BUILDING A SOLAR SMART UTILITY

 

  • All Tracks
  • Connecting with Customers
  • Utility Business Models
  • Solar & the Grid
Monday, April 27

7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Registration

8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Solar Tour - Including Breakfast and Lunch

Separate registration required; Detailed agenda will be shared with registrants

12:30PM -5:30 PM

Golf Tournament - Including Lunch

Separate registration required

12:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Solar Installation

Separate registration required

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

USC Opening Reception

KicK - off USC 2015

Tuesday, April 28
Conference Day 1 - Open to all Participants

7:00 AM-5:30PM
Loggia

Registration

9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Bernardo Ballroom
Solution Provider Lounge

7:15 AM - 8:00 AM
Aragon Lawn

Continental Breakfast

8:10 AM - 9:40 AM
Aragon II/ III

Opening General Session

 

  • How the 51st State Can Work for You - Julia Hamm, President & CEO, Solar Electric Power Association
  • San Diego Gas & Electric: Creating Sustainability from a Clean Slate - Jim Avery, SVP Power Supply, San Diego Gas & Electric
  • The Role for the Utility in a Changing Energy Market - Jim Rogers, Former CEO and Chairman of the Board, Duke Energy
  • Hawaii: The First Renewable Energy State? - Mike Champley, Commissioner, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission

Where Do We Go From Here?
Our general session speakers engage in a brief roundtable discussion on the critical issues that will shape the future of the utility.

9:50 AM - 10:45 AM

Concurrent Sessions

Connecting with Customers
Santiago II & III

Solar Market Trends

Join this discussion of the latest news and trends coming out of the fast-growing U.S. solar market, including a review of costs, market segments, technologies and other trends that shape the way that utilities and their customers access solar.

Speakers:

  • Tanuj Deora, CSO, SEPA
  • Shayle Kann, SVP, Research, GreenTech Media

Utility Business Models
Catalina

Utilities & Solar Roundtable: Lessons from Germany

SEPA's Executive Mission to Germany in September 2014 provided candid insights into the fast evolving electricity market in Germany, with a focus on how the rise of solar has triggered dynamic and disruptive change. We will focus on the instructive lessons for U.S. utilities .

Speakers:

  • Bob Gibson, VP, Education & Outreach, SEPA
  • Chris Vlahoplus, Practice Lead, Clean Tech & Sustainability, ScottMadden
  • Joe Hoagland, VP, Stakeholder Relations, Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Aaron Johnson, Senior Director, Customer Programs, PG&E

Solar & the Grid
Santiago I

What are the Real Benefits & Barriers?
Effectively Evaluating Grid Issues

Expert speakers will focus on how solar growth is impacting distribution resource planning. Optimal siting of generation and barriers to integrating distributed energy resources will be highlighted as part of the examination of the "real" issues and impacts of increased penetration and the costs associated with mitigation strategies.

Moderator:

    • Ted Davidovich, Manager, Utility Planning, SEPA

Speakers:

    • Jeff Smith, Program Manager, Electric Power Research Institute
    • Michael Coddington, Senior Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

10:45 AM - 11:20 AM
Bernardo Ballroom

Solution Provider Networking Break

11:20 AM - 12:15 PM

Concurrent Sessions

Utility Business Models
Catalina

Solar Roadmap for Utilities

This interactive session will seek to identify how the future of the energy landscape will impact utility operations. The moderastors will facilitate a series of discussions on how utilities could change their planning and operational functions, roles, and organizational structures under a variety of future scenarios.

Presenters & Discussion Leaders:

  • John Sterling, Senior Director, Research & Advisory Services, SEPA
  • Karlynn Cory, Manager, Technology Systems & Utility Analysis, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Utility Business Models
Santiago I

What Happens when Solar is in the Least Cost Plan?

Utility speakers from key markets discuss the impact of increasingly cost-competitive solar on resource planning and procurement decision-making.

Moderator:

  • Alison King, Specialist, Distributed Generation, ConEdison

Speakers:

  • Pat O'Connell, Director of Planning & Resources, Public Service of New Mexico
  • Dan Nygaard, VP, Marketing, Xcel Energy (invited)

Solar & The Grid
Santiago II & III

Managing the Grid - Lessons from Hawaii

Utility experts from Hawaii will share the experience of how they are adapting to rapid increases in the penetration of solar and other renewable resources, including the launch of the Integrated Interconnection Queue.

Moderator & Speakers:

  • Dora Nakafuji, Director of Renewable Integration & Planning, Hawaiian Electric Company
  • David Bissell, President & CEO, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative

12:25 PM - 12:50 PM

Fast Forward Sessions

Fast Forward: Utility Business Models
Catalina

Solar Roadmap for Utilities Continued (see above)

Fast Forward: Utility Business Models
Santiago II & III

From the Ground Up: Cost-Effective Solar Program Design

By the end of 2016 Georgia Power will have had a hand in the development of nearly 900 MW of solar in a two-year timeframe. Share in the key takeaways from managing a 565 MW solar RFP and 190 MW distributed generation program.

Speaker:

  • Ervan Hancock, Renewable Development Implementation Manager, Georgia Power

Fast Forward: Solar & The Grid
Santiago I

Solar's Growing Position in Global Energy Supply and Demand

This session will focus on how solar is growing as a global energy resource, and how this growth will impact the stability, reliability and flexibility of the power system in the U.S. and other countries.

Speaker:

  • Seth Darling, Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

12:50 PM - 1:50 PM
Bernardo Ballroom Patio and North Lawn

Networking Lunch

12:50 PM - 4:50 PM
Granada Room

Executive Leadership Roundtable & Lunch

By Invitation Only

1:50 PM - 2:45 PM

Concurrent Session

Connecting with Customers
Santiago I

Solar Growth in Unlikely Markets

Recent regulatory and market changes have led to unexpected solar growth in several "new" markets including Georgia, and North and South Carolina. Hear from key market players as they discuss the drivers for this change and their views on what comes next.

Moderator:

  • Daisy Chung, Research Analyst, SEPA

Speakers:

    • Emily Felt, Manager, Strategy and Policy - Distributed Energy, Duke Energy
    • Jeff Pratt, President, Green Power EMC

Utility Business Models
Santiago II & III

Exploring Utility Ownership of Rooftop Solar

This session describes two paths to utility ownership of rooftop solar. Tucson Electric Power and Arizona Public Service will dive deeply into program drivers, technology considerations, stakeholder engagement and best practices for utilities considering this option for participation in customer-sited DG.

Moderator & Speakers:

  • Carmine Tilghman, Senior Director, Wholesale, Fuels, & Renewable Resources, UNS Energy
  • Rex Stepp, Leader, Renewable Energy Program, Arizona Public Service

Solar & The Grid
Catalina

When, Where and How will Solar + Energy Storage Arrive?

When will energy storage become cost-effective? What markets are seeing growth and what are the next markets? What technologies and/or business models are best suited to encourage storage market development and who might win and who might lose when this happens?

Moderator:

  • Miriam Makhyoun, Research Manager, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Leia Guccione, Manager, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Douglas Danley, Technical Liaison, Renewable & Distributed Energy, NRECA
  • William Torre, Director, University of California, San Diego

2:55 PM - 3:20 PM

Fast Forwards

Fast Forward: Connecting with Customers
Catalina

 

Spending Our Low-Carbon Budget Wisely

Karsten Barde from National Grid’s Customer Strategy & Environmental group will share ideas on new customer solar solutions that serve the needs of both individual and collective customers, creating sustainable long-term value from solar.

Speaker:

  • Karsten Barde, Program Manager, Emerging Market Strategy, National Grid

Fast Forward: Utility Business Models
Santiago II & III

An Overview on Storage & PV

Exploring the importance of storage for increasing the contribution of intermittent renewable energy, and the cost challenges and the different options of storage.

Speaker:

  • Robert Dally, Program Manager, Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy

Fast Forward: Solar & The Grid
Santiago I

Counting on Solar Production - Advances in Forecasting

Results from the latest research in solar power forecasting for utility grid integration and resource management.

