4/28/2020 7:00:00 AM | Hilton Americas Hotel, Houston, TX

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GCPA Spring 2020 Conference

Register Now

34th Annual Spring
Conference & Exhibition

April 28th - 29th, 2020
Hilton Americas - Houston

Download the Spring Conference Brochure
Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting?  Download the Sponsor/Exhibitor Brochure
Take a look at our Attendee List from Spring 2019

Kenny Mercado, Sr. Vice President, CenterPoint Energy
Caitlin Smith, Vice President, AB Power Advisors

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

Prominent Industry & Government Speakers
Timely Session Topics & Discussions
Rooftop Cocktail Reception at The Grove on April 28th with Special Guest -
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
Featured Keynoter Jamey Rootes, President, Houston Texans

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

Day: Networking Event at Topgolf
Pre-Conference Workshop - "Storage in ERCOT"
Evening: Welcome Cocktail Reception for Attendees at Hilton

Click on the Pre-conference Activities tab for more details


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

450+ attendance expected based on 2019 attendance of 465 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 27

• Networking Event at Topgolf Houston-Katy - 12:30 PM - 4:30 PM
• Workshop - "Storage in ERCOT" - 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
• Welcome Cocktail Reception for Attendees at Hilton Americas - 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Spring Conference Day One - Tuesday, April 28

• 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 29

• Registration and Continental Breakfast opens at 7:30 AM
• Session and Keynoter Presentations from 8:15 AM - 12:00 PM
• Conference Adjourns at Close of Final Session at 12:00 PM







GCPA has a room block with a limited number of rooms for the nights of Sun 4/26 - Tue 4/28 at Hilton Americas - Houston, located at 1600 Lamar, Houston, TX 77010. Single or double occupancy rooms are available at the special rate of $239 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 Monday April 6th.


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

Click Here 

Parking is available at Hilton Americas standard rates which are currently $30/day for self parking in the attached garage and $45/day for valet parking.



 8:00 AM       GCPA President’s Welcome - Katie Coleman, Partner, Thompson & Knight LLP
                      Recognition of Chairs - Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA
                      Conference Introduction - Kenny Mercado, Sr. VP, CenterPoint Energy
                                                                Caitlin Smith, VP, AB Power Advisors

8:15 AM  KEYNOTE ADDRESS - “What Innovation Isn’t” - Mary Anne Brelinsky, President, EDF

8:45 AM    Session I - Retail Innovations
Since the ERCOT retail market opened to competition in 2002, Retail Electricity Providers have introduced new and innovative products, services and business models. On this panel, Pat Wood will facilitate a conversation about the newest retail offerings inside and outside of ERCOT. Industry innovators will share perspective on what attracts new customers including marketing, product offerings and pricing models, and the trends they see for the future. 
Moderator: Pat Wood III, Principal, Wood3 Resources
Jesson Bradshaw, CEO, Energy Ogre
Gregory Craig, CEO, Griddy
Matt Duesterberg, Chief Risk Officer & Founder, OhmConnect 


10:15 AM   Session II - Energy Storage Technology Solutions
Energy storage will play an increasingly important role in the future of the electric grid. Storage will integrate clean energy into the grid, reduce costs associated with meeting peak electric demands, and increase efficiency. Additionally, energy storage can stabilize supply and help keep critical systems online during an outage. This panel will examine trends in U.S. battery storage installations including alternative technologies and costs as well as market and policy drivers.  
Moderator: Robert Hebner, Director, UT Austin Center for Electromechanics
John Battaglini, Director, Business Development, Marketing & Sales, Lockheed Martin Energy
Thomas Cornell, Vice President, Power & Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems
Ray Hohenstein, Market Applications Director, Fluence
Brian Weber, Managing Director, Transmission Development, AEP

11:15 AM    Session III - Electrifying Fleets
Amazon recently placed an order for 100,000 electric delivery vans, representing the largest purchase of medium-duty electric vehicles in history. This action signals the opportunity other private and public fleet owners anticipate by electrifying delivery fleets, truck fleets, taxi fleets, and ride-hail fleets. This panel will explore some of the economics and technology innovations playing a key role in the decision to go electric.
Moderator: Chris Brown, Controller, City of Houston
Chris Miller, Senior Manager, Public Policy, Texas, Uber
Jeff Morris, State Affairs Director N.A., Schneider Electric
Jeff Slye, Strategic Accounts, Enel X North America
Francesa Wahl, Sr. Policy Associate, Tesla


1:30 PM    KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Neva Espinoza, Low Carbon Resource Initiative, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

2:00 PM    Session IV - CEO Panel:  A Conversation with Top Utilities in Texas and the U.S.
CEOs from three of the largest Texas regulated electric utilities join us to share their perspectives on the key issues driving future investments to serve ERCOT and beyond. Don’t miss this top-level conversation on the evolving electric and gas utility issues shaping the future of the industry at the local, state and national level.
Moderator: Kenny Mercado, Sr. Vice President, CenterPoint Energy
Nick Akins, CEO, AEP
Allen Nye, CEO, Oncor
Scott Prochazka, CEO, CenterPoint Energy 



3:45 PM   KEYNOTE ADDRESS - “Energy Transition: Impacts to ERCOT” - Brandon Schwertner, Founder & Managing Partner, Teleios Commodities

4:05 PM    Session V - Innovative Programs in Smart Cities
As municipalities plan for future infrastructure, they are looking for ways to incorporate new technologies and to integrate sustainable resources to become more attractive and resilient for residents. This panel will share how sophisticated cities are collaborating with utilities and other partners to solve key issues using advanced technology, data analytics and innovation to address critical areas in transportation, disaster response, and public safety.
Moderator: Elizabeth Brock, Director of External Engagement, CenterPoint Energy
Mandy Bishop, Program Manager, City of Columbus, Smart Columbus
Jay Boisseau, Founder, Austin CityUP
Vivian Bouet, Chief Information Officer, CPS Energy
Jessie Bounds, Director of Innovation, City of Houston

5:00 - 7:00 PM   COCKTAIL RECEPTION AT THE GROVE WITH SPECIAL GUEST - HOUSTON MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER: Rain or shine, join your colleagues and mingle with the Mayor of Houston for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at this beautiful rooftop location overlooking Downtown Houston — just across the street from the Hilton Americas.



8:15 AM  OPENING KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Jamey Rootes, President, Houston Texans

8:45 AM    Session VI - Demand Response: How is Load Helping Scarcity in ERCOT & Other ISOs? 
With low reserve margins or shortfalls in capacity, regulators and stakeholders are looking for transparency surrounding the amount and frequency of demand response. With increasing access to smart meter data, are there new programs or products to be considered? What does the future look like and how will emerging technology impact demand response? This panel will discuss demand response inside and outside of ERCOT, including industrial load resource programs, Emergency Response Service, Four Coincident Peak, price responsive load, and other forms of demand response.
Moderator: Caitlin Smith, Vice President, AB Power Advisors
Michael Brown, Chair, Peak Load Management Association
Bill Burke, Founder & CEO, Virtual Peaker
Tim Carter, Vice President, Demand Response, MP2 Energy LLC
Steven D. Powell, Executive Vice President, Operations, Southern California Edison 

10:15 AM    Session VII - Data Centers: The New Commercial & Industrial Consumers of the Power Market 
Data centers are the new and future large users of power. It has been reported that data centers and digital computing may consume over 20% of the world’s electricity by 2030. This panel will discuss data centers as load resources and the advanced demand response products they can provide. The panel will also discuss how data centers are procuring power, co-locating with renewables resources, using waste gas, and more.
Moderator: John Bick, Managing Principal, Priority Power Management
Chad Harris, Global Director, Whinstone
Michael McNamara, CEO, Lancium
Michael Mindell, Senior National Account Executive, CPower

11:00 AM    Session VIII - Distributed Energy and Microgrids
The increasing availability and affordability of distributed energy resources combined with recent severe weather events has created strong interest in microgrids. This panel will share relevant experiences with modern microgrid projects and how such microgrids are becoming an increasingly important part of the changing operational, legal, and regulatory landscape for the electric industry.  
Moderator: Dan Bradley, Partner, Energy, Sustainability, & Infrastructure, Guidehouse
Corey Amthor, President, Enchanted Rock
Suzanne Bertin, Managing Director, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance
Steven Looney, Vice President & General Manager, Microgrids and Distributed Generation, N.A., ABB
Bill Muston, Manager Research & Development, Oncor 



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: $115 WITH Conference Registration; $140 w/out Conference Registration. Fee includes game, buffet, snacks, beer bucket in bay, one drink ticket and prizes.

