Energy Resources and the Environment

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment

Meeting Room 5 (1:30-2:30), Mount Vernon A (2:30-5:00)
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Reimagining State Interconnection Rules for Distributed Generation Plug-and-Play Procedures

Interconnection rules have been adopted by at least 32 States and the District of Columbia. Those rules describe the procedures that applicants and utilities use to ensure that distributed generation (DG) interconnection requests are processed expeditiously and will cause no harm to the utility system or any other utility customers’ equipment. This presentation reviews the many changes that are presently being developed in IEEE and UL standards working groups. These include updated standards for advanced inverter capabilities and advanced grid communications protocols. In addition, there has been rapid progress in the modeling software used for evaluating the effects from proposed DG on utility distribution systems and identifying mitigation techniques for many of the most common obstacles. Together, such changes offer the combined promises of: (a) decreased application processing timelines and costs; (b) more, better, and less expensive mitigation tools for ensuring the reliable and safe operations of interconnected DG; and, (c) higher levels of distribution system grid hosting capacity for DG. The presenters review emerging best practices that are already working in some jurisdictions and could be adopted by other States and utilities in the future.

Jon Kucskar, Senior Commission Advisor, Maryland Public Service Commission

Sarah Baldwin Auck, Director, Regulatory Program, Interstate Renewable Energy Council
Michael Coddington, Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher, National Regulatory Research Institute

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Natural Gas Fracking and Water Quality – Fact vs. Fiction

(Joint session with Gas and Water Staff Subcommittees)

In recent years, the use, storage, and disposal of produced water, the byproduct of natural gas fracturing, has been presenting challenges to communities, producers, and government officials. A variety of studies and anecdotal evidence have contributed to some level of confusion in regards to health, safety and environmental impacts. The panelists will address some of the studies and their impact on the public and the industry.

Andreas Thanos, Gas Policy Specialist, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities
Donald Lomoljo, Utilities Hearing Officer, Nevada Public Utilities Commission
Karen Olesky, Economist, Nevada Public Utilities Commission

John A. Connor, President, GSI Environmental
Nancy Johnson, Senior Advisor, Environmental Science and Policy Analysis, U.S. DoE
David McBride, VP, Global Health Safety and Environment, Anadarko
Scott Anderson, Senior Policy Director, U.S. Climate and Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund (Invited)
Carol Montoya, Executive and Board Member, Marcellus Shale Coalition (Invited)

3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Unknown Fugitive — Why We Care About Unexpected Methane Emissions and the Efforts to Capture Them

(Joint Session with Gas Staff Subcommittee)

The debate over top-down or bottom-up methane emissions measuring has slowly been eclipsed by the question of how to quantify methane emissions from unexpected leaks, malfunctions and other unpredictable problems associated with the production, delivery, and consumption of natural gas. This panel will look at the level at which methane emissions have been over/under-estimated, the research that is being done to obtain more accurate leak identification and emission measurement, and what exactly the utility industry and regulators are doing to curb these emissions.

Andreas Thanos, Gas Policy Specialist, Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities
Karen Olesky, Economist, Nevada Public Utilities Commission

James Bradbury, Senior Advisor, Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, DoE
Talmadge Center, VP of Safety and Gas System Integrity, CenterPoint Energy
N. Jonathan Peress, Director, Energy Market Policy, Environmental Defense Fund

Monday, February 13, 2017

Committee on Energy Resources and Environment

Renaissance East
10:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Community Solar— Stories from the Trenches

Community solar has been discussed favorably in many states, and at many NARUC meetings, but implementation rates remain relatively low, with perhaps a handful of States leading the charge. What is the story nationwide and why is community solar a strategy you want to get behind? How can states go about creating and enabling an environment for community solar and establishing a framework for success? How can these programs be modeled to ensure accessibility for low- and moderate-income consumers? Join policy and regulatory experts as they explore the breadth of the issue and discuss recommendations, hurdles, and best practices for establishing community solar.


Hon. Andrew Place, Pennsylvania


Hon. Jeffrey Ackermann, Colorado

Jeff Cramer, Executive Director, Coalition for Community Solar Access

Jack Hoskins, Graduate Student, Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Stephen Lassiter, Graduate Student, Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Why Are We Talking About LED Street Lighting?

This panel will explore how we, as regulators, can move forward the adoption of LEDs for street lighting and create a win/win/win for the environment/States-municipalities/utilities. We will look at the challenges to the adoption of LED street lighting in the States. How has street lighting evolved, both technology and regulatory wise? What mechanisms have been employed to date to overcome these challenges (i.e., incentive, tariff changes, and smart grid application)? Where do we go from here?


Hon. Betty Ann Kane, Washington, D.C.


Crystal McDonald, Program Manager, US DOE's Outdoor Lighting Accelerator

Peter Curley, Technologist, Climate Group

Robert Kramer, Director of the Energy Efficiency and Utilization Center, Purdue University Calumet

Theodore Sommer, CPA, London Witte Group

Vince Maione, Region President, Atlantic City Electric

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Who Wore it Better—Utility Scale Solar or Rooftop Solar?

The growth in solar installations around the country is not limited to only rooftop or utility scale. As total solar production costs have come down, so have the costs of utility scale and rooftop. However, utility scale and rooftop come with different perspectives on value; utility scale is considered more cost effective due to its scale compared to rooftop, yet the focus on solar remains with rooftop, which provides a different set of values. How do these two technologies compare with each other; contrast; and how do regulators, utilities, developers, and the customer determine the value of each solar type?


Hon. Beth Trombold, Ohio


John Farrell, Director of Democratic Energy, Institute for Local Self Reliance

Brian Potts, Partner, Perkins Coie

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Commissioner Roundtable

Curious if you’re the only State pushing a boulder up a hill?  Come join the ERE Roundtable to hear Commissioners discuss their States’ current issues, share the experiences of your state, and talk through thorny policy issues with your fellow Commissioners. All Commissioners are welcome and encouraged to participate in this important dialogue.


Hon. Donna Nelson, Texas

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Committee on Energy Resources and Environment

Renaissance East
10:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Business Meeting

Introduction and Welcome:
Hon. Nancy Lange, Minnesota, Chair
Hon. Donna Nelson, Texas Co-Vice Chair
Hon. Jeannette Mills, Maryland, Co-Vice Chair


Ron Edelstein, Director, Regulatory and Government Relations, GTI
Tom Stanton, Principal Researcher for Energy and Environment, NRRI
Barbara Tyran, Executive Director, Governmental & External Relations, EPRI 

A New Approach to Energy Efficiency in the Retail Sector
Peter Banwell, Director, Energy Star Product Marketing, EPA

Recent Trends and Emerging Developments in Utility-sector Energy-efficiency Programs and Policies
Steve Nadel, Executive Director, ACEEE

2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook
Ruth McCormick, Director, Federal and State Affairs, BCSE

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Regulatory Reform: Updating the Regulatory Toolkit to Deploy Renewables

Regulatory commissions, as well as electric utilities, must evolve to take on new generation opportunities and challenges such as the need for greater decarbonization, the growth of distributed generation, and more customer choice. This panel will focus on how regulatory commissions can evolve and innovate their regulatory toolkit to facilitate deployment and cost recovery of renewables. We will use an interactive game to get panelists’ insights on whether we should keep, toss, or reform specific regulatory tools currently in use.

Hon. Carla Peterman, California

Ryan Wiser, Senior Scientist and Group Leader, Electricity Markets and Policy, LBNL
Michael Champley, Commissioner Emeritus, Hawaii
Jeanne Fox, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Commissioner Emeritus, New Jersey
Bob Rowe, President and CEO, Northwestern Energy, Commissioner Emeritus, Montana, Former NARUC President

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Carbon: A Risk or An Opportunity?

The Trump Administration is signaling big changes ahead for federal climate policies.  In this shifting landscape, how do the electric utilities evaluate the risks posed by carbon as it plans for the long term?  What signals are investors, markets, and customers sending the utilities about carbon emissions? This panel will explore how the investment community, customers, and a utility are navigating the choppy waters.

Sue Tierney, Senior Advisor, Analysis Group

Steve Skarda, Global Climate & Energy Leader, Procter and Gamble
Swami Venkataraman, Sr. Vice President, Global Project and Infrastructure Finance, Moody’s Investors Service
Jonathan Weisgall, Vice President, Government Relations, Berkshire Hathaway Energy

4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
(Joint Session with Electricity)
What is Next for the EPA’s Carbon Regulations for Existing Power Plants?

How is the Trump Administration likely to change certain policies and rules affecting utilities, including the Clean Power Plan? Which ones are likely to continue to be implemented, and what do states and NGOs do in response?

Hon. Ed Finley, North Carolina
Hon. Nancy Lange, Minnesota

Paul Cicio, President, Industrial Consumers of America
Dave Doniger, Director, Climate and Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
Roger Martella, Attorney, Sidley Austin

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Joint Meeting: Electricity, ERE, Gas, Water, Consumer Affairs, Critical Infrastructure

South/Central Ballroom
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
A National Focus on Resiliency

This joint session is focused on the Department of Defense’s increasing priority on energy resiliency measures. The DoD wants to ensure that, even if a catastrophic storm hits or adversaries target the power grid, critical DoD installations can still carry out their mission-essential functions. 

Representatives from the Air Force, Army, and Navy will discuss issues related to funding for energy resiliency projects, private-sector partnerships and opportunities, and barriers to success such as the regulatory and/or the DoD contracting process.  Specific relevant case studies, such as the Hawaiian Electric-Army energy resiliency project and the APS-USMC micro grid, will be explained.

Moderator: Hon. Judy Jagdmann, Virginia

Mark Correll, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure, United States Air Force

Michael McGhee, P.E., Executive Director, US Army Office of Energy Initiatives

John Kliem, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Program Office, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment)