Franco Albi | Laura Trolese | Mike Haynes | Jeff Kensok | Scott Gibson | Rob Siefken | Sofia WeirPierin

Franco Albi

Director, Regional Integration, Portland General Electric


This talk focuses on Portland General Electric’s Virtual Power Plant.  The presentation will cover the portfolio approach Portland General is using to orchestrate Distributed Energy Resources and Flexible Loads through its technology platform to provide grid services and exceptional customer experiences.


Franco Albi is the Director Regional Integration at Portland General Electric. His team is responsible for accelerating PGE’s participation in power markets and enhancing operational capabilities to increase the use of clean energy.

Mr. Albi has been working in the industry for over 20 years in roles including transmission & distribution, generation, and strategy to supporting the delivery of clean energy safely, reliably, and affordably.

Prior responsibilities include leading various organizations and projects in power supply and power delivery including development, construction, and commissioning of Renewable Energy projects and energy system infrastructure improvements.

Mr. Albi previously worked with PacifiCorp and the Bonneville Power Administration.  His educational background includes an MBA and Master’s in Civil Engineering and he is a registered Professional Engineer in Oregon and California.

To be designated by Allyson Kenney SEL


Working Title: “The Fundamentals and Future of Protection and Controls”

Abstract: This talk (or series of two talks) will present the basics of Protection and Controls on distribution and transmission grids of the future.  On the Transmission system, decreased synchronous generation and increased interconnections of inverter-based generation, as well as mass electrification of loads is changing the fault current levels, and transient response of the grid.  How will protection and control adapt?

On the distribution system, bidirectional flows, mass electrification and increased power-electronic loads, microgrids and islanding, as well as networked distribution systems will all likely affect the efficacy of today’s protection systems – again, how will protection and control adapt? What are the recommended methods to handle all these changes and ensure reliability?  How do all power systems engineers (protection, substation design, planning, operations, etc.) need to prepare?


We discussed splitting this into two areas, the distribution DER and impact on P&C and then the Transmission and Gen side.  – perhaps we leave this decision up to Allyson at SEL – perhaps we simply let her know that she can have 1 45 minute slot or two 30 minute slots?

Bio:  To be provided

Laura Trolese

Director of Western Markets & Strategy at The Energy Authority


Understanding the organized markets in the West

Abstract: This talk focuses on the organized day-ahead markets forming in the West. The presentation will cover differences between SPP Markets + and CAISO EDAM, implications of these markets emerging, and what it all means for utilities in the Northwest.

Bio: Laura has almost twenty years of experience in the energy industry and has spent the last decade on regional efforts to develop organized energy markets in the West. Laura began her career at the Bonneville Power Administration where she spent ten years in various roles including leading BPA’s strategy development on organized markets in the West, providing leadership on regional workgroups in market design development and spent several years in BPA’s transmission policy and operations. Laura also spent seven years at the Public Generating Pool as their policy lead on CAISO market initiatives, including price formation, resource sufficiency/ adequacy, greenhouse gas accounting, transmission, and the development of CAISO’s extended day-ahead market. Laura transitioned to TEA in May 2022, where she now serves as TEA’s Director of Western Markets and Strategy and was recently elected to serve as Chair of the SPP Markets + Participant Executive Committee.

Laura holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Washington State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from University of Portland.

Mike Haynes

Interim General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light


It is in our Power, Waiting for the Green Light

AbstractThis talk focuses on

Bio:  Mike joined City Light in 2000, was appointed to the Assistant General Manager position in June 2021, and began serving as Interim General Manager in July 2023. He oversees City Light’s generation and technical services work, including all utility engineering functions, project and construction management, asset management and large capital projects, as well as the utility’s environmental policies, programs and planning efforts, including natural resource, environmental management, permitting, hydro licensing and compliance, science policy and real estate. He previously held the titles of Assistant General Manager, Chief Operating Officer, Power Supply Officer, Energy Generation Operations and Engineering Officer, and Director of Power Production.

