AGENDA - TUESDAY, APRIL 18
7:00 AM REGISTRATION & CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST
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 regulatory and other 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, Sr. Vice President, Carbon Solutions, SLB New Energy
Mark O’Donnell, Asst. Vice President Power, Oxy
9:45 AM NETWORKING BREAK
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 and will focus on the Texas ERCOT grid and the developing Texas regulatory pilot project. The discussion will also showcase the diversity of distributed technologies being deployed by industry and considered by regulatory bodies.
Moderator: Paul Wattles, Principal, P-Watt Advisers
Sandip Sharma, Vice President, Demand Response, Operations & Markets, Shell Energy Solutions
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 Schultz, 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 a 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, regulatory policies, and potential challenges that need to be addressed to accelerate further adoption.
Moderator: Julia Souder, CEO, LDES Council
Molly Bales, Sr. Business Development Manager, Form Energy
Elizabeth Endler, Chief Scientist – Energy Storage & Integration, Shell
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 regulatory 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
3:00 PM POWER STAR AWARD PRESENTATION
3:15 PM NETWORKING BREAK
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, Vice President of Strategy, Policy & Climate Impact, Greentown Labs
Gordon Dash, CEO, Dash Clean Energy
Ryan Davidson, Business Development Lead, Calwave Power Technologies
Ben Jawdat, CEO, Revterra
Scott Nguyen, CEO, Bodhi
Sean Marshall, CEO, Criterion Energy Partners
Nate Bender, Principal Investor, Constellation Technology Ventures
Arindam Bhattacharya, Managing Director, SLB Ventures
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.
AGENDA - WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19
7:30 AM REGISTRATION & CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST
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 panelists will discuss FERC’s regulatory initiatives including its Modernizing Wholesale Electricity Market Design and its consideration of generation interconnection queue reform in the individual RTO/ISO markets as well as comparable considerations regarding the ERCOT market. The Panel will consider proposals and pending changes in applicable regulatory requirements to address those markets’ unique resource mixes, respective system needs, and regional plans.
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: The Honorable Joseph T. 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 its current status and the competing regulatory proposals that are being considered by Texas utility regulators and the Texas Legislature.
Barbara Clemenhagen, Vice President, Market Intelligence, Customized Energy Solutions
Beth Garza, Sr. Fellow, The R Street Institute
10:30 AM NETWORKING BREAK
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 contractual, regulatory and other 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
12:00 PM CONFERENCE ADJOURNS