Utility Focus at RE+ Northern California

As the premier solar and energy storage event in the region, RE+ Northern California is your hub for innovative companies and thought leaders helping integrate renewable energy projects into utility planning.

Be sure to participate in these utility-focused sessions taking place onsite.

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Is the Customer Always Right? How Customer-Centered Policies will Unlock California’s Solutions to Rates, Reliability, and Climate
Tuesday, March 28 I 9:10 am - 10:00 am

California is a big, diverse, and beautiful place where some of the most innovative thought leaders in the electricity industry are hard at work accelerating the transition to a clean, renewable, and resilient grid. These innovators are focused on providing customers with stability against extreme weather events and an ever-changing policy environment by implementing affordable, equitable, and resilient energy solutions. This session will investigate how the concept of 'putting the customer first' drives proactive utility stakeholder engagement, accelerates the development of solar + storage third-party customer-focused programs, and will enable greater collaboration between California Solar, Storage, and Electric companies to best meet customer needs.

Electrification in California: EVs, Building Electrification, and Equity
Tuesday, March 28 I 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Electrification is driving the carbon reduction goals in California. This panel will discuss some of the practical realities, challenges, and tradeoffs required to meet higher levels of EV penetration as well as the efforts underway with building electrification.

Innovations for Inclusion: How Distributed Energy Can Make a Difference
Tuesday, March 28 I 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

The demand for access to clean distributed energy resources by renters and low/moderate income California's has inspired innovative solutions and programs. Rooftop solar has played an important role in meeting this demand, and now we are seeing new solutions starting to aid in this important effort. This session will investigate how these new, innovative programs work, what opportunities are available to accelerate inclusion, and how to expand the demographics of Solar and Storage System owners. Speakers will discuss innovations including, leveraging SGIP funds to increase access, virtual net metering, and other solutions that are coming forward.

Rate Design: How Innovation Instigates Change
Tuesday, March 28 I 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Rate design, over the last 20 years, has been anything but subtle in the great state of California.  Often considered a model for other states, California’s electricity customers have benefited from financial incentives that have made distributed generation a significant portion of the state’s clean energy fuel mix.  With the passage of recent state legislative and regulatory rules, including the conclusion of NEM 3.0 proceedings and the passage of AB 205, what do the next 20 years hold in store for California?

The Future of Transmission and Distribution Development in California
Wednesday, March 29 I 9:00 am - 10:00 am

A timely build out of a cost-effective transmission and distribution (T&D) system is vital to keep pace with new renewable energy resources coming online in California. Stakeholders must engage in strategic planning to determine how best to deploy T&D infrastructure: What exactly is needed? What T&D can be avoided? How will we build it? And how will cost be addressed during the transition? During this session, speakers will discuss these questions as they explore what is required to build out a thoughtful and robust T&D system in the state. Speakers will also discuss how collaborative regional partnerships can be leveraged to assist in this process and what other technologies, like storage and DERs, should be considered to reduce the need for additional lines.

Managing the Energy Mix: The Role of Aggregated DERs in California
Wednesday, March 29 I 10:30 am - 11:30 am

An important aspect of distributed energy resources (DERs) are the management systems that have developed alongside them. External energy management factors such as efficient virtual power plants, storage controls, and licensing changes to distributed storage installation all play important roles in getting the most out of these resources. In this session, speakers will discuss specific examples of DER management systems in California, the role they play in energy efficiency, and what types of innovation is needed in these systems going forward.

Things are Heating Up: How California Plans to Keep the Lights On During Peak Events
Wednesday, March 29 I 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

California experienced a historic heatwave in September 2022, setting all-time record levels of electricity demand and barely avoiding blackouts. As California continues on its path to decarbonize, what mechanisms and technologies are available to protect grid reliability? How does the state plan to respond to future heat waves, and what role will utilities and customers play in helping to reduce peak load during critical hours.