An Electric Grid for the 21st Century

Tuesday, March 13, 2012; 2:00 - 6:30 PM
@ Wittemyer Courtroom, Wolf Law Building, University of Colorado


To view video recordings of the event, click here.

For a report summarizing the conference written by Mark Wiranowski, Click Here.

Over the last several years, the concept of a "smart grid" has received increasing attention, starting with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which set forth the objective of increasing the intelligence of the grid as a means of enabling the more efficient delivery and use of electric power. In the face of increasing pressure to bring more renewable power sources onto the grid, the need for "demand side management" capabilities that come with a smarter grid are increasingly relevant. The promise of a smarter grid is that it can enable users of electric power to respond to changing supply options (say, when wind or solar power is more available), changing demand profiles (say, managing "needle peaks" during hot summer days), or integrating distributed generation capabilities (say, solar panels on rooftops) and electric vehicles.

The development of a smarter grid raises a series of opportunities and challenges that policymakers and academics are now focused on. This conference will address three such issues: access to energy usage information; the protection of consumer privacy in electric usage information; and the effort to secure the grid against cyber security attacks. In the face of commitments by utilities to make available energy usage information, and the Obama Administration's push for a "green button" and apps in energy management, the issues will need to be addressed sooner rather than later. To frame and advance the dialogue on them, the conference will pull together a number of leaders in government, academia, and industry, building on past Silicon Flatirons discussions on this topic.

2:00pm - 2:15pm
Panel 1: Energy Usage Information and Opportunities for Innovation
2:15pm - 3:15pm
  • Sunil Cherian
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Zahra Makoui
    Advanced Technology Intergration Department
  • Justin Segall
    Founder & President
    Simple Energy
  • Nick Sinai
    Senior Advisor to the CTO, Innovation Entrepreneurship
    Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • William Boyd
    Associate Professor of Law
    University of Colorado
Panel 2: The Privacy Issues Raised by the Smart Grid
3:15pm - 4:15pm
  • Bill Levis
    Former Director of the Office of Consumer Counsel
    State of Colorado
    Senior Adjunct Fellow
    Silicon Flatirons
  • Larry Plumb
    Executive Director - Emerging Issues & Technology Policy
  • Jennifer Urban
    Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
    Director, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic
    University of California - Berkeley
  • Paul Ohm
    Associate Professor of Law
    Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    University of Colorado
4:15pm - 4:30pm
Panel 3: Securing the Grid
4:30pm - 5:30pm
  • George Arnold
    National Coordinator
    Smart Grid Interoperability, NIST
  • Joshua Epel
    Colorado Public Utilities Commission
  • Randy Huston
    Director of IT Infrastructure and Smart Grid Deployment
    Xcel Energy
  • Bao Le
    Vice President, Corporate Development
  • Phil Weiser
    University of Colorado Law School
    Executive Director
    Silicon Flatirons
Panel 4: The Opportunities of the Smart Grid and the Issues of Utility Incentives
5:30pm - 6:30pm
  • Lauren Azar
    Advisor to Secretary Chu
    Department of Energy
  • Jennifer L. Richter
    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Adrian Tuck
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Raymond Gifford
    Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP
    Senior Adjunct Fellow
    Silicon Flatirons
    Former Chairman, Colorado Public Utilities Commission

Conference Summary

For a report summarizing the conference written by Mark Wiranowski, Click Here


To view a video of the event click here.



There will be a parking attendant handing out parking permits to Lots 470 & 308.

Hotels in the Area

  • The Boulderado
    2115 Thirteenth Street
    Boulder, Colorado 80302
    Phone: (303) 442-4344
    Toll Free: (800) 433-4344

  • St. Julien Hotel
    900 Walnut Street
    Boulder, CO 80302
    Phone: 720-406-9696
    Toll Free: 877-303-0900

  • Boulder Marriott
    2660 Canyon Boulevard
    Boulder, Colorado 80302
    Phone: 1-303-440-8877
    Toll Free: 1-888-238-2178

  • Best Western Boulder Inn
    770 28th Street
    Boulder, Colorado, 80303-2343
    Phone: 303-449-3800
    Toll Free: 800-233-8469