National Conference

National Conference Sessions—Tuesday P.M.

Back to National Conference Agenda

Tuesday, June 19

1:30 — 2:30 p.m.

Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1 / CPEs 1.2

Bond Ratings: An Inside Look
Hear directly from the three largest credit rating agencies on current issues that may affect your utility’s bond ratings. Learn the latest on rating trends, public power’s strengths and weaknesses, and the financial factors incorporated in credit ratings. Understand what issues to highlight for your board and stakeholders. Bring your questions for the rating agencies.

Daniel Aschenbach, Senior Vice President, Global Project & Infrastructure Finance, Moody’s Investor Service, New York; Jeffrey Panger, Director, S&P Global Ratings, New York; and Dennis Pidherny, Managing Director, Public Finance, and Sector Head – U.S. Public Power, Fitch Ratings, New York 

Public—Public Partnerships: Lighting Up the Navajo Nation
The roots of public power date back over 100 years when communities established electric utilities to provide light and power to citizens across the United States. However, a huge segment of American households on the Navajo Nation remain in the dark. Learn more about the Navajo Nation, how public-public and public-private partnerships are benefiting the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and other public power communities, and about a new effort in which the American Public Power Association, NTUA and public power utilities across the country are coming together to #LightUpNavajo.

Wally Haase, General Manager, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Fort Defiance, Arizona; and Arlen Orchard, CEO and General Manager, SMUD, Sacramento, California

Decarbonization 2.0: The State Impact 
Discuss the legal, ratemaking, and system operation impacts of state decarbonization initiatives — storage requirements, distributed resource programs, energy efficiency mandates, Regional Portfolio Standards, electric vehicle subsidies, and carbon taxes. Figure out how to meet the need for flexible resources while retiring traditional generation. Understand the market impact of RPS, potential stranded costs, allocation of transmission infrastructure expansion costs, and distribution grid reinforcements.

Jeffrey Bayne, Associate and Lisa Dowden, Partner, Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP, Washington, D.C.

Strategic Planning: Charting Your Utility's Future 
No utility can navigate the changing industry and economy we find ourselves in without a robust strategic plan. Learn the basics of strategic planning — starting with how to craft a clear vision and mission and get buy-in from internal and external stakeholders. See how you can assess the landscape and the competition and align your utility’s resources and talents to the shared vision. See how other utilities like yours have benefited from strategic planning and get insights into their planning process.

Dave Carroll, General Manager, Paducah Power System, Kentucky; and Scott Focht, Senior Director, Business Strategy & Deployment, Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska

Public Power Cyber Security and Mutual Assistance
Unlike storms and hurricanes, cyber-attacks can come without warning. Learn how your utility can benefit from cyber mutual assistance, partnerships with larger public power and other municipal organizations, and what the future may look like for threat monitoring and information sharing and analysis.  Learn how an existing national cyber mutual assistance program might be leveraged to  strengthen your own recovery plan, and how utilities can provide cyber security expertise and resources to help restore systems following a cyber breach.

Randy Crissman, Vice President, Technical Compliance & Operations, New York Power Authority, White Plains, New York; and Carter Manucy, Cyber Security Manager, Florida Municipal Power Agency, Orlando, Florida

Measure It to Improve It: Benchmarking for Excellence
Whether it’s reliability, safety, system efficiency, customer service, staff productivity and compensation, or any other area of utility operations and business, you can’t work in a vacuum. You need to know how your utility stacks up and where you have room to improve. Learn how benchmarking metrics can be used to achieve excellence. Gauge which metrics are right for your utility, and learn how to communicate your performance to customers and stakeholders.

Troy Adams, PE, General Manager, Elk River Municipal Utilities, Minnesota; Alex Hofmann, Director, Energy & Environmental Services; and Srinivasa Venigalla, Deputy General Manager, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Fort Defiance, Arizona

Store Up the Benefits: Leveraging Energy Storage
Energy storage provides an economical way to improve reliability and lower costs. Utility-scale energy storage deployments are becoming more popular as costs go down and load patterns change with increased use of renewables. Hear how other public power utilities are integrating energy storage into their systems — learn about the technology, services, benefits, and challenges. Discover how you too can use storage to reduce the impact of intermittent and distributed energy resources on system load or to add capacity that can defer or delay infrastructure investments.

David Wright, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, California; and Stephen Zurn, General Manager, Glendale Water & Power, California

Adding Small Modular Reactors to Your Portfolio
Typically, the high capital cost of constructing a nuclear power plant limits the feasibility of nuclear as a renewable, emissions-free power source. However small modular reactors offer the promise of nuclear power at much lower cost, and with greater flexibility. Learn how you can integrate SMRs into your resource mix to improve resilience, reliability, and flexibility to meet changing load demands. Learn how to find and work with a third-party operator on SMR licensing and operation. 

Mason Baker, General Counsel, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Bob Temple, General Counsel, NuScale Power, Portland, Oregon

2:45 — 4:15 p.m.
General Session

Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1.2 / CPEs 1.5, Specialized Knowledge

Challenges, Opportunities, and the Future of Public Power
Even while drawing upon their traditional strengths, public power utilities can no longer afford to operate the same way they have for decades. Utilities need to ramp up to stay on top of changes in the industry and economy. Hear from public power CEOS who’ve forged new paths for their utilities to address challenges that confront all of public power — new competitors, talk of privatization, and changes to the business model. Discover new opportunities and services you can leverage to do what you do best — power strong communities and improve the quality of life of your customers.

  • Doug Hunter, CEO & General Manager, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Arlen Orchard, CEO& General Manager, SMUD, California
  • Tom Roiniotis, General Manager, Longmont Power & Communications, Colorado
  • David Wade, CEO, EPB, Chattanooga, Tennessee