10/2/2018 8:00:00 AM | AT&T Conference Center, Austin, TX

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GCPA Fall 2018 Conference

Online registration is now closed. On-site will be available at the event at on-site registration prices.

Register Now for the GCPA 33rd Annual Fall 2018 Conference! 
NEW! MCLE, PE & CE CREDIT HOURS AVAILABLE - see p. 3 of the conference brochure

Conference Dates: Tues. October 2nd - Wed. October 3rd
Pre-Conference Activity Add-Ons on October 1st including
Fall Golf, Workshop & Welcome Reception

Conference Venue: AT&T Conference Center, 1900 University Ave., Austin, TX 78705


Download the 2018 Fall Conference Brochure
Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting? Download the Sponsor/Exhibitor Brochure
Join us at this Fall's largest electric power industry event in the ERCOT/Gulf Coast region!
600+ Registrations Expected (based on 2017 registrations of 623)

Don't Miss THE "Must Attend" Power Industry Event for this Fall:
  • Eleven Dynamic Sessions
  • Three Featured Keynoters
    • DeAnn Walker, Chairman, PUCT
    • Francis O’Sullivan, Director of Research & Analysis, MIT Energy Initiative‚Äč
    • Ross Ramsey, Executive Editor & Co-Founder, Texas Tribune
  • Compelling Discussion & Debate
  • 600+ Power Professionals
  • Exceptional Networking
Timely Topics:
  • ERCOT’s Summer of 2018
  • Investor Decisions: Evolution of Texas Wholesale Market
  • Blockchain – What It Is & Why You Care
  • Non-Wire Alternatives: Technology Focus Discussion
  • Future of Distributed Industry Around the World
  • Non-Wire Alternatives to T&D Services
  • Interactive Look at the Future Electric Industry
  • Evolution of the Texas Retail Market 2002 to Present
  • Cyber & Physical Security Risks and the Energy Industry
  • Resiliency
  • Operational Issues: Managing the ERCOT Fuel Mix

REGISTRATION PRICING: Early Bird Registration Discount Available through Sept. 10th - Save $160. Conference Price includes one and a half day conference on Oct. 2-3 and cocktail reception on Oct. 2. Non-Member rate includes GCPA Individual Membership good through Jan. 2019. Early Bird Rates shown below end on Mon. Sept. 10.
  • GCPA Members - $595
  • Non-Members - $820
  • State Govt. Employees - $195
  • GCPA Members in Job Search Mode - $200
  • GCPA Non-Members in Job Search Mode - $425
  • Students: $85
See p. 9 of the Fall Conference Brochure or click on the Pricing tab on this page for complete pricing information including pricing for Oct. 1st Pre-Conference events including the Fall Golf Tournament, the Half-Day Workshop and the Welcome Cocktail Reception.
If you encounter problems while registering, please contact Penny Sullivan at psullivan@gulfcoastpower.org.

Sponsorship packages are available starting at only $3000 for Gold. Plus our Gold, Platinum and Platinum PLUS packages include FREE CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS! Exhibit space is also available. To learn more about sponsorships and exhibits, please review our Sponsor/Exhibitor Brochure and contact Mary Armstrong, Director of Member Services & Marketing, at 281.460.3054 or marmstrong@gulfcoastpower.org.
Diamond Lead Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors







Gold Sponsors;

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GCPA has reserved a block with a limited number of rooms at our conference venue -
AT&T Conference Center located at 1900 University Ave., Austin TX 78705.
Although the room block has expired, AT&T will continue to take reservations based on availability.

Guest rooms for single or double occupancy are available at the special rate of $209 / night.

