Lecture: May 26, 2015


Distributed Energy and Microgrids

Ed McCullough and Nick Haschka, Station A, NRG Energy


Ed McCullough serves as Director of Engineering at NRG Station A. Prior to joining NRG, he worked on product development for a number of technology start-ups in the energy space including Li-S batteries, geothermal drilling, micro GTL and hydrogen generation. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University and a Master of Engineering from the University of Virginia, both in Mechanical Engineering.

Nick Haschka is Director of Strategy at NRG Station A. Nick’s role is to identify, assess and plan new business ideas for NRG in distributed energy systems, microgrids and sustainable infrastructure. Prior to NRG, Nick held a variety of roles in the clean tech sector including strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company, corporate development at Amonix and co-founder and chief financial officer at 532 Solar. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University and a Bachelor Science from MIT.


Microgrids: Who are you calling small?

Microgrids offer an opportunity to entirely rethink the paradigm under which most existing power grids were built. Microgrids favor small modular systems over large bespoke solutions. They empower the use of abundant, locally available, renewable, and clean resources above imported, finite, and environmentally depleting fuels. They prioritize user-specific preferences over monolithic, bureaucratically-defined system “needs”. They necessitate automatic self-healing systems that greatly reduce the need for central planning. Finally, they offer opportunities to invent and deliver a wide range of new services directly to end users. Microgrids and the technological capabilities they are based on have the power to transform society in ways we have only begun to imagine. In this talk we will discuss their attributes, applications, and innovation potential.

Lecture Notes

Lecture notes on Microgrids by Nick Haschka and Ed McCullough are available to students enrolled in the class. Please send email request to Professor Dimitry Gorinevsky.