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The Leader – November 2015

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Powering the Grid of the Future

By Tim McRae, Senior Energy Director

GoF logoThe grid of the past can be thought of like a wheel – a centralized power plant at its hub, sending out electricity over spokes that are transmission lines and delivered to end points that gratefully receive it without having much say in the whole process.

The grid of the future has end points of distribution that can independently generate energy – for example with solar panels on the building at the end of the chain. Power flow is bidirectional – the house can feed power into the grid as well as draw from it. If it has a storage device – typically a battery, including those in an electric vehicle – it can use that power or feed it back to the grid whenever it chooses, not just when the sun shines. The consumer can engage in energy efficiency or perhaps a demand response program and figure out when to avoid taking power from the grid, while saving money at the same time. Advances in software development allow the wide availability of energy information to help consumers make such choices.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group will hold its inaugural Grid of the Future Summit at Hitachi Data Systems in Santa Clara on November 12. More information about the Summit and registration can be found here. The Grid of the Future Summit will engage energy companies, technology companies and government agencies in a discussion about the direction for the distributed, data-driven grid of the future. In addition, it will feature case studies for how the grid is delivering smarter energy, analytics and outcomes for customers now.

People expect the grid of the future to achieve environmental goals, customer savings, customer empowerment and represent a significant technological advancement over the centralized grid of the past. There are a myriad of ways to achieve these greenhouse gas savings, put dollars in customers’ pockets and make technological leaps forward by focusing on the technology, financing and government/regulatory policy necessary to enable the shift to this distributed, data-driven grid. The grid of the future will be at the crossroads of energy efficiency, demand response, transportation electrification, integration of renewable energy, distributed generation, storage and software analytics.

To learn more about how to get to a future grid that saves customers money, time and greenhouse gas emissions from where we are now register today for Grid of the Future Summit.


Ho Ho Ho! Santa (Run) is Coming

SantaRun14By now you’ve registered for the annual Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot” on Nov. 26, so now it’s time to plan ahead and register for the TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley.” The fourth annual Santa Run is a fun 5K run or walk on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 13, to raise funds to preserve Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice, two beloved holiday traditions in San Jose.

Since the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation and CEO Carl Guardino established the Santa Run in 2012, it has raised $250,000 for Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice. Generous Santa Run participants have also gifted 460 books for Reading Partners, a nonprofit dedicated to improving students’ reading skills.

Help the Leadership Group Foundation raise an additional $125,000 in 2015 and don’t forget to bring a new or gently used kids book for Reading Partners. This year’s race will also feature a Kids Fun Run for ages 2 to 7 for the little ones to catch the spirit. Not only is the Santa Run helping keep Silicon Valley traditions alive, it is now part of the holiday tradition-trifecta the entire family, friends, colleagues and neighbors can enjoy.

Unique to its spirit, hundreds of runners of all ages come dressed in Santa suits – or as other holiday character favorites – for the 5K run/walk. It is fun to see the many, many participants dress as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, reindeers, elves, dreidels, menorahs, ornaments, trees, candlesticks or a creative holiday outfit. Need help with something to wear? A five-piece Santa suit is only $5 as part of the Sana Run registration. It’s this spirit that makes the “Santa Run Silicon Valley” a great way to exercise and have fun during the busy holiday season.

Santa Run festivities kick off at 1 pm on race day. The run stars at 3 pm and ends with some “snow” in the air, along with milk and cookies at the finish line. Participants can then enjoy Christmas in the Park’s festive displays and community trees, watch live entertainment in the park, skate at Downtown Ice under the lighted Circle of Palms, and warm up with some hot chocolate.

The TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley” invites all community members to participate on Sunday, Dec. 13, in a healthy and festive event that will help keep two cherished holiday events alive for many more generations to enjoy. Register at

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