2012 Distributed Energy Storage Conference: Challenges & Opportunities

Conference Sponsors:  Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Ministry of Energy, Ontario Centres of Excellence and Science Concepts Inc.

Background to this conference:

the perfect storm that creates a need for commercialized energy storage solutions in this province:

  • The need to implement smart grid strategies that maximize the utility of the existing electricity system and which guides prudent investments in new grid infrastructure.
  • A persistent surplus of base load generation capacity at night when demand is low
  • The growing contribution from renewable but intermittent sources of electricity
  • A small but rapidly developing storage technology sub-sector in Ontario, and a new wave of entrepreneurs   who are driving this development.



Join us on November 27, 2012 for an exploration of how energy storage technologies could become a valuable component of the ‘smart’ electricity grid – particularly in a distributed modality.  Expert panelists, industry leaders and key decision makers will participate in discussions around market opportunities, implementation challenges, technology applications and proposed next stepsInvited Keynote Speakers:    Representatives from EPRI and the Energy Storage Association – Pilots, Activities and Lessons learned

Four Major Themes and Panels:

  1. Overview of Energy Storage R&DD and Capacity for Innovation in Ontario
    Moderator: Carole Champion, (Director Cleantech OCE)
  2. The Views of Technology Developers – and LDC Partners
    Moderator: George Cadete, (Director Commercialization, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation)
  3. Potential Applications and Economic Opportunities for Energy Storage in Ontario
    Moderator: Ken Nakahara, (Manager, Smart Grid and Networks, Ontario Ministry of Energy)
  4. Afternoon Breakout Sessions –  recommendations under 3 themes:
    a) Enabling Utilities and the Value Proposition
    b) Public Policy for Technology and Market Development
    c) Storage Technology Entrepreneurs – best way forward?
    click here for full map


Provisional Agenda



Intro and Purpose

  • Robert Stasko CEO, Science Concepts Inc.
  • opening remarks and outline of conference objectives
KEYNOTE 1 :   “Innovative Bulk Storage and Ontario’s Need to Attract Investment”

  • David Teichroeb, Business Development and Emerging Energy Technology Enbridge Inc.

Slide deck of 20 to 30 min’s to focus on energy storage concepts that leverage existing assets in the natural gas sector but also enable emerging storage technologies.

“NRCan initiatives supporting energy storage and recent experience”a)     Technically Speaking … NRCan Activities in Canadab)     a Debate on Storage versus Demand Response

Presenter & Moderator: Jennifer Hiscock, S&T Advisor, NRCan)
Debaters: Angelo Gravina, VP Canadian Business Unit (S&C Electric), Ron Dizy, CEO (Enbala)

 Networking BREAK
“Why Ontario ?” an overview of R&DD and the capacity for innovation in this provinceModerator:

  • Carole Champion, Director Industrial Engagement, OCE


  • John MacRitchie, Managing Director Central Region, OCE
  • Ravi Seethapathy, Manager, Systems Innovation & Advanced Grid Development, HydroOne Networks
  • Dan McGillivray, Director Urban Energy Institute, Ryerson University

The panel will review the current status for storage in Ontario, highlight ongoing R&D, global opportunities for Ontario storage companies, and speak to the need for future development to meet electricity system needs.   In addition, what pieces need to be put in place in order to make Ontario a leader?

“Moving forward with Energy Storage in Ontario – The Developers’ Panel”Discussion with technology developers and suppliers in OntarioModerator: George Cadete, Director Commercialization, Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation Panelists:

  • Curtis VanWalleghem, CEO Hydrostor
  • Cam Carver, CEO Temporal Power
  • Raj DasGupta, Vice President Electrovaya
  • Rob Harvey, Director Energy Storage, Hydrogenics
  • Carmine Pizzuro CEO eCamion


Short presentations by each developer to discuss technology and deployment.  Followed by a group discussion focused on the advantages/disadvantages of deploying technology in Ontario and where barriers exist.

KEYNOTE 2:  Judith Judson, Chairperson, Energy Storage Association (ESA) Advocacy Council (US) “The case for an economic deployment of energy storage technology  – and lessons learned” Presentation of about 20-25 minutes with some Q&A
Sector Coordination and Economic Opportunities for Energy Storage in Ontario” a panel discussion with key stakeholders in this emerging market Moderator: Ken Nakahara, Manager Smart Grid and Networks, Ontario Ministry of Energy. Panelists

  • Jon Dogterom, Cleantech Practice Lead, MaRs Discovery District
  • Annette Verschuren  CEO NRStor
  • Brian Hewson, Senior Manager, Networks and Smart Grid Reg. Policy, OEB
  • Sonya Konzak,  Program Manager CEATI

An examination of how Ontario’s experience with modernizing its electricity infrastructure is opening opportunities for energy storage technologies, and how utility-private partnerships can leverage those opportunities in order to generate economic benefit for the Province.

