Law Seminars International Presents:

A Comprehensive Two-Day Conference on Implementing

Renewable Energy in Virginia

Strategies for adapting to legal, regulatory, and business developments in a way that achieves decarbonization goals

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.

October 15 & 16, 2020

We have rescheduled this program to March of 2021

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Program Overview

Who Will Benefit from Attending

Attorneys, industry executives, governmental officials, and customer representatives involved with renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric transmission and gas pipelines, and consideration of alternatives to new projects

Why You will Benefit from Attending

As Virginia embarks on its historic path to a clean energy economy, we will have to reshape energy generation, delivery and consumption in the state. Increased electrification of buildings and transportation will require more clean energy resources and changes to the region's delivery infrastructure to meet these goals in a cost-effective manner. We are pleased to have assembled a distinguished faculty to discuss these challenges.

You will have an opportunity to hear from and converse with, high-level legal practitioners, policymakers, grid operators, subject area experts, and business executives as they address the challenges of an increased demand for electric power while maintaining a path toward significant carbon reduction goals by 2050.

New resources, including massive amounts of offshore wind, will need to be developed, and our existing transmission and distribution systems will need to evolve to meet these challenges. Our conference will close with a practical prospective to financing and building these projects.

Join us as we stitch together a coherent big picture from seemingly disparate parts, and then offer practical tips and techniques that you can put to work right away. To keep everyone safe during the pandemic, this program will be an interactive Zoom broadcast. We hope you will login to join the conversation. Register soon!

~ Thad Culley, Esq. of Vote Solar and Cliona Mary Robb, Esq. of Thompson McMullan, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • FERC policy developments and the impact on wholesale markets in Virginia
  • Channels for driving the development of advanced energy in Virginia
  • Dominion's adaptation plan; legal and policy issues it sees arising during implementation
  • Policy development and implementation proceedings at the key state agencies
  • Electric infrastructure development needs for VCEA Implementation
  • Land-based and offshore wind project development
  • Solar Project development: Rooftop, community aggregation and microgrids, and utility scale
  • Storage project development: Customer and utility scale
  • Tips for assembling a portfolio of renewable energy projects
  • Essential project development contracts including PPAs
  • Project development: Tips for navigating regulatory hurdles and negotiating with distribution utilities

What Participants Have Said About Similar Programs

  • Very knowledgable speakers who were well versed in energy.
  • "Great program to obtain up-to-the-minute information."
  • "It was interesting to have regulators give insights outside of a proceeding"
  • "Great seminar with relevant topics"

Agenda Day 1

8:30 am

Registration Opens

9:00 am

Introduction & Overview

Thad Culley, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Regional Director
Vote Solar / Chapel Hill, NC

Cliona Mary Robb, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Thompson McMullan / Richmond, VA

9:15 am

FERC Policy Developments and the Impact on Wholesale Markets in Virginia

The interplay between the FERC order on PJM's Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) and Virginia's Clean Economy Act (VCEA): Economic perspective on the need for a Forward Clean Energy Market (FCEM)

Kathleen Spees, Ph.D. , Principal
The Brattle Group / Washington, DC

Operational logistics and the legal issues likely to arise during the transition

Steven M. Shparber, Esq.
Clark Hill / Washington, DC

10:45 am


11:00 am

Channels for Driving the Development of Advanced Energy in Virginia

A business perspective on market opportunities, market-based solutions, policy barriers, and effective use of public/private partnerships

Harrison Godfrey , Executive Director
Virginia Advanced Energy Economy / Alexandria, VA

11:30 am

Impact on Utility Operations

Dominion's adaptation plan; legal and policy issues it sees arising during implementation

Katharine Bond , Senior Director, Public Policy & Strategy
Dominion Energy, Inc. / Richmond, VA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Implementation Update

Policy development and implementation proceedings at the key state agencies

Trieste Lockwood , Senior Policy Advisor
Governor's Office / Richmond, VA

Jennifer K. Palestrant , Chief Deputy
Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy / Richmond, VA

Arlen K. Bolstad, Esq. , Deputy General Counsel
Virginia State Corporation Commission / Richmond, VA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Electric Infrastructure Development Needs for VCEA Implementation

What needs to be done in relation to transmission, grid reliability and resiliency, wholesale market structures, energy storage; electrification of transportation and other issues

Francis Hodsoll , Co-Founder & CEO
SolUnesco / Reston, VA

Tyson Utt , Vice President of Development, East
Apex Clean Energy / Charlottesville, VA

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Virtual Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Grab your favorite beverage and snack for a moment of comraderie and a less structured discussion of what is happening with Virginia's transition to a clean energy economy

Friday, October 16, 2020

9:00 am

Wind Project Development

Unique issues arising from additional regulatory requirements and transmisssion needs for siting and interconnecting offshore wind

Katharine Kollins , President
Southeastern Wind Coalition / Raleigh, NC

9:45 am


10:00 am

Solar Project Development


Anthony Smith, Ph.D. , President & CEO
Secure Futures / Staunton, VA

Community solar development

Jake Springer , Senior Policy Associate
Nexamp, Inc. / Washington, DC

Utility scale

Steve Levitas, Esq. , Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Pine Gate Renewables / Raleigh, NC

11:30 am

Resource Diversification as a Risk Management Tool

Tips for assembling a portfolio of renewable energy projects

D. Brennen Keene, Esq.
McGuireWoods / Richmond, VA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Storage: Technological Developments and Greater Economic Viability

Customer scale

William Gathright, Ph.D. , CEO
Tumalow Energy Storage / Sterling, VA

Utility scale

Ron DiFelice, Ph.D. , Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Energy Intelligence Partners / Chapel Hill, NC

2:30 pm


2:45 pm

Deal Making Workshop

Essential project development contracts, including PPAs for IPPs, and the challenge of making them work in harmony

Eric Hurlocker, Esq.
GreeneHurlocker / Richmond, VA

Getting steel in the ground and wires connected to the distribution system for community shared solar: Regulatory update; tips for navigating the regulatory hurdles and negotiating with distribution utilities

Matthew L. Gooch, Esq.
ReisingerGooch / Richmond, VA

4:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Thad Culley, Thad Culley, Program Co-Chair, is Regional Director for Vote Solar. He is working to build upon the early successes of solar markets in Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Prior to joining Vote Solar, Thad was a partner with the law firm Keyes & Fox where he worked on legal and policy issues concerning distributed generation, including net metering, rate design, and interconnection.

Cliona Mary Robb, Cliona Mary Robb, Program Co-Chair, is a director at Thompson McMullan. She represents renewable and competitive service providers, as well as municipal, industrial, and commercial customers of electric, natural gas, and water utilities.

Arlen K. Bolstad is Deputy General Counsel at the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

Katharine Bond Katharine Bond is Vice President-Public Policy & State Affairs at Dominion Energy. She is responsible for state and local affairs, government relations and the corporate public policy function at Dominion Energy.

Ron DiFelice, Ph.D., Ron DiFelice, Ph.D., is Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Energy Intelligence Partners. He has led projects across the energy sector spanning distributed energy resources, renewable energy systems, and grid-edge technologies, among others.

William Gathright, Ph.D. William Gathright, Ph.D. is CEO of Tumalow Energy Storage. He serves as the Vice Chair of the Virginia Solar Energy and Energy Storage Development Authority.

Harrison Godfrey is the Executive Director of Virginia Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a coalition of businesses that seek to make the Commonwealth's energy more secure, clean, and affordable as a way to bolster Virginia's economy.

Matthew L. Gooch, Matthew L. Gooch, ReisingerGooch, is an expert on pollution control laws and emissions trading programs and was counsel to several Virginia agencies. He was the lead attorney supporting Virginia's decision to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Francis Hodsoll Francis Hodsoll is Co-Founder & CEO of SolUnesco, where he leads strategy, business development, policy, performance management, and community engagement. SolUnesco has more than 1 GW of projects under development.

Eric Hurlocker Eric Hurlocker is the managing member of GreeneHurlocker. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Maryland, DC and Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association, and also serves as General Counsel to the Association.

D. Brennen Keene, D. Brennen Keene, a partner at McGuireWoods, serves as co-lead of the firm's renewable energy team. He assists clients in all aspects of energy projects, from early stage development, project acquisition and development, project construction financing and investments, and dispositions.

Katharine Kollins Katharine Kollins is President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition (SEWC). She manages SEWC's programming and operations across 11 states working with a wide variety of stakeholders to promote land-based and offshore wind, wind imports, and the regions' supply chain assets.

Steve Levitas Steve Levitas is Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Pine Gate Renewables. He assists clients with all aspects of project development, including drafting and negotiating power and energy purchase agreements, leases, and feedstock supply agreements; obtaining regulatory and environmental approvals; corporate formation; financing and tax structuring; and buying and selling of assets.

Trieste Lockwood Trieste Lockwood is Senior Policy Advisor for Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. She most recently was the Government Relations lead for the Virginia League of Conservation Voters and has worked in policy at numerous nonprofit organizations.

Jennifer K. Palestrant Jennifer K. Palestrant is Chief Deputy at the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy. She oversees the development of offshore wind for the Commonwealth. Other projects include the creation of unified energy portfolio for the State and workforce development and economic development in Virginia's southwest.

Steven M. Shparber Steven M. Shparber is a Member of the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources group at Clark Hill. He provides strategic counsel to new participants in wholesale power markets and advocates for new market opportunities on behalf of independent power producers and national renewable energy trade groups.

Anthony Smith, Ph.D., is the President & CEO of Secure Futures, which combines state-of-the-art solar technology with an innovative business model to make commercial-scale solar power readily affordable in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. He serves as a founding board member of the Virginia Renewable Energy Alliance (VA-REA).

Kathleen Spees, Ph.D., Kathleen Spees, Ph.D., is a Principal at The Brattle Group with expertise in designing and analyzing wholesale electric markets and carbon policies. She has worked with U.S. and international regulators to design and evaluate policy alternatives for achieving resource adequacy, storage integration, carbon reduction, and other policy goals.

Jake Springer is a Senior Policy Associate at Nexamp, Inc. He formerly served as a Legislative aide focusing on energy legislation for Senator Angus S. King, Jr. Nexamp is a vertically integrated leader in the clean energy space, offering community solar and energy storage solutions.

Tyson Utt Tyson Utt is Vice President of Development - East for Apex Clean Energy. He is responsible for the origination and development of wind and solar projects within PJM, NYISO, ISO-NE, and SERC markets. He previously worked on the development and construction of projects for Horizon Wind Energy and EDP Renewables.

Accessing the Live Program

The day before the program, we will email you a link to the materials and one to log into the broadcast. Fill out the "Registration" form by entering your name and email address. That will log you in.

For tips on how you can ask questions, make comments, or join the conversation, download our Broadcast Guide.