2024 CONFERENCE PROGRAM 

Speakers are continuing to be added.  Please check back often. 

Monday, April 22, 2024
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Harbor Ballroom A
Lisa Khanna Dave Good Kristel Watson Mahmoud Kabalan

Mission critical power needs are not only the domain of military bases and health care facilities. College campuses, traditional home to conventional power plants and combined heat and power generation, are increasingly embracing renewable and hybrid microgrids for sustainability and energy security. One of those is at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. One of the world’s premier institutions of higher learning for the deaf and hard of hearing students, it has partnered with Scale Microgrids and Urban Ingenuity to build a clean energy microgrid on campus. The Gallaudet University microgrid can work in parallel with the district’s local utility grid or, the event of outage, provide campus energy needs for a time with minimal disruption. This session will also detail the work of the microgrid at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and that school’s Center for Microgrid Research. The prospects of microgrids for backing up mission critical research and development work will be highlighted in ways that help other universities decide what kind of microgrid might be best for their campus.

 
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Harbor Ballroom B
Sunil Cherian Katherine Cummings

This preconference workshop is included in a full conference registration.  Seating is limited so you must register specifically to attend.

REGISTER NOW

Build and deploy virtual microgrids in real time with industry leaders.  This workshop will unite long-term insights about microgrid deployment and operation with tangible experience.  Beginning with an overview focused on the values that microgrids bring to the energy landscape, the session will then take attendees through a hands-on process of moving from concept to application for the following use cases:

  • Setting and Operating Microgrids (Economic Optimization and Resilience)
  • Cloud Connectivity and Cloud Services (Analytics and Monthly Reporting)
  • Market Participation (PJM and CALISO Examples)

The presenters will invite attendees to participate using a zero-coding microgrid configuration and validation tool.  Whether you're a seasoned practitioner or just entering the industry, this workshop is designed to cater to all levels of expertise.  Join us on the mission to accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy through the deployment of microgrids – everywhere.

Brought to you in partnership with:

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Harbor Ballroom A
Mehdi Ganji Adib Nasle Steve Pullins Joseph Martorano

Industry experts continue to forecast sizable growth in commercial electric vehicle (EV) sales, with government incentives and private investment into the battery supply chain adding fuel to this expansion. However, concerns remain about how to move projects forward through the obstacles of grid interconnection and evasive predictability of financial outcomes, leading to a backlog of unrealized projects.

This session will draw on hands-on experience from a panel of EV charging project experts and end-users, as well as 2024 Commercial EV Charging survey data to reveal new developments in how to successfully use and optimize microgrids as the vehicle to overcome grid limitations, achieve predictable financial outcomes, and move EV charging projects out of the current backlog and into operation.

 
3:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Harbor Ballroom B
Cameron Brooks

The 3rd Annual Think Microgrid Policy Workshop will once again bring together a cross-section of the microgrid policy community, industry practitioners and community stakeholders in an interactive setting to explore bold but pragmatic strategies to advance microgrids in the United States. This year’s event will feature a detailed review of the Think Microgrid’s State Policy Scorecard and market updates from research partner Wood Mackenzie. Participants will hear updates from agency officials and regulatory staff about ongoing policy initiatives, federal funding programs and new opportunities to commercialize microgrids as resilience, climate and equity solutions. Past events have led to a consensus set of recommendations to inform state-level microgrid roadmap efforts and policy proposals to tackle barriers to industry growth. Participants at this year’s workshop will hear from leaders in the policy community and be challenged to help craft solutions for the future. 

 
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Harbor Ballroom CDE
Laura Wright Gilbert Bindewald III Katrina Pielli

In this high-level one-on-one between two national leaders for clean energy deployment, Bindewald and Pielli will detail their career-long perceptions of the ever-evolving microgrid sector, including the federal government’s role supporting recent advances in research, funding, and development for microgrids nationwide. In addition to his Office of Electricity role, Bindewald also is in leadership for the DOE’s Grid Controls and Communications section. The conversation between Pielli and Bindewald will touch on the opportunity for all parties in the microgrid discussion, from the policymakers to developers, utilities, and customers. They also will highlight the various roles that sustainable on-site power can perform for the benefit of reliability in the electrification future, as well as the calls to action compelling the nation to develop a robust microgrid sector which merges resiliency, sustainability, and equitability.

