Energy Careers Panel Brings MBA Alumni to Campus to Discuss Finance, Consulting, and Corporate Strategy

To introduce Stern students to the various career paths available to those with an interest in making an impact in the energy sector, the Stern Energy & Infrastructure Club (SEIC) hosted an energy careers panel on campus. The panelists were:

Sam Edelson, Associate, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (MBA 2017)
Jake Berlin, Principal, ICF (MBA 2009)
Zach Sussman, Senior Specialist, Con Edison (Langone)

Moderated by NYU Stern faculty member and SEIC sponsor Paul Tice, the panel covered topics including trends in the power sector affecting markets and firms, strategies for pursuing energy careers from Stern, and the best classes to take. SEIC would like to thank each of the panelists and Professor Tice for their time and guidance, which was appreciated by students.

Energy & Infrastructure 101 Introduces MBAs to the Industry

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Led by three MBA2s, the Stern Energy & Infrastructure Club presented a comprehensive overview of the trends, players, and business models that exist in the space.

Students with experience in Power & Utilities, Renewables, Oil & Gas, and Infrastructure gave current MBAs a high-level summary of everything from OPEC’s role in the global marketplace to the increasing need to renew the nation’s aging infrastructure. Armed with this introductory-level knowledge, students are better equipped to tackle energy and infrastructure specific interviews this fall and spring.

The club would like to thank Greg Gangelhoff, Arnab Khasnobis, and Jonathan Kienzle for their contributions to the event.

SEIC Visits ConEd Steam Plant

On May 4, 2018, members of the Stern Energy & Infrastructure Club went on a local trek to Con Edison’s East River Steam/Electricity Plant located on 14th Street in Manhattan. The plant serves customers ranging from households to hospitals to the restaurant industry by providing pure steam and electricity to the local grid.

The attendees were treated to a tour of the entire facility, a technical overview of the intricacies of the plant processes, and a Q&A session dealing with the economic complexities of the utility industry. It was quite interesting to see such a large-scale industrial facility nestled in the busy streets of New York City.

The club would like to thank the employees of the Con Edison East River Steam Plant and Zach Sussman (Stern ’18) for setting up the trek.

SEIC Hosts Mike Sibilia, CFO, LaGuardia Gateway Partners

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On April 11, the Stern Energy & Infrastructure Club hosted Mike Sibilia, CFO of LaGuardia Gateway Partners, to discuss both his involvement in the major upgrade at LaGuardia International Airport and his career in the fields of real estate and infrastructure development.

Before an extensive Q&A session, Mr. Sibilia walked the audience through the complexities of Public Private Partnerships and how they can be applied to major infrastructure upgrades like LaGuardia’s current project. The Stern community was delighted to have him spend the evening with us.

The event also bore a great deal of significance for the club because it’s the first event dedicated solely to the business of infrastructure development since the Club rebranded (from Stern Energy Club) this past year. The discussion marks the beginning of what will be a number of informative events on the future of infrastructure improvement.

Panel: Batteries and Electric Vehicles, The Future of Mobility and Energy Storage

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The Stern Energy & Infrastructure Club hosted a panel discussion of "Batteries and Electric Vehicles: The Future of Mobility and Energy Storage" on April 24th, 2018. Panelists included Stern alumni from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and EOS Energy Storage, as well as experts from Tesla and the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

The discussion focused on the state of battery storage and electric vehicle markets and technologies, along with the way forward for public and private stakeholders in the sector. The conversation also covered the status of battery and electric vehicle deployment in emerging markets and the viability of different battery technologies for vehicle and utility-scale applications.

Panelists included:

Salim Morsy (MBA ’16), Specialist, Advanced Transport, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Michael Oster (MBA ’88), CEO and Co-Founder, EOS Energy Storage

Brian Warshay, Business Development, Tesla

Pamela MacDougall, Science Fellow, Natural Resources Defense Council

Seminar: An Introduction to Power Generation Modeling

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On April 4th the Stern Energy and Infrastructure club hosted Kevin Chang, Vice President at Credit Suisse, for a seminar on the financial modeling of power generation projects. Kevin led a discussion of the market factors impacting a sample power generation project and demonstrated how to build a basic financial model of the project. The Stern community was delighted to have him spend the evening with us.

The club would like to thank Kevin Chang for leading the session.

Case Team Competes at Columbia

   Pictured (L to R): Ryan Wall, Gideon Banner, Brett Gallagher, Guy Brearey, and Jonathan Kienzle

Pictured (L to R): Ryan Wall, Gideon Banner, Brett Gallagher, Guy Brearey, and Jonathan Kienzle

On February 1, SEIC members Gideon Banner, Guy Brearey, Brett Gallagher, Jonathan Kienzle, and Ryan Wall competed in the 3rd Annual Columbia University Energy Symposium Case Competition.

