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SRP Employee Earns U.S. Energy Storage Association’s 2021 ESA Annual Award

Energy Storage Industry Awards Recognize Excellence, Diversity and Leadership

Breakout-Woman-Bonesteel (002)

The U.S. Energy Storage Association, the national trade association for the American energy storage industry, today announced the 2021 ESA Annual Award recipients. Each year ESA recognizes companies and individuals from across the industry for their outstanding commitments to excellence in innovation, diversity and inclusion, and forward-thinking leadership. This further demonstrates ESA’s commitment to highlighting leaders from across the energy storage industry. The awards were presented during #ESACon21 where more than 1,200 industry professionals gathered to discuss the most pressing issues and innovative technologies in energy storage to set the stage for the Storage Decade. The 2021 ESA Annual Award Winners are: 

  • Breakthrough Woman of the Year Award: Sharon Bonesteel AIA, CBO, CP, Building Energy Codes Project Manager at Salt River Project; Christina Iwaniw, R&TD Engineer at New York Power Authority (NYPA); and Allyson Sand, Development Lead at Plus Power
  • Brad Roberts Outstanding Industry Achievement by a Member Organization Award: Ameresco and the Energy Safety Response Group (ESRG)
  • Phil Symons Energy Storage Award: Mike Berlinski, Director Emerging Technology, Customized Energy Solutions; and Andrew Kaplan, Partner, Pierce Atwood LLP
  • Diversity & Inclusion Award: Imran Noorani, Chief Strategy Officer, Peak Power

“This year was a landmark year for the U.S. energy storage industry, due in no small part to efforts of this year’s award winners,” said Jason Burwen, Interim CEO of the U.S. Energy Storage Association. “This year’s class has made huge strides in advancing the prospects of the energy storage industry, which will decarbonize the nation’s power system, make communities and grid infrastructure sufficiently resilient to climate-driven extreme weather events, and create good-paying jobs.” 

The Breakthrough Woman of the Year Award recognizes individual women who have made significant contributions to the energy storage industry in the past year, while having less than a decade’s experience in the space. This year three outstanding women were recognized: Sharon Bonesteel AIA, CBO, CP, Salt River Project (SRP), for her work to organize, train, investigate, and provide research to support the use of energy storage systems within SRP and across Arizona; Christina Iwaniw, New York Power Authority (NYPA), for her leadership in launching PV solar and storage projects across the state of New York and State Universities of New York (SUNY); and Allyson Sand, Plus Power, who led the first standalone energy storage project ever to clean the ISO-NE Forward Capacity Market auction and is managing a pipeline of 475 MW / 1250 MWh across two wholesale markets, with only three years in the industry under her belt. 

“This is quite an honor. I would like to thank the ESA and SRP for all the support of my Energy Storage Collaboration team,” said Bonesteel, SRP’s Energy Storage Codes and Safety team leader. “We pursued best practices for safe deployment of energy storage and know that we must keep learning as this rapidly evolving industry. Energy Storage is important for our transition to renewable resources, and we must do it safely.”

The U.S. energy storage industry has experienced rapid growth this year. With 345 megawatts (MW) of new energy storage systems deployed, Q2 2021 was the second-largest quarter on record by MW for U.S. energy storage additions and the ninth consecutive quarter of increased energy systems deployments. Punctuating what is shaping up to be another record setting year for energy storage deployments according to Wood Mackenzie, the U.S. Energy Storage Association will merge into the American Clean Power Association (ACP) on January 1, 2022. The merger will ensure that all clean energy stakeholders have the resources and support they need to attain ESA’s vision of 100 GW of new energy storage by 2030, and build a best-in-class trade group that is nimble, effective and able to represent the renewable energy and energy storage industries with a unified voice. 

ESA surveys its members and past award recipients every year to identify the significant contributions of a member organization(s) in the storage industry for the Brad Roberts Outstanding Industry Achievement by a Member Organization Award. This year we’re proud to recognize two member organizations, including Ameresco and the Energy Safety Response Group (ESRG). Ameresco was chosen for its leadership in implementing battery energy storage systems (BESS) across the U.S. and leading resiliency projects at mission-critical facilities like the U.S. Marine Corp Recruit Depot Parris Island, which can now run fully independent of the main grid during outages. The Energy Safety Response Group is recognized for its efforts to bring together former firefighters with the energy storage industry to advance safety standards. 

The Phil Symons Energy Storage Award celebrates individual contributions to the advancement of energy storage, which this year is awarded to Mike Berlinski, Director of Emerging Technology, Customized Energy Solutions, and Andrew Kaplan, Partner, Pierce Atwood LLP.Mr. Berlinski is recognized for building one of the first consulting practices devoted to advising on energy storage market operations, and particularly for his thought leadership on how to improve wholesale electricity markets for energy storage, much of which informed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s landmark Order 841. Mr. Kaplan, who is also the Energy Bar Association’s 2019 Regulatory Practitioner of the Year, is recognized for his tireless dedication to representing the Energy Storage Association and numerous industry members in regulatory matters, including as ESA’s counsel in numerous rulemakings and cases before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Diversity & Inclusion Award recognizes those who have worked to nurture and encourage diversity and inclusion in the energy storage industry and paved the way for the success of women, people of color, and LBGTQ professionals. Imran Noorani, Chief Strategy Officer, Peak Power is the winner of this award for his dedication to expanding diversity at Peak Power. Imran spearheaded Peak’s justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) working group to promote a more inclusive workplace, and committed the company to the 50-30 Challenge. 

For more information about ESA’s Annual Awards and past winners, please visit https://energystorage.org/events/esa-annual-conference/esa-annual-awards/. 

About Energy Storage Association 
The U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) is the national trade association dedicated to energy storage, working toward a more resilient, efficient, sustainable, and affordable electricity grid – as is uniquely enabled by energy storage. With more than 200 members, ESA represents a diverse group of companies, including independent power producers, electric utilities, energy service companies, financiers, insurers, law firms, installers, manufacturers, component suppliers and integrators involved in deploying energy storage systems around the globe. More information is available at: www.energystorage.org. The U.S. Energy Storage Association will merge into the American Clean Power Association (ACP) on January 1, 2022.

About SRP

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 750,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.