The Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) is led by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) staff from the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO), and multiple national laboratories. Together, the team’s experience spans nearly all aspects of interconnection from residential to bulk power, utility to developer, and policy to engineering.

Karyn Boenker

Karyn Boenker is a project manager with the Economics, Policy, and Institutional Support Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). She specializes in renewable energy generation and storage, grid resilience, energy policy, and building efficiency. She was inspired to join PNNL after co-founding the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP+) tool with DOE and NREL. 

At PNNL, Karyn serves as a project manager and technical expert for the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), Building Energy Codes Program,  Grid Modernization Lab Consortium (GMLC), and the Interconnection Innovation E-Xchange (i2x).

Cynthia Bothwell is a Grid Integration Engineer for the Systems Integration team, supporting the Wind Energy Technologies Office since March 2020. She also worked a year supporting the Solar Energy Technologies Office. Cynthia has 25 years of technical and managerial experience working for electric utilities. She directed the Integration Resource Planning (IRP) Department at Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), responsible for developing the first of its kind IRP incorporating renewable and energy efficiency goals while implementing a robust stakeholder process. In this role she was also responsible for new generation procurements including renewables. She was PNM’s expert witness in many regulatory dockets including generation, renewables and energy efficiency. Prior to that role, she was a distribution planning engineer at PNM. Cynthia was also an electrical transmission planning engineer at Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and a transmission and distribution planning engineer at Madison Gas & Electric. She started her engineering career as a field engineer at Public Service Company of Indiana.

Cynthia holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, where her research focused on resource adequacy and the optimization of high penetration renewables on the electric grid. She also holds an M.S. from New Mexico State University in industrial engineering, an M.S. from the University of New Mexico in statistics, an MBA from Edgewood College, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering concentrating in power systems from the University of Illinois. She is a registered Professional Engineer. Cynthia is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and serves as a reviewer for several IEEE journals, as well as the International Association for Energy Economics’ The Energy Journal.

Michele Boyd Headshot

Michele Boyd

Michele Boyd is the program manager of the soft costs/balance of systems team in the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). The team supports the development of analysis, tools, and data resources to reduce the non-hardware (soft costs) of solar energy and accelerates learning through technical assistance programs and national partnerships. Michele joined SETO in April 2016 as a technology manager on both the soft costs and the technology to market teams. Previously, Michele was the government relations manager at Abengoa Solar, where she developed and implemented strategies to advance effective financing, siting, and transmission policies for solar. Prior to her work on solar, Michele focused on environmental and policy issues related to nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and nuclear waste at Physicians for Social Responsibility, Public Citizen, and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

Michele has two Bachelors of Science degrees in biology and environmental science from Purdue University and a Master’s of Science in environmental policy from the University of Michigan.

Jian Fu headshot

Dr. Jian Fu is the Program Lead for the System Integration team in the Wind Energy Technologies Office. In this role, she leads the collaborative research, development, demonstration, and deployment of technologies to ensure cost-effective, cybersecure, reliable, and resilient power grid with increasing levels of wind.

Prior to joining DOE in 2016, Dr. Fu has more than 15 years of experience in the private sector, including various engineering positions at different product lines at Alstom Grid (now GE), and 3 years as a co-founder of a utility software start-up company. Dr. Fu holds a Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University and a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Southeast University in China, all in Electrical Engineering.

Michael Ingram

Michael Ingram serves as principal investigator at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on multiple research projects supporting grid modernization and renewables integration, including hydropower. He served multiple FEMA deployments to the U.S. Virgin Islands to assess recovery and mitigation readiness. Ingram provided technical services to the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and New York, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as international engagements in Colombia and the Philippines, with renewable energy interconnection policy and technical requirements. He was responsible for microgrid technical concept designs and economic resiliency assessments for multiple NASA sites, U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Army, as well as peer-review of others' work in this area. Ingram led two reports cited in 2018 Quadrennial Energy Review covering the cybersecurity readiness of small and under-resourced utilities (cooperatives).

Ingram comes to NREL following a 28-year career with the Tennessee Valley Authority, having served in a variety of roles. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a registered professional engineer.

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Tom McDermott

Tom was named the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) subsector lead for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in April 2018. With a growing focus on grid integration, SETO will benefit from Tom's specialized background. Tom is an IEEE Fellow who has spent many years working on inverter technology design and integration of solar systems with the grid. Tom joined PNNL in August 2016 to provide technical leadership and project management for the research portfolio in distribution analysis and automation, demand response, and distributed energy technologies. His primary research focus is on novel simulation, modeling, and analysis capabilities. Before PNNL, he was at the University of Pittsburgh, MelTran (his own company), Enernex, Ansoft (now part of ANSYS), Electrotek Concepts, PTI (now part of Siemens), and Westinghouse Electric. Tom's career highlights include contributions to OpenDSS and other open-source software, standards (IEEE 1547, 1410, 1243, and 1729, along with IEC 61968), and commercial software products (PQWeb, Maxwell, and SIMPLORER). He has conducted many grid consulting projects that span modeling, analysis, and measurements taken in the field. Tom has also taught nine different undergraduate and graduate university courses for credit. At PNNL, his largest projects have been software simulation platforms for transactive energy systems and for distributed applications, along with power system protection, inverter controls, and energy storage integration. 

Dave Narang headshot

David Narang

David Narang is a Principal Engineer in the Power Systems Engineering Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado. 
David's work supports the development and adoption of distributed energy resource interconnection and interoperability standards and he served as the Working Group Chair for the 2018 revision of IEEE Standard 1547.

Prior to joining NREL in, 2015, David spent 14 years working as an engineer at an investor-owned electric utility in the Southwest United States, focusing on renewables integration.

Ammar Qusaibaty

Company: Allegheny Science and Technology

In the Solar Energy Technologies Office, Ammar supports the strategic analysis and institutional support team and manages the Catalyst Energy Prize, Orange Button Data, and projects with NREL and LBNL. Prior to joining SETO, he worked as an investment officer for a boutique $100 million venture capital investment firm and served on a number of boards for startups. Ammar co-established the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC focused on information and security, growing the staff from three people to 15, later serving as a board member between 2004 and 2009. Throughout his career, Ammar has been recognized for his work and dedication, including the EERE's Energy Rock Star in 2015 for his work on the Catalyst Energy Prize. Ammar holds a Ph.D. from University of Paris I, where he earned the highest distinction for his doctoral thesis, an M.S. from the University of Oxford, and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Joseph Rand headshot

Joseph (Joe) Rand is a Senior Scientific Engineering Associate in the Electricity Markets and Policy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Joe conducts research and analysis on renewable energy, including: renewable energy policy, cost, and market analysis; spatial data analysis; and research related to public acceptance and deployment barriers of renewable energy.

Previously, Joe worked for the DOE Wind for Schools Program in North Carolina and the KidWind Project, a wind energy science education organization in Minnesota. He was awarded a research fellowship from the Hydro Research Foundation as well as a Switzer Environmental Fellowship in 2015, and the 'Novus Ventus' award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Power Program in 2015.

Joe holds a master’s degree in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Macalester College.