Three Top Energy Talents Join Industry Innovator Enovation Partners

Three Top Energy Talents Join Industry Innovator Enovation Partners

CHICAGO, Ill., May 24, 2017 – Enovation Partners announced that Matt McKenna, B. “Venki” Venkateshwara, and Tom Williams have joined Enovation Partners as it continues to rapidly build its strategy and organizational transformation capabilities. 

Matt McKenna, a senior Booz (and Strategy&) veteran has joined Enovation Partners as an Advisor. Mr. McKenna brings 30 years of experience in combining rigorous, fact-based analysis with real-world practicality to deliver world-class performance improvement to the world’s largest utilities, oil & gas, and chemical companies. Matt has worked around the world, with a recent focus on supply chain, asset optimization, major capital program effectiveness, and technology-driven productivity improvements for the electricity T&D and generation sectors as well as for midstream.

“Venki” Venkateshwara has joined Enovation as a Principal in the Washington D.C. office. Mr. Venkateshwara is a well-known strategist, economist, and regulatory expert who has served senior management teams in the electricity industry for the past three decades in roles at McKinsey, Charles River Associates, Areva, Con Edison, ICF, and Siemens.  Most recently, he has focused on assisting clients take advantage of the rapid growth of renewables and DER (Distributed Energy Resources).  

Tom Williams, organizational transformation expert and co-author of The Agility Factor: Building Adaptable Organizations for Superior Performance, has joined Enovation Partners as an Advisor. Over the past three decades, Mr. Williams has worked across numerous industry sectors around the world, guiding large organizational transformations for dozens of corporations as a senior leader.  Most recently, he has focused on partnering with senior leadership teams at leading midstream companies to redefine their culture and business systems as the sector experiences historic growth and change.

“We are delighted to be able to attract this caliber and diversity of talent to Enovation”, said Bob Zabors, CEO of Enovation Partners. “Our work at the forefront of innovation in the energy sector makes us a natural ‘home’ for top tier energy professionals who want to have a real impact on their clients and the industry. We are very pleased to welcome Venki, Matt, and Tom to the team.”


Enovation Partners is a strategy consulting and analytics firm dedicated to growth and innovation in the energy sector.  Enovation employs experienced teams and proprietary analytics to deliver real, rapid impact. Enovation Partners was named one of the “Seven Small Jewels” of the consulting industry in 2017 by Consulting magazine. Enovation has offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C, and London.  Energy + Innovation = Enovation™ (


Media Relations

Presentation - ESA Conference

Presentation - ESA Conference

The Lazard Levelized Cost of Storage (LCOS) Survey is the most comprehensive survey of project costs in the industry, with over 120 companies participating last year.

As expected, the LCOS shows that costs are coming down across most technologies and use cases, with expectations for sustained cost reductions in the next few years. This is showcased through the continued cost reductions of lithium ion batteries, the introduction of promising new technologies such as flow batteries into commercial production, or the revitalization of existing technologies like lead through the adoption of carbon nanoparticles to enhance capability.

Cost reduction trends vary across technologies, highlighting a partial lack of standardization in costing and configurations. As we are still in the early commercial stage of technical development, these trends are expected to continue through improved material sourcing and manufacturing improvements. “Soft Costs” – deployment and operating expenses are expected to be significant areas of cost improvement going forward.


These falling costs hold the promise of opening up extensive new markets in the coming years – especially for the combined use cases that can greatly enhance the value of deployed storage assets.

Page 11 ESA Price is Right. Enovation - LCOS. 042017.vS.jpg

Based on Enovation Partner’s current research into the C&I market, these cost reductions of storage assets are a key determinate for adoption. Based on a survey of 500 energy management decision makers, 20% of or respondents seriously considered adopting energy storage systems on site, but did not implement a deployment—with 80% citing economics being the dominant motivation for decisions.


