3/4/2024 1:00:00 PM | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA

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2024 MISO SPP Regional Conference

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

GCPA 10th Annual
MISO / SPP Regional Conference

Monday, March 4th - Tuesday, March 5th

The Sheraton New Orleans
500 Canal Street - Just Steps Away from the French Quarter

Cocktail Reception on March 4th




Thanks to our Conference Planning Committee

Ben Bright, SPP
Daryl Brown, MISO
Ken Dell Orto, Entergy
Jake Greig, Cleco Cajun LLC
Tom Kleckner, RTO Insider
Simon Mahan, Southern Renewable Energy Assoc.
Courtney Mehan, Tenaska Power Services Co.
Jesse Moser, MISO
Gordon Polozola, Kean Miller
David Sapper, Customized Energy Solutions
Clint Savoy, SPP
Jennifer Vosburg, Jennifer J. Vosburg LLC

Interested in a sponsorship?  View the Sponsorship Brochure





If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Mary Armstrong
marmstrong@gulfcoastpower.org or 281-460-3054.


GCPA has a room block with a limited number of rooms at the Sheraton New Orleans located at 500 Canal Street. Enjoy the convenience of staying at the same hotel where we are having a conference and being just steps away from the French Quarter.

Standard rooms (single or double occupancy) 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 Monday, February 12th.


Call 504-525-2500 if you need assistance; mention the room block


AGENDA - Monday, March 4, 2024

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

1:10 PM   Insider Chat - John Bear & Barbara Sugg
The energy industry is facing unprecedented challenges as policy makers and power providers seek to maintain reliable and affordable service in the face of a rapidly changing resource fleet. In this GCPA Insider Chat facilitated by Todd Hillman, Sr. Vice President & Chief Customer Officer at MISO, the CEOs of MISO and SPP will share their insights and views on what it will take to meet these challenges while delivering the moderate cost and reliability that regulators and consumers have come to expect.

John Bear, CEO, MISO
Barbara Sugg, President & CEO, SPP

1:50 PM   Session I - Managing Through the Energy Transition
The energy transition and its shift from fossil-based generation to renewable energy sources has only added another layer of complexity to the grid’s management. The increasing penetration of renewable energy into the energy supply mix, the onset of electrification, and improvements in energy storage are all key drivers of the energy transition. Meanwhile, demand for energy continues to increase. Leaders from MISO and SPP will share their thoughts on how best to manage demand when generation is more intermittent.

Zak Joundi, Executive Director, Market & Grid Strategy, MISO
Antoine Lucas, Vice President, Markets, SPP

2:10 PM Session II - Market Participant’s Views on Managing the Energy Transition
After hearing from MISO and SPP on how the RTOs are managing the energy transition, this panel of utility and customer representatives will share their viewpoints on the energy transition, RTO market reforms and the impacts on their organizations and customers.

Moderator: Jake Grieg, Vice President - Commercial Operations, Cleco Cajun
Samrat Datta, Director, System Planning, Entergy
Jim Dauphinais, Managing Principal, Brubaker & Associates
Ron Repsher, COO, 1803 Electric Cooperative
Mike Wise, Sr. Vice President, Regulatory & Market Strategy, Golden Spread Electric Cooperative


3:30 PM   Keynote - FERC’s Perspective on FERC Order 2023
As of the end of 2022, there were over 10,000 active interconnection requests in interconnection queues throughout the United States, representing over 2,000 gigawatts (GW) of potential generation and storage capacity. To address this backlog, on July 28, 2023, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued new federal rules regarding interconnection of new generation resources to the grid. FERC adopted these reforms to reduce these backlogs, improve certainty in the interconnection processes managed by the dozens of transmission providers around the country, and ensure access to the transmission system for new technologies. This session will provide direct insight from a FERC representative regarding the agency’s efforts to improve certainty and efficiency in the interconnection processes.

Speaker: Kim Smaczniak, Special Counsel, Office of General Counsel, FERC

3:45 PM          Session III - RTO Implementation Plans for FERC Order 2023 
Join MISO’s Scott Wright and SPP’s David Kelley as they describe the opportunities and challenges of this Order and share insights on the RTO’s implementation plans for this landmark rule.

David Kelley, Vice President, Engineering, SPP
Scott Wright, Executive Director, Resource Planning, MISO

4:00 PM    Session IV - Market Participants Perspectives on FERC Order 2023
FERC Order 2023 will require transmission providers to study projects in batches or “clusters. Other aspects of the rule include penalties for transmission providers that fail to complete studies on time, stricter financial readiness and site control requirements for interconnection customers that are intended to discourage speculative projects, and measures that could make it easier to integrate generating facilities with unique operating characteristics, such as battery storage projects, into the transmission system. This panel of developers and transmission providers will discuss the implications of these new requirements and the prospects for reducing the interconnection backlog.

