Solar Power Midwest 2017 Schedule

The schedule is being updated regularly with new speakers and additional event information. Check back often to find out the latest for Solar Power Midwest. Interested in participating in the program as a speaker? Complete the speaker interest form

Wednesday, October 18

 

Time Location Event  
10:00 am
1:00 pm
Arkansas Room SEPA Utility Roundtable
Learn More
More Info
1:00 pm
5:00 pm
Missouri Room Workshop - Midwest Community Solar - Sold Out More Info
Community solar has become a critical tool for bridging the gap between those who can and can’t access local, affordable, clean energy. Because community solar enables multiple customers to participate in a single solar project located in their community, and receive credits on their utility bill for their portion of the power produced, going solar becomes a possibility for those who may be otherwise constrained by the physical attributes of their home or business, like roof space, shading, or whether or not they own the property. This workshop will discuss challenges and opportunities in community solar in the Midwest, share model program designs and decision tools that will make it easier for communities to reap the benefits of solar, highlight successful case studies, and ultimately shed light on why the shared renewables model can provide American homeowners, renters, and businesses access to the benefits of solar energy generation and play a critical role in expanding access to solar energy to low-income households.

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2:15 pm
4:30 pm
Invenergy Control Center Tour of Invenergy’s Utility Scale Control Center
Speakers:
Brad Purtell, Director, Operations Support
Ted Romaine, Director, Origination
Paul Thienpont, Sr. Project Engineer
More Info
Join members of Invenergy’s team for a discussion of utility-scale solar and a tour of its on-site Invenergy Control Center. Completed in 2015, Invenergy’s state-of-the-art, utility scale Control Center is designed to monitor, dispatch and control all of Invenergy’s North American wind, solar and battery storage generation facilities, including over 2,700 wind turbines. The control center ensures smooth facility operations including grid constraints, scheduled/forced outages, and remote troubleshooting as well as acting as the central communication hub for the operating fleet of generation facilities and counterparties.

About Invenergy
Invenergy drives innovation in energy. Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own, and operate large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation and storage facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Invenergy's home office is located in Chicago and it has regional development offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Poland and Scotland. Invenergy has developed more than 15,900 megawatts of projects that are in operation, construction or contracted, including wind, solar and natural gas power generation projects and energy storage facilities. For more information, please visit www.invenergyllc.com.

4:00 pm
5:30 pm
Sheraton Promenade East Registration Open  
5:30 pm
6:30 pm
Mayfair Room (Level 2) Welcome Reception Join your colleagues for light apps, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages.
6:30 pm
8:30 pm
D4 Irish Pub & Café ISEA Solar Drinks. - Sold Out More Info
The Illinois Solar Energy Association invites you to join them at D4 Irish Pub & Café for an opportunity to meet and greet others in the solar industry. ISEA Solar Drinks provides a forum for renewable energy professionals to meet each other, network and learn about topics related to renewable energy in Illinois. Space is limited.

 

Thursday, October 19

Time Location Event
8:00 am
5:30 pm
Sheraton Ballroom Registration Open
8:30 am

10:00 am

Sheraton Ballroom Opening General Session

Speakers:

Welcome Remarks: Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

State of Solar in the Midwest: Howard Learner, President and Executive Director, Environmental Law and Policy Center

SEPA Update: Julia Hamm, President and CEO, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Midwest Market Roundtable

Moderator:

Brad Klein, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law and Policy Center

Speakers:

Michelle Gransee, State Energy Office Clean Energy & Programs Manager, Minnesota Department of Commerce

Anne Hoskins, Chief Policy Officer, Sunrun

Robert Scheuermann, President, SoCore Energy

More Info
Solar power generation is rapidly expanding across the United States in response to an increase in demand for clean, reliable power. Over the next few years, the Midwest has the potential to become a hotbed of solar growth, which will result in a host of economic and environmental benefits for local communities. With both emerging opportunities and lingering problems, this market roundtable will take a look at how a new solar market is forming in the Midwest.
10:00 am
5:30 pm
Sheraton Ballroom Exhibit Hall Open
10:30 am
11:30 am
Sheraton Ballroom Trends and Perspectives on Community Solar in the Midwest
Moderator:
Marta Tomic, Program Director, Community Solar, Vote Solar
Speakers:
Dan Chwastyk, Utility Strategy Manager, Smart Electric Power Alliance
Anne Evens, Chief Executive Officer, Elevate Energy
Lisa Richardson, Communications Manager, Wabash Valley Power
Deborah Stone, Chief Sustainability Officer, Cook County
More Info
Community solar has become a critical tool for bridging the gap between those who can and can’t access local, affordable, clean energy. This session will discuss the challenges and opportunities in community solar in the Midwest, providing insight into how the shared renewables model is providing American homeowners, renters, and businesses access to the benefits of solar energy generation and why it can play a critical role in expanding access to solar energy to low-income households.
11:45 am
12:15 pm
Sheraton Ballroom Quick Talk: Co-Ops
Moderator:
Madeleine Klein, Managing Director, Policy & Market Strategy, SoCore Energy
Speakers:
Mike Casper, President and CEO, Jo-Carroll Energy (IL)
Mark Rathbun, Renewable Energy Lead, Great River Energy
More Info
Rural electric cooperatives have a particularly large footprint across the Midwest. In the past, co-ops have been somewhat slow to embrace solar energy, but that is now changing. This session will explore how Midwestern co-ops have evaluated the business case for solar and energy storage, and the particular challenges and/or advantages co-ops face embracing new and innovative technology at the grid edge.
12:15 pm
1:30 pm
Riverwalk A Networking Lunch
1:30 pm
2:30 pm
Sheraton Ballroom Opportunities and Challenges in the Midwest Residential Solar Market
Moderator:
Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
Speakers:
Caleb Arthur, Chief Executive Officer, US Sun Solar
Amy Heart, Director, Public Policy, Sunrun Inc.
Tim Rushenberg, Vice President, Indiana Energy Association
Barry Shear, President, Eagle Point Solar
More Info
Though solar penetration remains relatively low across the Midwest, states like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin are examining how to structure electric rates that are fair to solar customers, non-solar adopters, and utilities alike . As a result, rate design components such as net metering, time-of-use schedules and demand charges have become key factors in how distributed solar power is compensated. This session will help attendees understand opportunities and challenges in the Midwest residential solar market, with a particular focus on how different utilities and states are approaching rate design, compensation and adoption rates for distributed solar generation.
2:30 pm
3:00 pm
Sheraton Ballroom Networking Break & Exhibits
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Sheraton Ballroom Capitalizing on the Solar + Storage Revolution
Moderator:
Nick Esch, Research Associate, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
Speakers:
Richard Benedict, Director, Project Development, Indianapolis Power & Light
Spencer Hanes, Managing Director of Business Development – Energy Storage, Duke Energy Renewables
Troy Miller, Director, Grid Solutions, S&C Electric Company
Adam Gerza, COO & VP Business Development, Energy Toolbase
Matt Stedl, Development Director, Tradewind Energy, Inc.
More Info
From peaking capacity and fast-acting regulation services, to bulk energy storage and reserves, grid operators see diverse opportunities for energy storage technologies. Customers find value in onsite backup power supply and demand charge savings that pay back over time. Join this panel of experts for an exciting discussion of the business opportunities for energy storage to reduce investments in utility infrastructure while integrating renewable energy and increasing grid reliability.
4:15 pm
5:15 pm
Sheraton Ballroom A Midwest Perspective: The Grid of the Future
Moderator:
Jen Szaro, Senior Director, Programs, Smart Electric Power Alliance
Speakers:
Andrew Barbeau, President, The Accelerate Group
Madeleine Klein, Managing Director, Policy & Market Strategy, SoCore Energy
Hilary Pearson, Energy & Environmental Policy, Utility of the Future, ComEd
Rick Umoff, Regulatory Counsel & Director, State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association
More Info
As Americans get more of their energy from distributed renewable resources, such as solar, many states are realizing that their electric grids need to be modernized to keep up with the pace of change. While New York, California, and Hawaii have begun “utility of the future” experiments, three Midwest states—Illinois, Ohio and Minnesota—are in various stages of building frameworks to help utilities establish reliable, resilient, affordable and clean grid systems for the 21st century. This session will assess how grid modernization efforts are creating new opportunities for solar power in the Midwest, with a particular focus on:
• Updating utility system planning
• Updating tariffs/compensation framework
• Identifying alternatives to traditional utility investments
• Updating the functionality of the grid itself
6:00 pm
7:30 pm
Pinstripes Chicago Networking Reception at Pinstripes Chicago (Tickets sold separately - not included with registration) More Info