For more information contact: Daniel Gabaldon

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Find Enovation Partners at these upcoming energy industry events

Cleantech Europe

Cleantech Europe

Cleantech Forum Europe 2017 in Helsinki, Finland May 16-18

Risk and Performance Assurance

Risk and Performance Assurance

Risk and Performance Assurance Case Study of Gas Utility pipeline inspection, predictive analytics, and benchmarking operations risk for industry compliance.

Enovation Partners named to 2017's Seven Small Jewels



Consulting magazine's honor highlights consultancies "that are shaking up the profession"

February 15, 2017, ChicagoConsulting magazine has named Enovation Partners to its annual list of “Seven Small Jewels”—seven smaller consultancies that are breaking new ground in terms of firm management and financial performance.
“We’re honored to be one of 2017’s small jewels and to be listed with such an impressive group of firms,” said Enovation CEO and founding partner Bob Zabors.
Enovation Partners, which made Consulting’s “Seven to Watch” list in 2016, has seen impressive growth since it began. According to Zabors, Enovation identified three trends when its partners founded the firm in 2013: An emerging wave of technology innovation moving the energy market toward an increasingly distributed and renewable future; natural gas displacing other fossil fuels; and consumers and regulators developing new expectations for reliability, interaction, and sustainability.
“We wanted to facilitate this transition and work with companies to shape the new energy landscape,” said Zabors.
“We’ve been able to work with a broad set of clients--utilities, energy retailers, developers, suppliers, startups, private equity investors, and family offices,” said Zabors. “In turn, working across such a group has helped us expand our innovation capabilities, data sets, and analytics.” For Enovation, enhancing analytics and research are avenues of future growth, he said.
“We have a highly collaborative culture of sharing and challenging ideas and pushing ourselves to innovate, while we help clients do the same,” he added.
In January 2016, Enovation acquired the Cleantech Group, which serves to advance innovation and resource efficiency across sectors. Cleantech connects innovators and investors through events, research, and its i3 platform--an interactive database of more than 24,000 innovative companies.

Zabors also cited his group’s partnerships with WestRiver Management and Silicon Valley Bank, and with the Gas Technology Institute as an early catalyst.

We are in a generational shift, said Zabors. The expectation is that energy will be more renewable, that transportation will be electrified, that distributed technology will be pervasive, and that consumers and investors will look for more controllable and sustainable options.
"What attracts people to our consulting mission is also what poses the greatest challenges—staying ahead of the curve in an increasingly global market for innovation," said Zabors. "We help clients create new ideas and businesses and invest in where the markets will be in the future. It's exciting and, by definition, uncertain."

About Enovation Partners

Enovation Partners focuses on areas of rapid growth and innovation in the energy sector—including distributed energy resources, natural gas infrastructure, and venture investment—and provides strategic advice, advanced analytics and research, and networking opportunities (through its Cleantech Group affiliate). Enovation is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

Global Cleantech 100 Companies

Global Cleantech 100 Companies

The Global Cleantech 100 most innovative companies was announced on January 23, 2017 at the Cleantech Forum San Francisco

Levelized Cost of Storage 2.0

Levelized Cost of Storage 2.0

Lazard's LCOS 2.0 has been released. Enovation Partners collaborated with Lazard on the methodology and analysis. 

Solar Survey 2016

Solar Survey 2016

DEFG and Enovation Partners Customer Surveys Point to Significant Impacts of Residential Solar on Utility Customer Service Strategy and Operations

Cleantech Group Joins Enovation Partners

Press Release
January 19, 2016

Enovation Partners Welcomes Cleantech Group to Its Growing Network of Capabilities

Deal underscores how advanced technologies and innovative business models have become a strategic priority among energy companies, industrials, and investors.

Chicago, London, and San Francisco. January, 19, 2016 – Enovation Partners, LLC, one of the preeminent advisory services firms in the energy and infrastructure sectors, has acquired Cleantech Group, the leading global network for deploying sustainable innovations in energy and beyond.

Cleantech has moved rapidly from an aspirational set of technologies and business models to a foundation of strategy planning and innovation across industries.

