The schedule is being updated regularly with new speakers and additional event information. Check back often to find out the latest for Solar Power Texas.

Interested in participating in the program as a speaker? Complete the speaker interest form

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Time Event Location
8:00 am - 5:30 pm Registration Open Capitol Ballroom Foyer
8:00 am - 6:00 pm Exhibits Open Capitol Ballroom
8:30 am - 9:00 am Welcome & Opening Remarks Capitol View Terrace
9:00 am - 10:00 am Exploring the Economic Impact of Solar: How Texas Compares Against the Nation. Capitol View Terrace
2016 was an impressive year for the solar industry. Prices dropped to all-time lows, installations expanded in states across the country, and job numbers soared. This session will provide a national update where experts assess the economic impacts of solar and how Texas compares to other states in solar employment trends, solar capacity and deployment projections, and the critical regulatory and policy conversations driving the solar industry’s growth.
Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association
Helen Brauner, Director of Origination Strategy, 7x Energy
10:00 am - 10:30 am Speed Networking Break & Exhibits Capitol Ballroom
10:30 am - 11:30 am Innovation in the Competitive Retail Market Capitol View Terrace
In lieu of statewide net metering, Retail Electric Providers in ERCOT's customer choice areas (e.g. Houston, Dallas) are free to offer options of their own design for the buyback of customer excess solar generation - and they are beginning to do that purely for market-based reasons. Come hear the latest from leading Retail Electric Providers in Texas talk about their offerings and why they are being proactive in delivering solar-friendly rates and other programs.
Charlie Hemmeline, Executive Director, Texas Solar Power
Sam Sen, Vice President, TXU Energy
11:30 am - 12:30 pm Connecting Generators & Customers: Understanding Transmission, Distribution, and Interconnection in Texas Capitol View Terrace

There are hundreds of retail electric providers that sell electricity to customers in the competitive choice areas of ERCOT, but only a limited number of Transmission & Distribution Service Providers that operate the grid that actually connects generators and customers. Their perspectives and practices are important for solar’s continued growth. Come hear how they are:

  • Engaging with the solar industry
  • Interconnecting DG customer and large scale solar power plants
  • Investing in the grid and future plans
  • Implementing solar specific program activities
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm Networking Lunch & Exhibits Capitol Ballroom
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Training Session: The New Rules of Residential Solar Capitol View Terrace

Residential solar is booming and a fantastic segment to grow your business. At the same time, customer acquisition has become competitive with companies using advertising, marketing calls, and third-party lead generators to reach consumers. Anyone in the space has to understand the rules of the game. Industry experts will share their insights on customer acquisition issues and rules and answer your questions to help you better market solar to consumers. This panel is vital for all solar companies working with residential consumers.
Tom Kimbis, General Counsel an Vice President of Executive Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association
Marc Burns, Deputy General Counsel, Regulatory Affairs, SunStreet Energy Group
Amy Heart, Director of Public Policy, SunRun
Jarrod Loadholt, General Counsel, Tesla

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Networking Break & Exhibits Capitol Ballroom
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Legislative Roundup Capitol View Terrace

Debrief of the legislative session that just ended and how solar will be impacted.

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm How to take advantage of commercial PACE in Texas? Capitol View Terrace

Despite enormous market opportunity, strong interest in corporate responsibility, and improving economics, solar deployment in the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector has largely remained an area of unfilled solar potential. However, increasingly a range of financing innovations, like property-assessed clean energy (PACE), have evolved across the nation to open untapped solar sectors. Attendees will learn why PACE is becoming more important for commercial PV across the nation and how nonprofits and small and medium-sized for-profit businesses can take advantage of commercial PACE program in Texas in particular.
Alex Winn, Program Director, The Solar Foundation
Charlene Heydinger, President, Texas PACE Authority

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Networking Reception & Exhibits Capitol Ballroom
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Evening Reception at Stubbs Bar-B-Q (additional fee) Stubbs Bar-B-Q
801 Red River St. Austin, TX 78701
Enjoy authentic Texas bar-b-q and wash it down with beers and margaritas, all while networking with your peers! This off-site event requires pre-registration and costs $75 USD.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Time Event Location
7:30 am - 12:00 pm Registration Capitol Ballroom Foyer
7:30 am - 12:00 pm Exhibits Open Capitol Ballroom
8:00 am - 9:00 am Networking Breakfast & Exhibits Capitol Ballroom
8:30 am - 9:00 am Keynote Address Capitol View Terrace
9:00 am - 10:00 am Go Big or Go Home: The Texas Grid Modernization Experience Capitol View Terrace
Join representatives from the varied aspects of the Texas power system as they share their experiences with active grid modernization initiatives. Topics will include: lessons learned, local priorities in utility grid modernization, and how policy impacts planning in this area. The discussion will include the Department of Energy's Enabling Extreme Real-time Grid Integration for Solar Energy (ENERGISE) Initiative.
Randy Boys, Strategy & Technology Manager, ONCOR
Jurgen Krehnke, Chief Executive Office, Americas, KACO
Peter Muhoro, Director, Energy Research & Strategies, Pedernales Electric Cooperative
Taco de Vries, Vice President for Global Sales, Integral Analytics
10:00 am - 10:30 am Networking Break & Exhibits Capitol Ballroom
10:30 am - 11:30 am On the Cusp of Mainstream: Trends and Market Drivers for Community Solar in Texas Capitol View Terrace
Community solar is on the cusp of becoming a mainstream driver of U.S. solar market growth. In 2017, the US community solar market will surpass 400 MW and analysts predict that by 2019, there will likely be 500 megawatts of community solar projects installed each year in states across the country. This panel will explore the latest trends and market drivers behind the growing opportunities in third-party-led and utility-led community solar across the nation and what this means for the potential of community solar in Texas.
Danielle Murray, Manager, Solar Energy Services Austin Energy
Scott Williams, Manager, New Market Development, Cypress Creek Renewables
11:30 am - 12:30 pm Reducing Soft Costs: The Key to Achieving Cheaper Solar Energy Capitol View Terrace
Soft costs are the non-hardware costs associated with going solar. These costs include permitting, financing, and installing solar, as well as the expenses solar companies incur to acquire new customers, pay suppliers, and cover their bottom line. Reducing Soft costs is the key to achieving cheaper solar energy, and this session will split two 25-minute sessions, providing an introduction to the DOE-funded SolSmart program and Orange Button initiative, two separate initiatives aimed at reducing soft costs and making it easier and cheaper for businesses and residents to invest in solar energy.
Aaron Smallwood, Smart Electric Power Alliance
12:30 pm Wrap-Up Capitol View Terrace