The Energy Transformation Collaborative (ETC) is applying the talent of the Stanford community to develop and deploy novel solutions to the world’s most vexing energy problems. Through specially-designed year-long curricula, students, faculty, practitioners, and policy-makers work together to design and launch innovative projects that can be scaled and replicated. Led by two consulting professors with decades of business and policy expertise, Stefan Heck and Cathy Zoi, the ETC projects are giving Stanford students hands-on experience interacting with stakeholders to scope, design, negotiate and pilot systems solutions. The 2014-15 ETC program consists of two projects:

1) ETC-e: Integration of >35% distributed-generation solar, storage, and demand-side resources into electric grids. A variety of technologies applied to diverse grids in different markets and regulatory settings are being examined. Specific areas of innovation include emerging solar, storage, and grid management technologies, as well as application of novel rate design, business models, regulatory structures, and algorithms for ensuring grid stability.

2) ETC-t: Regional integrated transport system design to alleviate congestion, improve convenience, service levels, and transit times, and reduce environmental impacts. This includes transit routing and scheduling, integration of local transport (shuttles, buses, bikes, walking paths), sharing, autonomous and electric vehicle technologies, and company incentives and programs for transit and parking.

ETC is utilizing Stanford’s convening role, expertise and location in the heart of Silicon Valley to marry research and teaching excellence with the experience of seasoned corporate executives, government leaders and advocates. Outstanding participants will be recognized through an Innovation Awards program.

Pilot funding was provided by a philanthropic sponsor, the President’s Fund, the School of Earth Sciences and the Precourt Institute. Over time, funding will come from corporate affiliates, with complementary resourcing from participating start-ups companies, government agencies and NGOs. The benefits to corporate participants include: interaction with Stanford students as prospective employees, collaboration with distinguished faculty, membership in Stanford’s ETC, early access to pilot designs and data, and the potential rapid commercialization of pilot projects. A critical outcome of the ETC will be the creation of a generation of energy leaders with problem-solving ability and a continuous capacity for innovation.