Electricity

This agenda is subject to change.

Electricity

Sunday, November 12

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Key 8 / Key 2 / Key 6
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Joint With Staff Subcommittees on Energy Resources and the Environment and Electric Reliability - Key 8

Next Level Demand Response 

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Break

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

 

Joint with Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability - Key 2

Believers and Skeptics: A Debate About Distributed Energy Integration on the Distribution Grid

We’ve heard about the need to modernize the distribution grid to accommodate more solar generation. Some say grid modernization would allow more value to be extracted from intermittent and variable renewable energy sources, and that it would allow the batteries on electric vehicles, as well as hot water heaters, to be accessed to support overall grid operations. The future could include distribution system operators (DSOs) – organizations that would facilitate transactions but would not themselves provide energy, capacity, or related services. This vision of the future grid raises some fundamental questions:

  • If we want more solar energy, wouldn’t it be more efficient to interconnect large solar farms to the transmission grid, as opposed to installing rooftop solar on the distribution grid?
  • Should all electricity customers be forced to pay for distribution system upgrades and DSOs that are needed because of DER? 
  • Hasn’t the communications technology needed for demand response existed for decades without the so-called “smart grid”?
  • What about cyber risks of the so-called “smart” distribution grid?

Two skeptics and two believers will share their views, then we will open up the mic for audience participation.

Moderator:

Kimberly Jones, Chair, NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Electricity and Director of Clerk and IT Services with the North Carolina Utilities Commission

Panelists:

John Farber, former staff with the Delaware Public Service Commission

Mike Hyland, American Public Power Association

Bob Schulte, Schulte Associates LLC, former utility executive

Chris Villarreal, Energy Consultant and former Chair of NARUC’s Rate Design Staff Subcommittee, former staff with the California and Minnesota Commissions

1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Joint with Committee on Critical Infrastructure - Key 6

 

 

Monday, November 13

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Key 2
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Millennials and Boomers: Centuries Apart?

Millennials, known for their love of Instagram, avocado toast, and heartlessly killing beloved classics, recently overtook baby boomers as the country’s largest generation. However, while utilities are evolving to meet millennial needs, they must also continue appealing to the baby boomers who have been reliably paying electric bills for decades. Just how different are these two groups, and how do their differences drive their electricity habits? What services do they demand? How will utilities respond? This moderated panel will explore how millennial and baby boomer needs and attitudes will impact electric utility programs, investments, and planning.

Moderator: Hon. John Rosales, Illinois

Panelists: 

Martin Burns, Director of Campaigns, AARP

Nathan Shannon, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

Molly Bauch, Manager of Customer Utilities Practice, Accenture

10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Business Meeting
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Federal-State Jurisdictional Tensions

Several cases have been decided by courts weighing in on the issue of Federal versus State jurisdiction and whether or not a State’s action has intruded into the scope of Federal jurisdiction over wholesale sales of electricity. This panel will update attendees on: the Illinois Federal District Court decision that dismissed all claims against the State’s zero emission credit (ZEC) program, the NY Federal District Court decision dismissing all claims against the State’s ZEC program, and a D.C. Federal Circuit Court decision regarding State conditions giving native-load priority to certain wholesale customers and not others. Tony Clark will discuss his recent white paper addressing issues in the nation’s electricity markets. The speakers will also be invited to comment on the DOE's proposed Grid Resiliency rule, which is pending before the FERC.

Moderator: Hon. Edward Finley, North Carolina

Panelists:

Tony Clark, former FERC Commissioner, Sr. Adviser with Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Ari Peskoe, Harvard Law School’s Environmental Policy Initiative

Marc Spitzer, former FERC Commissioner, Partner with Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Tuesday, November 14

8:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom
8:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Mother Nature The Ultimate Disrupter!

The utilities industry has been facing disruptors coming from within the industry for many years now. We have talked about new business models and ways to increase demand and create new customers/revenue streams, but are we prepared for the disruptions to the industry from a force indifferent to the very existence of the industry? Recently, three major hurricanes have had severe impacts on the energy, water, gas, and telecommunications sectors. Some areas with total destruction are looking at starting from scratch. This session will feature a Regulator, Consumer Advocate and high level representatives from the electricity, gas, water, and telecommunications industries.

