Jim Kelly first began pondering the possibilities and limitations of renewables as a senior vice president of transmission and distribution for Southern California Edison. After 38 years with the state’s second-largest utility, he was named CEO of Advanced Rail Energy Storage, or ARES, which developed a system that draws energy from the grid to run weighted rail cars up an incline. When demand spikes, the cars roll downhill and a regenerative braking system generates electricity that is dispatched back to the grid. On the basis of its quarter-scale test facility in California’s Tehachapi Mountains, ARES received its first commercial commission, in 2014, to deliver reliable, renewable energy to Southern California from Nevada by 2017.
May 9, 2015