State Energy Conference Agenda

Check back often to see the updated agenda.

Examine the impacts of energy technologies, policy and finance on customers at all levels of the energy marketplace:

  • Residential Homes
  • Commercial & Industrial Energy Use
  • Governmental & Institutional Buildings
  • Utilities & Infrastructure
  • Research & Innovation
  • Renewable Energy

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Take me to Wednesday's agenda

Residential Homes
Commercial & Industrial Energy Use
Governmental & Institutional Buildings
Utilities & Infrastructure
Research & Innovation
Renewable Energy

8:30 am – 10:00 am    Welcome and Introduction Speaker: Secretary Michael S. Regan, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
Keynote Speaker: Sean Gallagher, Vice President of State Affairs, Solar Electric Industries Association (SEIA)

10:30 am – Noon

Session A1:

Clean Energy Financing Options for Residential Single and Multifamily Buildings

Learn about the different ways that builders, developers, contractors, consumers, and others can finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy projects in single and multifamily buildings. Topics will include rebate and incentive programs, traditional loan offerings, and innovative financing mechanisms such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing and On-Bill Financing coming to North Carolina in 2017.

Session B1:

Innovation in Energy - Real World Applications

The pace of innovation continues to increase for the supply, analysis, and use of energy in today's commercial and industrial facilities. Concerns about resiliency, economic impact, job creation, climate change and stakeholder satisfaction are just a few of the considerations. Hear real-world applications and cutting-edge technology in areas such as CHP, renewables, controls, and analytics.

Session C1:

Energy Efficiency Policy and Practice in North Carolina

Universities, institutions, and state and local governmental units occupy and maintain hundreds of millions of facility square feet in North Carolina. Learn what North Carolina policy makers and practitioners are doing to meet stricter and more comprehensive energy codes.

Session D1:

The North Carolina Electric Utility of the Future

The North Carolina electric utility market is “regulated”, meaning that a utility is charged with delivering electricity to end consumers. Independent power producers must sell their production to a utility for delivery to consumers. This regulatory scheme was established by policy in North Carolina long before today’s power generation and distribution technology was even envisioned. Stakeholders spent two years as the North Carolina Electric Utility of the Future Steering Team discussing how the North Carolina electric utility market should evolve and 2016 produce a “Shared Perspectives” white paper outlining a framework for evolution. Stakeholders involved in preparing this white paper will discuss its components.

Session E1:

Carolina Technology: Solving Global Energy Problems

Energy ministries, trade offices, and corporations across the globe come to the Carolinas for energy products and services to solve their energy problems. Sub-Saharan Africa partners on distributed energy technology; eastern Europe seeks help in upgrading its power grid and natural gas transmission networks; France collaborates on nuclear issues; Italy, Germany, Israel, Spain, and others find the Carolinas attractive for direct investment; and Australia desires innovation partnerships with our universities and technology companies. This session will examine four examples of how Carolina energy companies are quietly solving global energy problems.

Session F1:

Value of a Balanced Solar Economy

While utility-scale and rooftop solar utilize the same technology, they each offer different benefits to the electric grid and local communities. The markets for these technologies are also driven - or slowed - by different policies. This session will examine the technical, economic development, and policy-related differences among utility, commercial and industrial, community, and residential scale solar.

Noon - 1:15 pm   Lunch and Keynote Speaker: Gretchen Bakke, PhD., Author of The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Use

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Session A2:

Leveraging Big Data to Advance North Carolina's Residential Energy Efficiency Market

Advances in smart meter installation, connected devices, and data analytics can offer utilities, consumers, product manufacturers, and service providers valuable insight into residential energy use and improvement opportunities. This session will discuss North Carolina's challenges and opportunities for leveraging big data to improve energy efficiency adoption across the state.

Session B2:

How Efficiency Policy Shapes an Industry

North Carolina's energy efficiency policy shaped our state when assessing things such as successes, projects, and REPS compliance? Hear from those who advocate for potential policy considerations as well as those who enforce them. This session will bring together those with different perspectives—including varying stakeholders—into one discussion centered on energy efficiency policy in North Carolina.

Session C2:

Finding, Recruiting, Training and Retaining a Skilled Labor Force

Finding, recruiting, training, and retaining skilled workers is becoming more and more challenging. Learn what the North Carolina Community College System and employers are doing to recruit and prepare the next generation of skilled labor.

