Reinventing America's Electricity System
Apr 18 - Peninsula
Today’s electricity sector is in a state of flux. Important questions are being asked by stakeholders up and down the value chain as to whether the technical and commercial paradigms that have defined the sector for a century are still relevant, and if not, how will tomorrow’s power system look?

To what degree will greater customer engagement, new technologies and business models and evolving regulations yield a distinctly different-looking electricity business?

MITEI’s Frank O’Sullivan will examine the rise of distributed energy resources and how these technologies can play a role in delivering cleaner, more cost effective and reliable energy services to the nation, while delivering greater value to end users.

He will describe the technology gains that are opening up these new possibilities -  including the rapidly falling cost of solar PV and battery storage and the increasing resolution of grid pricing and performance data, both temporal and spatial, highlighting the need for the much greater digitization of the power system and the challenge of paying for those assets.

He will also examine the strengths and weaknesses of business model innovations that are bringing this change to the market, such as residential solar leasing and the role this plays in driving the development of new financial products including solar asset backed securities.

He will cover the paradox that the successful deployment of clean low marginal cost energy assets tends to cannibalize their own competitiveness, impacting how a cleaner power system may be built.

He will conclude with a discussion regarding the central role that business model innovation has played and will continue to play in transforming the power system, including where customer value lies and the challenges of financing the capital needs of the transformation.


Dr. Francis (Frank) O’Sullivan is Director of Research and Analysis for the MIT Energy Initiative, and a Senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His work is focused on the evolution of the electric power sector, particularly on the integration of large-scale solar and wind resources, advanced storage deployment and on how digitization is enabling operational optimization and the development of new business models.

He was a Senior Advisor to the US Department of Energy’s 2017 Quadrennial Energy Review, and is a member of the National Academies’ Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability. Dr. O’Sullivan is also a Senior Associate with the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Prior to MIT, Frank was with McKinsey & Company. He is an electrical engineer by training, receiving his PhD, SM and EE degrees from MIT and his BE degree from the National University of Ireland.

Event Closed

Date and Time

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM PT

Add to Calendar


06:00 PM - 12:00 AM
12:00 AM - 09:30 PM


1314, 3333 Coyote Hill Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304

View Map

Upcoming Events

Find information and tickets of upcoming events at MIT Club of Northern California, like conferences, talks, cycling trips and much much more

Talk Nerdy To Me - February Coffee Social

Talk Nerdy To Me - February Coffee Social

Sun, Feb 19 10:00 am PT
Multiple Locations

Info and Registration
Can Peace be Preserved Across the Taiwan Strait?

Can Peace be Preserved Across the Taiwan Strait?

Tue, Feb 21 5:30 pm PT
MIT Bay Area Housing Innovation Workshop - DesignX@MIT
Affiliate Event SAN FRANCISCO

MIT Bay Area Housing Innovation Workshop - DesignX@MIT

Wed, Mar 1 4:00 pm PT

45 Fremont Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105

Info and Registration

Become a Member

Join the MIT Club of Nothern California today!

Member is open to all MIT graduates.

Join Now!