TO RESERVE YOUR ROOM: Call 512-404-3600


7:00 AM - Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:15 AM - GCPA President’s Welcome, Recognition of Co-Chairs & Conference Introduction

8:30 AM - Keynote Address - DeAnn Walker, Chairman, PUCT

9:00 AM - Session I - ERCOT’s Summer of 2018
With high interest in ERCOT market outcomes, and the implications of those outcomes for market participants and regulators in Texas and in other electric markets, this panel will break down what happened during the summer of 2018. What worked well, and what didn’t? Are market changes or other regulatory actions desired or required? What are expectations for the future?
Session Moderator: Beth Garza, Vice President & Director of ERCOT IMM, Potomac Economics
Julia Harvey, Director Regulatory Affairs, Texas Electric Cooperatives
Cheryl Mele, Sr. Vice President & COO, ERCOT
Claudia Morrow, Vice President Origination & Pricing, Luminant Energy
Resmi Surendran, Sr. Director Regulatory Policy, Shell Oil Products U.S.

10:15 AM - Networking Break

10:45 AM - Session II - Investor Decisions: Evolution of Texas Wholesale Market
ERCOT energy-only market has attracted investors for many years. For the first time in 2018, we are seeing a real decline in reserve margins while load growth and retirements of thermal units continue. What is driving investment for those that continue to add capacity in ERCOT? How can we incent investments beyond renewables?  What do banks think of the ERCOT market and will they issue debt for new capacity? After Summer 2018, is there enough credit to support the energy-only price caps? 
Session Moderator: Barbara Clemenhagen, Vice President Market Intelligence, Customized Energy Solutions
Nazar Massouh, CEO & Managing Partner, Orion Energy Partners
Robert Packer, Principal,  Robert Packer & Associates LLC
Deborah Reyes, Vice President - Development, 174 Power Global Corporation
Mark Egan, Managing Directory, Merrill Lynch Commodities

11:45 AM - Session III - “GCPA Talk”: Blockchain – What It Is & Why You Care
You have heard about it. You might even know something about it. Either way, this session will describe what it is and how it might change the electric power business, including retail electric supply agreements, peer to peer transactions, and billing and payment systems.
Speaker: Jason Linkswiler, Management Consultant, Links Advisory Services

12:05 PM - Luncheon

1:15 PM - Keynote Address - “Peering into the Crystal Ball: What Does the Future Hold for the Electric Power Business?” Francis O’Sullivan, Director of Research & Analysis, MIT Energy Initiative

1:45 PM - Session IV - Non-Wire Alternatives: Technology Focus Discussion 
This panel with explore new technologies in storage, and non-wires alternatives including demand response, distributed generation and community solar. This panel assumes the current regulatory framework remains in place and will discuss what the market and grid reliability opportunities for storage and other new technologies are in ERCOT. The panel additionally will address what technologies might solve ERCOT’s market and grid reliability concerns over the next 10 years, as well as current issues for new technologies including those that arise in interconnecting to the grid.
Session Moderator: Raj Chudgar, President, Viridity Energy
Rob Harris, CTO, PowerSecure
Scott Hinson, CTO, Pecan Street, Inc.
Lisa Martin, Program Manager, DER Integration, Austin Energy
Joshua Rhodes, Research Associate, The University of Texas at Austin

2:45 PM - Session V - “GCPA Talk”: Future of Distributed Industry Around the World
Highlighting new strategies to serve commercial and industrial customers today and tomorrow.
Speaker: Jerry Hedinger, Sr. Business Development Manager, Centrica Business Solutions

3:00 PM - Networking Break

3:20 PM - GCPA emPOWERing Young Professionals Award

3:30 PM - Session VI - Non-Wire Alternatives to T&D Services
This panel will explore new technologies and associated policies regarding their use in the planning, building and operation of the electric power delivery system. It will address how regulatory policy can allow non-wires alternatives such as load management, storage and distributed generation, as well as new traditional generation, to reduce the overall cost of maintaining reliable and safe electric service. Panelists will address the regulatory policy issues that such alternatives raise regarding ownership, risk allocation and cost allocation, impact on the ERCOT wholesale market, and the role and regulation of transmission and distribution utilities in ERCOT.
Session Moderator: Bob King, President, Good Company Associates
Bill Barnes, Director Regulatory Affairs, NRG Energy
Doug Lewin, Principal, Stoic Energy
Judith Talavera, President, AEP Texas
Betty Watson, Sr. Manager, Energy Policy, Tesla

