Law Seminars International Presents:

The 24th Annual Conference on Buying & Selling

Electric Power in the West

Leading energy experts-including former FERC Commissioner and Senior Vice-President for EEI Phil Moeller, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, and three state commissioners-will address major new developments affecting western energy markets

Media Sponsor: Energy News Network, a nationally recognized news publication featuring original state-based reporting, dedicated to keeping stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens informed about the important changes taking place within the transition to a clean energy economy.

January 24 & 25, 2019

Seattle, WA

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Program Overview

Who Should Order

Attorneys, industry executives, government officials, customer representatives, and anyone else involved with electric energy issues

Why You Should Order

Electric markets and utility business models in the West are increasingly being driven by Pacific Coast state efforts to address climate change by reducing their carbon footprints. The initial focus was on the utility sector and we have seen significant changes in the generating mix. One of the highlights of the 2019 program will be a detailed look at Portland General Electric's Decarbonization Study.

More recently, the efforts have expanded into the transportation sector and this has created new opportunities for both generating companies and distribution utilities. Replacement of fossil-fueled vehicles has been aided by advances in battery technology. Intense work is being done on hydrogen fuel cells. You'll have an opportunity to hear about renewable hydrogen as an emerging carbon-free tool for integrating intermittent solar and wind.

Against this backdrop will be detailed discussion of business, operational, and regulatory issues. This includes federal and state policy updates, market operations, transmission and distribution operations, and the views of state regulators on the key issues moving forward. We'll end with a look into the future for a series of topics including deal making trends, wildfires as an operational and ratemaking concern, and the NWPCC's early work on its 8th Power Plan.

Join us to hear from an excellent group of speakers and connect with your colleagues during the program and at the reception. We hope to see you there.

~ Stan Berman, Sidley Austin, Slade Gorton, K&L Gates, and Adam Lowney, McDowell Rackner & Gibson, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • ~ Federal policy updates for electric power in the West
  • ~ PGE's utility scale decarbonization study
  • ~ Advances in renewable hydrogen for storage
  • ~ Low-cost renewables and avoided cost payments under PURPA
  • ~ Resiliency developments at the FERC, NERC, and DOE
  • ~ Reliability coordination in the West
  • ~ Efforts to create working regional markets
  • ~ Carbon pricing efforts in the West
  • ~ Storage and efficient wholesale market operations
  • ~ Bonneville's resource and infrastructure plans
  • ~ Operational issues for the distribution utilities
  • ~ State regulatory commissioners on their policy priorities
  • ~ Deal making trends for energy storage
  • ~ Ratemaking impact of wildfires
  • ~ Use of blockchain technology for wholesale transactions
  • ~ NWPCC power planning update

What Attendees Said

  • "Fast, informative, and interesting"
  • "Commissioner's panel was outstanding, a good mix of insight, candor, and humor."
  • "The active participation of attendees makes for a more interesting conference"
  • "Great mix of political, technical, legal and financial perspectives. Well-designed panels."
  • "The networking opportunities were very good."
  • "Well done, as usual"

Agenda Day 1

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Stan Berman, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Sidley Austin / Seattle, WA

The Hon. Slade Gorton, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
K&L Gates / Seattle, WA

Adam Lowney, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
McDowell Rackner & Gibson / Portland, OR

8:45 am

Special Address: Major Federal Developments

How the midterms changed the legislative landscape; pending bills and likely outcomes during 2019; key DOE and EPA initiatives

Philip D. Moeller , Senior Vice-President, Energy Delivery
Edison Electric Institute / Washington, DC

9:15 am

FERC Update

Recent decisions and current policy debates of greatest impact on the region

Jason T. Kuzma, Esq.
Perkins Coie / Bellevue, WA

9:45 am

State Zero Emissions Credit (ZEC) Programs

Recent Second and Seventh Circuit Courts rulings that state Zero Emission Credit (ZEC) programs are not preempted and do not violate the dormant Commerce Clause; implications for other generation subsidies

William M. Keyser, Esq.
K&L Gates / Washington, DC

10:15 am


10:30 am

Climate Change: New Developments on the Path to Carbon Reductions for the Electric Sector

Utility-scale decarbonization: A detailed look at Portland General Electric's Decarbonization Study

Gabe Kwok , Principal
Evolved Energy Research / San Francisco, CA

Renewable hydrogen as an emerging carbon-free tool for integrating intermittent solar and wind

Ken Dragoon , Executive Director
Renewable Hydrogen Alliance / Portland, OR

Automotive sector applications

Andreas Truckenbrodt, Ph.D. , President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association / Vancouver, BC

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Low-Cost Renewables including Avoided Cost Payments under PURPA

Regulatory impact of low-cost renewables: The impact of decreasing renewable resource costs on avoided cost pricing, community solar programs, and distribution planning

Etta P. Lockey, Esq. , Vice-President of Regulation
PacifiCorp / Portland, OR

2:00 pm

Grid Reliability, Resiliency, and Management

Update on resiliency developments at the FERC, NERC, and DOE

Stan Berman, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Sidley Austin / Seattle, WA

Reliability coordination in the West: Who will be doing that and how will it work?

Eric Schmitt , Vice President, Operations
California ISO / Folsom, CA

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Current Operational Issues for Western Electricity Markets

Operations update: Ongoing efforts to move beyond the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) and create working regional markets; pending issues involving money, absence of capacity markets, state preferences

Randall W. Hardy , Principal and Founder
Hardy Energy Consulting / Seattle, WA

Factoring in the social cost of carbon emissions: Impact of carbon pricing efforts in the West as each state pursues its own approach

Michael Hagerty , Senior Associate
The Brattle Group / Cambridge, MA

Combining utility scale renewables with storage: A developer's perspective on what is necessary for efficient wholesale market operations

Kevin P. Auerbacher, Esq. , Senior Counsel, Corporate Development
Tesla, Inc. / Washington, DC

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by McDowell Rackner & Gibson and Sidley Austin

Friday, January 25, 2019

8:30 am

Operational Issues for Distribution Utilities

Utility perspectives on the current key operational issues and the ones they see coming down the pike

Robert W. Cromwell, Jr., Esq. , Director, Power Contracts, Regional Affairs and Strategic Planning
Seattle City Light / Seattle, WA

Kevin Nordt , General Manager/CEO
Grant County PUD / Ephrata, WA

David E. Mills , Senior Vice President, Policy and Energy Supply
Puget Sound Energy / Bellevue, WA

10:00 am

Update on the Northwest Power & Conservation Council 7th Power Plan

Mid-term assessment and preliminary work on the 8th Power Plan

Ben Kujala , Director of Power Planning
Northwest Power and Conservation Council / Portland, OR

10:30 am


10:45 am

Special State Commissioners Panel


The Hon. Steve Bloom, Esq. , Commissioner
Oregon Public Utility Commission / Salem, OR


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


The Hon. Ann E. Rendahl, Esq. , Commissioner
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission / Olympia, WA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

PURPA and Other Market Participation Issues for IPPs

Eric L. Christensen, Esq.
Cairncross & Hempelmann / Seattle, WA

2:00 pm

A Look into the Future

Energy storage deal making trends: Progress towards standardized approaches to risk management; EPC agreement terms; interconnection processes

David P. Hattery, Esq.
K&L Gates / Seattle, WA

Wildfires as an emerging major operational and ratemaking concern: A report on the California situation and relevance to the Pacific Northwest as hotter, dryer summers bring major fires to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia

Tara S. Kaushik, Esq.
Holland & Knight / San Francisco, CA

Blockchain as a potentially transformative technology for wholesale power transactions and demand response management: Update on collaborative pilot programs being conducted by New York Utilities

David Groarke , Managing Director
Indigo Advisory Group / Long Island City, NY

3:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Stan Berman, Stan Berman, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Sidley Austin. He represents electric industry participants in complex high-stakes litigation and appeals at the FERC, state regulatory commissions, and in the courts.

The Hon. Slade Gorton, The Hon. Slade Gorton, Program Co-Chair, is Of Counsel at K&L Gates. He joined the firm after spending 18 years representing Washington state in the United States Senate.

Adam Lowney, Adam Lowney, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at McDowell Rackner & Gibson. His practice focuses on providing regulatory, transactional, and business advice to electric and natural gas utilities in the Pacific Northwest.

Philip D. Moeller, Philip D. Moeller, Special Address, is Senior Vice-President, Energy Delivery for the Edison Electric Institute. Prior to joining EEI, he was the longest serving Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Kevin P. Auerbacher, Kevin P. Auerbacher, Senior Counsel, Corporate Development at Tesla, Inc., oversees national administrative energy litigation.

The Hon. Steve Bloom The Hon. Steve Bloom is a Commissioner at the Oregon Public Utility Commission and sits on the Energy Trust of Oregon Board of Directors.

Eric L. Christensen Eric L. Christensen is a partner in the Seattle law firm of Cairncross & Hempelmann. His practice focuses on regulatory, contract, and litigation matters arising in the energy, clean tech, and natural resources industries. Eric represents Washington's largest public utility districts, as well as a number of the region's most innovative independent power producers and emerging energy-related technology companies.

Robert W. Cromwell, Jr. Robert W. Cromwell, Jr. is Director, Power Contracts, Regional Affairs and Strategic Planning for Seattle City Light.

Ken Dragoon Ken Dragoon is a Principal at Flink Energy and also the Executive Director of Renewable Hydrogen Alliance.

David Groarke David Groarke is Managing Director at Indigo Advisory Group. Previously, he was part of Accenture's and PA Consulting's Global Energy Practices and led innovative research at Greentech Media Research (GTM).

Michael Hagerty Michael Hagerty is a Senior Associate at The Brattle Group. He focuses on electricity wholesale market design, renewable and climate policy analysis, transmission planning and development, and strategic planning for utility companies.

Randall W. Hardy Randall W. Hardy is Principal and Founder of Hardy Energy Consulting. He provides strategic advice to utilities, their customers, and other groups and organizations affected by electricity restructuring.

David P. Hattery David P. Hattery is a partner at K&L Gates. He has worked on complex and innovative energy and infrastructure projects across the U.S. and around the world.

Tara S. Kaushik Tara S. Kaushik is a partner in the West Coast Land Use and Environment Group at Holland & Knight where she focuses her practice on energy and environmental regulatory matters.

William M. Keyser is a partner at K&L Gates where he focuses on regulatory litigation and transactions involving the nation's electricity and capacity markets.

The Hon. Paul Kjellander The Hon. Paul Kjellander is Commission President for the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

Jason T. Kuzma Jason T. Kuzma is a partner in the Environment, Energy & Resources practice at Perkins Coie.

Gabe Kwok Gabe Kwok is a Principal at Evolved Energy Research. He recently conducted research for Washington's Governor's Office to design and evaluate technology pathways to reduce the state's GHG emissions.

Etta P. Lockey Etta P. Lockey is Vice-President of Regulation for PacifiCorp. She provides in-house legal representation on regulatory and legislative matters in Oregon, Washington, and California.

David E. Mills David E. Mills is Senior Vice President, Policy and Energy Supply for Puget Sound Energy.

Kevin Nordt Kevin Nordt is General Manager/CEO of Grant County PUD.

The Hon. Ann E. Rendahl The Hon. Ann E. Rendahl is a Commissioner at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. She is the chair of the Body of State Regulators for the California ISO's Energy Imbalance Market.

Eric Schmitt Eric Schmitt is Vice President, Operations for the California ISO. He is responsible for California's bulk electric system operations, real-time engineering, training, and market settlements.

Andreas Truckenbrodt, Ph.D. Andreas Truckenbrodt, Ph.D. is President and Chief Executive Officerof the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association. He formerly served as Chief Executive Officer for the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC), a Joint Venture of Daimler AG and Ford Motor Company. He also is a former chair of the California Fuel Cell Partnership.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 12.0 WA, 12.25 CA, 12.0 ID, and 12.0 OR MCLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.