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Smart Grid Seminar : Real-world battery and DER optimization: what you can’t learn in the classroom

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Event Details:

Real world operations of grid batteries, DERs, and virtual power plants often differ from idealized models. Optimization and machine learning techniques in the energy domain require much nuance that is often not recognizable until projects are live. In this talk, I’ll run through some examples of energy asset operations driven by AI platforms where unexpected conditions require different approaches to achieve high performance. This will lead into a discussion about how electric vehicles may leverage these lessons to become a valuable grid asset if controlled in aggregate as "mobile power plants".

The seminar is open to the public. Stanford students enrolled in CEE 272T/EE 292T: SmartGrids and Advanced Power Systems Seminar must attend in person. All others, please register to attend on Zoom via the RSVP link.

Speaker Bio:
Julian is a sustainable energy engineer & entrepreneur that specializes in grid batteries, electric vehicles (EV), artificial intelligence software, and wholesale market participation. He is currently Co-Founder and CTO of Drive Powerline (aka "Powerline",, which is building an AI software platform to connect EV drivers to low-cost charging and vehicle-to-X opportunities. Before that, Julian worked at Tesla for several years and, in his most recent position, led the global operations of Tesla's grid battery fleet with Tesla's AI bidding software, Autobidder, which he also developed along with other software engineers. Julian founded and built the Autobidder Operations team, was responsible for delivering over $100M in annual revenue, and launched several first-of-a-kind projects (first VPP in Australia to bid in ancillary service markets, first VPP to provide regulation services by following an AGC signal, biggest grid-scale battery in the world in 2020 then again in 2021). Powerline is the second company that Julian started, before joining Tesla, he co-founded an AI software company for grid battery optimization called Watt-Learn, which he helped lead to a successful acquisition by a renewable project developer in 2018. Julian holds a PhD and MS in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

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