Working GroupsPanelists and attendees would be split into three groups and asked to develop recommendations in response to one of four questions:1. Utilities and Storage (Facilitator: Mark Tinkler, Customized Energy Solutions)Background: One of Ontario’s smart grid objectives is to encourage innovation by “nesting within smart grid infrastructure planning and development the ability to adapt to and actively encourage innovation in technologies, energy services and investment/ business models” (OEB Directive, Nov 2011). As gate keepers to the integration of new technologies and systems onto the grid, utility participation in the development of local storage solutions can have a tremendous effect on innovation.

Framing Questions: Thinking about the potential value propositions from storage, what are the key factors that utilities could address in their operations, planning and partnerships or programs to support local economic growth in the storage market while meeting their other performance criteria?

2. Public programs/policy for technology and market development (Facilitator: Dr. Jose Etcheverry, York University)

Background: Government and public agencies play instrumental roles in technology and market development through policy, programs and regulation. Sometimes too much too soon can be as damaging as too little too late.

Framing Question: Thinking about storage, what are the best mechanisms for ministries and public agencies to create relevant and effective policy and programs to support a healthy storage industry in Canada?

3. Storage Entrepreneurs – the way Forward (Facilitator: Jesika Briones, MaRs)

Background: If local storage companies are to be successful, there are a number of internal and external factors that have to align. Having access to the right resources is critical, but much of the strategy and planning comes down to the vision and expectations of the company and the client.

Framing Question: What kind of projects and partnerships do you need to see in order to answer the lingering questions you have about storage and market development in Canada? What would be the best ‘value-add’ role for the proposed Clean Energy Institute?

“Natural Gas and Storage for the Electricity Grid”

  • Carole Champion, OCE


Report from Conference on Oct. 30

“Closing Remarks”- Distillation of recommendations collected from working groups in session 11.

  • R Stasko, CEO, Science Concepts International

Return to Main Site for Conference



Robert Stasko, President of Science Concepts International

Robert (Bob) Stasko is a successful business development professional with a large body of experience in the electricity sector. He is also an energy technology specialist who has worked in a wide range of management positions involving R&D, product development, market assessment and project implementation. In particular he has worked with the Ontario government to assist in the development and delivery of major energy policy and project initiatives. Bob has been responsible for managing energy technology research and demonstration projects in both national and international environments. Most recently he was one of the early champions and first Executive Director  of a non-profit industry association – Energy Storage Canada (ESC).

At present he is focused on developments in the broader ‘cleantech’ arena through his position as CEO of Science Concepts International (SCI).  Projects of special interest are those that demonstrate emerging technology solutions for reducing or eliminating CO2 emissions as part of a Government  de-carbonization strategy.


CAREER HISTORY     Normal-Find_Me_On_Linkedin

  • Worked in both the nuclear design and nuclear operations divisions of Ontario Hydro, as well as the marketing, energy management and R&D divisions of that organization.
  • Was the Canadian Team Leader for the international fusion R&D effort that developed the technology and engineering basis for the prototype ITER fusion device (presently under construction in Europe).
  • Managed R&D and commercialization projects at Ontario Hydro Research Division (later renamed Kinectrics) for numerous electro-technologies including advanced lighting, photovoltaics, fuel cells and advanced batteries. .
  • In 2006 worked for the Ontario Ministry of Energy as the Manager of Conservation Policy, and worked closely with the Ontario Power Authority to help define Demand Side Management and Conservation goals for the Province.
  • Most recently Director of Business Development for the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Energy where he facilitated the development of new products for the marketplace through R&D partnerships between academia and industry

Curriculum vitae

Robert Stasko, BASc., MASc.



(Commercializing Partner R&D)

2007 to present

Director, Business Development, Ontario Centre of Excellence for Energy

Responsible for developing and implementing partnerships between academia, industry and government that will take bench-top R&D into the commercial arena. Launching novel project initiatives that target specific energy sector needs such as Smart Grids, Hydrogen Storage and Plug-In Vehicles so that the developed IP can migrate to industrial partner applications.  Coordination of activities for skilled specialists and technical experts in various energy-related technologies such as solar, wind and biomass.  Assisting in talent development and in the movement of HQP (highly qualified persons) from universities into well-paid industry positions or onto management teams of promising start-up companies.



