image of windmills in front of smoke stacks

Distributed Energy Summit 2022 (Virtual)

The third annual Virtual Distributed Energy Summit for the NM EPSCoR SMART Grid Center, hosted by Santa Fe Community College’s Smart and Microgrid Training Center, will take place on Thursday, June 23 and Friday, June 24, 2022.

Summit '22 will offer a holistic look at the challenges and opportunities presented by New Mexico’s transition to Net Zero emissions by 2050, and the role energy must play in this and holding global warming to 1.5 degrees. The event will examine the national policy landscape; pathways, results, and research from related transitions elsewhere; initiatives underway here; and the implications for equitable economic and workforce opportunities.

There is no charge to attend, but advance registration is required.
Registration deadline is June 17th, 2022.


SFCC Site Tour Details

On Friday, June 24 at 2:30 PM, join an in-person tour of Santa Fe Community College’s Smart and Microgrid Training Center facilities, plus networking and hosted refreshments — check the sign-up box in the Registration Form.

Questions? Contact Victoria Ortiz:

Save the date!

Links to presentation materials are posted in the agenda, below.


Summit Agenda, Speakers, and Materials

NM Net Zero: The 1.5° Energy Imperative

Click on Presenters’ names to open and close biographies.


 9:00AM - 9:20AM


Welcoming Remarks

Ganesh Balakrishnan, Director, NM EPSCoR 

U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury

Presentation Video

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich

Presentation Video



 9:20AM - 9:45AM


Plenary Presentation - NM's Net Zero Journey


Sara Cottrell Propst

Sarah Cottrell Propst was appointed by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to serve as the Cabinet Secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) in January 2019. From 2012 to 2018, she served as the Executive Director of the Interwest Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association that represents the nation’s leading companies in the renewable energy industry, bringing them together with non-governmental organizations in the West (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). She is the founder of Propst Consulting LLC, specializing in energy and environmental policy. She was Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department after serving as Energy and Environmental Policy Advisor to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. She earned a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Princeton School of Public & International Affairs, with a concentration in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. She worked as a Research Fellow for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change in Arlington, VA, and was a magna cum laude graduate of Davidson College with Honors in Political Science.

Presentation Slides



 9:45AM - 10:00AM






 10:00AM - 12:00PM


Panel #1: Think Global - Lessons Learned Elsewhere


Cris Moore, Santa Fe Institute

Cristopher Moore is a Resident Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and co-author of the SFI report “The Energy Transition In New Mexico.” He received his B.A. in Physics, Mathematics, and Integrated Science from Northwestern University, and his Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell. From 2000 to 2012 he was a professor at the University of New Mexico, with joint appointments in Computer Science and Physics. Since 2012, Moore has been a resident professor at the Santa Fe Institute; he has also held visiting positions at École Normale Superieure, École Polytechnique, Université Paris 7, École Normale Superieure de Lyon, the University of Michigan, and Northeastern University. He is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Mathematical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Morgan Higman, Center for Strategic and International Studies


Morgan Higman is a fellow in the Energy Security and Climate Change Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Her work focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation and clean energy transitions in the United States. Her expertise spans dimensions of climate action governance, including institutional design, policy innovation and diffusion, collaborative networks, and associated costs and benefits. Prior to joining CSIS, and presently as an appointed member of the Florida Advisory Council on Climate and Energy, Morgan has worked on issues of sustainability, conservation, and education at state and local levels in Florida. This work included developing greenhouse gas inventories and policy recommendations related to renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure, and environmental protection. Presently, Morgan is a doctoral candidate of public administration and policy at Florida State University’s Askew School. Her doctoral research examines a range of issues related to climate action, including allocation of authority and resources, program and policy design, and distributional effects. Her doctoral research is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Environmental Research and Education Foundation.

