Tell us about yourself and your background
I started my career at Booz Allen Hamilton after earning my MBA at Purdue University. Those early years were instrumental for me as I learned about different industry processes – including strategy design for large oil companies – and that’s how I gained a very rich and very deep understanding of the energy industry and management consultancy. After eight years in Management Consulting (between Booz Allen and Bain & Co.), I decided to pursue something different. Power generation has always been one of my favorite interests, so I joined General Electric (GE) where I was in charge of strategic marketing for Latin America (I lived in Brazil at the time). My job was to size the market – from Mexico to the southern tip of South America – and identify opportunities for growth. I stayed in that role for three years until I transferred to Houston, Texas where I was in charge of global EPC accounts. I stayed at GE for almost 14 years, and then I became a global leader at Ingersoll Rand where I was in charge of global strategic accounts.
What is your role at Stem?
I joined Stem earlier this year as the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Global Accounts, which means I’m in charge of accounts with a global footprint. This is very important as Stem goes from being focused on North America to becoming an international company with a presence and understanding of markets in more than 55 countries worldwide with the acquisition of AlsoEnergy. I also manage the accounts and affiliates related to early investors – many of which are still current customers. So, I collaborate with them and manage the relationships and opportunities that they bring to us through their customers and affiliates.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on lately?
Through my career, I’ve lived through a few cycles in the power sector that made this opportunity to work at Stem so attractive. When I joined GE in 2008, the entire mindset for power generation players was a focus on capacity. The idea was that we should always be adding more capacity because there will be endless demand; so scaling was the only way to lower costs. With that idea, larger projects would drive down costs. And at that time, that’s how people saw the market. Then I witnessed the evolution of the market where it shifted from capacity to efficiency. New machines and technologies were introduced that were very, very efficient. At the time, for us to gain 1% in efficiency in a thermal solution – like a gas turbine – was a big milestone and a big deal. Today, what’s interesting to me working at Stem is seeing a third cycle with renewable energy and the need to have an impact on climate change and ESG goals. With renewable energy, the value is not on scale, nor efficiency. The value is in flexibility.
Athena® is Stem’s energy optimization platform that unlocks flexibility across the clean energy value chain. While global energy markets are controlled by policies, capacity, infrastructure, demand, supply, and other forces, our expertise and smart energy software reacts and learns from these markets with AI. Athena’s differentiated ability includes empowering organizations to confidently deploy and monetize clean energy technologies at scale.
What recent industry trends have made a big impression on you?
The emergence of eMobility is certainly a big pillar in the energy industry. I think the displacement of internal combustion engines is a given and only a matter of time. We see all the auto industry OEMs going in that direction. What’s important for us to understand is that eMobility entails the entire charging infrastructure that can include solar and storage. With energy storage poised to play a unique role as a smart integrator of electric vehicles (EV) and distributed energy assets, Stem is uniquely positioned to help customers navigate the transition to electrified fleets. Athena gathers data and uses machine learning to predict the future and make optimal operating decisions for economic, environmental, or resilience benefits.
And then there’s the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which is a breath of fresh air to the industry and can provide a realistic perspective for customers about the value that clean energy, storage, and solar bring. I think Stem and our experts could help take the industry to another level in terms of scale, supply chain, viable economics, and project costs with the IRA. In the past, renewable energy was seen as high risk – especially by utilities, but with new technologies and the different state-level programs and incentives, it’s the developers who are jumping in now and winning. It’s an exciting time to be in renewable energy.
What about Stem would you want our enterprise partners and potential customers to know?
At Stem, we consider sales to be more about educating partners and customers about the capabilities of energy optimization. By finding out what motivates our partners and customers to design, deploy, and operate clean energy – whether it be utility bill optimization, sustainability goals, or fleet electrification – we can show them how to confidently deploy and monetize clean energy technologies at scale.
Any advice for someone wanting to enter the energy industry?
As we work towards transitioning the electric grid to clean energy, the time for change is now. In understanding the reasons for change, there is one motto that I emphasize to my team: stay curious. You have to ask yourself why? Why are our customers placing so much value on this? Why are we trending from capacity and efficiency to now flexibility? Why are the drivers for these waves of evolution happening in the power sector? I think intellectual curiosity is a key component of successful players in this business. So individuals should have a natural instinct to ask, why?
Any last thoughts?
The energy transition is a long journey. The industry is taking its first steps, and it will be super exciting to see where the road leads as battery technology matures and as different technologies compete for space in the market. In the meantime, Stem’s unique and differentiated energy optimization platform is operating throughout the world, unlocking new revenue streams for asset owners.