This year’s case addressed an issue facing many small communities: grid resilience, and the opportunities and challenges of meeting that issue with a microgrid.  The Stern team – named “Transmission Critical” – was tasked with determining not only the financial implications of a microgrid investment, but also how to address the concerns of the many different stakeholders involved. After applying with a response to a short mini-case (dealing with community solar), the NYU team was selected as one of 14 teams from top-tier schools from across the country.  The team presented its solution to a panel of judges from firms such as NRG and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Despite not advancing to the final round of presentations, the team saw the competition as an excellent opportunity to learn about the wide variety of challenges associated with implementing a successful microgrid project.  Most importantly, everyone was glad to have the chance to represent both NYU Stern and the Energy and Infrastructure Club with pride.

Renewable Energy Case Competition (RECC) at University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

 Pictured (L to R): Stephanie Chen, Tracy Jacobson, Jonathan Kienzle

Pictured (L to R): Stephanie Chen, Tracy Jacobson, Jonathan Kienzle

On December 1, 2017, SEIC members Stephanie Chen, Tracy Jacobson, Jonathan Kienzle, Levent Touter, and David Wu competed in the 9th annual Renewable Energy Case Competition (RECC) held by University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

This year, the case challenges the teams to create a plan for a mid-sized private food company to meet its goal of procuring 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The energy procurement strategy may include VPPA(s), green tariff through utility, voluntary RECs, and on-site solar generation. The Stern team – named “Solar Flares” – was selected as one of 16 teams from top-tier MBA programs around the world to present its procurement strategy to a panel of judges from firms such as DTE Energy, Schneider Electric, and Lazard.

Although Solar Flares did not advance to the final round of presentations, the team received praise and found it especially inspiring to see the diverse approaches used by the different teams to tackle the same challenge. In addition, through researching and creating an energy procurement plan for the competition, the Stern team learned about the energy mixes in different grids and how they impact the supply risk associated with them and understood the implications of the different procurement alternatives on current energy sustainability issues. Solar Flares team members enjoyed competing in RECC very much and look forward to participating again next year with other Stern students interested in renewable energy!

 

2017 Energy Finance Panel

The Stern Energy & Infrastructure Club hosted an Energy Finance Panel on the evening of November 20th, 2017. Panelists included Stern alumni from Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and GE Energy Financial Services. This year’s discussion focused on macroeconomic trends within the energy industry, including the impact of depressed oil prices, low interest rates and the role of capital markets. The conversation included interesting insights around the evolving energy landscape and each panelist’s concerns regarding potential future risks.  The speakers also discussed their views on the role of Private Equity within the Infrastructure space and changing investment profile of future projects.

Panelists included:
David Friedman (MBA ’15), Assistant Vice President, GE Energy Financial Services
Philipp Hacker (MBA ’13), VP, Goldman Sachs
Steve Miller, (MBA ’14), Senior Associate, Barclays

How Sustainability Drives Success at Con Edison

All Photos: ©NYU Photo Bureau: Hollenshead

On October 26th, the NYU Center for Sustainable Business hosted a standing-room only luncheon talk between Tensie Whelan, Director of the CSB, and John McAvoy, CEO of Con Edison and Stern alum.  Mr. McAvoy spoke with clarity and depth about his experiences at Con Edison and the directions it intends to take in the future.  He spoke about some of the company’s core efforts, including workplace safety, cybersecurity, grid reliability, infrastructure hardening & climate change adaptation, customer focus, diversity & inclusion, and commitment to STEM education. He reminded the audience that not only is Con Edison the 5th largest solar provider in the U.S., but that it is undertaking a vast change to a new business model that will incorporate electric vehicles, battery storage, distributed renewables integration, and beneficial electrification.  He also emphasized two of Con Edison’s more important efforts: a territory-wide switch to smart meters, which he said would provide huge cost savings and enable a host of benefits to customers, the utility, and third-party providers; and a new move toward “non-pipeline alternatives”, which would build on the success that electrical utilities have made in reducing peak demand load, but this time with natural gas distribution and consumption.

