The nFront Transmission & Delivery Team
Highly experienced, capable and committed to your success
nFront Consulting team members bring extensive electric power industry experience to every assignment. Each member of the team demonstrates exceptional capabilities, experience, and the commitment to provide our clients with the information and insights needed to address their most pressing questions and challenges.
Transmission & Delivery Team
Jennifer B. Tripp, PE, MBA
Ms. Tripp has over 25 years in the energy industry with a specialty in transmission delivery and market issues. Her expertise includes transmission and market risk, transmission expansion and planning strategies, financing due diligence, transmission and resource planning oversight, transmission service and delivery strategies, security constrained economic dispatch oversight, open access transmission tariff support, nodal market congestion and losses assessments, wind curtailment mitigation strategies and resource integration support.
Ms. Tripp has served in several leadership positions with electric utilities, consulting firms, and a leading developer of wind generation. She has made presentations at many industry conferences.
Dr. Jean Bailie
Dr. Bailie is an economist with more than 25 years of experience in the energy and environmental industries, known nationally for her expertise in long-term market assessments, resource valuation, renewable energy, environmental policy analysis, and restructuring and bankruptcy support, integrated resource planning, contract review, and risk analysis. She has an established reputation for critical thinking, helping clients with complex energy issues associated with project financing, wholesale energy markets and regulation, environmental markets and regulation, resource valuation, contract negotiations, stochastic resource planning, and risk management. During her career, Jean has developed long-term energy, capacity, fuel, and renewable price forecasts across all of North America. Dr. Bailie’s educational background includes a B.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Cornell University.
Garrett Swank has been the technical, project and client management lead on numerous transmission planning and generation integration and delivery efforts involving power flow analyses, generation interconnection, network upgrades identification, transmission deliverability, and voltage stability. He leads power flow transmission assessments and is the Project Manager of many security-constrained economic dispatch (SCED) curtailment and congestion studies. The efforts involve evaluating transmission risks, power flows, and delivery impacts in all North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) regions in the U.S., as well as portions of Canada, and in addition to curtailment and congestion his assessments are used for identifying sites for potential interconnection, interconnection and network upgrades for new resources, evaluating regional interconnection queue and tariff information, and researching regional transmission expansion plans for modeling and identifying future risk to generating resource delivery efforts.
Mr. Swank’s knowledge of the contractual risks associated with the interconnection agreements and financial delivery agreements allows him to produce high quality transmission assessments quickly and effectively. Mr. Swank combines his technical background with a commitment to customer service to allow him to assist clients with the difficult decisions in today’s changing marketplace. He has performed interconnection reviews, transmission assessments and congestion/curtailment analysis for over 100 intermittent resources.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Mr. Swank was a Project Manager with R. W. Beck, Inc. and its successors, SAIC and Leidos, for 8 years. Mr. Swank’s educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Arizona State University.
Mr. McAuliffe is a senior consultant with 10 years of experience in the power industry working for both Independent Power Producers and a utility. In his roles he has performed transmission planning, fundamental market analysis, and portfolio analytics and optimization. He has strong understanding of security constrained economic dispatch analyses, capacity markets, and market issues. Mr. McAuliffe has experience in regional markets across North American including PJM, MISO, NYISO, ERCOT, and the Northwest Power Pool. He has worked with Ventyx Energy PROMOD® software, PSSE and TARA to evaluate impacts of transmission curtailments, market issues, and regulatory issues.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, LLC, Mr. McAuliffe worked at PPL and NRG.
J. Neil Copeland, PE
Mr. Copeland has over 19 years in the energy industry with a specialty in generation and transmission economic analysis. His expertise includes the following areas: Nodal Congestion & Curtailment Analysis, Long Range Resource Planning & Market Price Forecasting, Asset Valuation & Transactional Due Diligence, Nodal Market Cost/Benefit Analysis, Transmission Investment Analysis. As well as Expert Witness Testimony for: FERC, State, and Federal Jurisdictions.
Mr. Copeland has completed numerous consulting engagements for diverse stakeholders, including regulatory agencies, project developers, load-serving entities, generating companies, private equity firms and investment banks. Mr. Copeland has supported project development and financing for construction of new generation, refinancing of existing generation, and development of transmission. Mr. Copeland also has extensive experience with the use of commercial price forecasting tools such as the ABB/Ventyx PROMOD IV® software.
Mr. Copeland holds Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Mr. Croup has over 30 years of experience with performing technical transmission analyses to help utilities, lenders, equity investors, and developers understand the impact of transmission-related risks on their assets. He understands the complexities of the evolving transmission grid and the convergence of power markets, physical and contractual transmission limitations, and regulatory issues.
Mr. Croup is responsible for managing and conducting transmission analyses for security-constrained economic dispatch (SCED) congestion & curtailment analyses and tariff-related generator siting, interconnection and deliverability studies and has experience performing transmission system expansion planning studies, evaluating emerging physical and financial transmission rights; and supporting compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) standards. He has extensive experience with Hitachi PROMOD®, GE PSLF™ and PowerGem TARA software performing market and transmission-related studies in SPP, MISO and PJM.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting LLC, Mr. Croup was a Senior Consultant with R. W. Beck, Inc. and its successors, SAIC and Leidos, for 23 years. Mr. Croup’s educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Florida State University.
Mr. DeRidder has over 7 years in the renewable energy industry assisting clients with market risk assessment, transmission congestion risk analysis, energy price forecasting, and power purchase agreement reviews. Mr. DeRidder has performed long-term production cost simulation models and Security Constrained Economics Dispatch (SCED) models. Mr. DeRidder has managed and performed numerous SCED assessments for a wide range of renewable generation projects for asset owners, prospective buyers and financial lenders. The SCED analysis was used to evaluate transmission impacts for future transmission planning, power price forecasting for market projections and future revenue, congestion analysis between generating sources and load resources. Mr. DeRidder also quantified curtailment risk for future generation projects. The SCED analysis calculates Locational Marginal Pricing basis differentials between project nodes and market hubs representing congestion risk and understand the impact of current and future transmission upgrades and generator additions on the project nodes and revenue projections for the generating unit.
Mr. DeRidder began his professional career with Sargent & Lundy as a transmission line engineer in 2008. At Sargent & Lundy, Mr. DeRidder led and contributed to the design of multiple high voltage transmission line design projects for multiple utilities around the nation. Mr. DeRidder has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University. Mr. DeRidder currently has his Professional Engineering license in several states.
Ms. Grier has over 16 years of experience in the energy industry with a background in managing and conducting transmission assessments throughout all market regions in the United States to support lenders, equity investors, developers and utilities understand the impact of transmission-related issues on their assets. Ms. Grier understands the complexities of the evolving transmission grid and the convergence of power markets, physical and contractual transmission limitations, and regulatory issues. She has an excellent skill set in the areas of efficient and thorough project execution and client management to ensure client expectations are met.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Ms. Grier spent over 9 years with R. W. Beck, Inc. and its successors, SAIC and Leidos, Inc. serving as a multi-discipline project consultant across various sectors in the energy industry. During that time, she advanced her energy industry knowledge and now serves as a Director of the Eastern Interconnect with significant project execution and client management responsibilities.
Ms. Grier’s educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University.
Jill Kawakami has over 10 years of experience in the energy industry and has established herself as an expert in the power markets throughout the U.S. Her work has supported leveraged lease evaluations, bankruptcy restructurings, project financings and asset valuations. She has extensive knowledge in production cost and stochastic dispatch modeling for all generation resource types. Ms. Kawakami’s experience also includes conducting transmission congestion and curtailment analyses, including security-constrained economic dispatch (SCED) modeling.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Ms. Kawakami was an Associate Director at Filsinger Energy Partners. While at Filsinger Energy Partners, Ms. Kawakami managed the long-term market price forecasting models and conducted technical and economic analyses in support of market expert reports, asset valuations, project financings, and bankruptcy restructurings. Ms. Kawakami’s educational background includes a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Economics from the University of Colorado.
Mr. Ramirez has over 16 years of experience in the energy industry with a background in transmission delivery and asset management. His expertise includes Transmission Expansion and Planning Strategies, Project Management, Interconnection Feasibility, System Impact and Facilities Studies, Development of Process and Procedures for technical studies, NERC Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 Transmission System Planning Performance Requirements studies, CIP-014-1 Physical Security Reliability Standard studies, Operational planning analysis including seasonal assessments and outage studies and Operational Real-Time analysis including current and next day studies, security-constrained economic dispatch (SCED) curtailment and congestion studies in the Western Electric Coordinating Council (WECC) region. The efforts involve evaluating transmission risks, power flows, and delivery impacts in all WECC regions, and in addition to curtailment and congestion his assessments are used for identifying sites for potential interconnection, interconnection and network upgrades for new resources, evaluating regional interconnection queue and tariff information, and researching regional transmission expansion plans for modeling and identifying future risk to generating resource delivery efforts.
Mr. Ramirez has managed transmission and interconnection projects and provided guidance for the most reliable and economic expansion of transmission facilities. He has managed and performed transmission analyses for a wide range of generation interconnection and transmission service requests for generation asset owners. He understands the complexities of the evolving Bulk Electric System, physical and contractual transmission limitations, and regulatory issues. He has served as Subject Matter Expert (SME) for compliance requirements and reviewed the standards, updated and created Process and Procedures required to perform the technical studies needed to achieve compliance.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Mr. Ramirez was a Transmission Planner with Arizona Public Service for 9 years and later moved to a position as an operations Support Engineer with Western Area Power Administration for 2 years. Mr. Ramirez’s educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Arizona State University.
& Head of Corporate Compliance
With over twenty years of professional experience spanning across multiple business sectors, Ms. Bolton currently serves in the dual role with nFront as an Executive Consultant and Head of Corporate Compliance.
Early in her career, Ms. Bolton was introduced to the renewable energy industry while working as a legal assistant for Vail Resorts during its initial commitment to support the development of wind farms nationwide, which inspired her to study law and sustainability in wind and solar energy development while pursuing her Juris Doctorate at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Following law school, Ms. Bolton served as an Assistant Attorney General then transitioned to private practice where she represented small and large multinational clients in transactional and civil matters involving contract law, corporate and commercial law, employment law, real property and intellectual property law. Prior to joining nFront, Ms. Bolton spent five years as Corporate Legal Counsel and Director of Human Resources and Compliance where she focused on general legal matters, regulatory compliance, contractual due diligence and contracts lifecycle management, employment law and policy, executive operations, and organizational leadership.
At nFront, Ms. Bolton’s primary focus is on contractual risks in transmission interconnection and delivery for renewable resources and project management for projects across the US. She also supports the firm’s contract drafting and negotiation efforts while leading the company’s compliance and training programs.
Patty Cruz has over 20 years of experience in the energy industry. She supports the nFront Team in transmission congestion and curtailment analysis, including security-constrained economic dispatch (SCED) analysis in projects located in various regional transmission organizations such as PJM, MISO Energy, Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).
Before joining nFront Consulting, Ms. Cruz’s specialty was in utility organizational effectiveness. She helped clients achieve higher levels of performance and business transformation by evaluating the alignment of the organization against its strategic plan, leadership, corporate structure and culture. She worked with utilities to define their strategic direction and implement action plans to achieve their vision.
Ms. Cruz also worked with utility executives to enhance leadership skills and develop teams to lead the organization through with workforce issues, face industry challenges, conduct process redesign efforts to adapt to new technologies, and develop effective internal and external communication strategies. She is certified in the Birkman Method and Cultural Transformation Tools.
Ms. Cruz is fluent in both English and Spanish and has participated as a client interface, facilitator, and translator on multiple domestic and international Spanish language assignments.
Frank P. Gaffney
For more than 35 years, Mr. Gaffney served many clients and members, providing services including operations and strategic management, contract negotiations, project development, power systems engineering, transmission planning, transmission access, market analyses, congestion assessments, NERC and NAESB standards, due diligence and expert witness. Mr. Gaffney is an innovative, dynamic leader, consistently successful in envisioning and executing strategic change through collaboration. As Chief Operating Officer for an electric utility, and as National Director for a highly regarded consulting firm, he managed highly successful operations, with a generating fleet performing well above industry average in reliability and efficiency, and highly profitable and reputable consulting practices. He also successfully launched new services / projects for the businesses he served while building partnerships with key business decision makers. Throughout Mr. Gaffney’s career, he was recognized for his high integrity, leadership, insights, strategic thinking, communication skills, well-rounded knowledge and expertise, and creativity. Mr. Gaffney has a broad view of the industry having worked in multiple electric utility industry segments in various roles.
Ms. Borah has over 15 years of experience in energy market fundamentals, with a focus on electricity price forecasting and asset valuation built through combined industry and energy consulting experience. Her experience includes economic and financial analytics supporting the valuation and integration of generating resources given the changing market dynamics related to fuel prices, emissions regulations, renewable energy standards, energy and capacity market structures, ancillary service markets and transmission issues.
She has led and managed several studies associated with fundamental economic assessment of the US power markets, energy asset project valuations and hedge evaluations and has provided strategic and transactional support to energy companies, including project developers, utilities, and lenders. She has extensive experience with the development and utilization of long term production cost simulation models and Security Constrained Economic Dispatch models. Ms. Borah has developed long term power market outlook for various power markets and conducted economic dispatch analysis to provide market projections for future revenue, dispatch and margin estimates to support the valuation of power generating assets. She is experienced in renewable energy issues and have led studies to understand the impact of environmental regulations on generating assets economics.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting LLC, Ms. Borah was a Senior Project Manager with Leidos Engineering.