 
Harbor Ballroom CDE
Laura Wright Gilbert Bindewald III Katrina Pielli
In this high-level one-on-one between two national leaders for clean energy deployment, Bindewald and Pielli will detail their career-long perceptions of the ever-evolving microgrid sector, including the federal government’s role supporting recent advances in research, funding, and development for microgrids nationwide. In addition to his Office of Electricity role, Bindewald also is in leadership for the DOE’s Grid Controls and Communications section. The conversation between Pielli and Bindewald will touch on the opportunity for all parties in the microgrid discussion, from the policymakers to developers, utilities, and customers. They also will highlight the various roles that sustainable on-site power can perform for the benefit of reliability in the electrification future, as well as the calls to action compelling the nation to develop a robust microgrid sector which merges resiliency, sustainability, and equitability.
 
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Harbor Ballroom A
Todd Jackson Manish Murudkar William Sandell Lance Haman

The utility industry faces a new type of power demand growth. Unlike the last period of growth, driven by residential load growth, this time it is defined by new sources of load: data centers, industrial facilities, hydrogen production and EV charging hubs. There is no obvious or immediate replacement for coal plants. Natural gas power plants have managed to support retiring coal output but policy pressure to decarbonize is now making new gas additions less welcome in some regions.  Few utilities are positioned to interconnect large loads in short order let alone serve this load with firm, zero-carbon power, which some customers are now demanding.  This session will feature expert utility panelists debating the pros and cons of various DERs for use in non-wires alternatives.

 
Harbor Ballroom CDE
Joe Sullivan Alex Rojas Millie Knowlton Michael Lumbley

Digital technology will power the energy transition and growth in the electrification of transportation.  Software technologies will underpin the solutions needed for better and more resilient infrastructure for public charging and critical infrastructure. This session will provide expert discussion on EV charging, Microgrids and VPP’s working together to provide a positive end-use experience while minimizing the impact of significant changes in load.

 
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Harbor Ballroom A
Dennis Garrett Chase Weir Peter Lilienthal Tad Piper

Leading foodservice distributor US Foods is embracing progressive decarbonization, including distributed energy and microgrid installations.  These projects are being designed specially to meet the reliability and carbon reduction goals of US Foods’ nationwide footprint, spanning more than 60 utility territories. During this session, the focus will be on the phases of development of a commercial and industrial microgrid project, from gathering the operational requirements to performing actionable feasibility evaluations that lead to innovative project designs, strategic partnerships, and successful project completion. The group also will explore how to engage with state and federal policymakers and utilities to advocate for rate tariffs, policies, and regulatory frameworks that accelerate deployment of low-carbon DERs and VPPs.

 
Harbor Ballroom CDE
Rod Walton Bill Lowry Ian Walch Phil Fischer Colby Cox

Utility interconnection queues have surged. The average project now takes five years for interconnection, compared to two years in 2018. Delays in interconnection can result in missed revenue for power users, including data centers, EV fleets, and manufacturing facilities which can’t bring online new facilities fast enough to meet exploding customer demand. Faced with these dual challenges, new approaches are needed. Solutions exist that can provide reliable prime power before grid power arrives and protect from power outages after interconnection, eliminating the need for costly backup. In fact, leveraging one energy asset for bridge power and backup power can save millions of dollars. This panel will gather insights from several impacted industries, highlighting distinctions between 4-season and yearly markets and the augmented need for reserves.

 
2:15 PM - 3:15 PM
Harbor Ballroom CDE
Thomas Poteet

Hardware in the Loop testing ensures for customers that microgrids will perform as expected and handle adverse operating conditions. Panelists will identify the adverse conditions that microgrids face, the tools to analyze and design for these conditions, and the merits of HIL testing with actual project results.

