TRACK D: Utilities & Infrastructuree


D1: Evolution of North Carolina's Power Grid

April 17, 10:30am - 12:00pm

The electric power grid continues to adapt to environmental and technology changes. Variable renewable generation, the rapid increase in distributed generation, the availability of demand management technology and energy efficient products, and an increase in severe weather have increased what is expected of utilities from just a few years ago. Sustainability, resiliency, and management of thousands, rather than the previous dozens of power generation delivery points, must be managed. Power delivery must be responsive to customer requirements. The grid must evolve to meet these needs and this session will explore how that is being accomplished.

Moderator: Gary Rackliffe, Vice President, Smart Grids North America, ABB, Inc.

Gary Rackliffe is the ABB Vice President for Smart Grids and Grid Modernization and the General Manager for the Smart Grid Center of Excellence located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He leads ABB's smart grid initiative in North America which includes business development, alliances and partnerships, strategy, sales, and marketing. Gary is a member of NEMA's Distribution Automation Technical Committee and Grid Modernization Leadership Committee. He is also a member of the DistribuTECH Advisory Committee, the Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, the Department of Energy ADMS Steering Committee, the IEC Smart Energy Systems Committee, and is the Technical Advisor for the IEC US National Committee's advisory group. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (Chairman), the GridWise Alliance (Outreach Committee Chair), the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), and the Texas A&M Smart Grid Advisory Board. Gary holds BS and ME degrees in Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and an IEEE Senior Member. He has co-authored a T&D planning book, and has written numerous technical papers and articles.

Panelist: John Morrison, Chief Operating Officer, Exoplexus Solar

John Morrison is the Chief Operating Officer of Ecoplexus, Inc. a solar company headquartered in San Francisco with offices throughout the United States. He is located in the company’s Durham office, where he oversees the design, construction and maintenance of solar facilities across the country. Ecoplexus develops, designs, builds and operates solar facilities, primarily in the institutional and utility–scale market segments. The company’s current portfolio includes operating sites in California, Minnesota and North Carolina, with a project pipeline encompassing half a dozen additional states. Before joining Ecoplexus in 2015, he was COO at Strata Solar, and prior to that he was the Assistant Secretary for Energy at the NC Department of Commerce. His education background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Yale University, graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.

Panelist: Ken Dulaney, NC State University, FREEDM Systems Center

Ken Dulaney is Director of Industry and Innovation for the FREEDOM Systems Center of North Carolina State University. His role is to connect corporate research needs to Center capabilities and expertise. He is responsible for marketing activities, maintaining the website, providing most lab tours and moving FREEDM inventions to commercialization. Ken joined the FREEDM staff in April 2015. He previously worked in industrial energy efficiency and environmental consulting. Ken contributes to work on the Cost Benefit Analysis project and also supports the FREEDM Industry Advisory Board.

Panelist: Bobby Simpson, Duke Energy

Bobby Simpson began his career with Carolina Power & Light Company, then Progress Energy, now Duke Energy, in 1977. With the exception of a two year stint supporting the transmission system, Simpson's efforts have been focused in the Distribution organization his entire career. In his current role as Duke Energy's Director of Grid Investment Plan Integration, Simpson has accountability for integrating the company's ambitious 10-year $25 billion Grid Improvement Plan across the 6 states served by Duke Energy. Prior to this role, Simpson lead Duke Energy's power quality teams in North and South Carolina as the Director of Power Quality, Reliability, and Planning for Carolinas Delivery Operations. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Clemson University and is a registered professional engineer in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.


D2: The Future of Nuclear Power

April 17, 1:30pm - 3:00pm

With the cancellation of South Carolina’s VC Summer Plant, and the recent finding by the Georgia Public Service Commission Staff that proceeding with Georgia’s Vogtle Plant will not be “prudent,” new conventional nuclear station construction in the United States is unlikely. In addition, questions exist as to the continued operation of the country’s aging nuclear fleet. This session will explore the value of continuing to operate the country’s existing nuclear fleet and/or accelerating the development of the more than 40 advanced and small modular nuclear designs being developed now in the United States.

Moderator: Jim Little, Principal, Nuclear Energy Advisors

Jim is a 42 year veteran of the nuclear industry and provided consulting services to nuclear energy organizations after serving as an officer with Atkins Nuclear Solutions, URS and Westinghouse.

Panelist: Bob Coward, Principal Officer, MPR Associates, Inc.