Moderator: Steve Gaw, Sr. Vice President, Markets and Infrastructure, Advanced Power Alliance
Dan Kline, Director of Planning & Vice President Project Development, Entergy
Nicole Luckey, Sr. Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Invenergy
Kayla Messamore, Vice President, Strategy & Long-Term Planning, Evergy
Chelsea Howard Robben, Exec. Director, Head of South & East Region Origination, NextEra Energy

4:45 PM          Keynote - Gas-Electric Harmonization
During Winter Storms Uri and Elliott, it was evident there are significant weaknesses between the natural gas delivery infrastructure system and Bulk Electric systems.  To address these concerns, FERC, NERC and the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) convened a Gas-Electric Harmonization (GEH) Forum. Following a year of effort, the GEH Forum issued a report recommending 20 concrete actions to improve reliability between the two systems. As one of the Co-Chairs of the NAESB GEH Forum, Robert Gee will discuss the report’s recommendations; the path forward for NARUC, Bulk Electric System operators, and market participants; the challenges presented by the divergence of support on significant issues and the need for greater collaboration between the increasingly interdependent gas and electricity systems.

Speaker: Bob Gee, President, Gee Strategies Group


AGENDA - Tuesday, March 5, 2024

8:30 AM   Keynote - FERC Update
Join us bright and early on Day 2 of the conference to hear from FERC Commissioner Mark Christie. He will share his thoughts and insights on reliability challenges facing the grid and pressing transmission issues. The Commissioner looks forward to an engaging Q&A session, so get your questions ready.  

Speaker: Commissioner Mark C. Christie, FERC

9:20 AM   Vignette - Energy Equity and Justice in the Global Energy Transition
Energy systems around the world are changing rapidly, accompanied by both new and ongoing economic, social, and justice challenges. In this talk, Dr. Sanya Carley will discuss the currently evolving global energy transition and findings from her collaborative research on the implications of this transition for vulnerable communities. She will discuss the importance of a full consideration of the distributional, procedural, and recognition justice challenges faced by such communities.

Speaker: Dr. Sanya Carley, Co-Director, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, University of Pennsylvania

9:40 AM   Session V - Regulatory Matters: Insights from State Commissioners and the OMS
State regulators in the Organization of MISO States and the SPP Regional State Committee provide collective regulatory agency input on matters of regional importance related to the development and operation of the bulk electric transmission system. Hear from three of these state commissioners in a panel moderated by Arkansas PSC Chairman Emeritus Ted Thomas. They will share insights on FERC’s Order 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act and the energy transition, reliability challenges posed by the increase in intermittent resources and extreme weather, balancing the interests of disparate stakeholder groups, and other issues.

Moderator: Ted Thomas, Founding Partner, Energize Strategies
Lori Cobos, Commissioner, Public Utility Commission of Texas

Andrew French, Chairman, Kansas Corporate Commission
Marcus Hawkins, Executive Director, Organization of MISO States
Davante Lewis, Commissioner, Louisiana Public Service Commission


10:45 AM   Session VI - Market Monitors’ Views on the Clean Energy Transformation
The reliability and affordability of the clean energy transformation in MISO and SPP will depend on organized market operations and outcomes. MISO and SPP market monitors will be integral in guiding the transition in many ways. On this panel, the respective market monitors will explain their roles as well as share their views on recent and upcoming energy and capacity market developments.

Moderator: David Sapper, Director of Market Intelligence – Midcontinent, Customized Energy Solutions
Keith Collins, Vice President, Market Monitoring, SPP
Carrie Milton, Vice President, Potomac Economics

11:30 AM Keynote - A Report from NERC
The bulk power system is undergoing unprecedented change on a scale and at a speed that challenges the ability to foresee and design for its future state. Unless reliability and resilience are appropriately prioritized, current trends indicate the potential for more frequent and more serious long duration reliability disruptions, including the possibility of national consequence events. However, NERC’s independent technical assessments indicate that the energy transformation can be navigated in a reliable way, provided reliability is recognized as a central priority. Join us to hear John Moura’s outlook on the significant challenges ahead and the important work NERC is doing to address these risks and concerns.  

Speaker: John Moura, Director, Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis, NERC


1:30 PM   Keynote from U.S. Department of Energy - Maria Duaime Robinson, Director, Grid Deployment Office, U.S. Department of Energy

2:00 PM   Session VII - Powering Tomorrow: The Role of New Technologies in the Energy Transition
With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the electric industry is driving many new technologies into commercial operation. Carbon capture sequestration, hydrogen, offshore wind, and small modular reactors have been hot topics for discussion in stakeholder forums, and the industry as a whole will need to grapple with forecasting the role of these emerging resources. Our panelists will discuss opportunities, challenges, and trends with the electric industry's next generation advancements.

