We are experts in the design and operation of distributed energy resources (DER) who are driven by a commitment to help electric utilities navigate the clean energy transition in a way that meets society’s need for a reliable and affordable power system.
Our analyses and leadership have supported numerous power system operators in gaining regulatory approval for energy storage and other DER projects, including multiple utility rate-based projects.
We deliver a unique engagement that transforms our clients by respecting and empowering practitioners, supporting them with tools and experience, and challenging them to achieve more with DERs as part of their normal operations.
We have direct experience in electric utility engineering and operations, advanced power system modelling and analytics, DER technology creation focused on energy storage utilization, DER deployment, and organizational leadership and change.
To accelerate the decarbonization of the electric grid by providing engineering, analytics, and procurement capabilities that enable utilities to make distributed energy resources a normal part of a safe, reliable, low-cost electric grid.
Dan Sowder, P.E., is a co-founder and Principal of Sound Grid Partners and leads customer engagement and business operations. Over the course of his career, he has advanced the deployment and utilization of distributed energy resources across multiple facets of the power system ecosystem while also creating new technologies and building successful business enterprises.
Dan began his career as a nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. After earning an MBA, he joined Duke Energy where he led the design and deployment of numerous energy storage projects as well as business model innovations to enhance the value of renewable energy on the grid. At 1Energy Systems he launched and grew the power systems and project delivery division of the company while contributing to technology development and a successful acquisition. Post-acquisition, Dan served as VP of Power Systems Integration at Doosan GridTech where he was responsible for project delivery and engineering operations, supply chain, and analytics.
Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the US Naval Academy, a master’s degree in engineering management from Old Dominion University, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in electrical power systems.
Tess Williams, Ph.D., is a co-founder and Principal of Sound Grid Partners and leads analytics and design services. She is an expert in helping electric utilities and other megawatt scale power producers to evaluate, procure, integrate and optimize energy storage and other distributed energy resources.
Tess has led energy storage design studies that have enabled the regulatory approval of rate-basing over 35 MW and 65 MWh of utility-owned and utility-operated energy storage projects in three different regulatory jurisdictions.
Prior to Sound Grid Partners, at Doosan GridTech, Tess launched and grew the power system analytics team responsible for modeling and design engineering services, where she led over a dozen DER integration studies for utility clients. At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, her research focused on the design and operation of electric distribution systems and microgrids with a focus on efficiency, renewable integration, and controls. She has evaluated field demonstrations of emerging technologies and has authored patents related to distribution system operations and control.
Tess holds a doctorate in physics from Harvard University and bachelor’s degree in physics from Stanford University.
Axel Schmidt is a consultant at Sound Grid Partners where he leads client-facing project management, engineering, and procurement projects. He has extensive experience with design, deployment and operation of DERs, as well as energy management systems (EMS) and controls. He has designed and deployed dozens of renewable energy and energy storage projects throughout the world.
Axel began his career as a Renewable Energy Systems Engineer for Alpha Technologies, designing and integrating commercial grid-tied systems, hybrid power off-grid systems, and island microgrids for remote applications. Axel eventually managed the renewable energy group at Alpha and oversaw all aspects of the business including engineering, project management, and sales.
At Doosan GridTech, he took on the role of Senior Engineering Project Manager and led the design and delivery of multiple utility scale energy storage projects. He leveraged his project management skills to take on managing the Software Delivery team, responsible for design and deployment of complex EMSs and controls for DER assets. He was program manager for the Austin SHINES project with Austin Energy and most recently managed the design and delivery of the EMS for the largest stand-alone energy storage system in ERCOT.
Axel holds a bachelor’s degree in vehicle engineering and plastics engineering from Western Washington University.
Alexandra Giovinazza is the Business Operations Manager at Sound Grid Partners, where she works in driving organizational success through the development and execution of strategic initiatives. With a keen focus on optimizing processes, she ensures the seamless and efficient functioning of the entire organization.
Alexandra's professional journey took flight at GE Aviation, where she spent nearly a decade honing her skills in supply chain management, business operations, and manufacturing engineering. Her contributions to shaping the future of flight underscore her commitment to excellence and innovation. In addition, Alexandra boasts an impressive track record of owning and operating multiple successful businesses over the course of almost a decade. Her entrepreneurial ventures have spanned diverse industries, including commercial electrical and solar energy contracting, as well as digital hosting and property management.
Based in the Cincinnati Metro Area of Ohio, Alexandra has been instrumental in championing the adoption of solar energy solutions for residential and commercial clients. She advocates for a greener world by promoting sustainable practices and driving the integration of renewable energy sources.
