Schedule

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Last year's event featured two education tracks: Policy and Business.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Time Event Room Location
9:00 am - 1:00 pm Workshop (ticketed): Considerations for Roof-mounted PV Systems Boulevard A

This in-depth educational workshop will discuss structural considerations for designing, installing and permitting roof mounted solar electric systems. This course is intended for installers, designers, and code officials. Topics will include a discussion of wood characteristics, residential wood structures, general permitting processes, applicable building codes, installation strategies, and techniques for determining loads on and strengths of structures.

The course will focus on residential-scale, wood structures with pitched roofs, but some fundamental principles may be useful in other applications, such as non-residential buildings, steel and concrete structures, flat roofs, and ground mounted systems.

Workshop (ticketed): Residential PV Financing Boulevard C
During this in-depth educational workshop, you’ll learn about PV system cost trends, net metering, and various federal, state, and utility programs and incentives offered to help finance PV systems. Participants are introduced to basic financial concepts used to evaluate PV systems including “cash flow analysis”, “return on investment”, and “net present value” of an investment. Participants will receive a digital copy of the MREA PV Cost Modeling Tool and learn how to use this financial spreadsheet model to evaluate utility bill savings, cash flow, payback period, financing options, and available program incentives. Participants also learn to evaluate PV systems in terms of their benefits to the environment and society.
11:00 am - 6:00 pm Registration Open 8th Street Lobby
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Opening General Session Continental B & C
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open International Ballroom
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm Business Track: Consumer Protection: Empowering Companies with Knowledge Continental C
Residential solar is booming and a fantastic segment to grow your business. But you have to understand and learn how to do business the right way from advertising and marketing to installations. Join us in this interactive session to learn about consumer protection rules and issues to be aware of, how to stay in compliance, and how to use new tools developed by SEIA. Learn how to better market solar to consumers. Industry experts will share their insights and answer your questions.
MODERATOR:
Amir Yazdi, Associate General Counsel, Solar Energy Industries Association
SPEAKERS:
Nick Hylla, Executive Director, Midwest Renewable Energy Association
Jarrod Loadholt, Consumer Compliance Counsel, SolarCity
Policy Track: Midwest State-Level Policy Continental B
From net-metering to interconnection, utility business models, RPS, and more, policies effecting solar vary state-to-state across the Midwest. What are the live issues in these state solar policies? How do these translate to market opportunities and risks? And what are the opportunities for policy engagement by the solar industry? Come join in a discussion with a panel of experts.
MODERATOR:
Brad Klein, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law & Policy Center
SPEAKERS:
Amy Heart, Director, Public Policy, Sunrun Inc.
Tyler Huebner, Executive Director, RENEW Wisconsin
David Strom, Executive Director, Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Business Track: From Rustbelt to Greenbelt Continental C
The U.S. Midwest, a region that was once known as the vanguard of the manufacturing industry, has seen a steady economic decline since 2001. That is, until recently. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the Midwest is still the industrial heartland of the U.S.-it's just what is being manufactured has shifted from steel to solar panels. Join this panel of regional and national manufacturing leaders who will discuss how renewable energy manufacturing is supporting more than 30,0000 jobs (and adding 25,00 jobs over the next year) and reinventing the American rust belt.
MODERATOR:
Hugh Bromley, Senior Research Associate, Lead Analyst - North America Solar, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
SPEAKERS:
Nick Korth, Marketing Development Manager – Renewable Energies, HellermanTyton
Tristan Kreager, Director of Solar Energy, Fronius
Devanand Shenoy, Ph.D, Advanced Manufacturing Office, U.S. Department of Energy
Aitor Sotes, Chief Executive Officer, Ingeteam Inc.
Policy Track: Rate Design & Net Metering Continental B
As solar and other distributed energy options continue to become more accessible and affordable for consumers, states are wrestling with how to structure electric rates in a way that serves the interests of solar consumers, non-solar consumers and utilities alike. As a result, rate design and net metering has become the battleground for the future of how solar power is generated, owned and valued in our changing electricity market. This Midwest-focused session will help attendees understand different rate design mechanisms being proposed, how they impact the customer economics of solar, and a range of guiding principles and approaches to addressing utility concerns without eroding the continued growth of distributed solar.
MODERATOR:
Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
SPEAKERS:
Douglas Jester, Principal, 5 Lakes Energy
Becky Stanfield, Vice President, Policy & Energy Markets, SolarCity
Scott Vogt, Vice President - Energy Acquisition, Commonwealth Edison
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall Happy Hour International Ballroom
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Networking Reception (Included with Full-Conference Registration) Buddy Guy's Legends

There's nothing like finishing out day one with drinks and heavy hors d'oeuvres at a Chicago staple, Buddy Guy's Legends, restaurant, located just around the corner from the Hilton Chicago. See for yourself. 