Linsey Grzeschik has over five years of experience in the energy industry. She primarily supports transmission congestion and curtailment analysis, including security-constrained economic dispatch (SCED) analysis and analysis of historical Location Marginal Price (LMP) data for the NYISO, ISO-NE and traditional Southeast markets. She is currently participating in numerous projects, providing a wide range of services, including research, data management, tool development, SCED and other analysis, and reporting.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Ms. Grzeschik spent five years with BP at its bp-Husky and Cherry Point Refineries as a materials/corrosion and reliability engineer. During that time, she grew her knowledge in the energy industry before moving to a focus on renewables. Ms. Grzeschik’s educational background includes a B.S. in Corrosion Engineering from the University of Akron. She is the 2020 Tallow Chandlers Technologist Award recipient.
Mrs. McGrath-Agg has over 7 years of experience in the energy industry. She primarily supports transmission congestion and curtailment analysis, including security-constrained economic dispatch (SCED) analysis and historical data analysis using Velocity Suite™ and S&P Global databases. She currently participates in projects in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), providing a wide range of services, including: data management, market, generation and transmission expansion research and reporting; and transmission service, interconnection, and open-access transmission support; and transmission assessment reporting support.
Prior to joining nFront, Mrs. McGrath-Agg spent over 5 years at the bp Cherry Point Refinery as a Compliance Specialist where she focused on environmental issues, incident management, and assisted with audits. She has also held roles in a variety of industries including: composite manufacturing (Quality and HSE Director), power system solutions (Program Manager), retained executive search (Executive Assistant), the golf industry (Employment Coordinator), a major hospital (Training and Development), and non-profits (Advancement Assistant and Program Assistant). Mrs. McGrath-Agg’s educational background includes a B.S. in Journalism and Art, and a Business Administration Minor from the University of Oregon.
Andrea McLean has over five years of experience in the energy industry. She primarily supports transmission congestion and curtailment analysis, including security-constrained economicd dispatch (SCED) analysis and analysis of historical Location Marginal Price (LMP) data using Velocity Suite and S&P Global databases. She is currently participating in numerous projects, providing a wide range of services, including research, data management, tool development, SCED and other analysis, and reporting.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Ms. McLean spent five years with BP at its Cherry Point Refinery as a project manager and fixed equipment engineer. During that time, she grew her knowledge in the energy industry before moving to a focus on renewables. Ms. McLean’s educational background includes a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University.
Riley Sloan has over nine years of experience in the energy industry with a specialty in information systems and industrial communications & infrastructure. He actively supports analytical processes associated with projects by leveraging geographic information systems and business intelligence tools to conduct market research and build industry insights. He aids in developing information management capabilities, reports, diagrams, and other key products.
Before joining nFront Consulting, Mr. Sloan spent eight years with bp at its Cherry Point Refinery consulting on content management systems and later training and leading a team of service engineers in the infrastructure technology discipline. During that time, he managed digital applications and products with global teams and developed digital mobility strategies for plant operators in the field.
Mr. Sloan earned his B.A. in Decision Sciences, Management Information Systems from Western Washington University.
Lyndi Stein has over 15 years of experience in business, management, and technical consulting, focusing largely on business analysis, thorough market and systems analysis, and critical thinking. With experience in transmission and delivery systems and renewable energy, Stein is involved in strategic support, diligent analysis of contracts and market risks, and manages multiple transmission congestion and curtailment projects, focused largely in PJM and within the Eastern Interconnect.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Stein spent time as a business owner and management consultant with a national consulting firm, leading and facilitating teams of executives for international companies through strategic planning sessions. Stein also worked as a consultant with the Transmission & Delivery team for SAIC. Stein’s educational background includes a BSEE from the University of Florida and an MBA from Belmont University. Through her leadership and facilitation skills, and detailed analytical experience, she now serves as a Senior Consultant.
Mr. Stewart has over 16 years of experience in the energy industry as an engineer focusing on transmission planning and operations. His expertise includes transmission expansion planning, renewable generation interconnections, power flow and stability analyses, short circuit analyses, project management, NERC Reliability Standards compliance, process and procedure development, operational planning and real-time assessments, and power system modeling. Mr. Stewart is an accomplished engineering professional with a strong technical background, and a deep understanding of the electrical utility industry. He has performed numerous transmission and generation studies to meet NERC compliance, improve the reliability of the Bulk Electric System (BES), and provide high quality customer products and services. He has also developed and managed capital improvement projects by optimizing system economics, reliability, operating flexibility, and risk.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting in 2018, Mr. Stewart spent 3 years at Western Area Power Administration as an Operations Support Engineer. Prior to that, he was a Transmission Planning and Operations Engineer with Arizona Public Service for 8 years. Mr. Stewart’s educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University.