Session D2:

Traditional Fossil Fuel Generation in North Carolina's Energy Future

A look at the status of North Carolina's existing power plants, the retirements expected in the next several years (and what they are being replaced with), and modifications being made to existing coal plants to allow them to burn natural gas.

Session E2:

The Long View: How Much Solar and Wind Can NC Support?

Currently, North Carolina is supplying approximately 2% of our annual electricity demand with solar and wind, which leads the Southeast. Recent research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows the Eastern grid can supply 30% of its energy with wind and solar. However, many climate change experts say the world needs to move to much higher percentages of renewable energy generation as quickly as possible. This session will shine some light on the path from here to there, including a look at near-term factors that could limit PV in North Carolina and explore the technical, reglatory, and policy changes that may be needed to acheive more signifigant solar and wind penetrations.

Session F2:

Community Solar in the Southeast

Community solar in this region is just getting started, although the potential market for community solar is huge. Across the country, community solar comes in many different shapes and sizes. Becuase we do not have enabling community solar state policies, most community solar projects in the region have been led by cooperative and municipal utilies. Learn about the early community solar projects in the region and how community solar can bring low-cost solar to utility customers without regard to the solar suitability of their home.

3:00 - 3:30 pm   Networking break and Student research poster author Q&A

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Session A3:

Net Zero Energy Principles and Strategies for Residential and Commercial Buildings

Industry experts will provide real-world insight into the workflow and analysis procedures for designing net zero energy buildings in North Carolina. Several case studies will be presented that illustrate the iterative process of integrated building design toward a net zero energy goal. These studies cover a variety of building types and scales, including single family, multifamily, and commercial. Additional best practices for communication approaches, useful tools, plug load reduction strategies, and how to leverage the climate to reduce building loads will be discussed.

Session B3:

Practical Tools, Tips and Resources

There are many sources of information and support to develop, design, implement, measure, and verify energy-efficient retrofits and new construction. In many ways this can be overwhelming and confusing, sometimes delaying action while the latest option is considered. This session will present practical information to help you get things done faster and better at your facility or for your clients.

Session C3:

Building a Compelling Case for Efficiency Retrofits

Organizations are struggling to get the funding for capital investments just based on energy savings alone. Incorporating operational data, such as capital forecast data, work order data, and building performance data (analytics) from the BMS, will create a stronger more compelling story in order to justify a serious consideration of the project. How do we tie all these pieces of data back to the mission of the organization to provides a more compelling opportunity to justify projects that have an energy saving component to them?

Session D3:

Legislative Update: Energy at the General Assembly

What happened at the General Assembly during the 2015-2016 legislative biennium and what is on tap for the 2017-2018 biennium?

Session E3:

Grid Paradigm Shift: Energy Storage

Batteries have been around for a long time, but the role of grid-tied batteries and other energy storage is still in its infancy. However, many experts see the current rates of growth and maturation of battery technologies, and think that it will not be long before battery energy storage is playing a major role in our energy infrastructure. This session will look into the future of energy storage, with an eye toward energy storage in the Southeast over the next few years.

Session F3:

Changing Winds: How Technology, Policy, and Manufacturing are Maturing for North Carolina's Wind Industry

With technological advances and dropping prices, opportunities for wind in North Carolina have never looked better. At this panel discussion you will discover how technology and policy at the state and federal levels are impacting what's next for North Carolina's wind energy projects.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm   Networking Reception held in the Exhibit Hall.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Residential Homes
Commercial & Industrial Energy Use
Governmental & Institutional Buildings
Utilities & Infrastructure
Research & Innovation
Renewable Energy

8:30 am – 10:00 am    Welcome and Keynote Plenary on Energy Poverty in North Carolina

Jeff Brown, Senior Manager – Residential and Consumer Programs, Lockheed Martin Energy (moderator)    |     Brad Atkinson, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, Weatherization Program Manager   |     Rick Glazier, Executive Director, NC Justice Centers    |     Sharon Goodson, Executive Director, NC Community Action Association   |     Suzanne B Harlow, Program Manager, Division of Social Services, Economic and Family Services, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services   |     Curtis Wynn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Roanoke Electric Cooperative & Affiliate Organizations

10:30 am – Noon

Session A4:

Design and Construction Best Practices for Energy Efficient Multifamily Buildings

North Carolina's multifamily construction market is booming with new projects--designed and built to energy efficient, green, and high performance standards--breaking ground across the state. In this session you will learn best practices and strategies for how and why to make your next multifamily project energy efficient.