“Since 2002, when it coined ‘cleantech,’ Cleantech Group has been at the forefront of new energy technology commercialization,” said Robert Zabors, CEO and founding director of Enovation Partners. “Its successful efforts to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate venture groups, through its well know events and its i3 Connect platform, have been instrumental in accelerating cleantech’s drive into the economy.”

“Combining those strengths with Enovation’s strategic advisory capabilities is a natural extension of both group’s missions,” Zabors said.

“Investment in sustainable technologies and the rate of customer adoption continue to progress,” said incoming Cleantech Group CEO Richard Youngman, former managing director of Cleantech Europe and Asia and partner with Enovation in the acquisition. “Together we will offer high-quality services for an international network of entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, energy companies and other industrials.”

The Cleantech Group assets are being acquired by an Enovation Partners, LLC, subsidiary, which will continue Cleantech Group’s brand and identity.  The expanded group will maintain offices in Chicago, Boston, London, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

About Cleantech Group

Cleantech Group connects sustainable innovation, finance, and corporate support in several ways

  • Its events in North America and Europe are the premier intelligence and networking events for corporates, investors, start-ups, and government officials. Cleantech Forum San Francisco 2016 takes place January 25-27. Cleantech Forum Europe 2016 takes place in Lyon, France, April 11-13.  The San Francisco Forum will see the release of the group’s annual Global Cleantech 100 and Award Winners – the top private innovation companies in clean technology.
  • The group’s online i3 Connect subscription platform allows corporates, venture capitalists, investors, economic development agencies, and universities to find and vet start-ups, list targets, and connect directly with start-up decision makers.  Subscribers gain access to proprietary intelligence on 24,000+ companies in (among other areas) energy efficiency, energy storage, smart grid, solar,water, and urban growth.

About Enovation Partners

Established in 2013, Enovation works with electric and gas companies, new ventures, suppliers, investors, and large consumers to drive innovation and growth across energy and related industries. Enovation’s team includes top-tier strategy consultants and former industry executives, energy investors, regulators, and developers.

  • Enovation focuses on strategy in the context of the exponential growth of distributed energy and technologies, and the disruptive effects of innovation in renewables and natural gas.
  • Its work includes business model innovation, helping to accelerate investment, commercialize new technologies and improve business practices
  • In distributed energy resources, Enovation has developed ground-breaking cost-comparison benchmarking for storage technologies and applications, as well as tools to locate DER opportunities and threats for utilities, developers, and large energy users.
  • The group also works with natural gas utilities using advanced analytics to reduce risk and environmental impact, and improve productivity in construction, operations, and leak detection.

For more information on the transaction, the role of cleantech in today’s energy economy, Cleantech Group and Enovation Partners, or to speak with Robert Zabors or Richard Youngman…

Eric Blume
Director of Communications
Enovation Parters, LLC

Stephen Marcus
Director of Business Development
Cleantech Group, Inc.

Heather Matheson
Senior Program Manager
Cleantech Group, Inc.

Levelized Cost of Energy Storage - LCOS 1.0

Levelized Cost of Energy Storage - LCOS 1.0


The first substantial comparison of energy storage costs, technologies, and applications -  "Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis" was released on November 18th by investment bank Lazard.  The groundbreaking study was developed in consultation and partnership with Enovation Partners.

Energy Overload

Cover Article in Consulting Magazine

 "Decreasing oil and natural gas prices, regulatory transformation and technological disruption means an increase in demand for innovative utility consultants ready to help clients meet the demands of a new energy consumer."

by Robert Zabors

“To a large degree, it’s about helping people build new companies, new ventures, or new business models,” says Enovation Partners’ founding director Bob Zabors, regarding energy storage challenges.

