Regulating A Modern Resource Mix
The Mid-Year Energy Forum will be held at the Marriott Renaissance in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 10-11, 2023.
Tuesday, Oct 10
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Welcome and General Session 1: Interconnection Queue Reform – How FERC’s New Pro Forma Interconnection Procedures Could Advance New Generation
On July 27, 2023, FERC issued a final rule, Order No. 2023, requiring all public utilities to adopt revised pro forma generator interconnection procedures and agreements. The new rule adopts a first-ready, first-served cluster study process, firm deadlines and penalties for queue processing, and technological advancements in the interconnection process. With compliance filings due shortly after the mid-year forum, this panel will discuss (1) the interconnection queue backlog that led to FERC issuing its final rule; (2) the measures certain transmission providers have already taken and what we could expect to see from other transmission providers in their compliance filings; and (3) what impact the new interconnection procedures and agreements may have on the resource mix in various regions and the resulting implications for reliability, resiliency, and affordability.
Elizabeth P. Trinkle
Wright & Talisman PC
Jignasa P. Gadani
Director, Office of Energy Policy and Innovation
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Assistant General Counsel – Operations and Planning
ISO New England Inc.
Omar A. Martino
Executive Vice President, Markets and Regulatory
Duke Energy Corporation
2:45 PM - 4:00 PM: Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 1A: Inching Toward Organized Markets: Value Proposition for Energy Imbalance and Energy Exchange Markets
The Western Interconnection now has two energy imbalance markets: SPP’s Western Energy Imbalance Service (WEIS) market and CAISO’s Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM). Some utilities in the Western Interconnection are also considering whether to join SPP – expanding its RTO into the Western Interconnection – while others consider the possible creation of a new RTO in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, in the Southeast, multiple utilities have formed the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM) which won approval through a divided FERC, an approval that was recently remanded to FERC by the DC Circuit. Panelists will explore these developments, including what is driving creation of imbalance and exchange markets today, how these markets advance or inhibit achievement of the clean energy transition, and whether these markets are positive developments for energy consumers compared to an RTO or ISO.
Sean A. Atkins
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Noel W. Black
Senior Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs
Assistant General Counsel
Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County
Jamey H. Goldin
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Concurrent 1B: Managing the Promises and Complexities of Renewable Natural Gas
The production, transportation, and use of Renewable Natural Gas (“RNG”) or Biomethane (the gaseous product produced from the decomposition of organic matter) has been steadily increasing for the last couple decades. Today, there are 300 operational RNG facilities in North America with even more under construction or in the planning stages. This renewable resource can be fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas, presenting plentiful opportunities in the energy transition. However, the influx of RNG into the natural gas pipeline system is not without debate. For example, generation customers have raised concerns about impacts to turbines and equipment posed by the blending of RNG on natural gas pipelines. This has led to lengthy proceedings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding natural gas quality specifications in pipeline tariffs. This session will provide an overview of RNG production and its potential use and role in the energy transition, as well as touch on challenges facing the natural gas industry and stakeholders posed by the recent and growing influx of RNG into the market.
Joseph H. Fagan
Day Pitney LLP
DLA Piper US
Suzanne E. Clevenger
Vinson & Elkins LLP
Director of Federal Government Affairs
The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas
4:15 PM - 5:30 PM: Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 2A: Fully Charged: Recent Progress in Distributed and Grid-Scale Battery Storage
Batteries are expected to play a key role in the energy transition. Because of their unique ability to store electricity for later use, batteries and other energy storage technologies can be deployed to provide reliable, cost-effective electricity at both wholesale and retail, and can also be deployed as transmission resources to reduce congestion and enhance deliverability, transfer capability, and efficiency of transmission lines. This panel will discuss the benefits and challenges of co-locating batteries with generation assets versus building them as stand-alone storage assets, common elements of state programs and tariffs for battery-specific services, and other innovative ways batteries are being deployed, including as transmission assets, microgrid components, backup power, and even vehicle-to-grid (V-to-G) technology. Topics of discussion will also include what the Inflation Reduction Act may mean for the battery industry, unique interconnection challenges for utility-scale batteries, and siting and permitting issues unique to battery projects. Panelists will also share stories of recent successful deployments of grid-scale battery projects and lessons learned.
Foley Hoag LLP
Florence K.S. (Flossie) Davis
Associate General Counsel
Chief Operating Officer
Microgrid Networks LLC
Vice President, Business Development
Concurrent 2B: EPA 111(b) and (d) Rulemaking Revisited
The EPA is in the process of proposing new greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for new and existing fossil fuel-fired power plants that will be implemented under sections 111(b) and (d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). By setting carbon dioxide (CO2) limits on fossil fuel-fired power plants, the presumptive rules will impact new and existing coal, oil and gas-fired steam generating units, and gas-fired combustion turbines. What will be the impact of these new rules? While they are intended to reduce GHG emissions, will they also hasten the retirement of incumbent generation units before newer and cleaner alternatives can take their place? What are the consequences for electricity costs and grid reliability?
