The CUB Policy Center is pleased to announce its fifth annual policy conference, Utility 2025: Building the Northwest's Energy Future. Imagine it is the year 2025. Oregon utilities have complied with the 25% RPS and are in the middle of complying with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Energy Imbalance Markets are functioning throughout the region and with demand response programs, customers are actively participating in utility efforts to balance supply and load.
Or, maybe not. This CUB Policy Conference will explore the challenges and opportunities that NW utilities face in the coming decade. The program is specifically designed to educate utility analysts, policy analysts, attorneys, industry professionals, stakeholders, and others working in and around the energy industry.
This event will take place on October 23rd, 2015, at the Downtown Portland Hilton. Register by Friday, October 2nd to take advantage of Early Bird pricing!
The program will proceed as follows:
- 7:15-8:00am: Registration
- 8:00-8:30am: Breakfast and Opening Presentation: Title TBA
- Speaker: Bob Jenks - Executive Director, Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon
- 8:30-9:45am: The View From the Top: A Conversation With NW Utility CEOs
- Panelists: Stefan Bird - President and CEO, Pacific Power; Bob Jenks - Executive Director, Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon; Gregg Kantor - President and CEO, Northwest Natural; Elliott Mainzer - Administrator and CEO, Bonneville Power Administration; Scott Morris - Chairman, President and CEO, Avista Corporation; Jim Piro - President and CEO, Portland General Electric
- Moderator: Jude Noland – Senior Contributing Editor, Clearing Up
- 9:45-10:00am: Break
- 10:00–11:15am: Break-Out Session 1
- Topic 1: They’re Hee-re…111(d)'s New Regulatory Reality
- After months (and months) of waiting, the Clean Power Plan (EPA rule 111(d)) is now a reality. So where did we actually end up, and how will the rules be implemented? What are the implications for the utility of the future? We will explore these questions, touching on possibilities for inter-state cooperation and the nitty-gritty of greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
- Topic 2: Distribute This: Generation for a New Generation
- Much has been made of the "utility death spiral", or the perception that centrally located baseload plants are under threat from ever more distributed resources such as rooftop solar. Is this worry justified, or can distributed generation be a win-win proposition? How will the utility of 2025 balance distributed generation with the demands of safety, reliability, and affordability?
- 11:15–11:30am: Break
- 11:30am–12:00pm: Midday Keynote
- Speaker: Susan Ackerman - Chair, Oregon Public Utility Commission
- 12:00–12:45pm: Networking Lunch
- 12:45–2:00pm: Break-Out Session 2
- Topic 3: Got Gas?
- The role of gas utilities grows uncertain as we look toward an increasingly carbon-constrained industry. Can gas resources be used to shape and firm renewable resources? What are the possibilities for renewable gas? How can gas utilities operate and use their commodity as an integrated part of the energy industry of the future?
- Topic 4: The Customer Side of the Meter: Energy Efficiency and Demand Response
- The EPA’s Clean Power Plan relies on energy efficiency to make carbon emissions reduction affordable. Increasingly, utilities are using demand response programs to reduce peak loads. Maintaining the level of energy efficiency that is expected in the Clean Power Plan will require programs that we have not yet envisioned. Making demand response a key part of a power system that relies less on large baseload power plants will require a level of customer engagement that we have never seen. What role will customer engagement play in making these programs achievable?
- 2:00–2:15pm: Break
- 2:15–3:30pm: Break-Out Session 3
- Topic 5: Let’s Get Loaded
- Server farms and indoor agriculture (marijuana farming warehouses) are here and are a growing presence in the region. Concerns over carbon are also increasing the use of electricity and natural gas as vehicle fuels. After more than a decade with little load growth in the region, is there about to be a change? If so, what will utilities need to do to maintain reliability in the face of these changes?
- Topic 6: Beyond the RPS
- By 2025, Oregon's Renewable Energy Standard will be fully implemented, requiring the state's largest utilities to get 25% of their power from renewable resources. But what‘s next? A higher RPS? Other incentives? Where will renewables fit into the mix as we enter the second quarter of the 21st Century?
- 3:30 – 3:45pm: Break
- 3:45 – 4:15pm: Closing Presentation: Title TBA
- Speaker: Dr. Tom Potiowsky - Director, Northwest Economic Research Center; Chair, Economics Department, Portland State University
- 4:15 – 4:30pm: Closing words from Bob Jenks
- 4:30 – 6:00pm: Reception