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Stanford Students Learn About Energy

From left to right: Commissioner David Hochschild, Terra Weeks, Alexandria Smith, Stanford Senior Research Scholar Dian Grueneich, Chairman Robert Weisenmiller, Jeffrey Lin, Esteban Guerrero, Commissioner Andrew McAllister, Commissioner Janea Scott.

This summer, the California Energy Commission hosted four Stanford University students under public service summer fellowships to work with commissioners and advisors on projects ranging from renewable energy integration to international energy policy. The Stanford Energy Internships in California program (SEIC) has provided opportunity for the students to learn about the State’s pioneering energy work and provided hands-on experience at the intersection of energy technology and policy.

Alexandria Smith, the only undergraduate SEIC fellow at the Energy Commission spent the summer in Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller’s office coordinating and providing assistance to the California Public Utilities Commission and More Than Smart initiative to transform the distribution grid to a modern, flexible distributed energy system.

“This internship has been such a fantastic opportunity to engage with leaders in energy policy, and I am amazed at the collaboration between government, communities, nonprofits, and businesses to reach resolutions that will help achieve the state’s energy goals,” said Smith, who looks forward to her junior year in the Stanford Earth Systems Program.

Terra Weeks and Esteban Guerrero both spent the summer working in Commissioner David Hochschild’s office with a focus on renewable energy policy. Weeks, a Master’s student in Stanford’s Atmosphere & Energy program, focused on developing new policy concepts to increase solar deployment on new construction and provide solar access to low-income communities.

“The SEIC program offers a rare and exciting opportunity to step into a state agency and contribute to highly impactful renewable energy programs and policies that serve as global models for clean energy leadership,” said Weeks.

As the first Environmental Equity Fellow under Commissioner Hochschild, Guerrero contributed to the implementation of Senate Bill 350 through direct participation in the upcoming Energy Commission’s Barriers Study. Esteban also helped organize the visit of and host a delegation from Mexico, as part of the ongoing California-Mexico MOU work. He has already graduated with Master’s degrees in Management Science & Engineering and Public Policy, and looks forward to his extended stay at the Commission to see to the completion of the Barriers Study in December.

Jeffrey Lin, a PhD student in electrical engineering and public policy, is a fellow under Commissioner Andrew McAllister, working on data analytics for energy use in school sites participating in the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (also known as the Proposition 39 K-12 Program). Additionally, Lin studied the proposed 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, in relation to zero net-energy buildings.

In its inaugural year, Stanford Energy Internships in California placed 10 students across various California agencies in addition to the Energy Commission, including the California Air Resources Board, the California Department of Water Resources, California Public Utilities Commission and also at the California Independent System Operator. The Stanford Energy Internships in California is a partnership between the Precourt Institute for Energy, the Bill Lane Center for the American West, and Stanford in Government. The Energy Commission looks forward to an ongoing SEIC partnership to engage students in public service.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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