General Sessions

Return to the Compiled Agenda

This agenda is subject to change.

Monday, July 17

8:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Location: Grand Ballroom B/C

Military Workforce Development

Featuring Hon. Judy Jagdmann, VA  and Tom Farrell, CEO, Dominion Energy. 


Innovative Technologies Across Utility Sectors

Utilities are leveraging innovative technologies to achieve better customer service, greater resiliency, and efficiency. This panel will discuss innovative approaches from the nuclear, water, solar, and energy angles.

Safety is a major concern for every energy provider. Although we often hear today about how innovation is driving advances in clean energy, it also enables dramatic new ways to approach safety. Attendees will learn about cutting-edge collaborations, such as how Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has adapted and tested laser-based technology—originally designed to find methane on Mars—to locate natural gas leaks on Earth more effectively than traditional methods and how LiDAR technology is used to capture tree heights to better manage vegetation to secure the integrity of power lines. Attendees will also learn how vehicle-mounted, leak-detection technology is 1,000 times more sensitive than traditional equipment, how drones can enable companies to inspect hard to access areas, and how PG&E is using a new earthquake damage-modeling system to generate rapid, facility-specific damage estimates.

In the nuclear arena, attendees will learn how the United States will deploy a variety of innovative reactor types that will be more versatile and adaptable than existing reactors and how they are designed to integrate with renewables. The nuclear industry’s emphasis on innovation extends to research and development on more durable reactor fuels and identifying mechanisms to advance safety and efficiency at existing nuclear plants.

In the solar arena, attendees will learn about the evolution of solar + storage, collaborative partnerships between utilities, and rooftop solar. How innovation is being embraced to build a cleaner, leaner grid of the future will also be discussed.

In the water arena, usage monitoring, leak detection, water quality monitoring, and consumer-communications technology are just some of the benefits that result from the innovative thinking and deployment. Attendees will learn how companies are fortifying water infrastructure with intelligent infrastructure and cloud computing; how innovation and technology are a means to unlocking greater efficiencies, and enhanced safety for employees as well as innovation in the regulatory area.

Moderator: Hon. Robert Powelson, NARUC President


Lynn Jurich, CEO and Co-Founder, Sunrun

Maria Korsnick, President and CEO, Nuclear Energy Institute

Susan Story, President and CEO, American Water

Geisha Williams, CEO and President, PG&E Corporation

Tuesday, July 18

Location: Grand Ballroom B/C
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Innovation: The Catalyst for Integration

There has been talk about the need to integrate central and distributed energy resources to enable customers to use, produce, and store electricity. Integration will require wireless connected technologies; including, but not limited to, information services, sensors, data analysis, and modeling. This session will be a series of ‘turbo talks’ by cutting-edge innovators. Attendees will learn about these new technologies and the value to regulators; connect these interrelated technology schemes to Big Data, and understand practical applications.


Moderator: Hon. Brien Sheahan, Illinois


  • Boris von Bormann, CEO, Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas
  • Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn (USN, RET.), Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations, and Environment)
  • Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO, Commonwealth Edison
  • Russell Stokes, President and CEO, GE Power


Wednesday, July 19

Location: Grand Ballroom B/C
8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Infrastructure: It's all about the Benjamin$

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers issues a report card on the condition of the nation’s Infrastructure. Letter grades are assigned based on physical condition and needed investments for improvement. The Nation’s 2017 report card is in—and it is not one to be posted proudly on the refrigerator! The overall grade for our infrastructure is a D+. Grades for our specific utility sectors were no better: Energy = D+; Drinking water = D; Wastewater = D+. The telecommunications sector does not get a grade, but we know there are millions of Americans that lack access to broadband service, many that only have access to speeds below the FCC definition of broadband, and many with access but who can't afford the cost. Our deteriorating infrastructure impedes the ability of our nation to compete in the global economy. ASCE will explain their report card, followed by a panel of utility executives. Attendees will learn how the infrastructure grades were assigned, the economic impact of our failure to invest in infrastructure, and the cost of failing to invest in our infrastructure now. Also, attendees will learn what utilities can and are willing to do to increase investment and bring our infrastructure up to a passing grade.

Moderator: Hon. Ann Rendahl, Washington


Greg DiLoreto, Chair, ASCE Committee on America’s Infrastructure, ASCE Past President

Mark A. Jamison, Director and Gunter Professor, Public Utility Research Center, University of Florida

Marty Kropelnicki, President and CEO, California Water Service Group

Lawrence Makovich, Chief Power Strategist, IHS Markit

Philip Moeller, Senior Vice President, Ediison Electric Institute


Location: Grand Ballroom B/C
10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Are Markets Sending the Right Price Signal for Clean Energy Resources?

When competitive wholesale electricity markets were established approximately 20 years ago, many of the factors now affecting these markets were not anticipated.  The generation fleet is significantly cleaner due to renewable resources and abundant natural gas.  Yet the intermittent nature of some renewables and the just-in-time nature of natural gas provide modern challenges to managing the markets.  Participants will discuss the state of the markets and whether they are meeting the needs of regulators, consumers and industry in terms of reliability, affordability, profitability and environmental goals. 


Moderator: Hon. Carla Peterman, California


Thad Hill, CEO, Calpine

Tom Kiernan, CEO, American Wind Energy Association

Mark C. McCullough, Executive Vice President - Generation, American Electric Power

Robert Nelson, Montana Consumer Counsel, NASUCA President

Andy Ott, President and CEO, PJM