McCombs Wins 2019 Ross RECC (Renewable Energy Case Competition)

By James Alvarez (MBA 2021)


November 2019 — At a high level, the premise for the case competition was that MBA students from across the country were tasked with identifying and selecting two distributed energy resource technologies which would have the most significant impact on the United States’ transition to a decarbonized electric grid by 2040. The McCombs MBA team included James Alvarez, Dave Dobrowski, Kim Dabrowski, Nick Pinkerton, and Vineet Raman.


To accomplish this, our team built a comprehensive framework to assess and filter various distributed energy resources, based on each technology’s: uses and benefits; competitive position in a decarbonized electric grid; technological viability; market size potential; business model; and business and environmental risks. Through our qualitative and quantitative analyses, we identified rooftop solar and lithium ion battery storage as the most attractive distributed energy resources in enabling the shift towards decarbonization.


Sixteen presentations from top MBA programs across the country were selected and invited to the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business to present their proposals to prospective investors (a panel of competition judges), trying to convince the judges why their team’s selected technologies would be most successful in helping the U.S. transition to a decarbonized electric grid by 2040.


After the initial presentations, McCombs and three other teams were selected to present in the final round on stage at the main auditorium. For this final round, we expanded our presentation to also highlight the complementary nature of our proposed investments and how this portfolio of technologies would work together to expedite the transition to a decarbonized grid. The panel of judges evaluated each team’s final proposal and selected McCombs as national champions based on our team’s analysis, recommendations, presentation, and the quality of our responses during a question and answer session following the presentation.


While we were delighted, honored, and humbled by the overall result, the case competition was also an excellent opportunity for us all to meet leaders in the Cleantech and renewable energy space and a number of MBA candidates from top programs across the country who share our interest in the industry. We’re all grateful to Ross School of Business for hosting and are thankful for all the great corporate sponsors that made the event possible.


McCombs’ CleanTech Group (CTG) previously won second place at RECC.

Participants (from left to right): James Alvarez, Dave Dobrowski, Kim Dabrowski, Nick Pinkerton, Vineet Raman

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