How to Use Utility Data to Prepare for Emerging VPP Opportunities

Date: November 16, 2023

Time: 1:00 PM EST / 12:00 PM CST / 10:00 AM PST / 6:00 PM GMT

Sponsor: NextEra 360™
Duration: 1 Hour

Register Today!

Already registered? Please click here to log in! 


To improve system reliability and efficiency, there has been increasing focus on virtual power plants (VPPs) as an alternative to capital deployment in new centralized power facility builds. A VPP is a grid-integrated aggregation of distributed energy resources (DERs) that are highly automated and capable of rapidly responding to signals from grid operators or other asset controllers. Such opportunities enable the aggregated distributed energy resource (DER) technologies to be operated directly for customer priorities, which may result in deeper decarbonization and increasing demand flexibility, resulting in cleaner and more affordable power.


Anya Castillo
Director - Energy Management
NextEra Analytics

Dr. Anya Castillo is the market products manager for utility-scale product development at NextEra Analytics, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, a world leader in battery storage and a driving force in the development of the green hydrogen economy. In this role, she leads the algorithmic and market strategy development for recent go-to-market deployments of co-located batteries, standalone batteries and hybrid facilities on the NextEra 360 platform, a comprehensive energy management software. NextEra 360 empowers customers to visualize progress toward decarbonization goals, design cost-effective energy systems and maximize the profitability of power generation through algorithmic trading strategies. She was appointed to this role in November 2022.

Previously, Dr. Castillo served as principal scientist with NextEra Analytics. Prior to joining NextEra Energy Resources, she was a senior member of technical staff with Sandia National Laboratories where she was principal investigator on a $2 million to $3 million annual portfolio of low-to-mid technology readiness-level research focused on facility aggregation, infrastructure resilience and electricity market design. Dr. Castillo also served as an operations research analyst with the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) and has held various research appointments through DNV Kema, Resources for the Future, MIT Energy Initiative and IBM Research.

Dr. Castillo holds a doctoral degree in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University, a master’s degree in engineering systems division from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Robin Hytowitz
Energy Management Advisor
NextEra Analytics

Dr. Robin Broder Hytowitz is an Energy Market Advisor at NextEra Analytics, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, a world leader in battery storage and a driving force in the development of the green hydrogen economy. She supports market strategy for a range of utility-scale assets, including hybrid and co-located batteries. As part of her role, Robin is helping drive forward NextEra’s DERMS and VPP software products and providing ISO market expertise.

Prior to NextEra, Robin was a technical leader in Grid Operations and Planning at the Electric Power Research Institute. At EPRI, she focused on wholesale market design and operations, renewable integration, supply resilience and the impact of extreme events. She managed several large-scale projects, including some awarded through the Department of Energy. Before EPRI, she worked in the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during her PhD degree.
Robin holds a doctoral degree in energy engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, and a bachelor’s degree in from Barnard College, Columbia University.

David Abel
Strategy and Policy Manager  
NextEra Analytics

David Abel holds a PhD in Energy Analysis in Policy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Over the last decade, David has worked at the intersection of energy research and practice at institutions across the public, private, and NGO spheres. Such institutions include the non-profit, Slipstream where he designed over $1MM in annual energy savings through sustainable building design practices; the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) where he worked on global energy and air quality research including IPCC and Global Energy Assessment reports; and the think-and-do-think COWS in Madison, WI where he performed local policy research and advocacy.

Currently, David is the Manager of Policy & Strategy in Energy Management at NextEra Analytics. He has spent the last five years based out of Minneapolis, MN at NextEra Energy building software tools to decarbonize and digitize the energy industry. David’s expertise includes energy markets and distributed resource management as well as air quality modeling, building energy modeling, and renewable energy project development – fields in which David is published and holds patents for algorithmic energy management software.

Johnny Wang
Sr. Director Strategy & Residential Innovation

Johnny Wang is a product commercialization specialist at Gexa Energy where he is responsible for driving innovation and leading product commercialization efforts for Gexa Energy’s Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems platform and ERCOT ADER pilot program. The focus of both is to transform energy management by pioneering new initiatives designed to shape the future of clean energy solutions.

Prior to joining Gexa Energy, Mr. Wang worked for Deloitte Consulting and Accenture where he utilized mechanical engineering and leveraged technology to create sustainable, environmentally responsible clean energy solutions.

Mr. Wang holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Since entering the Texas deregulated energy market in 2002, Gexa Energy, LP has established itself as one of the leading retail electricity providers for residential and commercial customers in the state of Texas. Gexa Energy, LP is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a leading clean energy company. 

Sponsored by: