2019 Schedule

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Time Event
8:00 am - 4:45 pm SEIA Solar+ Manufacturing Summit | Red Lacquer Room

The Solar+ Manufacturing Summit will bring together leaders in manufacturing to discuss pathways and policies for building a strong domestic supply chain for solar and other clean energy technologies. Learn More

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm SEIA Manufacturing Summit Networking Reception
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm SEIA Women's Empowerment Reception | Lockwood Bar and Lounge
Join the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) as we kick off Solar & Energy Storage Midwest with a Women's Reception in Chicago. SEIA's President & CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper, and our Regulatory Counsel & Midwest Regional Director, Nakhia Morrissette, look forward to meeting with you there! Learn More

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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Time Session Information
8:00 am - 5:00 pm Registration Open
8:30 am - 10:00 am Solar and Energy Storage Midwest Opening Session | Adams Room

8:30 am - 8:35 am | Welcome and Introductions

Speakers: 

Julia Hamm, Chief Executive Officer and President, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Abigail Ross Hopper, Chief Executive Officer & President, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)


8:35 am - 9:10 am | Perspectives on Leadership and Building the Solar+ Decade  

Moderator: 

Abigail Ross Hopper, Chief Executive Officer & President, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Speakers: 

Mallory Lindgren, Vice President, Solar and Storage, Westwood Professional Services

Suzanne Stelmasek, State Government & Regulatory Affairs Manager, Exelon

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Earlier this year SEIA laid claim to the 2020s as the Solar+ Decade to signify the leading role solar and its partners will play in reimagining our energy landscape. Hear from Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and two of Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40s as they dive into why the next decade will be one of radical market transformation for energy in the Midwest and what’s needed to build the Solar+ Economy to ensure that the energy transition reflects the diversity of our population.

9:10 am - 10:00 am | On the Horizon: Grid Modernization

Moderator: 

Julia Hamm, Chief Executive Officer and President, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Speakers:  

Tanuj Deora, Vice President, Market Development & Regulatory Affairs, Uplight

Bradley Klein, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law & Policy Center

Joseph Svachula, VP of Strategy, Exelon Utilities

Curt Volkmann, President, New Energy Advisors, LLC

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Midwest utility commissions are increasingly considering new opportunities to "modernize" the grid through investment in a variety of technologies that will enable greater adoption of distributed energy resources that can provide new grid services and potentially defer traditional utility investments. This panel will provide a range of perspectives on Midwest grid modernization opportunities and challenges, including a close examination of integrated distribution planning (IDP) and hosting capacity analysis in Midwest state dockets.
10:00 am - 10:30 am Speed Networking in Exhibit Hall
10:00 am - 5:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open
Breakout Session 1 Breakout Session 2
10:30 am - 11:20 am Trends in Financing Renewables | Adams Room

Moderator: 

Lynn Parins, Attorney, Foley & Lardner LLP

Speakers: 

Anneli Alers, Vice President, Structured Finance, Invenergy LLC

Josh Cornfield, Vice President, Marathon Capital

Ed Rossier, Director of Project Management, Renewable Energy Investments, U.S. Bank

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The Evolution of Consumer Protection in Illinois- Who Needs Protection? And From Whom? | Monroe Room

Moderator: 

Michael Strong, Member, Funkhouser Vegosen Liebman & Dunn, Ltd.

Speakers: 

Andrew Christensen, Director, Markets & Regulatory Affairs, Vivint Solar

Laurel Passera, Policy Team, Coalition for Community Solar Access

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This session will provide an in depth look at leading perspectives on financing trends, structures, deal terms, current market conditions, and a forecast on where the renewables industry is heading in the Midwest. Consumer protection issues have grown more and more important in solar over the last several years, and there's no indication that the trend is reversing. The panel will explore the latest in model consumer protection standards, disclosure statements, and areas in need of improvement in developing regulations that serve customers and expand solar access.
11:25 am - 12:15 pm Interconnecting Renewables in the Midwest | Adams Room

