2021 State Energy Coference of North Carolina: Connecting North Carolina's diverse energy economy
70+

speakers

30

sessions

6

tracks

2021 Conference Agenda


2021 Keynote Sessions

Check back often for additional speakers and plenaries

Speakers



Plenaries

Plenary: Offshore Wind Opportunity for the Mid-Atlantic







Plenary: What's Going on at the Legislature






Plenary: North Carolina's Clean Energy Plan: Overview and Progress





Monday, April 19, 2021


On-Demand sessions:
On-demand sessions are designed to be the same as our live sessions, only without the live Q&A. Same great content that is available when you have time to listen.
See On-Demand session descriptions.

Track: Utilities & Infrastructure

How North Carolina Utilities and Solar Developers Found Common Ground

Evolving Southeast Utility Regulation

Track: Renewable Energy

Developing the Future of North Carolina's Clean Energy Industry and Workforce

Sharing North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Success Story

Track: Government & Institutional Buildings

Strategies for Funding and Procurement: 2021 and Beyond - Smart Infrastructure and Deferred Maintenance

Cybersecurity for Smart Buildings: A Changing Landscape of Benefits and Challenges

Track: Commercial & Industrial Buildings

Energy Analytics in Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Cybersecurity for Operational Technology and Smart Buildings

Track: Residential

Buying Solar and Finding the Best Solar Companies in a Growing Market

Pathways to Decarbonization and Zero Energy Residential Homes

Track: Grid Edge

Energy Resiliency: Leveraging Technology to Create a Stronger Grid

Grid Edge Technology Innovation: Key to Transforming Our Electric Grid

Bonus On-Demand track: Sharing Benefits - Community Solar and Storage


Hot Topics Sessions:
Hot topics are 30-minute sessions that cover a wide variety of topics from experts in the industry. We offer both on-demand and live versions of these sessions. Additional topics will be added up until conference time. Check back often for new hot topics!
See Hot Topic session descriptions.

The Anatomy of Finding an Undetected Water Leak (live)

Data Analytics for Utility Applications

Energy Resilience & Conservation Practices at Military Bases (live)

Microgrid Research at NC State

Open Source Modeling to Inform Resilient, Low Carbon

PV Recycling: Thinking Ahead to a New Market Opportunity (Live)

Solar-Plus for Electric Cooperatives: Tools and Best Practices for Electric Utilities Seeking to Deploy Energy Storage

Workforce Development and DEI in Offshore Wind


NEW this year: On-demand sessions and Hot Topics

Tuesday, April 20, 2021



8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Exhibit Hall Virtual Networking

9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.  Welcome and Introductions: Stephen Kalland, Executive Director, NC Clean Energy Technology Center
9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.  Governor Cooper Remarks: (pre-recorded)
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  Keynote: Smart Electric Power Alliance, Sharon Allan, Chief Strategy Officer, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  Keynote: Karen Wayland, CEO, The GridWise Alliance, Inc.

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.   Exhibit Hall Virtual Networking

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m   CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Track: Utilities & Infrastructure

De-risking Energy Infrastructure Projects

The southeast United States has recently experienced the cancellation or delay of a variety of large energy infrastructure projects: nuclear, clean coal, natural gas pipeline, power transmission and others. Causes have included ill-conceived design, inability to timely execute construction, and unanticipated environmental and community issues. Can the region’s energy infrastructure builders develop approaches that satisfactorily address these issues, allowing projects to be completed on time, at the quoted price and to the satisfaction of the asset owner, its stakeholders and the community?

Track: Renewable Energy

North Carolina Leading the Way on Low-impact Utility—Scale Solar Siting and Design

North Carolina is the second largest state in installed solar, after California, with nearly 50,000 acres either built or permitted. This is great progress in terms of reducing emissions and fighting climate change, but it is also a form of development, with an increasing trend of conversion of forestland. This technical session will examine ways to help facilitate low-impact solar growth in NC and provide guidance for siting and implementing solar in ways that help local economies and reduce impacts to wildlife and natural communities. This session will also provide case studies from demonstration solar farms in NC and other states.

Track: Governmental & Institutional Buildings

New "Zero Energy" Building and Existing Building Tune-up Strategies

This session will cover both new and existing building energy systems design and operating strategies. New building strategies and case studies presented will include steps prescribed in the latest version of the ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) to achieve "zero energy" buildings. Existing building strategies and case study presentations will include building tune-ups or re-tuning with minimal capital investments.


