WELCOME & REMARKS 9:00-9:30 AM
Lieutenant Governor Zuckerman & Olivia Campbell Andersen, Executive Director, Renewable Energy Vermont
THURSDAY OPENING PLENARY SESSION 9:30-10:15 AM
Achieving Our Climate Commitments:
The Role of Carbon Pricing
Speakers: Marie-Claude Francouer, Quebec Delegate to New England; Mackay Miller, National Grid
Moderator: Dan Sosland, Acadia Center
Description: In order to achieve our shared climate mitigation and total renewable energy commitments, we must accelerate progress and equitably incorporate solutions in all sectors of our community and economy. Regionally, total decarbonization of energy sources remains a common challenge.
Many jurisdictions see putting a price on carbon pollution as a necessary solution. Carbon pricing has taken many forms in North America. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) focuses on electricity emissions from Maine to Virginia. Québec and California developed an economy-wide carbon market – the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) – investing 100% of the proceeds into greenhouse gas pollution reduction. In British Columbia and Alberta, a carbon pollution tax is in place. Panelists explore the development of RGGI, WCI, and carbon pollution taxes; current experiences under these carbon pricing models; and look ahead to expanding market-based choices in New England with a focus on growing and diversifying economic opportunities for all.
THURSDAY MORNING SESSIONS
GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY & CLIMATE COMMITMENTS
Speaker: Ben Downing, NextAmp; Jared Duval, Energy Action Network
Moderator: Tony Klein, former Vermont House of Representatives
Description: Attend this session to learn which and how states are making progress on climate pollution reduction and the key technology drivers necessary to get back on track. Energy Action Network will share a comprehensive overview of where Vermont stands relative to its near term interrelated goals of 25% total renewable energy and the Paris Climate Agreement (28% greenhouse gas reductions below 2005 levels. A former state legislative committee chairman will share lessons learned over the last 10 years since Massachusetts adopted its Global Warming Solutions Act which required state regulation of climate pollution.
SOCIAL MARKETING: WHAT MATTERS TODAY TO GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT
Speakers: Bob Farnham; Kate Paine, Standing Out Online;
Moderator: Shay Totten, Rights & Democracy
Description: You’ve secured a story in the local paper or sent out a press release about your renewable project or initiative’s economic benefits, job done, right? Wrong. Success in today’s saturated, omni-channel media landscape requires connecting with customers wherever they are. From search to the feeds, effectively getting your story or services in front of the right people is critical, whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, websites, or other online connections. Experts share strategies and tips to full engage with customers to get the job truly done.
TOTAL RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANNING: REGIONS & TOWNS AHEAD
Speakers: Catherine Bryars, Bennington Regional Planning Commission; Duncan McDougall, Waterbury LEAP; Taylor Newton, Northwest Regional Planning Commission; Emily Nosse-Leirer, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
Moderator: Gabrielle Stebbins, Energy Futures Group
Description: Energy project siting controversies coupled with lack of progress on renewable thermal and transportation transitions and climate commitments are driving new regional and town comprehensive energy planning. Vermont’s Act 174 of 2016 established a new set of municipal and regional energy planning standards, which if met allow those plans to carry “substantial deference” in the Public Utility Commission proceedings. Panelists highlight the latest Vermont local government energy plans, assess the opportunity for towns to adopt net zero building energy codes, and discuss effective strategies to help communities achieve total renewable energy.
TAXES AND FINANCE TOOLS UPDATE: RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT IMPLICATIONS
Speakers: Chaz Blackmore, CPA, Bilodeau Wells & Co, PC.; Raymond Faust, Great Bay Renewables; Dave Gurtman, Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C.
Moderator: Jo Bradley, Vermont Economic Development Authority
Description: Experts share renewable energy project financing pathways and new tools as well as the latest updates on federal and state tax credits following recently enacted tax legislation including the Federal Investment Tax Credit, Federal Residential Energy Tax Credit, Vermont Tax Credit, MACRS (depreciation), and more. A new royalty investment tool that enhances equity returns will be unveiled. Attend this session to learn how to maximize cash flow and avoid potential pitfalls for landowners, investors, and lenders.