Price: $75

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Time Event Room Location
8:00 am - 6:00 pm Registration Open 8th Street Lobby
9:30 am - 10:30 am Business Track: Business Roundtable Continental C
This panel will look at national and regional companies who have successfully partnered in the Midwest, discussing opportunities and lessons learned for companies looking to grow their solar business in the region.
MODERATOR:
Amy Heart, Director, Public Policy, Sunrun Inc.
SPEAKERS:
Lisa Albrecht, Renewable Energy Specialist, Solar Service Inc.
Adam Gusse, Vice President – Operations, Sunvest Solar, Inc.
T.J. Kanczuzewski, President, Inovateus Solar, LLC
Mike Nicolosi, Owner, Rethink Electric
Policy Track: Grid Modernization Continental B
Forward looking approaches will help the grid and utilities grapple with increasing penetration and sustained growth of distributed energy resources. This panel will discuss innovative solutions, specifically the role of industry regulatory changes as the grid continues to evolve.
MODERATOR:
Rick Umoff, Regulatory Counsel and Director of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association
SPEAKERS:
David Chiesa, Senior Director of Global Business Development, S&C Electric Company
Sherina Maye Edwards, Commissioner, Illinois Commerce Commission
Allen Gleckner, Director, Energy Markets, Fresh Energy
Jane Park, Vice President of Regulatory Policy & Strategy, Commonwealth Edison
10:00 am - 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open International Ballroom
11:00 am - 12:00 pm Business Track: Partnering for Success Continental C
Both utilities and the solar industry are evolving their relationship with consumers from more of a passive service model to a multi-faceted, holistic value proposition. This session will focus on win-win-win scenarios that benefit the customer, the utility and its industry partners and move us toward a more sustainable electricity market.
MODERATOR:
Ryan Edge, Smart Electric Power Alliance
SPEAKERS:
Dave Dwyer, Owner, American Renewable Energy
David Hebert, Director, Utility Business Development, Sunverge Energy, Inc
Lynn Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
Mark Wilkerson, VP Strategic Partnerships, Clean Energy Collective
Policy Track: Co-ops & Municipalities: Models for Success in the Midwest Continental B
Consumer-owned electric cooperatives and municipal utilities are bringing the benefits of solar to both their consumer members and citizens, respectively, across the country, including the Midwest. This session will look at how municipalities and cooperatives are bringing solar to their communities, looking at best practices with permitting, planning, and zoning with municipalities, understanding what is valuable to co-ops, partnerships with solar or other industries, and learning from replicable models for solar success with public power.
MODERATOR:
Nick Hylla, Executive Director, Midwest Renewable Energy Association
SPEAKERS:
Nathan Franklin, External & Member Relations, Dairyland Cooperative Electric
Andy Olsen, Senior Policy Advocate, Environmental Law & Policy Center
Neil Placer, Managing Member, Placer Consulting Services LLC
Pamala M. Sullivan, Executive Vice President Power Supply & Generation, American Municipal Power, Inc.
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Networking Lunch (Included with Full-Conference Registration, Available for Separate Purchase) Marina Ballroom
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Business Track: New Business Opportunities with Lower PV Costs: Fuel Switching, Decarbonization and Cost Savings Continental C
The traditional residential solar business model has revolved around selling PV, solar water heating and perhaps some level of energy efficiency. However, with the increase in new consumer technologies and the decrease in PV prices, the suite of options needs to be reevaluated. How cost-effective is solar hot water versus PV per energy unit? What new products and services can installers offer homeowners? How can the technologies be aggregated and controlled to the customer's benefit in a changing electricity rates environment? This session will explore how lower PV prices opens up potential sales and environmental opportunities with electric water heaters, electric vehicle charging, smart thermostats, smart appliances and even electric heating to lower costs and emissions.
MODERATOR:
Erika Myers, Senior Manager of Research, Smart Electric Power Alliance
SPEAKERS:
Matthew Johnson, Vice President, Development, EnergyHub
Steve Nordahl, Operations & Engineering Technician, Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric
Chad Sorenson, President & Cofounder, SunPeak
Policy Track: Opening the Middle Markets - Offtaker Finance Through Commercial PACE Continental B
This panel will explore the evolving C-PACE market, origination channels, the benefits to real estate owners and their tenants, and how developers can leverage this powerful tool to get projects over the finish line.
MODERATOR:
Mike Mendelsohn, Senior Director of Project Finance and Capital Markets, Solar Energy Industries Association
SPEAKERS:
Mike Lemyre, SVP Government Affairs, Ygrene Energy Fund
Lynn Parins, Associate, Foley & Lardner LLP
Alexander Winn, Program Director, The Solar Foundation
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Business Track: Community Solar Continental C
Community solar is an emerging solution, with the potential to expand solar access to the 50% of Americans without solar-ready roofs. Join us for a discussion around community solar, including the benefits and challenges facing the market today. This session will discuss what stakeholders from developers to utilities need to know to advance community solar. Several community solar business models will be represented and explored.
MODERATOR:
Dan Chwastyk, Utility Strategy Manager, Smart Electric Power Alliance
SPEAKERS:
Vito Greco, Manager, Solar Program, Elevate Energy
Nate Owen, Chief Executive Officer, Ampion
Lissa Pawlisch, Director for the University of Minnesota's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension, Minnesota Clean Energy Research Team
Don Peterson, Assistant Vice President - Strategic Products and Services, Madison Gas & Electric Company
Policy Track: Hot Topics in Utility Scale Solar Continental B
The economics of large scale solar power have never been better. All the while, policy developments are spurring new interest among utilities throughout the region. Negotiations to fix and expand Illinois’ renewable portfolio standard continue to move forward, and new policy developments in states such as Michigan and Minnesota around integrated resource planning, PURPA, and community solar are driving utilities to develop an increasingly diverse generating mix. To top it off, most of the states facing the steepest carbon reduction goals under the Clean Power Plan are in the Midwest region. Learn from experts how the economics and policies are converging behind a robust large scale solar market in the Heartland.
MODERATOR:
Kevin Borgia, Public Policy Manager, Wind on the Wires
SPEAKERS:
Caroline Mead, Senior Manager of Utility Sales, SunPower
Frank Niscoromni, Program Manager – Renewable Energy, DTE Energy
Tony Saucedo, Northeastern and Midwestern Regional Sales Manager, Fronius
Shannon Weigel, Director of Policy, SoCore Energy
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Beers with Peers in Exhibit Hall International Ballroom