Speaker:

  • Dr. Sue Ellen Haupt, Senior Scientist, Director, Weather Systems & Assessment Program, Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research

3:20 PM - 3:55 PM
Solution Providers Room
Bernardo Ballroom

Special Session Networking Break and Round Robin

4:00 PM - 4:55 PM

Concurrent Sessions

Connecting with Customers
Catalina

Leveraging the Power of Solar to Forge Stronger Utility-Customer Bonds

The utility industry is rightly concerned about rapidly changing customer expectations when it comes to energy. Retaining and strengthening the customer base is critical to utility business success, and solar can be one of the keys. This session will share the Shelton Group's latest market findings and opportunities for utilities to stay relevant and achieve success.

Moderator:

  • Cynthia Hunt Jaehne, Education Manager, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Suzanne Shelton, President & CEO, Shelton Group
  • Molly Hoyt, Principal Program Manager, PG&E

Utility Business Models
Santiago II & III

Investor Owned Utilities:

Exploring Innovative Business Models

Intriguing options for investor-owned utilities to incorporate solar as a new business and service opportunity.

Moderator:

  • Jennifer Szaro, Manager, Renewables, Orlando Utilities Commission

Speakers:

  • Kevin Bryant, Vice President, Strategic Planning, Great Plains Energy and President, KLT
  • Ted Repetti, Solar Loan Program Manager, PSE&G

Solar & The Grid
Santiago I

How Utilities Can Play a Key Role in the Development of Microgrids

Three examples of how utilities are participating in the development of microgrids in order to make higher value use of renewable energy and add resiliency and reliability in the face of future outages.

Moderator:

    • David Rubin, Director of Service Analysis, PG&E
Speakers:
  • Tom Bialek, Chief Engineer, SDG&E
  • Craig Lewis, Founder & Executive Director, Clean Coalition
  • Tom Anthony, Industry Intelligence Manager, Oncor, Electric Delivery 

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Restaurant Terrace/ Promenade/ Buena Vista Terrace

Solution Providers' Reception

Wednesday, April 29
Conference Day 2 

7:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Loggia

Registration

7:30 AM - 8:20 AM
North Lawn

Breakfast

8:30 AM - 9:25 AM Concurrent Sessions

Connecting with Customers
Santiago II & III

Beyond Confrontation:
How Utilities and Solar Providers Can Engage in Productive Dialogue

What steps can utilities and solar stakeholders take to defuse current tensions over the growth of distributed solar? Why do the two sides draw such different conclusions when it comes to measuring costs and benefits, and other topics involving solar and the grid? This session will examine ways that all parties can improve communications - including with utility customers - and work more effectively on an informal level to resolve differences. Rick Gilliam has been on all sides of the equation having worked for a utility, a solar development company and now at a non-profit helping solar become a mainstream resource. Thomas Brill is deeply involved in his utility's solar-focused work. Bill LeBlanc specializes in helping utilities in the development of and communication about customer energy programs; his background includes rate work at a large utility.

Moderator:

      • Bill LeBlanc, Chief Instigation Agent, E Source

Speakers:

  • Rick Gilliam, Program Director, DG Regulatory Policy, The Vote Solar Initiative
  • Thomas Brill, Special Counsel and Director of Strategic Projects, San Diego Gas and Electric

 

Utility Business Models
Catalina

Cooperative & Public Power:

Exploring Innovative Business Models

Cooperative and public power utilities are notably customer-focused by nature. How can these non-profit utilities play productive roles in the sustainable growth of solar in their communities?

Moderator:

  • Bob Gibson, VP Education & Outreach, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Patrick McCoy, Solar Retail Strategy Planner, Customer Retail Strategy, Customer and Community Services, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • Troy Morris, VP, Business Relations, Mid-South Synergy

Solar & The Grid
Santiago I

Managing High Penetration of Solar: Changes in Policy, Technology and Expectations

Expert speakers from SDG&E and PSEG will explore both the technical and policy aspects of integration. Meeting the technical challenges of increased penetration and lessons applied at SDG&E will be shared, including the work of California's "Smart Inverter Working Group". PSEG will share how it manages unprecedented solar growth in Long Island.

Moderator:

  • Ryan Edge, Research Analyst, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Thomas Bialek, Chief Engineer, SDG&E
  • Robert Boerner, Manager, Renewable Energy, PSEG Long Island

9:35 AM - 10:30 AM

Concurrent Sessions

Connecting with Customers
Santiago II & III

The Utility as Customer Advisor

The panel will highlight opportunities for utilities to step into the role of energy advisor to customers at a time when customer choice is growing and expectations are changing.

Utilities can help customers navigate new territory, make smart energy decisions and develop stronger ties to their customers.

Moderator/Speaker:

  • John Sterling, Senior Director, Research & Advisory Services, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Alison Kling, Specialist, Distributed Generation, ConEdison
  • Jeff Ressler, President, Software Services, Clean Power Research
  • Lori Singleton, Director, Emerging Customer Programs- Solar, Sustainability and Telecom, Salt River Project

Utility Business Models
Santiago I

Expanding the Scope of the Value of Solar

Participants will learn about and discuss the components of Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) and Austin Energy's current Value of Solar methodology. Austin Energy will share ideas for how other utility services might benefit from a similar cost-benefit analysis. The presentation will include how these valuation studies could be integrated into tariffs or new market structures to support higher penetrations of renewable energy. TVA will share their VOS approach, lessons on building consensus from a diverse stakeholder group and how TVA is employing this methodology. Come to this session ready to share.

Moderator:

      • Ted Davidovich, Manager, Utility Planning, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Tim Harvey, Solar Program Coordinator, Austin Energy
  • Joe Hoagland, VP, Stakeholder Relations, Tennessee Valley Authority

Solar & The Grid
Catalina

What Utilities Need To Know about Solar Operations & Maintenance

Experienced experts share what they have learned about the O&M required for utility scale solar plants - resource needs, costs, best practices and more.

Moderator:

  • Jimi Diaz, Electrical Engineer, Resource Management, APS

Speakers:

  • Ernie Tom, Engineer, Solar Initiatives, Salt River Project
  • Lane Ellison, Peaker and Solar Safety & Environmental Specialist, Southern California Edison
  • Bob Holsinger, PV Solar/ Fuel Cell OM Supervisor, PG&E

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM
Bernardo Ballroom

Networking Break and Round Robin Team Challenge Winners Announced

11:20 AM - 11:45 AM

Fast Forwards

Fast Forward: Connecting with Customers
Santiago II & III

Overview of Community Solar & Trends & Insights

Community solar is expanding rapidly and in this session Becky Campbell will provide an update. Attend the afternoon session for a deeper dive into some of the challenges utilities face with program development.

Speaker:

  • Becky Campbell, Senior Manager, Research & Advisory Services, SEPA

Fast Forward: Utility Business Models
Catalina

A New Opportunity? Minimum Bills

Join this session and you will hear an overview of minimum bills, why this charge might be an option for utilities attempting to recover distribution costs. The reasoning behind the minimum bill charge and its strengths and weaknesses will be covered here.

Speaker:

  • Jim Lazar, Senior Advisor, Regulatory Assistance Project

Fast Forward: Solar & The Grid
Santiago I

Lessons Learned from A Study of Customer-Owned PV Plants

Findings from a review of utility AC interconnection parameter inspections of large, customer-owned PV Plants. The study resulted in insights into compliance with utility requirements and, into actual power and energy generation at typical PV power plants.

Speaker:

  • Shawn Fitzpatrick, Sr. PV Consultant, NC Advanced Energy Corporation

11:55 AM - 12:20 PM

Fast Forwards

Fast Forward: Connecting with Customers
Santiago II & III

What Do Residential and Commercial Customers Want from Solar?

Utilities are rolling out solar programs for their customers - but are these offerings developed with a clear understanding of what customers really want? In this Fast Forward, Bill LeBlanc will review new E Source research findings on what residential and commercial/industrial customers want regarding solar options, and when they will be ready to “pull the trigger” on investments. He will point out the importance not just of understanding customer expectations, but in communicating clearly and effectively about solar or any customer energy program.

