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SGS People: Spotlight on Kevin Morrissey

Kevin Morrissey is a R&D Engineer for us at Smarter Grid Solutions. He received a Master’s degree from the University of Washington in 2017 and has worked for the Pacific Norwest National Laboratory and Navigant Consulting prior to joining SGS.

Tell us a little about your background?

I have a background in power systems engineering, with degrees in electrical engineering. My focus has been on taking a practical approach to difficult problems in power systems, and building systems to demonstrate these use cases. This includes things such as Solar PV smoothing with energy storage, optimal battery scheduling, and power system state estimation.

What motivates you about your work with SGS?

At SGS, you really feel like you are making a difference. With such a small team making such a large impact, you feel your work having an impact on our customers and on the industry. On top of that, SGS allows me to do the type of work that I like to do, and makes sure I’m focusing on the areas I’m most interested in. I feel like I’m always solving hard problems and getting my hands dirty, which is right where I want to be.

What do you like best about working at SGS?

SGS is full of smart people! It’s wonderful to learn something from your co-workers all the time, we’ve got such a great group of talented folks here. We can put a small team, or just a couple people, towards solving a problem and we know we have the right brains in the room to get the bottom of it.

What has been your biggest achievement so far at SGS?

When I first joined SGS as a research & development engineer, my first objective was to write a report for NYSERDA on the practical challenges of running a state estimator at the distribution level . It was challenging to be trusted with such a large undertaking right off the bat! But having put out the report, I can see how it has given me and the company a good backdrop for having these conversations with customers.

What are your hopes for the clean energy sector in the coming months and years?

The energy sector in the US, and worldwide, is rapidly evolving. More than ever, utilities are prioritizing robust and flexible infrastructure featuring renewable energy as a centrepiece. We see also challenges such as the recent struggles of the Texas power grid, and the wildfires in California – highlighting the need to bring a new flexibility to our systems as our climate and energy mix change. In the coming months and years, I know we will see investment in new clean energy technologies to support both capacity and reliability of our grid. It’s clear that innovative companies like SGS are needed to help usher in new ideas and systems to support our grid through this change.

Looking forward, what impact are you hoping SGS will have?

SGS has been a leader in providing a practical, reliable approach to solving grid problems arising with the changing energy mix. We have the right people in the room to make real change on the networks that we improve. Systems like active network management, brought to market with ANM Strata, Cirrus, and Element, are the type of no-nonsense approach to supporting grid reliability that has taken SGS where it is today, and will only become more important given the reliability challenges that much of our grid is now facing. In order to improve the stability of power delivered over the grid while we introduce and rely on increasing amounts of stochastic renewable energy resources, SGS will need to take a leading role in delivering our reliable software solution to systems that need it.