Schedule

Solar and Energy Storage Texas is now RE+ Texas! Below you'll find the primary schedule-at-a-glance (subject to change) for the program taking place in-person April 21-22, 2022. This year's topics will include resilience, disaster preparedness, weatherization, digital transformation, community solar access, stakeholder engagement, and more.

Thursday Friday

Thursday, April 21

7:00 am - 5:30 pm
Room 221

Registration Open

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Open

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Room 225 C

Welcome and Opening Session: Learning from The Past to Create a More Resilient Texas Grid

Resilience and building back better are top of the mind in the Lone Star State after severe weather events tested the grid. Representatives from solar, storage, and renewable energy developers will discuss the key steps forward in building and maintaining a resilient Texas grid.

Welcome Remarks

  • Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO, SEIA   
  • Peter Muhoro, Chief Strategy, Technology & Innovation Officer, Rappahanock Electric Cooperative

Moderator

Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO, SEIA   

Session Speakers

  • Aaron Townsend, Deputy Director, ERCOT IMM, Potomac Economics
  • Matt Kelly, Senior Director of Energy Markets, 8minute Solar Energy
  • Amy Heart, Vice President of Public Policy, Sunrun

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Exhibits and Networking Break

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

The Nuts and Bolts of Market Reform in Texas
Room 225 C

Hear a play-by-play discussion on the proposed market reform proposals and what it means for the future of renewable deployment in Texas.

Moderator

Mark Walter, Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, Savion

Speakers

  • Beth Garza, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute
  • Alison Silverstein, Consultant, Alison Silverstein Consulting
  • Jay Zarnikau, Research Fellow, Dept. of Economics, The University of Texas at Austin

Case Study: The Role of DERs and Grid Edge Technologies in Digital Transformation
2:30 pm - 3:00 pm | Room 225 D

Customer energy decisions are increasingly impacting grid decisions both in planning and operations. Technologies like PV, EVs and smart thermostats are all approaching or surpassed inflection points in adoption that indicate scale. When left blind to the system plan and operation, significant impacts to power flow and quality are occurring. However, through key digital technology development, hybrid software-hardware systems can increase the transparency and reliability of the grid. This session will present a case study that shares results from recent distribution grid pilots to digitize integration of DERs into core utility business processes.

Speakers

  • Leigh Yeatts, Manager, Program Design, SEPA
  • Joyce Deuley, Sr. Research & Content Analyst, Innovation, Zpryme

Case study: Solar, Batteries, EVs and Extreme Weather Events: A Source of Resiliency
3:00 pm - 3:30 pm | Room 225 D

As extreme weather events become more common and customer concerns of reliability intensify, the opportunity to use electric vehicles, in addition to solar and storage as a source of emergency power is becoming more real. Stories of the Ford F150 Lightning coming to the rescue during the Texas freeze is an early indicator that this market is coming. This presentation will discuss the opportunity for customers to incorporate more resilience into their homes and communities by utilizing solar, storage, and electric vehicles.

Speakers

  • Leigh Yeatts, Manager, Program Design, SEPA
  • Nakhia Crossley, Senior Manager, Public Policy, Sunrun

3:35 pm - 4:35 pm

Transmission to Support Carbon Reduction
Room 225 C

This session will discuss why transmission is critical to decarbonizing the US electricity sector and what currently makes transmission planning and development challenging in the Lone Star State. Speakers will investigate how utilities, environmental stakeholders, and regional organizations are engaging in current activities aimed at improving transmission development and how DER developers/installers can support those efforts.

Moderator

Kate Strickland, Manager, Utility & Regulatory Strategy, SEPA

Speakers:

  • Gilbert Flores, Principal Engineer in our Regional Transmission Planning, Xcel
  • Ali Chowdhury, Vice President, Transmission and Interconnections, 8minute Solar Energy   
  • Alexandra Miller, Associate Director, Transmission Strategy & Analytics, EDF Renewables

Case Study: Renewable Energy Construction Jobs for Veterans
3:35 pm - 4:05 pm | Room 225 D

Hear from McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. as they discuss their partnership with Adaptive Construction Solutions, Inc. (ACS) to recruit and train veterans for careers in the construction trades, addressing a national workforce shortage. Together, the two organizations will identify and enroll veterans with military occupational specialties in an apprenticeship program that can lead to full-time employment with McCarthy. As a leading renewable energy builder, McCarthy will pilot the ACS program on its utility-scale solar and renewable energy projects.

