how to add microgrids and distributed power to the equation while grappling with the long-term impact their addition will have on the national grid cost structure. Electric utilities must also determine the role technology will have in meeting augmented demand. At the same time, the workforce is primed for a transition with employees reaching retirement age in the next 3-5 years, creating new opportunities for conventional power jobs.

“After the Derecho storm impacted the Washington, D.C. region and left our neighborhoods without power for 5 days in sweltering heat several years ago, I became intrigued in finding out about ways to enhance the resiliency of the electric grid, including microgrids, and more decentralized power generation such as solar panels. I am looking forward to learning more about developments to enhance electric system reliability as well as employment trends in the public utility sector as many of our members are interested in obtaining green jobs,” says Janine Finnell, Clean Energy Ambassador and Founder of Leaders in Energy.

Carolyn Slaughter, Director of Environmental Policy, American Public Power Association (APPA) says, “the electric utility sector is going through a transformative period in history, where technology and consumer choice is propelling some of the biggest changes in energy. Public power utilities stand ready to adapt to these changes, all while providing reliable electricity service at competitive costs.”

“We’re delighted to partner with Leaders in Energy and APPA on this event,” says Deepak Swamy, CEO of Business Radar, developers of iRestore. “Utilities face escalating challenges in ensuring reliability of the grid. Mobile technology creates unique opportunities for a utility to increase system availability by connecting with cities and communities to address some of these challenges. For anyone with an interest in mobile apps, big data and utility outage restoration, we look forward to sharing utility pilot feedback on these innovations,” says Swamy.

Leaders in Energy

Leaders in Energy is now part of the Circular Economy Network Map managed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Leaders in Energy engages professionals who delight in thinking about, discussing, and collaborating on energy, environmental, and sustainability topics through online and in-person networking events. We seek to attract like-minded individuals who are passionate about dialoguing, collaborating, and seeking solutions to energy, environmental and sustainability challenges. Through its 1,600 + member LinkedIn group and monthly professional networking events in the Washington, DC area, the group collects and exchanges ideas and information to build a specialized network of professionals who are interested in making a difference through transformative leadership and actions.

American Public Power Association (APPA)

The American Public Power Association (APPA), based in the Washington, D.C., metro area, is the service organization for the nation’s more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities. Collectively, these utilities serve more than 48 million Americans.

Business Radar

Business Radar is a provider of outage intelligence and restoration technologies for electric and gas utilities. Located in McLean, VA and San Jose, CA, Business Radar’s award-winning iRestore mobile platform provides utilities with “eyes-on visibility” that greatly speeds and increases accuracy of the utility damage assessment process. Deployed at one of the largest U.S. utilities, iRestore uniquely enables the utility to connect with first responders throughout their service area. First responders and utility crews use “intelligent assistant” smartphone apps that help the utility pinpoint utility damage, prioritize response, and perform repairs while reducing outage duration and costs.

1. NOAA, “Billion Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Table of Events”, 2014.