Powering the Future: Energy Transformation in the US

All Photos: ©NYU Photo Bureau: Creighton

NYU Stern's Center for Sustainable Business and the Stern Energy & Infrastructure Club co-hosted a panel discussion on the changing landscape of power generation and distribution in the US. Tensie Whelan, Director of NYU's Center for Sustainable Business, moderated the conversation as representatives from ConEd, NRG Energy, SunPower and ReThink Energy gave their perspectives on the sector's evolution and how their companies are driving change. The packed audience included industry professionals in addition to students and faculty members from the NYU community. Following the Q&A session, all of the panelists and their colleagues stayed for a networking reception.

Thank you to ConEdison for their generous support of this event.

Panelists included:

Jake Berlin (MBA '09), Founder and Managing Partner, Rethink Energy
Robin Dutta, Market Development & Policy, Eastern US, SunPower
Kelli Joseph, Director, Market & Regulatory Affairs, NRG Energy
Robert Schimmenti, SVP, Electric Operations, ConEdison

TO BE RESCHEDULED - Energy & Infrastructure Project Finance Workshop

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances this session had to be postponed. It will be rescheduled during 2017/18 academic year. Please see event description below.

Professor Dan Gode will be conducting a 3 hour Energy & Infrastructure Project Finance seminar in conjunction with the Stern Energy & Infrastructure Club. Professor Gode plans to cover the important considerations in modeling the performance and success of energy asset investments, which include understanding the levelized cost of energy, power purchase agreements and capacity utilization, and relevant attributes such as energy density, ease of storage and transportation, up-front cost and environmental considerations.

This event will cover hands on practical techniques and is relevant for anyone going into asset based finance roles, investment banking, energy/operations consulting and energy or infrastructure roles.

Teaser Intro to Fall 2017 Course: Project Finance & Infrastructure Investment

Professor Emeritus Ingo Walter and Professor and Executive-in-Residence Paul Tice will be teaching a 1.5 credit class in the second half of the fall 2017 semester that will focus on the infrastructure and project finance market, one of the most dynamic and challenging areas of global financial architecture. The course with provide students with an introduction to this expanding and rapidly-changing sector, and an understanding of the myriad risks involved in developing large-scale infrastructure projects around the world.

This event will serve as an introduction to students interested in learning about the course. During this session, Professor Tice will briefly touch on infrastructure requirements and risks, outline the contours of the project finance markets, and then dive into a live energy project deal.

Con Edison 14th Street Power Plant Site Visit

"ConEd Plant, New York (M1002126)" by "Steve Harris" Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0). Accessed 01 June 2017. [LINK]

On Friday, February 24th, the Stern Energy Club was hosted by one of its own Langone students, Alexander Potulicki, at Coned’s 14th Street Power Plant where he showed us the day-to-day operations of how New York generates and distributes the electricity flowing into our beloved city. Stern students were first introduced to the historical development of the power plant and how it has evolved since its inception. Its most recent development took place as a result of the East River Repowering Project which increased the electric generating capacity of the 14th Street Power Plant from 300 MW to 660 MW and expanded its steam generating capacity from 2.7 to 5.7 million pounds/hour - all completed without increasing the station’s footprint in downtown Manhattan. Alexander and his team then guided the students through the inner workings of the power plant. The group was able to witness the two massive turbines (think giant jet engines) that are used to generate electricity and steam in the powerplant itself. We then were able to see the substation which comprises a vital component of the complete generation, transmission, and distribution system. Lastly, we visited the operating room in which a 24/7 team of operators are constantly monitoring all the parameters of the power plant to ensure it operate safely and reliably. Special thanks to both Alexander Potulicki for connecting the Stern community with the utilities ecosystem of Coned and incoming Stern Energy Club President, Guy Brearey, for working to organize the trek

2017 Columbia Energy Symposium Case Competition

On February 2, 2017, three first-year MBA students (Gideon Banner, Zach Karson, and Ryan Wall) presented their case at the 2017 Columbia Energy Symposium Case Competition.  Other schools competing included MIT, Bard, Colorado School of Mines, Carnegie Mellon, and Columbia.  The case centered on a business proposal for a virtual power plant (VPP), a new grid structure involving a combination of solar, storage, and demand response integrated and aggregated to manage grid instability, peak load, and state-level renewable energy requirements.  On a larger level, the case aimed to develop answers the question of whether state regulators and utilities (in this case, a vertically integrated one) should seek to get ahead of the curve of industry change, and if so, how best to do so.

This tied into the larger them of the conference: “Disruptive innovation: The New Status Quo?”  A number of notable speakers addressed this theme, including Mary Powell (CEO of Green Mountain Energy), David Crane (former NRG CEO), and Jigar Shah (from the Energy Gang podcast), among others.  Other notable highlights of the conference included a career fair and venture showcase; a number of Stern MBAs were in attendance for both.