Energy & Utilities

Build a Future-Proofed Utility

Technological advancement, policy shifts and climate change are interrelated megatrends that will shape the future of the utility. Infrastructure managers - namely utilities - across the US are all preparing for what could be a much different role in coming years and decades without sacrificing safety and reliability for their customers.

While infrastructure naturally lags behind technological advancement, utility business models face increasing risksーand rising costs of inaction.

A “future-proofed” utility is not just forward-thinking but nimble, duly able to operate and maintain state-of-the-art infrastructure reliably while evaluating and adopting new technologies on the fly. Couple this discipline with a process for opening new revenue generation opportunitiesーlike technology spin-outsーand you curate a lasting immunity from market and policy threats.

What We Offer

“Spin-in” ProblemSpace Challenges

“Spin-out” Monetizing Innovation

Resilience Strategy and Bespoke Consulting

Cleantech Market Opportunity Scans

ADL Energy & Utilities Leadership


Chris Richardson


Chris is Partner-in-charge of ADL Ventures’ Energy & Transportation practices. A serial entrepreneur, Chris previously worked in energy and transportation strategy consulting and led demand response product marketing at EnerNOC (now Enel X). Chris has an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and an MBA (with honors) from the University of Chicago (Booth).

Jeff McAulay


Jeff is an applied technologist with a track record of new product development in multiple startup companies and larger established businesses. Most recently he launched solar and storage partnerships at EnerNOC. Prior to EnerNOC he co-founded the Fraunhofer TechBridge program to accelerate commercialization of cleantech startups. Jeff has technical degrees from MIT and Boston University.

BSilton - Headshot - small - B&W

Ben Silton

Senior Principal

Ben is a data and analytics specialist focused on finding efficient ways to make our economy cleaner. Previously, Ben launched the analytics and customer success programs at Divert, a startup tackling retail food waste through an innovative IoT platform and anaerobic digestion. Ben has a joint bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Virginia Spilman

Senior Principal

Ginny brings deep financial and operational experience to her work at ADL. Previously, she led strategic initiatives supporting the growth and efficiency of the global wealth management business at Goldman Sachs.  Ginny has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a joint bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Politics.


Thought leadership

Repurposing Natural Gas Lines: The CO2 Opportunity

1.6 million miles. That’s long enough to go to the moon, circle it, come back to the Earth, and circle that too… three times! (With 100,000 to spare, too.)

It’s also the number of gas pipeline miles we have in the U.S. alone. Over the last decade alone, we’ve added about 100,000 miles of gas distribution infrastructure (while transmission growth has remained largely flat) as fracking has pushed down the cost of natural gas…

Repurposing Natural Gas Lines: The Hydrogen Opportunity

Call it a crisis or call it an opportunity – but it’s clear that the gas supply chain faces strong winds in its future. The winners in the energy transition will be those who shift their sails early and catch the winds blown by shifting regulations, policies and customer preferences. If you’re curious how ADL can help you leverage innovation to stay ahead of this transition, fill out the form to the right.

Biomimicry in Our Electrical Grid

The traditional hub-and-spoke model of our electrical grid, much like the human body’s circulatory system, is subject to operational issues and rising costs as it ages. Grid-level issues such as outages and grid-borne wildfires exacerbate the costs associated with maintaining poles and wires. As private entities continue to invest more in private generation and storage technologies, customer contributions to the electric utility’s pot of money for grid upkeep (and expansion) are at risk.

Hidden Within the December Stimulus Package: Reimagining the Utility

The December 2020 $900B Stimulus Package contained a hidden gem: the Energy Act of 2020 — an extensive funding opportunity for clean energy. The policy included extensions of production tax credits and investment tax credits to reduce pressure for deals and projects that were delayed by the pandemic and subsequent economic sluggishness. Greentech Media’s Energy Gangpodcast referred to the 5,000-page document as “the most important US energy legislation in a decade.”

How the Innovation Community Can Answer the “If Only” Call of Electric Utilities

While reliability is the name of the game for electric utilities, thoughtful utilities often ponder the feats they could accomplish “if only we could…” While some startups are looking to disrupt centralized grid-connected power generation, many others are eager to partner with forward-thinking utilities.

A Meta-Analysis of the My Climate Journey Podcast

The 100+ climate-focused interviews chronicled in Jason Jacobs’ My Climate Journey (MCJ) podcast represent a trove of insights from technologists, entrepreneurs, impact investors, accelerators, and policy makers. ADL Ventures sees MCJ as a large scale Voice of the Customer study on the challenges and barriers the climate community faces today. ADL has conducted a robust analysis of over 300 “wishes” outlined by Jason’s interviewees and outlined five major emerging themes.