4/16/2019 8:30:00 AM | Hilton Americas Hotel, Houston, TX

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Spring 2019 GCPA Conference

Register Now

33rd Annual Spring
Conference & Exhibition

April 16th - 17th, 2019
Hilton Americas - Houston

Download the 2019 Spring Conference Brochure
Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting?  Download the Sponsor/Exhibitor Brochure

Connie Corona, Division Director - Competitive Markets, PUCT
Marka Shaw, Director Wholesale Market Development, Exelon
Sanem Sergici, Principal, The Brattle Group


This Spring’s Largest “Must Attend” Power Industry Event

Prominent Industry & Government Speakers
Timely Session Topics & Discussions
PLUS Rooftop Cocktail Reception at The Grove on April 16th


Pre-Conference Activity Add-Ons on Monday, April 15th

Day: Networking Event at Topgolf
Pre-Conference Workshop - Mexico Power Market Update
Evening: Welcome Cocktail Reception for Attendees at Hilton

See the Pre-conference Activities section for more details


Join us at this spring’s leading electric power conference
for the ERCOT/Gulf Coast region.

400+ attendance expected based on 2018 attendance of 435 with approximately one-third of these attendees holding upper level management titles ranging from CEO to Vice President.


Pre-Conference Activity Add-Ons - Monday, April 15

• Networking Event at Topgolf Houston-Katy - 12:30 PM - 4:30 PM
• Workshop - "Mexico Electricity Sector Workshop - Changes and Enhancements" - 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
• Welcome Cocktail Reception for Attendees at Hilton Americas - 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Spring Conference Day One - Tuesday, April 16

• Registration and Continental Breakfast opens at 7:00 AM
• Conference opening welcome at 8:00 AM
• Session and keynoter presentations from 8:15 AM - 5:00 PM
• Rooftop Cocktail Reception at The Grove from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Day Two - Wednesday, April 17

• Registration and Continental Breakfast opens at 7:45 AM
• Session and keynoter presentations from 8:30 AM - 12:15 PM
• Conference adjourns at close of final session at 12:15 PM













Sponsorship packages are available starting at only $3000 for GOLD. Plus our Sponsorship packages include FREE CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS!  

Exhibit space is also available starting at $750.

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.




GCPA has a room block with a limited number of rooms for the nights of Sun 4/14 - Tue 4/16 at Hilton Americas - Houston, located at 1600 Lamar, Houston, TX 77010. Single or double occupancy rooms are available at the special rate of $229 per night. Rate includes complimentary in-room high speed wireless internet service. Reservations must be received on or before the room block cutoff date of Friday March 29th.


OR call 1-800-236-2905 and use the room block code 1GL

TO VIEW THE HILTON AMERICAS - HOUSTON WEBSITE: Click Here (opens in new window)

Parking is available at Hilton Americas standard rates which are currently $27/day for self parking
in the attached garage and $40/day for valet parking.



8:00 AM

GCPA President’s Welcome   Mark Walker, Assistant General Counsel, Xcel Energy Services Inc.
Recognition of Chairs             Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA
Conference Introduction       Connie Corona, PUCT
                                                   Marka Shaw, Exelon
                                                   Sanem Sergici, The Brattle Group

8:15 AM                                          KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Omar Khayum, CEO, Annova LNG, an Exelon Business Unit


8:45 AM Session I - Evolving RTO Market Designs: Future of Energy & Ancillary Services

Energy and ancillary markets are facing new challenges with the growing uncertainty between day-ahead and real-time market schedules causing price volatility and system reliability issues in real-time. ISOs/RTOs are changing energy and AS market designs to tackle these challenges. The panel will look at the unique energy and AS market challenges in the CAISO/PJM/ERCOT markets and proposals underway or additional changes needed to overcome the challenges. The panel will also discuss potential impacts on the value proposition of different generation technologies under proposed market design changes.

Moderator: Judah Rose, Executive Director & Chair, ICF

Brian George, Sr. Policy Advisor, American Petroleum Institute
Adam Keetch, Executive Director, Market Operations, PJM
Brett Kruse, Vice President, Market Design, Calpine
Kathleen Spees, Principal, The Brattle Group

9:45 AM                                      NETWORKING COFFEE BREAK


10:15 AM Session II - Energy Storage: Is it a Panacea?

Due to rapidly falling costs and operational flexibility, energy storage is increasingly viewed as a valuable electricity system resource.  Storage systems connected to the transmission and distribution grid have the potential to provide a range of services that could ultimately reduce power system costs and create value for consumers. However, there are remaining challenges to be addressed. How is storage being used right now in the U.S.? What business models make sense and where? In which markets is the economic case for storage a challenge and why? What are the limitations of energy storage technologies today and how should those limitations impact our strategy?

Moderator: Ryan Hledik, Principal, The Brattle Group; Co-author - Nevada’s Energy Storage Potential Study

Warren Lasher, Sr. Director, System Planning, ERCOT
Anthony Maselli, Vice President Development and Strategy, Vistra Energy
Scott Osborne, Vice President, Greensmith Energy Storage

11:15 AM Session III - What's Driving Decarbonization in the US: How Is It Working?

