Grid Geeks Podcast S6 E3

Valuing the Resiliency of the Electric Grid

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As we mark the two-year anniversary of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, & Irma, and with Hurricane Dorian having just ravaged the Caribbean and impacting the Southeast and Eastern Seaboard, the resilience of the electric grid is still a front-and-center conversation. Yet, in spite of the growing number of more severe natural disasters and man-made events impacting the electric grid, efforts to place a value on resilience are still relatively nascent. In this episode of Grid Geeks, I talk with two experts on the topic of resilience, Wilson Rickerson, Principal with Converge Strategies, and Jonathon Monken, Senior Director, System Resiliency and Strategic Coordination for PJM Interconnection. We explore some key questions: How is resilience defined? Does it make sense to ascribe a value to resilience? What methods and tools exist to determine that value? Which entities are ‘responsible’ for resilience of the electric grid? Is there sufficient coordination and communication among those entities? What existing resilience efforts provide useful models for others to learn from? 

Guest Bios

Wilson Rickerson is a Principal and co-founder of Converge Strategies, LLC, a consulting company focusing on the intersection of advanced energy and resilience. He works with a broad range of military, private sector, and government partners, and recently led a national study on the value of resilience for distributed energy in partnership with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions (NARUC). He has 18 years of experience working with governments, corporations, and nonprofits across 25 countries on energy and climate strategies. Prior to Converge Strategies, Wilson led Meister Consultants Group (MCG), where he served as CEO until 2016. Under his leadership, MCG supported energy and resilience projects with local, state, and international governments. He holds a Masters in Energy and Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware and a BA in International Relations from the College of William and Mary. He is a Policy Fellow with the Center for Climate and Security and an Expert with the Clean Energy Solutions Center.

Jonathon Monken is the Senior Director, System Resiliency and Strategic Coordination for PJM Interconnection. In this capacity, he works in the areas of business continuity, physical and cyber security, risk management and resilience planning for the world’s largest wholesale energy market. Most recently, Mr. Monken served as VP, U.S. Operations for the Electric Infrastructure Security (EIS) Council where he worked with government and industry to develop best practices and capabilities to improve the resilience of life support infrastructure systems to widespread, long-duration power outages, known as “Black Sky” events.Mr. Monken has broad ranging experience in the areas of defense, homeland security, public safety and emergency management.  During the past several years he pioneered programs for critical information sharing, public and private sector integration and large-scale exercise development and execution. Monken earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.


The Value of Resilience for Distributed Energy Resources: An Overview of Current Analytical Practices (NARUC, prepared by Converge Strategies) 

Beyond the Fence Line: Strengthening Military Capabilities Through Energy Resilience Partnerships (Association of Defense Communities)