Law Seminars International Presents:

The Tenth Annual Conference on

Renewable Energy in the Midwest

How challenges at the federal level, technological innovation, and customer demand are transforming the energy market

October 11 & 12, 2018

Minneapolis, MN

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Program Overview

Who Should Attend

Attorneys, industry executives, governmental officials, Tribal representatives, consumer advocates and anyone involved with renewable energy infrastructure investment, public policy, and resource development

Why You Should Attend

Despite political headwinds and gridlock at many levels of government, technology innovation and customer demand for renewables continue to transform the Midwest energy market. This year's program will highlight the challenges and opportunities of storage, distributed energy resources, renewables integration, and grid modernization as these technologies increasingly become commercial realities.

You'll also hear about the latest updates on federal and state-level policy affecting renewables in the Midwest and the market realties for renewable project development in the Midwest in the current environment. Special addresses by Commissioner Dan Lipschultz of the Minnesota PUC and Christopher Clark, President of Xcel Energy - Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, will highlight the state policy and utility planning challenges driven by these new technologies and increasingly involved customers.

The program will wrap up with a practical discussion of what customers are looking for from their energy providers and navigating the increasingly complex permitting processes for renewables in the Midwest. We hope you'll join us for what promises to be a very engaging and useful conversation.

~ Sarah Johnson Phillips, Esq. of Stoel Rives and Daniel A. Yarano, Esq. of Fredrikson & Byron, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • ~ Batteries as the next disruptive technology
  • ~ Policy making at DOE, EPA, and the FERC
  • ~ Key FERC regulatory proceedings
  • ~ State legislative and regulatory policy initiatives
  • ~ Regulatory challenges
  • ~ Market realities for renewables development
  • ~ Adapting the grid to customer preferences
  • ~ Regional transmission operations
  • ~ Distributed Energy Resource integration in MISO
  • ~ The best path forward for the utility industry
  • ~ Essential project development contracts

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs

  • "Excellent conference. I learned a lot."
  • "Great program to obtain up-to-the-minute information."
  • "Fantastic conference; perfect to meet the who's who of renewable energy in the Midwest."
  • "Speakers were well informed and engaging"

Agenda Day 1

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Sarah Johnson Phillips, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Stoel Rives / Minneapolis, MN

Daniel A. Yarano, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Fredrikson & Byron / Minneapolis, MN

8:45 am

Batteries as the Next Disruptive Technology for the Electric Industry

Xcel pilot program for charging electric vehicles; utility perspective on infrastructure requirements and integration with renewable energy sources as electric transportation scales

Kevin Schwain , Electric Vehicle Program Lead
Xcel Energy / Minneapolis, MN

Utility sector uses for integration of renewables and distribution infrastructure upgrade deferral; FERC Order 841 regarding storage participation in markets operated by RTOs and ISOs; utility rate making implications

Makarand Nagle , Senior Director
S Power / Salt Lake City, UT

10:15 am


10:30 am

The Federal Government's Preference for Fossil Fuels and Nuclear over Renewable Energy

Coal & nuclear vs. renewables: General energy policy making at DOE and the FERC; prospects for congressional action affecting the energy sector

Harvey L. Reiter, Esq.
Stinson Leonard Street / Washington, DC

Energy policy making at EPA; prospects for congressional action affecting air and water quality related to fossil fuel generation; likely real-world impact on demand for renewables

Elizabeth H. Schmiesing, Esq.
Winthrop & Weinstine / Minneapolis, MN

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

A Detailed Look at Key FERC Regulatory Proceedings

The Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing Proceeding; related NERC activity on standards and enforcement, including cyber security; other renewables-related developments

Kenneth W. Irvin, Esq.
Sidley Austin / Washington, DC

2:00 pm

In the Midwest: State Legislative and Regulatory Policy Initiatives

Overview of what has been happening in the Upper Midwest: In the legislatures and at the administrative agencies

Allen P. Gleckner, Esq. , Director, Energy Markets
Fresh Energy / Saint Paul, MN

2:30 pm

Special Address: State Policy Challenges for Greater Utility Reliance on Renewables

Policy issues for renewables development and integration into vertically integrated utility operations: Adaptation to disruptive technologies, ratepayer participation in pilot projects, cost recovery for storage; other ratemaking issues

The Hon. Dan Lipschultz, Esq. , Vice-Chair
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission / St. Paul, MN

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Market Realities: Current Incentives and Disincentives for Renewables Development

What does the industry see as the best path forward?

Betsy Engelking , Vice President
Geronimo Energy / Edina, MN

Beth H. Soholt , Executive Director
Wind on the Wires / St. Paul, MN

4:30 pm

Special Address: The Best Path Forward for the Utility Industry

The range of issues: Anticipating customer and policy preferences, long term resource planning, short term procurement, and project implementation

Christopher B. Clark, Esq. , President
Xcel Energy / Minneapolis, MN

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Fredrikson Byron and Stoel Rives

Friday, October 12, 2018

8:30 am

Regional Transmission and Coordination of Markets

Operational perspective on MISO's planning for transmission and generation to ensure system reliability, enable market efficiency, and meet state and federal energy policies

Betsy Beck , Director, Transmission Policy
American Wind Energy Association / Washington, DC

The role that energy storage, demand response and energy efficiency can play in wholesale grid-scale energy and ancillary market applications

Rao Konidena , Principal
Rakon Energy LLC / Roseville, MN

Economic analysis: Distributed Energy Resource integration in MISO and implications for regional load forecasting

Derya Eryilmaz, Ph.D.
NERA Economic Consulting / Washington, DC

10:30 am


10:45 am

Aligning Market Outcomes with State Policy Goals and Consumer Preferences

Stakeholder perspectives on what needs to happen with respect to regulatory policy development, market structures, and permitting processes

Mike Bull, Esq. , Director, Policy and Communications
Center for Energy and Environment / Minneapolis, MN

Richard Heinemann, Esq.
Boardman & Clark / Madison, WI

Bret A. Dublinske, Esq.
Fredrikson & Byron / Des Moines, IA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Adapting the Grid to Customer Preferences for More Distributed Energy

Grid modernization: Update on the MN PUC's moderization proceeding; utility perspective on increasing deployment of smart meters and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices; identifying when you need to get Internet and Cyber security lawyers involved

Jenna M. Warmuth , Senior Public Policy Advisor
Minnesota Power / Duluth, MN

2:00 pm

Deal Making Workshop: Essential Project Development Contracts and the Challenge of Making Them Work in Harmony

Customer opportunities in the region and marketplace: Essential elements and potential pitfalls in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) including working with developers and incumbant companies

Andrew P. Moratzka, Esq.
Stoel Rives / Minneapolis, MN

Project structures: tax, regulatory and commercial issues related to the development, financing, purchase and sale of energy projects

Kurt R. Rempe, Esq.
Fredrikson & Byron / Minneapolis, MN

Permitting: Current challenges and tips for keeping your contract terms up to date for contracts with permitting specialists; the challenge of getting projects built by 2020 to take advantage of the PTC

Eric Hansen, PE, PG , Director, Environmental Services
Westwood Professional Services / Minnetonka, MN

3:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Sarah Johnson Phillips, Sarah Johnson Phillips, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Stoel Rives in the Energy Development practice group. She advises large wind and solar project developers on permitting and real estate matters.

Daniel A. Yarano, Daniel A. Yarano, Program Co-Chair, also is Co-Chair of the Energy Practice Group and chair of the Renewable Energy Group at Fredrikson & Byron.

Christopher B. Clark, Christopher B. Clark, Special Address, is President of Xcel Energy - Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Prior to joining Xcel Energy, he worked as an in-house attorney for Alliant Energy.

The Hon. Dan Lipschultz, The Hon. Dan Lipschultz, Special Address, is Vice-Chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

Betsy Beck Betsy Beck is the Director of Electricity Markets and Transmission Policy at the American Wind Energy Association.

Mike Bull Mike Bull is Director of Policy and Communications at the Center for Energy and Environment.

Brett Dublinske i Brett Dublinske i s a shareholder at of Fredrikson & Byron where he represents traditional power providers, wind energy producers, industrial electric customers, pipeline companies, and data centers.

Betsy Engelking, Betsy Engelking, Vice President at Geronimo Energy leads the Company's policy efforts.

Derya Eryilmaz, Ph.D., Derya Eryilmaz, Ph.D., is a Consultant for NERA's energy and environmental practices. She is an expert in consumer demand and big data analytics for the energy industry.

Allen P. Gleckner Allen P. Gleckner is the Director of Energy Markets for Fresh Energy. He oversees Fresh Energy's on solar and wind deployment.

Eric Hansen, PE, PG Eric Hansen, PE, PG is Director of Environmental Services at Westwood Professional Services. His primary focus is on renewable energy and power delivery projects.

Richard Heinemann Richard Heinemann is a partner at Boardman & Clark where he provides legal services to municipalities and local governments on energy issues.

Kenneth W. Irvin Kenneth W. Irvin co-leads the global Energy practice at Sidley Austin and focuses on matters involving U.S. wholesale electricity and natural gas markets.

Rao Konidena Rao Konidena is President of Rakon Energy LLC. He previously served as Principal Advisor for Policy Studies at MISO.

Andrew P. Moratzka Andrew P. Moratzka is is Chair of the Energy Development practice group at Stoel Rives. He represents large customers and independent power producers.

Makarand Nagle, Makarand Nagle, Senior Director at S Power, is responsible for leading origination initiatives for its solar and wind projects. He also provides strategic guidance on energy storage.

Harvey L. Reiter Harvey L. Reiter is a partner at Stinson Leonard Street where he primarily represents energy clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Kurt R. Rempe, Kurt R. Rempe, Fredrikson & Byron, advises renewable energy developers and investors to structure tax-driven vehicles that maximize benefits, including partnership flips, sale-leasebacks and inverted leases.

Elizabeth H. Schmiesing Elizabeth H. Schmiesing is a Shareholder at in the Energy & Environmental Law group at Winthrop & Weinstine, where she represents energy companies on environmental matters.

Kevin Schwain is the Electric Vehicle Program Lead for Xcel Energy. He previously worked on Excel's energy efficiency, demand response, and renewable energy programs.

Beth H. Soholt Beth H. Soholt is Executive Director of the non-profit Wind on the Wires (WoW) organization serving participants in the wind industry.

Jenna M. Warmuth Jenna M. Warmuth is a Senior Public Policy Advisor at Minnesota Power. Her primary focus is on regulatory efforts surrounding grid modernization, interconnection processes, and electric vehicles.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 12.00 MN CLE , 12.00 IA CLE , and 14.00 WI CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


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U.S. Bank Plaza Building

200 South Sixth Street in Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 492-7000

The conference will be held at the U.S. Bank Plaza Building at 200 South Sixth Street in Minneapolis, MN 55402. Lodging is available at a number of nearby hotels--use your favorite hotel website to find the one that offers the best deal for you.
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