Presentation Slides



Warren Leon, Clean Energy States Alliance


Warren Leon is Executive Director of the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). He oversees the organization’s day-to-day operations and leads strategy development. He has written and edited many reports for CESA, including serving as lead author for Returning Champions: State Clean Energy Leadership Since 2015 and Solar with Justice: Strategies for Powering Up Under-Resourced Communities and Growing an Inclusive Solar Market. Prior to working for CESA, Warren was Director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, Executive Director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, and Deputy Director for Programs at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He co-authored the influential book “The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices.” He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Presentation Slides



Hannah Wiseman, Pennsylvania State University


Professor Hannah Wiseman is a Professor of Law, Professor and Wilson Faculty Fellow in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and Institutes of Energy and the Environment Co-funded Faculty Member. Professor Wiseman teaches and writes in the areas of Energy Law, Oil & Gas Law, Land Use Regulation, Environmental Law, and Administrative Law. Her work focuses on the mechanics and design of regulation and governance in these areas, including the challenges of determining appropriate governance levels, fostering effective experimentation, and addressing expansions in the scale of regulated activities. Hannah received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, summa cum laude, and her law degree from Yale Law School, and she clerked for Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Before joining the faculty at Penn State, Professor Wiseman was the Attorneys' Title Professor at Florida State University College of Law, an Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa School of Law, and an Emerging Fellow (Visiting Assistant Professor) at the University of Texas School of Law.

Presentation Slides



 12:00PM - 2:00PM 





 2:00PM - 4:00PM


Panel #2: Act Local - Regional and Local Initiatives


Claudia Borchert, NM Environment Department

Claudia Borchert joined the New Mexico Environment Department in November 2020 as the Environmental Protection Division’s Climate Change Policy Coordinator. As a member of the leadership team of New Mexico’s interagency Climate Change Task Force, Claudia is developing a suite of climate action strategies for the state’s 5-year climate action plan to achieve the statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of at least 45% below 2005 levels by 2030. Claudia is implementing climate actions specified in New Mexico’s Governor Lujan Grisham 2019-003 Executive Order on Addressing Climate Change and Energy Waste including cleaner tailpipe emission standards for passenger cars and reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels through a market-based clean fuel standard. Claudia spent the previous three years serving as Santa Fe County’s Sustainability Manager, where she implemented a plan for the County’s operations to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2024 through a combination of behind-the-meter and utility-subscriber photovoltaic-sourced electricity. Other past work includes running the County’s water and wastewater utility, planning for sustainable use of Santa Fe’s climate-change-impacted water supply, and creating laws that provide in-stream flow for the Santa Fe River.

Presentation Slides


Jolante van Wijk is group leader of the Computational Earth Science Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Professor of Geophysics at New Mexico Tech. She holds PhD and MS/BS degrees in Geophysics from Free University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University, respectively. Prior to joining Los Alamos National Laboratory, she worked as Geophysics Professor at University of Houston and New Mexico Tech, and as postdoctoral researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her scientific background is in computational and applied geophysics of sedimentary basins. Recent research topics include carbon sequestration, petroleum systems, energy transition, geologic storage of hydrogen, and natural hazards. She co-leads the I-WEST initiative, which is an energy transition initiative that takes a “place-based” approach to developing a roadmap towards net-zero carbon emissions in the Intermountain West region.

Presentation Slides


Charles Hanley, Sandia National Laboratories


Mr. Hanley is Senior Manager of the Grid Modernization and Resilient Infrastructures Group at Sandia National Laboratories. His group conducts research on enhancing the resilience of our critical energy infrastructures, including grid-scale optimization, controls, and microgrids; energy storage technologies; renewable energy integration; power electronics; cyber security; and advanced analytics for complex systems. He joined Sandia in 1988 and has been working in Sandia’s renewable energy and electric grid programs since 1994. From 2005 through 2014, Charlie managed Sandia’s Photovoltaics and Distributed Systems Integration Program. Prior to that, he managed Sandia’s international renewable energy programs, through which he oversaw the implementation of more than 400 photovoltaic and wind energy systems in Latin America. He received his B.S. in Engineering Science from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York.

