'Notable Quotables' from the Microgrid Knowledge 2024 Conference in Baltimore

May 23, 2024
Here for your consideration are a selection of the most quoted quotes from experts attending last month's Microgrid Knowledge 2024 conference. Next year's event will be held April 15-17, 2025 in Dallas, Texas.

The Microgrid Knowledge 2024 Conference was an amazing time for those of us with MGK and Endeavor Business Media, and hopefully all that attended.

The April 22-24 event at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront Hotel was the fullest three days of content yet in the event's nine-year history.

We focused on key pillars of microgrid technologies, from controls to integration and generation resources to government regulatory and financial leadership.

We all had the top players there, whether developers or equipment manufacturers or software firms.

And we had smart, connected leaders willing to talk about all the ups and downs, headwinds and tailwinds and future opportunities for dedicated on-site power.

So we thought we would display a few of the most quoted quotes from Microgrid Knowledge 2024.

For those who came to the event, we were thrilled to have you there. For those who couldn’t make it, we missed you. The full conference wrap-up article is here.

Microgrids are the resilient and sustainable crossroads for mission-critical energy needs. Let's arrive at that intersection together. We hope to see you next year from April 15-17 for Microgrid Knowledge 2025 at the Sheraton Dallas in Texas. 

Below are the best comments that I can remember from MGK 2024. If you think of others which stood out and can attribute them, contact me at [email protected] and I will add once confirmed.

–  Rod Walton, MGK Managing Editor and Conference Chair

Overheard at Microgrid Knowledge 2024 in Baltimore


“I take it back to COVID, when the genesis of data began to shift. People working from home (shifting from office servers to the cloud). . . Then, 15-18 months ago artificial intelligence hits the scene. . . Now there’s a burden on the power side. . . None of the utilities saw that coming.”

–  Colby Cox, Managing Director-Americas at DC Byte


“For years, data centers were the original microgrids. Now tens to hundreds of gigawatts are acting as impulse loads. . . “

–  Philip Fischer, Data Centers/Mission Critical Solutions, Black & Veatch


“We have to think beyond the technology side. We have to think about regulatory reform. . . I think we need a lot more pilots (projects). I wish there was more room for innovation investment.”

–  Sonya Harbaugh, Director, Utility of the Future Strategy, Baltimore Gas & Electric


“The biggest message is ‘don’t deform to conform.’ A lot of times when I see microgrid investments it is when an event occurs. Please don’t wait: There is a value proposition in day-to-day normal conditions.”

–   Gil Bindewald, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity


"If you don't have a robust O&M plan your system could turn into playground equipment."

-- Katrina Pielli, Director, Engagement, U.S. DOE Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations


"The one thing a microgrid can do that nothing else can is island independently from the grid. That's one thing that makes a microgrid a microgrid. But, the thing you have to care about is 'what is the value I get from being separate from the grid?' This is an age-old question, and there is no standard answer because each person and business have their own way of deciding what that could mean to them. So how do we explain that and put a price on that? As soon as we do that, the market will figure out how to price resilience and we will be able to unlock the next step in the microgrid evolution and bring a lot more microgrid projects to the market."

–  Ken Horne, Director of Portfolio Operations, Spring Lane Capital and co-emcee of MGK 2024


"What is the revolution in energy all about, and who is it for exactly? Where I think the potential for microgrids truly exists is in personalizing energy. Energy is the most boring thing - you flip a switch and the light comes on and nobody cares. Personalizing energy means people have to relate to the energy infrastructure before we can care about it."

–  Sunil Cherian, CEO and co-founder, Spirae 


“We will continue to work with you (as utility to the microgrid sector). Come to us with your ideas.”

–  Laura Wright, Vice President, Technical Services, Baltimore Gas & Electric


“It’s exciting to get there and see success on the other side. It’s like peeling an onion. . . All of it works in tandem…..You need a utility that’s ready and willing to engage.”

–  Kristel Watson, Chief Commercial Officer, Scale Microgrids, discussing project for solar and storage microgrid at Gallaudet University in Washington DC.


“All of that demand infrastructure just doesn’t exist (for EV charging to match future projected load). There isn’t enough generation. . . You can’t help but think of microgrids being the solution. People will buy the trucks, and the only thing stopping them is nowhere to charge them.”

–  Joseph Martorano, District Energy Systems Lead, Arup.


Keep pace with the fast-moving world of data centers and cloud computing by connecting with Data Center Frontier on LinkedIn, following us on X/Twitter and Facebook, and signing up for our weekly newsletters using the form below.

About the Author

Rod Walton

Rod Walton is Managing Editor of Endeavor Business Media's Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech, publications focused on the sustainability and resiliency goals of mission-critical and large-scale energy users, including the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities and data centers. 

Sponsored Recommendations

Get Utility Project Solutions

Lightweight, durable fiberglass conduit provides engineering benefits, performance and drives savings for successful utility project outcomes.

Guide to Environmental Sustainability Metrics for Data Centers

Unlock the power of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting in the data center industry with our comprehensive guide, proposing 28 key metrics across five categories...

The AI Disruption: Challenges and Guidance for Data Center Design

From large training clusters to small edge inference servers, AI is becoming a larger percentage of data center workloads. Learn more.

A better approach to boost data center capacity – Supply capacity agreements

Explore a transformative approach to data center capacity planning with insights on supply capacity agreements, addressing the impact of COVID-19, the AI race, and the evolving...


The Competitive Edge of Enterprise Edge

Brett Lindsey, CEO ark data centers, explains why edge data centers will become increasingly vital, making them the cornerstone of digital transformation strategies for enterprises...

White Papers


Data Center Generator Maintenance

Dec. 10, 2021
A new white paper from Kohler Power Systems explains the feasibility and benefits of no-load exercising for diesel generator operators.