Sheraton Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center


Full Schedule is Now Live, Download Your Copy 


edited 11.7.16 and subject to change

Wednesday November 9, 2016

1 - 5 pm

Pre-Conference Workshops

1 - 3 pm - Texas Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Authority Service Provider Training

The PACE Service Provider Training workshop is a unique opportunity to learn about the PACE financing mechanism and how it can benefit your business or property. Hear an overview of PACE, learn how to market PACE financing, examine the technical requirements that go into a PACE project, and learn how the application process works.  The workshop also has an informative PACE Capital Provider Perspectives panel, contains an update on the current ‘PACE in a Box’ market, and includes current case studies.
·        PACE Overview
·        Technical Requirements
·        The Application Process
·        Capital Provider Perspectives
·        Investor Confidence Project protocol

Speaker: Jonathan Blackburn, Managing Director, Texas PACE

3 - 4  pm - Wind Energy Leasing Best Practices when Dealing with Landowners

Earn your Ethics CLE while learning to be on the cutting edge on serving projects and land owners to have the most effective and comprehensive lease structures.   

Moderator: Patricia Sherman Bruce, Principal Counsel, Energy & Natural Resources, Husch Blackwell

3 - 5 pm - Go Solar Texas: Building Capacity for Solar at the Local Level

Come learn about tools to address common barriers to solar at the local level and what regulations are being adopted by cities to support solar energy.  

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) recently finalized a number of resources to help increase deployment of solar energy systems across Texas, under a contract with the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO). Designed to help guide viewers to audience-specific resources, houses tools for home and business owners, local governments, school districts, utilities and other professionals that are adaptable for all regions in Texas. Community Solar will be highlighted as an emerging trend in Texas and the workshop will detail the major community solar decision points and resources to reference. 

The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club has been taken an active role in several communities in Texas to help promote solar as well, both through community solar projects, and new building code development that encourage the use of solar power. From Houston, to Austin, to San Antonio, to Leakey, Texas, exciting development in local solar and storage are happening! Get in on the ground floor. 


Cyrus Reed, PhD, Conservation Director, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club
Drew O'Bryan, Clean Energy Coordinator, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club
Kristina Ronneber, Air Quality Planner, North Central Texas Council of Governments

Noon - 6 pm

Early Registration

6 - 8 pm

Welcome Reception (Light Cocktail)
Sponsored by the City of Georgetown


Dale Ross, Mayor, City of Georgetown


Thursday November 10, 2016

7:15 - 8 am

Registration Open, Breakfast Buffet
Sponsored by Electric Power Engineers


8 - 8:50 am

Opening Session

Welcome and Introduction
GridNEXT Chair: Hala Ballouz, President & CEO, Electric Power Engineers

How Renewables, Distributed Resources, and Technology are Changing the Grid-- ERCOT CEO Perspective

Bill Magness, CEO at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, will share with the audience how the trends in technology and energy resources has impacted our Grid, and how ERCOT plans to embrace this change in the near and long term future. 

Speaker: Bill Magness, President & CEO, ERCOT

9 - 9:40 am

Georgetown Goes 100% Green

Georgetown is the first city to go 100% renewable in Texas.  Come learn how this progressive city is making this happen, meeting customer expectations, and creating a sustainable business model. 

Moderator: Fred Beach PhD, Associate Director for Energy Technology & Policy, UT Energy Institute  


Chris Foster, Manager of Resource Planning & Integration for Georgetown Utility Systems, City of Georgetown
Neil F. McAndrews, Senior Principal, Enterprise Risk Consulting, LLC

9:40 - 10 am

Networking Coffee Break
Sponsored by Texas Energy Aggregation

10 - 10:40 am

Corporate Procurement of Renewable Energy - Deals and Trends

Traditional Power Purchase Agreements with Electric Utilities are no longer the only way to structure power sales from energy resources.  Learn how recent deals are being structured with major corporate procurement of renewable energy. 

Moderator: Dan Seif, Strategic Advisor, Business Renewables Center


Hans Royal, Associate Vice President of Strategic Renewables, Renewable Choice Energy
Jessica Adkins, Partner, Bracewell LLP
T.J. Ermoian, Founder & President, Texas Energy Aggregation

10:45 - 11:25 am

Energy Storage on the Modern Grid

Energy Storage is the Swiss army knife for electric grids.  This panel explores the latest applications of energy storage and their business models in the current modern electric grid

Moderator: David Veach, Renewable Energy Application Director, S&C Electric Company


Darrell Hayslip, President & Founder, Narrow Gate Energy
Kevin Fok, Senior Project Manager, LG Chem
Mike Grunow, Vice President of Marketing, ViZn


11:30 - 12:45 pm

Keynote Lunch: 
Sponsored by Husch Blackwell

Energy Market and Grid Insight from the Perspective of the CEO of New York ISO:
From New York to Texas and Back

Hear from Brad Jones with his unique perspective having recently been Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, prior to taking his current role as CEO of New York ISO. Our keynote will give us his expertise on the means by which ISO’s can progress their grids, energy market, integration of renewables, and customer choice.

Keynote Speaker: Brad Jones, President & CEO, NYISO, formerly Senior VP & COO, ERCOT

1 - 1:50 pm

Texas Transmission: Future of the Grid - Grid of the Future

One of our spiciest topics in Texas is the expansion of the high-voltage transmission grid. Texas has lead the nation in transmission solutions, introducing along the way new opportunities as well as new challenges.  Come hear how the Texas grid is preparing to integrate more wind, solar, and load with particular emphasis on two of our most desirable areas of wind and solar generation harvesting, while maximizing the new transmission investment to integrate Lubbock into ERCOT and serve the oil and gas electric demand growth.  Hear from leaders who are willing to introduce new business models, and how the challenging landscape with grid modernization will impact the business of this vital infrastructure.   

Moderator: Hala Ballouz, President & CEO, Electric Power Engineers


Bill Bojorquez, Vice President, Hunt Power L.P.
Calvin Crowder, President, South Central Region, GridLiance
David McCalla, Director of Electric Utilities, Lubbock Power and Light
Kenneth Donohoo PE, Director of System Planning, Distribution & Transmission, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC

2 - 3 pm

Distributed Generation and Microgrids: Evolving Business Models

Explore evolving business models for the deployment of distributed generation and microgrid projects. The most successful projects need to serve the needs of the host customer, as well as provide value back to the grid. Panelist will share perspectives from the point of view of the host customer and the project developer: what do customers want, how do current market structures and technology enable creative solutions, and what further developments are expected as the market evolves.

Moderator: Nisha Desai, Managing Director, Aurora Clean Energy Partners


Brandon Middaugh, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft
Dan Crosby, President, Legend Energy Advisors
Malcolm Harkness, Director of Business Development, NRG
Thomas McAndrew, Managing Director, Enchanted Rock

3 - 3:30 pm

Networking Energy Break 

3:40 - 4:20 pm

Distributed PV Pricing - Trends and Challenges

What are current trends, nationally and in Texas, in residential, commercial and utility  PV pricing? What factors are likely to drive these trends over the next several years? Why is the range of market pricing so wide? Is overpricing a problem in the residential and small scale (<10 MW) PV market? If so, what strategies can be employed to protect consumers? Should utility incentive programs be designed to protect consumers from high- priced vendors?   

Moderator: Steve Wiese, Senior Consultant in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Frontier Associates


Eric Cotney, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Axium Solar
Ran Fu CFA, Senior Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Rick Luna, Senior Manager of Product Development, CPS Energy

4:30 - 5:15 pm

Large Wind Farm Production Optimization R&D - SWiFT

The Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility is the first R&D facility to advance optimization of wake and turbulence assessment on the production of wind Turbine.  The project highlights the findings of this multidisciplinary, multi-institutional project with partnerships & contributions from the DOE, Sandia Labs, TTU, Group NIRE, National Instruments and ABB.

Moderator: Anna Thomas Young PhD, Associate Managing Director, National Wind Institute Research Assistant Faculty, Texas Tech University


Josh Bryant, Sandia SWiFT Testing Coordinator, Sandia National Labs
Mark Harral, Chief Executive Director, Group NIRE
Murvat Musa, Executive Director, Reese Technology Center
Zachary Taylor PE, Systems Engineer, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc (GVEC)

6 - 7:30 pm

Networking Cocktail Reception & GLEAMM Challenge Showcase
Sponsored by: GLEAMM, Texas Tech University

Don’t miss this opportunity to identify early innovation in technology advancement.  Some of these may be the seed for development and investment opportunities.  Winners for both the Spark Fund & Poster Showcase winners will be announced. The GLEAMM Challenge is an energy technology competition where students and faculty can team up to showcase their world-changing ideas. 

