The Future of Virtual Power Plants: Empowering Underserved Communities

Sarah Delisle, Vice President, Government Affairs & Communications of Swell Energy; Ed Hamzawi, Director, Advanced Energy Solutions of Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD); and Achini Bandara, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships at GRID Alternatives North Valley will discuss how aggregating distributed energy resources en masse in the form of a virtual power plant (VPP) lowers the cost of ownership for consumers and helps utilities manage demand while increasing individual reliability and resilience across the electric grid. They will demonstrate how Swell is working to help SMUD deliver on its 2030 Zero Carbon Plan to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from its power supply, including how the success of programs like SMUD’s My Energy Optimizer Partner+ is based not only on total enrollment but also on the additional job opportunities created for local installers, new revenue opportunities, and grid resilience benefits, as well as the socially equitable impacts of these programs.


  • Sarah Delisle, Swell Energy, Vice President for Government Affairs and Communications
  • Ed Hamzawi, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Advanced Energy Solutions Director
  • Achini Bandara, GRID Alternatives North Valley, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships