After Harvey - Annual Renewables Conference Expands Focus
to Address Grid Resilience and Reliability

Former V.P. Al Gore
to Keynote Along with other Industry Heavy-Hitters from ERCOT, CPS Energy, Austin Energy, Georgetown Utility Systems, Tech Thought Leaders and More



GEORGETOWN, TX – Today, in response to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance (TREIA)’s 3rd Annual GridNEXT conference announced a shift to its Opening Day Lineup and Schedule with a focus on moving to a more resilient and carbon free grid for Texas.

Former Vice President Al Gore will kick off the conference with remarks from 12:30-1:15 p.m. on October 23rd in the 100% renewable city of Georgetown. “Grid recovery and resilience is more important now than ever,” said TREIA Board Chair, Melissa Miller. “We are thrilled to be welcoming one of the most coveted global leaders in the world to provide his first public address in Texas in many years,” Miller said.

The world-renowned founder of retail energy and Forbes contributor Peter Kelly-Detwiler will facilitate select sessions and emcee the conference. “Nobody understands energy - in all its forms - better than the state of Texas,” he said. “Looking around the world, few other electricity markets exhibit the dynamism and commitment to embracing change that we see in the Lone Star State. It is rich in both traditional and renewable energy resources – and because it is the only state with the benefit of its own electricity grid (ERCOT), it’s no accident that we see over 20,000 megawatts of wind, and an emerging robust solar industry, with the promise of much more to come.”

“We created GridNEXT three years ago after an explosion in wind and solar technology ignited the biggest transformation in the history of the electric industry,” said Hala Ballouz, President of Electric Power Engineers, Inc. and Chair of the GridNEXT initiative and conference. “This remarkable event unleashed the need for more grid-centric technology. We wanted to establish a forum where renewable energy developers, providers, utilities, and thought-leaders could come together to learn, connect, and innovate about the latest energy trends and developments in order to create the Grid of the Future.”

Members of the GridNEXT Conference Organizing Committee announced other highlights of the newly announced agenda.

To commemorate CPS Energy’s 75th year of municipal ownership, the TREIA Organizing Committee has selected their fellow Board member partner to immediately follow Al Gore’s Keynote, with a presentation by CPS Energy’s Executive Leaders, Cris Eugster, COO, and Chief Safety Officer, Fred Bonewell. “Today’s energy industry is rapidly changing and CPS Energy is redefining how power gets generated and delivered to our customers,” Cris Eugster said. The two esteemed officials will address the themes of operational excellence and policy trends in Texas in a session entitled, “The Present and Future State of Utilities." "We must be proactive and cannot afford to wait to respond - the time is now,” said Bonewell.

Other Workshop Highlights include:

  • GridNEXT 1.0 and 2.0 Workshops to prepare attendees for “deep-dive” afternoon sessions

  • SolSmart: How Local Communities can be designated as solar-ready

  • Emerging Cyber-physical Security Challenges and the Microgrid

  • Cities in the Drivers’ Seat: Local Communities are Leading the Transformation to a Cleaner Grid

  • Electrical Vehicles (EVs) and the Grid

Sponsors of the event include Oncor, Austin Energy, Tradewind, Vistra Energy, EDF Renewable Energy, Duke Energy, Georgetown Utility Systems, Husch Blackwell, Sierra Club, Texas Tech, and other industry leaders. TREIA 2017 Sponsorships

Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance TREIA was formed in 1984 as the nascent renewable technology field was beginning to emerge. TREIA worked hard on public policy changes to take advantage of the states rich renewable energy resources at a time when its oil reserves began to wane. Today, TREIA boasts a membership of over 100 top renewable energy leaders that include technology companies, developers, providers, utilities, large customers, academic institutions, and consultants – all working to promote renewable energy as a major tool to create a more robust, energy independent, and carbon-free electric grid.

For scheduling media interviews with the speakers before the event or on-site, and for registering Media Passes, please contact Stacey Abel.

Download September 21, 2017 Press Release PDF
Download August 30, 2017 Press Release PDF