THURSDAY PLENARY SESSION 12:00-12:40 PM
Remarks: Congressman Peter Welch
Speakers: President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe, Vermont State Senate;
President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco, Massachusetts State Senate
Moderator: Adam Necrason, Necrason Group
Awards Presentation: 2018 Renewable Energy Vermont Legislative Champion
THURSDAY KEYNOTE ADDRESS 12:40-1:15 PM
Gordon van Welie, ISO New England
Tom Dunn, VELCO
THURSDAY AFTERNOON SESSIONS
ENERGY STORAGE: LESSONS LEARNED & OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD
Speakers: Marc Montalvo, Daymark Energy Advisors; Chip Palombini, Dynapower; Christopher Rauscher, Sunrun
Moderator: Carrie Gilbert, Daymark Energy Advisors
Description: Battery storage allows maximization of renewable energy generation values, enables customer electricity resilience, greater grid reliability and efficiency, and helps grid operators balance evolving load curves and lower operating costs. Panelists will explore new technologies, policy solutions, and market trends for residential and utility battery energy storage and how these developments may grow new renewable energy markets. Join the discussion on how receptive organized markets are to capture the full value of renewables, particularly grid-connected solar by adding energy storage.
CHARGING AHEAD: ZEV POLICIES THAT WORK
Speakers: Matthew Ireland, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; Sarah McKearnan, NESCAUM; Emilie Wier, Greenlots;
Moderator: Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, Vermont House of Representatives
Description: The market for electric vehicles is developing rapidly, but not at rates needed to mitigate climate change. As a result, policy interventions at the state level are necessary to overcome critical economic and transformation roadblocks - such as vehicle cost, range anxiety, and a lack of adequate public charging infrastructure. Panelists will discuss the most promising local, state, and federal policy choices to facilitate transportation electrification; how these policies can best be secured; and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead.
MODERNIZING WITH TRANSACTIVE ENERGY
Speakers: Daniel Crisp, Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC; A.J. Goulding, London Economics International; Scott Kessler, LO3 Energy
Moderator: Stan Faryniarz, Daymark Energy Advisors
Description: Growing distributed energy resources and shifts of consumers to prosumers fundamentally change the nature of the power grid and how the energy sector is organized. Traditional utility regulatory frameworks prevent neighbors from sharing or selling electricity with each other, and local businesses from choosing the electricity mix that suits their needs. Transactive energy describes new strategies, often market-based constructs, to manage electricity generation, consumption, and flow between customers on the grid. Panelists share and explore projects and regulatory frameworks that use various technologies — including blockchain — to enable new applications and trading systems across a distributed energy landscape. Join the conversation on ways to create a modern, efficient, and vibrant energy platform.
HEATING IT UP: AUTOMATED AND ADVANCED WOOD PROJECTS
Speakers: Jeff Forward, Facilities Coordinator at Chittenden East Supervisory Union; Alison Friedkin, Downstreet Housing; Marion Major, Windham Regional Commission
Moderator: Emma Hanson, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation
Description: For some ditching fossil fuels and switching to renewable heating is a morale imperative, but for many homeowners, businesses, and institutions it also has to make financial sense. Hear from facility managers and program directors that chose to heat locally, cleaner, and more conveniently with advanced and automated wood boilers. Panelists will share why their organizations embraced advanced wood heating, how those projects have impacted their bottom line, and are helping reach our climate commitments.
BREAK: BEN & JERRY’S ICE CREAM SOCIAL 2:30-3:00
READY FOR 100%: RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY PORTFOLIO STANDARDS
Speakers: Lorraine Akiba, former Hawaii Public Utility Commission; Kim Hayden, Paul Frank + Collins; Rob Sargent, Environment America
Moderator: Senator Christopher Bray
Description: States and cities are taking meaningful action to realize healthier, vibrant, and more equitable communities powered with 100% clean energy through renewable portfolio standard (RPS) laws and electricity procurement commitments. Learn how Hawaii, the most fossil fuel dependent state in the nation is transforming power in paradise through its 100% renewable portfolio standard enacted in 2015. Speakers detail the benefits of RPS, compare Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard to other states’ laws, and explore the integrity of these state policies and ideas for improvement.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: SECURING LOCAL SUPPORT FOR PROJECTS & INITIATIVES
Speakers: Jon Copans, Vermont Rural Development Council; Alex MacLean, Leonine Public Affairs; Dori Wolfe, Wolfe Energy
Moderator: Josh Bagnato, Transmission Developers Inc.
Description: Support from community leaders, local officials, and project neighbors increasingly proves to be a lynch pin of a project or initiative’s success. Join a conversation with successful practitioners from the trenches on best practices and approaches to secure support for your efforts.
TRANSIT ELECTRIFICATION: POTENTIALS TO BENEFIT RIDERS & THE GRID
Speakers: Michelle McCutcheon-Schour, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation; Jeff Monder, Green Mountain Power; Steven O’Neil, Proterra
Moderator: Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Description: Electric buses benefit transit agencies and the communities they serve with zero tailpipe emissions, operational reliability, quiet engines, and reduced fuel costs. As more transit providers electrify across the country, opportunities to operate vehicles in ways that benefit the grid and integrate renewables and storage are emerging. Details and lessons learned from Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority’s innovative total electric bus fleet transition, supported by a solar-storage microgrid will be shared. Learn how utilities, electric bus manufacturers, and transit operators are approaching this opportunity.
NEXT GENERATION ENERGY: STUDENTS’ FRESH IDEAS
Student Speakers: Rachel Bowanko, Grace Olsen, Alec Pressly
Moderator: Steve Letendre, Green Mountain College
Hear from some of the top energy students in Vermont about their research on pressing policy, project, and technical issues, and their fresh ideas for addressing energy and climate change challenges.
CLOSING REMARKS & AWARDS 4:15-5:00 PM
Olivia Campbell Andersen, Renewable Energy Vermont & Jeff Forward, Renewable Energy Vermont Board Chairman
WELCOME & GOVERNOR’S ADDRESS 8:00-8:30 AM
Vermont Governor Phil Scott
KEYNOTE REMARKS WITH Q&A 8:30-9:15 AM
Katherine Hamilton, 38 North Solutions
FRIDAY MORNING SESSIONS
NO ONE LEFT BEHIND: EQUITY IN INNOVATION
Speakers: Jennifer Green, Burlington Electric Department; Harlan Lachman, Energy Efficiency institute
Moderator: Olivia Campbell Andersen, Renewable Energy Vermont
Description: Low and moderate income households lack access to renewable energy technologies due to a variety of barriers, including up-front capital costs, tax policies, access to credit, relationships between landlords and tenants, outreach and awareness, and other challenges. Attend this session to learn more about the new Vermont Energy Access Coalition formed by Renewable Energy Vermont’s Education Fund to collaboratively identify and implement solutions to these barriers. Created in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, a new guidebook and checklist on equitable clean energy initiative and program design will be unveiled. Panelists will also share case studies featuring innovative LMI programs from around the country. Join the conversation on how our transition to total renewable energy can be more inclusive, equitable and just.
DRIVING CHANGE & DRIVING ELECTRIC
Speakers: Travis Allen, Flo; Laurie Fielder, VSECU
Moderator: Darren Springer, Burlington Electric Department
Description: While electric vehicles represent the fastest emerging market in our region; dealers, manufacturers, and advocates agree that EVs can be more challenging to sell given drivers’ lifelong familiarity with internal combustion cars. Panelists will share their experiences with early electric vehicle consumers to generate insights about how to accelerate electric vehicle sales.
RELIABLE RENEWABLE HEATING SOLUTIONS
Speakers: Mark Froling, Froling Energy; Jake Marin, Efficiency Vermont;
Gretchen Schimelpfenig, Burlington Electric Deparment
Moderator: John Quinney, formerly Energy Co-op of Vermont
Description: Facility planners, installers, and program directors experienced with advanced wood heat boilers, geothermal systems, cold climate heat pumps, and air to water heat pumps will share performance data and case studies highlighting how these reliable systems work to achieving cost savings for homes and businesses while also reducing carbon pollution. Compare a variety of renewable heating options considering life cycle energy costs, economic impact, and environmental benefits.
INTERCONNECTIONS: SMART INVERTERS & STANDARDS UPDATES
Speakers: Chris Root, VELCO
Moderator: Rip Kirby, Vermont Department of Public Service
Description: IEEE 1547, the grid interconnection standard governing inverters and certain other equipment, recently received its most significant update in years. Attend this session to learn about technology and interconnection policy updates; how they will affect new renewable energy and storage projects, and grid management; and how to unlock the capabilities of smart inverters.
BREAKING BARRIERS & EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES: SOLAR FOR ALL
Speakers: David Hill, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation; Alex “Sash” Lewis, Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand; Christa Shute, Vermont Law School
Moderator: Ann Cummings, Vermont State Senate
Description: Effectively enabling low and moderate income households to access and benefit from solar requires skills, policies, and partnerships tailored to the unique barriers they face. The session highlights programmatic and sustainable and scalable business model approaches for providing low and moderate income households with economic benefits from solar. Panelists presentations feature proven policy solutions to unlock low-income access, a mission-critical component to achieving total renewable energy and climate commitments, and our long-term success.
HYDROPOWER: AGGREGATING TO ENABLE NEW RENEWABLE GENERATION
Speakers: Nizar Yousef, Brookfield Renewables
Moderator: Matthew Rubin, Vermont Independent Power Producers Association
Description: New England and Eastern Canada hold abundant wind electricity generation potential. Bundling intermittent renewable generation with hydropower, another abundant resource in the region, increases the viability of new renewable generation projects. Panelists will discuss explore how combining wind, hydropower, and solar generation maximizes transmission line utilization, lowers the delivered cost of energy, and benefits grid reliability. Presenters share their insights on the benefits of existing hydropower generation and recent bundled product proposals for clean energy procurement in New England.
ENERGY TRANSFORMATION OPPORTUNITIES: VERMONT’S RES TIER III
Speakers: Richard Feasy, Energy Futures Group; Tom Lyle, Burlington Electric Department; Ed McNamara, Vermont Department of Public Service
Moderator: Sandra Levine, Conservation Law Foundation
Description: Enacted in 2015, “Tier III”, the energy transformation section of Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard compels electric utilities to reduce their customers’ fossil fuel consumption. Attend this session for an overview one of Vermont’s best kept climate strategy secrets, its projected impacts for the future, and how it can help communities and businesses meet their renewable energy needs. Panelists will highlight some of the programs and projects currently offered by utilities followed by a discussion on how we can realize Tier III’s full potential.
THE NEGA-MILE: REDUCING ENERGY USE IN TRANSPORTATION
Speakers: Julie Campoli, Urban Designer & Author; Debra Sachs, Net Zero Vermont;
Allegra Williams, Local Motion
Moderator: Richard Watts, University of Vermont
Description: Applying lessons from energy efficiency to the transportation sector, panelists share their research, successful experiences, and efforts to reduce single occupancy vehicle travel. Academic researchers, planners, and advocates will discuss the impact of and potential for design, infrastructure, policy, community engagement, and education to reduce reliance on motorized vehicles and fossil fuels. Join the conversation to share your vision of a more sustainable transportation system that provides convenient, reliable, and affordable mobility options.
FRIDAY CLOSING PLENARY SESSION 11:40-12:30 PM
Conversation with the Commissioners
Speakers: Lorraine H. Akiba, Hawaii Public Utility Commissioner; Abigail Anthony, Rhode Island Public Utility Commissioner; Margaret Cheney, Vermont Public Utilities Commissioner
Moderator: Kerrick Johnson, Utopus Insights
Description: State Public Utility Commissioners share their views on the opportunities and challenges presented by the rapidly transforming energy sector.
POWER CIRCUIT: WOMEN IN ENERGY NETWORKING LUNCHEON 12:30-2:30 PM
Ticketed Event - Register Online
Speakers: Olivia Campbell Andersen, REV; Marie-Claude Francouer, Quebec Delegate to New England; Heather Hunt, New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE); Anne Galloway, VTDigger
Description: Come for lunch; leave inspired, connected, and empowered.
Gentlemen supporting growing workforce diversity and increasing leadership opportunities for women in the energy sector also welcome to attend.
OSHA PV INSTALLATION SAFETY TRAINING 2:00-5:00 PM
Ticketed Event - Register Online
Sponsor: Solar Energy International
Description: Participants in this Solar Energy International class will learn about PV installation safety and receive 3 NABCEP credits. Solar workers must know how to eliminate or control potential job site hazards through safe working practices, engineering controls, and proper PPE. Pressure to install projects quickly and minimize costs can not only lead to job site injuries, but also costly safety violations. In this course we discuss OSHA requirements and best practices for ladder and lift safety, fall protection, PV mounting safety, and solar electric safety, exploring methods and equipment to work both safely and efficiently on the job site. This 3-hour course is adapted from a 12-hour solar installation safety course developed by SEI.