Tag Archives: Byron Wahsom

My Close Friend & Mentor, Byron Washom, On TEDx

From Midway Island to Hawaii, from Hawaii to California, then MIT and back again. During this journey, he explored live ammunition fields, fell for surfing, set numerous energy world records, and developed amazing projects here at UC San Diego. Byron’s incredible life experiences, game-changing accomplishments, and deep insights create a story you MUST hear!

How do we tap into our innate creativity? Byron encourages us to follow our passion and push the boundaries, even beyond our comfort zone — beyond the barrier reef. How right he is. One in a million, Byron. Slam dunk!

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Byron Washom, Battery Storage, and Smart City San Diego

Yesterday I had a great meeting with mentor and friend Byron Washom, Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives at UCSD. I met Byron as a graduate student studying environmental policy and energy economics. Everyone  around said, you must meet Byron. When we met, I shot a video interview and immediately understood why he is so well respected. His level of intelligence, commitment, and curiosity are unlike anyone else I know in SD. Not only that; he deeply believes in the value of students taking their ideas beyond the classroom to find real-world applications – i.e. “lab to market”. I couldn’t agree more with this belief. During yesterday’s meeting, I accompanied Byron on a campus site visit where a multi-organization partnership will be installing a battery storage facility at one of the campus’ parking lots. Where will the batteries come from? They’ll we be sourced from electric vehicles that require new batteries to meet acceleration requirements, which generally  occurs after a 20% loss of a battery’s useful life, says Byron.

It’s partnerships such as these that will provide the pulse of innovation and know-how throughout our region. Below I’ve outlined precisely this type of collaborative effort taking place in San Diego, both on and off campus.

Smart City San Diego is an innovative partnership between the City, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), General Electric (GE)CleanTECH San Diego, and UC San Diego. Keep an eye out for tangible projects coming out of the pipeline thanks tothis program – e.g. CAR2GO (image below).

Last year I consulted for the City regarding electric vehicle integration within the City fleet. Though I cannot release specific details, let’s just say there are some real opportunities to introduce cost savings, reduce tailpipe emissions, and access state/federal resources. Opportunities abound. However, with the exceedingly low price of natural gas likely to continue trending downward, look for CNG vehicles to make a surge as cash-strapped policy makers and committees must make tough short- to medium-term economic decisions.

Other initiatives include: Smart Appliances, Economic Development and Job Growth, Solar Integrated Energy Storage, Policy Leadership, and the achievement of making SD a Solar Decathlon 2013 Finalist.

For more information, here’s an interesting article.