FEATURING OUR ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Monday, October 23
Conference Emcee, Peter Kelly-Detwiler, well-known pioneer in the retail energy arena and Forbes contributor
Former Vice President Al Gore – Opening Day Keynote
Cris Eugster Chief Operating Officer (COO) & Fred Bonewell, Chief Safety & Security Officer (CSSO) – "The Present & Future State of Utilities"
Tuesday, October 24
Trammel S. Crow – The Intersection of Philanthropy and the Environment – Keynote Breakfast
Fireside Chat with Jan Vrins, Global Energy Practice Leader, Navigant and Gavin Bade, Editor, Utility Dive "Hand in Hand: Decarbonization and Power Sector Resilience”
Juan J. Torres, Associate Laboratory Director, NREL "Energy Systems Integration: Grid Technology Trends and the Competitiveness of Energy” - Lunch Keynote
Monday, October 23
Pre-Conference “Readiness” Workshops:
- Continuing education workshops for utilities and market stakeholders
- Readiness workshops to prepare attendees for “deep-dive” afternoon sessions
- World-renowned founder of retail energy and Forbes contributor, Peter Kelly-Detwiler will facilitate GridNEXT 1.0 and 2.0 Readiness Workshops
Sunday, October 22, 6:30pm
Pre- Conference Film Screening
Sunday, October 22
SPECIAL FILM SCREENING EVENT
TREIA and Southwestern University Jointly Present
An Inconvenient Sequel:Truth to Power A Film by Former Vice President and GridNEXT Keynote Speaker Al Gore
Monday, October 23
Conference Open: Registration
Pre-Conference Event: Cleantech Open South Central Regional Finals
Cleantech Open is a global accelerator for early-stage clean technology startup companies. We run an annual program to connect startups with the incredible people, resources, and visibility to help them succeed. The program culminates in a pitch competition where all of our companies will be presenting, with the winner advancing to the National Competition. Come see the exciting things happening in early stage clean tech in Texas and Arkansas.
PRE-CONFERENCE READINESS WORKSHOPS:
GridNEXT 1.0 Renewable Energy Project Development and Finance
Last several years have seen significant adoption of renewable energy in the US and around the world. Technology advancements along with rapid price decline in the areas of solar, wind, energy efficiency, battery storage etc., have enabled this growth and continue to be strong drivers for future growth. Understanding the complexities of project development and becoming familiar with various available funding mechanisms are important first steps for customers wanting to pursue such projects. This workshop will introduce the concepts of project development and finance as it relates to renewable energy. The intended audience for this workshop are home and business owners considering renewable energy purchases, electric utilities, students and anyone interested in learning the basics of renewable energy project development. The workshop closes with providing a deep dive into Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, a financing vehicle for energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations for residential, commercial and industrial property owners.
GridNEXT 2.0 Energy Markets, Regulatory & Technology
This workshop will provide an overview of how ERCOT markets (and markets in general) work with respect to:
- Declining costs curves for new resources (wind, solar, storage) and the dynamics driving them
- The energy geography of ERCOT, as well as theoretical imitations for integrating renewables into a closed system such as ERCOT
- An intro to the concept of digitization as it applies to wind turbines - but also to new and existing gas-fired generation that foster further renewables integration
- Changes in how supercomputing and materials science are changing the entire energy landscape
- Energy storage overview, trends, and impending impact on the future energy landscape
- How the above realities likely play out in the near-to-midterm, and things to watch for, such as: things to watch for, such as convergence of modes and technologies (e.g., transportation colliding with electricity; buildings becoming batteries; and lighting networks providing security and marketing)
How Local Communities can be Designated as SolSmart
The workshop will focus on how the designation process works for cities and challenges and tips for success. Potential topics include:
Market Development & Finance
Planning, Zoning, & Development
The workshop will also cover recent efforts in Texas cities to pass and implement solar-ready construction codes.