Friday, October 20

Time Location Event
8:00 am
11:30 am
Sheraton Promenade East Registration Open
8:00 am
9:00 am
Sheraton Ballroom Breakfast & SEIA Update: Trade Update and a Strategy for Growth
Speaker:
Dan Whitten, Vice President of Communications, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
More Info
During this working breakfast, hear the U.S. solar industry update from SEIA's Vice President of Communications, Dan Whitten. You will learn about recent market trends, what is happening in Congress, the latest on what you need to know about the U.S. solar trade dispute, and what SEIA is doing to help you grow your business.
9:00 am
12:00 pm
Sheraton Ballroom Exhibit Hall Open
9:00 am
10:00 am
Sheraton Ballroom Meeting Corporate Demand for Solar Energy in the Midwest
Moderator:
Adam Capage, Vice President, Corporate and Government Affairs, 3Degrees
Speakers:
T.J. Kanczuzewski, President, Inovateus Solar
Ted Romaine, Director, Origination, Invenergy
Jon Peeples, Assistant Vice President, Renewable Energy Business Development, U.S. Bank
Rob Threlkeld, Global Manager – Renewable Energy, General Motors
More Info
The Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sector represents an extraordinary opportunity to deploy solar energy and increasingly many businesses are choosing to invest in solar. This demand is driven by many objectives: reducing costs, meeting sustainability goals and environmental objectives, and increased resiliency and reliability. However, meeting this demand includes a host of unique challenges. This panel presents potential pathways for addressing the unique needs of this sector.
10:00 am
10:15 am
Sheraton Ballroom Networking Break & Exhibits
10:15 am
11:15 am
Sheraton Ballroom Navigating Customer Acquisition to Success
Moderator:
Amir Yazdi, Assistant General Counsel, Solar Energy Industries Association
Speakers:
Brian Granahan, Chief Legal Counsel, Illinois Power Agency
Chet McGensy, Chief Policy Officer, Dividend Finance, LLC
Janine Migden-Ostrander, Principal, The Regulatory Assistance Project
Laurel Passera, Policy Team, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
More Info
With the passage of last year’s Illinois RPS bill, rooftop and community solar are poised to grow rapidly in the Midwest. At the same time, customer acquisition will become more competitive with companies using advertising, marketing calls, and third-party lead generators to reach consumers. And the Illinois Power Agency is considering consumer protection measures for both rooftop solar and community solar companies. Anyone in the space has to understand the rules of the game. Learn from industry experts about customer acquisition issues, laws, and rules to ensure your success. This panel is vital for all solar companies working with residential consumers.
11:30 am
12:30 pm
Sheraton Ballroom Beyond Paris: Utility Scale Solar and the Move Toward a Clean Energy Economy
Moderator:
Becky Campbell, Manager, Utility Market Development, First Solar, Inc.
Speakers:
David Harwood, ‎Director - Renewable Energy, DTE Energy
Douglas Jester, Principal, 5 Lakes Energy
Erin Stojan Ruccolo, Advisor, Policy and Strategic Issues Management, MISO
Sarah Wochos, Director, Policy and Business Development for the Midwest, Borrego Solar
More Info
Although President Trump is pulling America out of the Paris Climate Accords, electric utility executives have discovered that deep decarbonization represents the growth path for the electric utility industry. With significant reforms to Illinois’ existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), Minnesota’s proposed 50% RPS by 2030, and increased commitments by Utilities to invest in renewables and decarbonize their portfolios, learn about the optimism, opportunities and challenges in the utility-scale solar marketplace.
1:00 pm
4:00 pm
Missouri Room Solar Jobs Strategy Meeting More Info
The Solar Training Network, a program of The Solar Foundation, is convening a Solar Jobs Strategy meeting at Solar Power Midwest to discuss solar training and hiring needs in Illinois due to the new Future Energy Jobs Act. If you are a solar training provider, solar employer, workforce development professional, or otherwise interested in solar employment pipeline buildout, we welcome you to our discussion.