David B. Olsen


Energy Development
   And Policy

Corporate and Public
   Sector Leadership

Climate Change and

Public and Community

Publications and

  Energy Development And Policy

David Olsen serves as coordinator of the California Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI), a statewide collaborative working to plan major expansion of the state grid necessary to achieve California’s 33% renewable energy goal. RETI is a joint effort of the CA Public Utilities Commission, Energy Commission, California Independent System Operator and the state’s public and private utilities. To build broad support for approval of the generation and transmission infrastructure necessary to meet state goals, its steering committee includes 29 members, including representatives of all renewable energy generating technologies, environmental NGOs, counties and landowners, consumers, the military, tribes, state and federal agencies. www.energy.ca.gov/reti.

Olsen is also a director of Western Grid Group, spearheading development of a shared vision of a clean electricity grid for the western US and the resource and infrastructure planning necessary to implement it. WGG principals include the former chairmen and commissioners of the Public Utility Commissions of CO, MT, NM, NV, OR and UT. WGG works with Energy Future Coalition, American Wind Energy Association, Solar Energy Industries Association, Geothermal Energy Association and other organizations to advance planning for a national transmission system for renewable and low-carbon resources. To help remove barriers to access for low-carbon resources, WGG works to resolve conflicts among lands and wildlife advocates, renewable energy developers and state and federal agencies.

In 2005-2007, Olsen helped lead the Tehachapi Study Group, a stakeholder planning collaborative working to develop a plan for exporting 4,500 MW of wind power from California’s Tehachapi Mountain region. In 2004-2005, he served as convener of the Imperial Valley Study Group, a stakeholder planning collaborative working to develop solutions capable of exporting 2,200 MW of geothermal  and solar power from California’s Imperial Valley. IVSG members include: California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, Imperial Irrigation District, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Western Area Power Administration, environmental groups, state and federal agencies, and other interested parties. The work of the IVSG is described at: www.energy.ca.gov/ivsg.

Earlier, Olsen led the development of solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power projects in more than 20 countries, as President of Clipper Windpower Development Company, President/CEO of Northern Power Systems, President of Peak Power Corp., Vice President of Magma Power Company, and director of International Utility Structures, Inc., a manufacturer active in more than 100 countries. 

Olsen has been a director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies since 1991, and served as its Chair 1994-1996. He was a founding member of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and has served on many power industry trade associations including the American Wind Energy Association, Independent Energy Producers, Geothermal Energy Association, National Hydropower Association, Nevada Geothermal Council, Northwest Electric Light & Power Association and the World Geothermal Congress.

In this work building the renewable energy industry, he has had oversight responsibility for research involving photovoltaic cells, batteries, low-temperature metallurgy, wind turbine aerodynamics, power electronics, management of super-saturated geothermal brines, and generation system modeling. He has served on the California Utility Research Council, and has raised money to fund this research from the U.S. Navy, U.S. DOE, the California Energy Commission, the Electric Power Research Institute and manufacturing firms.

In 2000, Mr. Olsen led the creation of the California Climate Action Registry (http://www.climateregistry.org/), the first state registry of greenhouse gas emissions. He is actively involved in the development of policies to address climate change at the state and national level, leading meetings and workshops such as:

§           "Procurement Incentive Framework for GHG Reduction," (R.04-04-003) California Public Utilities Commission, March 7-9, 2005.

§           "Adapting to Higher Energy Cost and Carbon Constraints in the Mountain West," a Leadership Roundtable on Energy Efficiency. Wirth Chair, University of Colorado, Denver, September 27-28, 2004.

§           "Registries and Trading as Climate Change Policy Approaches," Aspen Institute, Washington DC, March 8, 2004.

§           Colorado Business Energy Partnership, monthly meetings of Colorado companies and cities working to monitor their greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency. 2000-2005.

"National Leadership Forum on Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Policies," CEO Coalition to Advance Sustainable Technology, Washington, D.C., May 10, 2000.
    David B. Olsen
Ventura, CA  93001