(Policy Development&Implementation )


Manager, Conservation Branch

Manager of the Conservation Branch within the Office of Conservation and Strategic Policy.  Responsibilities included: Development and implementation of DSM energy policy in support of overall Ministry and Ontario Government strategic goals. Strategic oversight of other sector participants such as the Distribution Utilities, the OPA and the IESO.  Management of activities related to the Energy Efficiency Act and the Energy Conservation Responsibility Act. Arrange high level meetings with representatives of electricity sector stakeholders, industry associations, other ministries and MUSH sector agencies.  Supervise a team of highly skilled electricity policy specialists and technical experts in energy efficiency.



(Energy Technology Consulting)      

2002 – 2005

President and Owner

Owner/operator of a specialty energy technology consultancy that provided advice to clients regarding the electricity sector, emerging energy technologies and renewable energy.  Also assisted clients in defining appropriate energy strategies in response to deregulating and transitional electric power markets.  Another area of expertise relates to energy policy issues and associated government relations activities. Clients have included Ontario Power Generation, the University of Toronto, Kinectrics Inc., Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Applications, Western Policy Consultants, Bruce Power and CH2M Hill.

  • Wrote a comprehensive report for OPG that overviewed fuel cell technologies, suppliers and applications as a decision tool in defining an updated fuel cell development program.
  • Prepared a report intended for the Nuclear Waste Management Authority (NWMO) that examined the whole range of assessment tools used in jurisdictions outside Canada to determine appropriate nuclear fuel disposal concepts.
  • Prepared a major project plan for the Bruce Power Corporation that would implement a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus Network from Toronto to the Bruce Power site in Kincardine.


(consulting company specializing in technology solutions)                       

2000 – 2002

Director, Business Development

Responsible for developing an increasing consulting role for Kinectrics (formerly Ontario Hydro Technologies) in the areas of distributed generation, renewable energy and emerging energy technologies.  Technologies of interest included fuel cells, wind turbines, micro-turbines, solar arrays, mini-hydro and bio-gas.

  • Developed and implemented a marketing plan which targeted traditional regional utilities but also several new non-traditional client sectors for Kinectrics both in Canada and in the US.
  • Gained new clients in many energy-related sectors that included large energy users such as industries, institutions (e.g.: hospitals and universities), large energy investors (venture capital firms) and government agencies at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.



(Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology)

1998 – 2000
Senior Advisor, Electricity Policy Development (secondment)

Responsible for managing a variety of policy implementation initiatives in support of electricity deregulation legislation. These included working with Municipal Utility stakeholders in understanding the transformations to an open electricity market.  Assisted in identifying barriers to the uptake of various energy technologies; particularly those that complement an open electricity marketplace.

  • Planned, developed and implemented a major communications and education strategy aimed at decision makers in the municipal utility sector.  Set up regional seminars in 50 Ontario communities over a period of one year involving over100 speakers from various agencies.
  • Provided staff support to senior government officials, ADM’s, the deputy minister and the cabinet minister.  Produced key two-page briefing notes for the Minster on various subjects relating to deregulation, the transitional electricity marketplace and emerging energy technologies.



(Non-profit entity)                   

1995 – 1998

Managing Director, CFFTP

Overall responsibility for managing a 10 M$/year multi-party fusion research and development project on behalf of the partners.  Major activities included R&D and design contributions to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) magnetic fusion project, and commercialization of spin-off technologies developed originally for fusion power applications.  Strategic planning of Canadian participation in international efforts to design and site the ITER facility.

  • Positioned the Canadian program to support international fusion technology development such that Canada would become a favoured site for the next major fusion experimental project (ITER).
  • Developed several key fusion technologies for Canadian suppliers as part of a national  industrial development strategy for fusion commercialization.


(Research and Development company)                  

1993 – 1995

Manager, Sustainable Energy Technology Development


Responsibility for managing the Energy Efficiency Technology portfolio within the Sustainable Energy Technology Dept.  Examples of technologies under development: inverters and batteries for electric vehicles, advanced solar collectors, energy efficient lighting, heat pumps and heat recovery systems for industrial processes.  Close collaboration with industrial partners to commercialize or transfer technology.

  • Managed the development of several key technologies in this area with subsequent manufacturing and IP licensing revenue for OHT.
  • Assisted in the assessment and acquisition of several key technologies for further development by OHT.  These included Sphero-Solar photovoltaics and SmartSensor electronics for domestic appliances.

ONTARIO HYDRO Marketing Division 

(Energy Management Solutions)                      

1991 – 1993

Demand Side Management (DSM) Product Development Manager


Facilitate and coordinate various Hydro/Government support mechanisms in order to develop Ontario manufacturers of energy efficient products and technologies.  Specifics include use of Hydro strategic procurement, linkages to sources of investment capital, program design which develops local suppliers through aggressive performance specifications, linkages to Government/Hydro sources of R&D.  Also sought industrial support and marketing assistance for advanced energy utilization products.