Presentation Slides



Jacqueline Ennis, Natural Resources Defense Council


Jacqueline Ennis is a Schneider Fellow and Policy Analyst in NRDC’s Climate & Clean Energy Program. She uses data and modeling to support and design deep decarbonization policies at the state and federal levels. As a Schneider fellow, she works on policy efforts involving clean hydrogen development, NRDC’s clean energy advocacy in the West and Midwest, and transportation electrification. Prior to joining NRDC, she worked on the Mayor of Honolulu’s Climate Action Plan and grid resilience for the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission. She holds a bachelor’s degree in symbolic systems and a master’s degree in atmosphere and energy engineering from Stanford University. She is based in NRDC’s Washington, D.C., office.

Presentation Slides






NM Net Zero: The 1.5° Energy Imperative

Click on Presenters’ names to open and close biographies.


 9:00AM - 9:10AM


Greetings and Welcomes

Becky Rowley, President, Santa Fe Community College



 9:10 AM - 11:00 AM


Panel #3: Make it Work - Labor, Workforce and Economy



Justin Talbot Zorn, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Justin Talbot Zorn is Senior Adviser for Policy and Strategy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Justin previously served as Legislative Director for three Democratic Members of Congress. A Fulbright Fellow and Truman Fellow, Justin has written for The Washington Post, Time, Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Nation, The American Prospect, Fortune and CNN. Justin has been a mindfulness meditation teacher on Capitol Hill and lectures widely on Congressional reform, transpartisan coalition-building, and environmental policy. He holds graduate degrees in international relations and public policy from Oxford University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.



Ricky Serna, NM Department of Workforce Solutions


Ricky Serna has worked in public education and state government for over a dozen years and previously served as Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. Prior to joining the Lujan Grisham administration he served as the interim president at Luna Community College, where he successfully led an effort to overcome significant accreditation and governance challenges. He also served as the Vice President for Advancement at Northern New Mexico College and spent nearly five years with the New Mexico Higher Education Department, providing field oversight for a statewide project aimed at increasing student graduation rates within 21 school districts. Serna has served on the New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents, NM JTIP Board, the Las Vegas City Schools Board of Education, the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation, and as president of the Española Valley Chamber of Commerce Board. A first-generation college graduate from Española, NM, he earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership, both from New Mexico Highlands University.

Presentation Slides



Wesley Look, Resources for the Future/Environmental Defense Fund


Wesley Look joined RFF as a senior research associate in 2017, where he has been lead author on research reports with the Environmental Defense Fund. Previously, Look served as Advisor on Energy and Environment to the US Senate Finance Committee and ranking member Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). Wesley advised Senator Wyden on a range of clean energy and climate policies, including the senator’s energy policy portfolio on the Senate Energy Committee. From 2007 to 2010, he advised US cities on climate and energy policy as Program Officer with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).



Chris Markuson, BlueGreen Alliance


Chris Markuson is BlueGreen Alliance’s Western States Director. He leads the program and policy work of BGA’s western states team. He is based in Denver, Colorado. Chris has more than twenty-five years of experience in local government and the private sector. Prior to joining BlueGreen Alliance, he served as Director of Economic Development, GIS and Energy for Pueblo County, Colorado. Here, Chris was responsible for growing the economy, implementing systemic intelligent decision making through use of GIS technology, and leading community energy sector regulatory and policy efforts. Chris has been recognized by the Orton Family Foundation and Esri for his innovative work. Chris believes strongly in principles of community collaboration and human-centered economic development practices that cultivate healthy and sustainable communities.

Presentation Slides



 11:00AM - 11:15AM








 11:15AM - 12:30 PM


Panel #4: Paths to Success



Selena Connealy, NM EPSCoR

Selena Connealy is the Associate Director for the NM EPSCoR State Office. In that role, she is the co-Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded NM SMART Grid Center, a $24 million research project to modernize the electricity grid and develop a diverse and highly-qualified workforce. Dr. Connealy began her education career as a middle school teacher in Texas and was a Project Associate at the Council of Chief State School Officers in Washington, DC. For the past twenty years, she has worked at the intersection of formal and informal education with organizations including NM Museum of Natural History and Science, NM State Parks, and UNM, and advocating for systemic change through the NM Partnership for Mathematics and Science Education.

