Michael Gasper ('94 BS)

Meteorologist at NRG Energy, Inc

After graduating from Penn State in 1994, I worked for Accuweather and Surface Systems which added forecasting skills to the knowledge I learned at Penn State. After that I worked as a contractor for the US Air Force as a weather trainer at Scott AFB in Illinois. In 2002, I entered the energy markets as a meteorologist for Reliant Energy then switched to Cinergy in Cincinnati as an energy meteorologist, and now I am currently the senior meteorologist in Princeton, NJ. My forecasts have a direct impact not only on operations but also on our trading here at NRG. I currently use different overall global teleconnections to stay ahead of the market and catch weather trends. My forecast can either make or lose money for our trading operations as the traders use my forecast to make trades everyday. I also monitor different weather providers for their viewpoint on the weather, but when it comes right down to it; my forecast is the one that matters. I forecast for the next fifteen days using temperatures, brightness, and dewpoints for various cities across the country.

I will effectively communicate weather changes during the day as they have a direct impact on the power and gas markets. Weather is the biggest player in the power and gas markets so it makes sense to have one person dedicated to watching the weather for the company. Weather not only influences our trading here at NRG, but also our earnings as a company, so many times our CEO will ask for my seasonal forecast to effectively prepare for the weather. I am in high demand here as my forecast is extremely valuable to NRG for our operations and trading activities.