Moderator: Simon Mahan, Executive Director, Southern Renewable Energy Association
Anthony Bodin, Development Director, Gulf of Mexico Project, RWE

Mark Bordelon, Director, Corporate Development, CLECO Power
Michael Curtis, Carbon & Energy Technology Principal, Dow
Brett Perlman, CEO, Center for Houston's Future

2:45 PM   Vignette - Inflation Reduction Act and its Impact on Energy Transition
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 represents the most significant legislation to combat climate change in our nation’s history. Delivering $270 billion in tax incentives as part of the $369 billion the Inflation Reduction Act dedicates to combating climate change, the IRA provides federal tax incentives and grants to promote investment in the energy transition. Join us for this vignette to hear an update on how these incentives are impacting investment in clean power, energy storage, green hydrogen and carbon capture projects.

Speaker: Durham McCormick, Partner, McGuire Woods


3:20 PM   Session VIII - RTO / ISO Operations of the Future
As the generation resource mix continues to evolve, with it comes a variety of operational challenges for electric grid operators across the country. This panel of RTO and ISO experts will discuss the evolving issues and solutions including market design and operating protocols, ancillary services, system programming and tools, the increasing demands on real time operators, and the potential role of artificial intelligence. Because all of these solutions come at a price, they will also discuss the challenges in balancing solutions with the cost of implementation.

Moderator: Beth Garza, Sr. Fellow, R Street Institute
Jeff Billo, Director, Operations Planning, ERCOT

C.J. Brown, Sr. Director of System Operations, SPP
John Phipps, Executive Director, System Operations, CAISO
J.T. Smith, Executive Director of Market Operations, MISO

4:00 PM   Vignette - VPP
Between 2023 and 2030, the U.S. grid will likely need to add enough new capacity to supply over 200 GW of electricity demand during peak hours. Jennifer Downing, one of the primary authors of the DOE’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) Liftoff Report, will discuss the incredible potential for large-scale deployment of VPPs to supply a significant portion of the capacity needs in the clean energy transition. She will also share her insights on DOE’s urgent call to action and the five critical imperatives for VPP liftoff.

Speaker: Jennifer Downing, Sr. Advisor, DOE Loan Programs Office

4:15 PM   Session IX - VPP Providers Panel
The role of the VPP Provider is to aggregate distributed energy resources (DERs) such as rooftop solar with behind-the meter (BTM) batteries, electric vehicles (EVs) and chargers, electric water heaters, smart buildings, and flexible commercial and industrial (C&I) loads that can balance electricity demand.  There are a variety of participation models that offer rewards to VPP Providers and their DER customers for contributing to efficient grid operations.  Hear from these innovative VPP Providers on the challenges and opportunities to expand DER adoption, integrate VPPs into wholesale markets, electricity system planning and operations, and what it will take to create value and get to scale in the VPP market.

Moderator: Jennifer Downing, Sr. Advisor, DOE Loan Programs Office
John Bonnin, Sr. Consultant, AutoGrid Systems, Inc.
Wayne Callender, Sr. Manager, Solar & Storage, CPS Energy
Jaden Crawford, Director of Policy, David Energy
Neal Fitch, Sr. Director, Regulatory Affairs, NRG


- Registration pricing is all inclusive and includes a cocktail reception on Monday, March 4, breakfast and lunch on Tuesday, March 5 plus all-day beverage service and snack breaks on both days.
- Early bird pricing ends on Friday, February 16th.
- On-Line Registration closes on Friday, March 1st at 12 Noon.
- On-Site Registration is available at the conference. Registration opens at 12:15 PM on Monday, March 4th. There will be a $50 fee added to the regular registration price for onsite registration.
- Requests for refunds must be received by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 16th. A 10% processing fee will be deducted from all refunds.


Registrant Type Early Bird Price through 2/16/24 Regular Registration Price through 3/1/24
GCPA Members $700 $800
Non-Members $850 $950
Govt./State/Agency $350 $350

GCPA has been approved for a total of 9.17 MCLE hours by the Louisiana State Bar. The breakout is as follows:

March 4th
Insider Chat – 1:05 PM – 1:50 PM – 0.75 hour
Session I – 1:50 PM – 2:10 PM – 0.33 hour
Session II – 2:10 PM – 3:00 PM – 0.83 hour
Keynote – 3:30 PM – 3:45 PM – 0.25 hour
Session III – 3:45 PM – 4:00 PM – 0.25 hour
Session IV – 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM – 0.75 hour
Keynote – 4:45 PM – 5:00 PM – 0.25 hour
March 5th
Keynote – 8:30 AM – 9:20 AM – 0.83 hour
Vignette – 9:20 AM – 9:40 AM – 0.33 hour
Session V – 9:40 AM – 10:20 AM – 0.67 hour
Session VI – 10:45 AM – 11:30 AM – 0.75 hour
Keynote – 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM – 0.5 hour
Session VII – 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM – 0.75 hour
Vignette – 2:45 PM – 3:00 PM – 0.25 hour
Session VIII – 3:20 PM – 4:00 PM – 0.67 hour
Vignette – 4:00 PM – 4:15 PM – 0.25 hour
Session IX – 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM – 0.75 hour