February 23, 2022
David Nie was one of the first employees to join the Convergent team in 2015 and has helped shape the growth and development of our Analytics team over the past seven years. David plays a central role in identifying opportunities for and driving the performance of the company’s energy storage and solar-plus-storage portfolio.
But he’s not all business. When David’s not delivering key data insights, this Ohio native is climbing mountains, cycling across the desert, and taking every opportunity he can to get outside.
We connected with David to learn more about one of our foundational team members and to demystify Convergent’s energy storage intelligence: PEAK IQ®.
You were one of the first employees to join Convergent. What drew you to the renewable energy industry and to the company?
Prior to joining Convergent, I worked for another clean energy company for a good four and half years. It was my first job out of college and at that point, I was at a crossroads in my career. I was starting to consider going to business school but (funny story) Mariko McDonagh Meier (now Chief Strategy Officer at Convergent) was my manager and mentor at the time. She introduced me to Convergent’s CEO Johannes Rittershausen and I joined the team shortly thereafter.
Having started my career in clean energy, energy storage was the new and exciting thing. I was at a time in my career when I was ready to take a risk! Many people go to business school to join a growing team in a promising industry—but I jumped straight in. Developing energy storage systems has become more commonplace since I joined the company but this job has allowed me to find solutions without precedent!
What is your favorite part of your role at Convergent?
The answer to this question has evolved over the years. During my first years, I loved getting exposure to the broader business. Because the team was so small, I was supporting marketing, sales, fundraising, you name it. I was able to support and actually do many of the critical business functions that you wouldn’t typically be exposed to at a larger company.
As we’ve grown, I’ve enjoyed developing and growing the Asset Management team, responsible for the performance of our storage and solar-plus-storage systems. In the beginning, Chris Streeter (Chief Information and Risk Officer) and I were the Asset Management “team.” It’s been a blessing to train and get support from this team.
What hasn’t changed is how much I enjoy the people that I get to work with and the culture at Convergent. There has been such a small amount of turnover over the years, and we’ve grown considerably. It’s simply a pleasure to work here.
How do you like to spend your time outside of the office?
I really like to stay active! I spent over a year during the first phase of the pandemic living in Las Vegas, NV so I could have greater access to the outdoors.
For the last year and a half, I’ve gotten into road cycling and last year I hit 10K miles. I did Ride the Rockies, which is a weeklong cycling event in Colorado last year that consisted of 420 miles and 28k of elevation gain with over 2,000 other cyclists. We would ride during the day and camp out at night. Now that I am back in New York City, I’ve joined a local cycling team and I’m trying to do more structured training and do a full slate of races come spring and summer.
One of our mottos is that energy storage without intelligent dispatch is just an expensive paperweight. As someone who works behind the scenes, can you tell us more Convergent’s energy storage intelligence, PEAK IQ®?
Batteries do not generate power; they store power. As a result, knowing when to charge and discharge the battery system is critical to extracting the most value.
PEAK IQ’s energy storage intelligence uses the latest artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to determine the optimal times to charge and discharge battery energy storage systems (standalone or paired with solar) based on customer load characteristics, utility rate tariffs, wholesale market pricing, grid peak times, weather forecasts, and other factors. PEAK IQ helps customers reduce and forecast their energy costs while decreasing their carbon footprints.
PEAK IQ is also technology neutral in that it can seamlessly interface with any vendor’s battery storage systems—regardless of the platforms that they use.
If PEAK IQ were an animal, what kind of animal would it be and why?
I thought a lot about this, and I have to say “border collie.” They are very smart dogs but you need a good trainer to get the most out of them; they have a mind of their own.
You can’t just deploy artificial intelligence and machine learning without the right people training the technology.
Is Energy Storage Right for You?
Energy storage is known as the “Swiss army knife” of solutions because of its versatility and its ability to improve reliability, lower costs, and support sustainability goals at the same time. If you’re interested in learning more about how energy storage, standalone or paired with solar PV, can benefit your business or community, please contact us today.
Want to work with David?
Convergent is hiring. See our open positions here.
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