Rob Caldwell, President of Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy Technology, manages and continues to expand a portfolio of wind and solar projects across the country. Duke Energy Renewables is an unregulated division of Duke Energy. Caldwell also manages the distributed generation portfolio for the regulated utility.
Why are you interested in serving on the SEPA Board of Directors?
I am familiar with and have been involved with SEPA, primarily through the executive roundtables, for a few years. The mission of SEPA and the areas of focus are very closely aligned to my “day job”. I am committed to helping Duke and its customers to increase the use of clean and distributed technologies. By participating on the SEPA board, I can leverage my commitment and help accelerate the smart change to this new future. I also expect to learn from SEPA and peers how together we can advance the industry transition.
I will also bring my own and Duke’s experiences, as I and we have been an industry leader in this changing world, to the board and the organization. I am excited to be able to do that.
I am a change agent and believe SEPA is also a change agent and is well positioned to drive the transition in our industry. I am passionate about the need to change and the need to influence change in the three SEPA focus areas of business, models, policy and innovation.
I have been in the utility industry a long time. This is one of the most exciting times to be in this industry. The change we are experiencing and the opportunities it presents are tremendous. The need to bring all the players and stakeholders along and get them “up to speed” is critical. SEPA is a great organization to lead those efforts. And frankly, I would be proud to be a part of it. The key drivers of this transition are policy, technology and customer. The customer centric nature of this change is exciting. The customer is driving policy and is being fueled by technology innovation. We, the utilities and SEPA, can, do and will continue to play an important role in the transition to help our customers get what they want.
How does SEPA’s mission line up with the interests of you and your organization?
SEPA’s mission lines up nearly exactly with my personal and professional interests and with Duke energy’s Road Ahead strategy. My role at Duke Energy was created about 2 ½ years ago to capitalize on the opportunities being presented by distributed energy technologies deployment in our jurisdictions and by our customers. My group is responsible for 1) policy, strategy and outreach (education); 2) business and customer product development; 3) REPS and QF compliance operations and system impacts; and 4) analysis, reporting, modeling and forecasting the penetration of distributed energy technologies on Duke’s regulated utilities. My new group was a transition from a renewable energy, primarily solar, compliance focus to a much broader business focus. Very similar to the transition SEPA is just going through from solar to smart electric power.
I believe we are moving toward a distributed energy future and a clean energy future. DER technologies will play a larger and larger role in that future. Utilities must be key players in that space and in that new world. Central station and a balanced generation portfolio will continue to be a significant resource. The grid will be smarter and continue to play an important part. DER technologies are here to stay and will only increase. The push for clean will not stop. Business models and energy policies have to change to keep pace with the technology and customer pull.
Rob joins 20 other members of our Board of Directors. To learn more, read about SEPA's mission and the full press release.