4/27/2021 1:00:00 PM | Virtual via CadmiumCD Platform, , TX

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GCPA Spring 2021 Virtual Conference

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

GCPA Spring Conference
Tuesday, April 27th - Thursday, April 29th

Spring Conference MISO / SPP Forum
Thursday, April 15th & Friday April 16th

This Spring’s Largest VIRTUAL Gathering of
Electric Power Professionals in the Gulf Coast Region

Updated Agenda:
“Where Do We Go from Here?”
An In-Depth Examination of the Recent Weather Event

- Participate in Q&A and Live Polling
- Interact with Other Attendees
- Visit with Sponsors & Exhibitors in the Virtual Exhibit Hall

Download the Conference Brochure 
Spring Conference Agenda pages 4-6; MISO/SPP Forum Agenda pages 8-9

Download the Sponsor/Exhibitor Brochure



Tom Anson, Clark Hill Strasburger 
Donna Benefield
Elizabeth Brock, CenterPoint Energy
Barbara Clemenhagen, CES
Katie Coleman, Thompson & Knight
Tammy Cooper, Austin Energy
Mark Egan
Keith Emery, Tenaska Power Services Co.
Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy
Caitlin Smith, AB Power Advisors
J.P. Urban, AECT


Daryl Brown, MISO 
Todd Hillman
David Kelley, SPP
Lanny Nickell, SPP
Melissa Seymour, MISO



Diamond Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors





Media Partner


Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting?  Download our Sponsor/Exhibitor Brochure (opens in new window) and contact Mary Armstrong, Director of Member Services & Marketing, at 281.460.3054 or marmstrong@gulfcoastpower.org


















Since 1983, GCPA has served as a forum for discussion of the most pressing issues affecting the electric power industry and emerging electric markets. The recent winter storm and widespread system outages created tremendous hardships for electric customers across Texas and the Gulf Coast area. Market performance during and after the storm has stimulated questions about the fundamentals of ERCOT’s market design, supply chain security, and financial market stability. The GCPA community of electric industry professionals has an important role and opportunity to examine these issues so that we can all make more informed judgments, business and policy decisions for the future of this market and the security of all electric customers. On the first day of the spring conference, we will address some of these critical issues and contemplate, “Where do we go from here?” We look forward to the discussion.

1:00 PM    GCPA President’s Welcome: Katie Coleman, Partner, Thompson & Knight
                  Acknowledgements & Instructions: Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA

1:10 PM    OPENING REMARKS: Mark Dreyfus, Principal, MD Energy Consulting
Reflections on the ERCOT market; goals delivered and unfulfilled; questions for a more secure future.  

1:25  PM    PANEL I - “Operational & Policy Issues”
The winter storm event highlighted the crucial interplay between market operations, reliability, and market policy. This panel will examine the lessons and questions from the winter storm to assess the menu of emerging operational and market policy revisions that should play a role in restoring customer security and confidence in the electric grid operating within a competitive market framework.

Moderator: Pat Wood III, CEO of Hunt Energy Network, Former FERC Chairman, Former PUCT Chairman

Carrie Bivens, ERCOT Independent Market Monitor, Potomac Economics
Katie Coleman, Partner, Thompson & Knight
Amanda Frazier, Sr. Vice President, Regulatory Policy, Vistra Corp.
Julie Parsley, CEO, Pederneles Electric Cooperative Inc.; ERCOT Board Member
Alison Silverstein, Consultant, Alison Silverstein Consulting

2:50 PM   BREAK

3:00 PM   PANEL II - “Financial & Credit Issues”
In the wake of the winter storm, ERCOT market participants are facing a storm of a different kind—the equivalent of a financial Class 5 hurricane. Bankruptcies, lawsuits and workout plans are the focus of many market participants. This panel will address the lessons and questions from the winter storm to reinforce the importance of financial and credit risk considerations to enable and ensure a functional, financial ERCOT market. 

Moderator: Barbara Clemenhagen, Vice President of Market Intelligence, Customized Energy Solutions

Bill Barnes, Sr. Director, Regulatory Affairs, NRG

J.C. Kneale, Vice President Sales North American Gas & Power, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE)
Clif Lange, Manager, Wholesale Marketing/QSE, South Texas Electric Cooperative
Sven Wellock, Managing Director, Co-Lead of Energy - Renewables & Power, ING Capital LLC

4:15 PM    KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Sylvester Turner, Mayor, City of Houston
Facilitated by Elizabeth Brock, VP, Energy Solutions & Business Services, CenterPoint Energy

4:45 PM     ADJOURN


1:00 PM     Opening Remarks Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA

1:05 PM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Mary Anne Brelinsky, President, EDF Energy North America - “Innovation in Time of Crisis” 

1:40 PM     PANEL III - “Electric Vehicle Market Outlook”
Electric vehicle (EV) adoption has been on a positive trend worldwide over the past few years, with major initiatives announced by government agencies, OEMs, and fleet owners across the U.S. The acceleration of this cleantech has had a positive impact on air quality and GHG emissions, while also diversifying the Texas economy, creating new commercial opportunities and putting Houston in the running as the “Energy Transition Capital of the World”. This panel explores the significant environmental and economic impact of commercial fleet electrification, fleet electrification feasibility, the need for equitable EVSE infrastructure expansion to support increasing demand from commercial markets, and the role commercial players, utilities and policymakers have in accelerating EV adoption.

