4/18/2023 8:00:00 AM | The Hilton Americas, Houston, TX

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GCPA Spring 2023 Conference

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36th Annual Spring
Conference & Exhibition

April 18th - 19th, 2023
Hilton Americas - Houston

Download the 2023 Spring Conference Brochure
Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting?  Download the Sponsor/Exhibitor Brochure

Vijay Betanabhatla, Head of Power Grid, SLB New Energy
Melissa Trevino, Asst. Vice President Power, Oxy


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 18th


Pre-Conference Activity Add-Ons on Monday, April 17th

Afternoon: 1/2 Day Workshop - “Critical Role of Hydrogen for a Net-Zero Future”
Evening: Welcome Cocktail Reception for Attendees at Hilton
See 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 2022 attendance of 442 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 17

  • Workshop - “Critical Role of Hydrogen for a Net-Zero Future” from 1:30 PM - 4:45 PM

  • Welcome Cocktail Reception for Attendees at Hilton Americas from 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Spring Conference Day One - Tuesday, April 18

  • 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

Spring Conference Day Two - Wednesday, April 19

  • 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


Conference Chairs:
Vijay Betanabhatla, SLB New Energy
Melissa Trevino, Oxy

Tom Anson, Clark Hill
Barbara Clemenhagen, Customized Energy Solutions
Lara Cottingham, Greentown Labs
Jolly Hayden, East Texas Electric Coop
Casey Kelley, Constellation
Tina Lee, Wattbridge
Bill Magness, DNV Energy USA Inc.
Robert Nathan, Schneider Electric
Juliana Sersen, Baker Botts
Arushi Sharma Frank, Tesla

INTERESTED IN A SPONSORSHIP OR EXHIBIT? To learn more about sponsorships and exhibits, please review our Sponsor/Exhibitor Brochure and contact Mary Armstrong, Deputy Executive Director, at 281.460.3054 or marmstrong@gulfcoastpower.org.










GCPA has a room block with a limited number of rooms for the nights of Mon 4/17 - Tue 4/18 at Hilton Americas - Houston, located at 1600 Lamar, Houston, TX 77010. Single or double occupancy rooms are available at the special rate of $249 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, March 27th.


Call 1-800-236-2905 if you need assistance; mention the room block


Parking is available at Hilton Americas standard rates which are currently $35/day for self parking in the attached garage and $58/day for valet parking.



8:00 AM    GCPA President’s Welcome: Mark Dreyfus, Principal, MD Energy Consulting
Recognition of Chairs: Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA
Conference Introduction: Vijay Betanabhatla, Head of Power Grid, SLB New Energy & Melissa Trevino, Asst. Vice President Power, Oxy

8:15 AM    KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Anne Choate, Exec. Vice President, Energy, Environment & Infrastructure Group, ICF

8:45 AM    Session I - Carbon Capture’s Role in the Energy Transition: Why, When and Where?
Both the Inflation Reduction Act and funding opportunities from the Department of Energy (DOE) are creating new opportunities for Carbon Capture projects. Combined with a growing desire from consumers, government, industry and investors to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, there is a potential for Carbon Capture to be a key tool in the energy transition. Join us as our esteemed panelists discuss the investment decision making process, Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) hubs, the evolving challenges of making a project reality and the impact CCUS can have on decarbonization. 
Moderator: Tom Holmberg, Partner, Baker Botts
Brett Kerr, Vice President, External Affairs, Calpine
Frederik Majkut, CCUS Industry Director, SLB New Energy
Mark O’Donnell, Asst. Vice President Power, Oxy


10:15 AM    Session II - Innovations in Distribution
Technological advancements on the distribution system are quickly exceeding expectations and drawing the interest of regulators, private sector investors, and public institutions that are focused on adding reliability, sustainability, dispatchability and flexibility to the aging US electric grid. At the same time, distributed system electrification is primarily led by consumer demand for a product that helps the consumer optimize its own goals, such as backup power and energy bill optimization. This panel will talk about real projects, successes and pathways for growth in distributed technology applications in commercial and residential energy sectors. Speakers will      discuss these insights from their own diverse experiences and will focus on the Texas ERCOT grid while contextualizing the discussion to showcase the diversity of distributed technologies being deployed.  
Moderator: Arushi Sharma Frank, Counsel, Policy & Business Development, Tesla
Sandip Sharma, Vice President, Demand Response, Operations & Markets, Shell
Dr. David Tuttle, Research Associate, Energy Institute, UT Austin; Vice-Chair, Electric Utility Commission
Don Whaley, President, Ohm Connect
Don Wingate, Sr. Director Utility Sales, Schneider Electric

11:00 AM    KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Doug Schultze, COO, Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, U.S. Department of Energy