Alexandra holds a B.S. in Materials Engineering from Michigan Technological University, with electives in Aerospace and Project Management.
Marley Cross is a Power Systems Engineer in analytics at Sound Grid Partners, where she provides a suite of services in analytics and engineering.
Marley previously worked as a solar performance analyst at Nexamp, where she built tools to maximize performance of distributed solar and storage resources. In this role, she designed analyses to optimize plant availability and troubleshot underperformance. She commissioned and troubleshot data acquisition system (DAS) equipment, and developed new workflows to streamline project hand-off during commissioning. She conducted performance testing and reporting, automating the performance testing process into a web-based tool that reduced manual analysis.
As a Quantitative Intern at Optimal Energy, Marley developed tools to compare costs and savings of energy efficiency resources to inform Rhode Island’s three-year energy efficiency planning process.
Marley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Environmental Studies from Brown University.
Jared Silvia is a consultant at Sound Grid Partners, where he leads engagements with electrical utilities and developers. Jared has experience in the cleantech, solar, and energy storage sectors with a specialty at breaking down strategic problems into operational actions.
Most recently, Jared co-founded BlueDot Photonics, a Seattle-based company working to commercialize next-generation solar and photonic technologies for a wide variety of applications and end uses. Jared works closely with solar panel manufacturers to understand the value of high efficiency solar panels and identify cost-effective methods for improving solar panel efficiency.
Before BlueDot, Jared was Director of Product Management and Marketing for Doosan GridTech. While at Doosan, Jared oversaw overall business and product strategy development and helped the newly formed company commercialize solutions for integrating distributed energy resources into the electric grid. He defined the capabilities of energy storage controllers and fleet managers to meet customer needs, both utilities and project developers.
Prior to Doosan, Jared worked at McKinsey and Co. where he served companies in the energy and materials sectors on strategy and operation topics. Jared has a PhD in Chemistry from MIT (’11) where his thesis focused on carbon dioxide conversion schemes. Jared earned an MPhil in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge as a Churchill Scholar and is a graduate of the University of Washington where he earned a BS in Chemistry and a BS in Biochemistry.
Caroline Piephoff is a Power Systems Engineer at Sound Grid Partners where she provides a variety of services to support client projects.
Caroline previously worked as Operations Manager at Aderis Energy, where she was responsible for a portfolio of over 100 MW of solar and storage assets. In this role, she remotely monitored plant performance and created corrective and preventative maintenance schedules to optimize production. She completed performance reports for asset owners and increased Operations contracts by 50% during her time in the department.
At Aderis Energy, Caroline was a key player in the production and customer support of various system control and data acquisition (SCADA) and interconnection products sold to third-party developers. She managed the manufacturing schedule for these projects and assisted customers with remote troubleshooting and commissioning of SCADA and interconnection equipment.
Caroline holds a B.S. in Applied Physics from Appalachian State University.
Evan is a Power Systems Engineer at Sound Grid Partners, where he provides engineering and analytical advisory services for renewable energy integration. With a strong focus on delivering successful outcomes, Evan leverages his expertise to support clients in navigating the complexities of power systems and renewable energy resources.
Drawing on his extensive experience in the renewable energy sector, Evan offers comprehensive knowledge in distributed energy resource-based power systems, driving efficient and sustainable solutions. His portfolio of work encompasses projects that prioritize resiliency, economic viability, and equity, fostering a brighter energy future. Located in the Denver Metropolitan Area of Colorado, Evan has extensive experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to develop innovative energy solutions aligned with climate objectives.
Before joining Sound Grid, Evan held many roles in the Energy field, where he excelled as a project technical lead. He spearheaded analysis and technical modeling initiatives, directed strategic planning for grid modernization, and contributed to the development of new energy market services. Evan also led quantitative analysis related to emissions inventories and climate action planning, while also spearheading business development efforts in community solar, virtual power plant, and commercial battery energy storage markets.
Evan holds a B.A. in Engineering Physics from Augustana College, and a M.S. in Advanced Energy Systems from the Colorado School of Mines.
Isaac Kretzmer is a Power Systems Engineer at Sound Grid Partners focusing on power systems modeling and analytics.
Prior to working at Sound Grid Partners, Isaac was a graduate researcher specializing in electrochemical systems. His thesis focused on transition-metal electrode development and optimization for renewable energy storage systems, hydrogen production, and wastewater remediation.
Isaac holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering with a Data Science option from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona.