James Heath

Principal, New Ventures Development

Southern Co.

James Heath is a principal in New Ventures Development at Southern Co. where he focuses on strategic investing and the development of new products and services. Mr. Heath oversees Southern's investment in Energy Impact Partners (EIP) and works closely with subsidiary PowerSecure to grow Southern's unregulated business activities on a national scale. Prior to joining Southern, Heath was a part of Accenture Strategy where he focused on the Utility of the Future advising a wide range of clients on growth opportunities and business model transformation. He was an associate at Constellation Technology Ventures (CTV), Exelon's internal venture capital group, where he executed investments in energy efficiency, storage, electric vehicles and more. Heath started his career in energy with EcoSecurities developing small-scale renewables and GHG emissions reductions projects globally. He has an MBA from Georgetown University, an MSc from the University of Oxford, and a BS from Texas A&M University.

Electric utilities are in a period of transition. After more than a century confined to a centralized business model, utilities find themselves confronted with a changing landscape for technology and customer preferences. Customers want to decarbonize, requiring utilities to add gig upon gig of intermittent renewable energy. Customers are increasingly efficient, and onsite generation such as solar and fuel cells are increasingly competitive with grid supplied power. Yet the role of the electric utility is more important than ever as customers look to electrify new elements of their lives such as transportation. Southern Co. has taken a proactive approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the winds of technology and customer change by investing in innovation. We are working closely with all of our customer segments – residential, commercial, and industrial – to understand how their energy needs are changing so that we can develop, partner with-, and investing in the technologies that will power the electric industry of the future.

Presentation: Yes, Utilities Innovate

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