The Smart Grid enables new business and operations models for the electricity supply chain. Microgrids offer great promise to embed new technologies in the distribution grid ranging from generation, energy storage, and intelligent consumption solutions.

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Proponents of these technologies argue that they are capable of:

  • Improving overall reliability on both sides of the grid/microgrid junctures
  • Reducing operating costs
  • Expediting introduction of these technologies into the distribution grid – the weakest part of the supply chain in the developed world.
  • Offering cost effective and timely solutions to eliminate energy poverty – the lack of electricity - in the developing world.

Can one Smart Grid innovation have such broad applications? Our panel explored the benefits of microgrids and the challenges to full realization of those benefits on a global basis.


Christine Hertzog is a consultant and author focused on navigating the electricity ecosystem of emerging technologies and markets. She is the author of the Smart Grid Dictionary, the third edition of which was recently released, and which explains terminology used by utilities, regulators, manufacturers, and more. Christine has two decades of experience helping companies deliver competitive and cost-effective solutions to the challenges that Smart Grid innovations bring to the evolving electricity supply chain.

Joe Sugg is Assistant Vice President of University Operations for Santa Clara University, managing a smart microgrid initiative for the University campus. Joe has been a leader in creating a more sustainable campus, overseeing buildings management and construction, grounds management, energy use, waste management and purchasing policy. He encourages managers to see sustainability as a good business practice.

Steve Luker is Chief Technology Officer for Boeing Energy, and has over 20 years of corporate and government experience in large-scale power and light project development. Previously, Steve was President of Balance Energy Solutions, providing solutions for renewable generation and fuel source projects, prior to which he was CTO and Director of Energy Systems for Lockheed Martin Defense Systems, where he created Lockheed Martin’s commercial Smart Grid business and developed it into a profitable energy P&L.

Liam Dohn is a Project Manager responsible for developing the microgrid business within Siemens, prior to which he worked for the Siemens in-house strategy consultancy. Previously, he has been a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, as well as a Finance Manager at GE in lighting and low voltage electrical distribution businesses. Liam studied Finance at the University of Virginia and has an MBA from London Business School.

Katherine Hamilton is a director with Quinn Gillespie and Associates, previously having served as the President of GridWise Alliance for more than two years, a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., and a Co-Director of the American Bioenergy Association. She is a longtime clean energy advocate, advisor, and expert witness, with a background designing overhead and underground electrical systems for commercial and residential developments.