2020 Education Schedule

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Time Session Information
10:00 am - 6:00 pm Registration Open
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open
12:30 pm - 5:15 pm Technical Training for Exhibit Hall Attendees
12:45 pm - 1:35 pm Solar, Storage, and Smart Energy Expo: Northern California Opening Session
12:45 pm - 12:50 pm | Welcome and Introductions

Speakers: Natalia Mathura, Principal, Utility Business Models, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

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

12:50 pm - 1:35 pm | General Session: Collaborating on the Path to a Decarbonized California
Sarah Kurtz, Professor, University of California - Merced
Tom Starrs, VP Market Strategy, and Policy, SunPower
Paul Lau, Chief Grid Strategy Officer, SMUD

View Description
It’s going to take everyone working together to decarbonize the Bear Republic’s electricity supply by 2045, if not sooner. This fireside chat will discuss which programs and services are needed to support a cleaner grid, and how the renewable energy industry and utilities can collaborate to supplement the value of utility scale generation with behind the meter programs, services, and policies.
1:35 pm - 2:00 pm Networking Break
2:00 pm - 2:35 pm General Session: The State of California's Energy Future


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


Beth Vaughan, Executive Director, CalCCA

View Description

Join Abigail Ross Hopper, Chief Executive Officer & President, Solar Energy Industries Association, for a fireside chat with Beth Vaughan, Executive Director at California Community Choice Association for a deep dive into the state of California’s Energy future. As CCAs are becoming the most significant new load serving entities in CA, serving over 10 million customers and projected to serve up to 85% of load in coming years, hear about the emergence and role of CCAs in California’s energy market and the commercial opportunities for CCAs to work with solar and storage providers to provide local clean energy and resource adequacy for all Californians.

2:40 pm - 3:30 pm Using Regulatory Innovation & DERs to Create California’s Grid of the Future
Natalia Mathura, Principal, Utility Business Models, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
Mike Backstrom, Managing Director of Energy and Environmental Policy, Southern California Edison
Ric O'Connell, Executive Director, Gridlab
Chris Worley, Director of Regulatory Rate Design, Vivint Solar
View Description
Although California is a leader in integrating distributed energy resources (DERs) like rooftop solar, behind-the-meter batteries, or grid-responsive loads into its utility power grids, the most thriving distributed energy market in the country comes with a lot of complexity. How is the CPUC creating opportunities for distributed energy resources to serve as non-wires alternatives in lieu of traditional grid investments? Can tariffs, instead of utility contracts, serve as an alternative to grid investment needs? This session will make sense of how a multitude of regulatory proceedings, laws, and pilot projects are impacting DERs in California.
3:35 pm - 4:25 pm Grid-Scale Solutions for The Golden State


Emma Foehringer Merchant, Staff Writer, Greentech Media

Johnny Casana, Senior Manager, US Political & Regulatory Affairs, Pattern Energy Group
Frank DeRosa, Policy Consultant, 8minutenergy Renewables
Dawn Weisz, CEO, MCE
Clyde Loutan, Principal, Renewable Energy Integration, CAISO

View Description
California has the largest solar market in the US and ample wind energy, but renewables must play a much bigger role if the state is to reach its climate and energy goals. This session will evaluate the grid-scale solutions necessary for the realization of the Golden State’s goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, with a focus on utility integrated-resource planning (IRP), regionalization, and accelerated procurement of solar and wind energy.
4:30 pm - 5:20 pm Integrating Solar, Storage, and Electric Vehicles
Andrew Jerdonek, Senior Director, Programming, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
Noel Crisostomo, Air Pollution Specialist, California Energy Commission
Sara Rafalson, Director of Market Development, EVGo
Meredith Alexander, Policy Director, CALSTART
View Description
California is the nation’s leader in transportation electrification, with ambitious goals to reach 5 million zero emission vehicles by 2030. But how can the state ensure that this new source of load is powered by the state’s abundant renewable energy resources? This session will explore the possible benefits of vehicle to grid integration (VGI), managed charging, and other opportunities as well as discuss how to create programs that support residential & commercial customers to charge at times that increase the value of renewable energy assets and correspond to the needs of the grid.
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Exhibit Hall Happy Hour
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Networking Reception
Sponsored by: 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Time Session Information  
7:30 am - 9:00 am Networking Breakfast  
8:00 am - 2:30 pm Registration Open  
8:30 am - 9:20 am Resilience and Fire Mitigation - Another Value on the Stack for Renewable Energy
Craig Lewis, Founder and Executive Director, Clean Coalition
Melicia Charles, Director, Public Policy, Sunrun
Allie Detrio, Chief Strategist, Reimagine Power
Matthew Marshall, Executive Director, Redwood Coast Energy Authority
View Description
The Golden State faces mounting pressure to mitigate the wildfire crisis and improve grid safety and reliability in high threat areas. Targeted microgrid and DER deployment, coupled with smart utility emergency planning will be critical to prevent future outages. This session will discuss the benefits a more reslient grid, batteries, and microgrids provide to local communities, the State’s investment in fire suppression and response, and the role electric utilities play in ensuring reliability for their customers.
9:00 am - 3:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open  
9:25 am - 10:15 am

Bringing Community Solar to California


Jason Fordney, Editor, California Energy Markets

Wade Hughes, Greenergy and Carbon Offset Program Manager, SMUD
Rick Umoff, Regulatory Counsel and California Director of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
Joe Wiedman, Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, Peninsula Clean Energy
Julia Zuckerman, Head of External Affairs, West Region, Clearway

View Description
California is a leader in U.S. solar development, but the state has deployed few community solar projects so far. This session will evaluate the current pathways to deploying community solar and ongoing efforts to remove obstacles to the expansion of community-shared solar electric generation systems as an option for onsite solar electric generation requirements in California.
10:00 am - 3:00 pm Technical Training in the Exhibit Hall  
10:15 am - 10:45 am Networking Break  
10:45 am - 11:05 am QuickTalk: Keeping Up with Washington
John Smirnow, General Counsel and Vice President Market Strategy, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
Britta von Oesen, Managing Director, Cohn Reznick
View Description
Policy uncertainty and potential risk play a frequent and challenging role in the financing and deployment of renewable energy projects. Join CohnReznick Capital’s Managing Director, Britta von Oesen, and SEIA’s General Counsel & Vice President of Market Strategy, John Smirnow, as they discuss how to navigate the latest developments with import tariffs and the Investment Tax Credit and how federal policy impacts the financing and deployment of renewables.
11:10 am - 12:00 pm Establishing Reasonable Consumer Protections for Solar Customers
Amir Yazdi, Assistant General Counsel, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
Steve Campbell, Policy & Business Development Project Manager, Grid Alternatives
Betsy Scherzer, Senior Product Manager, SunPower Corporation
View Description
As solar grows, it is imperative that solar customers have a positive experience and that solar companies are held to the standards set for in SEIA’s code of conduct. Many states, and even some public service/utilities commissions, have enacted solar-specific legislation or implemented solar-specific rules that include protections for residential consumers. In addition, many incentive program administrators have implemented program requirements that are intended to protect consumers. This panel would provide an overview of the current state of play in California. The panel will also ask important questions about whether solar consumers deserve protection from other industry players that could negatively impact their investment in solar, including utilities and other electrical service providers.
12:00 pm - 1:00  pm Networking Lunch  
1:00 pm - 1:25 pm

QuickTalk: The Latest Trends in California Rate Design and How They Affect Your Business


Tom Beach, Principal Consultant, Crossborder Energy

View Description
California has seen a host of new rate changes over the last several years, including the move to more TOU rates, shifting rate windows, and new rates to promote solar+storage. Join us in a discussion of how the rates are changing, why they are changing, how they may change in the near future, and how these changes will impact your business.
1:30 pm - 2:20 pm Updates on the Potential for Battery Energy Storage to Provide Resource Adequacy
Susannah Churchill, California Director, Vote Solar
Rachel McMahon, Senior Manager, Public Policy, Sunrun
Marie Fontenot, Sr. Director of Power Purchase, East Bay Community EnergyBen Snieckus, Director of Origination and Structuring, Recurrent Energy Group
View Description
Peaker plants make easy targets for the clean energy industry and battery storage is gaining a foothold in a California peaker plant market previously served by fast-acting natural gas generators. Yet energy storage in today's market tends to max out at 4 hours of duration at resource adequacy, meaning it can reasonably step in for a peaker that only operates in bursts of a few hours. This session will explore the potential for utility-scale energy storage to provide resource adequacy in California, examine the physical limitations of short-duration batteries, and evaluate what comes next after batteries replace gas peakers.
2:20 pm - 2:50 pm Networking Break  
2:50 pm - 3:40 pm

Improving Interconnection in the Golden State 


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


Brian McCollough, Regulatory Analyst, California Public Utility Commission
Andrew Schwartz, Senior Policy Advisor, Tesla
Sky Stanfield, Partner, Shut, Mihaly, Weinberger

View Description
Clear interconnection standards are the “rules of the road” of the grid. They are essential to maintaining system safety and reliability, while also enabling the adoption of solar energy and energy storage. This session will discuss common interconnection challenges for solar and storage in Northern California and how to most appropriately address energy storage in interconnection standards, best practices for interconnection timelines, and other related processes critical to sustained solar and energy storage growth in the Golden state.