Contact: GridIntellect


Huntsville, Alabama – November 16, 2021 – Stuart McCafferty (GridIntellect), Eamonn McCormick (Utilicast), and David Forfia (Utilicast) have been selected as The Cleanie Awards® GOLD place winner for COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR. The Cleanie Awards is the leading awards program celebrating people and brands driving the clean energy economy. The program recognizes innovation excellence and business leadership. Individuals and organizations across many facets of the industry submitted nominations.

This award, judged by industry peers, signifies how influential Stuart, Eamonn, and David have advocated for a sustainable future, specifically within the Community Contributor area.

“We are extremely proud to recognize this year’s innovators, influencers and advocates, who work tirelessly to champion the clean energy transition in what will be a decisive decade,” said Randee Gilmore, executive director, The Cleanie Awards. “We continuously see nearly a triple digit increase in the number of submissions year over year, which demonstrates industry growth and the desire for a comprehensive amplification platform for climate solutions.”

Stuart McCafferty is the Founder and President of GridIntellect, a Veteran-Owned Small Business.  He is a conscientious researcher, technologist, systems engineer, inventor, distributed energy expert, system architect, author, and climate change warrior. He has authored 50+ thought leadership publications and was the principal contributor for the EnergyIoT Reference Architecture and DSO Modeling for Utilities. 

Eamonn McCormick is a passionate believer in the bright future of the energy industry and the importance of collaboration as the foundation for solving our current industry challenges. He is a results-driven technology thought leader with a long track record of success. Over the last twenty years, he has implemented strategic and disruptive architectures and technology changes at several large energy companies in wholesale markets, transmission, and energy distribution. 

David Forfia has been the Chair of the GridWise Architecture Council since 2015 and has been a council member since 2013.  He is a member of the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) Research Advisory Council, a former member of the Board of Directors, and the former chair of the Technical Advisory Council.  He was also Chair of the SGIP Board of Directors from 2015 until 2017, and as was a board member beginning in 2011.

“It is a true honor, and I am sincerely humbled by the Cleanie Award’s® recognition for our contributions to the Energy Central community.” said Stuart McCafferty.  “We are passionate in our belief that humans face their biggest challenge in history with climate change.  The energy industry is on the responsible path towards a reliable, resilient, net zero-carbon energy future. We hope that our articles provide insights into how we can do that thoughtfully, carefully, and as quickly as possible.  We’ll keep writing!”

Stuart, Eamonn, and David were selected by a cohort of peers including judges and leaders representing a cross section of the cleantech and renewable energy sectors, including Alison Mickey, Fluence; Ayanna Nibbs, CohnReznick Capital; Emily Chasan, Generate Capital; Kirsten Williams, DC Water; Paul Quinlan, ScottMadden, Inc.; Remy Pangle, REpowering Schools; Ron DeLyons, Creekwood Energy Partners LLC; Raheleh Folkerts, Lightsource bp; Thiam Giam, Black & Veatch Management Consulting, LLC; and Zadie Oleksiw, Clearway Energy Group.

For a full list of winners, visit

About GridIntellect:

GridIntellect provides consulting services for next-generation, disruptive energy infrastructure solutions. We serve government agencies, non-profit organizations, Independent System Operators, utilities, and commercial businesses with strategic, technology, business, program, and project design and management related to Smart Infrastructure, Distributed Energy Resources (DER), Energy Resiliency, the Energy Cloud, and Internet of Things (EnergyIoT), and Distribution System Operators. We not only understand the “big picture,” we have been pioneers in formulating it.

About The Cleanie Awards®:

The Cleanie Awards® is the first comprehensive awards program exclusive to the cleantech industry. It generates much needed visibility for innovators and disruptors in the industry who are creating life- and planet-changing solutions. The campaigns recognized by the award program aim to influence public opinion about technologies delivering on the promise of a clean energy future. For more information, visit our website at Follow us on Twitter or Facebook at @CleanieAwards and on LinkedIn.

