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Mr. Mathew Sachs with CPower Energy Management on Distributed Energy
6th May 2021 • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie
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In this week's Industrial Talk Podcast we're talking to Mathew Sachs, SVP at CPower Energy Management about "Distributed Energy that Creates a Flexible and Resilient Power Asset Market". Get the answers to your "Distributed Energy" questions along with Mathew's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

You can find out more about Mathew and the wonderful team at CPower Energy Management on power behind Distributed Energy by the links below. Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2020. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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grid, utilities, people, distributed, Mathew, business, big, demand, generation, customers, energy, technology, industrial, devices, build, innovation, renewables, power, supply, bit


Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go. All right, that is right. You're saying to yourself, Scott, what? Where am I? You're on the industrial talk podcast. This is a platform that celebrates you. You're an industry hero. You are


bold, you are brave, you dare greatly. you innovate like nobody's business. you're solving problems, right? And you're changing people's lives, and you're changing the world, each and every day. That, my friends, is why we celebrate you each and every day on this particular podcast. All right. In the old, industrial talk, hotseat, we've got a gentleman by the name of Mathew Sachs, right, please make a note of that. He's got a lot long title, SVP strategies and business development. The company is called C power energy management. We're going to be talking about distributed energy and much, much more, let's get a racket.


All right, a favorite food of mine, chips and salsa. I was just sort of chewing on some chips and salsa. And you're saying to yourself, Scott, Hey, your body is a temple. Now when it comes to chips and salsa. Oh, my gosh, that is absolutely delicious. Alright.


Let's talk about some events that are coming up that you have got to must put on your calendar. The first one is the digital summit. And that digital summit is brought to you by those incredible folks at IoT solutions World Congress. It is the 11th and 12th of May. And it you know what that does. It's featuring real professionals solving real problems, and leveraging innovation and technology to make that happen. Now you can use that, put it on a bumper sticker, I have no problem with that. But the real kicker is that, you know my backgrounds, utilities. So we've got, we've got a side event. So you go over there and you say, Alright, let's see what's what's happening. So you scroll on down side of it. And at 9am. Central Standard Time, we've got the Well, I'm leading a panel of great people, electric utilities, digital transformation journey. So how do you take all this wonderful digital transformation innovation stuff and apply it to that grid, apply it to Universal utilities, and beyond? So that when you walk into a room, you flip a light? It works? Yeah. Yeah. That's what we're all about. And the panel to click on in there. It's pretty cool. So it features a gentleman by the name of Phil carry. He is a consultant with mad skills, former employee of Southern California Edison, and he was leading the way. And the other gentlemen, Michael Bates. He's the GM energy with Intel. And we're talking once again, this electric utility, digital transformation journey, go again, go out to IoT solutions. World Congress, that's their URL, find the digital summit, sign up and learn something about how these leaders are moving forward with incredible solutions. All right, that the other event that I'm going to be at, I'm going to actually be in Cleveland for this particular event. It's the manufacturing and technology show. And it is, it's it's far off. So you've got a lot of time to plan for this bad boy, November 9 through the 11th. And then they have a virtual event, December 7, and eighth, this year. And again, you know, we were starting to sort of build on it. But I'm going to be broadcasting live from that particular venue. And highlighting once again, incredible people who are


well, leaders, innovators, trailblazers, second to none, making our lives better. Yeah.


manufacturing and technology show and the URL is m f, g, t, ch Now have it out on industrial talk, you'll be able to see it, you'll be able to find it. There's no excuse for you not going. That's it. That's That's all I want to say about that. Now. Now, let's get on with this particular interview.