Thomas A. Lorenzen
Crowell & Moring LLP
Clean Air Task Force
Meghan E. Greenfield
U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Defense Section
Makram B. Jaber
Wednesday, Oct 11
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM: General Session 2: Climate Goals, Electrification and Utility Regulation
Many cities, states, and provinces have adopted ambitious goals to reduce GHG emissions. These new laws and requirements have implications for the future of both electric and gas distributions companies and their state utility regulators. This panel will explore how state and provincial regulators are starting to grapple with implementing these goals within the context of existing regulatory regimes. In particular, the panel will identify where climate goals and utility regulations can be in tension, including least cost planning requirements that can impede the deployment of newer technologies, concerns about universal service obligations and maintaining programs that support low- and middle-income customers, and cost recovery for investments in infrastructure that might stranded in the long term. Panelists will explore opportunities to use existing regulatory regimes and areas where new approaches may be needed.
Nikki Hall White
Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
David S. Lapp
Maryland Office of People's Counsel
The Honorable Ann Rendahl
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
Chairman Emile C. Thompson
Public Service Commission, District of Columbia
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM: YLC Meet Up
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM: Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 3A: Gas-Electric Coordination - A Tough Nut to Crack
Gas-Electric coordination has become a critical topic because of the increased interdependence of the natural gas and electric sectors, both of which provide essential services to customers and businesses. The gas and electric system have been put under stress by extreme weather events and increased demand. The panel will discuss and provide updates on the gas-electric coordination efforts that have been underway over the past several years, including the efforts of the Gas-Electric Harmonization Forum at the North American Energy Standards Board at the request of FERC and NERC, as well as efforts at the RTOs/ISOs, states, and FERC.
Matthew J. Agen
Chief Regulatory Counsel, Energy
American Gas Association
Nancy E. Bagot
Senior Vice President
Electric Power Supply Association
Senior Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
Robert W. Gee
President and Founder
Gee Strategies Group
Patricia W. Jagtiani
Executive Vice President
Natural Gas Supply Association
Concurrent 3B: The Supreme Court’s Energy Docket: Where It Has Been, and Where It Is Going
As the Supreme Court's 2023 Term begins, panelists will discuss the cases from this Term that are poised to affect energy law and regulation—including the case that could overrule Chevron once and for all. Panelists will also provide an update into how past Supreme Court cases are affecting energy litigation in the lower courts, and what energy issues might make their way up to the high court next.
Attorney, Solicitor's Office
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Glen Earl Weston Research Professor of Law
The George Washington University
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
The Honorable Bernard L. McNamee
12:15 PM - 2:00 PM: Lunch
2:15 PM - 3:30 PM: Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent 4A: Electricity Market Incentives that Ensure Reliability - The Carrot and the Stick
The implicit - and often explicit - goal of complex electricity markets is to ensure that resources are online when and where they are needed. Key questions include how we adequately compensate resources for being available when called and what market rules apply when market participating generators fail to perform. With the boom of renewables after the passage of the IRA, some grid operators are fine tuning how to correctly value intermittent resources. Correctly valuing market resources is one type of incentive for generators to produce power when needed. This panel will discuss how to improve reliability incentives for generators in electricity markets.
John Lee Shepherd, Jr.
Hunton Andrews Kurth
Denise Foster Cronin
Vice President of Federal and RTO Regulatory Affairs
East Kentucky Power Cooperative
Jacqulynn B. Hugee
Managing Counsel - Federal Energy Regulatory
Dominion Energy Services Inc.
Jane E. Rueger
Perkins Coie LLP
Concurrent 4B: Whose Side Are You On: Managing Conflicts of Interest in Serving Today's Energy Client (Ethics)
While the Model Rule on Conflicts of Interest stays the same, today's energy client has evolved to have many facets. This means that energy attorneys today, whether they are engaged in private practice or in-house, are increasingly called upon to advise clients with diverse energy resources and/or plans. This panel will explore what qualifies as a conflict, business conflicts vs. ethical conflicts, what can be handled through advance waivers vs. through other means and practical ways to deal with these issues. . We will focus on defining an attorney’s professional and ethical obligations and addressing potential solutions and avoidance of pitfalls. The panel will conclude with our conflict experts responding to hypothetical common ethical challenges to show us how to stay out of the mud.
Thomas S. O'Neill
Jenner & Block
EVP, Legal and Chief Compliance Officer
Emma F. Hand
Saul J. Singer
Senior Ethics Counsel
District of Columbia Bar
3:45 PM - 5:15 PM: Closing General Session: The Hope and Promise of Permitting Reform
Since the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and Inflation Reduction Act, there has been increasing interest in addressing the challenge of building the infrastructure needed to power the energy transition. This challenge runs the gamut from siting transmission lines needed to carry electricity generated from renewable energy sources to constructing new and expanded pipelines required for transporting natural gas, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. On Capitol Hill, Congress has passed National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and permitting reforms as part of the debt ceiling agreement, and several bills have been introduced on both sides of the aisle seeking further permitting reforms. The Biden Administration is also re-writing multiple regulations, including regulations under the NEPA, that were previously re-written during the Trump Administration. This panel will explore how these developments have affected and will affect the building of electric transmission and interstate pipelines going forward, as well as what additional permitting reforms could expedite the growth of the nation’s energy infrastructure.
The Permitting Institute
Director for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Council on Environmental Quality
Deputy Executive Director
Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
Kim N. Smaczniak
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM: Farewell Reception
This program is eligible for 9.5 hours of CLE credit in 60-minute states, and 11.4 hours of CLE credit, in 50-minute states. Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.
To Receive CLE Credit:
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