12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Break and Virtual Exhibit Hall

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m   CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Track: Commercial & Industrial Buildings

Energy Policy in the Commercial and Industrial Buildings Sector

The commercial and industrial (C&I) building sector faces performance expectations from executives, investors, customers and employees to lower operating expenses, reduce carbon footprint, manage climate risk, and provide a healthy indoor environment. This is putting added pressure on federal, state and local policymakers to quickly pass climate and energy policies that enable C&I businesses to fulfill their climate and energy goals. This session will review the current policy landscape for C&I buildings in NC, recent changes and recommendations, and the impact of regional and national trends. Attendees will learn of specific opportunities to leverage and/or influence policies that directly affect their business – whether as facility operators, consultants or contractors. Speakers will provide short presentations followed by full-panel responses to submitted questions.

Track: Residential Homes

North Carolina Building Codes and Opportunities for the Next Generation of Energy Technology

While the next major code cycle update is scheduled to take place in 2025, the preparation starts much sooner than that, including work at the International Code Council, state level Building Code Council, and other organizations. The North Carolina Clean Energy Plan includes recommendations for action on energy code development. This session will cover a wide range of building code processes and ways that you can get involved and make your voice heard. You may not realize how much of an impact building codes have on your daily lives, human health, and economic opportunity. How do we make building codes that are effective for occupants and that also prepare them for the future that is rapidly coming upon us; where on-site renewable energy is installed, energy storage is available, electric vehicles are charging and supporting the grid? How does the initial cost of construction weigh against the life-cycle costs of operating and living in those buildings?


Track: Grid Edge

Cleantech, Carbon and Policy: How Technology Is Helping North Carolina Meet Climate Goals

Many utilities and local governments are embracing aggressive carbon reduction goals, but it is unclear how they will reach their targets. This panel will highlight carbon goals from North Carolina utilities and communities, examine the policies enabling innovative partnerships and technology deployment, and explore how grid edge technologies such as renewables, energy storage and transportation systems will help reduce energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions


3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Exhibit Hall Virtual Networking and Hot Topic Groups — Drop in to participate in a topic!

Hot Topics

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 
PV Recycling: Thinking Ahead to a New Market Opportunity

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
The Anatomy of Finding an Undetected Water Leak


Wednesday, April 21, 2021



8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Exhibit Hall Virtual Networking

9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.  Welcome and Introductions: Isaac Panzarella, Assistant Director, Technical Services,  NC Clean Energy Technology Center
9:10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  Keynote Plenary: Offshore Wind Opportunity for the Mid-Atlantic
Speakers:
Katherine Kollins, President of the Southeastern Wind Coalition
Andy Geissbuehler, Advisory Director (Renewable Resources Int’l), BVG Associates
Brian Krevor, Lead Environmental Protection Specialist, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, Environment Branch for Renewable Energy, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
John Larson, Director of Public Policy & Economic Development, Dominion Energy
Jenifer Mundt, Senior Policy Advisor, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
Eric A. Thumma, Senior Director for New Business Offshore Wind, Avangrid Renewables

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.   Exhibit Hall Virtual Networking

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m   CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Track: Utilities & Infrastructure

Natural Gas: Transition Fuel or Here to Stay?

Natural gas, due to advances in production technologies during the past decade, is now produced in such volume that the United States has become a significant natural gas exporter as well as a net energy exporter. However, concern exists as to whether natural gas can become a “net no carbon” energy resource. To accomplish this, significant changes must occur in managing production methane emissions, combustion technologies employed in producing electricity, and eliminating distribution methane emissions, particularly from aging utility systems.

Track: Renewable Energy

Cleaning the Peak

As clean energy resources make up a rapidly increasing share of North Carolina's total energy generation, regulators, utilities, and independent power producers are now exploring ways to increase the share of clean energy resources used to meet the state's peak electricity demand. This session will explore policy and technology options and tools for "cleaning the peak," including a discussion of energy storage technologies, Clean Peak Standards and the role of electric vehicles.

Track: Governmental & Institutional Buildings

Mining Energy Data and How to Create an Energy Dashboard

Are your building energy data currently on spreadsheets or inside unfriendly and disparate databases? Are you spending hours every month copying and pasting rows and columns of energy data in order to create your building energy or air quality reports? Do you wish you had an energy dashboard? Learn what it takes to streamline and automate repetitive data and reporting processes and how to create effective, meaningful and colorful energy dashboards. This is an advanced technical session that will include a deeper dive into data collection and processes.