Mike has an extensive background in utility operations, hydroelectric power generation, and engineering. Prior to joining the utility, he served in program management and engineering roles at HDR, Inc. and Puget Sound Energy. Mike is a registered professional engineer and holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Seattle University.

Jeff Kensok

PE and Consulting Engineer, Electric System Planning, Puget Sound Energy


Reliability Improvements and Data Analytics at Puget Sound Energy

Abstract: This talk focuses on Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) efforts to improve electric system reliability.  The presentation will cover what data and information PSE is using to make system improvements in design and operations.  He will discuss what works, what doesn’t, what should be measured and what it costs.

Bio: Jeff has worked in the electric power industry for 15 years, the majority of that time with Puget Sound Energy.  He has worked as a planning engineer and a smart grid engineer in addition to his current role as a reliability strategist.

Scott Gibson

PE, Manager of Energy Storage & Emerging Technologies, Snohomish County PUD


25MW Battery Storage Project at Snohomish County PUD

Abstract: One electric utility in the US Pacific Northwest, in a look toward the long-term needs of the region, has developed a state-of-the-art microgrid combining community solar photovoltaic generation, advanced grid-forming battery energy storage system (BESS), and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. This microgrid demonstrates the promise of an increasingly electrified future—from grid resiliency to V2G integration to an ability to run on 100% renewable power. Commissioned in mid-2021, the project represents a critical milestone in Snohomish Public Utility District’s (SnoPUD) journey to maximize the value of microgrid and grid edge technologies across their service territory.

One primary challenge that the microgrid addresses is the challenge of V2G integration and interoperability. Microgrid approaches can reduce the complexity and streamline the two-way service between the vehicle and grid. They also offer reinforcing benefits, where the vehicles can act as DER for the microgrid and beyond, and the microgrid can serve as a resilient hub for ensuring power for the electric vehicles. The paper will provide insight into strategies used, as well as showcase the benefits to the vehicle fleet, the microgrid, and the utility network. Lessons learned from the implementation will be distilled and highlighted. In addition to showcasing valuable insights from the project, the paper will present the architecture and demonstrate measurable impacts with real-world data.

In addition to the hardened V2G infrastructure, the microgrid will host two facilities that are critical to the operations of SnoPUD: a modular data center and a new utility office. Both facilities will benefit from failsafe and secure power provide by the microgrid, which will enable SnoPUD to meet critical objectives related to disaster response. This capability will allow the site to act as an emergency operations center and critical response hub during disaster events, providing utility resiliency against earthquakes that are common in the area, as well as risk reduction against increasingly severe weather events that are expected due to climate change.

Interoperability of components was a key factor in the microgrid design. A central strategy to address this has been compliance with the Modular Energy Storage Architecture (MESA) open standard to streamline physical, electrical, and communication interconnection of energy storage systems. MESA seeks to accelerate the interoperability of distributed energy resources, with a focus on utility-scale energy storage. The MESA-compliant BESS in the Arlington Microgrid complies with IEEE 1547 and California Rule 21 as well as additional market-based functions to ensure safe, reliable, and efficient operations for the utilities grid.

Microgrid projects like Arlington are helping to demonstrate the symbiotic benefits of pairing electric vehicles and locally generated solar. A microgrid also addresses the inter-related dependencies between transportation, integrated vehicle charging solutions, and the increasingly renewable backbone of the electric grid. For example, it allows clean solar energy stored in electric vehicles to provide ancillary and energy services necessary to integrate high penetrations of solar. A successful microgrid, much like energy storage investments, bundles together a range of values at the grid edge. This paper will illustrate how the value of each asset stacks into a successful business case for the utility, by providing critical backup power from hybrid operation of solar, BESS, and V2G; using the BESS to stabilize the network and manage peak demands; and providing a platform for renewables and electric vehicles.