  • Developed several key suppliers for DSM products that included a $160M investment package into an Ontario lighting supplier for an advanced T8 energy efficient lighting product.
  • Influenced the purchasing power of Ontario Hydro such that approx. 800M$ of energy efficient (EE) product procurement was directed within Ontario to innovative Ontario suppliers.  This ensured  the development of reliable local sources for EE products.



(Electricity Policy Development Branch)                  


Special Advisor, Green Industry Strategy (secondment)

While on staff with the Policy Coordination Section, prepared advisories and briefing notes for the Minister, deputy Minister and various Ministry staff.  Areas of specialization: nuclear power safety issues, environmental issues, emerging energy technologies and energy conservation policy options.  Also involved in coordination of specific projects such as Supplier Development Project, Green Industry Strategy, and various consultant studies.  Key Task: Industrial Development Strategy for manufacturing advanced energy efficient products in Ontario.

  • Contributed to the creation of the ‘green industry’ concept and worked to develop the green industry strategy into a key policy piece for the incumbent government.   This resulted in a dramatic increase in opportunity for the environmental industry sector in Ontario


(German R&D agency)                 

1987 -1989

Project Engineer, International Thermonuclear Fusion Experiment (ITER)

Overall responsibility for managing the Canadian design activities and contributions for the ITER Magnetic Fusion Project.  Coordination of technical input with European Community partners and engineers/scientists from the USA, USSR and Japan.  Development of fusion technology niche areas for Canadian home-team agencies and industries.  Activities also involved hands-on engineering of safety and plant systems for ITER.


1985 – 1987

Manager, Safety and Facilities Engineering

Responsible for CFFTP programs in fusion safety and fusion facility design.  Technical manager of R&D contracts awarded to Ontario Hydro Research, AECL/CRNL, industry and universities.  Active in developing new technologies for direct application to international fusion research and technology projects, and with potential spin-off applications to CANDU safety.  Identifying and promoting niche areas for Canadian design capability, expertise and engineered products to the international community and to nuclear agencies abroad.

ONTARIO HYDRO DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT DIVISION                                       

1977 – 1985

Nuclear Design Engineer, Safety and Licensing

Assigned a wide range of design and development tasks in the area of CANDU safety and radiological protection.  Engineered various emissions monitoring systems for the Bruce B nuclear plant and assisted in developing safety system commissioning procedures for the Darlington nuclear station.  Developed several key ‘safety in design’ principles to ensure safe shutdown under off-normal or emergency operating conditions. Worked in nuclear operations (health physics) at the Pickering A station and entered the reactor vault during ‘full-power’ on numerous occasions as part of ongoing radiological investigations and equipment tests.


University of Toronto, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

BASc. Electrical Engineering,  MASc. Biomedical Engineering

Also completed post-graduate and advanced courses in Health Physics at the UKAEA (UK Atomic Energy Authority, Oxfordshire) and in Fusion Engineering at ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Tennessee) and LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, California).


Some facility in German and French

Taking Plug’nDrive Ontario to the Next Level

Plug’nDrive Ontario aims to make Electric Vehicles (EVs) a reality for everyone in Ontario through partnerships with government, electricity companies, car and infrastructure manufacturers, researchers, NGOs and other commercial partners. Plug’nDrive is dedicated to creating public awareness and promoting the environmental and economic benefits that EVs can bring to Ontario.
Plug’nDrive Ontario will be the leader in facilitating the transition to electrified automotive transportation in Ontario and will be the ‘go-to’ place for information about electric vehicles and infrastructure in Ontario.
Mission and Priority Focus Areas
Plug’nDrive Ontario is a not-for-profit coalition of electricity companies, auto makers, researchers, government agencies, NGOs and commercial partners engaging in activities that will accelerate the adoption of EVs and maximize the environmental and economic benefits that EVs can bring to Ontario. This mission can and will be achieved by adopting the following three priorities:
1. Education and Awareness
Engage in educational and awareness activities that will clearly communicate the environmental and economic benefits of EVs such that consumers and businesses will begin to make the switch.
2. Research
Engage in research that fills gaps identified in the white paper or as identified by industry as necessary to advance EV deployment.
3. Infrastructure
Promote the development of EV infrastructure, particularly night time/home charging solutions as well as critical public infrastructure.
Executive Team:
Cara Clairman, President and CEO
Robert Stasko, VP Business Development
Josh Tzventarny, Director Operations and Planning
Board of Directors
1. David Collie – CEO, Electrical Safety Authority
2. Dennis Edell – CEO, Rain 43
3. Len Griffiths – Partner, Bennett Jones Law Firm
4. Jim Keech – CEO, Kingston Utilities and Chair of EDA
5. Don MacKinnon – President, Power Workers Union
6. Tom, Mitchell – CEO, Ontario Power Generation
7. Gerry Smallegange – CEO, Burlington Hydro
8. Lawrence Zimmering

