Law Seminars International Presents: The 12th Annual National Conference on Current Issues in

Electric Utility Ratemaking
New strategies for new business models and cost recovery options

March 14 & 15, 2016
Embassy Suites by Hilton Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV

Who Should Attend

Attorneys, utility executives, rate department professionals, industrial and customer representatives, consumer advocates, and government officials involved in the ratemaking process

Why You Should Attend

The ratemaking environment for regulated gas and electric companies is challenging for regulators, utilities, customer groups, and those who represent them.f. Changes to the generating mix caused by environmental concerns, the increased use of renewables, developments with storage, the increasing desire for customer choice, and the evolving power markets are creating new and more complex ratemaking issues. How are regulators, regulated utilities, their customers, and environmental and other public interest advocates dealing with these challenges?

This is the 12th year we have gathered to examine and discuss the current issues which drive the increasingly complex rate filings generated by these challenges. We have once again assembled a

distinguished faculty comprised of lawyers, industry experts, and government officials designed to help the energy professional understand how these issues are affecting cost recovery, rate setting, and the rate case process. The Commissioners panel will provide a fresh look at the challenges from the perspective of regulators.

The exchanges of ideas are always lively and educational; we expect this year will be no different. Join us as we explore the modern and ever changing utility rate case.

What You Will Learn

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs


Monday, March 14, 2016

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Kirk H. Gibson, Esq., Program Co-Chair
McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC / Portland, OR

Frederick J. Schmidt, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Holland & Hart LLP / Carson City, NV

8:45 am

Update on Recent FERC Developments with an Impact on State Ratemaking

Issues at the intersection of federal and state authority in the West: Regulation of energy imbalance markets, implementation of Order 1000, and transmission cost recovery

Marc Spitzer, Esq.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP / Washington, DC

9:15 am

Changes in the Generating Mix

The changing economics of coal vs. natural gas vs. renewables: Will there be a transition regardless of what happens to the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan and EPA's Section 111(d) Air Quality rules?

Christopher J. Russo, Vice President
CRA International Inc / Boston, MA

10:00 am


10:15 am

Ratemaking Issues Arising from the Clean Power Plan and EPA's Section 111(d) Air Quality Rules

Environmental perspective on a path towards effective, least-cost compliance

Carl B. Linvill, Ph.D., Principal
Regulatory Assistance Project / Sacramento, CA

Utility perspectives on cost recovery during the transition away from coal as a generating resource

Michelle Brandt King, Esq.
Holland & Hart LLP / Denver, CO

Cathy S. Woollums, Esq., Sr. VP & Chief Environmental Counsel
Berkshire Hathaway Energy / Davenport, IA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Cost Advantages of Participation in Energy Imbalance Markets and Expansion of the California ISO: Are we Heading Towards an RTO for the West?

Results of PacifiCorp's imbalance market involvement and the anticipated impact of other utilities like Puget Sound Energy joining

Sarah E. Edmonds, Esq., Director of Transmission Regulation and Services
PacifiCorp Transmission / Portland, OR

Likely impact on transmission planning and development; the question of who would run an RTO platform

John C. Anders, Ph.D., Lead Counsel
California Independent System Operator / Folsom, CA

Regulatory concerns about the level and distribution of benefits to customers

The Hon. Susan Ackerman, Esq., Chair
Oregon Public Utility Commission / Salem, OR

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Rate Design Issues Arising from Customer Self-Generation: What are the Options and Optimal Solutions?

Overview of economic policy options: Concepts such as treating the customer as a generator and paying avoided cost; high fixed demand charges, and other approaches from the early-adopter states for self generation

Kurt Strunk
NERA Economic Consulting / New York, NY

Amparo Nieto, Vice President (inv)
NERA Economic Consulting / Los Angeles, CA

Update on California's recent legislation to facilitate self-generation as a way to meet its renewables goals; how the increasingly sophisticated players emerging in the industry are viewing ratemaking models and participation in ratemaking proceedings

Walker Wright, Director of Public Policy
Sunrun, Inc. / San Francisco, CA

Distribution utility perspective

Thomas A. Loquvam, Esq., Associate General Counsel
Arizona Public Service Company / Phoenix, AZ

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Holland & Hart LLP and McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

8:30 am

Introduction to Day 2

Kirk H. Gibson, Esq., Program Co-Chair
McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC / Portland, OR

Frederick J. Schmidt, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Holland & Hart LLP / Carson City, NV

8:45 am

Cost Recovery for Payments to Qualifying Facility (QF) Generators Under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA)

Current issues for generators to qualify for payment under PURPA and calculation of avoided costs

Greg Patterson, CPA, Director
Arizona Competitive Power Alliance / Phoenix, AZ

Jeffrey S. Lovinger, Esq.
Lovinger Kaufmann LLP / Portland, OR

10:00 am


10:15 am

Customer Choice and Direct Delivery: Competitive Options for Commercial Customers

A view from the customer side for what is driving demand for competitive options (particularly when it comes to clean power), the opportunities for independent generators, and the challenges utilities face in responding to that demand

Robert D. Kahn, Ed. D., Executive Director
NW & Intermountain Pwr Prdcrs Coalition / Mercer Island, WA

Economic perspective on the ratemaking issues: How higher load factor customers subsidize others and why large commercial customers are increasingly intervening in rate proceedings

J. Stephen Gaske, Ph.D., Senior Vice President
Concentric Energy Advisors Inc / Washington, DC

Ratemaking issues from the distributed generator's perspective

Jason B. Keyes, Esq.
Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP / Oakland, CA

Ratemaking issues from the large customer's perspective

Vicki M. Baldwin, Esq.
Parsons Behle & Latimer / Salt Lake City, UT

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Battery Storage for Loads that cannot be Moved Off Peak

Evolving residential and commercial battery storage technologies and business models: Is it the Holy Grail for customers moving off the grid? Is there a batteries-as-a-service model that is viable for utilities?

Bill Di Capo, Esq.
Di Capo Legal Advisors / Sacramento, CA

2:15 pm

Wrap Up: Special State Commissioners Panel

How the fresh faces coming onto commissions view the issues of most concern

Frederick J. Schmidt, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Holland & Hart LLP / Carson City, NV

The Hon. Paul Kjellander, Commission President
Public Utilities Commission / Boise, ID

The Hon. Paul A. Thomsen, Esq., Chairman
Nevada Public Utilities Commission / Carson City, NV

3:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn


Time Shift Your Content

Order Homestudy


Regular tuition for in person or webcast attendance for this program is $1245 with a group rate of $935 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $830. For students, people in their job for less than a year, and public interest NGO's, our rate is $622.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.

Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Contact our office for more information.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 11.5 NV CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


The conference will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Las Vegas at 4315 Swenson Street in Las Vegas, NV 89119. Call the hotel directly at (702) 795-2800 for reservations at the special negotiated rate of $135 and mention that you are attending a Law Seminars International conference. Rooms are on a first come, first served basis.
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Cancellation & Substitution

You may substitute another person at any time. We will refund tuition, less a $50 cancellation fee, if we receive your cancellation by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. After that time, we will credit your tuition toward attendance at another program or the purchase of a webcast or audio replay.

Faculty Bios

Kirk H. Gibson, Program Co-Chair, partner, McDowell Rackner & Gibson PC, advises business organizations and public entities on economic, strategic, legal and regulatory policy issues. His practice focuses on energy clients including electric and gas utilities, power producers, and pipeline operators.

Frederick J. Schmidt, Program Co-Chair, partner, Holland & Hart LLP, has negotiated numerous contract solutions for large energy users and renewable energy project developers and navigated the most complicated utility rate proceedings. Previously, he was a Commissioner, Nevada PUC, and Nevada's Consumer Advocate.

The Hon. Susan Ackerman is Chair of the Oregon PUC. Previously, in private practice, she represented clients in electricity and natural gas regulatory matters, transmission matters and contracts.

John C. Anders is Senior Counsel at California Independent System Operator.

Vicki M. Baldwin, shareholder, Parsons Behle & Latimer, concentrates her practice on energy, utility regulatory matters, commercial and environmental litigation. She represents industrial clients in energy-related transactions including rate cases, rulemakings and investigations.

Sarah E. Edmonds is Vice President and General Counsel at PacifiCorp Transmission. Previously, she served as Director, Transmission, and Legal Counsel at PacifiCorp.

J. Stephen Gaske, Senior Vice President, Concentric Energy Advisors, is an economic consultant, researcher, and professor in public utility economics finance and regulation.

Robert D. Kahn, Ed.D., is Executive Director of the Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC) which advocates for direct access, fair competition in utility procurement, and robust, transparent markets in the power sector.

Jason B. Keyes, partner, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP, focuses on interconnection of distributed generation and assists clients with broader regulatory issues and contracts related to renewable energy project development.

Michelle Brandt King, partner, Holland & Hart LLP, helps industrial and commercial electric retail customers, independent power producers, renewable energy developers, natural gas companies and pipelines navigate regulatory matters that impact their industries.

The Hon. Paul Kjellander is Commission President, Idaho Public Utilities Commission. Previously, he was Administrator of the Idaho Office of Energy Resources, overseeing energy planning, policy, conservation and coordination.

Carl Linvill, Ph.D., Principal with the Regulatory Assistance Project's U.S. team, leads RAP's work on renewable energy integration and transmission planning in the Western U.S. Previously, he was a public utilities commissioner in Nevada.

Thomas A. Loquvam is an Associate General Counsel at Arizona Public Service Company overseeing all state regulatory matters and litigation. He represents APS before the Arizona Corporation Commission on the full range of utility-related issues, from net metering to the Clean Power Plan to rate cases. Before coming to APS, Thomas was in private practice in Phoenix.

Jeffrey S. Lovinger, Partner, Lovinger Kaufmann LLP, focuses on energy and utility law, advising clients on transmission, hydroelectric licensing, generation interconnection, PPA's, net metering, municipal franchises and service agreements.

Amparo Nieto is a Vice President of NERA's Energy Practice. She provides advice to US utilities and energy regulators worldwide on policy issues, electricity wholesale market rules, network pricing, and design of retail traiffs.

Greg Patterson, CPA, Director, Arizona Competitive Power Alliance, was a member of the Arizona House of Representatives and Director of the Residential Utility Consumer Office.

Christopher J. Russo, Vice President and Practice Leader of Energy, CRA International Inc., advises domestic and international clients in the electricity and gas industries in investment strategy and economic analysis.

Marc Spitzer, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, counsels and represents utilities and energy companies before the FERC, state utility commissions, Congress, federal agencies and state legislatures. Previously, he was a FERC Commissioner and on the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Kurt Strunk, Vice President, NERA Economic Consulting, advises utilities on sector restructuring, contract and asset valuation, origination, hedging and risk management, regulatory strategy, prudence, cost of capital and retail market issues.

The Hon. Paul A. Thomsen is Chairman, Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. Previously, he served as Gov. Sandoval's appointee as the Director of the Governor's Office of Energy and the Director of Policy, and as Business Development for Ormat Technologies.

Cathy S. Woollums is Senior Vice President & Chief Environmental Counsel, Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

Walker Wright is Director of Public Policy at Sunrun, Inc., and Spokesperson for The Alliance for Solar Choice.