Second Year of Innovation and Growth

In July 2013, we created a dynamic and close-knit partnership—a new kind of consultancy with a vision to help companies innovate and grow in a changing energy world.The industry is still in the early stages of fundamental change. As such, successful innovation will create increasing returns for companies. That will not come simply from implementing an “innovation process,” but rather from making informed decisions and actually doing things differently, and well. Our goal is to support incumbents, investors, and entrepreneurs all along the way, regardless of the traditional boundaries and structure of consulting firms.Over the last two years, this innovation model—featuring teams where every person has deep energy and infrastructure expertise—has helped to deliver great results for leading utilities, retailers, developers, EPCs, manufacturers, midstream, entrepreneurs, and private equity investors

In the last year, Enovation Partners’ own growth has been phenomenal: We’ve doubled our team, revenues, and client base… and we keep growing.

New Programs

A meaningful basis for discussing the costs and benefits of energy storage. We’re working with global investment bank Lazard to establish a levelized cost of storage—much likeLazard’s widely followed levelized cost of energy—for a set of common storage use cases to help investors, suppliers, and utilities make informed business decisions about storage. Utilities also benefit from our innovative energy storage workshops, delivered by storage experts, designed to help management teams define a coherent storage strategy and decide where and when to invest.

Advanced analytics to ensure gas system integrity. We’re partnering with Space Time Insight and others to apply data science and statistical quality control to natural gas integrity management—including diagnostics, risk-based compliance assurance, situational intelligence, and predictive analytics.

A “heat map” for distributed generation. We’ve developed models and tools to quantify the adoption path of distributed energy resources (e.g., solar, storage, asset-backed demand response) across a full range of tariff and regulatory regimes and to support investment decisions for developers, suppliers, and utilities.

New ways to access innovative technologies. Leveraging private equity and nonregulated investment experiences of our team, we’re helping utilities and PE firms build low-cost, highly effective capabilities to uncover and invest in promising energy technologies.

Integration strategies for DR, DG, and commodities to benefit commercial and industrial customers. We’re combining our understanding of regulation, markets, and technology to help retailers and utilities harness rapidly evolving behind-the-meter technologies and rules to create more value for C&I customers.

Carbon intensity strategies for generation fleets. We’re helping generators throughout the 111(d) process, from identifying which options make economic sense, to leveraging our team’s experience in project development to get iron in the ground. We’re helping define “gas beyond the grid” projects to reduce the use of oil. And we’ve helped launch community solar programs that accelerate adoption of PV in a low-cost model.

New People

Erik Anderson (Advisor), president of WestRiver Management, focuses on developing innovation platforms by providing integrated capital solutions… Brad Barton is the former Director of Commercialization, U.S. Department of Energy and an expert in new technology investing and management consulting… Ron Bertasi (Affiliate Director), former CEO of Southern Company gas and energy services affiliates, has deep experience in strategy and private equity… Wally Buran handles enterprise transformation, strategy implementation, and energy supply chain effectiveness… Matt Guarini, former CIO of National Grid US, drives strategy design and implementation, marketing, operational effectiveness, and global sourcing… Shaunt Hartounian (Advisor) is a leader in CNG and LNG development for transportation… Ken-Ichi Hino targets business development, growth, and acquisition strategies for distributed energy resources… Robin McConnachiesupports energy consulting teams for maximum effect… Mike Nolan focuses on global solution management, process design and implementation, and market strategy… Benjamin Ziser brings a background in international utility development and innovative grid automation

In addition to new partnerships with Lazard and Space Time Insights, our affiliation with the GasTechnology Institute has addeda distinctive capability with transformational work in natural gas and emerging technology. And last month we were delighted to see the American Gas Association and GTI’s CEO David Carroll begin the three-year “American” presidency of the International Gas Union.

It has also been a year of presentations and participation at some of the industry’s most important meetings: EEI’s Strategic Issues Roundtables, Financial Conference, and Annual Convention; the Energy Storage Association’s Annual Conference and Investment Conference; AGA’s Financial Forums; the World Gas Conference; Intersolar; SPI; NARUC; World Fuels; and many more, with more to come.

The Future

As we start our third year, it will be a critical one for the evolution of distributed resources, the utility model, innovations in finance, and the global gas industry.

Thanks for your support over our first two years, and we look forward to announcing many more innovations in the months ahead!!!