During this timely session, attendees will:

  • Understand how utilities were prepared for this kind of disruption.
  • Learn how utilities will change their preparation for future natural disasters.
  • Identify the role of the regulator in these circumstances—before, during, and after.
  • Discuss expectations of consumers.

Moderator: Hon. Ron Brise, Florida

Participants:

Hon. Jeremy Oden, Alabama

Stephanie Brand, Director, NJ Division of Rate Counsel

Calvin Butler,Jr., CEO, Baltimore Gas & Electric

Joy Ditto, President and CEO, Utilities Technology Council

Christopher Franklin, President and CEO, Aqua America and NAWC Chairman

Pierce Norton, CEO of OneGas and AGA Board chairman

 

Remarks by:

M. Granger Morganthe Hamerschlag University Professor of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  He holds appointments in three academic units: the Department of Engineering and Public Policy; the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and the H. John Heinz III College. 

He currently chairs the Committee on Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System. 

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System

 

9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Networking Break : Holiday Foyer
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Mother Nature The Ultimate Disrupter! Continued

(See the description above.)

Location: Key 2
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A3

Weathering the Storm: Communications Network Resilience

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Superstorm Sandy, and the Derecho taught us many lessons. Changes in response time, resilience measures to the network, and mutual assistance procedures were just a few measures examined in some regions.  During this session, regulators will discuss how measures implemented from previous experiences impacted recent restoration efforts and timelines and what lessons were learned this time around.  

 

Moderator: Hon. Julie Brown, Florida

Participants:

Hon. John Clendenin, Virgin Islands

Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey

Hon. Gregg Sayre, New York

Hon. DeAnn Walker, Texas

Hon. Stan Wise, Georgia

Location: Key 7
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A4

The Battle for Peak Capacity: Batteries vs. Gas

The United States electric grid is expected to need more peaking capacity resources, both to replace retiring units and to integrate higher levels of variable generation. Natural gas-fired power plants are the dominant technology providing peaking capacity. But for how long? Rapid and significant cost declines in battery energy storage have some proponents arguing that it can substitute for the gas peaking equipment. This session will debate whether battery storage can really compete with gas peakers.

Through an interactive Jeopardy-style experience, attendees will:

  • Learn innovative ways regulators are approaching planning and procurement of new peaking capacity.
  • Learn what the benefits are (if any) to consumers.

 

Moderator: Hon. Ted Thomas, Arkansas

Participants:

Mikael Backman, Regional Director, North America, Energy Solutions, Wartsila Corporation

Praveen Kathpal, Vice President, AES Energy Storage

Chris Villarreal, President, Plugged-In Strategies

Location: Key 12
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A5

From the Joneses to the Jetsons! Smart Communities and Infrastructure

If communities are getting “smarter,” regulators must stay ahead of the curve. Utilities are investing in a smarter electric grid that benefits customers and are working on projects in ‘smart communities’ to establish programs to bring more resilient and sustainable options to customers. As the smart technologies advance, industry, stakeholders, regulators, and policymakers should be on the same page.

Attendees will participate in a dynamic discussion that will address:

  • How 'smart communities' are defined and how the emerging technologies will affect utility customers.
  • What regulators may see in future proceedings and what investments utilities are making.
  • Stakeholder perspectives on how ratepayers may be affected, along with privacy and cyber concerns.
  • How financing these new programs will affect ratepayers in the near and far terms.
  • Benchmarks and metrics to assess performance.

 

Moderator: Hon. Odogwu Linton, Maryland

Participants:

Donna Cooper, President, Pepco Region for PHI

Brigham A. McCown, Nouveau, Inc

Michael Murray, President, Mission:data

David Owens, Retired Executive Vice President, Edison Electric Institute

Russ Vanos, VP Global Software, Services & Smart Cities, ITRON

Location: Key 2
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B1

Power to the Market

The need for traditional sources of baseload electricity has taken the spotlight recently, particularly with the Department of Energy’s filing of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking directing FERC to "accurately price generation resources necessary to maintain reliability and resiliency." Because coal and nuclear generate half of the nation’s electricity, some believe that these sources are necessary to ensure grid reliability, resilience and fuel diversity.  Others believe the concept of baseload is outmoded and challenge the need to modify the rules or market.  What is not in dispute is the large amount of traditional baseload generating capacity that has retired with more on the horizon.  This panel will discuss: the future role of coal and nuclear; whether reliability and resiliency are being valued now and if not, whether they should be; what attributes should be valued; and what changes, if any, are needed to ensure just and reasonable rates?   

