Kelly Speakes-Backman appointed to leadership position in US government

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) last week announced new Biden-Harris Administration senior leadership appointees. The new leaders will direct policy at DOE, coordinate across the Administration, and enact President Joe Biden’s vision for bold action on the climate crisis and on safeguarding the Americans most affected by it.

Among the appointed include Kelly Speakes-Backman, who will be the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. She most recently served as the first CEO of the Energy Storage Association (ESA), the national trade organization for the energy storage industry. Speakes-Backman has spent more than 20 years working in energy and environmental issues in the public, NGO and private sectors. In 2019, she was honored by The Cleanie Awards as Woman of the Year.

Speakes-Backman talked to Jennifer Runyon at DISTRIBUTECH 2020. Watch the video here.

John D. Hewa ESA Chairman of the Board and President & CEO, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative congratulated Speakes-Backman in a letter to ESA members and friends.

“On behalf of the ESA Board of Directors, we are thrilled for Kelly to take on this role and look forward to seeing her flourish as a key leader driving the country’s clean energy future,” he said.

Hewa added that in order to ensure a smooth transition, the board had voted to appoint the ESA Vice President Jason Burwen to serve as interim CEO, effective immediately.

Hewa listed a slew of ESA accomplishments in the letter, including:

  • More than 2 GW of energy storage installed
  • FERC 841 and FERC 2222 being implemented by ISOs and RTOs across the country with direct input from ESA
  • The BEST Act, shaped by ESA, was passed at the end of last year, authorizing $1 billion for federal innovation investments in energy storage technology.
  • Utilities are planning for and procuring storage in more than 20 states, and policies supportive of energy storage have been passed in 32 states. 
  • ESA now has 31 Leadership Circle companies, more than 210 members strong, and a Storage PAC to fund storage-related education in Washington, DC.

“I have full confidence that under the leadership of Jason, the dedicated and incredibly talented team at ESA will continue to carry out its mission ensuring the voice of energy storage is heard in Washington, and by regulators and state lawmakers across the country,” he continued.

“ESA looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration and the 117th Congress to promote policies that can help us realize the full potential of energy storage for our country.”

Energy Storage is a key component of DISTRIBUTECH Plus and POWERGEN Plus, virtual events taking place all throughout 2021.