Bio: Scott Gibson is the Energy Storage & Emerging Technologies Department Manager at Snohomish County PUD. He is a Professional Engineer and a 1987 graduate from the University of Wyoming where he received a BSEE. After graduation, Scott worked for Boeing and then with a consulting company designing electrical systems for commercial and industrial facilities. In 2000, Scott joined SnoPUD where he had the opportunity to work on the development of a tidal generation project, assist with the design and construction of two “run of the river” hydroelectric projects and then be the project manager for the PUD’s first state-of-the-art utility scale microgrid.  He is now managing a new department that focuses on battery energy storage and emerging technology projects.

Rob Siefken

COO, Safegaurds3 and member of the E-ISAC’s Physical Security Risk Advisory Group


The VISA Risk Management Tool and Methodology for Physical Security

Abstract: This talk focuses on NERC and E-ISAC’s recommended risk management tool for determining physical security upgrades. The well documented output from this discussion-based analysis gives the risk manager the ability to make an informed, risk-based decision on security upgrades and justification on where they must accept risk. The presentation will cover what the VISA process is, and what we have learned through delivering this workshop over 20 times throughout the North American grid.

Bio: Rob Siefken currently holds the distinguished position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Safeguards3, where he plays a pivotal role in overseeing the organization’s operational excellence. In addition to his leadership at Safeguards3, Mr. Siefken also holds a notable role as a valued member of the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC) and serves on the Physical Security Advisory Group (PSAG) of the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC).  Moreover, he has delivered over twenty E-ISAC-sponsored risk management workshops to the North American electricity sector, focusing on capacity-building vulnerability assessment and analysis.

Mr. Siefken’s career is characterized by a remarkable dual trajectory, spanning two decades of dedicated service in the U.S. Army Special Forces, followed by an impressive twenty-one years of contributions within the Department of Energy’s (DOE) safeguards and security domain. During his tenure, he made significant contributions, including serving as a staff instructor at the DOE National Training Center for almost a 5-year duration. Subsequently, he transitioned to the esteemed Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where he devoted 17 years to his work.

At PNNL, Mr. Siefken played a pivotal role in various domestic and international non-proliferation training initiatives and physical security-related programs within the National Security Directorate. Notably, his expertise extended to the global stage, where he implemented multifaceted nuclear/radiological safeguards, border security, and other capacity-building programs. His efforts took him to over 40 countries, reflecting his extensive international engagement.

Throughout his distinguished military and DOE careers, Rob Siefken demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities and orchestrated the successful execution of critical missions. His contributions extended to the development, delivery, management, and mentorship of training staff and programs, affirming his profound expertise in these domains.

Rob Siefken’s exceptional journey, marked by unwavering commitment and outstanding achievements, continues to shape and elevate the fields of safeguards, security, training, and operational excellence, making him a respected figure within the industry.

Sofia WeirPierin

Physical Security Analyst, The Electricity Information Sharing Analysis Center North American Electric Reliability Corporation


The VISA Risk Management Tool and Methodology for Physical Security

Abstract: This talk focuses on NERC and E-ISAC’s recommended risk management tool for determining physical security upgrades. The well documented output from this discussion-based analysis gives the risk manager the ability to make an informed, risk-based decision on security upgrades and justification on where they must accept risk. The presentation will cover what the VISA process is, and what we have learned through delivering this workshop over 20 times throughout the North American grid.

Bio: Currently, Sofia is a physical security analyst at the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC), where she provides high-quality, timely, reliable analysis and context regarding physical security and industry trends, emerging tactics, techniques, procedures, and relevant threat actor behaviors.

Sofia has degrees in Mechanical and Energy Engineering (B.S., University of North Texas) and Energy Policy and Climate (M.S., Johns Hopkins University) with a focus on the power sector and the impacts of policy decisions on energy security and grid reliability. Prior to working at the E-ISAC, Sofia served as operations manager for a commercial construction firm. This work was followed by a year of service in the federal government during which she worked in facilities management at the National Agricultural Library (USDA) and the Supreme Court Building and Grounds (Architect of the Capitol).