Visit the Topgolf website for information about Topgolf.

To request placement with partner/groups: Email Penny Sullivan.



“Storage in ERCOT”

The Hilton Americas Houston 1:00 - 4:30 (Check-In at 12:30 PM)

Everybody is talking about storage and recently ERCOT has seen a sharp increase in storage interconnection requests as well as a significant increase in the number of storage projects planned to be added on the distribution system. Integrating storage into ERCOT has the potential to increase grid reliability and presents both opportunities and challenges for ERCOT and its Market Participants. Currently ERCOT and its stakeholders are considering operational and market design policies using a two-step approach: (1) rules that can be implemented in the short-term to integrate battery Energy Storage Resources under the “combination model” structure, and (2) rules that can be implemented on a longer timeline to integrate battery Energy Storage Resources under a “single model” structure.

This Storage in ERCOT Workshop is designed to educate and inform ERCOT Market Participants (including Consumers, Resource Entities, Power Marketers, Retail Electric Providers, Investor-Owned Utilities, Electric Cooperatives, and Municipally Owned Utilities) and other interested parties (including Developers, Emerging Tech, Attorneys, Accountants, and more). This workshop will include presentations from ERCOT staff, as well as a panel of active ERCOT stakeholders and a panel of storage developers with experience inside and outside of ERCOT. The workshop will discuss ERCOT’s overall approach and issues list for storage integration, as well as the challenges encountered, milestones, goals and what’s next for the development of storage in ERCOT. 

Full Agenda Coming Soon!

Pricing WITH Conference Registration: $200

Pricing without Conference Registration: $300



Mingle and network at this reception at the Hilton Americas - Houston

Reception from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Pricing: $30

Workshop Agenda Coming Soon - Please Check Back


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 9.25 hours of credit if all conference sessions  are attended. 3.25 credit hours will also be available for the workshop on 4/27.

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 retail innovations, energy storage technology solutions, electrifying fleets, key issues faced by top utilities, innovative programs for cities, how load is helping scarcity in ISOs, data centers, and distributed energy and microgrids. There are no prerequisites. Attendees will receive approximately 10 hours of credit if all sessions are attended. 3.5 credit hours will also be available for the 4/27 workshop.

Attorneys: GCPA will be applying to the Texas State Bar for MCLE approval of portions of the conference. Please check back for information on the hours approved for this conference.


CONFERENCE PRICING - price includes one and a half day conference on 4/28 - 4/29 and cocktail reception on 4/28.*Non-Member rate includes 2020 Individual Membership good through 1/31/21.


Early bird Registration
through 4/7/20

Regular Registration
4/8/20 - 4/24/20
On-site Registration
4/28/20 & 4/29/20
GCPA Members $650 $800 $900
Non-Members *  $875 $1025 $1125
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 4/7/20
Regular Registration
4/8/20 - 4/24/20
Onsite Registration
Fee w/ conf. registration $115 $125 Not Available
Fee W/O conf. registration $140 $150 Not Available


WORKSHOP Early Bird Registration
through 4/7/20
Regular Registration
4/8/20 - 4/24/20
On-site Registration
Members, All Conf. Attendees, Govt. $200 $220 $250
Non-Members W/OUT conf. reg. $300 $320 $350

WELCOME RECEPTION PRICING - 4/27 reception includes one drink ticket and appetizers.

RECEPTION Early Bird Registration
through 4/7/20
Regular Registration
4/8/20 - 4/24/20
Onsite Registration
Fee $30 $30 $35

REFUND POLICY - Cancellations must be received by 5 PM on Friday, April 10 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.