Virtual Peaker's Empower Innovation Forum

Why should you attend?

LEARN - Empower helps DER-focused professionals unlock new insights, tap into clean energy transition trends, and shape innovations in emerging technologies.
COLLABORATE - Network with like-minded utility professionals focused on solving the grid challenges of today and tomorrow! 
HAVE FUN - Build lasting professional connections and friendships while having a little fun in Louisville!

GENERAL PRICE: $475 - Registration includes access to all panels, keynotes & events.
* Complimentary Registration for Virtual Peaker's Current Clients
Please note this is a utility-only event. If you are not employed by a utility and would like to join, please reach out to  to discuss the opportunity.

Virtual Peaker is focused on developing advanced, customer-centric, and friendly software solutions to realize the full potential of DERs. We can't do it alone – but with the right people in the room, we can figure it out together!



Omni Louisville Hotel

Virtual Peaker's Empower Innovation Forum will be hosted at the Omni Louisville Hotel, located in downtown Louisville. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis so book now for the lowest rate available.

Reserve Your Room!

Dinner Reception 

Kentucky Derby Museum

Continue networking while taking in the sights and sounds
of this attraction that celebrates the tradition, history, hospitality and pride around the world-renowned Kentucky Derby. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind setting featuring cocktails, dinner, tour of Churchill Downs and 360º film and media experience.

Learn More


Keynote Speakers


Betsy Engleking 

Vice President  |  National Grid Renewables 

Betsy Engelking joined National Grid Renewables as a Vice President in January 2012 and currently leads the Company’s policy and RTO strategy efforts. Betsy developed the regulatory strategy for the Aurora Distributed Solar Project and provided expert testimony in the PUC process. She also collaborated with a number of legislators and advocates to achieve passage of the 2013 Minnesota Solar Energy legislation and the 2023 Minnesota Clean Energy Act. 

Previously, Betsy was Director of Resource Planning for Xcel Energy, where she developed and implemented long-range power supply plans, including compliance with Xcel’s wide-ranging renewable energy requirements. She has also held positions with Great River Energy and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

With nearly 35 years of experience in the energy industry, Betsy’s expertise in energy policy, renewable energy, resource planning, utility rates and regulation, and energy markets are invaluable to NG Renewables. Since the beginning of her career, Betsy has worked both regionally and nationally to promote the advancement of wind energy and other renewables through participation with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), the National Wind Coordinating Committee (NWCC), the Great Plains Institute’s 

Powering the Plains collaborative, and through an active role in state and national policy development. Betsy holds an MBA in Finance and Economics from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, and a BS in Biology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.


Mark Dyson 

Managing Director, Carbon-Free Electricity  |  RMI

Mark is a Managing Director with the Carbon-Free Electricity Program at RMI, where he has worked since 2008. Mark currently leads RMI research and collaboration efforts around electricity grid planning for a 1.5°C-aligned future. At RMI, Mark has led research projects on renewable energy, demand flexibility, and grid resilience, and has advised clients including large utilities, regulatory commissions, oil majors, and cleantech companies on carbon-free energy topics.

Prior to joining RMI, Mark worked at Ascend Analytics, helping deploy grid simulation and financial modeling software for several large energy companies. Mark has also held research positions at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he worked on improving regional electricity system planning models, and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he worked on integrating demand-side resources into electricity markets.


November 1st


6:30pm - 9:00pm

Optional: Opening Reception at Rabbit Hole Distillery 


November 2nd

8:00am - 8:50am 

Registration & Breakfast

8:50am - 9:00am

Quick Break

9:00am - 9:50am 

The State of Virtual Peaker

Dr. William (Bill) Burke, Founder & CEO, Virtual Peaker 

Location: Olmsted 5

9:50am - 10:00am

Quick Break 

10:00am - 10:50am 

Fireside Chat Keynote: The Promise of Technology for Transmission and Load Balancing

Betsy Engelking, Vice President, National Grid Renewables 

Location: Olmsted 5

10:50am - 11:00am

Quick Break

11:00am - 12:00pm

Virtual Peaker Innovation Showcase Hour

During this hour, you'll learn about our best-in-class, innovative DER platform.

Location: Olmsted 5

12:00pm - 12:45pm


1:00pm - 1:50pm 

Panel: The Intersection of EVs & Utilities

Stacy Noblet, VP of Transportation and Electrification, ICF
Shannon Anderson, Manager, Vehicle-Grid Integrations, Nissan 
Jack Riordan, Strategic Initiatives Manager, Efficiency Maine
Virtual Peaker Moderator: Jeff Quigley, VP of Sales

Location: Olmsted 5

1:50pm - 2:00pm 

Quick Break

2:00pm - 2:50pm 

Bridging the Program/Control Room Divide: How VPPs Will Change the Game

Adam Light, Sr. Director, DERMS, TRC 
Vrinda Gaba, Senior Strategic Program Manager, OSI, Aspen Technology
Dr. William (Bill) Burke, Founder & CEO, Virtual Peaker
Virtual Peaker Moderator: Colin Lamb,
VP of Client Success

Location: Olmsted 5

2:50pm - 3:00pm

Quick Break

3:00pm - 3:50pm


Program Management & Incentives: When to Pay for Performance

Patty Hanson, Manager, Utility Programs, Rochester Public Utilities
Christopher Todd
, Director of Marketing & Communication, NREMC
Emma Johnson, Program Manager, Seattle City Light
Virtual Peaker Moderator: Kyle Safranek, Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Location: Olmsted 5

3:50pm - 5:30pm 

Break for non-clients

4:00pm - 5:00pm 

Customer Feedback Session (Invite only)
Location: Butchertown

5:30pm - 9:30pm

Busses run to & from the Derby Museum

6:00pm - 9:00pm

Kentucky Derby Museum Dinner & Reception


November 3rd

8:00am - 9:00am 

Networking & Breakfast

9:00am - 9:50am 

Keynote: Virtual Power Plants, Real Benefits 

Mark Dyson, Managing Director, RMI

Location: Olmsted 5

9:50am - 10:00am

Quick Break

10:00am -10:50am 

The Risk of Inaction with EV Charging: The EV Boom is Happening 

Josh Castonguay, VP & Chief Innovation Officer, Green Mountain Power
Jen Szarro,
President & CEO, AESP 
Ben Thacker,
EVP Business Development, Emporia
Virtual Peaker Moderator: Eric Van Orden,
Director of Partnerships

Location: Olmsted 5

10:50am - 11:00am

Quick Break

11:00am - 11:50am

Program Stacking: With More DERs, Comes More Opportunities

David Bonnett, VP of Product Management, NISC
Joseph Coles, Energy Efficiency Program Manager, MMWEC
Virtual Peaker Moderator: Alex Aznar, Director of Implementation

Location: Olmsted 5

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Luncheon & Closing Remarks 


• Empower23-logo_RGB_2-Color_WHITE-2

Thank you for a great event!

Join us next year to help build the utility of the future.