e-Lab Accelerator

Teams and Faculty

2020 Virtual Accelerator and Participating Teams

eLab Accelerator is a boot-camp for multistakeholder project teams. Project teams from across the country are supported by RMI staff and members of the eLab Network with coaching and customized workshop sessions. We choose these teams to work with for their potential to speed the transition of the electricity system toward one that is decarbonized, reliable, affordable, and equitable. eLab helps teams navigate the complexities of achieving these outcomes, provides access to subject matter expertise and adept collaboration, and gets them moving quickly through challenging aspects of their project teamwork.

In 2020, during a truly emergent year, eLab hosted Accelerator virtually, supporting nine project teams over a period of six months. It was inspiring to work with these projects, witness the dedication of these teams, and help these important projects continue during the uncertainty of the first months of the COVID pandemic.

After Accelerator, the implementation work of the teams is typically just beginning. Learn more about each of this year’s nine teams and what they’ve accomplished below. Contact eLab@rmi.org to learn more about our support of these teams and future work in manifesting the clean energy transition.

  • 100% Renewable Energy for Utah Communities
  • Berkeley Electrification and Natural Gas Decommissioning Pilot
  • DERs in Wholesale Markets
  • Land Use Process for Renewable Energy and Transmission Development
  • Michigan Utility Business Model Reform
  • Midwest Affordable Housing Electrification Pilot
  • Oregon Distribution System Planning
  • Regulatory Options to Enable 100% Clean Energy for New Jersey
  • Pearl Street Station Finance Lab

Information on teams from previous Accelerators can be found here:

Further information on teams that attended Accelerator 2020 can be found below:

100% Renewable Energy for Utah Communities

This team consisted of three cities and counties in Utah, regulators representing the Division of Public Utilities and Office of Consumer Services, and Rocky Mountain Power.

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Berkeley Electrification and Natural Gas Decommissioning Pilot

This project team came to Accelerator to explore how to electrify California's buildings and decommission the legacy natural gas infrastructure in a strategic and equitable manner.

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DERs in Wholesale Markets

This team addressed solutions to overcome the complex array of technical and market barriers that prevent integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) into wholesale markets.

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Land Use Process for Renewable Energy and Transmission Development

The team was comprised of developers, regulators, planners, environmental advocates, and landowners.

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Michigan Utility Business Model Reform

This team wanted to investigate the regulatory reforms needed for Michigan’s electricity system to reliably serve customers given (1) aging grid infrastructure and (2) an increasing generation share of clean energy.

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Midwest Affordable Housing Electrification Pilot

The team, championed by Elevate Energy, set out to design a pilot focused on electrifying multifamily affordable housing in Chicago.

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Oregon Distribution System Planning

Oregon Public Utility Commission staff and stakeholders came together to problem solve components in the docket to ensure that the distribution planning guidelines best serve all communities.

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Pearl Street Station Finance Lab

Pearl Street Station (PSS) Finance Lab is an initiative that was launched this year to provide the financial analysis tools and education that advocates, regulatory commissioners, and institutional investors need to improve the incentives for utilities to decarbonize and adopt a growing pool of new technologies.

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Regulatory Options to Enable 100% Clean Energy for New Jersey

New Jersey has committed to 100% clean energy by 2050. Thus far, in its efforts to achieve this ambitious goal, New Jersey has relied on a renewable portfolio standard and a variety of technology-specific incentives.

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Each year, Accelerator teams also benefit from the coaching of industry experts that serve as eLab faculty. These members of the eLab Network meet with teams one-on-one and offer project guidance. This year, many also generously shared personal insights during our mini-conference conversations, provided content-rich learning sessions, and participated in multi-team coaching clinics. Access to these industry perspectives is one of the most valuable and unique aspects of Accelerator, and this year’s list of faculty coaches and speakers included:

  • Albert Lin, Executive Director, Pearl Street Station Finance Lab
  • Allison Clements, Principal, goodgrid, LLC
  • Brandon Hofmeister, CMS Energy Corporation and Consumers Energy, Senior Vice President of Governmental, Regulatory, and Public Affairs
  • Carl Linvill, Principal, The Regulatory Assistance Project
  • Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
  • Celina Bonugli, Associate, Clean Energy Innovation, WRI
  • Eleanor Stein, Climate Change Law and Policy Professor, Albany Law School
  • Heidi Leslie, Vice President, Corporate Strategy Implementation, Emera Inc.
  • Janet Gail Besser, Managing Director, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
  • Jessica Shipley, Senior Associate, The Regulatory Assistance Project
  • Jon Wellinghoff, Chief Executive Officer, GridPolicy, Inc.
  • Jocelyn Del Real, Empower Program Coordinator, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
  • Josh Keeling, Director, Cadeo
  • Karl Rábago, Principal, Rábago Energy LLC
  • Lorenzo Kristov, Principal, Electric System Policy
  • Oriana Magnera, Verde, Energy, Climate, Transportation Program Manager
  • Rachel Huang, Director, Distributed Energy Strategy, SMUD
  • Ric O’Connell, Executive Director, GridLab
  • Rich Barrone, Vice President, Advanced Energy Transformation, TRC
  • Sarah Propst, Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD)
  • Scott Blunk, Strategic Business Planner, Building Electrification and Energy Efficiency, SMUD
  • Sonia Aggarwal, Vice President, Energy Innovation
  • Steven Corneli, Principal, Strategies for Clean Energy Innovation
  • Tanuj Deora, Vice President, Market Innovation, Uplight
“Group photo” from our closing ceremony, Accelebration!, on October 9th.