You are now in the main content area

Leading the Charge Conference

June 20, 2019
8:30 AM EDT - 4:00 PM EDT
Centre for Urban Innovation, 44 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, ON M5B 1G3
Jill Powers from the California ISO speaks at Leading the Charge conference

The scene from last year's conference. Speaker: Jill Powers, California ISO. 

 Description

A clean energy revolution is underway in much of the world, driven by rapid technological advancements, the threat of climate change and the declining cost of solar and wind power. However, the sun isn't always shining and the wind isn't always blowing, so storing excess energy and distributing it in a way that ensures no interruption in service is seen as the key to realizing the full potential of renewables.

Building on the success of previous events in 2016, 2017 and 2018, we're excited to announce that the fourth annual Leading the Charge Conference will take place June 20 at Ryerson University's stunning new Centre for Urban Innovation.

The conference will once again fuse academic and technical expertise with practical industry experience, bringing together high-level talent and decision-makers from across Canada and around the world to explore all aspects of energy storage, including:

  • The market readiness of various storage technologies.
  • How best to integrate batteries into the electricity grid.
  • The implications of increased adoption to utilities, manufacturers and consumers.
  • Opportunities for commercialization.
  • The impact of storage technologies on smart cities.

Leading the Charge 4 will provide a platform for stakeholders — including technology providers, local distribution companies, government and academia — to share their perspectives on the immense promise and possible pitfalls of wide-scale deployment of energy storage.

 Presented in partnership with:

Opus One
Schneider Electric

 Program


8:30 a.m. ET
Breakfast and registration
 Level 1 (Atrium)

Welcome and opening remarks
Jessie Ma
Level 3 (CUI 317)

Keynote: Realizing the full potential of renewable energy
Jocelyn Millette
Introduced by Bala Venkatesh
 Level 3 (CUI 317)

Break and networking
 Level 2 (CUI 219)

Panel session: Energy for smart cities
Sören Hohmann, Adrian Thomas and Mohamed Dhanani
Moderated by Sean Conway
 Level 3 (CUI 317)


12:00 p.m.
 Level 2 (CUI 219)

Panel session: Economics of energy storage for utilities

Neetika Sathe, Shuvo Chowdhury, Harneet Panesar
Moderated by Vivek Somasundaram
 Level 3 (CUI 317)

Break and networking
 Level 2 (CUI 219)
Presentations: Energy storage marketplace
Miguel Anjos
Ye Hua
Nitin Pasmanabhan
Ian Rowlands
Vijay Sood
Danica Sun
Behnam Temami
Moderated by Jennifer MacInnis
 Level 3 (CUI 317)

Closing remarks
Jessie Ma
 Level 3 (CUI 317)

Reception and poster session
 Level 2 (CUI 219)

 Speakers

Jocelyn Millette, Director General, CanmetENERGY-Varennes

Jocelyn has been the director general of CanmetENERGY in Varennes since February 2019. CanmetENERGY is Canada’s leading research and technology organization in the field of clean energy, namely in buildings and communities, renewables, industrial processes and the world-leading RETScreen tool. From 1996 to 2019, he worked for LTE - the Hydro-Québec research institute's energy technology laboratory - as a researcher and later as the head of the LTE. His domains of expertise are energy conversion, heat and mass transfer and building physics.

Bala Venkatesh

Bala Venkatesh, Academic Director, Centre for Urban Energy

Dr. Bala Venkatesh is both founding academic director and head of the Centre for Urban Energy (CUE) at Ryerson University. He is also a tenured professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

He specializes in electric power systems with interests in transmission and distribution systems, renewables, energy storage and smart grids. He works with industry partners such as Hydro One, Toronto Hydro, the Independent Electricty System Operator (IESO), Schneider Electric, eCAMION, Temporal Power, Alectra Utilities and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited. In total, his extramural funding is over $15 million. In the last two decades, he has worked on over 30 consulting and research projects in India and Canada.