Presentation Slides



Stephen Gomez, Santa Fe Community College


Stephen Gómez is the Chair of Trades, Technology and Sustainability at Santa Fe Community College. A native New Mexican, he received his B.S in biology at the California Institute of Technology and his M.A and Ph.D. in molecular, cell and developmental biology at UCLA. Dr. Gómez started his career in the biomedical field with appointments at the Dept. of Molecular Biotechnology, U. of Washington; Dept. of Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles; Pasarow Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, UCLA and the Respiratory Immunology and Asthma Program, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. Since returning to New Mexico, Dr. Gómez’ interests have shifted to sustainable agriculture and biofuels. He has served as a consultant to Sandia National Laboratories in Renewable Energy and managed the research program in low-water greenhouse agriculture at the Indio-Hispano Academy of Agricultural Arts and Sciences. Dr. Gómez joined the faculty at SFCC in 2014. Before that he taught biology at UCLA, U. of Washington, U. of Wyoming, UNM and CNM. While at CNM he developed a curriculum in Green Energy as part of the engineering program. At SFCC, Dr. Gómez splits his time between biology courses in the School of Health, Math and Sciences and sustainability/biofuels courses in the School of Trades and Technology.

Presentation Slides


Frank Currie, Santa Fe Community College


Frank Currie is leading the development of the Smart and Microgrid Training Center at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC). Within this role, he is spearheading development of the Distributed Energy Systems Program, an AAS and AS degree program specializing in smart grid and microgrid systems technician training, which he will discuss and present. Most recently, Frank worked as an R&D engineer in the Energy Storage Technologies and Systems group at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). There he supported the design and construction of a groundbreaking data acquisition system for the new SNL Storage Controls and Analytics Lab and served as SNL project lead for a collaborative SFCC training center project. In addition to his prior engineering experience, Frank has taught at secondary institutions and community colleges. Before working for SNL, Frank worked as adjunct faculty at SFCC. Over the course of his career, Frank has also worked in industrial automation, electric utility systems planning, solar and wind project development, and on the implementation side of energy storage and microgrids. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State and will soon possess an MS in the same field from NMSU.

Presentation Slides





 2:30PM - 4:30PM


Live tour of SFCC facilities, networking
Frank Currie




Background Materials

Plenary Presentation: NM's Net Zero Journey

  • Governor Lujan Grisham’s Executive Order on Addressing Climate Change and Energy Waste Prevention 2019-003: PDF download
  • NM Clean Future Act, 2022 Regular Legislative Session, House Bill 6 (as introduced): PDF download
  • NM Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Energy Conservation and Management Division: website

Panel #1: Think Global - Lessons Learned Elsewhere

  • Clean Resilient States Initiative (Center for Strategic and International Studies): State Strategies for Expanding Economic Opportunity in Clean Energy: PDF download
  • 100% Clean Energy Collaborative (Clean Energy States Alliance): Advice for States on 100% Clean Energy Planning: PDF download
  • Center for Energy Law & Policy (Pennsylvania State): The Local, Social and Economic Context of Energy Transitions: CELP website

Panel #2: Act Local - Regional and Local Initiatives

  • NM Climate Change Task Force:
  • Natural Resources Defense Council: Report Overview - Pathways to Net-Zero for New Mexico’s Economy: PDF download

Panel #3: Make it Work - Labor, Workforce, and Economy

  • Resources for the Future/Environmental Defense Fund: Enabling Fairness for Energy Workers and Communities in Transition PDF download
  • NM Energy Transition Act Committee: website
  • BlueGreen Alliance: website

Panel #4: Paths to Success - University and College Programs

  • The NM EPSCoR SMART Grid Center: website
  • Santa Fe Community College, Distributed Energy Technologies and Systems: website
  • Sustainability at Santa Fe Community College: website

Supplemental Information & Downloads

Select publications from state agencies and leading research and policy institutions

  • The Labor Energy Partnership (AFL-CIO, Energy Futures Initiative): website
  • Resources for the Future/Environmental Defense Fund: Fairness for Workers and Communities in Transition:

Prior Virtual Energy Summits

2021 Distributed Energy Systems Virtual Summit Archive

2020 Distributed Energy Systems Virtual Summit Archive