Speakers

  • Tim Momyer, Regional Development Manager, SEIA
  • Franklin Brown, Craft Learning Manager, McCarthy Renewable Energy & Storage

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Exhibit Hall

Expo Hall Happy Hour

Sponsored by:

4:40 pm - 5:30 pm

Consumer Protection: Keeping Customers at the Center of the Conversation
Room 225 C

Residential solar has grown leaps and bounds in the past 10 years, but solar is still new to many households in Texas. A great consumer experience includes not only helping consumers understand solar and quality installations/service, but also knowing what you can do, can’t do, and must do. This panel will walk through some of the key considerations and tips when guiding customers through the sales process and beyond.

Moderator

Steven Burt, Attorney. Former Deputy General Counsel, Head of Customer Compliance

Speakers

  • Amir Yazdi, Assistant General Counsel, Solar Energy Industries Association, SEIA
  • Alejandra Mittelsted, Senior Counsel, Compliance and Regulatory, Sunnova Energy
  • Chais Sweat, VP & Deputy General Counsel, Solar for ADT

Case Study: The Life Cycle of a Texas Wind Farm
4:40 pm - 5:10 pm | Room 225 D

An integral part of the alternative energy landscape in Texas, RWE brings a wealth of experience and expertise to bear through the entire wind project life cycle. A case study will be examined, from development through construction and into operations. Topics will include new technologies, common obstacles and solutions, and siting and community relations opportunities.

Speakers

  •  Leigh Yeatts, Manager, Program Design, SEPA 
  • Morgan Schwenn, Wind Development Manager, RWE

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Convention Center Grotto

Networking Reception at the Grotto

Friday, April 22

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Full Conference Networking Breakfast

8:00 am - 3:30 pm

Registration Open

9:00 am - 9:30 am
Room 225 C

A Legislative Chat with Senator Menéndez

Join us for this important conversation with one of our solar champions, Senator José Menéndez . During this intimate conversation, speakers will discuss the upcoming legislative session, engagement opportunities, recommendations and what to keep on your radar.

Moderator

Lynnae Willette, Director, Regulatory & Legislative Affairs, EDF Renewables

Speakers

  • State Senator José Menéndez, State of Texas 

9:00 am - 10:00 am
Room 224

Title Insurance: A Risk Solution for Energy Projects
Business Lab | Open to all attendees | Sign-up to attend 

Join AmTrust Title for a Business Lab roundtable discussion about title insurance basics and energy project development. We’ll discuss why title insurance is needed, how to get started, and dive into the differences between residential & commercial title orders compared to energy orders. This is your chance to ask us all the questions you have always been curious about.

Discussion Leader: Travis Warren, Business Development, Energy Division, AmTrust Title

Helpful for project developers, utilities, lenders, and investors

9:35 am - 10:35 am

Crossing the Line: Engaging Non‐traditional Stakeholders in the Clean Energy Transition
Room 225 C

Strategic partnerships play a pivotal role in the clean energy transition, however key opportunities to engage stakeholders from traditional industries such as oil & gas are often overlooked. This session will focus on moving beyond bias and leveraging shared values to increase the adoption of renewable energy and other strategies that accelerate carbon reduction.

Moderator

Mary Palmer, Environmental Program Coordinator, Austin Energy     

Speaker

  • Helen Brauner, Vice President, Business Development, Lightsource BP
  • Gretchen Dolson, Director of Non‐Hydro, Renewables Practice Group, HDR
  • Michael Jewell, Board Member, Conservative Texans for Energy Innovation and Managing Partner, Jewell & Associates 

Case Study: H2@Scale in Texas and Beyond, Establishing an Integrated System of Renewable Hydrogen Supply and Hydrogen End Use Applications
9:35 am - 10:05 am | Room 225 D

Supported by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the H2@Scale project intends to show that renewable hydrogen can enable grid resiliency, align domestic industries, increase competitiveness, and promote job creation.

Speakers

  • Kate Strickland, Manager, Utility & Regulatory Strategy, SEPA
  • Brian Weeks, P.E. – Senior Director, Business Development, GTI

10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Open

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Room 224

How Creating Better Customer Experiences Will Drive Business Growth in 2022
Business Lab | Open to all attendees | Sign-up to attend 

What is Customer Experience (CX), how does it differ from customer service, and how can optimizing it drive growth for your business? Discover how to design a Customer Experience so effective that current customers will turn into your most important source of new leads.