Moderator:

MeLena Hessel, Policy Advocate, Environmental Law & Policy Center

Speakers: 

Eric Dearmont, Director, Regulatory Affairs and Interconnection Policy, Ameren

Garrett Peterson, Vice President, Project Development, Pivot Energy

Mark Raeder, Principal, Summit Ridge Energy

David South, Senior Principal, Energy & Utilities Practice, West Monroe Partners, LLC

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Corporate Procurement of Renewables in the Midwest | Monroe Room

Moderator: 

Chris Mathey, Senior Director, Policy and Market Innovation, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance

Speakers: 

Daniel King, Team Lead - Product Strategy & Development, Xcel Energy

Ben Serrurier, Senior Manager, Origination, Level10 Energy

Shannon Weigel, Director, Policy, Edison Energy, LLC

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This session will discuss how to appropriately address common interconnection challenges for renewables in the Midwest. Wholesale market, utility, and industry experts will share their perspectives on the adoption of the updated IEEE interconnection standards, challenges with interconnecting hybrid systems, and high voltage transmission needs in the Midwest. Corporate procurement of renewables is poised for significant growth in the Midwest. This session will cover a forecast of C&I needs, green tariffs and highlight high profile companies that are purchasing solar, wind, and other renewables.
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm Networking Lunch |Red Lacquer Room
1:15 pm - 1:40 pm QuickTalk: Ohio Market Update | Adams Room

Speakers:

J. Caleb Bell, Partner, Bricker & Eckler

Dylan Borchers, Associate, Bricker & Eckler

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State of Wind Development in the Midwest | Monroe Room

Speaker: 

Beth Soholt, Executive Director, Clean Grid Alliance

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Ohio has been in the news recently for nuclear and coal bailouts, as well as the gutting of its renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. However, Ohio has also seen over 1 GW of new utility scale solar projects before the state permitting board. In addition, Ohio is a nationwide leader for the use of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), which is increasingly being used for onsite solar. This presentation will provide an Ohio regulatory update, an overview of its siting process, and the use of PACE to advance solar projects. This session will give the latest facts, figures and trends in wind development in the Midwest. Hear about the state markets and policies driving development, utility plans and goals for wind and carbon reduction, and the demand by Commercial and Industrial (C&I) customers for wind projects. What factors have made wind development in the regional so successful? For anyone developing wind projects in the Midwest or looking at getting in the game, this QuickTalk session is a must!
1:45 pm - 2:10 pm QuickTalk: Case Study - Distribution Planning for EVs | Adams Room

Speaker: 

Don Peterson, Vice President, Energy Technology, Madison Gas & Electric Company

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QuickTalk: Planning and Building a Transmission Grid for the Future that Enables Wind Power | Monroe Room

Speaker:

Sean Brady, Regional Policy Manager and Senior Counsel, Clean Grid Alliance

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Optimized charging of electric vehicles is necessary to mitigate distribution system impacts and prevent additional costs to the customer. This session will discuss the state of the managed charging industry and the impact of electric vehicles on grid flexibility. This session will briefly cover work underway in the Midwest to plan and build a transmission grid that facilitates wind development. MISO, PJM and SPP all have large interconnection queues full of wind projects. How do they study what’s needed to interconnect wind, and how does that interact with annual transmission planning done by a Regional Transmission Organization or Independent System Operator? This session will cover what to build and who should pay for new transmission as well as other drivers that will require transmission.
2:15 pm - 3:05 pm The State of DERs in the Midwest | Adams Room

Moderator: 

Benjamin Inskeep, Senior Energy Policy Analyst, EQ Research

Speakers: 

Brian Cuffle, Supervisor Distribution Design, Ameren

Brent Buchberger, Project Development Manager, ENGIE Distributed Solar

Toba Pearlman, Senior Attorney & Renewable Energy Advocate, Climate & Clean Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc

Aurelien Windinberger, Finance and Design, Ideal Energy Solar

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Federal Policy Trends and Impacts on Energy Growth | Monroe Room

Moderator: 

Shaun Garrison, Director, Congressional Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Speakers: 

Costa Nicolaou, Chief Executive Officer, PanelClaw, Inc.

Eric Simon, Senior Management Team, Michael Lewis Company

Vanessa Tutos, Director, Government Affairs, EDP Renewables

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Distributed energy resources like solar can benefit consumers and grid operators alike. This session will explore perspectives on the technical capabilities of DERs to provide grid value, the policy framework to ensure that customers are compensated fairly for that value, and implementation that ensures a smooth transition and minimal market disruption. This panel will evaluate the range of federal policy pathways under consideration in Washington DC and evaluate the short and long term challenges for the continued deployment of energy technologies and infrastructure development
3:05 pm - 3:30 pm Networking Break & Exhibits
3:30 pm - 4:20 pm Overcoming Barriers in the Midwest Storage Market | Adams Room

Moderator: 

Richard Farinas, Manager, Research, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Speakers: 

Ken Boyce, Principal Engineer Director, UL LLC

Ken-Ichi Hino, Director, Energy Storage, Geronimo Energy

Suzanne Leta, Senior Manager, Global Market Strategy, SunPower Corporation

Ryan Young, Energy Team Project Manager, Iowa Economic Development Authority

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Clean Energy Accessibility for All | Monroe Room

Moderator: 

John Delurey, Midwest Director, Vote Solar

Speakers: 

Jon Carson, Founder, Trajectory Energy Partners

Naomi Davis, Founder, Blacks in Green

Vito Greco, Associate Director, Solar Program, Elevate Energy

States across the country are embracing energy storage due to the falling costs of lithium-ion batteries and its role as a valuable grid asset but the Midwest storage market is just starting to gain its footing. In 2018, the Midwest region interconnected just over 6% of all energy storage deployed in the U.S. States such as Iowa and Minnesota are investing in studies to quantify the value of adding storage to the grid but still face obstacles in reaching broad implementation. This session will cover the technical, policy and regulatory barriers of scaling storage in the Midwest. Clean energy should be accessible to all. How do we replicate best practices from other parts of the country across the Midwest? Illinois is currently the only state with in-dept LMI program with workforce training. Include opportunity zones.
4:25 pm - 5:15 pm Finding a Renewables Mix in the Midwest - Optimizing Wind, Solar, and Storage to Meet Capacity Needs | Adams Room

Moderator: 

Brian Ross, Program Director, Great Plains Institute

Speakers:

Kristen Brown, Principal, Innovation & Partnerships, Exelon Utilities

Christopher Clack, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Vibrant Clean Energy

Shanelle Evens Montana, Director, Development, BayWa r.e. Solar Projects LLC/America

Barry Matchett, Head, External Affairs, Midwest and Gulf, Clearway Energy

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How Effective Messaging Can Win Over Audiences | Monroe Room

Moderator: 

Colin Silver, Director, Digital & Internal Communications, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Speakers: 

Liz Dalton, Executive Director, Clean Energy Leadership Institute

Peter Gray, Director, Client Services, Aileron Communications

Zadie Oleksiw, Senior Manager, Communications, Clearway Energy Group

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An abundance of wind generation in the Midwest is causing utilities to look to solar to meet their capacity needs. Diversifying the generation mix and co-locating complementary technologies like wind and solar (and storage) can make projects economical and mitigate the limitations of intermittency. Hear from a panel of leading developers, analysts, and utility representatives as they discuss what’s needed to meet peak demand. Learn from a diverse set of professional communicators and campaigners on how to best communicate the value of renewables in the Midwest. We’ll dive into the latest public opinion polling to show you what works and what doesn’t, and help attendees learn better ways to tell their story, attract customers, and leverage the industry’s overwhelming popularity to develop a more active and engaged public network of supporters.
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall Happy Hour Sponsored by

