2018 SEPA Utility Conference

Where Utilities Create A Smart Energy Future.

See you next year in Coronado, CA.

Utilities teaching utilities how to implement clean energy and grid modernization technology – that’s what Utility Conference is all about. This year attendees had opportunities to connect and learn with other utilities from across the nation during 54+ hours of networking and education. Sessions and events ranged from EVs to DERS and from storage as a utility asset to low-income solar. If there has been an incredible utility innovation somewhere in the country, you’ll learn about it at Utility Conference.

Join us next year in Coronado, CA to learn lessons that will help you further your utility’s grid modernization, clean energy, and distributed energy technology efforts.

 

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About the Speakers

Caroline Choi

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Southern California Edison, Board Past-Chair

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Caroline Choi

Board Past-Chair

Caroline Choi is Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Southern California Edison (SCE). She is responsible for regulatory policy and affairs, regulatory operations and environmental affairs.

She previously served as Vice President of Energy and Environmental Policy and was responsible for analysis of federal and state energy and environmental policies; analysis and development of a long-term environmental, energy and technology strategy for SCE; and directing case management for key regulatory filings.

Prior to joining SCE in 2012, Caroline was executive director of Environmental Services & Strategy at Progress Energy, where she was responsible for leading environmental permitting, compliance and policy. She served the company in various roles, including Director, Energy Policy and Strategy as well as Manager of Federal Public Affairs.

Caroline has served on various non-profit boards and is a board member of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the National Forest Foundation and the California Advisory Board of The Trust for Public Lands. Caroline has a bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College.

Danielle Murray

Manager, Solar Energy Services, Austin Energy

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Danielle Murray

Danielle Murray is Austin Energy’s Manager of Solar Energy Services, overseeing the utility’s renewable energy offerings and local solar programs. These include the wind-based GreenChoice program, Community Solar program, rooftop solar incentive programs, solar inspections, solar rate development, and programs to expand access to solar to hard to reach markets. Previously, Danielle was the Renewable Energy Program Manager for the City and County of San Francisco, where she led efforts to develop the local solar market, reduce soft costs, and implement innovative financing mechanisms; coordinated wind, wave, and district energy research and development; and served as chair of the Mayor’s Renewable Energy Task Force. Prior to that, she worked for the City of Toronto’s Energy Office, where she designed and implemented the Toronto Neighborhoods Initiative which provided grants and low-interest loans to homeowners to install solar water heating systems and other energy efficiency improvements. Danielle has also worked for the Earth Policy Institute in Washington DC, researching and writing on the intersection of food, energy, and climate change, as well as serving in various volunteer and fellowship assignments in east and west Africa. Danielle received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University and Master’s degrees in Planning and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto.

Mark Rathbun

Renewable Resources Lead, Great River Energy

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Mark Rathbun

As a member of Great River Energy’s Resource Planning team, Mark is responsible for developing and implementing GRE’s portfolio renewable resource strategies and assisting their member cooperatives with distributed energy resource additions. Mark has led several successful wind, solar and biomass request for proposals and power purchase agreement negotiations. Mark oversees GRE’s renewable energy standard compliance and M-RETS administration. He is a graduate of Hibbing Community College and the Red Wing Energy Center where his studies focused on solar energy technologies.

Jim Alberts

Senior Vice President, Customer Service, Hawaiian Electric Company, Board Nominating Committee Chair

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Jim Alberts

Board Nominating Committee Chair

Jim Alberts, Senior Vice President for Customer Service at Hawaiian Electric Company, spearheads the utility’s integration of distributed energy resources to help reach Hawaii’s mandate to run 100 percent on renewables by 2045. Jim joined Hawaiian Electric in 2012 as the Senior Vice President of Customer Service, coming to the company with more than 20 years of utility experience at Kansas City Power & Light and Aquila.

During his career, Jim has led teams and designed and implemented programs that focused on establishing top quality customer service and efficiency. While at KCP&L and Aquila as the Vice President of Customer Service, he was responsible for all customer contact channels, customer relations, quality assurance, e-services, billing, accounts receivable management, field services and meter reading. While at Aquila, he was a Lean Six Sigma Deployment Champion and certified Black Belt leading improvement teams across the Company.

He serves as a Board member of Hospice Hawaii, a non-profit organization dedicated to bring hope, reduce fears and impact lives in end-of-life care, and on the Hawaii Employers Council Board of Governors. Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Minnesota State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Drake University.

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What Attendees Are Saying

Danny Kassis
Danny Kassis
Vice President, Customer Relations & Renewables, SCANA

I’ve attended the Utility Conference for three…

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Danny Kassis
Danny Kassis
Vice President, Customer Relations & Renewables, SCANA

I’ve attended the Utility Conference for three years, and at this conference I see really focused and smart folks who are looking to solve problems. I don’t see that at many other conferences I attend. I also like the confidential environment of this event, where you can talk candidly with other professionals in the utility community. And the agenda leaves plenty of time for networking. You can do the equivalent of five days of meetings in just two days. There were several sessions at the 2017 Utility Conference that provided great value, but I particularly enjoyed those that focused on commercial and industrial customer sales opportunities. They were excellent.

Scott Scharli
Scott Scharli
Manager, Residential and Commercial Solar, Salt River Project

I liked that the Utility Conference’s agenda i…

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Scott Scharli
Scott Scharli
Manager, Residential and Commercial Solar, Salt River Project

I liked that the Utility Conference’s agenda included site visits to some of the local area’s most innovative projects (including the University of Arizona and Tucson Electric Power’s Solar Zone demonstration site in 2017, and San Diego Gas & Electric’s Borrego Springs microgrid in 2015).

I also enjoyed the opportunities to network with industry peers. The SEPA Utility Conference provides a relaxed and open atmosphere in which industry peers can network and collaborate.

Mark Svrcek
Mark Svrcek
Sr. Vice President, Member Solutions and Operations Support, Central Electric Power Cooperative

Hearing the perspective of large customers on th…

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Mark Svrcek
Mark Svrcek
Sr. Vice President, Member Solutions and Operations Support, Central Electric Power Cooperative

Hearing the perspective of large customers on the utility/customer relationship was very useful, and provided insights that helped my utility shape enhancements to our practices and strengthen relationships with our customers.

I’ve been attending the Utility Conference for four years, and compared with other industry events, the intimate nature of the conference provides more quality time for attendees to truly network and gain insights that are important to each utility. That provides great opportunities to bring back new ideas and lessons-learned to help us do a better job providing our core services.

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Who attended the Utility Conference

See a sample of the of utilities attending.

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