Panel Discussion: “How Synchrophasors are Bringing the Grid into the 21st Century”



Dr. W. Mack Grady

Baylor University
Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering


Dr. W. Mack Grady, Ph.D., P.E., is a professor and the Associate Chairman of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the Jack S. Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources at the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Dr. Grady received his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Purdue University. He is a registered professional engineer in Texas.

In 2000, Dr. Grady was elected as a Fellow of IEEE. He holds a security clearance and works on power grid and power distribution issues for the Scientific Applications and Research Associates (SARA) team on the Department of Defense (DOD) Defense Threat Reduction Agency projects.



Bill Blevins

Manager of Operations Planningy


Mr. Blevins is a native Texan from Port Lavaca Texas. He is a Graduate of the US Navy Nuclear Power Engineering School and also has an AS degree from St. Leo University. He has 27 years of power systems experience with 21 years in civilian commercial power systems and 6 years Nuclear Power Systems experience. He started his civilian career with Houston Lighting and Power and worked at South Texas Nuclear Power station in Bay City Texas before moving into grid operations.

Prior to coming to ERCOT, he held positions at North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), first as Manager of Interchange and second as Manager Business Practices. Before working at NERC he worked for Duke Energy as Manager Generation Control where he was responsible for control area operations in the Eastern and Western Power Grid.

His current position is Manager Operations Planning at ERCOT. While at ERCOT he also served as Manager of Operations Support and was responsible for grid operations preparedness as ERCOT transitioned to the new Nodal Market in 2011.



Dr. Milton Holloway

Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies
President & Chief Operating Officer


Dr. Milton L. Holloway is the President & COO of the Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies (CCET) in Austin. His primary function at CCET is to direct the organization, including the development and oversight of electric technology projects.

During the last eight years Dr. Holloway has led CCET in the development of CCET’s technical advisory groups, forty-plus meetings of the Board of Directors, development of alliances with ERCOT, EPRI, DOE and other organizations and in the planning and execution of several technology and demonstration projects. The projects have included a distribution-level monitoring device design (Distribution Remote Terminal Unit), a demand response program in ERCOT that leveraged the deployment of Advanced Metering Systems at Oncor and CenterPoint, promotion of the CIMs protocol for distribution systems applications and in the planning and deployment of a major DOE Smart Grid Regional Demonstration grant (SGRD). The SGRD five-year project has seven technology and consumer response components that span the Texas geography from north to south and the electric systems from wind generation and transmission to consumer direct load control and pricing experiments, all focused on wind resource integration in the ERCOT grid.

Dr. Holloway was appointed by Governor’s Briscoe and Clements to direct the Texas energy policy office during the energy crises of the 1970s and early 80s where he was responsible to a 22-member Board of Directors Co-chaired by the Governor and Lt. Governor with the Speaker as Vice-Chair. Board members included Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission and Public Utility Commission, the Attorney General, Commissioners of the General Land Office and Agriculture, Comptroller, Chairman of the Water Development Board and Air Control Board, Chairs of the energy committees of the House and Senate and four private sector representatives. He served at the pleasure of the Governor for eight years. He has taught in the Executive MBA programs at UT Austin, Baylor University and St. Edward’s University and carried out an active consulting practice for over 30 years. Dr. Holloway holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Oregon State University.



Paul Sweat

Paul Sweat

National Instruments
Senior Program Manager


Paul Sweat is the Clean Energy & Government Programs Senior Program Manager for the Energy Segment at National Instruments.  In his role, Paul collaborates with industry, universities, the DOE and DOD on clean energy technology projects and funding opportunities.  He works closely with R&D to align NI’s product strategy with industry trends and develops vertical partners to drive the adoption of new technologies.  He also acts as an NI representative in key energy consortiums and is an Advisory Board Member for the EcoTech Institute.

Paul joined NI’s Engineering Leadership Program over 15 years ago.  Since then, he has worked in various roles within NI including Field Applications Engineer, District Sales Manager, Embedded Systems Business Development Manager and Western U.S. Energy Segment Business Development Manager.  Paul graduated summa cum laude from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Computer Engineering.



Mark Harral

Group Nire
Chief Executive Officer


Mark Harral’s introduction to renewable energy was negotiating a wind lease with BP to deploy thirty-four 2.5MW wind turbines in Pecos County, Texas. Subsequently, Texas Tech University employed Mr. Harral to develop an organizational structure for a testing and certification site at a former Air Force base – the Reese Technology Center in Lubbock, Texas.

The organizational structure was implemented by Texas Tech to create The National Institute for Renewable Energy with a for-profit wholly owned subsidiary known as Group NIRE. This structure enabled Alstom Power Inc. to deploy a 1.67MW Eco 86 wind turbine at the Reese Technology Center. The testing and certification site has continued to expand to include a 1MW/hr Utility-Scale Battery, Gamesa’s G114 2MW Prototype, as well as the DOE-SNL Scaled Wind Farm Technology Facility initiative. Mr. Harral oversaw project development, construction and management activities for the majority of the site. Mr. Harral has developed a commercial 80MW wind farm and negotiated the sale of the asset to a leading owner/operator of wind farms in the United States.

Since May 2013, Mr. Harral has served as the CEO of Group NIRE. He also serves as an expert witness in wind energy litigation cases. To date, Mr. Harral has testified in arbitration cases concerning warranty disputes between manufacturers and owners with over $90M in disputes. Mr. Harral graduated from Texas Tech School of Law with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence after receiving a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.



TIME:  3:15 PM – 4:00 PM


Summary Coming Soon.