Solar Power Colorado Conference
Wednesday, February 26
Note: Expo Stage Training Sessions of 90-minutes will count for 1.5 NEC CE credits for NABCEP certified professionals.
7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Conference Registration open
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Keynote: Climate Policy and Solar as a Solution
Heidi VanGenderen Director of the Office of Public Engagement, U.S. Department of Energy
Appointed to her post by President Obama, VanGenderen oversees efforts to effectively build the narrative supporting a clean energy economy, convey the Administration’s considerable energy accomplishments and plans; reinforce the “all of the above” strategy and strategic message framework; and help create the space for a robust clean energy policy discussion and agenda through coordinated engagement. Prior to her current post, she served as Director of National and Regional Outreach for the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and earlier was a Senior Energy Advisor for the Worldwatch Institute. A Colorado native, Ms. VanGenderen served as Colorado’s first gubernatorial climate advisor where she oversaw creation of the state’s first Climate Action Plan. She was a core team member in passage of Amendment 37.
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Plenary: The Future of Utility-Scale Solar
Moderator: Megan Day, Senior Project Planner, juwi solar, Inc.
Ms. Day manages the planning group within juwi solar Inc. (JSI), which has overseen the successful land entitlement and environmental compliance processes for more than 110 megawatts and 675 acres of PV plants in eight states since 2008. She serves as a business development lead on community-scale project development opportunities in Colorado. She has a background in urban and regional land use planning, non-profit management, and greenhouse gas reduction planning.
Jerry Marizza, New Energy Program Coordinator, United Power
In his role for the Brighton, CO -based REA, Mr. Marizza seeks to promote and improve energy efficiency efforts for United’s members and to further expand the United Power renewable energy programs. Mr. Marizza has more than 30 years experience in both the regulated and unregulated electric and gas utility industry.
Kevin Ritter, General Manager, San Miguel Power Association
Mr. Ritter has more than 40 years experience in the cooperative utility industry. Starting in field operations, he has held multiple positions during that time. He represented cooperatives and held various positions on state and national organizations and committees.
John Romero, General Manager of Acquisition, Engineering and Planning , Colorado Springs Utilities
Mr. Romero has overall responsibility for developing and implementing the utility’s long-term strategic gas and electric integrated resource plans, including the renewable energy/demand-side management strategy. In addition, Mr. Romero oversees the transmission and distribution engineering planning functions and associated engineering activities for Springs Utilities. Mr. Romero began his career with Colorado Springs Utilities as a college intern before he was hired as an Electrical Engineer.
Norman Weaver, P.E. Sr. Energy Services Engineer with Fort Collins Utilities’ Resource Conservation Division
Mr. Weaver is a registered professional engineer and energy efficiency technology specialist with more than 30 years involvement in the building science and renewables field. Mr. Weaver oversees the city’s photovoltaics net-metering and solar electric incentives programs, supports the city building efficiency programs including residential programs and the commercial building integrated design assistance.
Beth Chacon, Environmental Policy Relations Manager at Xcel Energy
Beth has worked for Xcel Energy for over 15 years. Prior to her time in environmental policy, she worked in marketing and supported the development of customer energy efficiency programs. Beth was also responsible for development of the Solar*Rewards program. Beth is a licensed Professional Engineer and received her engineering degree from Purdue University and her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.
Lee A. Boughey, Sr. Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.
11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
COSEIA Luncheon and Awards Ceremony
Luncheon Speaker at 12:15, Ramez Naam
Ramez Naam is a computer scientist who spent thirteen years at Microsoft. He’s the award-winning author of four books, including The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet, a book about innovating to overcome challenges in energy, food, water, and climate. Ramez is a Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and serves as Adjunct Faculty at Singularity University at NASA Ames. He lives in Seattle.
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions
Centennial 1 – The Battle of 2014: Net Metering Challenges
Moderator: James F. “Rick” Gilliam, Research Director, The Vote Solar Initiative
Mr. Gilliam’s 30 plus years of electric industry experience spans developers, utilities, regulators, and the NGO community. With Vote Solar since January 2012, Mr. Gilliam manages the technical and policy research for Vote Solar, and engages in state, regional, and national campaigns related to key solar market policies. Prior to joining Vote Solar, Mr. Gilliam held various solar policy related positions at SunEdison culminating with VP of Government Affairs. Before that, Rick performed renewable and efficiency policy work at Western Resource Advocates and earlier ran the revenue requirements department at Public Service Company of Colorado for 12 years.
KK DuVivier, Professor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law (see bio on Tue. program)
Chris Neil, Rate/Financial Analyst, Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel
Mr. Neil has nearly 40 years of utility and utility consulting experience. He is currently a rate/financial analyst with the Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel. His utility experience includes Colorado Springs Utilities and Public Service Company of Colorado. At the Office of Consumer Counsel, Mr. Neil focuses on demand-side management, resource planning and renewable energy issues. Prior to this, he performed integrated resource planning, resource modeling and demand forecasting at Colorado Springs Utilities.
