Ziad Alaywan, P.E.

Ziad Alaywan, P.E.

Founder & CEO - Chairman of the Board

Chairman of the Board

Ziad is the Founder and CEO of ZGlobal Inc. Ziad’s three decades of experience range from electric grid & market operation, and engineering, to project development.  Ziad formed ZGlobal in 2005 offering energy consulting services that would strengthen the grid, benefit our environment, and contribute to community and state-wide goals.

As a certified professional engineer, Ziad has held numerous leadership and operating positions; including at the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) where he was instrumental in implementing the first wholesale energy market in the West. Obtaining FERC, NERC, WECC, and  State certification to begin operation as one of the first staff members for the CAISO, Ziad managed a $150 million development budget and successfully launched the CAISO in less than two years.

​After CAISO’s successful start-up in 1998, Ziad assumed various leadership roles including Director of Engineering and Managing Director of Market Operations. His responsibilities included oversight of grid operator plans for the transmission system and the operation of the CAISO markets. Additionally, he worked for 10 years with Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) holding various positions such as Transmission Planner, Senior Operations Engineer, Transmission and Generation Dispatcher, and having managed real-time operations of the PG&E control area including all of PG&E Hydro and other generating facilities, PG&E 500kv and 230kv bulk transmission serving 17,000 MW of peak load.

Ziad was elected as one of two Western representatives to the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC) Operating Committee. He has served on many WECC operations, planning, and market committees and has lectured in the areas of electric market design and operations, privatization, and deregulation at the University of Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne, University of Toulouse, École d’Ingénieurs de Purpan, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and other higher education institutions and serves as a technical advisor to the European Union on deregulation.

Career Highlights: 

  • Test Engineer on the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) $1 billion 1,200 MW Helms Hydroelectric Pump Storage plant located east of Fresno, CA.
  • Test Engineer PG&E for the  750 MW gas-fired Moss Landing power plant (MLPP) in Monterey, California. Ziad designed the plant to decrease the minimum load from 250 MW to 50 MW for both MLPP #6 and 7 (2×750 MW).
  • Team member for the implementation of the new Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Energy Management System (EMS) & SCADA system. The new EMS was able to remotely control over 15,000 MW of generation.
  • While on the operating desk, assisted in the restoration efforts of PG&E’s San Francisco electric system post-1989 earthquake.  
  • Optimized and automated the economic and hourly dispatch of PG&E’s hydroelectric system built along all 16 river basins stretching nearly 500 miles from Redding in the north to Bakersfield in the south. Water used to power the hydroelectric system comes from more than 100 reservoirs located mostly in the higher elevations of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The 68 powerhouses have a total generating capacity of 3,896 megawatts.
  • Represented PG&E on the California Public Utility Commission’s two competing electric restructuring proposals. 
  • Participated in the development and implementation of the first Unscheduled Flow Policy at WSCC.
  • While on the operating desk, participated in the restoration effort after the Western Intertie buckled under the high summer heat of the 1996 Western North America blackouts, causing a cascading power failure affecting four million people in nine western states and parts of Mexico and resulting in power outages in some locations for up to four days. 
  • Became the first California Independent System Operator (CAISO) employee responsible for the implementation of CAISO operating, scheduling, settlement, and bidding systems and Balancing Authority certification.
  • Led the CAISO team to obtain certification to operate the Balancing Authority of the CAISO by merging PG&E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric Systems.
  • Launched the first CAISO Electricity Markets. 
  • Oversaw the CAISO Market Operation during the California Energy Crisis.  
  • Led CAISO efforts to implement the nodal market.
  • Founded ZGlobal Inc. in 2005.

Ziad holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and a minor in Mathematics (Summa cum laude) from Montana State University with post-graduate work in Power System Applications, Optimization, Production Model, Unit Commitment, and Power Economics. He also completed a Management Program at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley. Ziad has authored over fifty publications on a variety of energy subject matters. He is a certified Professional Engineer in the State of California and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).