Michigan Ross School of Business | Groups
The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 200 global power company. We provide affordable, sustainable energy to 18 countries through our diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. We are dedicated to improving the lives of our customers by leveraging our energy solutions that encompass a broad range of technologies and fuel types, including coal, diesel, gas, oil, pet coke and renewables. Our people share a passion to help meet the world’s current and increasing energy needs, while providing communities and countries the opportunity for economic growth due to the availability of reliable, affordable electric power.

Project description: AES is seeking to understand the market opportunity for electrification – bringing access to electricity to customers in the markets we serve – by deploying distributed solar and energy storage technologies. Across our 18 country footprint, students will identify the highest value opportunities for electrification, identify business models suited to scale, and identify local partners and funding sources in those countries.

SunEdison manufactures advanced solar technology and develops, finances, installs and operates distributed solar power systems, delivering cost effective electricity and services to its residential, commercial, utility, and government customers. This project involves working with the commercial and industrial distributed generation (DG) group, which focuses on selling solar electricity through power purchase agreements.

Project description:  SunEdison is expanding its global marketing efforts for its commercial & industrial distributed generation business. To support this work, we seek to understand the dynamics of the solar market in Germany and the U.K., with a keen eye on product availability, electricity pricing, industry growth potential, customer characteristics, competitive landscape, and relevant policy drivers (e.g. renewable energy procurement mandates). Students will provide a comprehensive characterization of the markets, identifying the key drivers, both economic and non-economic, ultimately yielding insights about a successful sales strategy for SunEdison’s DG business. 

Geli provides software and business solutions to design, connect, and operate energy storage and microgrid systems. Geli’s suite of products creates an ecosystem where project developers, OEMs, financiers, and project operators can deploy advanced energy projects using a seamless hardwareagnostic software platform. Geli ESyst is an online design tool for the analysis and design of energy storage and microgrids. Geli EOS, short for Energy Operating System, is a software platform that allows for advanced functionality of any OEM equipment via Geli Energy Apps & Geli Energy Drivers. Geli GENI, which stands for Global Energy Network Interface, is the portal through which systems are monitored for performance and can be aggregated for virtual power-plant services. Founded in 2010 in San Francisco, Geli has been designing and building the Internet of Energy for more than five years and has projects deployed around the world.

Project description:  Geli has just released an energy storage analysis tool – Geli ESyst - to improve a major bottleneck in progressing site analyses to sales of Geli-enabled energy storage systems.  In its current form, Geli ESyst will provide estimated energy savings and financial returns for a limited set of end customers. The company is now considering whether or not to continue to build this platform to be a fully functional proposal tool or license the use of our API so that other more established online solar proposal platforms can integrate Geli sizing algorithms into their own process. Students will be responsible for assessing the current competitive landscape of online solar design and proposal tools and deliver a strategy recommendation to Geli.

As one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, SCE delivers power to 15 million people in 50,000 square-miles across central, coastal and Southern California. SCE has delivered safe, reliable, affordable electricity for more than 125 years, powering the present and preparing for the future. SCE’s parent company is Edison International, which through its subsidiaries, generates and distributes electric power, and invests in energy services and technologies, including renewable energy.

Project description:  SCE is exploring potential future utility business models (i.e. new functions, roles and responsibilities, as well as utility earning mechanisms, in the electric power industry) that provide an opportunity to lead industry transformation and build a modernized, 21st century power system that seamlessly integrates distributed energy resources (DERs) for the benefit of customers and third parties. Students will conduct research on the landscape of innovative new utility business models in the U.S. and abroad for benchmarking purposes, and will offer a description and assessment of these models for SCE. As part of this effort, students will research the growing use of microgrid solutions for these future utility business models, as well as provide insights both on the business prospects and the potential utility role for microgrids.