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Mark Dyson

Principal
  • Carbon-Free Electricity

Mark is a principal with the Carbon-Free Electricity Practice at Rocky Mountain Institute, where he has worked since 2008 and currently leads RMI research and collaboration efforts around the roles that distributed energy resources can play in grid planning and investment. At RMI, Mark has led cutting-edge research projects on the value that renewable energy, demand flexibility, and storage offer customers and the grid, and has advised clients including large utilities, regulatory commissions, oil majors, and clean-tech companies on distributed energy topics.

Mark’s work focuses on several topics related to the changing nature of the electricity grid. Mark has contributed to RMI’s work on new approaches to grid resource planning that better account for the expanding role of renewable energy and distributed energy resources. Mark also helped lead RMI’s analysis of the potential of demand flexibility to reduce grid emissions and costs, and has engaged with several industry partners to launch new business models that take advantage of that potential.

Background

Prior to joining RMI, Mark worked at Ascend Analytics, helping deploy software for grid dispatch optimization and financial modeling to several large energy companies. Mark has also held research positions at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory working on improving regional electricity system planning models, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory working on analysis of the potential for aggregated demand response programs to provide ancillary services.

Education

Mark received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Carleton College, and his master’s degree in the Energy & Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. Mark has also worked in research roles at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the National Renewable Energy Lab, and for a half-dozen utility clients in several large consulting engagements.

M.Sc., Energy & Resources Group, University of California – Berkeley
BA, Computer Science and Geology, Carleton College

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship – Energy Engineering

Location

Boulder, CO

Twitter

@mehdyson

Authored Works
Blog

Climate Change Is Messing with Texas

With extreme cold stretching across half the United States, the past week has seen unprecedented power outages in the central part of the country, and particularly in Texas. Millions of people remain without power as the state’s grid operator, ERCOT, struggles to meet historic demand for electricity even as…

Wind turbine
Blog

Clean Energy Is Canceling Gas Plants

While COVID-19 has disrupted many aspects of the economy and daily life in 2020, the trend toward clean electricity is still going strong. Renewable energy and storage technology costs continue to fall, with expanding adoption by utilities and other investors, while new gas-fired power plants face ever-stronger financial headwinds. Data…

City skyline
insight

Reimagining Grid Resilience

This report describes the changing nature of resilience within the US grid and details specific recommendations to take advantage of current technological trends. This will help bring about investment in a grid that promotes resilience by design, economically and from the bottom up, and not as a cost-adding afterthought years later.

City skyline
Blog

Reimagining Grid Resilience in the Energy Transition

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced much of the world to first shelter in place and then continue to spend significant time at home as outbreaks re-emerge. Reliable delivery of electricity to homes and essential businesses in this time of upheaval has been critical in maintaining any semblance of normality. Yet…

Blog

A Clean Electricity Future is Affordable and Attainable—It’s Time to Act

For a decade or more, even as renewables have gained market share within the US power grid, accelerated progress toward a lower-carbon grid has been held up by two dominant–but outdated–narratives. First, utilities and others have long argued that renewables, in particular wind and solar, are costly compared to fossil…

mountain valley
insight

Lessons for Grid Resilience from the Upper Roaring Fork Valley

This report examines the outcomes of a multi-month Rocky Mountain Institute-supported process to “create” resilience involving utility Holy Cross Energy and various other organizations in Colorado’s Upper Roaring Fork Valley. It highlights key lessons that will be invaluable to energy resilience planning and implementation efforts around the world.

Blog

Lowering Costs and Carbon for Minnesota Co-ops

Today, Great River Energy (GRE), a generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative utility serving 700,000 families and businesses in Minnesota, announced the planned retirement of its Coal Creek Station power plant in 2022. This retirement is part of a sweeping plan to reduce the utility’s CO2 emissions by 95 percent…