Schedule

Below is the schedule for Community Solar Power Summit 2018. 

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Time Event
9:00 am - 12:00 pm Community Solar Garden Tour
Lindstrom Community Solar Garden (RSVP Required, Shuttle Provided)
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm Registration Open
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Networking Lunch, Norway
1:30 pm - 2:00 pm Welcome & Fireside Chat
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

Welcome Remarks
SPEAKERS:
Jeff Cramer, Executive Director, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
Jen Szaro, Senior Director of Programs, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

A Fideside Chat
Minnesota State Representative and current Minority Leader, Melissa Hortman (D) led the charge to develop and pass legislation to enable the development of community solar in the state of Minnesota. Fresh Energy’s Executive Director Michael Noble helped develop the policy and lead clean energy advocacy efforts to kickstart the program. We’ll hear Rep. Hortman and Nobles’ perspectives on the importance and benefits of community solar in Minnesota and what it could mean for community solar development and expansion across the country.
SPEAKERS:
Jeff Cramer, Executive Director, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
Honorable Melissa Hortman, Minnesota House of Representatives
Michael Noble, Executive Director, Fresh Energy

2:00 pm - 6:30 pm Exhibits Open, Denmark Commons
2:00 pm - 2:15 pm Community Solar Market Snapshot
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

GTM Research will kick off the day’s discussion of national, regional, and state community solar market trends with a brief presentation on the state of the market with latest figures, analysis, and updates.

SPEAKER:
MJ Shiao, Global Lead, Renewables + Emerging Technologies, GTM Research
2:15 pm - 3:15 pm Executive Perspectives: Community Solar Market Trends in 2018 and Beyond
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

Get the report direct from the top -- the Executive Perspectives panel as guided by Keith Martin -- will garner unique perspectives from the leading community solar executives from across the country.

MODERATOR:
Keith Martin, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
SPEAKERS:
Erica Mackie, Chief Executive Officer, Grid Alternatives
Amanda Mortlock, Vice President, Utility Partnerships, 3Degrees
Nate Owen, Chief Executive Officer, Ampion
Paul Spencer, Chief Executive Officer, Clean Energy Collective
Drew Warshaw, Vice President, Community Solar, NRG
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm Networking Break & Exhibits, Denmark Commons
3:45 pm - 4:30 pm Report Release: Community Solar 2030 At Scale
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

GTM Research will release its much anticipated “Community Solar 2030 At Scale” report, led by a presentation by GTM Research, Head of Americas, MJ Shiao, and followed by perspectives from report contributors Vote Solar, CCSA, and Grid Alternatives.

SPEAKERS:
Jeff Cramer, Executive Director, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
Tom Figel, Policy & Regulatory Manager, Community Solar, Grid Alternatives
MJ Shiao, Global Lead, Renewables + Emerging Technologies, GTM Research
Marta Tomic, Community Solar Director, Vote Solar
4:40 pm - 5:30 pm Road Trippin’: Community Solar Market Roundup from Across the Country
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

Kicked off with a brief presentation with highlights on the latest market developments, the panel will explore perspectives from the ground from leading policy experts in policy driven and voluntary community solar markets.

MODERATOR:
Brandon Smithwood, Director of Policy, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
SPEAKERS:
Betsy Engleking, Vice President, Geronimo Energy
Joe Henri, Director, Sales and New Market Development, Forefront Power
Melissa Kemp, Policy Director, Northeast, Cypress Creek Renewables
Sandhya Murali, Co-Founder, Solstice
Medha Surampudy, Research Associate, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Networking Happy Hour & Exhibits, Denmark Commons
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Offsite Networking Reception
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company

Take a short stroll or ride through downtown Minneapolis to Lakes & Legends, where they focus on quality ingredients, spotlighting local farmers wherever possible, and creating a welcoming space where communities can come together. Kick back in this lively space and connect with professionals from across the community solar sector! (included in Full Conference registration) Learn More

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Time Event
8:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration & Exhibits Open, Denmark Commons
8:00 am - 8:30 am Networking Breakfast & Exhibits, Norway
8:30 am - 9:00 am Keynote
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4
 

Minnesota Commission Chair, Nancy Lange, has overseen development and growth of the largest community solar market to date. This session will address successes, challenges, and lessons from the roll-out of the program, and discuss the potential for long-term community solar development in Minnesota and how experiences in Minnesota may inform the growth of community solar across the country.

MODERATOR:
Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
SPEAKER:
Commissioner Nancy Lange, Chair, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
9:00 am - 10:00 am General Session: Dollars and Cents The State of Community Solar Finance
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4
 

Financing for community solar projects has come a long way in recent years, attracting more and more traditional lenders and tax equity investors that are become more comfortable with community solar as an asset class. But challenges remain. This panel will explore the key trends leading to greater comfort in the asset class by lenders, specific examples of project financing models across the country, and potential novel solutions on the horizon to mitigate remaining challenges.

MODERATOR:
Todd Glass, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
SPEAKERS:
Adam Altenhofen, Vice President, Renewable Energy Investments, U.S. Bank
Matthew Bowers, Director, New Markets, Cypress Creek Renewables
Chris Diaz, Principal, Seminole Financial Services
Eric Graber-Lopez, Co-Founder and President, Blue Wave Solar
Ja Kao, President, Onyx Renewable Partners
10:00 am - 10:30 am Networking Break & Exhibits, Denmark Commons
  Breakout Session 1 Breakout Session 2
 10:30 am - 11:30 am “How To” Panel: Community Solar Program Design and Navigation
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

More Info
Market Sector Drivers: Bringing Down Customer Acquisition Costs
Scandinavian Ballrooms 1&2

More Info
 

Which one is not like the other? Community solar can look very different to the grid, the customer, and the developer depending on program design. Hear perspectives from leading experts on how to best design community solar programs that work for all - and how your organization can best navigate program development, implementation, and execution.

Moderator:
Darin Lowder, Partner, Ballard Spahr
Speakers:
Ilan Gutherz, Senior Director of Policy and Strategy, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc.
Mari Hernandez, Regulatory Program Manager, Interstate Renewable Energy Center (IREC)
Deb Roepke, SUNDA Project Lead, NRECA
Julia Zuckerman, Manager, Policy and Market Strategy (Renewables), NRG Energy

It’s all about the customer. Myriad customer surveys show demand for solar is at an all time high, and continuing to rise across customer types. But successfully managing inflows and outflows of customers to community solar projects remains a central key to unlocking the potential of community solar viability and scalability. Hear perspectives from the ground on how customer acquisition practices are evolving and innovating in the market today.

Moderator:
Logan O'Grady, Policy and Public Affairs Director, Clean Energy Economy Minnesota

Speakers:
Zach Axelrod, Vice President, Energy Services, Arcadia Power
Bill Kanzer, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Relay Power
Jason Kaplan, General Counsel and Director of Operations, Project Economics
Laura Pagliarulo, Managing Director, Community Solar, Clean Choice Energy
 11:30 am - 12:30 pm Solar for All: Can Community Solar Programs Really Work for All Customers?
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

More Info
Serving and Leveraging Surging Corporate Demand for Green
Scandinavian Ballrooms 1&2

More Info
 

Demand is growing rapidly from all customer segments for access to solar, some of which are easier for programs to serve than others. Can community solar programs be designed to effectively serve all customers, and how? Learn about the biggest challenges and novel solutions for serving all market segments of customer demand for solar.

Moderator:
Virginia Rutter, Program Director, Solar United Neighbors of Minnesota
Speakers:
John Murphy, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Nexamp
Peter Schenck, Vice President, Acquisitions, Soltage LLC
Suzanne Stelmasek, Policy Manager, Elevate Energy

Corporate off-takers account for a significant amount of overall community solar program capacity to date. Can community solar programs be scaled and designed to effectively meet surging large C&I customer demand, and how can C&I help themselves in driving program development.

