“Where do we go from here?” – GCPA 34th Annual Spring Conference
Since 1983, GCPA has served as a forum for discussion of the most pressing issues affecting the electric power industry and emerging electric markets. The recent winter storm and widespread system outages created tremendous hardships for electric customers across Texas and the Gulf Coast area. Market performance during and after the storm has stimulated questions about the fundamentals of ERCOT’s market design, supply chain security, and financial market stability. The GCPA community of electric industry professionals has an important role and opportunity to examine these issues so that we can all make more informed judgments, business and policy decisions for the future of this market and the security of all electric customers. On the first day of the spring conference, we will address some of these critical issues and contemplate, “Where do we go from here?” We look forward to the discussion.
1:00 PM GCPA President’s Welcome: Katie Coleman, Partner, Thompson & Knight
Acknowledgements & Instructions: Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA
1:10 PM OPENING REMARKS: Mark Dreyfus, Principal, MD Energy Consulting
Reflections on the ERCOT market; goals delivered and unfulfilled; questions for a more secure future.
1:25 PM PANEL I – “Operational & Policy Issues”
The winter storm event highlighted the crucial interplay between market operations, reliability, and market policy. This panel will examine the lessons and questions from the winter storm to assess the menu of emerging operational and market policy revisions that should play a role in restoring customer security and confidence in the electric grid operating within a competitive market framework.
Moderator: Pat Wood III, CEO of Hunt Energy Network, Former FERC Chairman, Former PUCT Chairman
Carrie Bivens, ERCOT Independent Market Monitor, Potomac Economics
Katie Coleman, Partner, Thompson & Knight
Amanda Frazier, Sr. Vice President, Regulatory Policy, Vistra Corp.
Julie Parsley, CEO, Pederneles Electric Cooperative Inc.; ERCOT Board Member
Alison Silverstein, Consultant, Alison Silverstein Consulting
2:50 PM BREAK
3:00 PM PANEL II – “Financial & Credit Issues”
In the wake of the winter storm, ERCOT market participants are facing a storm of a different kind—the equivalent of a financial Class 5 hurricane. Bankruptcies, lawsuits and workout plans are the focus of many market participants. This panel will address the lessons and questions from the winter storm to reinforce the importance of financial and credit risk considerations to enable and ensure a functional, financial ERCOT market.
Moderator: Barbara Clemenhagen, Vice President of Market Intelligence, Customized Energy Solutions
Bill Barnes, Sr. Director, Regulatory Affairs, NRG
J.C. Kneale, Vice President Sales North American Gas & Power, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE)
Clif Lange, Manager, Wholesale Marketing/QSE, South Texas Electric Cooperative
Sven Wellock, Managing Director, Co-Lead of Energy – Renewables & Power, ING Capital LLC
4:15 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Sylvester Turner, Mayor, City of Houston
Facilitated by Elizabeth Brock, VP, Energy Solutions & Business Services, CenterPoint Energy
4:45 PM ADJOURN
SPRING CONFERENCE AGENDA – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28th
1:00 PM Opening Remarks Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA
1:05 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Mary Anne Brelinsky, President, EDF Energy North America – “Innovation in Time of Crisis”
1:40 PM PANEL III – “Electric Vehicle Market Outlook”
Electric vehicle (EV) adoption has been on a positive trend worldwide over the past few years, with major initiatives announced by government agencies, OEMs, and fleet owners across the U.S. The acceleration of this cleantech has had a positive impact on air quality and GHG emissions, while also diversifying the Texas economy, creating new commercial opportunities and putting Houston in the running as the “Energy Transition Capital of the World”. This panel explores the significant environmental and economic impact of commercial fleet electrification, fleet electrification feasibility, the need for equitable EVSE infrastructure expansion to support increasing demand from commercial markets, and the role commercial players, utilities and policymakers have in accelerating EV adoption.
Moderator: Ryan Martin, Principal, LDR Advisory Partners
Britta Gross, Managing Director, Mobility, RMI
Katie Herbek, Head of Mobility Engagement – Central Mountain Region, Ford Mobility LLC
Karl Popham, Manager, Electric Vehicles & Emerging Technologies, Austin Energy
Justin Wilson, Director, Public Policy, Chargepoint
2:45 PM BREAK
3:00 PM PANEL IV – “Large Loads 2.0: Bitcoin Mining, Hydrogen and Beyond!”
New technology like bitcoin mines, data centers and hydrogen electrolyzers are introducing new players to ERCOT’s wholesale market. It has been reported that data centers and digital computing may consume over 20% of the world’s electricity by 2030. Hydrogen electrolysis can similarly be a solution for large-scale renewable energy storage, grid management and industrial applications. As load resources, these new loads can provide fast response times and advanced demand response products. The panel will discuss how these loads are procuring power, co-locating with renewables resources behind the meter, and providing load response. Industry experts and ERCOT will also expand on the load technology itself and the greater impact to the ERCOT grid for the future.
Moderator: Varun Rai, Director, UT Energy Institute; Professor, LBJ School, University of Texas
Al Cioffi, Business Development, Plug Power
Chad Harris, Global Director, Whinstone
David Maggio, Director, Market Design & Analytics, ERCOT
4:00 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Jamey Rootes, Former President, Houston Texans
4:15 PM ADJOURN
SPRING CONFERENCE AGENDA – THURSDAY, APRIL 29th
1:00 PM Opening Remarks Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA
1:05 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Savita Subramanian, Managing Director, Head of ESG Research & U.S. Equity & Quantitative Strategy, Bank of America – “ESG Metrics: Investing & Financing Implications”
1:35 PM PANEL V – “Transmission Planning Revisited”
This panel will focus on the current transmission planning process and whether it needs to be changed to better address load pockets and generation pockets. Included in the discussion will be ERCOT Long-Term System Assessment, the Constraints and Needs report, the issues around the GTCs that were imposed last fall, and potential changes in how costs would be allocated if the planning approach changes.
Moderator: Beth Garza, Sr. Fellow, Energy & Environmental Policy Team, R Street
Andrew Novotny, COO, Calpine
Kristen Senechal, Executive Vice President and COO, Transmission, LCRA
Fred Von Pinho, Vice President, Transmission, Apex Clean Energy
Lynnae Wilson, Sr. Vice President, High Voltage Operations, CenterPoint Energy
2:35 PM BREAK
2:45 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS – Brandon Schwertner, CEO, Priority Power Management – “Energy Transition: Impacts to ERCOT”
Facilitated by Matt Eventoff, Founder & CEO, Princeton Public Speaking
3:15 PM PANEL VI – “A View from the Utility C-Suite”
C-Suite executives from three of the largest Texas regulated electric utilities join us to share their perspectives on the key issues driving future investments to serve ERCOT and beyond. Don’t miss this top-level conversation on the evolving electric and gas utility issues shaping the future of the industry at the local, state and national level.
Moderator: Kenny Mercado, Exec. Vice President, Electric Utility, CenterPoint Energy
Lisa Barton, Exec. Vice President & COO, AEP
Allen Nye, CEO, Oncor
Sallie Rainer, President & CEO, Entergy Texas
4:15 PM CLOSING REMARKS – Kim Casey, Executive Director, GCPA
Recent Work from the Federal Affairs Team