Discussion Leader: Shane Vadner, SDR Director, Get The Referral

Helpful for sales teams, business development, and customer service

10:35 am - 11:00 am

Exhibits and Networking Break

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

How Texas can Unlock the Values of Distributed Energy Resources
Room 225 C

This panel will discuss opportunities and challenges facing the Texas DER market, including customer-site solar, batteries, and electrification. Join expert panelists to discuss high level policy opportunities that can leverage the growing DER market to meet grid and resiliency needs. Discuss the opportunities and challenges at the implementation level as the market grows rapidly. What do utilities, municipalities and policy marketers need to consider today to establish efficient rules of the road for customer-sited DERs?

Moderator

Jeff Cook, Renewable Energy Policy and Market Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Speaker

  • Warren Lasher, President, Lasher Energy Consulting
  • Kaiba White, Energy Policy and Outreach Specialist, Public Citizen
  • Sterling Clifford, Manager, Government Affairs, Sunnova

Austin Climate Equity Plan Case Study: Leveraging Local Policies to Achieve Carbon-Neutrality
11:00 am - 11:30 am | Room 225 D

Using the Austin Climate Equity Plan as a case study, this session will discuss how local (i.e. city, school district) goals can be used to mobilize and consolidate sustainability goals (esp. in absence of State mandates). This session will focus on the City of Austin Office of Sustainability’s strategies for equitable community engagement, unifying a diversity of stakeholders behind a common vision, and ensuring alignment with other city plans and processes. Attendees will walk away with information about how to go through a stakeholder engagement process, establish metrics, evaluate strategies through a lens of equity, and unify disparate goals.

Speaker:

  • Kelsey Hopkins, Content & Programs Manager, SEIA
  • Phoebe Romero, Environmental Program Coordinator, Office of Sustainability at City of Austin

Natural Capital Value and Ecosystem Benefits of Solar: Beyond Pollination and Dual-use
11:30 am - 12:00 pm

Well executed ecosystem services bring benefits to the land that hosts solar projects and the surrounding ecosystem. While pollination and dual-use agriculture are an important part of the land use discussion, there are other ecosystem benefits that well-designed solar projects can provide. In this session, attendees will learn about the concepts of the Natural Capital Value of Solar and Ecosystem Service benefits in general, with a particular discussion of soil health and carbon sequestration on solar sites.

Speakers

  • Kelsey Hopkins, Content & Programs Manager, SEIA
  • Ed Brolin, Director of Market Development, Con Edison
  • James Hartsig, Vegetation Manager, Invenergy

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Lunch

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Increasing Access to Clean Energy Through Community Solar & LMI Financing
Room 225 C

Community solar & innovative financing structures have a unique role to play in addressing barriers to accessing clean, reliable, and affordable energy. This session will discuss program and partnership strategies that allow developers to expand the benefits of solar energy to everyone, and specifically, how to bring these types of programs to Texas. This conversation will also address community solar’s role in energy justice as developers have an opportunity to bring access to LMI customers through innovative business models.

Moderator

Leigh Yeatts, Manager, Program Design, SEPA  

Speakers

  • Micah Jasuta, Project Manager, Austin Energy
  • Jason Pittman, Co-founder and President, Big Sun Community Solar
  • Margo Weisz, Interim Executive Director, Texas Energy Poverty Institute

2:05 pm - 3:05 pm

Clean Technology Manufacturing in the Lone Star State
Room 225 C

Investments in clean technology manufacturing have ripple effects across the supply chain, real estate and other markets. Come hear how deployment of renewables in Texas has impacted the upstream and downstream economy.

Moderator

Steffanie Dohn,  Director of State and Regulatory Affairs, SOLV Energy

Speakers

  • Paul Mutchler, Director of Commercial Operations; Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee Member (REEEAC), Mission Solar
  • Sam Harper, Director of Energy, Gerdau Steel
  • Susan Frockt, Vice President, Strategic Market Development, INXEPTION

Case Study: The Life Cycle of a Texas Wind Farm
2:00 pm - 2:30 pm | Room 225 D

An integral part of the alternative energy landscape in Texas, RWE brings a wealth of experience and expertise to bear through the entire wind project life cycle. A case study will be examined, from development through construction and into operations. Topics will include new technologies, common obstacles and solutions, and siting and community relations opportunities.

*Schedule, session, session descriptions, and speakers are subject to change