Julia Collignon: She’s Packing Power

July 5 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: You’ve Got the Power

Ladies, you know I love a good Wikipedia lesson and love to share my insights even more. I recently stumbled on to the Wikipedia page about the history of energy. The word “energy” is derived from a Greek word from way back in the fourth century BCE. And while smarter minds than ours have long pushed the idea of sustainable energy sources, you don’t need to be a scientist or an ancient Greek genius to know one thing for sure: These days, we take this whole energy thing for granted.

Today, take a moment to consider all your gadgets, devices and technological conveniences that consume—and often waste—energy. And instead of whining about your dwindling iPhone battery life or complaining how long your oven takes to heat up a frozen pizza, express a little gratitude for all the “unplugged” gifts in your life. They’re what have the real staying power!


In the last few decades, energy has become somewhat of a politicized topic, but I think we can all agree that we like the stuff and want more of it. So, why not tap into natural sources we already have, like our friend, the sun, and other renewable resources? Renewable Energy World, the planet’s top renewable-energy network for news and information, offers up four key reasons why renewable energy is definitely a big deal: First, there are tons of environmental benefits. It also generates job and economic growth in the United States, and establishes energy security. But perhaps most important of all, because renewable energy never runs out—ever!—it ensures generations to come—our children’s children—will have access to clean energy sources.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Julia Collignon, Senior Manager at Tesla Motors' Renewable Energy Development

Go back to that history-of-energy Wikipedia page, and you’ll notice a couple of Thomases in the mix—Young and Edison—and also another familiar name: Nikola Tesla. Aside from boasting what might become the next trend in hipster names and quite the alluring headshot, this mustachioed inventor is praised for his work to advance alternating electric current. From his legacy came a modern brand we all know, Tesla Motors. And today’s Woman to Watch, Julia Collignon, is helping this innovative company create the really impressive energy grid of the future.

Julia is the senior manager in Tesla’s Renewable Energy Development sector, and she’s passionate about bringing renewable energy to the world. After earning her master’s degree in engineering, Julia worked as a structural engineer, designing structures like townhomes, concert halls and stadiums. But driven by her desire to see every American household and business tap into the power of the sun, Julia pivoted her career, and began working in the energy space as a project manager and later, a senior manager of engineering at SunPower Corporation.

These days, Julia oversees the development of Tesla’s Powerpack, a cutting-edge battery system that’s infinitely scalable, completely turnkey and offers commercial consumers and energy providers greater control, efficiency and reliability across the electric grid. Basically, the concept involves stacking the world’s most sophisticated batteries into a power grid, which collects energy while the sun shines, prevents electricity shortages, reduces greenhouse gases and can create enough energy to power 15,000 homes for four hours.

Julia is helping Tesla move beyond simply offering some stellar automobiles and into something much, much bigger: How we experience our lives. By reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, she’s helping to redefine how we use energy in 2017 and beyond. And that’s incredibly powerful!


With the exciting work being done by Julia and Tesla in mind, today’s quote comes from singer and sustainable-energy activist Bonnie Raitt, who said:

“Solar power is the last energy resource that isn’t owned yet; nobody taxes the sun.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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