Moderator:
Laurel Passera, Policy Team, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
Speakers:
Sam Choi, Manager, Emerging Technologies and Renewables, Orlando Utilities Commission
Richard Dimatteo, Principal, Blue Mountain Power, LLC.
Dustin Maddy, Sustainability Program Specialist, CentraCare Health
 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Networking Lunch & Exhibits
Norway
 
 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm QuickTalk
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

Speaker:
Nate Owen, Chief Executive Officer, Ampion
 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Utility Perspectives on Community Solar
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

More Info
Sticky Notes: Community Solar Education, Messaging, Marketing and Communications
Scandinavian Ballrooms 1&2

More Info
 

Utilities of all kinds are responding to customer demand for solar with new community solar offerings. Hear perspectives from key leaders in the voluntary community solar market on best practices in establishing effective and scalable voluntary programs and how they are collaborating with industry and policymakers in legislative markets.

Moderator:
Liz Lucente, Communications Director and General Counsel, Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA)

Speaker:
Jill K. Cliburn, Principal, Cliburn and Associates, LLC
Kerry Klemm, Manager, Renewable Choice Programs, Xcel Energy
Scott Vogt, Vice President of Energy Acquisition, ComEd

Learn how community solar companies, advocates, and others are marketing community solar to recruit customers, open up new markets, develop best-in-class programs, and ensure stakeholders understand how community solar fits into the overall energy mix.

Moderator:
Matt Hargarten, Communication Director, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)

Speakers:
Kate Colarulli, Vice President, Customer Retention and PR, CleanChoice Energy
Melina Fleming, Vice President, Marketing & Operations, SunShare
Krysta Overton, Manager of Communications & Marketing, Groundswell
 3:00 pm - 3:15 pm Networking Break & Exhibits
Denmark Commons
 
 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm Community Solar Plus: Opportunities to Bundle Community Solar with Other DERS like Storage, DR, and Others
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4

More Info
Latest Developments and Challenges in Community Solar Project Development
Scandinavian Ballrooms 1&2

More Info
 

To date, most community solar programs and projects have fostered development of stand-alone distribution-level ~1-2 MW solar systems. As community solar programs scale, policymakers, grid planners, and project developers are considering how best to pair community solar systems with other DERs like energy storage and demand response. Energy storage in particular is often pegged as the silver bullet for the grid of the future and community solar the silver bullet for expanding access to solar for all customers. With their powers combined, could they represent the ultimate killer app?

Moderator:
Ellen Anderson, Executive Director of the Energy Transition Lab, University of Minnesota
Speakers:
Susan Buchan, Director of Energy Projects, E4TheFuture
Ben Downing, Vice President of Energy Storage, Nexamp
Lauren Laustsen, Director of Solutions, Simple Energy
Achyut Shrestha, Senior Policy Analyst, North Carolina State University

Community solar offerings to customers, efficiencies in project development, novel financing mechanisms are all evolving at a breakneck pace as community solar programs expand across the country.  Hear perspectives on the latest trends and key challenges in project development directly from the leading innovators in the space.

Moderator:
Heidi Larson, Director, Renewable and Emerging Technologies, ICF
Speakers:
Jeff Lord, Senior Vice President of Project Development, Clean Energy Collective
Manish Nayar, Founder, Managing Partner, Oya Solar
Jared Schoch, Chief Executive Officer, Turning Point Energy
Joel Thomas, Project Manager, Community Solar, Community Energy Inc.
   
 4:15 pm - 5:00 pm Closing Session: New and Emerging Markets for Community Solar - 2019 and Beyond
Scandinavian Ballrooms 3&4
 

Over a dozen states and dozens of utilities are contemplating or in the process of implementing new community solar programs across the country. With over ~1 GW of community solar projects installed across the country to date, and the potential for tens of GW of additional capacity in the coming decade, the solar trades will discuss near-term potential for new market development in the policy driven and utility-led market segments and their plans to engage in market development over the coming year.

MODERATOR:
Jeff Cramer, Executive Director, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
SPEAKERS:
Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
Brandon Smithwood, Director of Policy, Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA)
Jen Szaro, Senior Director of Programs, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Closing Happy Hour