Rob Coward is a Principal Officer of MPR, a role he has held since 2009. He was elected to serve as President of the American Nuclear Society in 2016. Since joining MPR in 1983, Coward has worked on a wide range of challenging technical and management issues for a variety of clients. Previously, he was responsible for leading all of MPR's services to the nuclear power business sector, and he has worked on over 100 electric generating plants worldwide. His specific expertise includes work in the areas of project management, safety analysis, and design and development of new nuclear power plants. Coward has been an industry leader in the design, licensing and development of new nuclear power plants, with leadership roles on a variety of significant U.S. nuclear projects. He also provided the project management and technical leadership to modify the Davis-Besse HPI pumps for operation with debris laden water following a loss of coolant accident, the first PWR project to address plant operation with debris laden water in the containment emergency sump. He has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering with honors from Duke University and is a registered Professional Engineer.

Panelist: Jon Ball, Executive Vice President of Nuclear Plant Projects, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Jon Ball is Executive Vice President of Nuclear Plant Projects for GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), headquartered in Wilmington, NC, a position he assumed in November, 2015. Previously, Jon served as Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain, leading more than 1,000 employees in manufacturing and logistics for GEH’s worldwide operations. Jon has been in the nuclear industry for nearly 25 years and has a wide-range of experience in manufacturing, global operations, services, quality and P&L leadership. He spent several years in Services where he led GEH’s Field Services and Performance Services businesses. Prior to that he held several positions in the nuclear fuels business, including Global Supply Chain Leader, Quality Manager and Lab Manager. Jon received a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. Jon is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and completed the MIT Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives.


D3: Natural Gas Diversity and Development

April 17, 3:30pm - 5:00pm

North Carolina is supplied by only one interstate natural gas pipeline. In recent years, this pipeline has been reconstructed to accommodate bi-directional flow from natural gas production on the Gulf Coast and in Appalachia. However, North Carolina’s natural gas supplies continue to rely solely on that pipeline’s capacity and operation and is limited to service mainly in central and western North Carolina. This session will explore the likelihood of an alternative pipeline being built to serve eastern North Carolina and its benefit and cost.

Moderator: David McGowan, Executive Director, North Carolina Petroleum Council

David is Executive Director of the North Carolina Petroleum Council, the state office of the American Petroleum Institute (API). API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.

Panelist: Bruce McKay, Managing Director, Federal Affairs, Dominion Energy

Bruce McKay serves as Senior Energy Policy Director for Dominion Energy. McKay is responsible for the development and execution of strategies to advance Dominion's positions on state and local matters affecting the company's natural gas businesses. He joined Consolidated Natural Gas in 1995 and became part of Dominion Energy when the two companies merged in 2000. From 2006 to 2016 McKay managed Dominion's federal affairs office in Washington DC. Prior to joining Consolidated Natural Gas he served as Legislative Director to U.S. Representative Earl Pomeroy (ND) and legislative assistant to former U.S. Senator Quentin Burdick, focusing on energy and natural resource issues. McKay was raised on a farm near Valley City, North Dakota. He attended the University of North Dakota, earning a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Public Administration. He is married to Anne Miniter McKay, has three children, Justin, Campbell and Jackson, and resides in Great Falls, Virginia.

Panelist: Marty Petchul, General Manager, Asset Management, Piedmont Natural Gas

Martin Petchul is General Manager _ Asset Planning and Engineering for the Natural Gas Business Unit of Duke Energy. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the planning, engineering, pipeline safety and integrity management of the NGBU's gas delivery system. His areas of responsibility include: Asset Risk Management, Asset Data Quality, Asset Safety Management, Engineering and Asset Planning. He has worked in various facets of the energy industry for over 30 years. These include engineering, design, product research and development, codes and standards, capital planning, project management, construction, pipeline operations, pipeline safety, marketing and sales, etc. Mr. Petchul has a B.S.in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and a Masters in Engineering Administration from George Washington University. He is a Certified Energy Manager and a registered Professional Engineer with licenses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Panelist: Robert M. Van Geons, CEcD, President and CEO, Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation

Robert has been President and CEO of FCEDC since January of 2017. His Board and team have focused heavily on improving internal and external communications, proactive site / product development, and data- driven marketing. With the support of local leaders, in a year’s time, these efforts have announced more than 400 new jobs and $50 million in new investment. Robert is committed to assisting local industry, believing that successful communities prosper when the public and private sector work together.

Robert has over 20 years of economic development, consulting, and development experience, helping companies execute their location strategies and communities achieve their economic development goals. He has worked in both Economic Development and Land Use Management, serving communities in New England and the Carolinas. Robert has assisted companies from a variety of industries, (including information technology, automotive, logistics, systems automation, specialty chemical, advanced composites, and energy production) successfully completing projects with businesses from across the US and more than a dozen countries.

Robert serves on the public policy committees of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the North Carolina Economic Developers Association (NCEDA), and the Greater Fayetteville Chamber. He also serves on the Cumberland County Workforce Development Board, the Southeastern Economic Development Commission, and the business advisory boards of both Fayetteville State University and Catawba College. He is an advocate for “life long-learning” and innovative applications of emerging technologies.


D4: The “Game Changer”

April 18, 10:30am - 12:00pm

Distributed generation is beginning to place demands on power grid operation which current, outmoded grid technology at some point will not be able to wholly accommodate. Additionally, customer interest in better managing power consumption has heightened. Power storage is now not only of interest, but is economic and is being installed by utilities and customers. This session will describe the potential for near-term storage implementation on a national and what may be expected in North Carolina under HB 589.

Moderator: Ron DiFelice, Managing Partner, Energy Intelligence Partners

Dr. Ron DiFelice is a Co-founder and Managing Partner at Energy Intelligence Partners (EIP), a consulting firm providing expertise and operational support to assess, launch, and grow businesses in the energy sector. He has over 16 years of experience with all types of energy storage technologies and leads EIP’s energy storage practice. Before launching EIP, Dr. DiFelice focused on technology commercialization and building businesses in emerging energy markets, and he drove two battery companies from launch to profitability.

In his role at EIP, Dr. DiFelice brings the unique perspective gained from having worn every hat required to successfully start, fund, operate, and grow a business. His experience in the energy sector spans energy storage, distributed energy resources, sustainability, and grid-edge solutions, among others. Beyond traditional advisory work at EIP, he also takes on day-to-day duties to help clients execute on strategies.

Dr. DiFelice holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech (Phi Lambda Upsilon), an MBA from Kenan‐Flagler at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Beta Gamma Sigma), and Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Panelist: Jeremiah Johnson, Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, NC State University

Jermiah Johnson joined NC State in August 2017 as a Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in Sustainable Energy Systems and Policy. An associate professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, his research uses systems methods to evaluate the environmental impacts of changes to the power system, including those driven by technology (such as the integration of wind power, solar photovoltaics and energy storage) and policy. Currently, Johnson serves as the principal investigator for a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study emissions impacts of distributed energy storage used in reliability applications. Additionally, he is co-PI of an NSF project examining the urban food-energy-water nexus, using Detroit and Beijing as case studies. He is currently conducting experiments on university building heating and cooling systems, in an effort to reduce energy losses when their demand is altered to provide power system services. At NC State, Johnson teaches courses related to sustainable engineering, life cycle assessment and energy systems analysis. Johnson's most recent appointment was at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment. He earned his graduate degrees in environmental engineering from Yale University, where his dissertation on material flows and energy use in anthropogenic metal cycles earned the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering with a concentration in environmental engineering from Clarkson University.

Panelist: Roger Breddar, Vice President, Americas Business Development, First Solar

Roger Bredder leads client relationship management for First Solar's product sales, PPA origination, and M&A origination across the Eastern portion of the United States. He has over 25 years of experience in the power sector. He spent over 15 years working in project finance for New York based money center banks financing over $5 Billion of energy projects on a non-recourse basis in the syndicated bank and public and private bond markets. Mr. Bredder was the North American head of project finance for both Societe Generale and Wells Fargo. He holds a B.S in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University and an MBA in Financing from The Simon School at the University of Rochester.

Panelist: Robert Sipes, Vice President, Western Carolinas Modernization, Duke Energy

Robert Sipes serves as the VP of Duke Energy's Western Carolinas Modernization project. The project encompasses the conversion from coal to gas of the Asheville Power Plant, the addition of significant transmission and substation infrastructure, the implementation of several distributed energy resource projects, and engagement with the community to implement existing and new programs to mitigate peak demand growth, increase efficiency, and reduce electric usage. Robert graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He began his career in the energy industry in 1983 performing electric power line construction for Stackhouse Inc and he has served in a wide variety of roles in the electric utility industry since that time.

Panelist: Casey Butler, Director of Strategic Contracts and Policy, Parker Hannifin

With over 10 year’s experience in energy-related law, engineering, and organizational development, James Butler (J.D, B.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology) brings tremendous technical and managerial expertise to his current role as Director of Strategic Contracts and Policy at Parker Hannifin (NYSE: PH). Prior to his current role, James was the CEO and founder at Third Nail Consulting working with start-ups and universities on renewable energy and energy storage tech. He also served as General Manager and General Counsel for the Battery Innovation Center and as Director of Development at NaatBatt, a leading energy storage trade association. He has held leadership positions in multiple global organizations including Praxair Surface Technologies (NYSE: PX) as Global Compliance Manager leading a team of 30 individuals to negotiate contracts and ensure regulatory compliance across 13 countries. As Manager of Corporate Development at EnerDel, Inc, James won over $127 million in federal and state grants to build a lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility. He is active in non-profit ventures including Local Livelihood, a coffee producing co-op in Northern Thailand which creates sustainable coffee farming communities.


D5: Energy Policy Update on NC House Bill 589

April 18, 1:30pm - 3:00pm

During the 2017 regular North Carolina General Assembly session, House Bill #589: Competitive Solutions for North Carolina, was adopted and subsequently signed by the governor. The bill changes the manner by which distributed generation projects are connected to the power grid, creates the opportunity to explore community solar and provides for the study of power storage. This session will examine the status of HB 589 since its passage and the manner in which it will likely be implemented.

Moderator: George Baldwin, Principal, Baldwin Consulting Group

is a senior executive with extensive experience in identifying complex policy/management solutions, strategic planning, external affairs and building high-performance teams. Prior to establishing the Baldwin Consulting Group, George served as Duke Energy's Director of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Natural Gas Policy, and previously Managing Director of Government Relations & Sustainability for Piedmont Natural Gas.

Panelist: Karen Kemerait, Partner, Smith Moore Leatherwood

Karen Kemerait focuses her practice in the areas of utilities, zoning and land use, telecommunications, and administrative law. Karen represents numerous privately-owned and municipal water and wastewater companies, natural gas companies, and telecommunications companies in regulatory matters before the North Carolina Utilities Commission and in the purchase, sale, and construction of facilities. She also regularly represents telecommunications clients before state governmental agencies, permitting officials, and local zoning boards throughout North Carolina, as well as in appeals in state and federal courts. She frequently appears before Boards of Commissioners and City and Town Councils to obtain rezonings, special use and conditional permits, ordinance interpretations, and variances. Additionally, Karen defends complaints and handles hearings for professionals before administrative agencies, including the North Carolina Medical Board, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, the North Carolina Board of Electrical Contractors, and the State Revenue Department.

Panelist: Dean Arp, NC House of Representatives

Dean Arp serves as the representative of District 69 in the North Carolina House of Representatives. He earned a Civil Engineering degree from The Citadel, the storied Military College of South Carolina. He was elected by his peers to serve on the Honor Court. Due to an accident, however, his dream of a life of military service would not become reality, but the military training he received was invaluable. As an award-winning Company Commander at The Citadel, Representative Arp lead his company of over 110 men to receive the President's Cup and claim the title of Honor Company. Upon graduation, Representative Arp received the George W. Walker White Award for outstanding achievement in Civil Engineering. Representative Arp is a small business owner and president of Arp Engineering in Monroe, where he is a licensed professional engineer and structural engineer licensed in forty different states. He received his Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he also serves on the Advisory Board for the William States Lee College of Engineering.

Panelist: Ken Jennings, Renewable Strategy and Policy Director, Duke Energy

Ken Jennings is the Renewable Strategy and Policy Director for Duke Energy Carolinas where he is responsible for supporting the development of jurisdictional renewable and distributed generation strategy for Duke Energy in North Carolina. This includes both utility owned and non-utility owned generation. He has served Duke Energy or a predecessor company for twenty years, having served as Business Development Engineer, Manager of Business Analysis and Director of Market Policy where he Worked with economists and information technology staff to design a prospective forecasting process for PJM's RPM Capacity Market in order to support capacity marketing and origination initiatives as well as future asset development strategies. Jennings holds an undergraduate degree from Northern Kentucky University and an MBA from Thomas More College.

Panelist: Casey A. Collins,PE, Energy Manager, Duke University

Casey Collins serves as the Energy Manager for Duke University. In his current role, Casey manages the supply and demand energy and water resources for a 20 million square foot campus supporting over 30,000 people every day. His team focuses on identifying and implementing a broad portfolio of technology solutions to help the University meet its greenhouse gas neutrality commitments. Prior to his work at Duke, Casey served industrial, institutional, and architectural clients with a variety of energy engineering services. Outside of his professional roles, he serves his community on the Durham City/County Environmental Affairs Board. He is a graduate of NC State University, a licensed Professional Engineer and Certified Energy Manager, and a pretty decent fiddle player.