Smart Wires Inc.

Employee Spotlight: Alex Al Homsi, Business Development Manager

May 27, 2024

Alex Al-Homsi is a Business Development Manager who works closely with grid operators in Canada and the US to create more flexible, reliable, and affordable grids that will help meet increasing electricity demand with clean energy. In this interview, Alex reflects on why he joined Smart Wires, how his background in transmission planning and system operation helps him understand the needs of customers, the best and most challenging parts of his role, and what climate action inspires him.

Why did you first join Smart Wires?

I joined Smart Wires because I saw a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the energy industry. With a background in operation and planning from my experience at AESO, Altalink, and ERCOT, I’ve had the opportunity to closely work with system operations in both Canada and the US. It’s been fascinating to witness both countries’ similar concerns and impressive goals of reaching zero emissions by adopting new technologies and increasing their renewable footprint, at a time when demand for electricity is rapidly rising.

Smart Wires’ innovative approach to grid solutions, particularly their focus on enhancing grid efficiency and flexibility, resonated with me, and I knew I could contribute to their mission of transforming the power grid for the better. Additionally, the global nature of the company appealed to me, as it presents a unique opportunity to collaborate with diverse teams and customers worldwide, driving innovation and positive change on a global scale.

Can you share a bit about your role as a Business Development Manager?

As a Business Development Manager, my role is multifaceted. I’m responsible for identifying and pursuing new opportunities, building relationships with customers in Canada and the US, and ensuring that our solutions meet their needs.

Leveraging my background in engineering and extensive experience in utilities, I have a deep understanding of their needs and the complexities of power systems. This expertise allows me to effectively bridge the gap between technology and customer requirements. I also perform power system studies to find the best SmartValve solution for customers. I create proposals and make sure we follow our customers’ standards. I work closely with our product team to understand our solutions and explain them clearly to customers. I collaborate with the commercial team to expand our market and find new growth opportunities. Overall, my job is about more than just selling a product. It’s about building relationships, understanding customer needs, and delivering solutions that make a difference in the energy industry.

What is your favorite part of your role, and why?

My favorite part of my role is the opportunity to work with diverse teams and customers to solve complex challenges. I am passionate about finding innovative solutions that drive positive change in the energy industry. This often involves searching ISO’s long-term plans and assisting customers who reach out to us for more information about our technology. My expertise in running power system studies allows me to help customers determine if our solutions can address their transmission concerns effectively.

I also thrive on seeking out new opportunities. This includes meeting with industry stakeholders at events and collaborating closely with engineering teams on product development. These interactions provide valuable insights and foster relationships that are essential for driving market expansion and developing high-quality solutions tailored to customer needs. The dynamic nature of my job means every day brings new opportunities to learn and grow. Whether it’s tackling a new technical challenge, exploring emerging market trends, or developing a custom solution for a unique customer problem, the variety keeps me engaged and motivated.

What is the most challenging part of your role?

The most challenging part of my role is navigating the complexities of the energy industry and overcoming barriers to adopting new technologies. The energy sector is heavily regulated and constantly evolving, with numerous stakeholders, including utilities, regulatory bodies, and end-users, each having unique requirements and concerns. Introducing new technologies in this environment is a multifaceted challenge.

Understanding and adapting to various regulatory environments and standards across different regions is a significant challenge. Each market has its own set of rules and compliance requirements, impacting how our solutions are implemented. This requires continuous learning and staying updated with the latest industry regulations and trends.

Overcoming these barriers involves a lot of problem-solving and creative thinking. When a customer is hesitant about adopting new technology due to perceived risks, it’s essential to demonstrate the reliability and benefits of our solutions through detailed studies, pilot projects, and real-world data.
Building trust with customers and stakeholders is crucial. Establishing strong relationships and effective communication are key to gaining their confidence. This often involves presenting clear, evidence-based arguments, providing thorough technical support, and showing a commitment to their long-term success.

In your opinion, what sets Smart Wires apart from other companies in the industry?

What sets Smart Wires apart is our deep understanding of the utility industry and our commitment to developing solutions that address the most pressing challenges faced by utilities today. Our technology is proven to enhance grid efficiency, reliability, and flexibility, making us a valuable partner for utilities looking to modernize their grids. Our solutions, such as the SmartValve, allow for dynamic control of power flow, optimizing the use of existing infrastructure and enabling the integration of more renewable energy sources.

Additionally, our culture of innovation and dedication to customer success sets us apart as a leader in the industry. Our dedication to customer success is evident in our collaborative approach, working closely with utilities to understand their unique challenges and tailor our solutions to meet their specific needs. We’re not just selling a product; we’re offering comprehensive solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of each customer. By partnering with Smart Wires, utilities can achieve their goals of enhancing grid reliability while incorporating renewable energy and meeting rapidly increasing electricity demand, and ultimately achieving their sustainability targets.

Outside of your day-to-day work, what climate action inspires you?

One climate action that inspires me is the transition to renewable energy sources and phasing out of fossil fuel generation, especially at a time when electricity demand is increasing. Seeing communities and countries commit to reducing their carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy infrastructure is incredibly motivating. I believe that the energy industry plays a crucial role in addressing climate change, and I’m inspired by the progress being made to transition to a more sustainable future. Additionally, initiatives that focus on energy efficiency and conservation, as well as community-driven renewable energy projects, are inspiring examples of how individuals and organizations can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

Contributing expert

Alex Al-Homsi

Business Development Manager

Alex Al-Homsi is Business Development Manager at Smart Wires, responsible for identifying and pursuing new opportunities and helping customers across the US and Canada to successfully the company’s solutions. Alex has over a decade of experience in the utility sector, holding multiple engineering roles in transmission planning and system operation at ERCOT, AESO, and AltaLink. Prior to joining Smart Wires in 2021, Alex was Senior Operations Engineer at ERCOT.

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