Moderator: Hon. Ellen Nowak, Wisconsin

Participants:

Hon. Kara Brighton, Wyoming

Paul Bailey, CEO, ACCCE 

Kathleen Barron, Senior Vice President, Competitive Market Policy, Exelon

Martin (Marty) J. Durbin, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, API

Steve Herling, Vice President - Planning, PJM

Location: Key 6
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B2

Frenemies and Free Riders

Who doesn’t want a free ride? Utility poles are in place but are they available to anyone? A recommendation from the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) on pole attachments is expected in early November. This report will likely include major changes to the rules governing pole attachments, conduits, and rights-of-way. The report may also suggest pre-emption of State and local authority.

Attendees will:

  • Become better informed about the recommendations of the BDAC.
  • Hear reactions to the realities on pole attachments and the BDAC’s recommendations from the panel of experts representing telecommunications and electricity providers, regulators, and local governments.

Moderator: Hon. Michael Caron, Connecticut

Participants:

Hon. Wendy Moser, Colorado

Hon. Karen Charles Peterson, Massachusetts

Allen Bell, Support Manager, Georgia Power

David Don, Vice President, Regulatory Policy, Comcast NBCUniversal

Mitsuko Herrera, Dept. of Technology Services, Montgomery County, Maryland

 

Session Materials:

Guide to Public Hearings for Antenna Attachments to Utility Poles

Motion to Take Administrative Notice (Fairfield CT SC5)

 

Location: Key 12
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B3

Charging Ahead: Part II

As sales of electric vehicles continue to rise, commissions are increasingly being presented with proposals from utilities to allow financial recovery for charging infrastructure investments.  Building upon last year’s panel, where regulators learned about electric vehicles and rate design, this session will examine developments that have occurred over the last year.  Specifically, regulators will learn about recent State commission decisions on whether to finance electric vehicle infrastructure through general customer rates or other means.  The application of traditional rate setting concepts, such as fairness to consumers and distribution of benefits, will also be explored.

Moderator: Hon. Rachael Eubanks, Michigan

Participants:

Hon. Daniel Hall, Missouri

Max Baumhefner, NRDC

Phil Dion, Vice-President, Technology Business Development, AEP

Sandra Mattavous-Frye, People's Counsel, Office of the People's Counsel, District of Columbia

 

 

 

 

Location: Key 7
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. B5

Myth Busters... Family Feud Style 

Reliability for wind and microgrids have been put to the test! Wind has earned a reputation for beating to its own drum – but does that make it unreliable from an operator’s perspective? Is a low or no carbon grid possible? Are microgrids a reliability silver bullet? This session will explore some of the research and experiences people in the industry have to share about familiar antidotes to today’s grid issues. Some say that wind is intermittent and therefore unreliable, while an operator may know something different. Some say that a low or no carbon grid is absolutely possible and that we should get a move on it already. Is that reality and what do others have to say about it? Microgrids might be a perfect fit for one campus, but should they be adopted everywhere? This session will break down some of the common, general questions and themes we are hearing.

Welcome to Family Feud. Our goal is to make this educational and entertaining. See our panelists go head to head to guess the top answer from a survey question. The winner gets to pass or play, stake their claim first, or wait and rebut the others' claim. We'll then closeout the board by panelists guessing the rest of the survey answers. Three strikes and the other team can steal the board with a correct guess! Plan to join us for a fun and informative discussion. The winners won't get to play fast money, but they'll have NARUC bragging rights.

Moderator: Hon. Nick Wagner, Iowa

Participants:

Hon. Michael Huebsch, Wisconsin

Rob Gramlich, President, Grid Strategies, LLC 

Bruce Rew, Vice President, Operations, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. 

