About the Summit

Public Power Forward Summit
December 11-12, 2017
San Francisco, California

New Technologies, New Expectations, New Players

Are You Ready?

The power industry is evolving. Utilities must alter their business models to keep up with the changes—or customers will take matters into their own hands.

The American Public Power Association’s Public Power Forward strategic initiative prepares community-owned utilities for the future of the energy industry by helping them determine if, when, and how they should revise their rate structures, services, and operations.

Join industry thought leaders at the Public Power Forward Summit to discover new trends, technologies, and customer expectations and share your thoughts on public power’s future. 

Who Should Attend

  • General managers and CEOs
  • Senior utility executives in business and operations
  • Leaders in policy and strategy
  • Governing board and city council members
  • Industry partners, strategic thinkers and subject matter experts
  • Public communications professionals

Who Should Attend



CMUA NCPA Public Power Council SCPPA







Monday, December 11

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Registration & Coffee

8:30 – 9:15 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions

Transitioning to the Future
Sue Kelly
, President & CEO, American Public Power Association, Arlington, Virginia

9 – 9:45 a.m.
Corporate Vision on Energy: The Growing Interest in Sustainability
More corporations are pursuing sustainability goals, and they’re finding new ways to meet them. Hear about one company’s sustainability philosophy, how they’re working to implement it, and what it could mean for your utility.

Ben Bixby, GM, Energy & Safety, Nest Labs, Palo Alto, California

9:45 – 10 a.m.

10 – 11:45 a.m.
Implementing Solar Today and Tomorrow
Whether it’s rooftop, community, or utility-scale solar, you need to keep up with new options and opportunities in solar energy. Hear details about solar programs two public power utilities offer, and discuss the potential role for utilities in distributing and generating solar energy in the years to come.

Martin Adams, Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, California; and Ed Shikada, General Manager and Assistant City Manager, City of Palo Alto Utilities, California

11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Lunch Keynote
A Smart City Success Story: San Diego
Learn how the San Diego region is emerging as a leader in the smart cities movement thanks to a collaborative approach that brings together public, private, and academic leaders. Learn how the collaborative is leading initiatives on electric vehicle adoption and charging infrastructure, net zero living, intelligent streetlights, and smart building projects at local landmark locations such as the port, airport, baseball park, bay front, and more.

Jason Anderson, President and CEO, Cleantech San Diego, California

1 – 1:15 p.m.

1:15 – 2:45 p.m.
Electric Vehicles: Driving the Grid
The U.S. has more than 400,000 electric vehicles on the road, and that number is steadily increasing. Automakers are helping the utility industry develop and standardize EV charging infrastructure, while customers are looking to the utility for guidance as a trusted energy advisor. Utilities must understand the system impacts and customer requirements associated with electric vehicles and prepare their systems to support the increased adoption of EVs. Learn how public power utilities are proactively addressing the increased number of electric vehicles and the resulting impacts on the utility.

David Wright, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, California; and a representative from the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company, Ludlow, Massachusetts

2:45 – 3 p.m.


3 – 4:30 p.m.
Energy Storage: Beyond the Tipping Point
Energy storage is positioned for unprecedented growth thanks to recent advances in technology, reduced costs, and mandates from regulators. Yet amid all the potential benefits and hype about storage, the technology’s future remains uncertain and challenges to adoption remain. Hear what public utilities are doing with energy storage now and where experts expect the technology to be in a few years.

Kevin Kelley, General Manager, Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial, California; and Carla Peterman, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco, California.

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Roundtable Discussions
Dive in to a deeper discussion – whether you have a policy or regulatory concern, an operations issue, or a communications challenge – find a group of attendees ready to solve problems and share ideas.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Relax and network with your public power peers.


Tuesday, December 12

8 – 8:30 a.m.
Registration & Coffee

8:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Learning from the West: Where is the Industry Headed?
From 100% renewable portfolio standards and community choice aggregation in California to developing projects and initiatives in the Pacific Northwest. Hear different perspectives on what the future may hold for public power and your community and consider how these changes may impact your operations.

Michael Picker, President, California Public Utilities Commission; and Larry Weis, General Manager and CEO, Seattle City Light, Washington

9:45 – 10 a.m.

10 – 11:30 a.m.
When Microgrids Are the Answer
Microgrids may not be for everyone, but they may be a key solution for customers who need to disconnect from the grid — including military bases, data centers, and other customers who want to shift to onsite resources during outages. Learn about the latest developments in microgrid deployment and get a preview of the capabilities and possibilities of the microgrid of the future.