Moderator: Ryan Martin, Principal, LDR Advisory Partners

Britta Gross, Managing Director, Mobility, RMI
Katie Herbek, Head of Mobility Engagement - Central Mountain Region, Ford Mobility LLC
Karl Popham, Manager, Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies, Austin Energy
Justin Wilson, Director, Public Policy, Chargepoint

2:45 PM     BREAK

3:00 PM     PANEL IV - “Large Loads 2.0: Bitcoin Mining, Hydrogen and Beyond!”
New technology like bitcoin mines, data centers and hydrogen electrolyzers are introducing new players to ERCOT’s wholesale market. It has been reported that data centers and digital computing may consume over 20% of the world’s electricity by 2030. Hydrogen electrolysis can similarly be a solution for large-scale renewable energy storage, grid management and industrial applications. As load resources, these new loads can provide fast response times and advanced demand response products. The panel will discuss how these loads are procuring power, co-locating with renewables resources behind the meter, and providing load response. Industry experts and ERCOT will also expand on the load technology itself and the greater impact to the ERCOT grid for the future.

Moderator: Varun Rai, Director, UT Energy Institute; Professor, LBJ School, University of Texas 

Al Cioffi, Business Development, Plug Power
Chad Harris, Global Director, Whinstone
David Maggio, Director, Market Design & Analytics, ERCOT

4:00 PM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Jamey Rootes, Former President, Houston Texans

4:15 PM     ADJOURN



1:00 PM Opening Remarks Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA

1:05 PM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Savita Subramanian, Managing Director, Head of ESG Research & U.S. Equity & Quantitative Strategy, Bank of America - ESG Metrics:  Investing & Financing Implications”

1:35 PM     PANEL V - “Transmission Planning Revisited”
This panel will focus on the current transmission planning process  and whether it needs to be changed to better address load pockets and generation pockets. Included in the discussion will be ERCOT Long-Term System Assessment, the Constraints and Needs report, the issues around the GTCs that were imposed last fall, and potential changes in how costs would be allocated if the planning approach changes. 

Moderator: Beth Garza, Sr. Fellow, Energy & Environmental Policy Team, R Street

Andrew Novotny, COO, Calpine
Kristen Senechal, Executive Vice President and COO, Transmission, LCRA
Fred Von Pinho, Vice President, Transmission, Apex Clean Energy
Lynnae Wilson, Sr. Vice President, High Voltage Operations, CenterPoint Energy

2:35 PM     BREAK

2:45 PM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Brandon Schwertner, CEO, Priority Power Management - Energy Transition: Impacts to ERCOT”
Facilitated by Matt Eventoff, Founder & CEO, Princeton Public Speaking

3:15 PM PANEL VI - “A View from the Utility C-Suite”
C-Suite executives 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, Exec. Vice President, Electric Utility, CenterPoint Energy

Lisa Barton, Exec. Vice President & COO, AEP
Allen Nye, CEO, Oncor
Sallie Rainer, President & CEO, Entergy Texas

4:15 PM     CLOSING REMARKS - Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA

Agenda for MISO/SPP Forum on pages 8-9


1:00 PM     Opening Remarks: Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA

1:10 PM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS: John Bear, CEO, MISO - Facilitated by Todd Hillman, Sr. Vice President & Chief Customer Officer, MISO

1:30 PM     PANEL I - “MISO Reliability Imperative: Long Term Regional Transmission Planning”
The work of maintaining system reliability is not optional!  It is imperative that everyone respond to the unprecedented change that is taking place at an unprecedented pace. Given the long lead times, this work cannot be put off for months or years. What crucial Long-Term Planning is needed to ensure there are upsides and opportunities associated with these trends?  

Moderator: Sarah Freeman, Commissioner, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

Jennifer Curran, Vice President, System Planning & Chief Compliance Officer, MISO
Dan Kline, Director, Transmission Planning, Entergy
Terry Whitmore, Vice President, Transmission Planning, CLECO  

2:15 PM     BREAK

2:30 PM     PANEL II - “MISO Reliability Imperative: Market Redefinition”
Utilities, states, and other entities all have roles to play to address the changing electric utility market. This panel will discuss efforts that are taking place to ensure resources are accredited accurately, prices are reflecting market conditions, and the right incentives and products exist to ensure energy is available in all 8,760 hours of the year.