Susan L. Satter, Public Utilities Counsel, Office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Illinois 

Matthew Wald, Senior Communications Advisor, Nuclear Energy Institute

Don Wingate, Vice President –  Utility Sales, Strategic Customers and Microgrid Solutions, Schneider Electric
 

Wednesday, November 15

Location: Key 11
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. C2

Water and Electric Cybersecurity: Stakeholder Perspectives and Partnerships

During this panel we will explore cybersecurity approaches that are being used in the water sector as well as how coordination is conducted with the electric sector, which has common control systems. Speakers will discuss the controls and programs that water companies use to avoid being hacked, including how recent cyber incidents were prevented such as WannaCry, Petya, and more. We will also hear the regulatory perspective on the potential adverse impacts caused by cyber incidents in water and electric systems, including health threats, as well as how these threats are managed at the state level. Lessons from Indiana's recent cross-sector exercise, CritEx, will be shared. Additionally, we will learn about the role that partnerships can play in resiliency and cybersecurity, including lessons learned from Indiana’s strategic approach in developing cross-sector partnerships through the Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity. 

Moderator: Hon. Sarah Freeman, Indiana

Participants:

Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey

John Lucas, Vice President, Citizens Energy Group

Michael Luu, CIO & VP, Customer Service, California Water Service

Chetrice Mosley, State of Indiana Cybersecurity Program Director

Nick Santillo, VP Internal Audit & CSO, American Water

 

Location: Key 8

                                                                  

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.  C3

Oh, What a Beautiful ‘Site’? New Realities in Siting

Multiple State and federal agencies are involved in transmission planning and siting. States are being asked to evaluate non-traditional projects, and economic and reliability projects are being proposed by a number of parties through integrated resource planning and other planning processes. New ways of thinking about electricity resources are affecting traditional transmission planning and siting, cost allocation, and the roles of State officials, utilities, and consumer advocates in these decisions. Siting discussions now include independent transmission owners and multiple local, State, and federal organizations, in addition to traditional utilities.

Attendees will:

  • Hear the perspectives of State agencies as they navigate the changing transmission siting landscape.
  • Learn processes for identifying infrastructure corridors on private and public lands.
  • Tune into the State-level process challenges.

Moderator: Hon. Betty Ann Kane, District of Columbia

Participants

Hon. Ted Thomas, Arkansas

Patrick Donlon, Executive Director, Ohio Power Siting Board and Director, Rates and Analysis, PUCO

Marissa Gillett, Senior Advisor to Chairman Obi Linton, Maryland 

Fred Hoover, Senior Program Director, NASEO

Tanya McCloskey, Acting Consumer Advocate for Pennsylvania and Executive Committee Member of NCEP.

10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Location: Holiday Ballroom
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Happy First Anniversary! and NARUC Business Meeting

The General Session will begin with the NARUC Annual Business Meeting. Commissioners are requested to take seats in the front of the meeting room. 

The U.S. House of Representatives has designated the third Wednesday in November as Utility Scam Awareness Day. This year, we recognize it on November 15. Today, or on any given day, utility customers are receiving calls from people falsely asserting they represent a utility company. Callers are threatening to disconnect electric, water, or gas service, if immediate payment isn’t made. These villains target vulnerable populations, including senior citizens and non-native English speakers. They use sophisticated tactics, including caller identification spoofing technology and recordings of the utility company’s telephone menu messages. Utilities United against Scams (UUAS) is comprised of more than 100 (and growing) electric, water, and gas utilities, along with their respective trade associations in North America. The aim of UUAS is to educate customers about scam tactics in the hopes of ultimately putting an end to these types of crimes.

Attendees will:

  • Learn how these scams have a negative financial, fear-inducing effect of fraud on utility customers.
  • Learn the vital role that regulators play in working with utilities to protect consumers from scams.
  • Learn the types of phone, in-person, and Internet scams utility customers are currently experiencing.
  • Learn tips to share with constituents/consumers to avoid falling for utility impostor scams.
  • Explore solutions adapted for websites, social media, and in-person outreach events/town halls.
  • Hear about steps utilities and their partners have taken to educate consumers on these scams.

Moderator: Hon. Jack Betkoski, NARUC President, Connecticut

Participants:

Bryan Batson, SVP, Southern Operations, Southern Company Gas

Sheri Givens, Author,  Consumer Scam Awareness Guide & Executive Director, Utilities United Against Scams 

Kristin Keckeisen, Director, AARP Campaigns

Elin Swanson Katz, Consumer Counsel, State of Connecticut

Maureen Westbrook, VP Customer & Regulatory, Connecticut Water Company

Session Materials

AARP's Fraud Watch Network