This week we’re bringing you a special crossover episode from With Great Power. It’s a show about one of the most complex machines ever built – the power grid. It’s a machine that’s changing faster than ever. With Great Power is about the people driving that change:

A third of the world’s largest companies now have net-zero targets in place for carbon emissions. Google was ahead of the curve. Back in 2007, it had already achieved its goal of going carbon neutral across all of its offices and data centers around the globe.

But as demand for Google’s services expanded, it knew that it had to overhaul its energy goals. At the time, Raiford Smith served as Google’s global head of energy and location strategy. And part of his job was jump-starting this massive effort.

In 2021, Google launched one of the most ambitious corporate energy strategies ever. And Raiford and his team made it possible.

After a career spanning more than 30 years at utilities like Duke Energy, CPS, Entergy, and Southern company, and two years at Google, Raiford knows firsthand that change is possible at power companies.

This week, Brad talked with Raiford, now the chief innovation officer at AES, about what’s needed to spur tech innovation at utilities, and the technologies that will be integral to the energy transition.

This podcast is produced by GridX. GridX is the Enterprise Rate Platform that modern utilities rely on to usher in our clean energy future.

Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise, or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit to learn more.

Catalyst is supported by RE+. RE+ is more than just the largest clean energy event, it’s a catalyst for industry innovation designed to supercharge business growth in the clean energy economy. Learn more: