By - Danielle Duignan

Texas Power Summit
July 16-17, 2018 | San Antonio, TX

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An abundance of renewable energy has been instrumental in driving Texas energy prices down, making it less economical to keep coal and nuclear plants open. In addition, retirement of coal generation is planned before this summer; and new solar and wind resources will be added to the grid. The effect this combination will have on the state’s power sector is yielding questions for regulators and market participants. Concerns include how generators will be impacted by low energy prices and what, if anything, regulators will do as well as how interconnection of distributed generation is harmonized with protection against surges and frequency issues.

While concerns related to older plant maintenance increase, the promise of greater reliability associated with more distributed generation, energy storage, and microgrids make this a timely discussion.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify market needs for generation resources
  • Discuss how increased renewable resources and distributed energy generation impact the market
  • Recognize opportunities for transmission investment
  • Examine challenges related to compliance for generation
  • Review lessons learned from the Houston Import Project
  • Discuss upcoming regulatory changes
  • Review opportunities surrounding energy storage
  • Address reliability concerns due to a changing energy mix
  • Assess finding common ground between utilities and consumers
  • Optimize plant operations in light of changing generation demands
  • Review how to keep operations running in a secure manner
  • Identify resources for reliable grid power



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.8 CEUs for this event, 0.3 CEUs for the pre-conference workshop and 0.4 CEUs for the post-conference workshop.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the conference to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

The conference will include case studies, PowerPoint, and classroom exercises.


Monday, July 16, 2018

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.                    Registration

1:00 – 1:50 p.m. :: Integrating Distributed Energy Resources into the ERCOT Market: Where do We Stand, and What is Left to Do?

At present state the ERCOT system and protocols will need to be further revised in order to remove barriers to entry and fully  integrate DG.  Opening the ERCOT market and distribution system so that DG can participate in multiple markets will allow the full realization of the value of DG, including benefits related to reduced distribution costs and increased Distribution system reliability. So what will it take to make DG competitive?

  • Mapping to the wholesale system
  • Security constrained economic dispatch
  • Ancillary services
  • Distribution system planning
  • Distribution rate making

 Robert Helton, Director, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Engie North America

1:50 – 2:40 p.m. :: Outlook for Transmission Investment in ERCOT

Transmission planning is a complex process that requires extensive scenario analyses.  ERCOT will be updating its Long-Term System Assessment later this year to provide a roadmap for future transmission investment.  At this time, some of the interesting factors influencing future transmission investment are:

  • Load Growth
    • Potential for additional LNG facilities along the Gulf Coast
    • Future load growth in West Texas due to oil and natural gas production
  • Generation Trends
    • Retirements of existing power generation facilities
    • Significant number of solar and wind generation interconnection requests
    • Location of new generation resources
    • Stability impacts related to continued growth in renewable generation
    • Future investment in distributed generation and energy storage

Kim Casey, Director, ETT Regulatory & Finance, American Electric Power

2:40 – 3:10 p.m. :: Networking Break

3:10 – 4:00 p.m. :: Compliance Challenges Faced by Generator Operators

This session will review issues facing registered entities and regional entities in today’s risk-based compliance environment. Discussion will focus on early results of risk-based compliance and guidance will be given on how important process involvement shapes the rule-making process. Trends that are occurring with regards to compliance in the ERCOT region will be examined along with some ideas on how to stop those trends.

  • Registered entity involvement in the NERC process
  • Risk-based compliance
  • Registered entity’s incomplete successes

Curtis Crews, Director, Compliance Assessments, Texas RE

4:00 – 4:50 p.m. :: Houston Import Project – How’s it Working Now?

For almost 15 years, a significant amount of generation has been retiring in the Houston area while load in the region has steadily grown. The Houston Import Project was vigorously debated and contested prior to ERCOT approval in 2014. How has the project affected reliability and congestion since energization in April 2018? What about the future? Will more large-scale transmission projects be required, or will new generation coupled with modern grid development meet the demand?

  • What planning criteria was used for justification of the Houston Import Project, and how does it compare to present conditions?
  • What factors were debated during the project approval process and how have things changed?
  • What is the future for grid development with growing load centers and limited generation investment?
  • All things considered, what network architecture is best for grid reliability and resiliency?

Eric Schroeder, Assistant Vice President, Operations, Maintenance & Compliance, Cross Texas Transmission

4:50 p.m.                     End of Day One



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:20 a.m. :: ERCOT Opportunities and Challenges

Opportunity continues as the ERCOT region sees continued load growth – that creates continued market interest, but not without continued challenges and discussion about market design, generation viability and grid reliability. Continued growth of renewables, new interest in distributed generation, tightening reserves, and new connections all make for dynamic times in ERCOT.  Meanwhile internally ERCOT strives to run the business to deliver reliable grid and market operations through well trained staff and well managed, secure, complex, and resilient technology and forward thinking about the needs of a changing grid. Hear how ERCOT is staying up with and managing the challenges.

Cheryl Mele, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, ERCOT

9:20 – 10:10 a.m. :: Considerations for the Energy Storage Market

Battery storage technology takes the form of fast response systems, grid support and balancing, and bulk power. It will impact the Texas energy market by enabling energy companies to save money, grow revenues, increase grid reliability and reduce emissions.

  • New technologies and industries in the footprint
  • Time shifting energy
  • Transforming intermittent production into a dispatchable resource option
  • Deferring the need for fueled resource and back up of renewables

Randa Stephenson, Senior Vice President, Wholesale Markets and Supply, LCRA

10:10 – 10:40 a.m. :: Networking Break

10:40 – 11:20 a.m. :: Reliability Issues due to High Penetration of Renewables (Wind and Solar)

ERCOT grid is rapidly integrating renewables and creates reliability challenges. Higher renewable penetration increases uncertainties, creates control challenges, and exposes new reliability concerns. It also impacted the electricity market and its dynamics. This session will examine both direct and indirect impacts of high renewable penetration and ERCOT’s on-going efforts to address them.

  • Forecast uncertainties in renewable resources, non-renewable resources, and load
  • Reliability risks of increasing uncertainties
  • Ancillary Services to cover risks associated with uncertainties
  • Impacts to inertia, system stability, and disturbance response
  • impacts to electricity market and higher dependencies on gas generator

Alexander Lee, Lead Operations Planning Engineer, ERCOT

11:20 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. :: Making Distributed Generation (DG) Work for Consumers and Utilities

The cost of rooftop solar has declined, making it more affordable for a greater number of customers. From special solar customer rates to optional demand charges, utilities have been trying to find a rate structure that recovers their infrastructure costs from all customers, including distributed generation customers with lower usage than in pre-DG times. This session will focus on ideas for how to ensure utility recovery while also maintaining cost benefits for customers who want to install DG as well as those who have already installed it. Is it possible to balance consumer DG interests with utility interest?

  • Structures proposed by utilities recently
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Do higher DG use provide long-term benefits to all in the form of less infrastructure build-out needed in the future?
  • Ensuring all consumers understand how they incur utility costs – usage versus demand

Tonya Baer, Public Counsel, Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel


Matt Rose, Public Affairs and Government Relations Manager, Lubbock Power and Light

Patrick Reinhart, Assistant Vice President, Texas External Affairs, El Paso Electric Company

Thomas Tynes, Regulatory Counsel, Corporate Development & Policy, Tesla

Danielle Murray, Manager, Solar Energy Services, Austin Energy

12:10 – 1:10 p.m.                    Group Luncheon

1:10 – 2:00 p.m. :: Panel: Perspectives and Impacts of Power Development in Texas

We are living in very dynamic time in the energy sector here in Texas. From aggressive residential and utility-scale solar programs to the development of conventional power projects, from advanced DR programs enabled by smart grid investments to encouraging the development of onsite generation. This panel will explore the energy initiatives being pursued and their potential impacts on ERCOT.

J. Jolly Hayden, Chief Operating Officer, Golden Spread Electric Cooperative
Marka Shaw, Regulatory Manager, Exelon Corporation
Randa Stephenson, Senior Vice President, Wholesale Markets and Supply, LCRA

2:00 – 2:50 p.m. :: Reliability Compliance Overview- Current Events and Initiatives

Ten years after the federal Reliability Standards became effective and after many changes and revisions, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has entered a period of “steady state” reliability compliance. Nonetheless, incremental changes continue to occur and new initiatives are on the horizon. This session will look at on-going NERC compliance initiatives and recent developments.

  • NERC Standards efficiency review
  • Recent developments in critical infrastructure protection
  • Responding to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) directives
  • Guidelines and technical basis, technical rationale and implementation guidance

Andrew Gallo, Director, Reliability Compliance & Records, Austin Energy

2:50 – 3:20 p.m. :: Networking Break

3:20 – 4:10 p.m. :: Proactive Security Measures to Protect the Texas Grid: Threat Hunting for Cyber Risks

Implementing a complex layered security approach with multiple reporting tools alerting on infections and signatures is no longer an acceptable security approach. Everyone likes to use the words “proactive security” but what exactly does that mean? This talk will go over a proactive security approach known as threat hunting, how it varies from current cybersecurity practices, what  it’s going to take to implement, and how threat hunting can improve your cybersecurity landscape.

  • What is Threat Hunting
  • Current Cyber Practices (Reactive) vs Threat Hunting(Proactive)
  • What’s it going to take
    • Analyst functions
    • Network Analysis
    • Host Analysis
  • Is this possible in an ICS Environment?

Brandon Pixley, Director, Threat Intelligence & Security Awareness, CPS Energy

4:10 p.m. :: Conference  Adjourns


Pre-Conference Workshop, July 16, 2018

Post Conference Workshop, July 18, 2018

Pre-Conference Workshop

Distributed Generation and Utility Service Contracts; Value Beyond Energy

Monday, July 16, 2018


This workshop will address how Distributed Energy Resources (DER) can provide more than just kilowatt hours for energy companies. In particular, attention will be paid to the latest developments relating to the Public Utility Commission of Texas Docket No. 48023 “Rulemaking to Address the Use of Non-Traditional Technologies in Electric Delivery Service”. This effort at the PUCT directly follows from earlier efforts that have highlighted both:

  • The Opportunity: certain technologies, like storage, can more cost-effectively maintain the reliability of Transmission/Distribution service
  • The Challenge: Transmission/Distribution service companies are not allowed to own/operate these cost-effective technologies if those assets are used in any way to engage the energy market.

We will evaluate some proposed solutions, including those highlighted in a recent report by the Advanced Energy Economy Institute, “Utility Earnings in a Service Oriented World”, and we will highlight what the value may be for those providing solutions in this new paradigm.


Learning Objectives:

  • Review the regulatory history/framework that shapes the current opportunities/challenges in the market, with emphasis on the present Rulemaking: PUCT Docket No. 48023, Status, Issues, Interested Parties; and how to engage.
  • Examine the market economics that underpin the costs/values at play, including sources of data, and segmentation: energy values, ancillary service values, transmission and distribution values.
  • Plan for potential market changes that are being considered, their pros and cons, and how to engage in the process of relevant Rulemakings and proceedings




Monday, July 16, 2018

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. :: Introduction

8:45 – 10:15 a.m. :: How We Got Here – History and the Issues

This session will provide a quick overview of the relevant regulatory history leading up to and including the current PUC Rulemaking. From the Public Utility Regulatory Act and ERCOT 101, through the Presidio battery to today, participants will explore the structural framework that has led to today’s challenges and opportunities. We will conclude this session with a breakdown of the issues, parties, and positions presently engaged in Docket No. 48023.

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. ::  Morning  Break

10:30 – 11:15 a.m. :: The Bottom Line – Market Economics

In this session, participants will learn how to walk through the numbers. We will look at what market prices are relevant and where to locate public data. Participants will learn how to compare what costs/values exist in different market segments. Participants will also look at cost/price trends and discuss where value might be had, or savings found.

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: What Should We Do – Options and Engagement 

To capstone this workshop, participants will discuss what can/should be done, given the history, the regulatory framework, and the market dynamics. The session will explore the pros and cons of certain market change options that are on the table, and the timeline and opportunities for public engagement in relevant rulemakings and proceedings.

12:30 p.m. :: Pre-Conference Workshop Concludes



Workshop Instructor

Chad Blevins, Managing Director, Grid Economics, LLC

Chad is a Co-Founder and Managing Director at Grid Economics. His clients have included an international real-estate developer integrating energy infrastructure into their investments, an international organization supporting cooperatives and municipalities with economic analysis of energy risk mitigation options, and many of the world’s most successful solar development and grid-edge companies.

