Tracking State & Utility Clean Energy Policies – with Miriam Makhyoun, CEO of EQ Research

Episode 63

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Hosted by
Ron Kamen

Ron Kamen has decades of expertise & leadership in catalyzing exponential change in sustainable energy adoption with communities, governments, non-profits, and businesses.

Quantum Quote: “Use the devil’s tools to win the angels’ war.” – Miriam Makhyoun

Did you know that 19 states now have 100% clean electricity targets by 2050? But – did you also know that only a handful of them are legally binding?

Across the U.S., state governments and utility regulatory authorities are creating policies and programs to move our society to clean energy. 

Which states have the best programs? What are the laws, regulations, and programs in your state? How many of the goals are concrete and enforceable? 

And – how can we be kept informed about proposed new laws and regulations so that we can speak up and add our voices?

Check out this week’s AWESome EarthKind Energy podcast, where we interview Miriam Makhyoun, the Chief Executive Officer of EQ Research.

Miriam Makhyoun is the Chief Executive Officer of EQ Research. Miriam is responsible for providing strategic leadership in establishing long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies. WIth decades of utility and energy industry experience, she expertly helps clients in areas including energy storage valuation, energy procurement, capacity procurement, market design and carbon emissions compliance. Miriam holds a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Appropriate Technology (Renewable Energy) from Appalachian State University.

Miriam served as the Power Supply Contracts Manager at MCE, California’s first Community Choice Aggregation Program, and managed MCE’s 2018 Energy Storage Request for Offer process. She also managed portfolios for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company, procuring Resource Adequacy capacity and carbon compliance instruments. Before PG&E, Miriam provided customized research for members of Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), and conducted market intelligence while at North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA). 

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SuperNova #1. When I look at the environmental issues that we would see years and years ago, ever since I learned how thin the ozone layer was in elementary school, it seemed like things weren’t moving fast enough. Sometimes, you got to use money and make the money go to the solutions that you want to solve. 

SuperNova #2. The states are leading the way in decarbonization. Utilities will only do what they are mandated to do. Public Utilities Commissions need to coordinate with other entities such as air resources boards in order to have the scientific backing to consistently measure and track carbon emission equivalent reductions.

SuperNova #3. If you want change, picking up the phone is the best way to do it.

Worst Career Moment: “I’ve learned that sometimes, you might question what an organization is doing, and I think bringing that to the attention of the people inside the organization first and really being honest with them is the best way. Sometimes I’ve been a little bit cowardly and gone to more outside sources in my issues, so I think, if you really want your organization to have high integrity, you really need to be brave and say something.” – Miriam Makhyoun

Aha! Moment: “Evaluating energy storage projects while at MCE, you had some people offering ancillary services, and some offering just RA, and some offering energy only. So, I learned that if I wanted to really compare all these great projects, you had to do an apples-to-apples comparison. So with my boss today, we developed this net RA approach, net capacity value approach.” – Miriam Makhyoun

Best Advice She’s Ever Received: “Trust yourself.” – Miriam Makhyoun

Personal Habit that Contributes to Success: “Planning. I use the Google Calendar in everything that I want to accomplish. I have it all laid out for the entire week, and I’ll just drag things around as needed to be prioritized so I can see it visually.” – Miriam Makhyoun

Internet Resource: EQ Research 

Book Recommendation: Join EQ Research’s Book Club called Revolutionary Power by messaging Miriam at @MiriamMakEnergy 

Magic Wand: “I just want to have more charging stations, and I want them to be faster. Double DC.” – Miriam Makhyoun

WTF: “When I was working at MCE, there were some pretty dry gears and that was not good when it came to fires, as everyone knows. That extreme weather did create the conditions that were necessary for fires to spread, and we were managing the Napa County, and overnight, they lost 4% of their load. That has precipitated a lot more distributed micro grid solutions in Napa County.” – Miriam Makhyoun

Most Energized About Today: “This very day, I’m energized about some automation that we’re rolling out at EQ Research for clients to be able to have updates that are lived to their emails on legislation regulation assets being changed. I just want to make our clients happier and make the information more accessible.” – Miriam Makhyoun

Parting Advice: “Calling your legislators is better than sending an email.” – Miriam Makhyoun

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Episode 63