With a Ph.D. from Anna University (India), Dr. Venkatesh is a registered professional engineer in Ontario, Canada. Since 1994, he has also taught at the University of New Brunswick, Multimedia University (Malaysia) and Anna University.

Dr. Venkatesh has extensive journal publications to his credit and has supervised over 50 MASc and PhD theses.

 Introduction

Sören Hohmann

Sören Hohmann, Head of the Institute of Control Systems, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Sören has been head of the Institute of Control Systems of KIT since 2010. His main research focus has been cooperative control with application to automotive systems, energy systems and robotic systems. Since April 2015, he has been a member of the board of directors of the Research Centre for Information Technology (FZI) of KIT. Between 2014 and 2018 he was the elected member of the board of directors of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and Studies Dean. Since 2015, he has been the spokesperson of the KIT Information, Systems, Technologies Center (KCIST) and since 2017 a member of the Council for Research and Promotion of Young Scientists (CRYS) of KIT. Between 1992 and 1997, Sören studied electrical engineering, specializing in control technology at Technical University Braunschweig, TH Karlsruhe, the école nationale supérieure d'électricité et de mécanique Nancy and University Ghent, Belgium. He achieved his doctorate in 2002 with a thesis on non-linear time-discrete control systems. Working with BMW, he was responsible for advanced development of braking systems for hybrid cars and driver assistance systems and head of the series development department of integrated vehicle dynamics controls (ICM) and head of the advance and series development of active safety systems. 


Adrian Thomas, Vice President, Building, Schneider Electric

Adrian Thomas is the vice president of Schneider Electric Canada’s building division, and he is responsible for a variety of business activities which includes the marketing and business development of EcoStruxure.  EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled, plug-and-play, open, interoperable architecture and platform for homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure and industries. A graduate of McMaster University in electrical engineering, Adrian has more than 20 years of experience in electrical equipment and industrial automation industry.  Adrian joined Schneider Electric as vice president in 2016 and is also the executive sponsor for Schneider Electric’s support of Habitat for Humanity in Canada.

Mohamed Dhanani, Director, Waterfront Toronto

Mohamed Dhanani serves as special advisor to the president of Ryerson University.  As a seasoned executive and entrepreneur he delivers significant results to the public, private and government organizations he serves.  Mohamed is particularly skilled in strategy, relationship building, and complex negotiations especially those involving various levels of government. Previously Dhanani served as executive officer of the Aga Khan Council for Canada; strategy advisor to the deputy premier of Ontario; board chair for the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), the largest integrated health network in Canada; and as a management consultant at PwC. As an entrepreneur Mohamed owned a successful pharmacy and printing company.  Dhanani graduated from Yale University with distinction, and from Ryerson University.  He is a graduate of the Director’s College at McMaster University. Mohamed has three amazing children, and sits on the board of Waterfront Toronto and was appointed to Mayor John Tory’s Transition Advisory Team. He is an avid runner, reader and meditator.

Sean Conway, Visiting Professor, Ryerson University

Sean Conway is currently a visiting professor at Ryerson University.  He is also an honorary fellow at the Centre for Urban Energy in the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science at Ryerson University. For nearly 30 years, Sean served an elected member in the Ontario legislative assembly where he was actively involved with energy issues, especially in the area of Ontario’s extensive commitment to nuclear power. During the government of Premier David Peterson, he served as minister of education and government house leader. When he retired from politics in 2003, he was awarded the Churchill Society’s citation for Excellence in the Cause of Parliamentary Democracy. At Ryerson, Conway teaches courses that focus on public policy development in the Canadian energy sector.

 Moderator

Neetika Sathe
Neetika Sathe, Vice President, GRE&T Centre, Alectra

Neetika Sathe is Vice President of the Alectra Green Energy & Technology Centre (GRE&T Centre). She has led innovation projects in the energy industry for the past six years at Alectra (and formerly PowerStream).

The GRE&T Centre has continued the work of Alectra’s Advanced Planning team to assess mega trends, and is focusing on enabling smart cities, grid innovation, and launching an energy tech accelerator in 2020.

