Frances Arthur

Frances Arthur (MS ’22)

We all use energy in our daily lives, but how often do we stop to think about what it takes for that energy to be produced and then transmitted to us? Frances Arthur (MS ’22), an analyst at Daymark Energy Advisors, is doing the thinking for you. Before she had even graduated from the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), Arthur’s background in sustainability and analysis of technological advancements in renewable energy was enough for her to secure the position.

Working with a wide range of clients, including energy developers, utility companies, commissioners and environmental organizations interested in constructing renewable energy in the right way, much of Arthur’s work is performing analyses on the wholesale and retail markets for electricity and helping clients understand the options, costs and potential outcomes of changing energy sources. 

At the core of Arthur’s work is advocating for the communities or organizations that she’s representing. She says that energy-burdened neighborhoods are typically low-income and/or Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. Another example of an energy-burdened community is one that simply does not have reliable energy. Such was the case in a New England town that was suffering from frequent rolling blackouts and extreme weather event-related outages. “Part of what I do is help find solutions,” says Arthur. “How can we improve this town’s energy access? On my end, I provide an analysis of the costs, benefits, and regulatory and legislative analyses associated with what needs to be done and what the community can do to get it done.”

Working on resilience and reliability is exactly why I went to SEAS.”

Daymark is a small company of 36 people, but Arthur says the wide range of disciplinary backgrounds and the close team collaboration is comforting for her, and closely reflects the experience she had at SEAS. “Daymark really values education and knowledge, and my colleagues are always willing to help. It’s truly a team environment, and I love it here,” says Arthur. “Thinking back to my time at SEAS, I had a variety of friends that pulled me in different directions and made me become more myself. It was a place where I grew so comfortable and could speak my opinions freely. I feel this same level of comfort at Daymark.”

Arthur has put her work at Daymark on pause this fall to work as a Department of Energy Clean Energy Innovator Fellow. The one- to two-year fellowship will allow her to work on regulatory cases that involve energy, environmental justice and resiliency, and distributed energy resources planning. “I got an email encouraging alumni to apply for the fellowship, and after chatting with another SEAS alum who participated in a similar fellowship, I knew it was something I had to do,” says Arthur. “Working on resilience and reliability is exactly why I went to SEAS, and I’m so lucky that the opportunity just fell into my lap.”