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Shultz Student Blog

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September 15, 2020 | Liqian Zhang, MS '21

This summer, I worked at the City of Palo Alto Utility (CPAU) and studied the energy system in California and Palo Alto. My mentor, Lena Perkins, spent a lot of time helping me understand the electricity market system and build my project. Besides this, the utility organized several coffee chats for us, which provided me with a great...

Woman with dark hair on a beach holding a surfboard
August 31, 2020 | Wenxi Zhao '21

My summer internship at the California Department of Water Resources is super intriguing and has inspired me to delve into a hydropower-related field in the future. Before starting my project, I took hydropower to be one of the major sources of renewable energy and never thought it could fall into a disadvantage in the future greener energy market.

As I started to dive into the...

Woman with dark hair wearing a winter coat and hat outside in Iceland
August 27, 2020 | Sindhu Nathan '22

This summer, I’ve been able to do some really interesting work as a technical communicator by helping with the Vehicle-Grid Integration Roadmap Update--which will be published later this year. In particular, I worked up an introductory graphic that motivated the report and highlighted some of the key findings--this is to help a legislative staffer or a member of the public quickly get an idea of what is going on and help them assess what to...

Man with Stanford baseball cap and glasses smiling with his thumb up next to a laptop and books
August 24, 2020 | Allan Zhao

ZEV map 1

The first realization about working from home? Struggling not to be tempted by my bed less than 10 feet away. That’s definitely something I don’t have to reckon with while in a traditional office. Although, not much about my time with the California...

Man with dark hair smiling inside a giant redwood tree
August 24, 2020 | Nathaniel Ramos '21

When I first learned that my internship would be completed remotely, I was saddened to think that I would not be able to visit the sites that my work would revolve around. My project for this summer at the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is to assess the viability of integrating solar power at one pumping plant in the Central Valley--Buena Vista Pumping Plant, 22 miles...

Woman with dark hair wearing a mask in front of a farmers' market
August 21, 2020 | Mondee Lu JD-MS '20

What I will remember most from my summer at the California Public Utilities Commission are the people who called in to public hearings on energy rate increases. Many expressed distress and outrage at the size of the proposed hikes. From this central sentiment flowed stark stories of financial struggle and precarity--they told of the continuous piling on of obligations and stressors (amplified during the Covid-19 pandemic), the things...

Man with dark hair wearing a black shirt and lifting weights
August 19, 2020 | Alex Evers '22

Effectively engaging with my remote experience and trying to make as large of an impact as I can is my first step in serving the people of the West this summer. This summer, my project consists of analyzing wildfire data within the West to help develop a data system that could improve wildfire mitigation plans for western utilities and reduce the severity of Public Safety Power Shutoffs. I believe this has a direct impact on people living...

August 19, 2020 | Jayne Stevenson

This summer, I am interning at the California Energy Commission (CEC), the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, in Chair David Hochschild’s office. While my internship and “office” may be untraditional, I’m grateful for the opportunity to carry out my work remotely during these unprecedented times.

Throughout my internship, my supervisors — Terra...

Woman with dark hair wearing a mask in front of a substation
August 17, 2020 | Mo Sodwatana

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) is a city-owned utility that serves to provide electricity, natural gas, water and fiber optics, amongst other things, to the residents of Palo Alto. Recently, they launched the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) Update, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990...

Woman with dark hair sitting at desk using a laptop
August 17, 2020 | Erin Pang

As of now, I am eight weeks into my ten-week summer internship at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The CPUC is the regulatory agency that oversees California’s investor-owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. Through its proceedings, the Commission seeks to achieve a...