Friday November 11, 2016

7:15 - 8:15 am

Breakfast Buffet 
Sponsored by Mission Solar

8:20 - 9:10 am

Solar and Energy Storage - A Texas Manufacturing Perspective

The Lone Star State is home to both inverter and solar manufacturing. This panel discusses how this may be leveraged to accelerate and integrate energy storage into the Texas Grid and mix of resources. 

Moderator: Dean Tuel, Vice President of Americas Sales, Younicos


Bradley Feuge, Head of Project Management, KACO
Hugo Mena, Vice President of Business Development, Electric Power Engineers
Judy McElroy, Energy Storage Consultant, CEO Fractal Business Analytics
Trevor Udwin, Product Management, Mission Solar

9:15 - 10 am

What's Unfolding for Solar in Texas

Over 2 GW of solar generation projects with signed IA are currently in the ERCOT queue. Distributed solar study cases and community solar are being staged.  ERCOT’s Current Trends long term studies show 20 GW in solar resource additions to the grid.  Let’s get to work and figure it all out. 

Moderator: Charlie Hemmeline, Executive Director, Texas Solar Power Association


Ingmar Sterzing, Vice President of Power Supply and Energy, Pedernales Electric Cooperative
David Dixon, Business Development Manager , NATiVE
Mark Begert, Executive Vice President & Director, Meridian Solar
Preston Schultz, Director-Development, Hecate Energy


10 - 10:20 am

Networking Coffee Break
Sponsored by Caprock Renewables

10:30 - 11:15 am 

Enabling the Internet of Energy through Network Optimized Distributed Energy

DNV GL and Geli will produce and operate an Internet of Energy (IoEn) platform integrating the management of 100 distributed energy resources at Group NIRE’s field site in Lubbock, TX. Come learn how this platform will simultaneously manage market level regulation and distribution system support functions for large-scale integration of renewable generation onto the grid.

Moderator: Jason Rodriguez, CEO, Zpryme/ETS


Mark Harral, Chief Executive Director, Group NIRE
Michael Kleinberg PhD, Senior Cosultant, Distributed Energy Resources Group DNV GL
Nick Turchak, Project Manager, NODES, Growing Energy Labs, Inc (GELI)

11 - 11:50 am

Policy Review: Here comes the sun: the rise of distributed generation in Texas and the opportunities and challenges from a legislative, regulatory  and market rules perspective

As the distributed generation market for solar in Texas continues to grow, new challenges and opportunities continue to present themselves. This panel will focus on the regulatory implications of distributed generation in Texas including the recent push to allow third party signatories to execute interconnection agreements, the possibility of legislation regarding additional demand charges set forth in a recent rate case, and interplay of navigating distributed generation between private industry and the PUCT and ERCOT. 

Moderator: Cyrus Reed, PhD, Conservation Director, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club


Christine Wright, Former Deputy Director, Policy & Electric Markets, SolarCity
David Smithson, Engineering Specialist, Public Utility Commisson of Texas (PUCT)
Marc Burns, Deputy General Counsel, Regulatory Affairs, SunStreet
Paul Wattles, Senior Analyst, Market Design and Development, ERCOT
Steve Davis, Attorney, Alliance of Retail Markets (ARM)

Noon - 1:30 pm

Closing Awards Luncheon & Networking Breakout

GridNEXT 2016 Committee Members: 

Hala Ballouz - Electric Power Engineers

Melissa Miller - EDF RE

Charlie Porter - Texas Tech University/GLEAMM

Raina Hornaday - Caprock Renewables

Ariane Jarocki - TREIA

David Veach - S&C Electric

Michael Wilson - Group NIRE

Russell Thomason - Texas Tech University/GLEAMM

Sarah Cove - Alder Koten

Mark Harral - Group NIRE

Peter Muhoro - Pedernales

Raul Armendariz - Texas Energy ABC

Chris Foster - City of Georgetown

Cari Miller - City of Georgetown

Joshua Long - Southwestern University

Nisha Desai - Aurora Energy Partners

Steve Wiese - Frontier Associates