“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Teddy Roosevelt
This past Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled to unify the treatment of distributed energy resources. Up to this point, states could opt-out, banning the participation of distributed resources in the wholesale power markets serving their local customers. What this meant practically for large commercial, industrial, and institutional organizations was that sites in certain states could not capitalize on their operational flexibility. According to Gregg Dixon, Voltus CEO, this historic FERC ruling “eliminates the antiquated local barriers that have prevented these distributed energy resources from delivering and receiving value in every wholesale power market in the United States.” Put simply, states can no longer opt-out.
Jon Wellinghoff, the former FERC Chairman commonly referred to as the “godfather” of demand response, also puts this ruling into perspective. “This ruling is the single most important decision in FERC history. By cementing the place of distributed energy resources in wholesale markets, we have taken a leap toward ensuring reliable grids and a clean energy future.” Wellinghoff, who refers to demand response as the “skeleton key” of the clean energy transition, speaks openly about the need for this balancing resource to allow for the widespread adoption of renewable energy.
Yet our work is not done. It will be 90 days before this ruling is written into law, and wholesale market operators then have up to nine months to submit compliance filings on how to modify the tariffs to enable these resources. Voltus is working closely with the appropriate grid operators to expedite implementation, expanding the financial opportunities for multi-site customers, as well as single-site organizations within these localities. Despite these short-term limitations, Dixon writes that the long term vision for Voltus is clear: “Our team and platform are ready to accelerate the energy transition, unlocking the value of distributed energy resources in every state.”
Interested in cashing in on your operational flexibility? Reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the opportunities available to your organization.
A little over a year ago I posted about how cleantech has a pipeline problem with recruiting female candidates – a problem that perpetuates itself because the status quo continues to be a male-dominated industry. At Voltus, we are committed to making targeted efforts to attract women to the industry. Whereas in early 2018, 33% of our job candidates were female, and only 26% of our employees were female, today, we are at 50% of our job candidates (a goal we committed to as a leadership team), and 40% of our team. By focusing on recruiting an equal number of men as women, the employee count starts to come naturally.
Today is International Women’s Day, and for all of the forward progress we have made, women are still a ways away from full and true equality. We need to continue to fight the gender gap. In cleantech this means encouraging more women to enter, stay in, and become leaders in this amazing field. Building a cleaner and more sustainable future is one of the best opportunities to have a positive influence in the world. It impacts everyone, and getting it right makes our planet better. It is exciting, fun, and has a positive social impact . . . something that research shows women care about significantly when considering their careers.
At Voltus, we know our work is not done. We need to continue to proactively recruit female candidates . . . the male candidates still come to us easily based on our broader networks, but that is slowly changing. We have done more direct outreach to female candidates, recruited more through university networks, and posted and networked within female-based industry groups. We’ve created a culture that makes it easier for working-moms to have exciting careers in a flexible working environment. I have both a three year old and an eight month old and I know it’s hard . . . ok impossible! . . . to do it all. However, things like flexible work hours, working from home, a supportive team, and three months of paid parental leave go a long way.