The theme for this year’s HOMER International Microgrid Conference, which will take place from October 8-10 in San Diego, CA, is “Microgrids and the Transition to Distributed Energy.” HOMER Energy organizes the conference every year to bring together distributed energy professionals and thought leaders to enhance collaboration and explore new directions in microgrid technology and design.
We chose to have the conference in California very intentionally this year, because – along with Hawaii – California is the national leader in solar-plus-storage and other hybrid distributed energy technologies. That’s partly because of its storage incentives, which are among the most generous in the US. Additionally, California is setting an example with the reform of utility rate structures that can help accommodate large penetrations of renewable energy. That’s changing the relationship between utilities and their customers, who are now turning into “prosumers.” We want to examine these developments, along with one of our traditional theme of, “what can we learn from microgrid innovation across the industry?” This will include presentations from at least 10 different countries and a wide variety of applications. One focus of this year’s conference will be business models for microgrids, covering “microgrids as a service,” and other related economic topics.
For our keynote speakers we have an amazing lineup of people who continue to represent the most innovative thinking on microgrids and distributed energy. I’ll also be giving a keynote address focusing on microgrid trends.
Jon Wellinghoff, CEO and Founder, GridPolicy Inc.
Jon Wellinghoff is known for his international expertise and thought leadership in energy policy, electric markets and the interface of disruptive energy systems with traditional utility structures. Jon served as a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) starting in 2006 and was the FERC’s longest serving Chairman, from 2009-2013. During his FERC tenure, he led efforts to make the U.S. power system cleaner and more efficient by promoting distributed power and integrating renewable energy, demand response, energy efficiency and storage. His current firm GridPolicy, Inc. continues his work to further the deployment of and investment in clean sustainable distributed energy resources (DERs). Jon works to remove regulatory, policy, and institutional barriers to the widespread adoption of cost effective DER technologies and systems, assisting companies, governments, and consumers who market and/or operate such resources.
Karl R. Rábago, Executive Director, Pace Energy and Climate Center
Karl R. Rábago is the Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, at the Pace University School of Law in White Plains, New York. Under Karl’s leadership, Pace is actively involved in every aspect of the New York REV—Reforming the Energy Vision—proceeding. Karl is also co-director of the Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition (NESEMC), a US Department of Energy SunShot Initiative project that works to harmonize solar market policy in the 9-state northeast region through a novel coalition of solar business associations.
An attorney and US Army veteran, Karl has more than 25 years of experience in electricity and energy policy, regulation, and markets. He is recognized as an innovator in electric utility regulatory issues relating to clean energy services and technologies. Karl serves as Chair of the Board of the Center for Resource Solutions, a San Francisco-based non-governmental organization that works to advance voluntary clean energy markets. He also sits on the Board of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).
Karl also runs his own successful consulting practice, Rábago Energy LLC. His past positions include Commissioner, Texas Public Utility Commission; Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Vice President of Distributed Energy Services at Austin Energy, the municipal utility for the City of Austin, Texas; Director of Regulatory Affairs for the AES Corporation and AES Wind; Energy Program Manager for the Environmental Defense Fund, and Managing Director & Principal of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Jon Exel, Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank Group
Jon leads the Global Facility on Mini Grids and manages the Energy Access for the Urban Poor initiative. He previously worked with the World Bank from 1998 to 2004 on renewable energy operations in Asia and Africa. Jon has also worked with private investors, governments, nongovernmental organizations, and started the first registered mini-hydropower development company under the new energy policy and regulations in Croatia. Jon has over two decades of experience in energy access and alternative energy sector, working with diesel, solar, hydropower, wind, and biomass-based energy systems, developing expertise in the delivery of energy services to large groups of end users; business plans and delivery models; pre-investment and investment plans; market intelligence; and how institutions plan and operate. Jon has lived and worked in Liberia, Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, East Jerusalem, and Cambodia. Jon holds a MA in Energy Engineering and Business Administration.
Peter Asmus, Research Director, Navigant Research
Peter Asmus is Research Director for microgrids at Navigant Research, which focuses on emerging energy distribution, integration and optimization smart grid models such as nanogrids, microgrids and virtual power plants. Asmus has 30 years of experience in energy and environmental markets, as an analyst, writer, and consultant. His expertise also extends to renewables such as wind power, marine hydrokinetics and solar energy.
Microgrid International Conference Agenda
According to a report by Navigant Research last year, microgrid installed capacity and market value are both expected to double in the next five years. Growth will come particularly from the commercial and industrial sector. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency reports that renewables are accounting for the majority of net new power capacity; they predict this trend will continue over the next five years with solar PV as the dominant renewable technology. Microgrids – as governments and corporations alike are discovering – are the best way to integrate high penetrations of these renewables into our existing electric grids. They are also the most environmentally sound way to bring power to those who currently have no energy access.
We hope you will be able to join us to hear about projected trends in the microgrid industry. We’ll be covering some of the most noteworthy topics including business models, regulatory issues, new innovations in controls, energy access, island and arctic microgrids, and selected case studies from California solar-plus-storage projects and distributed energy in general.
We have reserved an incredibly beautiful resort, on an island in Mission Bay, San Diego, the Paradise Point Resort & Spa, which features comfortable bungalow-style guest rooms amidst lush, tropical gardens, tranquil lagoons, and a mile of sandy beach. This should be conducive to some deep thinking about the future of energy technology!
Last, but emphatically not least, we are offering an optional third day of hands-on training with the HOMER Grid and HOMER Pro software platforms for designing microgrids, solar-plus-storage, and other types of hybrid distributed energy projects.
Be sure to take advantage of the Early Bird Pricing, which is good until June 30th, 2018. Learn more and register today at www.microgridconference.com.