11:30 AM    Session III - The Long and Short of Long Duration Energy Storage (LDES)
LDES is a crucial technology in achieving net-zero energy system to fight climate change. With variable renewable energy resources such as wind and solar projected to provide 70-80% of electricity by 2040, LDES will be the key to provide controllability and stability for the grid. The        panel of experts will explore mature and emerging LDES technologies, business models, the market dynamics, government incentives, and potential challenges that need to be addressed to accelerate further adoption.
Moderator: Julia Souder, Executive Director, LDES Council
Elizabeth Endler, Sr. Principal Scientist & Principal Technology Advisor, Shell
R.J. Johnson, Sr. Vice President, Commercial Operations, Form Energy
Mark Wanamaker, Business Development Manager, Lockheed Martin Energy Storage

12:15 PM    LUNCHEON

1:45 PM    KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Julien Dumoulin-Smith, Managing Director, Head of U.S. Power Utilities & Clean Energy Research, BofA Securities

2:15 PM    Session IV - Transmission Innovations
Congress recently passed legislation to encourage the expansion of the U.S. electric transmission system. Now FERC and several state commissions are considering policies that could accelerate development of high voltage transmission making it easier for new renewable generation to connect to the grid. The legal and regulatory hurdles to expanding transmission are challenging, but there are new technologies that can impact the amount of transmission capacity needed, how effectively transmission systems perform once completed, and facilitate the achievement of new regulatory goals. This panel will examine those policies and technologies including advanced HVDC systems, GETs, monitoring and analytics, and superconducting cable systems. The panelists are industry leaders who advance these technologies and seek to incorporate them into key transmission projects and regulatory policies.
Moderator: Rao Konidena, Independent Consultant, Rakon Energy LLC
Stephen Conant, Vice President, Commercial, VEIR
Hudson Gilmer, CEO, Linevision
Cornelis Plet, Vice President, HVDC Networks, DNV



3:45 PM    Session V - GCPA Power Pitch!
Hydrogen vs. renewables? Energy storage vs. geothermal energy? What are the technologies of the future and how will they impact power generation? GCPA power pitch competition will showcase the critical role innovation and new technologies play in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the global Energy Transition. Five startups from Houston's growing energy and climatetech ecosystem will compete before a panel of GCPA judges representing Constellation Venture Investments Group, SLB New Energy Ventures and Wave 27 Ventures. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000.
Moderator: Lara Cottingham, Chief of Staff, Greentown Labs
The Startups:
Gordon Dash, CEO, Dash Clean Energy
Ben Jawdat, CEO, Revterra
Scott Nguyen, CEO, Bodhi
Sean Marshall, CEO, Criterion Energy Partners
Janice Tran, CEO, Kanin Energy
The Judges:
Nate Bender, Venture Investments Group, Constellation
Arindam Bhattacharya, SLB Ventures Director, SLB New Energy
Allison Piper Kimball, Managing Partner, Wave 27 Ventures

5:00 - 7:00 PM    COCKTAIL RECEPTION AT THE GROVE: Join us at this beautiful rooftop location across the street from the Hilton Americas.




8:15 AM    KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Kathleen Jackson, Commissioner, PUCT

8:35 AM    Session VI - A National View: Modernizing Wholesale Electricity Market Design & Generation Interconnection Queue Reform
Beyond ERCOT, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and each of the RTO/ISOs are considering current system needs given recent changes in resource mixes and load profiles; operator expectations regarding system needs over the next five to ten years; whether and how each market operator plans to reform its markets and planning processes to meet expected system needs. Our panelist will discuss FERC’s Modernizing Wholesale Electricity Market Design and generation interconnection queue reform in the individual markets. The Panel will consider proposals and pending changes to address the markets’ unique resource mixes, respective system needs, and regional plans to address those needs.
Moderator: Michael Yuffee, Partner, Baker Botts
Bryn Baker, Sr. Director, Policy Innovation, Clean Energy Buyers Association
Carrie Bivens, ERCOT IMM, Potomac Economics
Mike DeSocio, Director, Market Design, NYISO

9:15 AM    KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Joseph Kelliher, Former Chairman, FERC

9:45 AM    Session VII - B-Square’d: A Conversation on the Changes to the ERCOT Market Design
After the February 2021 winter storm that left millions of Texans without power, the Texas Legislature passed Bills to make several major changes, including requiring power plants to better prepare for very cold conditions and implementing a “reliability standard” for the state’s electricity market. The Public Utilities Commission’s favored Performance Credit Mechanism (PCM) proposal would add financial credits for power plants that can produce electricity when the grid is at its most stressed. Our speakers will discuss the pros and cons of the PCM and the current status of the proposal.
Barbara Clemenhagen, Vice President, Market Intelligence, Customized Energy Solutions
Beth Garza, Sr. Fellow, The R Street Institute