Moderator: Ted Thomas, Chairman, Arkansas Public Service Commission

Matt Brown, Associate General Counsel, Entergy
David Sapper, Director of Market Intelligence – MISO Markets, Customized Energy Solutions
Scott Wright, Executive Director, Market Strategy and Design, MISO

3:15 PM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Rob Gramlich, President, Grid Strategies
Facilitated by Julia Selker, Policy & Business Manager, Grid Strategies

3:45 PM     PANEL III - “Managing the Influx of Renewables”
The electric industry is changing in profound ways. The industry’s longtime reliance on conventional baseload power plants is declining sharply, driven by economic factors and consumer preferences for clean energy, among other things.  Meanwhile, the grid is becoming increasingly reliant on wind and solar resources that are available only when the wind is blowing, or the sun is shining.  Managing the system under such conditions, will require transformational change in planning, markets, and operations.  What coordinated actions will be required to make this transformation a success?  

Moderator: Melissa Seymour, Executive Director, MISO

Steve Gaw, Sr. Vice President, Infrastructure & Markets, Advanced Power Alliance
Jim Jacoby, Manager, RTO Policy, AEP
Natalie McIntire, Consultant, Clean Grid Alliance
Matt Pawlowski, Executive Director, Business Management & Regulatory Affairs, NextEra Energy

4:45 PM     ADJOURN


9:15 AM     KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Barbara Sugg, CEO & President, SPP

Growing concerns about the amount, nature, and funding of continued transmission investment amid rapid industry changes create a need to more strategically consider broader changes to SPP’s transmission planning process. The Strategic and Creative Re-Engineering of Integrated Planning Team (“SCRIPT”) is working to develop a set of high-level recommendations to provide solutions for the SPP region. This panel will discuss the status of the SCRIPT’s work and explain how it aligns with the long-term strategy of SPP, its members, and its customers.  

Moderator: Lanny Nickell, Executive Vice President & COO, SPP

Bronwen Bastone, Board Member, SPP
Andrew French, Chairman, Kansas Corporation Commission
Joe Lang, Director, Energy Regulatory Affairs, Omaha Public Power District
David Mindham, Regulatory & Market Affairs Manager, EDP Renewables

10:30 AM     BREAK

10:45 AM     PANEL V - “Seams Initiatives”
The MISO Organization of MISO States (“OMS”) and the SPP Regional State Committee (“RSC”) Commissioners have recognized there are issues preventing efficient economic transmission planning, market and operations, and resource integration along the SPP-MISO seam. A liaison committee was formed by the boards of the OMS and the SPP RSC to facilitate identification of issues and potential solutions to enhance the benefits to customers from better coordinated seams policies. Additionally, SPP and MISO have undertaken a joint planning effort to address the backlog of new generation seeking to interconnect along the seam. This panel will discuss the status of the efforts of state regulators and the RTOs to reduce barriers along the seams.

Moderator: Kimberly O’Guinn, Commissioner, Arkansas Public Service Commission 

Aubrey Johnson, Executive Director of System Planning & Competitive Transmission, MISO
David Kelley, Director, Seams and Tariff Services, SPP
Antoine Lucas, Vice President, Engineering, SPP
David Patton, Independent Market Monitor, Potomac Economics

11:45 AM     ADJOURN



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. For the MISO SPP Forum, attendees will receive approximately 5.5 hours of credit if all the forum sessions are attended.

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. There are no prerequisites. Attendees will receive approximately 10.0 hours of credit if all conference sessions are attended. For the MISO SPP Forum, attendees will receive approximately 6.5 hours of credit if all the forum sessions are attended. Please click here to see the learning objectives for the Spring Conference and the MISO SPP Forum.

Attorneys: The Texas State Bar has approved 6.75 hours of CLE credit for Panel I (1.5 hrs.), Panel II (1.25 hours) and Panels III through VI (1.0 hour each). Attorneys should self report. GCPA’s sponsor number is 2661 and the course number is 174120546. 




CONFERENCE PRICING - *Non-Member rate includes 2020 Individual Membership good through 1/31/21.


Early Bird Registration
through 4/13/21

Regular Registration  
GCPA Members $395 $595  
Non-Members **  $620 $820  
State Govt. Employees $175 $175  
GCPA Members in Job Search Mode $175 $175  
Non-Members in Job Search Mode ** $400 $400  
Full-time Students $50 $50  

**Non-Member rate includes 2021 Individual Membership good through 1/31/22.

MISO/SPP FORUM Registration Pricing
Discounted Fee with Spring Conf Registration $100
GCPA Members, State Govt. W/OUT Conf Registration $200
Non-Members W/OUT Conf Registration $300



Registering more than 6 attendees? Save $100 off the GCPA Member or Non-Member rate beginning with your company’s 7th Spring Conference registration. For the MISO/SPP Forum, save $50 beginning with your 7th registration. Send more and save more! To receive this discount, please contact Penny Sullivan at 281-974-0624 or psullivan@gulfcoastpower.org.

REFUND POLICY - To receive a refund, cancellations must be received by 5 PM on Friday, April 16 for the Spring Conference and by Monday, April 5 for the MISO/SPP Forum. 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.