4:30 PM - Session VII - Thumbs Up? Thumbs Down? Interactive Look at the Future Electric Industry
This panel will explore the future of the electric power business. As part of the discussion, the moderator will present a series of statements to the panelists, which the panelists will rate as “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” for their likelihood, on a number of current issues facing the industry, running the gamut from federal and state regulatory changes to physical and information technology changes. The audience will also participate in the rating via the conference mobile app with live results being shared in real time.
Session Moderator: Susan Pope, Managing Director, FTI Consulting
Kerinia Cusick, Co-Founder & Board President, Center for Renewables Integration
Jason Linkswiler, Management Consultant, Links Advisory Services
Francis O’Sullivan, Director of Research & Analysis, MIT Energy Initiative

5:15 PM - Conference Adjourns for Day One

5:15 - 7:00 PM - Cocktail Reception

7:30 AM - Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:20 AM - Keynote Address - “Texas Legislative Session: What Can We Expect?” Ross Ramsey, Executive Editor & Co-Founder, Texas Tribune

9:00 AM - Session VIII - Evolution of the Texas Retail Market 2002 to Present: What Have We Learned?
A fresh look at what has been done by the Texas Legislature, the PUC, ERCOT, and market participants to create the competitive electric retail market in ERCOT.  What distinguishes the ERCOT market design from others? Why do some consider the ERCOT market the best in US, while others still see weakness in its implementation?Session Moderator: Rebecca Zerwas, Regulatory Manager, CenterPoint Energy
Chris Brewster, Principal, Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend
Connie Corona, Division Director - Competitive Markets, Public Utility Commission of Texas
Ken Medlock, Sr. Director, Center for Energy Studies, Baker Institute
Jim Moore, Regional Vice President for ERCOT Sales, ENGIE

10:00 AM - Networking Break

10:15 AM - Session IX - “GCPA Talk: Cyber & Physical Security Risks and the Energy Industry”
Few things are as important to our modern society than a reliable supply of energy. For this reason, the energy industry is recognized as "Critical Infrastructure" and the weight of protecting these assets that support our nation can be heavy. This talk discusses some of the unique threats that face our industry and what can be done from a cyber and physical security perspective to protect some of our nation's most critical assets.
Speaker: Brian Harrell, Managing Director – Enterprise Protective Services, Duke Energy Corp.

10:30 AM - Session X - Resiliency
Resiliency is one of the most talked about areas in the industry, and the subject of ongoing regulatory inquiries, including at the FERC. But is increasing resiliency necessary and, if so, at what cost and who makes the decisions regarding the level of investment for resiliency? How do investors, utilities, consumers, and regulators justify investments and measure their effectiveness for the low probability/high impact events that resiliency investments are meant to protect against? This panel will explore potential methods of increasing resiliency in the Gulf Coast region, whether action is needed at all, and the impact of those choices on markets, investors, consumers, and regulators.
Session Moderator: Tammy Cooper, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Texas Reliability Entity, Inc.
Philip Bezanson, Managing Partner - Seattle Office, Bracewell
Brian Gemmel, President, WIRES; Vice President Transmission, National Grid
John Gunn, Vice President - Power & Regulatory Affairs, ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing Company
Patrick Peters, Associate General Counsel & Director Regulatory Affairs, CenterPoint Energy
Katherine Prewitt, Vice President, Transmission, Southern Company

11:15 AM - Session XI - Operational Issues: Managing the ERCOT Fuel Mix
The generation fleet is undergoing fundamental change in its makeup. There has been unprecedented growth in renewable energy, while at the same time, coal (and other thermal) plants seem to continue closing due to age and economic issues. How is the makeup of the generation fleet likely to continue to change? How is the addition of wind, and solar impacting the market today? How is the changing landscape being studied in the transmission planning process and how is that coordinated? This panel will explore the future shape of the generation fleet, and how the ERCOT markets and infrastructure will need to respond to the new mix of resources.
Session Moderator: Greg Thurnher, Manager Real Time Trading, Shell Energy North America
McCall Johnson, Sr. Manager, Government Affairs, Recurrent Energy
Clif Lange, Manager of Wholesale Marketing/QSE, South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC)
Maura Yates, Managing Member, Mothership Energy Group
Dan Woodfin, Sr. Director, System Operations, ERCOT

