Keynote/Plenary Sessions & Panels

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Keynote Speaker: Dennis V. Arriola, CEO of AVANGRID, Inc.

16 February 2021, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM EST

Dave VelazquezDennis V. Arriola is Chief Executive Officer of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading, sustainable energy company with approximately $36 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states.

Mr. Arriola was appointed to the position of CEO of AVANGRID in July 2020 from Sempra Energy where he was Executive Vice President and Group President and Chief Sustainability Officer. Throughout his more than 25-year career in the energy sector, he has held a variety of leadership positions in gas and electric utilities as well as renewables, including Chairman and CEO of Southern California Gas Co., and Chief Financial Officer of SunPower Corp., San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co.

Mr. Arriola holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.

He serves as a board Member of Auto Club Enterprises.

With headquarters in Orange, Connecticut, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables is among the top three wind operators in the United States and owns and operates 7.5 gigawatts of renewables capacity, primarily through wind power, with a presence in 22 U.S. states. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,600 people.


Plenary Session 1:
Operational, Regulatory and Policy Needs to Facilitate Cost Effective Integration of Large-scale Renewables

16 February 2021, 12:30-1:30 PM EST

Session Summary:

To foster sustainable, low-emission development, many states across the US are establishing ambitious renewable energy targets for their electricity supply. Because of the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources and how widely dispersed they are across the country, meeting these targets will involve significant changes to power system planning and operations.

Robust integration methods maximize the cost effectiveness of incorporating variable renewable energy into the power system while maintaining or increasing system stability and reliability.

Scaling up variable renewable energy generation requires grid expansion and upgrades so that power systems can access high-quality solar and wind resources. A well-crafted combination of policies, rules, and procedures encourages investment in large-scale transmission expansion. These measures not only improve the utilization of variable renewable energy, but also potentially defer the need for network refurbishment. The scope of this panel includes, but not limited to:

  • Assessing policy needs to facilitate Interregional Transmission Lines
  • Assessing policy and technological needs to facilitate Offshore Wind interconnection
  • Lessons Learned from RTOs/ISOs in implementation of FERC order no. 1000
  • FERC revision to electric transmission incentive policy to enable utility adoption of Grid Efficiency Technologies (e.g. FACTS)

Moderator: Ahad Esmaeilian

Panelists:

  • Sebastian Libonatti, VP of Transmission Business Development, Avangrid
  • Jenny Erwin, Marketing Director at Smart Wire
  • Neil Millar, Vice President of Infrastructure & Operations Planning at CAISO
  • Eric Vandenberg, Deputy Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Keynote Speaker: Gil Quiniones, President and CEO of the New York Power Authority (NYPA)

17 February 2021, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST

Mr. Quiniones is responsible for developing and implementing the statewide utility’s strategic vision and mission and for supervising its operations, legal and financial matters and relationships with external stakeholders.

Under his leadership, NYPA is playing a key role in Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, the nation’s leading clean energy and jobs agenda. This landmark initiative places New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality. Mr. Quiniones, a well-known thought leader in the electric utility industry, has been talking about evolution of the post-COVID 19 energy marketplace and workplace, and how the challenges we face in the pandemic are similar to those that we are confronting with climate change.

Mr. Quiniones recently announced NPYA’s commitment to additionally diversity our workforce by doubling its investments in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Environmental Justice, and Minority/Women-owned businesses from $5M to $10M and became the first energy company in the nation to partner with the American Association of Blacks in Energy to increase African American representation in the energy industry.

Mr. Quiniones is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance to Save Energy and serves on the Boards of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Large Public Power Council. He is also NYPA’s principal representative to the American Public Power Association.


Plenary Session 2:
Key Success Factors for Resilient and Decarbonized Grid

17 February 2021, 12:00-1:00 PM EST

Session Summary:

Electric power industry throughout the world is experiencing unprecedented changes affecting all elements of grid design and operation. New techniques and technologies are rapidly evolving and being applied to ensure sustainable electricity delivery. Responding to some of these needs, including progress, prognosis, and lessons learned, IEEE PES Industry Technical Support Leadership Committee, in collaboration with the U.S. DOE, FERC, NERC, and other industry organizations, has addressed key industry topics that will be discussed at this plenary. Topics will include updates in integrating energy storage, distributed energy resources (DER) and new customer-side applications in the electric grid, defining and implementing resilience measures, and industry experience with COVID-19.

Moderator: Veronika Rabl
Panelists:  

  • Damir Novosel, Chair, IEEE PES ITSLC, and President, Quanta Technology
  • David Ortiz, Deputy Director of the Office of Electric Reliability, FERC
  • Michael Pesin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Advanced Grid Research and Development, U.S. DOE
  • Christopher Root, COO, Vermont Electric Power

Keynote Speaker: Elliot Mainzer, President and CEO of CAISO

18 February 2021, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ESTElliot Mainzer

Elliot Mainzer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Independent System Operator (ISO). The ISO is responsible for managing the flow of electricity that serves 80 percent of California and a small portion of Nevada. The CAISO also runs a real-time energy market for utilities in eight western US states and conducts reliability coordinator services for most balancing authorities in the West. Mr. Mainzer is committed to using leading-edge policies and new technologies to accelerate California’s drive towards the reliable decarbonization of its electric power grid. He started in his new role at the ISO on September 30, 2020 following a successful 18-year career at the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) where he was at the forefront of transformational changes in the western electricity market. While serving as BPA’s administrator and CEO from 2013-2020, Mr. Mainzer effectively navigated the agency through a period of tremendous industry change and economic headwinds by improving the agency’s long-term cost competitiveness and financial resiliency, modernizing assets and system operations, and positioning BPA as a more responsive and agile business partner. In recent years, Mr. Mainzer has co-chaired the Western Electric Industry Leaders Group to support greater western market and policy coordination on such topics as resource adequacy, transmission development, and carbon accounting. He has also served as the Chair of the U.S. Entity for the Columbia River Treaty with Canada and on the boards of the Electric Power Research Institute, and the Utility Wind Integration Group. A native of San Francisco, Mr. Mainzer has an undergraduate degree in geography from U.C. Berkeley, and master’s degrees in Business Administration and Environmental Studies from Yale University. Mainzer and his wife Margaret have twin boys. He is also an amateur jazz saxophonist and dedicated student of jazz theory and history.


Plenary Session 3:
Distributed Grid-Edge and Behind-the-Meter Technologies

18 February 2021, 12:00-1:00 PM EST

Session Summary:

Growing deployments of distributed energy resources and intelligent technology at grid-edge and in customer systems behind-the-meter provide new challenges and opportunities in reliable and resilient operation of the electric power system.  This panel will discuss the technology gaps, needs and opportunities from a utility perspective; technology responses in the context of the current and future situation; and policy and regulatory dimensions such as the potential impacts of the recent FERC order 2222 on grid-edge and behind-the-meter engagement.

Moderator Ron Melton, PNNL

Panelists:


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