Chad served as Chairman for the ERCOT Emerging Technologies working group from 2013-2016, where he was able to author multiple solar-related Nodal Protocol Revision Requests, which he was able to marshal through to passage by the ERCOT Board of Directors.



Post-Conference Workshop

Securing the Grid Live

Wednesday, July 18, 2018



The post-conference workshop will lead attendees through a “Securing the Grid” exercise.  The Securing the Grid (STG) is a tabletop exercise that allows entities the opportunity to enhance their resiliency in Cybersecurity, Physical Security and Emergency Action Plans.  These scenarios enable entities to assess their capabilities in the face of catastrophic events impacting operations and reliability.

STG scenarios may include cyber-attacks such as phishing attempts, physical security threats to facilities, and natural disasters such as tornadoes or flooding.  The Securing the Grid Live will be conducted through a series of scenario injects and include discussions on how responses would be dealt with. Additionally, there will be a follow up forum on the scenario injects and how participating entities responded. 


Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss best practices for intersectional information sharing among other Critical Infrastructure entities
  • Assess best practices implemented in cyber security, physical security, and incident response
  • Review best practices for emergency action plan improvement
  • Discuss common lapses in mutual assistance management



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. :: Introduction

8:45 – 10:15 a.m. :: The Beginning: Exercise Scenarios and Responses

Participants will face a major challenge as they must collaborate with one another to exchange information of a potential adversary threatening their facilities.   Participants will apply that information continually throughout the scenario, illustrating the complexity of the event as well as demonstrate a need for an effective information sharing during crisis. 

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:30 – 11:15 a.m. :: The New Normal: Exercise Scenarios and Responses

Participants will continue through exercise injects as they will respond to challenges that further complicate the event. Additionally, this period will force participants to enlist and manage assistance provided by other organizations, enhancing their response and beginning initial recovery operations.

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: Group Discussion: Review and Follow Up

Participants will discuss injects and their actions. This session is to allow participants to identify gaps in their program and discuss suggested best practices.

12:30 p.m. :: Workshop Concludes



Workshop Instructor

Cory Lasseigne, Physical Security and Emergency Preparedness, Utility Services Inc.

Cory Lasseigne is a Physical Security and Emergency Preparedness Analyst at Utility Services Inc. Cory has more than fifteen years of professional experience in risk mitigation and emergency preparedness.  

In the last seven years, Cory has worked to develop physical security and emergency action plans in the power & utility industry, including both nuclear and non-nuclear power generation. Cory earned a Bachelor of Arts in Disaster Management from Louisiana State University, and he completed the FEMA Emergency Management Basic Academy. 


Tonya Baer, Public Counsel, Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel

Kim Casey, Director, ETT Regulatory & Finance, American Electric Power

Curtis Crews, Director, Compliance Assessments, Texas RE

Andrew Gallo, Director, Reliability Compliance & Records, Austin Energy

J. Jolly Hayden, Chief Operating Officer, Golden Spread Electric Cooperative

Robert Helton, Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, Dynegy Inc.

Alexander Lee, Lead Operations Planning Engineer, ERCOT

Cheryl Mele, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, ERCOT

Brandon Pixley, Director, Threat Intelligence & Security Awareness, CPS Energy

Patrick Reinhart, Assistant Vice President, Texas External Affairs, El Paso Electric Company

Matt Rose, Public Affairs and Government Relations Manager, Lubbock Power and Light

Eric Schroeder, Assistant Vice President, Operations, Maintenance & Compliance, Cross Texas Transmission

Marka Shaw, Regulatory Manager, Exelon Corporation

Randa Stephenson, Senior Vice President, Wholesale Markets and Supply, LCRA

Thomas Tynes, Regulatory Counsel, Corporate Development & Policy, Tesla


Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk Downtown
125 E. Houston Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

To reserve your room, please call 1-210-226-9000
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

Room Rate:

The room rate is $179.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of July 15-17, 2018.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to June 22, 2018. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


Event Standard RateAttendees
Proceedings package US $ 395.00

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