Frank Prager, Vice President, Policy& Strategy, Xcel Energy
At Xcel Energy, a U.S. investor-owned electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Midwestern and Western states, Mr. Prager leads an organization that assists in the development and implementation of corporate strategy and is responsible for the company’s policy initiatives. His organization designs and advocates for federal and state policies related to utility issues that include environmental impact, air quality, climate change, renewable energy, state and federal regulation, and regional transportation. In addition, Mr. Prager also oversees the corporate performance management process, strategic intelligence, and the evaluation of emerging technologies.
John Stanton, Vice President of Policy and Electricity Markets, SolarCity
Prior to joining SolarCity in March, 2010, Mr. Stanton was EVP and General Counsel at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Earlier, he served as Vice President for Energy Programs at the PEW National Environmental Trust, Legislative Counsel at the US EPA, New Jersey Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Energy & Environment Committee at the National Conference of State Legislatures. He earned his law degree at Georgetown University Law School and attended undergrad at Tulane University.
Centennial 2 – Financing Solar: New Products and Trends
Moderator: Mike Mendelsohn, Senior Financial Analyst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory(NREL)
Mr. Mendelsohn has more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry. At NREL, he organizes the solar industry to improve access to capital and evaluates financing innovations and policies designed to spur private investment in renewable energy. Prior to joining NREL, Mr. Mendelsohn was an economist with the Massachusetts DPU and an executive consultant for Levitan & Associates located in Boston. Mr. Mendelsohn holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Ithaca College and a M.S. in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.
Richard A. Ashby, Founder, Infrastructure Finance Advisors, LLC
Mr. Ashby founded the boutique financial and strategic advisory firm which serves the power generation and energy infrastructure sectors. IFA provides M&A, project development and strategic advisory services, and structures debt and equity financing solutions on behalf of its clients. Mr. Ashby has twenty four years of U.S. and international project and corporate financial structuring experience involving more than $30 billion of closed transactions. Earlier, Mr. Ashby was the Chief Financial Officer of Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. and before that, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Perennial Power, the North American power generation subsidiary of the Sumitomo Corporation of Japan.
Greg Johnson, Partner, Patton Boggs
At Patton Boggs, Mr. Johnson is a member of the law firm’s Infrastructure and Private Capital Group which specializes in creative approaches to financing and developing infrastructure domestically and internationally for energy and other projects. His clients include developers, investment and commercial banks, public entities and others in project finance and structured transactions across the country and overseas. Mr. Johnson is the President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the United States Energy Bar Association. He has worked extensively with major energy participants and is active in representing clients seeking creative solutions for infrastructure and renewable energy financings.
Chad Sachs, Chief Executive Officer of Radian Generation
Mr. Sachs has raised more than $800 million of permanent financing (tax equity and permanent debt) for solar projects since 2005. A co-founder of Renewable Ventures (RV), Mr. Sachs led the growth of the pioneering solar developer and financier that was acquired by MMA Financial. He has also led and managed the structured finance teams as a senior executive at some of the industry’s top solar power producers: RV, MMA Renewable Ventures, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures and SunEdison. Mr. Sachs has raised over $320 million of capital for over 42MW of commercial solar projects.
Todd Stewart, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Solar Power Financial
For eight years prior to SPF, Mr. Stewart was the Senior Vice President of Fund Development and Distribution for Qualified Investment Fund Services in Denver, CO, and directed the investment conversion of over 250 clients. He also served as the manager for the private equity fund servicing and administration office. Prior to that, Mr. Stewart founded and was a managing partner of an environmental design/build firm completing 14 custom homes in Colorado with Straw Bale wall systems. He also co-founded Planetary Solutions, a Boulder, CO environmental home and building products supply company as his first venture out of college.
Mark Lewis, Senior Associate, GSSG Solar
Mark joined GSSG Solar to manage investor relations and fundraising. His background is in socially responsible investing, focused on the food and energy verticals. Mark previously held fundraising and consulting roles at Localization Partners, EnergyNorthAmerica, Montreux Energy, E-Town, and Recycoil. He currently manages a yield-generating investment as Vice President of Lewis Family Farm, a certified organic operation in Eastern Colorado. Mark also serves on the Board of Directors for Revision, a Denver-based nonprofit working to alleviate food insecurity. He is a graduate of the University of San Diego with a degree in Economics and holds an MBA from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado.