Through Neetika’s direction, the GRE&T Centre is Alectra's latest step to be at the forefront of exciting industry changes to make energy innovations come to life by identifying, evaluating, developing and deploying emerging, green, and customer-friendly energy solutions across Alectra's service territory.

Previously, Neetika was the Chief Marketing Manager for Nissan LEAF and cross-overs in Canada responsible for sales and profitability for her portfolio, including the launch of the Nissan LEAF in Canada. Neetika’s career path has seen her hold various positions in corporate development, marketing, supply chain management, strategic planning and finance. 

Neetika serves on the board of several industry associations such as Electric Mobility Canada, and serves as Chair of the Board of the NSERC Energy Storage Technology Network (NESTNet) and Vice Chair of National Electricity Roundtable.

Neetika holds a Master's degree in Physics from Panjab University and an MBA from McMaster University. 

Shuvo Chowdhury, Senior Director, Strategy, Amp

Shuvo has a background working for mid-to-large electrical utilities, and in smart grid R&D. He is a graduate from the Mechanical Engineering Program at the University of Toronto and a certified Risk Manager.

Prior to joining Amp, Shuvo was Manager of Microgrid Technologies with Alectra Utilities in Ontario, Canada, responsible for the development and building of microgrids at the MW scale. Previous to that, Shuvo worked as a consultant on projects for SDG&E, National Grid, FPL and various other utilities in North America; he developed microgrids, DERMS, ADMS, protection philosophies, communication architectures and VPP systems.

Shuvo currently works for Amp as their Director of Strategy and focuses on flexible generation. He has assisted in developing strategies around the deployment of large-scale battery systems, solar farms and thermal generators in Massachusetts, USA, New South Wales, Australia, and Ontario, Canada.

Harneet Panesar, Director of Strategy and Integrated Planning, Hydro One

Harneet Panesar is the Director of Strategy and Integrated Planning at Hydro One. Harneet is responsible to deliver an outcome based investment plan that helps to deliver the strategies his teams develop for the company. This includes the balance of customer needs, cost effectiveness, reliability, innovation, and health, safety and environment. His team’s functions consist of research and innovation, investment planning, business process, QAQC, business reporting, reliability and analytics, post event investigation, data governance, geographic information systems, distribution joint use and transmission secondary land use. Harneet joined Hydro One in 2007 and brings his reliability experience and customer focus from his previous roles in planning, asset management and customer key account management. Harneet is a fellow of Engineers Canada, an Ontario Professional Engineer (electrical) with a BaSc from the University of Toronto and an MBA with a focus on strategy from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Vivek Somasundaram, Manager, Market Development, Opus One Solutions

Vivek is the Manager of Market Development at Opus One Solutions. He has over 10 years of experience in the utility, water and telecom sectors with expertise in medium voltage electrical distribution. At Opus One, Vivek leads the Go To Market vision for the Transactive Energy platform, leads commercial operations and supports Opus One’s international efforts in key markets. Prior to Opus One, Vivek was a product marketer for Schneider Electric where he managed national launch campaigns and product roadmaps for the energy sector. He is an Electrical Engineer (P.Eng) from the University of Toronto and also has a Masters of Business Administration from the Schulich of Business at York University. 

 Moderator

Ian Rowlands, Associate Vice-President, International, University of Waterloo

Ian Rowlands is Associate Vice-President, International at the University of Waterloo.  In this role, he leads Waterloo International, the University’s central international unit.  He is also Chair of the Global Prominence and Internationalization theme of the University’s Strategic Plan.  Dr. Rowlands is also Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo.  He has research and teaching interests in energy management strategies, corporate sustainability, and international education. 