GridIntellect and co-authors John Cooper and Eamonn McCormick provide a three-part series on the role of Public Power in decarbonizing and electrifying our society and economy. In the first article we establish the clear imperative to decarbonize and what that means for Public Power. In Part 2, we review the Crisis of Slow Public Power Decarbonization. In Part 3, we connect the dots between decarbonization and distributed energy resources (DER), showing a second imperative for public power: integrating DER into utility grid modernization. As we continue this series, we’ll explore a wide variety of impacts, constraints, risks, costs and benefits, including supply chain issues, the broad impact of decarbonization on our society and economy, and the upsides of an Electrify Everything Economy.

Figure 1:  The EnergyIoT Common Reference Model

California has it right!  In 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created the “Rule 21” mandate for integrating behind the meter Distributed Energy Resources (DER).  This was primarily directed at rooftop solar that is being installed at record pace and is now a lawful requirement for all new construction.  The ruling requires that all inverters connected to the grid must comply with IEEE 1547 interconnect requirements and one of three communications protocols:

  • IEEE 2030.5
  • SunSpec Modbus
  • DNP3

Why?  Plain and simple it is for one thing:  INTEROPERABILITY!  The CPUC created these requirements because:

  1. The state of California is committed to decarbonization and recognizes that a large number of new stakeholders, IoT assets, and intermittent generation and unanticipated loads will be key problems to tackle in order to be successful.
  2. DERs must increase resilience while maintaining current safety and reliability requirements
  3. Non utility owned DERs will need to support utilities and grid stability by providing grid services individually or through aggregation.
  4. New stakeholders are welcome and will be allowed to participate in utility grid services through customer programs and could also potentially participate in wholesale and local markets.
  5. Costs for integrating DERs into utility operations and markets must be simplified and relatively inexpensive to implement.

The CPUC recognized that having a small set of communications protocols and information models would help them achieve their aspiration of an interoperable grid that supports democratic participation and a decarbonized electricity ecosystem.

Why IEEE 2030.5?

2030.5 was previously named the Smart Energy Profile (SEP) and was developed by the Zigbee Alliance as a metering communication solution primarily to coordinate with behind the meter building energy devices.  It was adopted and ratified by IEEE and is now on Version 2.  But, the standard has been around since 2009 and has evolved to a very rich standard and a growing ecosystem supporting testing and certification for interoperability and security compliance.  It is one of the few true “energy IoT” standards developed for modern grid communications, distributed intelligence, and interoperability.  OpenFMB™ is another IoT standard that also has incredible implications to support a nimble and neural grid as it matures.

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FREE! Download DER Solution Architecture PowerPoint Template

NEWS FLASH!  Today’s grid was not designed for today’s electrified, intermittent generation, green ecosystem – and meeting tomorrow’s electricity needs will be even more challenging!  Ok, so maybe that isn’t a surprise to anyone anywhere.  As the world becomes more and more dependent on reliable, inexpensive, resilient electric power, our electric power grid and those who operate it have become central to meeting national and global economic and societal needs.  Business and societal expectations for the grid are that it operates at near perfection.  Power outages and higher electricity costs make national news whenever they occur with finger-pointing, anger, and indignation directed towards the grid and market operators, some of it rightly so.

If you stand back and think about the way that we plan for grid upgrades, it becomes very clear why DSO and TSOs are struggling to meet rapidly growing customer expectations and electricity demand needs.  Our industry plans for PEAK LOAD needs that occur only a few times a year.  So, we overbuild the infrastructure for most times of the year.  That’s not necessarily a horrible idea and it has worked reasonably well in the past, but as we look forward to high penetration electric vehicles and lower reliance on fossil fuels for EVERYTHING, the amount of planned electricity capacity to meet peak load needs of the near future are mind-boggling AND EXPENSIVE!

So, just think about what’s coming next with a huge wave of completely unfamiliar and untested electricity customers – electric vehicles.

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