11:00 AM    Session VIII - Hedging Challenges for ERCOT Retailers
Retail Electricity Providers and Load Serving Entities who serve consumers are exposed to substantial price risk as they generally have a portion of their portfolio exposed to variable real-time wholesale electricity prices, despite charging their customers a fixed retail electricity price or tariff. While these entities can reduce risk through contractual and physical hedging, we know that a typical ERCOT retailer cannot perfectly hedge their risk for energy and ERCOT Ancillary Services. This is further exacerbated by out of market reliability commitments and related actions in the ERCOT conservative operations. There is also extreme risk related to the potential for extreme price volatility in market prices over the term of retail agreements because retailers are unable to increase rates for their existing, contracted customers. Load Serving Entities and Retailers will discuss the hedging challenges in the ERCOT markets and potential solutions and strategies for success.
Moderator: Bill Barnes, Director, Regulatory Affairs, NRG Energy
Eric Blakey, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Pedernales Electric Coop
Clint Sandidge, Managing Director, Govt. & Regulatory Affairs, Champion / Calpine
Jennifer Schmitt, Sr. Director of Operations and Customer Care, Rhythm


“Light-Weight, Big-Impact: Critical Role of Hydrogen for a Net-Zero Future”
The Hilton Americas Houston 1:30 - 4:45 (Check-In at 1:00 PM)

Hydrogen is seen as a critical component of the global transition to a clean, low-carbon energy system. As a clean and renewable fuel and energy storage medium, hydrogen has the potential to play a major role in decarbonizing the power industry. Hydrogen electrolyzers will add significant new load to the power grid. In addition, hydrogen will also be a vital feedstock for the future power industry and can be used for long-duration energy storage. Houston, as the energy capital of the world, is well-positioned to become a leader in the hydrogen economy. The workshop will provide attendees with valuable insights into the latest developments in hydrogen technology, its potential to shape the future of energy, and the vital role Houston will play in realizing this vision.
The workshop features presentations and panels that will provide practical insights into the impacts of hydrogen on the power industry. Key topics that will be addressed include:

  • Fundamentals of hydrogen and drivers of hydrogen adoption

  • Technologies and costs of hydrogen production

  • Hydrogen hubs, and distribution and storage infrastructure

  • Need for investment, R&D, and government support

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the speakers about their experience on the ground in deploying hydrogen projects, what worked and what did not, as well as how to navigate the regulatory landscape and secure funding for hydrogen projects. The workshop will provide a valuable platform for government officials, regulators and industry professionals to exchange ideas and collaborate on solutions to help advance the hydrogen economy.

Pricing WITH Conference Registration: $225
Pricing without Conference Registration: $325
Full agenda COMING SOON



Mingle and network at a Welcome Cocktail Reception
on Monday, April 18th at the Hilton Americas - Houston
from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Pricing: $45


Full workshop agenda coming soon. Please check back.


CONFERENCE PRICING - price includes one and a half day conference on 4/18 - 4/19 and cocktail reception on 4/18.*Non-Member rate includes 2023 Individual Membership good through 1/31/24.

CONFERENCE Early Bird Reg. through 3/27/23 Regular Reg. 3/28/23 - 4/14/23 Onsite Reg.
4/18/23 & 4/19/23
GCPA Member $850 $1000 $1100
Non-Member* $1100 $1250 $1350
Govt./State Agency Employee $350 $350 $400
GCPA Members in Job Search Mode $425 $425 $525
Non-Members in Job Search Mode* $675 $675 $775
Full-Time Students $175 $175 $225

WORKSHOP PRICING - price includes half day workshop on 4/17, beverages and snack.

WORKSHOP Early Bird Reg. through 3/27/23 Regular Reg. 3/28/23 - 4/14/23 Onsite Reg.
Fee w/ conf. registration $225 $275 $300
Fee W/OUT conf. reg. $325 $375 $400

WELCOME RECEPTION PRICING - price includes welcome reception on 4/17, one drink ticket and hors d’oeuvres. Additional cocktails can be purchased at the bar. Reception is only available with conference and/or workshop registration and is not available as a stand-alone purchase for non-conference or non-workshop attendees.

RECEPTION Early Bird Reg. through 3/27/23 Regular Reg. 3/28/23 - 4/14/23 Onsite Reg.
Fee $45 $45 $50

REFUND POLICY - Cancellations must be received by 5 PM on Friday, March 31 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 9.5 hours of credit if all conference sessions are attended. Approximately 3.0 credit hours will also be available for the 4/17 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 attending the conference are: to obtain an in-depth understanding of regulatory and market design changes, ERCOT market outlook, ERCOT market from financial perspective, decarbonization, virtual power plants, state of the retail market, and EVs effect on the power market’s future. There are no prerequisites. Attendees will receive approximately 11 hours of credit if all sessions are attended. Approximately 3.0 credit hours will also be available for the 4/17 workshop.

Attorneys: GCPA will be applying to the Texas State Bar for approval of CLE hours for portions of this conference. We will publish the hours in this brochure and on our website once approval is received.