Breakout Room – New Solar Thermal Technologies
Moderator: Tim Merrigan, Senior Project Leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Prior to joining NREL in 1999, Mr. Merrigan was with the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) for 20 years. He is chair of the Standards Committee for the Solar Rating & Certification Corporation (SRCC) and was secretary/treasurer of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association from 2000 to 2005. Mr. Merrigan has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida as well as a B.S.M.E. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Rollins College in physics.
Matt Carlson, CEO, Sunnovations Inc.
Mr. Carlson’s cleantech startup based in McLean, VA has brought to market revolutionary technology for residential solar water heating. He is also Vice Chairman of the US Solar Heating & Cooling Alliance, the industry trade organization. Mr. Carlson was founding CEO of Pangea, a telecommunications firm that built and operated a 7,000km fiber-optic network in northern Europe. Prior to Sunnovations, he led business development at a division of management consulting firm The Corporate Executive Board.
Piper Foster, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Amatis Controls (See bio on Tuesday schedule)
Michael G. Intrieri, Founder, SunDrum
Solar Mr. Intrieri founded SunDrum in 2008. His passion for both thermal and electrical solar systems began in the 1970′s. With the challenge to develop a solution to maximize solar energy capture, he invented Sundrum® Solar’s Hybrid technology which holds the world record for solar energy conversion. This technology combines the creation of both photovoltaic and thermal (PVT) solar energy. His previous positions brought semi-conductor products to market at Intel, Digital Equipment Corp and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Mr. Intrieri obtained his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1982.
Bristol Stickney, Chief Technical Officer with SolarLogic LLC
Mr. Stickney is an innovator in design and installation of solar hydronics and control systems. He holds a B. S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and two mechanical contractor licenses in the state of New Mexico. He has been designing, installing, manufacturing, and repairing solar hydronic heating systems for over 30 years. He writes a monthly column “Solar Solutions” for ‘Plumbing Engineer’ and ‘PHC’ magazine. His designs have won several industry awards and seven U.S. patents related to the design and control of solar and thermal hydronic systems.
Bill Guiney, Artic Solar
Bill Guiney is the President of Artic Solar, Inc., a high temperature solar thermal company formed in 2013. Previously, he was the Director of Solar Heating & Cooling at Johnson Controls, Inc. Bill has more than 30-years of experience in the solar industry as a retailer, contractor, distributor, manufacturer and educator.
Expo Hall Training Stage
Training Sponsored by Solar Edge
Trainer: Dru Sutton, SolarEdge
It’s Never Been Easier to Optimize. It’s really not that hard to have a best in class solar solution. Join the team at SolarEdge and learn how easy it can be to optimize your next PV project. Get more energy, greater design flexibility, production data at the module level and a safer, more reliable electrical system with SolarEdge’s optimized inverter solutions.
Training sponsored by Advanced Energy Industries
Trainer: Christoph Heinzer, Field Application Engineer
Commercial Install Applications and how to meet effective grounding requirements in Xcel Territory
As the NEC code changes, and Xcel effective grounding requirements are starting to get enforced, it is important to stay up to date on what is required to get a commercial system commissioned in Colorado. This presentation will start discussing transformerless inverter requirements and features and what is required to meet the 2011 code requirements. The presentation will end with how to implement grounding banks as an Xcel approved method to meet the effective grounding requirements. There will be application examples and pictures, as well as a review of applicable code sections.
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions
Centennial 1 – Solar Friendly Communities: Reducing Soft Costs of Solar Projects
Moderator: Rebecca Cantwell, Senior Program Director, Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association
At COSEIA, Ms. Cantwell has spearheaded the creation and implementation of the Solar Friendly Communities, Million Solar Roofs and other programs, along with providing leadership on policy issues. Ms. Cantwell previously created and led numerous renewable energy and energy efficiency programs and is the editor and publisher of Smart Energy Living (www.smartenergyliving.org) She came to her work on clean energy after a nationally award-winning career as newspaper and magazine journalist. She served as an editor at The Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News and Interactive Week.
Vikram Aggarwal, CEO, Founder, Energy Sage
EnergySage is the “Expedia of Solar” – a first-of-its-kind online comparison-shopping marketplace that helps consumers research and shop for solar PV systems. EnergySage simplifies the shopping process for solar, allowing homeowners, businesses and non-profits to solicit and compare competitive quotes for solar PV systems and financing options. In building and launching the company, Mr. Aggarwal drew heavily on his prior experience working at a major global financial services leader. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and is a CFA charterholder.
Koben Calhoun, Research Associate in the Electricity and Buildings practices at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)
Mr. Calhoun is the research lead on photovoltaic (PV) balance of systems costs, and specifically focuses on recent leading-edge research on PV installation practices and associated costs. He is the project lead on SIMPLE BoS, a multi-year collaboration between RMI and the Georgia Tech Research Institute to investigate balance of systems costs and develop racking and mounting solutions that will reduce PV installation costs in the short- and long-term. As part of this initiative, Koben co-authored a recently released report, Reducing Solar PV Costs: A Focus on Installation Labor.