12:15 PM - Fall Conference 2018 Adjourns


Register for one or more of these pre-conference events:

Sponsored by: GCPA emPOWERing Women
Location: Onion Creek Club in Austin
Time: Check-In starting at 11:00 AM; Shotgun Start at 12:00 PM; Prizes & Happy Hour following the tournament.
Fees: Early Bird Pricing through 9/10: $100 WITH Conference Registration; $125 without Registration. Fee includes greens fee, cart, box lunch, goody bag and prizes.
Other Info:
Visit the club website for information.
For golf club rental: Call 512-282-2162.
To request placement with partner/foursomes: Contact Penny Sullivan.

Subject: “ERCOT Markets Today: How Does This Stuff Really Work?”
Location & Time: AT&T Conference Center - Check in at 12:30 PM, Workshop from 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Description: Kenan Ogelman, VP of Commercial Operations at ERCOT will lead a team of experts discussing the mechanics and fundamentals of price formation. Detailed agenda with speakers coming soon.

Fees: Early Bird Pricing through September 10: $110 Members, All Conference Attendees & Govt. Employees; $150 Non-Members without Conference Registration.

1:00     Introduction and Background:  Where Are We and How Did We Get Here?
A brief history of the ERCOT market design, including summaries of the debates over energy-only vs. capacity markets, the story of the System Wide Offer Cap, a look back at natural gas prices and generators’ marginal costs, and market power mitigation rules.

  • Kenan Ogelman,  VP, Commercial Operations, ERCOT

1:15     Coming Together:  Market Convergence and Settlement
This session will look at how settlements link together for Congestion Revenue Rights, the Day-Ahead Market, and the Real-Time Market, and how congestion rents are disbursed; and discuss the forces behind Settlement imbalances — e.g., CRR shortfalls and the Real-Time Revenue Neutrality Allocation (RENA).  It will also take a look at the actions ERCOT takes to foster convergence among these markets.

  • Carrie Bivens, Manager, Forward Markets, ERCOT

1:45     The Texas Two-Step:  Managing Congestion in the Real-Time Market
An overview of how the ERCOT Energy Management System (EMS) performs the network analysis and, following operator review, passes information on active constraints to the Security Constrained Economic Dispatch (SCED) engine; how the constraints are considered by SCED in the two-step process; and how the price mitigation process works.

  • David Maggio, Sr. Manager, Market Analysis & Validation, ERCOT 

2:45     Reliably Dealing with Scarcity:  Real-Time Price Adders
ERCOT was the first RTO/ISO to implement the Operating Reserve Demand Curve concept, which is designed to recognize the value of reserves during scarcity conditions.  So, how does it work?  This discussion will walk through the ORDC engine and describe how the curves are calculated (Hour-Ahead vs. Real-Time SCED); show some examples of ORDC results; and discuss the concept behind the on-line and off-line Reserve Price Adders and the Reliability Deployment Price Adders, with illustrative examples.

  • Kevin Hanson,  Lead Market Operations Analyst, ERCOT

3:15     Passive in Name Only:  Pricing Impacts of External Forces
Not all behavior that influences pricing outcomes is active in the market construct.  This session will discuss some of the impacts of price responsive non-market generation, price-responsive Load, and demand charge avoidance — a.k.a., Four Coincident Peak (4CP) response.

  • Paul Wattles, Senior Analyst, Market Design & Development, ERCOT

3:45     Market Participants’ View:  A Stakeholder Panel Discussion
ERCOT stakeholders will weigh in, ask questions of the presenters, and generally stimulate discussion on what has come before.  Audience participation is strongly encouraged.