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Networking Reception (ticket included with Conference Registration only) | Honore Room at the Palmer House Hilton Sponsored by

Friday, November 15, 2019

Time Session Information  
8:00 am - 12:00 pm Registration Open
8:30 am - 12:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open
8:45 am - 9:35 am

Bringing Clean Energy to the Prairie State | Adams Room

Moderator: 

Nakhia Morrissette, Regulatory Counsel & Midwest Director, State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

Speakers: 

Amy Heart, Director, Public Policy, Sunrun

Nicole Luckey, Director, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Invenergy LLC

Scott Vogt, Vice President, Energy Acquisition, ComEd

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  2019 has seen explosive growth in the movement towards 100% clean and/or renewable energy in the United States and the state of Illinois is attempting to up the ante. This session will provide an overview of recent developments in Illinois, including legislation, interconnection fixes, storage ownership, the framework for a capacity market in the state, high voltage transmission enhancements, and how to maintain Illinois leadership as low-income solar leader.
  Breakout Session 1 Breakout Session 2
9:40 am - 10:30 am

Modernizing IRP Planning - Efficiency and Resource Planning  | Adams Room

Moderator: 

Kevin Borgia, Midwest Policy Director, Cypress Creek Renewables

Speakers: 

Margrethe Kearney, Senior Staff Attorney, Environmental Law & Policy Center

Kevin Lucas, Director, Rate Design, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

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How to Expand Community Solar in the Midwest | Monroe Room

Moderator: 

Gabe Chan, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

Speakers: 

Sameer Doshi, Deputy Legal Counsel, Illinois Power Agency

Jonathan Roberts, Vice President of Development, Midwest, Soltage

Sarah Wochos, Director, Policy and Business Development, Midwest, Borrego Solar Systems

  Due to rapidly declining wind and solar costs, renewables are increasingly becoming the cheapest long-term option for energy supply across the country. How are utilities changing their resource planning to account for these trends? Can the tools and models they have used in the past work for the future? What do regulators need to know to oversee a more renewables-heavy power system? What are the opportunities and challenges for renewable energy developers as wind and solar become the primary sources of new power? In this session, we'll discuss the changing economics of energy, and what the changing resource landscape means for utilities, regulators, and developers. Minnesota and Illinois have some of the most robust community solar offerings in the country. What is needed to move community solar beyond pilot programs in the rest of the Midwest? Join our panel of experts as they evaluate how to overcome key bottlenecks and better provide homeowners, renters, and businesses access to the benefits of shared solar energy generation.
10:30 am - 11:10 am Networking Break & Exhibits
11:10 am - 12:00 pm

Regulatory Reform in the Midwest | Adams Room

Moderator: 

Natalia Mathura, Principal, Utility Business Model, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Speaker: 

Commissioner Daniel Scripps, Commissioner, Michigan Public Service Commission

Commissioner Brien Sheahan, Commissioner, Illinois Commerce Commission

Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq, Chairperson, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

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Land Use, Permitting, Siting, and Agriculture in the Midwest | Monroe Room

Moderator: 

Regina McCormack, Associate, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Invenergy LLC

Speakers: 

Brandy Brown, Climate and Energy Advisor, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Rob Davis, Director, Center for Pollinators in Energy, Fresh Energy

Joanna Lewis, Program Director, Michigan Conservative Energy Forum

Mariah Lynne, Founder, Good Steward Consulting

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  In a fast-changing energy environment, regulation needs to enable innovation that meets customer needs and expectations while continuing to ensure clean, affordable, safe and reliable electric service. This session will explore what's worked, what hasn't and themes across regulatory innovation in the Midwest. Development of solar projects is often met with land use issues and opposition to development. Hear a panel of innovative experts discussing what mitigation techniques have worked well for them. This session will detail trends in siting, permitting, and land use; discuss the Powering Renewable Energy in the Midwest (PREM) initiative: and map out innovative civil engineering and vegetation strategies that will generate support for solar projects regardless of people's feelings about clean energy.