 
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Harbor Ballroom A
Jana Gerber Jaclyn Whiteman Molly Hoyt Adrian Rivera

Historically, most microgrids have been developed as single-customer assets behind the meter, such as hospitals, military installations, and remote sites. Increasingly, communities are seeking development of microgrids serving multiple entities or facilities to better secure a more holistic energy security. These community-driven microgrid projects face challenges navigating complex business, regulatory and technical environments. This session includes case studies on the utility level from Pacific Gas & Electric’s Community Microgrid Enablement Program and efforts involving Duke Energy in several states. The municipal viewpoint will be highlighted via a municipal project involving the city of Altoona, Wisconsin.

 
Harbor Ballroom CDE
Andrew Wall Michael Stadler Rick Lank David Tucker Timothy Grunloh

Consistent baseload power without carbon is a core challenge for microgrids. This session will provide an application-centric overview of how hydrogen and nuclear-based solutions can be integrated into microgrids and serve as the baseload anchor point for intermittent renewables. The potential of both fuels faces struggles on logistical, engineering and financial levels, but momentum is growing to somehow utilize these resources as high-capacity and carbon-free power generation for microgrids, data centers and other on-site energy projects.

 
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
8:45 AM - 10:00 AM
Harbor Ballroom CDE
Brandon Bowser

Maryland's efforts to improve the State's resiliency to the threats of climate change, natural disasters, severe weather, malicious cyber activity, and aging infrastructure have accelerated over the past nearly half-decade. The Maryland Energy Administration and the Resilient Maryland program have allocated historic funding, including a budgeted $6 million for fiscal year 2024, to clean energy, microgrid and other resiliency projects. This also comes at a time when the federal government has made historic investments into improving infrastructure and the sustainability of our economy. With so many resources available, it can be both exhilarating and overwhelming for community leaders, industry stakeholders, government agencies, and other change agents to mobilize on large-scale resilience planning. 

The immediacy of the climate crisis makes it imperative that the plans enacted, resources provided, stakeholders engaged, and the capital deployed in these efforts are managed and utilized equitably. Join Bowser in this discussion of the work we've done at the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to incentivize the development and installation of microgrids, resiliency hubs, and other clean and resilient energy technologies, and how we've been able to leverage community and stakeholder education to de-risk projects and leave no Marylander behind in the clean energy transition.

 
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Harbor Ballroom A
Cameron Brooks Carolyn Dougherty Julia Masters Amanda Lemaster Daniel Eitzman

Every state’s journey toward the end goal of cleaner energy is a different path with unique circumstances in how to effectively merge resiliency and sustainability. Planning, prioritizing, and developing microgrid solutions requires consideration of the scope, scale, limitations, and needs of the facility or community that they will serve. Key stakeholders including state energy offices, state emergency management agencies, utilities, developers, and community stakeholders need to work together to first prioritize communities and facilities with the greatest need. This session will detail those different journeys from the experiences in Colorado, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

 
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM
Harbor Ballroom CDE
Rod Walton

11:45 a.m.
Welcome from Rod Walton, Managing Editor, Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech

12:00- 12:50 p.m. 
Scaling Community Resilience for All: Three Different Approaches (Panel Session)

Harbor Ballroom CDE

Rick Bolton - Compass Energy Platform (Moderator)
Jim Glass - EPB of Chattanoga
Broderick Bagert - Together Louisiana
Alok Singhania - Gridscape

Rick Bolton Jim Glass Broderick Bagert Alok Singhania

As the impacts of climate change intensify, community resilience grows in importance. Power outages and rolling blackouts take a toll, often impacting the most vulnerable among us. Shortcomings of the distribution system also play a devastating role, and those who live at the edge of the grid end up paying the price. There is sufficient technological know-how to provide and to scale resilience, but it is difficult to make the numbers work for utilities and private investors. How do we solve the problem? How do we provide resilience to a larger number of people who need it?


12:55- 1:15 p.m. Greater Good Awards