Mark Dyson

  • Electricity

Mark is a principal with the 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.


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.


Boulder, CO




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

Authored Works

The Non-Wires Solutions Implementation Playbook

For the past decade, regulated utilities have spent an average of $55 billion annually upgrading their distribution, transmission, and generation infrastructure to meet customer needs.     The largest share of this investment has been in distribution infrastructure to maintain and modernize the last-mile networks that deliver energy…

Outlet Blog Post

Connecting Western Co-op Members With Cost-Effective Clean Energy

If you would like to learn more about the results of this report and receive updates as they become available, please click here. The emergence of very low-cost renewable energy pricing in the United States has created unprecedented opportunities, and some risks, for utilities currently reliant on high-cost, legacy…

Outlet Blog Post

Saving Colorado Customers Money with Clean Energy

Xcel Energy’s Colorado Energy Plan, which will be considered by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission this month, has made national news with its promise to save the utility’s customers more than $200 million by shuttering an aging coal plant and replacing it with a combination of renewable energy and…

Outlet Blog Post

Michigan Is the Latest State to Embrace the Value of Clean Energy Portfolios

Last Friday, Michigan’s two largest electric utilities, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, announced plans to meet half of their load by 2030 with renewable energy and efficiency technologies. Their commitment is the latest example of utilities recognizing the value these technologies provide to their customers, and often to their…

Outlet Blog Post

Report Release: The Economics of Clean Energy Portfolios

Download RMI’s new report, The Economics of Clean Energy Portfolios The US power system is one of the largest, most complicated, and most expensive machines in the world, but the grid’s core infrastructure is old and is not aging gracefully. Nearly 500 gigawatts (GW), or about half of the…

Outlet Blog Post

A Resilient and Cost-Effective Energy Future for Puerto Rico

Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused extraordinary damage to Puerto Rico, especially to the electrical grid. Approximately half of Puerto Ricans were still without power over two months after the storms, leading to the longest sustained outage in the history of the United States by far. Renewable and distributed energy…

Outlet Blog Post

The Billion-Dollar Costs of Forecasting Electricity Demand

We make forecasts every day, and the technologies and other tools that help us make these forecasts are getting better each year. Weather forecasts, for example, have improved dramatically in the age of supercomputers and high-resolution climate models, and can now accurately predict the timing of rain or other events…

Outlet Blog Post

Changes in the Power Sector Are an Opportunity, Not a Threat

On August 23, the U.S. Department of Energy released the findings and recommendations of its highly anticipated study on grid resilience and reliability. Secretary Perry commissioned the study in April, in a memo leading with the thoroughly debunked proposition that “baseload power is necessary to a well-functioning…