Decarbonization is being driven by many types of forces including government goals, corporate commitments, and economic forces. In some U.S. markets we see decarbonization being pushed at the state and local government level. In other areas it is accelerating thanks to low-cost renewable energy or other market factors. With no central federal policy for decarbonization, the goals and approaches vary widely across the country. Is this decentralized effort leading to faster decarbonization than a centralized one? Where do we see the most traction and why?

Moderator: Kai Guo, Director of Offshore Wind, Director of Market Research, Kiewit

Katharine Beisner, Sr. Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Stategist, Austin Energy
Jeff Lyng, Director, Energy & Environmental Policy, Xcel Energy
Jonathan Peress, Sr. Director of Energy Market Policy, Environmental Defense Fund

12:00 PM                                                  LUNCHEON


1:00 PM                                             KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Jesse Thompson, Senior Business Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas


1:30 PM Session IV - Pollution Pricing in the Power Sector: Market-Friendly Tools for Incorporating Public Policy

State energy and environmental preferences are playing out as market interventions in organized power markets; the legal challenges over states issuing Zero Emission Credits (ZECs) are just one of the latest examples. This panel will describe how power markets have absorbed carbon prices imposed by some state policies, and explore whether additional state carbon prices or a market carbon price could ease state/market tensions. As an economic matter, should markets seek to internalize the environmental costs of generation?
As a legal matter, do markets have the authority to set a carbon price, in the absence of state action? What are the goals, opportunities, and potential pitfalls of pricing carbon in the power markets?

Moderator: Kate Konschnik, Director, Climate & Energy Program, Duke Nicholas Institute

Doug Scott, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Great Plains Institute
Representative from Calpine TBA

2:30 PM Session V - Resilience – Beyond Grid Hardening: Cyber, Gas, and Advanced Supply Sources

Resilience includes the ability to prepare for, withstand, and recover rapidly from deliberate attacks, accidents, or naturally occurring threats or incidents. This panel will go beyond grid hardening topics and address advanced persistent threats, disruptions to downstream electric industry support or supply chains such as information technology platforms and gas pipelines, and how new sources of supply such as microgrids and distributed energy resources fit into the problem or solution set.

Moderator: Cheryl Mele, Sr. Vice President & COO, ERCOT

Joel Firestone, Vice President, Regulatory and Market Compliance, LCRA

3:30 PM                                    NETWORKING COFFEE BREAK

3:45 PM                              POWER STAR AWARD PRESENTATION

4:00 PM Session VI - ISO CEO Roundtable: Contemporary Issues

Listen in and ask questions as this panel of ISO CEOs discuss current and future issues.

Moderator: Pat Wood III, Principal, Wood3 Resources

Nick Brown, President & CEO, SPP
Bill Magness, President & CEO, ERCOT

5:00 PM                                                      ADJOURN

5:00 - 7:00 PM                     COCKTAIL RECEPTION AT THE GROVE

Rain or shine, join your colleagues for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at this beautiful rooftop location overlooking Downtown Houston - just across the street from the Hilton Americas



8:30 AM                              OPENING KEYNOTE ADDRESS

James D. Meier, P.E., VP Permian Gas & Power Infrastructure, Pioneer Natural Resources


9:00 AM Session VII - Summer 2019 Expectations in ERCOT

The Texas population is increasing, its economy is growing, but its electrical supply is not. Last year saw record loads and high prices throughout the region. In 2019, the ERCOT market is facing an even tighter reserve margin than in 2018. What does this summer hold for the market? What are the risks of system emergencies? What commercial risks are increased this summer, compared to past years? What increased risks do customers face, both in regulated and deregulated areas?

Moderator: Beth Garza, Vice President & Director of ERCOT IMM, Potomac Economics

Katie Coleman, Partner, Thompson & Knight; Counsel for TIEC
Michele Gregg, Executive Director, Texas Competitive Power Advocates
Julia Rathgeber, President, AECT

9:45 AM                                 NETWORKING COFFEE BREAK


10:15 AM Session VIII - State of Retail Competition Across the Country

In roughly two decades of retail competition around the United States, retail market models have developed differing rules for billing, default service, and customer aggregation. Is this a complicating factor for retailers operating in multiple jurisdictions? Does this ultimately have a negative or positive impact on end-use customers? What can states take away from best practices in other markets?

Moderator: Allison Neves, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Channels, Just Energy

Chris Hendrix, Director of Markets & Compliance, Walmart
Abe Silverman, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Group & Deputy General Counsel
Policy Maker Panelist TBA

11:15 AM Session IX - System Planning in a High DER Environment

Utilities and system operators have traditionally given limited attention to modeling of DERs in their planning efforts. Given the increased penetration of DERs, these resources need to be more carefully represented in modeling efforts. DERs are also starting to play a more important role as load flexibility resources as the renewable penetration increases. This session will describe best practices and lessons learned in planning in an environment with increasing DERs, and discuss challenges and opportunities in utility and wholesale planning functions.

