Skip to content
Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

Digital Grid Summer Series: The Value of Resilience for Customer DERs

August 5, 2020 - 8:00am to 9:30am
Event Sponsor: 
Bits & Watts and EPRI
Contact Email:

In June, EPRI and Stanford University Bits & Watts Initiative co-hosted a virtual workshop with support from VmWare, that brought together utility and information technology companies to discuss the development of a data platform and enabling technologies to achieve the Digital Grid vision. This interactive panel series will provide an opportunity to take this vital conversation to the next step, examing the latest advances, emerging policies, and breakthrough research on customer DER integration every Wednesday during the summer quarter. Recordings of past seminars here. (Click on Attachments, then Media)

Session #6: The Value of Resilience for Customer DERs 


  • Stephen Walls – Policy Advisor at U.S. Department of Energy
  • Liuxi (Calvin) Zhang – Sr. Manager of Emerging Technology at ComEd
  • Phil Markham – Smart Buildings R&D Manager at Southern Company

Moderators: Liang Min, Stanford Bits & Watts Initiative, and Omar Siddiqui, Sr. Program Manager of Electrification at Electric Power Research Institute

Panelist biographies:

Stephen WallsStephen Walls, Esq., has been at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) since 2011, where he helped create the Energy Transitions Initiative. This portfolio focuses on improving the energy security of island and remote grids of the United States. He was the lead content developer for the Islands Playbook published in early 2015 (  Stephen is currently in the Office of Electricity supporting federal recovery efforts related to Hurricanes Maria and Irma, after serving as an ESF-12 responder for those events. 

Liuxi (Calvin) ZhangDr. Zhang is the Manager of Emerging Technology at ComEd, the electric utility serving 4 million customers in Northern Illinois and Chicago. He leads efforts to evaluate emerging technology, develop smart grid roadmap, and manage smart grid demonstration projects, which includes microgrids, smart inverters, distributed energy resources, and blockchain technology, as well as multiple projects supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. Before joining ComEd, he was the lead of distribution systems analytic team in Nexant, Inc. in Silicon Valley, where he led the research, software development and product management of transmission and distribution analytic platforms.

Phil MarkhamPhil Markham is currently Manager of Smart Buildings Research & Development at Southern Company. Phil leads research in the areas of energy efficiency, load data analytics, building energy modeling, building electrification, and optimizing building energy usage and production (“prosumers”) for the good of the grid while maintaining customer comfort and priorities i.e. “buildings-to-grid” or “Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings”. He has held multiple engineering and project management positions over his career at the Australian Energy Market Operator and Southern Company, including in the areas of power system operations, transmission planning, generation and energy storage development, utility-scale solar PV operations and maintenance, and now research and development. 

Click here for recording

Contact Phone: