Micro-grids: Best Practices around Technology Challenges (Webinar)

9 December 2014

View Webinar Content

PresentationIntroduction to the webinar and panelists

PresentationMatt Orosz

PresentationTristan Kochoyan

PresentationMichelle Klassen

PresentationMatt Basinger

PresentationRichenda Van Leeuwen

The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, hosted this webinar training on the current challenges and solutions around micro-grid technologies that members of the Practitioner Network’s Micro-grids Working Group are employing and scaling. This webinar is part of the broader work that the UN Foundation is undertaking on energy access and as part of the Clean Energy Mini-grids High Impact Opportunity (HIO) area within the UN and the World Bank’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

The webinar speakers showcased their respective organizations’ experience around various technology challenges and solutions pertaining to micro-grids, discussed and contrasted specific geographic contexts, and provided collective best practices. The following Practitioner Network Micro-grids Working Group members presented on their organizations’ work in this area:

  • Matt Orosz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and STG International
  • Tristan Kochoyan, Power:ON
  • Michelle Klassen, ZeroBase Energy
  • Matt Basinger, Advancing Engineering Consultants

Brief presentations were followed by a discussion among the panelists, moderated by Daniel Schnitzer, founder of EarthSpark International and SparkMeter, and co-chair of the Practitioner Network’s Micro-grids Working Group. The webinar concludes with an interactive question-and-answer session with the audience.

(webinar transcript, PDF)


Matt OroszMatt Orosz, President, Director (USA), STG International

Matt holds his doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering (MIT '12), an M.Sc. in Technology and Policy (MIT '06), an M.Eng. in Civil and Environmental Engineering (MIT '03), and a B.A. in Environmental Science (Dartmouth '00). Matt is the Lead Engineer and Project Coordinator for all of STG's work. He led the implementation of the World Bank sponsored work in Lesotho and continues to provide inspiration and leadership to the group. Matt is currently serving his tenure as an Echoing Green Fellow (2012–2014).

Tristan KochoyanTristan Kochoyan, Founder, Power:On

Tristan Kochoyan is the founder of Power:On, a social enterprise supplying electricity to rural communities in developing countries. Power:On designs and operate hybrid, efficient and smart minigrids tapping local, renewable resources, and makes sure they create opportunities for economic and social development. Tristan is passionate about social entrepreneurship and is convinced it holds viable solutions to fill the electricity access gap. He started Power:On right after his graduation from HEC Paris Business School, building on previous work experience in the energy and humanitarian fields, as well as on his interest for coding and new technologies. Tristan makes regular contributions to the impact and electricity access fields in France and abroad, via Power:On's blog (pwr-on.fr) or as a speaker during conferences.

Michelle KlassenMichelle Klassen, Vice President, ZeroBase Energy

Ms. Klassen is founder and director of SOYD, a 501(c)3. SOYD was an 8-month long internship for at-risk youth from around the world. SOYD was championed for offering young people humanitarian aid experience from world travels and community involvement, while working on the core problems they faced in their own lives. Haiti was the launch point for the international travel required for all interns. Over the years, Ms. Klassen has been involved in designing and managing large-scale solar projects. Currently, she is managing the design and installation solutions for the far reaches of the world, including microgrids both on and off grid. Her expertise includes solar PV as well as interfacing and managing multiple existing generators, best-in-class battery storage, and balancing systems for optimum performance. Customers currently include utilities, ministries of energy and defense departments, foreign and domestic.

Matt BasingerMatt Basinger, Founder/Director, Advancing Engineering Indonesia

Dr. Matt Basinger has been engineering micro-grids for villages in Africa and Asia for nearly a decade. He received his doctorate from Columbia University's School of Engineering, and he currently directs the Indonesian branch of Advancing Engineering (AE), a consulting company he co-founded. He has led technology start-ups and research teams at the Earth Institute in the development of smart-metering platforms, and he has directly managed the field work and implementation of micro-grid sites in Indonesia and multiple countries throughout east and west Africa. Matt speaks Bahasa Indonesia, and he lives in Papua, Indonesia, close to the action.