Moderator: Sanem Sergici, Principal, The Brattle Group

Jeff Bladen, Executive Director, Market Services, MISO
John Kosub, Sr. Director, Energy Portfolio Analytics, CPS Energy
Steve Steffel, Manager, Regional Capacity Planning, PHI/Exelon
Kenan Ögelman, VP, Commercial Operations, ERCOT

12:15 PM                                     CONFERENCE ADJOURNS

Pre-Conference Activities on Monday, April 15th:
To register for any of these events - CLICK HERE


Sponsored by: GCPA’s emPOWERing Women’s Program
at Topgolf Houston-Katy, 1030 Memorial Brook Blvd, Houston, TX 77084
TIME: 12:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Check-In/Buffet open at 12:30 PM; Play begins promptly at 1:00 PM; Prizes at 4:00 PM

From aspiring pros to those who have never walked 18 holes, anyone can play Topgolf. All you have to do is swing a club and try to hit your microchipped balls into dartboard-like targets. Join us at this terrific networking event with great food, full-service bar, upscale facilities and competitive fun that EVERYONE can enjoy!

Pricing: $100 WITH Conference Registration; $125 w/out Conference Registration.
Fee includes game, buffet, snacks, beer bucket in bay, goody bags, one drink ticket and prizes.

Visit the Topgolf website for information about Topgolf.
To request placement with partner/groups: Email Penny Sullivan.


“Mexico Electricity Sector Workshop - Changes and Enhancements”
at the Hilton Americas - Houston

Since 2013, Mexico has embarked on a major restructuring of its electricity sector. With a new administration
taking office in December, 2018, reviews of existing processes have already been announced and are under
discussion. In this sense, additional changes can be expected as participants, system operators, and
regulators discuss and work towards new solutions to address new policy priorities.

Workshop leaders will discuss provide an update and discuss issues including: What are the implications of
strengthening the role of CFE as Mexico’s leading energy supplier? What impacts can we expect from recent
market structure proposals and changes? What are some of the more important current wholesale market
design challenges in areas such as congestion management? What are the potential changes that could be
addressed in rethinking the DAH, RT, and Capacity markets? How can investors and developers place the
recent cancellation of the Ixtepec-Yautepec transmission line and the Long Term supply auctions in
perspective? In addition, we will focus some attention on the bilateral transactions as well as the more
organized markets.
Check-In/Onsite Registration opens at 12:30 PM; Workshop 1:00 - 4:30 PM
Pricing for Members, All Conf Attendees, Govt. Employees: $150
Pricing for Non-Members NOT Registered for Conference: $250


Mingle and network at this reception at the Hilton Americas - Houston
Check-In/Onsite Registration opens at 5:30 PM
Reception from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Pricing: $30

Registration Questions?  
Contact Penny Sullivan at PSullivan@GulfCoastPower.org or 281-974-0624


CONFERENCE PRICING - price includes one and a half day conference on 4/16 - 4/17 and cocktail
reception on 4/16.*Non-Member rate includes 2019 Individual Membership good through 1/31/20.


Early bird Registration
through 3/26/19

Regular Registration
3/27/19 - 4/12/19
On-site Registration
4/16/19 & 4/17/197/19
GCPA Members $625 $785 $885
Non-members *  $850 $1010 $1,110
State Govt. Employees $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


TOPGOLF Early Bird Registration
through 3/26/19
Regular Registration
3/27/19 - 4/12/19
Onsite Registration
Fee w/ conf. registration $100 $110 Not Available
Fee W/O conf. registration $125 $135 Not Available


WORKSHOP Early Bird Registration
through 3/26/19
Regular Registration
3/27/19 - 4/12/19
On-site Registration
Members, All Conf. Attendees, Govt. $150 $170 $200
Non-Members W/OUT conf. reg. $250 $270 $300

WELCOME RECEPTION PRICING - 4/15 reception includes one drink ticket and appetizers.

RECEPTION Early Bird Registration
through 3/26/19
Regular Registration
3/27/19 - 4/12/19
Onsite Registration
Fee $30 $30 $35

REFUND POLICY - Cancellations must be received by 5 PM on Friday, March 29 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 10.0 hours of credit if all conference sessions are attended. Credit hours will also be available for the workshop on 4/15.

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 attending the conference are: to obtain an in-depth understanding of RTO market designs, current state of energy storage, decarbonization, carbon pricing, market resilience beyond grid hardening, summer 2019 expectations in ERCOT, state of retail competition throughout the US, and system planning in a high DER environment. There are no prerequisites. Attendees will receive approximately 10.5 hours of credit if all sessions are attended. Credit hours will also be available for the 4/15 workshop.

Attorneys: GCPA will be applying to the Texas State Bar for approval of credit hours for certain portions of this conference and workshop. Please check back for the number of hours approved.