Ms. Bucuru has over 3 years in the energy industry with a background in transmission planning. Her expertise includes Interconnection Feasibility, System Impact and Total Transfer Capability studies, and power flow and stability analyses. Ms. Bucuru has participated in the preparation of computer-based models and performing studies on utility transmission systems and industrial/commercial electrical power systems. She has worked as Project Lead and provided mentoring and supervision to designers, and junior level engineers. She has contributed to the preparation of engineering deliverables such as reports and studies while applying knowledge of engineering principles to prescribed techniques and procedures to complete project assignments.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Ms. Bucuru spent three years with Power Engineers Inc. as a Transmission Planning Engineer in the Power System Consulting Services Department. During that time, she developed her professional skills and knowledge in the energy industry. Her educational background includes a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Arizona State University. She also has an A.S. degree and an A.A.S. degree in Engineering Technology from Glendale Community College.
Justin Freeman is a consultant in the energy industry with two years of experience. He primarily supports transmission congestion and curtailment analysis including grid and constraint mapping, analysis of historical locational marginal pricing (LMP) data using Hitachi Energy Velocity Suite and S&P Global databases and providing support for inputs and outputs to security-constrained economic dispatch studies. He supports numerous projects simultaneously while providing services such as research, data analysis, and reporting.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Mr. Freeman spent 3 years at BAE Systems as a project engineer in the defense industry. During that time, he grew his skills with project management, data analysis, and product development before making the switch to the energy industry. His educational background includes a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Grand Canyon University.
Mr. Heater has just started in the energy industry with a specialty in transmission delivery and market issues. He primarily supports transmission congestion and curtailment analysis including grid and constraint mapping, analysis of historical Location Marginal Price (LMP) data using velocity Suite and S&P Global databases and providing support for inputs and outputs to Security Constrained Economic Dispatch studies. He can support numerous projects simultaneously while providing services such as research, data analysis, and reporting.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Mr. Heater spent nearly a year in the engineering consulting industry at IMEG as an Electrical Designer. He then spent 6 months working as a Test Engineer for Microchip Technology. During that time, he developed his professional skills such as design, data analysis and project development before making the switch to the energy industry. His educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Grand Canyon University.
Mr. Naveira has over 11 years of experience in the energy industry. He currently participates in numerous projects, providing a range of services, including but not limited to, grid and constraint mapping, analysis of historical Location Marginal Prices (LMP) using multiple databases, and created numerous data management tools in support for inputs and outputs for Security Constrained Economic Dispatch studies.
Mr. Naveira educational background includes a A.S. degree in in Computer Programming & Analysis, and a A.S. degree in Database Technology. He has proven ability to analyze and manage complex data and large datasets. His expertise is in data manipulation, analysis and reporting through programming code and creating databases.
Prior to joining nFront Consulting, Jacob Perry spent 2 years working as a reliability engineer for BP. During that time, he gained valuable insights into the intricacies of the energy industry and showcased his proficiency by creating Finite Element and Computational Fluid Dynamics models. His work at BP laid a strong foundation for his subsequent career in the renewable energy sector.
In his role as Consultant with nFront, Mr. Perry primarily focuses on transmission congestion and curtailment analysis including grid and constraint mapping, analysis of historical locational marginal pricing (LMP) data and providing support for security-constrained economic dispatch (SCED) models. He leverages his data analytics and coding skillset to compile and analyze large datasets to develop processes and tools supporting the management and integration of the data. His commitment to excellence and versatility is evident as he effectively contributes to numerous projects simultaneously, offering a wide array of services such as research, data interpretation, and comprehensive reporting. Additionally, he has made notable contributions to the firm by developing innovative software solutions that systematically enhance the modeling process, further elevating the Company’s capabilities.
Mr. Perry’s educational background is equally impressive, with a B.S. and M.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University. His academic achievements and practical experience have molded him into a well-rounded professional who brings theoretical knowledge and hands-on expertise to the table.
Ms. Kupetz is the nFront Business Manager. She manages matters pertaining to benefits programs, employee onboarding, corporate records, business planning, project set-up and records maintenance, invoicing, accounts receivables, and some client analytical assignments.
Ms. Kupetz’s over 35 years of business experience includes a wide variety of organizational, financial, and analytical work. Prior to joining nFront Consulting, she served as an intelligence officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, as a financial analyst for Neiman Marcus, scheduling coordinator for US Senator John Warner, and owner of a successful piano studio. Ms. Kupetz earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgetown University.