Session B4:

Leveraging Energy Data at the Enterprise Level

Big data has increased in complexity and availability. What do we know about big data and how can we use it to our benefit? Business and industry can now analyze energy data to more quickly and accurately make decisions that positively impact operations and improve efficiency. Learn how big data is shaping our state’s economy and hear from industry experts on how data are being gathered, processed, presented, and leveraged to increase profits, reduce environmental impact, and support the enterprise mission.

Session C4:

Financing Efficiency Projects- Creative Financing Approaches

Finding capital for upgrades can be challenging. Learn about alternative financing techniques that can be significant sources of capital in a world where budget cuts and underfunded capital outlays seem to impede sound efficiency investments year after year. Also learn how public-private partnerships and net-zero schools are changing the K-12 landscape in North and South Carolina.

Session D4:

Land Use for Renewable Energy

North Carolina has long been a leader in agricultural production, and has recently emerged as a leader in solar energy production as well. Because both agriculture and solar energy production need access to large areas of sunlight, these two valuable land uses are at times competing for the same land. The state's first utility-scale wind farm has been constructed on approximately 22,000 acres in northeastern North Carolina. Learn about the land use impacts of solar and other renewables, project decommissioning, and creative strategies to preserve North Carolina's agricultural tradition while encouraging renewable energy development.

Session E4:

Innovative Business Cases for the Deployment of Microgrids

Microgrids are excellent tools which integrate a variety of traditional and renewable energy sources to improve reliability, resiliency, and efficiency. However, the business case for the deployment of microgrids remain rather elusive. In this panel, you will learn about successful microgrid deployments and about the potential scenarios for microgrid deployment success.

Session F4:

The Bioenergy Horizon for North Carolina

Over the past 12 months, a great deal of attention and activity have been given to the opportunities for harvesting the rich bioenergy resources of North Carolina. From recycling farming and forestry wastes into valuable products, to growing crops for feedstock, to simply harnessing the existing decomposition of wastes we all create, North Carolina has unparalleled, untapped potential. This session will explore the current state of bioenergy system development in North Carolina, including policies and initiatives currently underway. You will have the opportuntity to engage with a panel of experts to explore and discuss the steps North Carolina is taking, and should take, to further avail itself of these precious resources.

Noon - 1:15 pm    Lunch and Keynote Speaker: David Fountain, State President (North Carolina), Duke Energy

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Session A5:

North Carolina's Residential Renewable Energy Market in 2017 and Beyond

North Carolina's residential renewable energy market experienced significant changes in 2016 following the loss of the state's Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit. What was the impact of this loss on the market and how are companies and industry looking to maintain momentum in 2017 and beyond? In this session you will hear how companies can achieve success this year and for many more to come.

Session B5:

Meeting the Growing Market Demand for a Skilled Workforce

The need for energy professionals at all levels is vast. Be it technicians, engineers, or professionals in marketing or executive leadership roles, candidates with an interest and expertise in the field are in demand. A panel of experts from academia and industry will weigh-in on the need and will present solutions currently in development that will meet the growing market demand for a skilled workforce in this field.

Session C5:

Energy Efficiency Case Studies

Learn about recent successful energy efficiency projects across North Carolina. This session will include speakers from East Carolina University and UNC-Chapel Hill who have either completed or are planning their energy efficiency and capital improvement projects. Discussion will also include a case study on the steam plant decentralization project at Camp LeJeune.

Session D5:

Grid Modernization and Integrating Renewables

States across the country are looking at ways to modernize their electric grids, and North Carolina is no exception. This session will look at grid modernization efforts in North Carolina, including work on smart grid, energy storage, and advanced metering infrastructure, and how these efforts can help better integrate renewable resources.

Session E5:

Nuclear Energy's Future in the Southeast

In the Southeast, nuclear power has long been an important source of generation. Even with the increasing generation from biomass, solar, and wind, nuclear still provides a large portion of the non-fossil generation in the region. But what does the future hold for these existing units, as well as new units in the Southeast? Nuclear generators in the Southeast are not experiencing the difficult market pressures facing nuclear in other regions, but our nuclear fleet is growing toward retirement age. This session will explore the near- and long-term future for nuclear in the Southeast.

Session F5:

Southeast Solar Policy

This panel will explore the emerging solar policy trends from Virginia to Florida. Come listen to solar developers and advocates discuss why the Southeast is driving utility scale solar yet lagging in rooftop solar. The panel will explore short- and long-term trends with a focus on new markets.

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm   Cleantech Connect Career Fair, presented by the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster and Work in the Triangle