Whitney Painter, Co-owner of Buglet Solar Electric Installation
Ms. Painter’s solar firm is based in Golden and has been in operation since 2006. In addition to her work in the solar industry, her background includes ample activism, policy and media experience earned during a decade spent in the Washington, D.C. arena.
Dru Sutton, Technical Marketing Manager, SolarEdge
Dru Sutton leads the Technical Marketing group for SolarEdge in North America, focusing on highlighting the benefits of distributed solar power harvesting. Since joining the solar industry in 2005, Mr. Sutton has worked in Applications, Sales, and Marketing at several international companies including REC Solar and Q-Cells. He installed a grid-tied solar electric system on his home in 1998 and has a BS in Engineering from UC Davis.
Theresa Worsham, Sustainability Manager for the City of Golden
Ms. Worsham implements community sustainability programs and is the staff liaison to the city’s Community Sustainability Advisory Board. Recent projects include a city-wide Pay-As-You-Throw program for residents and overseeing the construction of more than $3 million in solar photovoltaics for the city. Mr. Worsham previously worked as a city planner for ten years and coordinated environmental programs for Vail Resorts and Coors Brewing Company. She received a master’s of Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver, is a LEED®Accredited Professional, and is certified with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).
Norm Weaver, Fort Collins Utilities (see bio earlier in Wed. agenda)
Centennial 2 – Selling Solar in New Communities: Homebuilders and Solar Partners
Moderator: John Bringenberg, Solar Developer
John Bringenberg is currently a solar developer for Oak Leaf Partners and is principal of Observatory Advisors, a consultancy doing solar development projects, sustainability, and residential technology. Earlier, he acquired a Colorado based small business deploying home technology and servicing national and regional new home builders. That led to the HomeTalk and SunTalk hybrid business serving new home builders in Colorado for residential technology and solar. Through mid 2013, SunTalk was the leading provider of Solar in Colorado to new home builders. Mr. Bringenberg is on the COSEIA Board of Directors.
Matt Brost, SunPower’s National Sales Director, New Homes Division
SunPower’s New Homes division is currently working with seven of the ten largest US homebuilders to deliver turnkey solar solutions in major US homebuilding markets. In partnership with US homebuilders, Mr. Brost’s team has installed solar systems on over 13,000 homes since 2007, totaling roughly 40 megawatts of installed capacity on new construction homes. Earlier, Mr. Brost was Vice President at RLW Analytics, a national consulting firm providing expertise to gas and electric utilities in the area of load research, program design and program evaluation.
Dennis Helblig, Regional Manager, New Builder Markets, Solar City
Mr. Helblig comes from a long career in Colorado home building which dovetails with solar energy over the last 5 years. He has been involved in sales management, sales team development, product development, model home design service and community development with Beazer Homes of Colorado and its predecessors. In 2008, he joined Standard Renewable Energy in their largest solar division in Colorado. In early 2013, Dennis moved to a regional position with Solar City and their National New Home Builder program where he is responsible for relationships with national and regional builders in 4 states.
Taylor Henderson, North America Commercial Executive for Dow Solar
Mr. Henderson is responsible for devising and executing the commercial strategy across North America for The Dow Chemical Company’s solar business unit. He joined Dow Solar as an Account Manager for Colorado in June, 2011 where he successfully managed the pilot market launch of POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles beginning in October, 2011. Prior to joining Dow Solar, he held various cleantech sector positions in the development of large utility-scale wind farms and solar projects throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean for Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. and Gamesa Energy USA.
Bill Rectanus, VP Operations and Technology, New Town Builders
At New Town Builders, Mr. Rectanus’ responsibilities include the management and oversight of the construction, purchasing, customer service and architecture departments. In addition to his daily responsibilities he is also responsible for the implementation of New Town Builders’ “High Performance Building Initiative”, its advancement, and research and development of new systems and technologies. Mr. Rectanus has been in the residential construction industry for over 15 years and has supervised the production of large apartment complexes to semi-custom homes. He has been very active in Denver homebuilding industry serving on the Board of Directors for the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver and as Chairman of the Flatirons Building Council.
Expo Hall Training Stage
Training sponsored by Solar Energy International
NEC Requirements for Battery-based PV Systems
This presentation will cover multiple areas of the NEC requirements for battery-based PV systems. Battery-based applications have a multitude of code requirements that will be covered including: equipment layout considerations, over-current protection, disconnect switches, grounding and labeling requirements. The content presented will cover a wide variety of code topics appropriate for both the novice as well as seasoned installers.