Chief Technologist, GridSTART
Leon joined the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute in 2012 as a faculty Specialist where he has spearheaded the formation of GridSTART (Grid System Technologies Advanced Research Team), an HNEI research team focused on the integration and analysis of energy technologies and power systems, including smart grid and micro grid applications. He was with the Hawaiian Electric Company for 19 years prior serving in numerous management roles, most recently directing the System Integration Department. His career at Hawaiian Electric has included management responsibilities for renewable energy planning and integration, smart grid planning and projects, distribution planning, transmission planning, generation resource planning and procurement, the purchase and distribution of fuel to all utility generating plants, and the negotiation of power purchase contracts for the Hawaiian Electric companies. Leon directed major programs across the utility companies, including Hawaiian Electric’s initiative to integrate large-scale wind energy resources via a proposed HVDC undersea cable system to Oahu. Leon is also a licensed attorney and worked in private law practice in Hawaii and has held the position of Associate General Counsel at Hawaiian Electric. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a J.D. from the University of Hawaii.