Promoting Wireless Electrification of Rail – The Hydrogen Train

How Innovative Hydrogen-Battery Hybrid Technologies can Transform Rail-Based Rapid Transit Systems in Ontario and in North America

A Transition to Hydrogen

Canada and the rest of the world need to reduce the collective dependency on carbon based fuels sourced from petroleum resources. It is unlikely that there is one “silver bullet” solution to the problems that originate from burning fossil fuels, but utilizing hydrogen as an energy carrier could feature prominently in our energy future. Carbon-free hydrogen will enable:
• Global energy security. Hydrogen allows us to eventually replace petroleum fuels with hydrogen produced from indigenous renewable and carbon free energy resources.
• Reductions in our output of greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating carbon from the fuel cycle.
• Reductions in urban air pollution. In Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor approximately 1500 deaths are attributed to the health effects caused by poor air quality. The economic impact associated with each of these deaths is estimated to be in the order of $2.5 million.

Background on Hydrogen as applied to Commuter Rail:
There is a general agreement among proponents of a hydrogen economy that rail projects are an ideal early application for hydrogen as a transportation fuel. There are many reasons for this. Some of them are:
• Unlike applications in car or bus design, space and weight are not a significant issue. A locomotive typically weighs more than 148 tonnes and has equipment spaces large enough for ample hydrogen storage and electromotive drive components.
• The optimal electromotive platform would make use of existing electric train technologies that are already pervasive in other jurisdictions such as Europe and Japan. These existing platforms can easily be re-configured into ‘hybrid’ systems that make use of advanced industrial scale storage batteries.

Smart Futures

link: DSEA Smart Futures

Robert Stasko: Speaker

SmartFutures:  Connecting Energy, Technology & Communities

November 2 & 3, 2011

The Durham Strategic Energy Alliance is hosting our Signature Conference Event in November.  This year’s theme is: SmartFutures: Connecting Energy, Technology & Communities, covering topics related to the smart energy ecosystem.  A successful energy ecosystem must consist of a truly integrated network of systems and capabilities.  This year’s conference will focus on the collaboration and intersection of three key segments of the smart energy market – energy, including renewable energy and energy storage; technology or enabling applications, including issues around privacy and security; and communities; including case studies of community adoption of smart energy practices.

In an effort to bring together professionals from various industries and disciplines topics covered will provide local examples of smart energy applications and projects underway; best practices from leading jurisdictions on the adoption of various technologies and discussions around the relationships and collaborative efforts that have enabled energy ecosystem successes around the world.

Fourth Annual Colloquium on Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies

Building on the success of the last four years, the Queen’s-RMC Fuel Cell Research Centre (FCRC), Kingston and
the National Research Council Canada (NRC), Ottawa announces the Fifth Annual Colloquium on Fuel Cell and
Hydrogen Technologies.
This year’s colloquium features the following invited speakers:
• Dr. Shawn Litster, Carnegie Mellon University
• Dr. Warren Mabee, Queen’s School of Policy Studies
• Dr. Joshua Pearce, Queen’s University
• Mr. Robert (Bob) StaskoOntario Centres of Excellence
The objective of the colloquium is to provide a forum for presenters and attendees to learn and exchange
valuable experiences concerning the following topics:
– PEMFC and SOFC Modelling
– PEMFC and SOFC Materials and Manufacturing
– Fuel Cell Applications and the Hydrogen
Economy (portable, stationary, transportation)
– Alternative transportation fuels

OSEA Community Power 2010: Electric vehicle and grid integration

link: OSEA Community Power 2011

OSEA sees Community Power being defined as:  a class of sustainable energy projects that are owned, developed and controlled in full or in part (50 per cent or more) by residents of the community in which the project is located.

Topic: Electric vehicle and grid integration

Sandy Di Felice, Director, External Affairs, Toyota Canada

Dr. Jatin Nathwani, Waterloo University and co-author of the PEV Gap Analysis

om Odell, Manager of the Electric Vehicles Project, Toronto Hydro

Bob Oliver, Director Transportation Projects, Pollution Probe

 Moderators: Cara Clairman, VP of Susutainability, OPG; Robert Stasko, Director Business Development OCE