12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Break and Virtual Exhibit Hall

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m   CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Track: Commercial & Industrial Buildings

Decarbonization: Reducing a Facility’s Carbon Footprint

Decarbonization is an increasingly popular topic that impacts all industries, including commercial buildings. As such, understanding the potential for decarbonization through design and construction is critical. This session will start at the 30,000-foot level with the role of buildings and utility companies in reaching decarbonization targets, show how to quantify impact and then review practical insights of decarbonization at the building level through real-world project examples. Sierra Nevada will share their efforts in reducing the carbon footprint of their facility in Mills River, NC (Asheville).

Track: Residential Homes

High Performance & Healthy Homes: Co-Benefits and Improved Efficiency Outcomes

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many of us have spent a lot of time at home and increased attention on our health over the past year. Within our homes, energy efficiency and indoor air quality improvements may have interrelated impacts and benefits. High performance homes provide a combination of energy savings, comfort, healthy environments, and durability. Furthermore, existing weatherization and energy efficiency programs already improve home comfort and indoor air quality. Learn how efforts to combine health and energy outcomes have the potential to attract additional financial benefits or resources and improved building outcomes.


Track: Grid Edge

EVs in North Carolina: The Technologies Driving Deployment

There are many challenges associated with the increasing prevalence of electric vehicles (EVs) across North Carolina, including effects on the electrical grid. This technical panel will overview how the increasing number of EVs will impact the grid, discuss how technologies can integrate EVs with grid infrastructure, and detail the cutting-edge technology minimizing EV’s impact on the grid (AI, battery storage, etc.), including how regulatory and financial barriers impact the integration of these new technologies.


3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Exhibit Hall Virtual Networking and Hot Topic Groups — Drop in to participate in a topic!

Hot Topics

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 
Energy Resilience & Conservation Practices at Military Bases


Thursday, April 22, 2021



8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Exhibit Hall Virtual Networking

8:50 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  Welcome and Introductions: Diane Cherry, Founder, Diane Cherry Consulting
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.  Opening Plenary What's Going on at the Legislature?
Speakers:
Betsy McCorkle, Partner, Kairos Government Affairs, Moderator
Christina Cress, Regulatory Counsel, CIGFUR, Of Counsel Bailey & Dixon, LLP
Trafton Dinwiddie, Policy Advisor, Office of the Speaker of the House, NC General Assembly
Kevin McLaughlin, Vice President of Government Affairs & External Relations, Duke Energy
Alexander C. Miller, Founder and Principal of Alex Miller Government Affairs

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  Keynote Plenary: North Carolina's Clean Energy Plan: Overview and Progress
Speakers:
Jeremy Tarr, Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Roy Cooper, North Carolina, Moderator
Heather Hildebrant, Statewide Initiatives Supervisor at NC Department of Transportation
Sushma Masemore, Acting Assistant Secretary for Environment, NC Dept. of Environmental Quality
Jennifer Weiss, Senior Policy Associate, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.   Exhibit Hall Virtual Networking

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m   CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Track: Utilities & Infrastructure

The Role of Nuclear Power in a Decarbonized Future

Today, the majority of the United States' "no carbon” energy is produced by nuclear power plants located across the U.S. Over the last two decades, U.S. nuclear power plants have operated at capacity factors over 90%, but are being increasingly challenged due their higher cost of maintenance and operations when compared to other generation. While the last U.S. nuclear accident was over 40 years ago, the challenges at Fukushima do cause a lingering safety concern among some stakeholders. Among the issues this panel will discuss is the status of the current fleet of reactors, efforts to operate them for 80 or more years, and both U.S. and international efforts on the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. Additionally, the panel will also discuss current efforts to deploy advanced nuclear technologies and how these efforts could reposition the safety and cost competitiveness of the U.S. nuclear industry – and may reinvigorate the export market for U.S. nuclear technologies.

Track: Renewable Energy

Powering North Carolina's Blue Economy

This session will include a discussion of on-going research and testing to advance responsible marine energy solutions to power North Carolina's Blue Economy.  Marine hydrokinetic resources are available in North Carolina’s waters. On-going resources assessments, modeling, research, and testing are demonstrating the potential for marine energy solutions in North Carolina and beyond. Learn about the challenges and opportunities with responsibly harvesting marine hydrokinetic resources.

