Utilities experience with a focus on clean energy


New Energy Advisors President Curt Volkmann has over 35 years of international experience with electricity, natural gas and water utilities.

Curt's career began in the 1980s as a distribution planning engineer for Pacific Gas & Electric. As a precursor to his current work, he analyzed impacts to the distribution grid from early California cogeneration facilities and demand-side management programs.

Curt subsequently led the Power Delivery consulting practice of UMS Group, where he managed multi-client benchmarking programs for electric transmission, distribution and fleet management involving 40+ utilities across North America, Europe, Africa, and Australia/New Zealand.

Curt is a former Accenture partner where he worked for 18 years. His clients were some of the largest electricity, gas and water utilities in the US.  He led a variety of consulting projects including smart grid planning, organization optimization and cost reduction, asset management, merger integration, benchmarking, and process improvements.

After retiring from Accenture in 2013, Curt joined the Environmental Law and Policy Center as a Senior Clean Energy Specialist. He served as an expert witness in energy efficiency and renewable energy proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission and Michigan Public Service Commission.

Curt has provided support to Vote Solar on various projects including training staff on distribution system engineering and providing expert witness testimony on proper valuation of distributed energy resources. He is a great communicator and produces clear and compelling testimony. He has also done an excellent job on the witness stand, bringing his engineering expertise to bear on DER policy questions before the Commission.
— Briana Kobor, Regulatory Director, Vote Solar

Since 2015, Curt has worked independently advising non-profits and local governments on a variety of clean energy opportunities. He specializes in supporting environmental and consumer advocates in their clean energy work, specifically the accelerated deployment of distributed energy resources (DER). He has served as an expert witness or technical advisor in distribution planning and DER regulatory proceedings in AR, AZ, CA, IA, ILMD, MI, MN, NC, NY, and OH. He also has lectured at Chicago-area universities on the topics of energy and sustainability.

Curt collaborates with other subject-matter experts as needed to support the clients of New Energy Advisors, LLC.

Curt has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. (Finance) from the University of California, Berkeley. He held a Registered Professional Electrical Engineer license in the State of California from 1987 to 1995.

areas of focus

  • Grid modernization

  • Distributed energy resources

  • Distribution system planning

  • Smart grid and smart metering

  • Energy efficiency and demand response programs

  • Voltage optimization

  • Microgrids

  • Community sustainability planning

  • Electric vehicles