  • Shannon Caraway, Vice President - Business Development, Solar Prime
  • Seth Cochran, Manager - Market Affairs & Origination, DC Energy
  • Keith Emery, Vice President - Origination, Tenaska Power Services Co.
  • Marka Shaw, Director - Wholesale Market Development, Exelon
  • Caitlin Smith, Manager, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Invenergy

4:30     Workshop Adjourns

Location & Time: Join us for a casual networking reception from 5:30 to 7:30 PM
in the Courtyard at AT&T Conference Center. Appetizers and one drink ticket included.
Fees: Early Bird Pricing through September 10 - $30


CONFERENCE PRICING - price includes one and a half day conference 10/2-10/3 and cocktail reception 10/2.   *Non-Member rate includes 2018 Individual Membership good through 1/31/19.
CONFERENCE PRICING Early Bird Pricing through 9/10 Regular Pricing 9/11 - 9/28 Onsite Pricing 10/2 - 10/3
GCPA Members $595 $755 $855
Non-Members* $820 $980 $1,080
State Govt. $195 $195 $250
GCPA Members in Job Search Mode $200 $200 $300
Non-Members in Job Search Mode* $425 $425 $525
Full-Time Students $85 $85 $95

GOLF PRICING - price for 10/1 tournament includes greens fee, cart, lunch and goody bags.
GOLF PRICING Early Bird Pricing through 9/10 Regular Pricing 9/11 - 9/28 Onsite Pricing 10/1
Fee w/conf. registration $100 $110 Not Available
Fee W/OUT conf. registration $125 $135 Not Available

WORKSHOP PRICING - price for 10/1 workshop includes beverage service and snack.
WORKSHOP PRICING Early Bird Pricing through 9/10 Regular Pricing 9/11 - 9/28 Onsite Pricing 10/1
Members, All Conference  Attendees, Govt. $110 $130 $160

Non-Members W/OUT
conf. reg.

$150 $170 $200

WELCOME RECEPTION PRICING - price for 10/1 reception with appetizers and one drink ticket.
10/1 WELCOME RECEPTION PRICING Early Bird Pricing through 9/10 Regular Pricing 9/11 - 9/28 Onsite Pricing 10/1
Fee $30 $30 $35

REFUND POLICY - Cancellations must be received by 5 PM on Friday, September 14 in order to receive a refund. A 10% service fee (minimum fee of $10) will be charged against all refunds. Please direct all cancellation requests to Mary Armstrong at marmstrong@gulfcoastpower.org.

PEs: As part of the Continuing Education Program requirements for Professional Engineers in Texas, each licensed engineer is required to earn 15 hours per year of Professional Development Hours (PDH). Attendees will receive approximately 10.25 hours of credit if all conference sessions are attended. Also available is credit of 3.5 hours for the October 1 Workshop.

CPAs: GCPA is a Board Registered CPE Sponsor with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. This registration does not constitute an endorsement by the Board as to the quality of our CPE program. The learning objectives for CPAs are: to obtain an in-depth understanding of ERCOT market outcomes for Summer 2018; Investment drivers in the Texas wholesale market; Blockchain in the electric power market; Non-wire alternatives; National future of distributed industry; Non-wire alternatives to T&D services; Future of the electric power industry; Evolution of the Texas retail market; Cyber & physical security risks in the energy industry; Resiliency; and Operational issues in managing the ERCOT fuel mix. There are no prerequisites. Attendees will receive approximately 12 hours of credit if all conference sessions are attended. Also available is credit of 3.5 hours for the October 1 Workshop. The learning objective for the workshop is to obtain an in-depth understanding of mechanics and fundamentals of price formation.

Attorneys: The Texas State Bar has approved a total of 8.0 MCLE credit hours for portions of the conference and the workshop. A total of 5.0 hours has been approved for conference sessions I, III, VI, VII, VIII and X. A total of 3.0 hours has been approved for the October 1 workshop.