Space-Time Insight and Enovation Partners Collaborate to Bring Real-Time Visual Analytics to Natural Gas Operations

Space-Time Insight and Enovation Partners Collaborate to Bring RealTime Visual Analytics to Natural Gas Operations

Chicago, Il. and San Mateo, Calif., June 24, 2015Space‐Time Insight, the leading provider of next-generation situational intelligence solutions, is teaming with Enovation Partners, advisors to the energy and infrastructure industries focusing on innovation and growth, to provide advanced visualization and predictive analytics to natural gas transmission and distribution operators.

Natural gas is currently experiencing increased demand thanks to low costs, growing supplies, and reduced environmental impact compared to traditional power generation. In many regions, transmission and distribution pipeline operators are strengthening and expanding their systems, leading to new capex, income and shareholder value. While new build is on the rise, there remain significant T&D assets that are aging. Despite growing pressure for new levels of safety from customers and regulators, the frequency of recent pipeline incidents has remained constant and severity has been trending slightly upward.

Space-Time Insight combines data from many different pipeline sources to provide real-time spatial analysis and help companies anticipate system problems and maintenance – and provide not only compliance assurance to regulators and customers, but also advanced approaches to gas integrity management. This allows professionals in pipeline-related businesses to address their toughest challenges:

  • Achieving maximum risk reduction per dollar invested through robust, dynamic evaluation of the health, criticality and risk of their asset portfolios  
  • Employing multiple data source for real-time intervention to avoid potential system incidents
  • Reducing complexity, cost, and risk by implementing a consistent approach to asset condition assessment and reliability centered maintenance
  • Deploying an end-to-end methodology for efficient and effective asset investment planning

Enovation Partners and its natural gas team offer a comprehensive integrity management assessment program and a solution focused on risk-based compliance assurance for construction, leak detection and other inspection functions. Now, in collaboration with Space-Time Insight, Enovation can enhance those programs with cutting-edge situational intelligence and predictive analytics.

“First and foremost, transmission and distribution operators have to provide assurances to the public, employees, investors, and regulators that they can manage their pipelines safely and effective,” said Matthew Guarini, Director at Enovation Partners. “Whether operators are in the upstream, midstream, or downstream segment, they require real-time analytics that can actually use the mountains of data available from their assets to identify and act on operational events and optimize planning.”

“To solve the most critical challenges that natural gas pipeline operators face, Space-Time Insight sought a partner with recognized strengths in the gas T&D industry and specifically integrity management,” said Ajay Madwesh, VP Utilities IBU and Solutions, Space-Time Insight. “The combination of Enovation Partners’ extensive gas experience and the real-time analytics capabilities of Space-Time Insight creates the precise knowledge suppliers need to provide safe, reliable and affordable service.”

About Enovation Partners

Enovation Partners, is an advisory firm focused on growth and innovation in the energy sector, serving leading utilities, suppliers and investors. We serve clients using multidisciplinary teams of seasoned energy experts — top tier strategy consultants, former industry executives, energy investors, and developers—that combine expertise in technology, operations, regulation and markets to produce real business results, rapidly For more information, please visit

About Space-Time Insight

Space-Time Insight helps companies in asset-intensive industries make faster, more-informed decisions. Our real-time visual analytics applications correlate, analyze, and visualize large volumes of business, operational and external data, spatially, over time and across network nodes. Space-Time Insight’s award-winning software powers mission-critical systems for some of the largest companies around the world, including eight of the twenty largest US utilities, helping them reliably, efficiently and economically deliver services and rapidly plan for and respond to a full range of operating events. Space-Time Insight partners with leaders in the industry including Accenture, Esri, IBM, NEC, OSIsoft, SAP, Siemens and Unicorn Systems. Space-Time Insight is privately held and based in San Mateo, CA. For more information, visit

Space-Time Insight is a registered trademark of Space-Time Insight Inc.

For more information:

Eric R. Blume
Enovation Partners, LLC

Drew Smith
Blanc & Otus