Miguel Anjos

Miguel Anjos, Professor and Chair of Operational Research, School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh

Miguel F. Anjos is Professor and Chair of Operational Research at the School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh, and Full Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering of Polytechnique Montreal, where he holds the NSERC-Hydro-Quebec-Schneider Electric Industrial Research Chair on Optimization for the Smart Grid. He also holds an INRIA International Chair on Power Peak Minimization for the Smart Grid, and is Theme Leader for Economics and Policy in NESTNet. He holds Adjunct Professor appointments in Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering at Ryerson University, and in Informatics and Mathematics at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. He received the B.Sc. degree from McGill University, the M.S. from Stanford University, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Waterloo. His research interests are in the theory, algorithms and applications of mathematical optimization, with a particular interest in the application of optimization to problems in power systems management and smart grid design.

Professor Anjos is the Founding Academic Director of the Trottier Institute for Energy at Polytechnique, which he led from its inauguration in May 2013 until August 2016. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Optimization and Engineering, and serves on several other editorial boards. He is President-Elect of the INFORMS Section on Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment. Previous professional service elected positions include terms on the Council of the Mathematical Optimization Society, as Program Director for the SIAM Activity Group on Optimization, and as Vice-Chair of the INFORMS Optimization Society. He served on the Mitacs Research Council from its creation in 2011 until 2017, and is now an Emeritus member. His allocades include a Canada Research Chair, the Méritas Teaching Award, a Humboldt Research Fellowship, the title of EUROPT Fellow, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Vijay Sood, Director, Power Workers Union Smart Grid and EV Research Laboratory and Associate Professor, Ontario Tech University

Dr. Vijay K. Sood obtained his Ph.D. in Power Electronics from the University of Bradford, England in 1977. From 1969-76, he was employed at the Railway Technical Centre, Derby. From 1976-2007, he was a Senior Researcher at IREQ (Hydro-Québec) in Montreal. In 2007, he joined University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) as a Professor.

He is a Member of the Professional Engineers Ontario, a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Elec­tronic Engineers (IEEE), and a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) and Emeritus Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering(CAE). His research interests are in the monitoring, control and protection of power systems using artificial intelli­gence techniques. Dr. Sood has published over 150 articles, 5 book chapters and written two books on HVDC Transmission.

Danica Sun, Master of Science Candidate, University of Alberta

Danica Sun received her B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering Co-op Program at the University of Alberta in 2017. During her degree, she spent eight months in City of Edmonton Fleet Services investigating failures in the fleet, providing engineering drawings and assisting senior engineers with test product studies. She also had eight months experience in Weyerhaeuser (International Paper) maintaining and improving the existing thermo-fluid systems, and designing machine guarding to manufacturing standards. Currently, Danica is working on her M.Sc. under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell and Dr. Pierre Mertiny on designing and testing of flywheels for energy storage optimization in the Energy Systems Design Laboratory at the University of Alberta. 

Ye Hua, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Ottawa

Dr. Ye Hua holds a Ph.D degree in Chemical Engineering and a B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry. She has over 10 years of research experience in the areas of hydrogen storage, lithium-based batteries, and greenhouse gas adsorption and separation. Dr. Hua has been working as a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Tezel’s ENERGY - S.M.A.R.T. (Energy - Storage, Membranes, Adsorption Research and Technology) research group in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Ottawa since 2016. Her current research focus is on the material development, system design and simulation for Thermal Energy Storage (TES) using water vapour adsorption process, which is also part of the NEST (NSERC Energy Storage Technology) Network.

Nitin Padmanabhan, PhD Candidate, University of Waterloo

Nitin Padmanabhan is presently pursuing his Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. Kankar Bhattacharya in the  Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo. His research involves developing models and frameworks for integrating demand response and energy storage systems into electricity market. He obtained his B. Tech (Electrical & Electronics Engineering), M.Tech (Power Systems) from University of Calicut, India. Nitin has more than 10 years of experience in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and research. His research interests include demand response, energy storage applications, electricity market modeling and design, and optimization of power systems.

He is also the recipient of the 2018 Energy Council of Canada Energy Research Fellowship, 2017 Best Teaching Assistant Award in Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo and 2005 National Service Scheme, Best Student Volunteer in Kerala, India.

Beyond his academic contributions, Nitin is an active member of several professional societies. He has served as IEEE volunteer in various positions in Kerala Section, India, and Kitchener-Waterloo Section, Canada.