Dr. Robert B. Schainker, Senior Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California; H. Scott Gibson, P.E., Generation Division, Snohomish County PUD, Everett, Washington; and Eric Walters, Administrative and Fuels Operations Director, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Florida

11:30 – Noon
Ideas to Action: Summit Key Takeaways
Association staff will lead this utilities-only roundtable discussion on the key themes and hot topics raised during the summit and ways to turn ideas into action. Join your colleagues in brainstorming the policies, tools, and practices you’ll be taking home, and help inform our strategy to keep public power moving forward.




Summit Registration Fees

  Register on/before Nov. 10 After Nov. 10
Association Member $645 $695
Nonmember $1,290 $1,340

Not an APPA member? Join today and save $645 on your conference registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2926 to learn more.

The following food functions/meals are included in the registration fee (all other meals are on your own):

  • Morning and afternoon beverage breaks (Monday/Tuesday)
  • Monday lunch
  • Monday networking reception

The attire for the 2017 Public Power Forward Summit is business casual. Since meeting room temperatures vary, please prepare to dress for cool conditions. Temperatures in San Francisco, California for the summit dates range from an average high of 58 degrees to an average low of 47 degrees.

The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins is located 15 miles from San Francisco International Airport. The estimated taxi rate is $54.

Travel Cost Policy
Travel arrangements and costs are the responsibility of the meeting participants. The Association will not reimburse for changes in travel expenditures regardless of the cause, including the cancellation of a course, meeting or workshop.



Registration Cancellation Policy
Registrants who cancel in writing on or before December 4, 2017, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after December 4 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for the 2017 Public Power Forward Summit. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel before or on December 4 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund of their registration fee. Cancellations must be made in writing and mailed or e-mailed to:

American Public Power Association
2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000
Arlington, VA 22202
Email: Registration@PublicPower.org

More Information
Registration / Hotel / Program / Billing Questions
If you have questions about the meeting, please contact any of the staff listed below:

Registration Information – registration team:
Phone: 202/467-2941; Fax: 202/495-7505; Email: Registration@PublicPower.org

Hotel Information – meeting services team:
Phone: 202/467-2941; Fax: 202/495-7505; Email: Meetings@PublicPower.org

Program/Content Information – education team:
Phone: 202/467-2921; Email: EducationInfo@PublicPower.org

Billing Information – accounting and finance team:
Phone: 202/467-2967; Fax: 202/495-7467; Email: Finance@PublicPower.org


The Public Power Forward Summit will take place at the:

Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel
999 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

Main Telephone
: 415-392-3434

Group Rates: Single/Double $219 per night, (plus tax, 16.5%)

Reservation Cut-off Date: November 15, 2017

Reservation Telephone: 1-877-834-3613.

Group Code: “W0V” or “Power Forward Summit”

Online Reservation Link: Public Power Forward Summit (original link embedded here due to length)

: 3 p.m. / Check-out: Noon

Parking Fee: Valet Parking only: $64.98 per day

In-Room Wireless: Complimentary standard wireless internet

About the Hotel
With a local legacy and grand architectural character that make it one of the most celebrated luxury hotels in San Francisco, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins is a landmark Nob Hill destination with breathtaking views of the Bay Area. Offering an experience of class and character, this historic hotel has been updated with modern amenities, high-tech features and elegant design. With unbeatable views, luxurious accommodations and historic charm, the sophisticated San Francisco hotel is an ideal choice for travelers who appreciate the finer things in life.

Hotel Reservations & Cancellation Policy
The cut-off date to receive the group rate (plus tax) is Wednesday, November 15, 2017.  If rooms remain in the block after the cut-off date, the group rate will be honored.  If not, you may be charged a higher rate.  The room block may sell out before November 15, 2017, so early reservations are encouraged. For individual reservations call 1-877-834-3613 and reference “W0V” or “Power Forward Summit,” or make your reservation online. The Mark Hopkins Hotel should receive all reservations no later than November 15.

Cancelled reservations that are not resold may become a financial liability for the Association, so please make your reservations thoughtfully.  If you require additional assistance with housing please contact Meeting Services at 202-467-2941 or Meetings@PublicPower.org.

Scam Alert
Do NOT make hotel reservations through any third party that may contact you by phone or email. Use only the online reservation links, phone numbers, and discount codes available directly from the Association—in conference brochures and the website at www.PublicPower.org.

For assistance making your hotel arrangements, please contact Meeting Services at 202/467-2941 or Meetings@PublicPower.org.


Platinum Sponsors



Learn about sponsoring the Public Power Forward Summit