Track: Governmental & Institutional Buildings

NC DEQ Updated Comprehensive Program: Everything USI and a Little BRIC Too

Learn about NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Comprehensive Program update and utility data report, including collection, review and reporting of annual utility (including energy and water) consumption and cost data, as well as university and agency utility management plans including best practices for energy efficiency, cost estimation and financing options. Other topics will include DEQ's services, which include communication and training, assistance, strategic energy plan implementation, preliminary energy audits and oversight of Guaranteed Energy Savings Contracts (GESC). Also learn about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program. The BRIC program supersedes the federal Pre-Disaster Mitigation program and is focused on nationwide hazard mitigation projects. Conference participants will obtain background information on the BRIC program and learn about potential opportunities that may assist with enhancing the energy-efficiency and resiliency of infrastructure.


12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Break and Virtual Exhibit Hall

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m   CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Track: Commercial & Industrial Buildings

Designing and Operating Energy Efficient and Healthy Buildings in a COVID World

COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we live, work and play. In this session, we will look at how building owners, property managers and designers have tackled the issues of creating environments that are safer and feel safer to occupants and how COVID-19 is affecting changes in the commercial marketplace. Ways in which designers are incorporating new contaminant control criteria into design to help mitigate transmission will be explored. We will review specific technologies being used to reduce contamination of the indoor environment. Presentations will focus on occupant needs and building operations, systems, and energy use in both existing buildings and new construction. Discussion will include how designers, building owners and operators balance the need to provide safe workplaces while also minimizing the increased energy impacts.

Track: Residential Homes

Shaping Residential Electricity Demand

This session will examine the recent growth in the North Carolina residential solar market and talk about the process some leading players use to acquire potenial customers in a way that reduces overall costs.


Track: Grid Edge

Energy Storage: Global Trends and Impact on North Carolina

Effective rates and programs are indispensable tools for utilities to stimulate efficiency and demand reduction in the residential market and ultimately shape the electric load. This session will explore rate design, also referred to as green tariffs, as well as incentive programs that promote technologies such as rooftop solar, energy storage and plug-in vehicles.


3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Squeaky Clean Energy podcast by NCSEA

This year, we’ll conclude the conference with a happy hour where you’ll have the chance to tune in to a live recording of the Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast - a fresh take on North Carolina’s evolving clean energy policy landscape. For this live recording, we’ll recap the highlights of this year’s conference by intervieng different speakers from the event. So bring your favorite beverage and tune in for a chance to be a part of the Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast!

Agenda At-A-Glance


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Track: Utilities & Infrastructure

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
De-risking Energy Infrastructure Projects

Track: Renewable Energy

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
North Carolina Leading the Way on Low-impact Utility-Scale Solar Siting and Design

Track: Governmental & Institutional Buildings

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
New "Zero Energy" Building and Existing Building Tune-up Strategies

Track: Commercial & Industrial Buildings

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Energy Policy in the Commercial and Industrial Buildings Sector - Its Impact and Your Opportunity.

Track: Residential Homes

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
North Carolina Building Codes and Opportunities for the Next Generation of Energy Technology

Track: Grid Edge

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Cleantech, Carbon and Policy: How Technology Is Helping North Carolina Meet Climate Goals

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Track: Utilities & Infrastructure

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Natural Gas: Transition Fuel or Here to Stay?

Track: Renewable Energy

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Cleaning the Peak

Track: Governmental & Institutional Buildings

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Mining Energy Data and How to Create an Energy Dashboard

Track: Commercial & Industrial Buildings

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Decarbonization: Reducing a Facility’s Carbon Footprint

Track: Residential Homes

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
High Performance & Healthy Homes: Co-Benefits and Improved Efficiency Outcomes

Track: Grid Edge

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
EVs in North Carolina: The Technologies Driving Deployment

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Track: Utilities & Infrastructure

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The Role of Nuclear Power in a Decarbonized Future

Track: Renewable Energy

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Powering North Carolina's Blue Economy

Track: Governmental & Institutional Buildings

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
NC DEQ Updated Comprehensive Program: Everything USI and a Little BRIC Too

Track: Commercial & Industrial Buildings

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Designing and Operating Energy Efficient and Healthy Buildings in a COVID World

Track: Residential Homes

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Shaping Residential Electricity Demand

Track: Grid Edge

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Energy Storage: Global Trends and Impact on North Carolina