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US/Canada Cross Border Power Summit

Event Description and Agenda:

The United States and Canada share the largest and most robust bilateral trading relationship in the world, with Canada being the single largest non-domestic supplier of energy to the U.S. With more than 50 grid connections that cross the Canada-U.S. border — and a desire from both sides to build more infrastructure — the future of energy trade looks bright. Strengthening international energy trade between the two countries has the potential to advance efficiency, flexibility, and reliability in the U.S. side of the electric grid. Furthermore, Canada's vast hydropower resources serve as a potential solution to a changing supply mix and demand-side preferences as fossil fuel power plants shut down across the northern U.S., and state legislation calls for increased renewable integration.

The interest in expanding this trade spans both sides of the entire U.S-Canada border, with particular focus in New England, a region that has proposed several new international transmission lines. Experts predict Canadian hydropower will be an essential resource to deal with the generation loss of New England's closing fossil-fuel and nuclear power-plants. Also, all New England states have renewable portfolio standards (or a non-binding goal in Vermont), requiring that a certain percentage of their electricity comes from renewable sources. However, actually facilitating increased energy transactions on the U.S.-Canada border is a complex process that requires intricate planning and multi-party cooperation to navigate regulatory, technical, and financing issues. Furthermore, not all of New England is convinced that increased Canadian energy imports are a good thing, raising concerns about potentially negative effects to the local economy and environment, or advocating the use of domestic natural gas instead.

Thus, proper planning, due diligence and goodwill are necessary to develop successful transactions to prepare for the cross-border power supply future. This program will feature expert insights into the future market opportunities involved with expanding Canada-U.S. energy trade. Practitioners and specialists will address important issues in power system reliability, economics and commerce, engineering, and public relations to improve strategies and discuss infrastructure development that will be instrumental to North America's future energy supply mix.

 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

7:30 - 8:00 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 - 8:15 a.m. :: Overview and Welcome

8:15 - 9:15 a.m. :: Canadian Initiatives and Energy Trade Projections

As cross-border economic initiatives continue to develop between the U.S. and Canada, it is important for U.S. power interests to understand the development proposals, plans, and intentions on the Canadian side. This presentation will analyze Canadian economic projections and identify their initiatives to expand cross-border energy, both renewable and fossil-based. It will also give an overview of proposed transmission projects Canada currently supports, and provide a discussion on how Canada plans to navigate the political opposition to some of these projects. In addition, it will address ways the U.S. and Canada can benefit from transactions with each other.

Aaron Annable, Acting Consul General, Office of Consulate General of Canada to New England

9:15 - 10:15 a.m. :: Future Market Opportunities in Canada and the U.S.

This presentation will showcase findings done in a just-released, high level study of investment and export opportunities for new renewable generation in Canada across all provinces. It will explore the scope of potential for increased trade between Canada and the U.S. at the macro level, identify billion dollar opportunities in wind and hydropower, highlight barriers that developers are currently working against and how they're addressing those barriers.

Toby Heaps, CEO and Founder, Corporate Knights

Julia Frayer, Partner, London Economics

Randell Johnson, Regional Director, Energy Exemplar

10:15 - 10:30 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. :: New England's Future Power Supply Mix: The Role of Hydro, Natural Gas, and Local Generation in Supplying a Reliable and Cost-Effective Load

The electric grid of New England is at a crossroads: decision-makers and the power industry are confronting the fundamental questions of what the region's future supply mix will look like. Natural gas and renewable energy resources are expediting the retirement process of older, economically-challenged fossil-fuel units. This rapid transformation of the region's generating fleet raises a number of reliability and economic issues, including whether New England should expand local generating capacity or increase energy imports. This session - given the forecasts of supply and demand over the next ten years for New England - will explore what the ‘best path' is to a reliable, flexible, and cost-effective power supply for New England, by speaking to the questions:

  • Is there an optimal mix of fuels to power the region and meet the generation loss of retiring power-plants?
  • What are the relative roles of:
    • Hydropower imports?
    • Natural gas?
    • Local vs. imported generation?
    • Solar and wind?
  • How will increasing energy imports affect:
    • Market competitiveness and local economics?
    • Reliability?
    • Costs?
  • What is the relationship between renewables and conventional resources needed to ensure grid:
    • Reliability?
    • Flexibility?

Moderated by:

Malcolm McLellan, Partner, Van Ness Feldman

Panelists:

Heather Hunt, Executive Director, New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE)

Dan Dolan, President, New England Power Generators Association (NEPGA)

Paul Hibbard, Vice President, Analysis Group

Aleksandar Mitreski, Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs-East, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group

Carolyn O'Connor, Director - External Affairs and Communications, Hydro Quebec (invited)

12:30 - 1:30 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:30 - 3:15 p.m. :: Canadian and New England Access to American Shale Gas

Increasing transmission capacity to access natural gas is a relevant issue for New England and certain regions of Canada. Currently, pipeline capacity is constrained into New England; consequently, access to cheap natural gas from the Marcellus resources is foreclosed to a large extent. Relieving these constraints holds out the promise of reducing substantially, energy costs in New England and making gas supplies available into Canada's Maritime Provinces. There are varying proposals to increase cross-border natural gas transactions between the U.S. and Canada, which would involve bringing natural gas out of western Canada on either existing or new transmission or accessing Marcellus gas via connections into pipelines in Canada for delivery through eastern Canada into New England. Each option poses a variety of issues, and depending how the system would work out, there is potential to reverse the traditional cross-border flow, allowing for American exports to Canada. This session will explore infrastructure needs and opportunities for Canadian and New England access to shale gas, the relative role of natural gas in their power supply future, and the potential for American natural gas exports into Canada. It will also address the rising regional demand and associated issues for natural gas in New England and Atlantic Canada.

Moderator:

Stephen Leahy, Vice President, Northeast Gas Association

Panelists:

Cynthia Armstrong, Director - Marketing and Business Development, PNGTS Operating Co.

Anthony Buxton, Partner, Preti Flaherty

Greg Crisp, General Manager-Business Development, Spectra Energy

Curtis Cole, Director-Business Development, Kinder Morgan

Joseph Dalton, Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs, GDF SUEZ Energy North America, Inc.

3:15 - 3:30p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:30 - 4:15 p.m. :: Legislative and Regulatory Issues of Delivering Canadian Hydropower into New England

Several New England states have recently proposed legislation that would facilitate the delivery of Canadian hydropower into New England. This presentation will primarily examine the motivations of proponents, the methods proposed to accomplish that result and the objections that have been raised by opponents. There will be discussion of the impact such legislation might have on renewable and conventional energy markets. There will also be discussion of the various state and federal regulatory approvals needed to construct transmission lines that cross the U.S./Canadian border.

David O'Connor, Senior Vice President, ML Strategies

4:15 - 5:30 p.m. :: What's going on in the Rest of the Country? Cross-Border and Inter-State Energy Trading in New York, the Midwest, and Western Interconnect

New England isn't the only region dealing with a transforming supply-mix and robust cross-border energy trade. In this discussion, three experts will discuss their experience with region-specific trends and development opportunities in New York, the Midwest, and Western Interconnect. An overview of New York ISO's (NYISO)cross-border and inter-state energy trading, Manitoba-Hydro's Mid-Continent ISO's (MISO) transactions and future development plans with Minnesota and North Dakota, and a renewable energy developer's account of the opening western market and California energy imbalance markets will be presented.

Mike DeSocio, Manager - Energy Market Design, NYISO

Laura Beane, Director - Regional Market Structure & Policy, Iberdrola Renewables

Daryl Maxwell, Manager - Major Exports Contracts Department, Manitoba Hydro

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. :: Networking Reception

Thursday, April 9, 2015

7:30 - 8:00 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:00 - 9:30 a.m. :: Renewable Energy Credits and Harmonizing Renewable Trading Approaches

All New England states have renewable portfolio standards (RPS) - or in Vermont, a non-binding goal— requiring that a certain percentage of delivered electricity come from renewable sources. These standards, however, are not without opposition at the political level because of the cost shifting that these standards precipitate. Correspondingly, to provide a measurable and verifiable metric for RPS compliance, states have developed policies to enable tradable renewable energy credits (REC) that represent the environmental and other non-power attributes of renewable electricity generation. In the last few years, these RECs have done their intended job to support clean energy, and accommodate a market for REC sales and purchases as well as consumer demand for green power. Cross-border energy transactions have added a new level of complexity to the REC market, as qualifications and incentives vary state by state. This session will provide an informative presentation of the current state of renewable qualification of Canadian imports in the New England markets, future legislative and regulatory markets, and the current market costs and import requirements. It will then provide a discussion on how to improve renewable trading approaches and efficiency, exploring:

  • The potential to ‘harmonize' approaches to cross-border renewable trading
  • Methods to improve accounting and qualification of energy sources into different markets
  • Methods to increase trading-efficiency and ease of transactions
  • Potential negative implications of renewable harmonization

Moderated by:

Jason Chee-Aloy, Managing Director, Power Advisory LLC

Panelists:

Christie Bradway, Manager - Renewable Power, Eversource Energy

Ken Nelson, President, Blue Delta Energy LLC

Teddi L. Ezzo, Utilities Examiner, Bureau of Energy Technology, State of CT/DEEP

9:30 - 10:15 a.m. :: US-Canada Grid System Interconnection: Issues and Future Development

This presentation will give an overview of New England's current and historical grid-interconnections with Canada. It will highlight prevalent interconnection and transmission capacity issues and problems HDVC interconnections face over time. It will also discuss needs and opportunities for future transmission development between U.S. and Canada in the Northeast, and cover relevant policy drivers.

Richard Kowalski, Director-Transmission Strategy & Services, ISO New England

10:15 - 10:30 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. :: Transmission: Finance, Siting, and Successful Development

Assuming that cross-border energy flows increase across the U.S-Canada border as predicted, new transmission development will be necessary to deliver the expanding energy flows. This session will explore issues related to the future development of transmission, looking at the areas:

  • Transmission financing and investment -- Revisiting FERC Order 1000
    • Financing structures
    • Who should pay?
  • What "best practices" should transmission project developers follow to assure that they:
    • Work cooperatively with stakeholders in the region
    • Create offsets for environmental impacts
    • Assure emission reductions
    • Maintain a level playing field with other competitive supply options
  • Discuss some of the unique challenges with siting proposed transmission lines involving the two countries
  • Weigh the impacts of reliability on the power system of imported power

Moderator:

Peter W. Brown, Of Counsel, Preti Flaherty

Panelists:

Paul Hibbard, Vice President, Analysis Group

Daniel Belin, Director-Electric Transmission, Ecology & Environment, Inc.

Stephen Conant, Senior Vice President, Anbaric Transmission & President, Green Line Devco, LLC

Christophe Courchesne, Senior Staff Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation

Carolyn O'Connor, Director - External Affairs and Communications, Hydro Quebec (invited)

12:15 - 1:15 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:15 - 2:15 p.m. :: Long-term Contracting vs. Innovative Transmission Funding for Cross-Border Clean Energy Trade

Traditionally, power purchase agreements (PPAs) have been a key component of project finance. This session will discuss the economical need for long-term PPAs as a precedent to facilitating increased transmission development and cross-border trade. Consideration will also be given to a recently developed program — Transmission with Clean Energy Delivery Commitment Model — which has been proposed as an alternative to a traditional PPA as a means of procuring clean energy generation. Under this model, a transmission developer would team with a supplier of clean energy to build a transmission project for which cost recovery from load in participating states would be dependent on, and in proportion to, the fulfillment of a "clean energy delivery commitment" tied to a supplier's resource.

Tim Brennan, Director - Wholesale Markets, National Grid

Raymond Coxe, Independent Utility Consultant

2:15 - 3:15 p.m. :: Wind Opportunities from Increased Transmission Capacity

Despite its huge potential for wind generation, New England lags behind the rest of the country in the development of wind power and other renewable resources. To increase wind capacity, transmission development is essential to connect remote northern wind resources throughout the region with the southern load centers. This presentation will discuss specific transmission constraints confronting development in the region and the infrastructure needed to ‘unlock' New England's wind resources. It will also analyze the pending state of legislation that would enable the New England states to cooperate on the procurement of renewable energy and hydro power imports, and the status of state cooperation in achieving their goals and ability to bring these resources to major load centers.

Abigail Krich, President, Boreas Renewables LLC and RENEW Consultant

Eric Thumma, Director - Institutional Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.

Randell Johnson, Regional Director, Energy Exemplar

3:15 - 3:30p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:30 - 5:30 p.m. :: Transmission Case Studies

There are transmission proposals in varying stages of development that would connect the northeastern U.S. and Canada. This session will showcase case studies of transmission proposals, and explore the elements that will determine if any, some, or all, of these projects will be actualized, considering the issues of power-supply reliability, investment competition, and public opinion.

  • New England Clean Power Line: a proposed 1,000 MW high voltage HVDC underwater and underground transmission cable that would bring clean, low-cost energy from the U.S.-Canadian border to Vermont and the New England marketplace

    Donald Jessome, CEO, Transmission Developers Inc.

  • Northern Pass: a transmission infrastructure project that would bring 1200 MW of clean, low-cost energy from Hydro-Quebec to New Hampshire and New England

    Robert Clarke, Director- Transmission Business Operations, Eversource Energy

  • Maine Green Line: a 1000 MW HVDC system linking Maine and eastern Massachusetts via a submarine cable across the Gulf of Maine. This proposed line will make Maine wind resources accessible to New England loads and provide a path south for eastern Canadian hydroelectric power. One of two projects in New England proposed by Anbaric and National Grid's Green Line Infrastructure Alliance.

    Stephen Conant, Senior Vice President, Anbaric Transmission & President, Green Line Devco, LLC

5:30 p.m. :: Conference Adjourns

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