As you all know, I geek out on this utility stuff. I don't know what the future holds, but it's exciting. There's some cool stuff happening and people like Mathews


And others are just coming up with incredible solutions that are pushing the boundaries of utilities and, and But once again, utilities want that stable


that that stable power. And they and they've got to work with a number of entities. It's a challenging time, and incredible opportunity for brilliant people like Mathew, brilliant people like Phil brilliant people like Michael to be able to just shine and really solve problems. Alright, distributed energy is really the top topics. But once again, we we cover pretty much everything. So enjoy the interview. Mathew, welcome to the industrial talk podcast. I'm excited for this conversation listeners. We're going to be talking a lot about I don't know, man, a lot of future thinking a lot of future compensation, we're going to be talking about distributed energy


outside of the fact that it's hard to say quickly, but distributed energy. How are you doing, Mathew? I'm doing good. Scott. Thanks for having me. I appreciate you taking the time out today to talk man. It's cool. It's cool. All right. For the listeners out there. Give us a little you know, background Luke 411 on who Mathew is. Yeah, sure I I've been in and around the energy space, or what I would call the new energy space for the last 15 years and they see new energy, they typically mean things like solar storage, things like that. And really building and investing in new companies. Today I lead strategy and business development for c power and really all that business mumbo jumbo In short, I'm helping find new ways to leverage our expertise and capabilities to grow and help evolve the grid we live in.


should mention you know, my previous experience spans from utilities to private equity and building some some solar companies up from the ground.


Man street cred, if you go out to his stat card out on LinkedIn, type in Mathew with one t don't come to me and say I can't find it because you're spelling it with two T's, one t s, a CA, CH s, pronounced as sack So go out there, you'll see a stack card it is impressive. c power.


What is that? It? Does that mean? Anything CPower? Or is it just the name?


See, power is just a name. We were built up over time through a bunch of mergers and acquisitions. Some of them started with a C. So I assumed this is all before my time here. But I assume that's where the C monitor came from. But, uh, but I still think it rings. Well, it does. It does. Now let me ask you this. Let's talk a little bit about distributed energy. Now. I've had a number of conversations with other utilities and other energy professionals. And one of the real challenges, of course, is how do you manage? How do you create that, that nimble that resilient that


to incentivize generation that is renewable on to a grid into a community and maintain that stability of that system? So with that, distributed energy, give us a little definition of that? Yeah, well, distributed energy is well, maybe going backwards. And second day, we traditional energy is generally done in a centralized form, or it's in big power plants that are typically far away from the demand. And then they're transported through big transmission lines into distribution lines into your home in your business.


Distributed energies where you move these generation, or other DVRs distributed energy resources into that distribution grid, often what we would call behind the meter or into your home or business and that's where things like rooftop solar or storage come in mind. And, and it is a challenge what you mentioned, I think there's a lot of challenging kind of orchestrating all these little devices to kind of played the symphony, if we could stick with that musical analogy for a while but, but it's a challenge that CPower and others try to help help keep up with, you know, in the end, there's one thing that has to happen in supply has to match demand on the grid, or the lights go out and no one's very happy. Yeah, don't don't do that. You know, everybody's in for renewables. And it's in rightly so it's all good. And, and whatever that portfolio mix looks like. But if, if my power it starts to flicker, and then I go to my digital clock on my microwave, and it's blinking at me,


no good, happy. Yeah.


So let's talk a little bit about where this is going. Why is this important? Where are we? I mean, it just seems like


seems like there's a lot of traction that has happened. A lot of things that are taking place.


Why is this important?


Yeah, I think there's there's a ton of reasons why it's important. One and maybe at the top. Both businesses and homes are adopt


During these DVRs distributed energy resources on their own, for all sorts of reasons, some because they want to be greener or cleaner, some because they want more backup, some because it offers better economic incentives for them


in terms of Bill savings, or what we do with CPower to help balance the grid with this, but, but they're already using them, if you have these things being deployed in mass already, why not use them to help balance the grid instead of going out and deploying, say, another Central Station power plant, that might be a lot dirtier, but but even


maybe more important, it only operates for a few hours a year when the demand is highest. So the idea is to leverage these assets to kind of well have the terminal become very familiar with over the last year, flatten the curve and flatten that demand curve in this case, and alleviate that generation. Let me ask you this, that the challenge I see is that you brought up this sort of centralized generation, long ago, it was relatively easy to match supply demand, because you had these centralized assets, big centralized generation assets, the design was to be able to ensure the customer, the end user, the manufacturer, the customers at one end, receive consistent, reliable power. Now, with a distributed energy model, you take that centralized, and they play a less and less role, but you're trying to create a baseload type of scenario for all of these disconnected or


these smaller generations. How do you do that?


Yeah, well, I think that's a great point. Many, many of these DDR zz that are out there are not meant to be baseload. There are some that are like a CHP type of plant. But for the most part, they're meant to, from a grid perspective, they're meant to alleviate the peak.


So things like storage, energy storage in your home or in your business, they're not for the grid, they'll never be a baseload acid, what they could do is when you have your hottest day of the summer, and everyone's using your AC and the grid at peak demand, instead of building the next new generator, he just didn't start discharging your batteries, these batteries in your home, which looks like to the grid, less demand. You know, an analogy


I kind of use sometimes is July 4, right by me, July 4 has a lot of traffic. If you said let's get rid of all July for traffic, we had to do that, which is the case with the grid, it has to state ballots. We said let's get rid of all this traffic on July 4, there's a couple of ways you could go about this, you could build a bigger highway, right? Very Kintu transmission generation, you could go let's say I'm going to take this three lane highway and make it a 15 lane highway, and you're never going to have any traffic on July 4, the problem is you're going to eat into all this land, it's going to be a little dirtier. Most of all, it's going to be empty for most of the year. So what we kind of do at sea power is and what you could do with distributed energies is kind of akin to that in the sense that you see, let's not build a 50 lane highway, that doesn't make a lot of sense. Let's pay people to leave a little earlier on July 4, maybe leave a little later or maybe not leave at all.


But that way, you don't need that big highway yet you still get rid of the traffic. Hopefully that made a little sense.


All on it. Absolutely. There's there's a way of being able to manage


and correct me if I'm wrong, Mathew, that demand side, there's there's things that can be done on the demand side of that, that equation, like there, there's probably assets or buildings or whatever it might be out there that can be controlled and managed in a way that benefits benefits the demand of that profile. Is there a way of being able to take sort of that


these these distributed energy blocks and aggregate them in such a way to create maybe a larger aggregation? Is there some way to be able to do that? Yeah, so the absolutely first you're definitely right. It's not just batteries here we're talking about buildings could be batteries in themselves, they take the fact you could cool them off earlier and kind of akin to leaving earlier in my traffic example. But um, but yes, I mean, what CPower really specializes is I would say aggregate and go one step further and optimize those assets. We stand between CNI customers, like large, big box players, heavy industry,


universities, hospitals, and pretty much all types of large CNI customers when I say CNI, I mean commercial and industrial. Yeah.


In the grid, and what we the products that we offer to the grid is really aggregations of this. So it no longer looks like a small, little one stop shop for for the the grid and now looks big. In fact, you know, across the country, we have about 4.2 gigawatts under management, which is the size of several very large power plants. So 4.2 gigs?


It is


it's bigger than a meg megawatt. Yes, it's considerably bigger than a megawatt. But yeah, absolutely. And so now you now you're able to take that


and aggregate it. And from the perspective of, let's say, managing the grid, you can control that in such a way that and like I said, I'm just sort of spitballing here,


you can control it in such a way that will benefit that grid in a positive way to match supply and demand some, and because it's distributed, maybe some part of that capacity doesn't need to be activated and southern, you have that capability of doing that. Yeah, that that's exactly what we do. And it's it's often what we would call capacity, or power, which is measured in megawatts, it also goes into things like ancillary services, like the frequency, when you have plugged in, everything's at 60 hertz, or your computer doesn't work, right. Sometimes these can be used to do things like that, as well. So it supports that too, as...



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