Utility-Only Workshops

Get more out of the 2018 Utility Conference by attending SEPA’s workshops on April 23rd. You’ll get a more hands-on approach before the main conference events and leave with practical knowledge that you can take back to your utility.


Registration Details
If you have not registered for the conference already, you can register for a workshop during your Utility Conference registration process by choosing the 1 or 2 Workshop + 2 Day Conference option. For the Technology Tour, choose the Tech Tour + 2 Day Conference Option.

If you have already registered, and would like to attend the workshops but have just registered for the 2 Day Conference, please contact Erika Tomatore at etomatore@sepapower.org.


Electric Vehicle Workshop

Date: Monday, April 23, 2018
Time: 8:00am – 12:00pm 
Location: Westin Mission Hills

Presented in partnership with ChargePoint


How do we transform the entire transportation sector into an electricity friendly extension of the grid?

In the 21st century, the rate at which cars are connecting to the electric grid is rapidly increasing, and utilities are adapting to keep up.

We have found the folks who are doing it right. Hear from the experts implementing EV programs in their areas, and learn how you can do the same.


8:00 – 8:30am Registration & Breakfast
8:30 – 8:45am Introductions and Welcome
8:45 – 9:00am EV Industry Update
9:00 – 9:45am Utility Industry Update
Will include an overview of utility-led programs/activities and regulatory activities, recent developments, trends to watch and their implications for utilities’ EV strategies
9:45 – 10:00am Break
10:00 – 10:45am EV Business Strategies and Planning
This panel will include three utility representatives with different activities and programs to help attendees consider strategies that may work best for their areas. The panel discussion will be followed by Q&A.
10:45 – 11:45am Break-out Session
Attendees will break into roundtable discussions to develop a SEPA staff facilitated decision-tree using a forced-ranking methodology to identify a core list of key considerations for developing a utility EV strategy, followed with a subset of decision points for each consideration, and then subsequent solutions to build out the strategy.Each group will provide a report out of key learnings followed by audience Q&A.
11:45am – 12:00pm Wrap-up and adjourn for lunch


EV Industry Update:
Renee Samson, Director, Utility Solutions, ChargePoint

Utility Industry Update:
Erika Myers, Director of Research, SEPA

EV Business Strategies and Planning:
Moderator: Jen Szaro, Senior Director of Programs, SEPA
Kathy Knoop, Principal Environmental Scientist – Electric Transportation, Salt River Project
Vazken Kassakhian, Sr. Regulatory Project Manager, Southern California Edison
Jake Wade, Renewable Energy Program Manager, Seattle City Light


Designing Green Tariffs for Large Customers 

Date: Monday, April 23, 2018
Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Westin Mission Hills


Do you know how to help your utility meet the growing demand for renewable energy? Enter the Green Tariff How-To.

Huge energy consumers and Fortune 500 companies are billowing the demand for renewable energy. An emerging method to meet the demand are Green Tariffs. They’re a utility-led program that provides a way for these customers to meet their needs while creating a proactive engagement opportunity for the utility.

You’ll learn the basics of green tariffs and what these key accounts desire, review case studies from existing programs, and complete a design exercise.


Technology Tour

Date: Monday, April 23, 2018
Time: Full Day event
Location: Westin Mission Hills


Get out into the field and learn from experts while stomping through a solar site

Kick-start your conference experience and get your hands dirty by touring local technology sites. You’ll hear from experts working  in this market and see control and project sites while networking with your colleagues.


 8:00 – 8:30am  Visit the registration desk in the Celebrity Foyer, check-in and pick up your name badge.
8:30 – 9:30am  Meet in Polo Room for coffee and a light breakfast before departing by bus.
9:45am  Bus departs Westin Mission Hills
10:00am  Site 1

Commercial & Industrial Customers – We will visit Walmart, a local utility customer who has installed fuel cell technology hear how the utilities work with these customers with meet their needs with utility self-generation incentive program. We will hear the perspectives and lessons from the customer, the developer (Bloom) and the utility (Southern California Edison).  In addition, we will learn the details of Walmart’s rooftop PV system – while keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground.

Walmart Supercenter at 34500 Monterey Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92211

12:00pm  Site 2

Visibility and Control – The visit to this substation and control center will focus on SCE’s resources and operational control, visibility and customers. Gain insight into what is happening in SCE’s territory, the various resources keeping the lights on – including solar, wind, steam and nuclear – and the infrastructure additions moving solar and wind from generation sites to load centers.

Casual Networking Lunch

Devers Substation – 62030 16th Avenue, Desert Hot Springs

3:30pm  Bus returns to hotel
4:00pm  Bus arrives hotel



Site 1:
Erin Tanaka, Key Accounts, Senior Advisor, Southern California Edison
Kris Kim, Managing Director, Business Development, Bloom Energy
David Smith, Engineering, Bloom Energy

Site 2:
Mark Lopez, Supervisor, Southern California Edison
TBD, Southern California Edison


Breakout Sessions

Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm
Location: Westin Mission Hills


Select which breakout group you would like to participate in during the registration process. Each breakout group will focus on a real world problem utilities are facing today. Choose the group that is covering a challenge you face and take practical solutions back to your utility.

The group with the most innovative solution will win a great prize courtesy of our solution providers

Key Account Strategy: a key C+I account has signed a 100% renewable energy pledge and are looking to their utility to support them to this goal. Onsite renewables are not an option. This group will develop a game plan to solve the customer’s goal.

Grid Congestion: Many C&I customers have signed large scale off site renewable energy contracts in the form of virtual power purchase agreements. While they are meeting sustainability goals by offsetting onsite power with offsite power, many of the new wind and solar facilities are not being ideally sited with reliability, wholesale pricing, congestion, and long term sustainability in mind. Join this group to learn how “sleeve” transactions create win win scenarios for grid operators and key accounts.

Renewable Portfolio Standards: energy commissions are setting ever increasing renewable portfolio standards. You are a utility in a state that has just passed a 80% renewable portfolio standard. You currently stand at 30%. How can your operations bridge the gap?

Resiliency: Storms are always a challenge for utilities. Hurricanes even more so. How can grid operators better manage unanticipated outages and increase grid resiliency?

Community Solar: Community solar is a great option for utilities to deliver a renewable energy option to customers without negatively impacting grid operations. But how do you really put these projects together? Work with this group to find out.

DERs Galore: You are a large northeast IOU that experienced two power outages due to Noreaster storms in early 2018. Tesla CEO Elon Musk added to your problems by tweeting an offer to customers in your service territory for heavily discounted solar roofs and PowerWalls. The steep discount inspired many of your customers to purchase and install solar panels and battery storage. Your utility is facing a new set of challenges, and you’re tasked with designing a solar + storage + flexible DERs programs. How do you do it?

Forecasting: You are a utility with increasing customer adoption of DERs. You have an energy efficiency forecast built into your resource plan and you are forecasting distributed solar adoption on a top-down, system-wide basis. How will you improve and expand your forecasts? How would these improved forecasts better inform your system planning, program development and ratemaking?

Hosting Capacity: If you are a utility with growing distributed energy resources, knowing your systems’ hosting capacity is essential to engaging your customers. Work in this group to learn how utilities can increase visibility into their capacity constraints, as well as how to automate the capacity analysis processes.

Energy Storage: “Sunny Valley Electric Co-op “SVEC” serves about 50,000 customers spread out in eastern River County. Recently, a golf and housing development has proposed an expansion which, if fully subscribed, would exceed the limits of the local distribution circuit during peak hours in the summer months. With pressure from both local government and businesses to find a cost effective solutions, SVEC is considering using an energy storage system to manage the capacity limitations rather than a full-scale expansion of the sub-station.” What must be considered in evaluating this?

The Cleanest Power Plant is the One You Don’t Build: You are a large North American IOU. You will soon be retiring a 175 MW coal plant, which will leave a mid-size city in your territory without the capacity necessary to meet peak demand. You have proposed building a gas peaker plant in the area, but the community strongly opposes the idea and favors a more environmentally friendly and community-oriented approach. Your executive team hears their concerns and has asked you to investigate alternatives.

Solve It: How can you simultaneously meet your system needs, satisfy your customers, and maximize shareholder value? This group will determine the right mix of technologies and programs to achieve these potentially conflicting aims.

Storage supporting ancillary services: You are your utilities point person on energy storage strategies.  Your leadership is pushing your team to explore how storage can shift loads to exploit hourly price differentials and provide ancillary services in wholesale markets.  At the same time, your leadership team wants any agreements for storage services to be flexible and maximize the storage value over the life of the contract. It is your job to bring a proposal to your leadership team to accomplish this. Work with this group to find out how.




If you have questions about registering for workshops, contact Erika Tomatore.

Erika Tomatore Associate, Programs & Events

Email Erika