GridNEXT Special Opening Keynote Speaker: Former Vice President Al Gore
GridNEXT Keynote: Cris Eugster Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Fred Bonewell, Chief Safety & Security Officer (CSSO) – The Present & Future State of Utilities
Opening Session: When Technology and the Grid Play, Clean Energy Shines
When wind and solar ignited the deployment of technology on the grid, it marked the start of the biggest transformation in the history of electric industry, unleashing the trigger for more grid-centric technology. The play between technology and the grid demonstrates the optimization of the delivery of cleaner energy through the stacking of value of its components, resulting in cheaper energy and more flexible choice to the end consumer.
Break: Network Energy Break
Session 2: Electric Vehicles (EVs) and the Grid: Driving Electrified Transportation in Texas
EVs designed for mass-market appeal have arrived. How quickly are EVs gaining market share in Texas? How will grid operations, infrastructure, and planning be affected? What is the public sector’s role in managing the transition?
Session 3: Resilient, Smart Spaces & Solar + Storage
Melissa Miller: Project Development Manager, EDF Renewable Energy
- Judy McElroy: CEO, Principal Consultant, Fractal Energy Storage Consultants
- Topher Blunt: Commercial Project Deployment, Tesla
- Scott Hinson: Pecan Street Inc.
Happy Hour Reception + Awards: Cleantech Open Winners & Student & Business Leader Awards
Tuesday, October 24
Conference Open & Breakfast: Registration & Networking Breakfast
Keynote Breakfast: The Intersection of Philanthropy and the Environment
Trammel S. Crow
Session 1: Emerging Issues In The Energy-Only ERCOT Market
This session will cover the latest developments in the ERCOT wholesale market, including the PUC project addressing price formation rules, which was triggered by a white paper commissioned by NRG and Calpine. Other issues on the front burner include proposed changes to the ancillary services markets and the longstanding issue of real-time co-optimization of energy and ancillary services. A lively discussion can be expected from panelists representing different industry vantage points, including the independent market monitor.
Cyrus Reed: Conservation Director, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club
- Steve Reedy: Deputy Director, ERCOT IMM, Potomac Economics
- Bill Barnes: Director, Regulatory Affairs, NRG Energy
- Walter Reed: Technical and Regulatory Consultant, ERCOT, Wind Coalition
Fireside Chat: Jan Vrins, Global Energy Practice Leader, Navigant and Gavin Bade, Editor, Utility Dive and
"Hand in Hand: Decarbonization and Power Sector Resilience"
Global power sector trends are pointing toward decarbonization and greater grid resilience. Renewable energy is becoming cost competitive, cheap natural gas is encouraging a shift away from coal and battery technology is advancing quickly for both stationary and mobile applications. These trends are compounded by policy supports from many U.S. states and foreign governments, and can also enhance the power system's ability to "bounce back" from attacks or outages through more distributed, fuel-independent resources.
But those trends mask troubling realities for the global energy transition. Even the Paris Accord Agreement signatories are not on track to meet their emission targets, and recent U.S. regulatory action uncertainty threatens to stall decarbonization efforts in the world’s largest economy. Given these realities, how should policymakers and industry officials in the U.S. respond to create a future that's not only low carbon, but high resilience? That's the big question Navigant Global Energy Practice Leader Jan Vrins will answer in this panel.
- Jan Vrins, Global Energy Practice Chief, Navigant
- Gavin Bade, Editor, Utility Dive
Break: Network Energy Break
Session 2: Planning the User and Operator Roadmap to An Innovative, Resilient, Smarter Grid
Has the smart grid “vision of the future” already been achieved? ERCOT has reached over 50% renewables numerous times on the grid in 2017. Ahead of schedule AMI has been largely deployed across the urban centers of Texas, and demand response programs provide valuable benefits to customers and the resilience of our statewide grid. Concurrently, rural electric cooperatives in this state hold renewables, energy efficiency and demand response programs, and are building new value for members proactively in a more and more connected age.. All of this is occurring amidst changing market conditions and addressing evolving customer needs & desires.