Speaker:

  • Bill LeBlanc, Chief Instigation Agent, E Source

Fast Forward: Utility Business Models
Santiago I

Finance Focus: Lessons for Solar Deployment by Electric Cooperatives

Hear best practices for electric cooperatives in identifying investment opportunities and formulating effective deployment plans.

Speaker:

  • Krishna Murthy, VP, Energy & Industry Analysis, National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation

Fast Forward: Solar & The Grid
Catalina

Smart Inverter - Lessons from Utility-Scale Demonstration

Increased distributed resources are causing grid management challenges for both distribution and transmission circuits. PV and energy storage inverters are capable of delivering grid support functionalities. Managing these smart inverters as harmonized grid assets presents challenges that will be addressed in this session.

Speaker:

  • Aminul Huque, Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute

12:20 PM - 1:50 PM
Aragon Ballroom

Lunch - with Top Ten Awards and Raffle

2:00 PM - 2:55 PM

Concurrent Sessions

Connecting with Customers
Santiago II & III

Community Solar: Working through the Challenges

From program design to carefully balancing utility relationship structures, the panel will address some of the challenges that utilities face in implementing successful community solar programs. Attendees will hear about innovative solutions and ongoing efforts to streamline the program design process.

Moderator:

  • Becky Campbell, Senior Manager, Research & Advisory Services, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Neil Placer, Sr. Manager, Renewable Energy Solutions, Tennessee Valley Authority
  • John Shenot, Senior Associate, Regulatory Assistance Project

Utility Business Models
Catalina

Answers from the Experts

Programmatic, planning and technical questions will be answered in this lively and interactive session. Come with your questions - and feel welcome to jump in and answer in your area of expertise.

Moderator:

      • John Sterling, Senior Director, Research & Advisory Services, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Emily Felt, Manager, Strategy and Policy - Distributed Energy, Duke Energy
  • Paul Lau, Chief Grid Strategy & Operations Officer, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • James Piotrowski, Manager, Solar Generation, Arizona Public Service
  • Jennifer Szaro, Manager, Renewables, Orlando Utilities Commission

Solar & The Grid
Santiago I

How to Improve and Streamline Solar Interconnection

Speakers from NREL and Pacific Gas & Electric will examine the challenges, opportunities and tools for distribution and transmission level interconnection.

Moderator:

  • Miriam Makhyoun, Research Manager, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Kristin Ardani, Solar Technology Markets and Policy Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Michael Colborn, Principal Project Manager, PG&E
  • Tyrone Kneller, Manager, Substation Engineering and Project Management, PG&E

3:05 PM - 4:00 PM

Concurrent Sessions

Connecting with Customers
Santiago II & III

Bringing Solar to Low-income Communities: How Utilities can Participate

GRID Alternatives will share best practices and their partnership-based strategies bringing solar and job training to communities in need including a case study of its 10-year partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric.

Moderator:

  • Ruth Hupart, Member Relations Manager, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Darren Deffner, DG Communications & Engagement, Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Zachary Franklin, VP, Development & Communications, GRID Alternatives

Utility Business Models
Catalina

Small Utilities Think and Act Big with Solar

Some of the most creative approaches to turning solar into a community asset are taking place at some of the smallest utilities. Join us for a case study that will provide ideas and inspiration for utilities of any size.

Moderator:

  • Bob Gibson, VP, Education & Outreach, SEPA

Speaker:

  • Warren McKenna, CEO & General Manager, Farmers Electric Cooperative

Solar & The Grid
Santiago I

Will Utility-Scale Solar Continue to Grow?

For the past few years, the fastest solar growth has come at the utility-scale. Will this market change with the upsurge in distributed PV? Will we continue to see a mix of solar technologies - including concentrating solar power - in utility scale projects?

Moderator:

  • Tanuj Deora, CSO, SEPA

Speaker:

  • Beth Chacon, Environmental Policy Relations Manager, Xcel Energy
  • Stacey Kusters, VP Renewable Energy and Origination, NV Energy
Thursday, April 30

Solar Integration Workshop

All Day.

Separate Registration required- Santiago II & III
Lunch on Santiago Lawn