Seeking Out Opportunities
Bonnie Latta has over twenty years of experience in the energy field with almost thirteen of that at TVA. She has worked in and around EnergyRight for more than ten years and has spent the last few years managing the Connected Communities Initiative in the Innovation & Research group. Bonnie holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Belmont University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University.
Nicole Wobus of Guidehouse, has over twenty years of experience managing projects and programs that address environmental policy, planning and markets, with areas of focus including land use, energy efficiency and renewable energy. She focuses on climate action, sustainability and resilience-related planning for local governments and other organizations, as well as clean energy program design, evaluation, policy and market studies for a range of clients nationwide. Her work helps guide resource and policy decisions aimed at tackling climate change and building more sustainable, resilient communities, and operations.
Where's the best place for a local power company to build a new electric vehicle charging station or for a community to incentivize large ground-mounted solar? For EV charging station siting, a utility would benefit by asking a community planner who knows the areas about to see population growth or who may know of a neighborhood trying to initiate an EV ride-sharing program; a community looking to locate a large solar facility could ask a local electric utility engineer who knows where the grid would benefit most from new distributed generation.
Utilities and communities increasingly partner with each other to solve problems and uncover opportunities. It sounds pie in the sky but utilities and communities each face complex challenges they are unable to solve on their own. Utilities should seek out opportunities to plan together with communities, even though this requires forging new relationships, and often the benefits are indirect and hard to quantify.
Meeting grid decarbonization, sustainability, and resilience goals will require rapid action, and scaling up traditional programs likely will not get the job done. It requires creative approaches to stack benefits and maximize the carbon-reduction potential of investments.