What happens next? Are we ready for the change ahead? What are we striving for? Texas utility leaders answer these questions and provide critical insights and domain-specific expertise in this update on their utilities’ initiatives as they place their efforts on the roadmap leading to their vision of the smart grid. Learn about utility views on trends and technologies that are transforming the electric grid including Smart Meters, Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), Electric Storage, Smart Street Lighting, Demand management, Electric Vehicles etc.
Andrew Johnston, Director, Global Energy Practice, Navigant & Chief Evangelist, ResilientGrid
- Bill Hetherington, CEO/GM, Bandera Electric Cooperative
- Dan Smith, Vice President of Electric Service Austin Energy
Session 3: Addressing Emerging Cyber-physical Security Challenges and the Microgrid
This panel will address countermeasures to real-world cyber physical threats to the microgrid ranging from a practitioner's perspective, R&D innovation, and simulation of industrial solutions. Experience a 'what if?' Q&A session with the panelists that attempt to emulate an emerging threat scenario and actionable solutions.
Dr. Annette Sobel: Director, GLEAMM
- Wes Rhodes: Digital Transformation Executive, Chief Technologist AI, Cloud & Cognitive, Director, Network Science Research Center, IBM
- Igor Alvarado: Academic Business Development Manager, National Instruments
- Mark Harral, CEO, Group NIRE
- Chaaeun (Elizabeth) Kim: Petroleum Engineering, Texas Tech University
- Beibei Ren: Director of the Dynamic Intelligent Systems, Control and Optimization (DISCO), Texas Tech University
Lunch Break: Networking
Lunch Keynote: NREL: Juan J. Torres: Associate Laboratory Director, Energy Systems Integration: Grid Technology Trends and the Competitiveness of Energy
Session 4: Planning Resources for The Future: Public Power is Moving Toward Further Integration of Renewables and Technology
From large-scale projects to smaller behind the meter projects, public power utilities in ERCOT are increasing their use of renewable technologies. However, in an energy-only market, how are utilities able to manage the risk if local load zone prices soar, or if congestion or line issues impact their utility-scale resources? How are these utilities incorporating new technology like storage or demand response into their resources? How are they encouraging local customer-sited solar and storage without impacting rates or cross-subsidizing rate payers? What are the trends moving forward? What is the value proposition of co-locating storage with renewables?
Michael Jewell: Attorney, Jewell & Associates, PLLC & Principal, Osprey Energy Group, LLC
- Khalil Shalabi: Vice President, Market Operations and Resource Planning, Austin Energy
- Ingmar Sterzing: Vice President, Power Supply and Energy Services, Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC)
- Chris Foster: Manager of Resource Planning and Integration, City of Georgetown, TX
Session 5: Corporate Energy Management: Evolving Preferences and the Texas Grid
Corporate energy managers are becoming more sophisticated as they seek to meet ambitious carbon-reduction goals. Texas has been fertile ground for corporate renewables, with over 2 GW of contracts signed to date. What new strategies are corporate energy managers pursuing, and what do they mean for the Texas grid?
Scott MacMurdo: Sustainability Specialist, NRG Energy
- Sam Morris: ERCOT
- Rob Threlkeld: Global Manager Renewable Energy, GM
- Stephen Roberts: Sustainability Strategy and Marketing, Dell
Closing Session: Cities In the Driver's Seat - Leading Meaningful Transformation to a Cleaner Grid
Texas City Leaders discuss ways their cities are keeping their commitments to enact green energy policies that are rapidly transforming the 21st century grid.
Dwain Rogers: Executive Director, CleanTX
- Lucia Athens: Chief Sustainability Office, City of Austin
- Gavin Dillingham: Program Director of Clean Energy Policy, Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC)
- Axel Lerche: Founder and CEO EcoSmart Solution LLC.
- Tamara Cook: Senior Program Manager of Environment and Development, NCTCOG