MSU’s Energy Future

A recording of the MSU Energy webcast is available below. To learn more about the announcements made during “A Conversation with President Simon about MSU’s Energy Future”, read the MSUToday story.

On April 8, 2015, President Lou Anna K. Simon, along with other distinguished panelists , discussed how updates to MSU’s energy infrastructure and emerging partnerships will position the institution as a leader in sustainability among top research institutions.

MSU’s Energy Transition Plan

As one of the world’s top research universities and one of the nation’s top sustainable campuses, MSU is committed to transitioning to cleaner, more renewable energy sources.

The Energy Transition Plan serves as a high-level, strategic plan to guide the university’s energy future. The plan outlines three primary goals:

  1. Improve the physical environment
  2. Invest in sustainable energy research and development
  3. Become an educational leader in sustainable energy

Meet the Panelists

Lou Anna K. Simon

Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon

President, Michigan State University

Lou Anna K. Simon, the 20th president of Michigan State University, leads the university’s work to advance the common good in Michigan and around the world. An MSU graduate, she began her career at Michigan State after earning her doctorate in 1974. From there, she moved into a variety of administrative roles, including assistant provost for general academic administration, associate provost, and provost and vice president for academic affairs. The MSU Board of Trustees appointed her president in January 2005.

As president, Simon has engaged Michigan State in a strategic and transformative journey to adapt the principles of the land-grant tradition to 21st-century challenges. She has expanded MSU’s reach in the state and around the world by focusing the university’s strengths on solutions that enhance and protect quality of life: clean and affordable energy, access to education, safe and plentiful food, and health care.
- Read Dr. Simon’s full bio here.

Wolfgang Bauer

Dr. Wolfgang Bauer

Senior Consultant to the Executive Vice President and University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University

Dr. Wolfgang Bauer received his Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of Giessen in Germany and joined the faculty at Michigan State University and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory in 1988. From February 2001 to May 2013 he served as department chair for MSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and from March 2009 to May 2013 he was also the founding director of the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER). Currently he works as Senior Consultant in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Administrative Services at MSU. His main scholarly interests are computational physics, nuclear theory, physics education research, and renewable energy.

Garrick Rochow

Garrick Rochow

Vice President of Customer Experience, Rates & Regulation and Quality for Consumers Energy

Garrick J. Rochow is vice president of customer experience, rates & regulation, and quality for Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy. He was named to this position in January 2015 and serves in the role of chief customer officer.

Rochow is responsible for overall customer experience and satisfaction. He also is responsible for budget planning, regulatory strategy, rate case preparation and proceedings, and the company’s relationship with the Michigan Public Service Commission, as well as the company’s quality initiative.

Prior to his current role, Rochow served as Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer operations and quality since 2013.
- Read Mr. Rochow’s full bio here.

Gary Farha

Gary Farha

Founder, President and CEO, CustomerFirst Renewables

Gary Farha is President and CEO of CustomerFirst Renewables (CFR), an innovative Washington, DC-based renewable energy integrator focused on delivering competitively and predictably priced green electricity solutions directly to large businesses and institutions.

Prior to founding CFR in 2010, Farha was a senior partner and energy practice leader at McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s premier global management consulting firms. He was also Vice President of Growth and Innovation at Danaher Corporation, a Fortune 150 diversified technology company.

Farha earned an MBA from the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University and is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He is a past member of the Broad School’s alumni board and currently serves on the board of EverSafe, a technology company that protects seniors against financial exploitation.

Jennifer Battle

Jennifer Battle

Panel Moderator

Director of Strategic Initiatives, Michigan State University

Jennifer Battle, formerly the Director of Campus Sustainability—a department responsible for sustainability education, outreach, and communication for Michigan State University—currently serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for MSU's Infrastructure Planning and Facilities unit.

Battle became the Director of Campus Sustainability in 2013. Prior to that, she served in several campus roles related to environmental stewardship and sustainability including project coordinator in the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Operations and assistant director of Campus Sustainability.

Battle has led many sustainability efforts at MSU, including the development of the Energy Transition Plan; creation of the annual Sustainability Report; and engagement opportunities such as the Be Spartan Green Student Project Fund.

Battle holds a bachelor’s degree in food science and a specialization in connected learning from MSU, and a master of business administration in management from the University of Michigan—Flint.