Behnam Temami, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo

Behnam Tamimi, PhD, MIEEE, is an engineer, educator and entrepreneur in electric power and energy systems. He received his PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 2018. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the electrical and computer engineering department at University of Waterloo. He was a member of two IEEE-PES taskforces on benchmarking test systems for stability analysis and received two IEEE recognition awards for his contributions. His research interests include power system dynamics and power electronics applications in modern energy systems.

Jennifer MacInnis

Jennifer MacInnis, Senior Legal Counsel and Senior Director, Applied Research and Commercialization, Ryerson University

Jennifer MacInnis is senior legal counsel in the Office of the General Counsel at Ryerson University, providing legal services in research, contract, and intellectual property related matters. With significant university and hospital experience in research contract drafting and negotiation, invention evaluation and licensing, and research policy development, Jennifer plays a key role in the administration of research investment in Ryerson University. Jennifer is also Senior Director of Applied Research and Commercialization, with Ryerson’s Office of the Vice President, Research and Innovation. In this role, she serves as a research liaison to the University, facilitating collaborative relationships with industrial, not for profit and government partners to undertake applied research with University faculty.  Jennifer facilitates the accessing of research funding and provides commercialization advice, support and oversight. Jennifer graduated with an LLB in Intellectual Property Law from Queen’s University in 1998. She received her LL.M in Intellectual Property Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003. She also holds a B.A. in English & Computer Science from Trent University.

 Moderator

Jessie Ma, IESO Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Energy at Ryerson University

Jessie Ma is a proud Torontonian who makes communities more livable through energy and creativity. At Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Energy, Jessie is an IESO research fellow and conducts energy storage research. She is the co-founder of the ALERT project, which encourages energy conservation and efficiency in Toronto’s low-income apartment buildings. Jessie spent over a dozen years at Hydro One and was the driving force behind the launch of the corporate responsibility program. She led the company in obtaining the Canadian Electricity Association’s prestigious Sustainable Electricity Company designation. Jessie is devoted to fostering a strong community spirit through chairing the Public Service Events for the Harvard Club and serving meals at Lawyers Feed the Hungry. She graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Master in Public Administration program and the University of Toronto’s Engineering Science program.

 Tickets

Early bird tickets are now on sale through May 31. Tickets cost $350 + taxes and Eventbrite fees. They include lunch, refreshments, one drink ticket for use at reception, conference materials, and a post-event report. Please register via Eventbrite, external link, opens in new window

 Accessibility

Ryerson is committed to providing an accessible learning environment. Please let us know if we need to make any accommodations to ensure your inclusion in this event.

 Hotels

We have courtesy rates at the following hotels (exclusive of taxes and fees) within a short walking distance of the conference venue:

Chelsea Hotel 
33 Gerrard Street West

  • $180 (Chelsea Room Queen/2 Doubles) per night for up to three nights.
  • Cancellation up to 4 p.m. on date of arrival with no charge.
  • No rooms have been blocked so please book early to guarantee a room for your stay.
  • Call 1-800-CHELSEA (243-5732) and ask for the “Ryerson Corporate Rate” or use this custom booking link, external link, opens in new window

Holiday Inn
30 Carlton Street

  • $164 (standard room) per night.
  • Cancellation up to 24 hours prior to date of arrival with no charge.
  • No rooms have been blocked, so please book early to guarantee a room for your stay.
  • Call (416) 977-6655 and ask for the “Ryerson University Rate” or use this this custom booking link, external link, opens in new window

 Sponsorship

Please download a PDF filesponsorship package, opens in new window or contact us to find out more.  

 Media passes

Please head to our media relations section to request a pass (one per outlet) for this conference. 

 About NESTNet

The conference is organized as part of the NSERC Energy Storage Technology Network (NESTNet). Ryerson University and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) are proud to lead this five-year, $5 million pan-Canadian network of 15 universities and 26 industry and government partners focused on the future of energy storage — an essential technology in the global transition to clean energy.