Centers | EMIC

2013 Austin Electricity Conference

Special Thanks To

Oncor logo

The Third Annual Austin Electricity Conference (AEC) brings together nationally prominent regulators, industry representatives, NGOs, and academics to examine and discuss issues in electricity and power. The conference is organized around four panels (described below). It follows the Aspen Institute model – short panel discussions, followed by plenty of time for in-depth discussion of panel topics after bringing all panelists together.

The conference will be held at the AT&T Conference Center and Hotel in Austin, Texas.

Click here for list of 2013 AEC participants.

Day 1 Schedule

Thursday, April 18, 2013: 

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast

9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m.
Classroom 105

Introduction and Conference Overview
David Spence, University of Texas at Austin
9:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Classroom 105

Panel Discussion: Are Capacity Markets Necessary to Ensure Adequate Generating Reserves?

Moderator: Ross Baldick, University of Texas at Austin
William Hogan, Harvard University
Dan Jones, Potomac Economics
Michael Robinson, MISO Energy
Paul Sotkiewicz, PJM Interconnection

10:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Classroom 103
Lunch with Keynote Speaker
Jim Greer, Oncor
1:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m.
Classroom 105

Panel Discussion: Demand Response in Capacity and Electricity Markets:  What Role Should It Play?

Moderator: Varun Rai, University of Texas at Austin
Joel Eisen, University of Richmond
Jerry Jackson, Smart Grid Research Consortium
Colin Meehan, Environmental Defense Fund
Siddharth Suryanarayanan, Colorado State University

2:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Coffee Break 
4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Conference Room 301

Reception

Day 2 Schedule

Friday, April 19, 2013:

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Breakfast 
9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Classroom 105

Panel Discussion: New Transmission: Can Cost Allocation and Federalism Barriers Be Overcome?

Moderator: Elizabeth Wilson, University of Minnesota
Allison Clements, Natural Resources Defense Council
Mike Gregerson,  MISO Energy
Alexandra Klass, University of  Minnesota
Warren Lasher, Electric Reliability Council of Texas

10:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Coffee Break 
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Classroom 103
Lunch
1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Classroom 105

Panel Discussion: A Broader Perspective: The Relationships between Markets and Regulation

Moderator: Tom Edgar, University of Texas at Austin
Mark Dreyfus, Austin Energy
Brewster McCracken, Pecan Street Inc.
Philippe Mugnier, Electricite de France
Jess Totten, Stratus Energy Group

2:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m. Coffee Break 
3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Wrap Up
David Adelman, University of Texas at Austin

Panels

Panel 1 – Are Capacity Markets Necessary to Ensure Adequate Generating Reserves?

Many organized wholesale electricity markets use capacity payments to ensure the availability of sufficient future capacity reserves. In the United States, for example, this is true in New England, New York, and the PJM markets. The Midwestern system operator is moving in that direction as well. The Texas market, by contrast, relies only on energy price signals to ensure sufficient electric generating capacity for the future, but its system operator projects sharply declining capacity reserves. Can competitive electricity markets provide sufficient capacity reserves without separate capacity markets?  If so, how?  What market designs or market institutions for ensuring help achieve that goal?

Moderator: Ross Baldick, University of Texas at Austin

Panel 2 – Demand Response in Capacity and Electricity Markets:  What Role Should It Play?

It seems intuitive that demand response (“DR”) can help address imbalances in capacity and energy markets. The penetration of smart meters and other smart grid elements throughout the electric power system ought to facilitate the use of DR, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission advertised rules designed to encourage the use of demand response in organized electricity markets. How large a role can, or should, DR play in capacity markets? In energy markets? How should market regulators facilitate and structure the participation of DR in these markets?

Moderator: Varun Rai, University of Texas at Austin

Panel 3 – New Transmission: Can Cost Allocation and Federalism Barriers Be Overcome?

An aging existing transmission infrastructure, governmental policies, and the rapid increase in the volume of wholesale electricity transactions point toward the need for investment in new transmission infrastructure. Sponsors of new transmission lines face regulatory barriers at the state level, and difficult problems allocating the costs of new transmission lines to their (sometimes difficult to identify) beneficiaries. How, if at all, can these barriers to investment be overcome? What are the financial, policy, or other solutions to this problem?

Moderator: Elizabeth Wilson, University of Minnesota

Panel 4 – A Broader Perspective:  The Relationships between Markets and Regulation

In this final panel, we examine the relationship between public utility regulation and electricity markets. What does it mean to “let markets work” in the electricity context? Do markets require only “well-designed legal institutions” to work well? What does it mean for markets to work well? What do most people want from electricity markets? If politicians intervene in those markets, do they do so because a majority of voters want them to intervene? How should policymakers sort out these foundational questions that lie at the boundary between regulation and markets?

Moderator: Tom Edgar, University of Texas at Austin

Keynote Speakers

Roger Duncan

Research Associate, Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy

Roger Duncan headshotRoger Duncan is a research associate at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Roger is also the former general manager of Austin Energy, the municipal utility for Austin, Texas. Prior to that position, Roger served in various executive roles for Austin Energy and the City of Austin.

Roger was elected twice to the Austin City Council from 1981 to 1985. Roger serves on the board of directors of the Alliance to Save Energy, and is chairman of the Board of the Pecan Street Project, an Austin smart grid initiative. In 2005, Business Week magazine recognized Roger as one of the top 20 carbon reducers in the world. Roger has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin with a major in philosophy.
Click here for presentation slides

Click here to view presentation on YouTube

Jim Greer

SVP and COO, Oncor
headshot of GreerJim Greer, P.E. holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, an MBA from the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Greer is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas and is an active member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers where he's held leadership positions at the local and state levels. Greer is a past recipient of the Engineer of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year and Van Trump awards from the Fort Worth Chapter of TSPE. He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.


Click here for presentation slides

Click here to view presentation on YouTube

Panelists

Panel 1 – Are Capacity Markets Necessary to Ensure Adequate Generating Reserves
William Hogan, Harvard, click here for presentation slides
Dan Jones, Potomac Economics, click here for presentation slides
Michael Robinson, MISO, click here for presentation slides
Paul Sotkiewicz, PJM Interconnection, click here for presentation slides
Moderator: Ross Baldick, The University of Texas at Austin, click here for presentation slides

Panel 2 – Demand Response in Capacity and Electricity Markets: What Role Should It Play
Joel Eisen, University of Richmond, click here for presentation slides
Jerry Jackson, Smart Grid Research Consortium (no presentation slides available)
Colin Meehan, Environmental Defense Fund (no presentation slides available)
Siddharth Suryanarayanan, Colorado State University, click here for presentation slides

Panel 3 – New Transmission: Can Cost Allocation and Federalism Barriers Be Overcome 
Allison Clements, NRDC, click here for presentation slides
Mike Gregerson, MISO (no presentation slides available)
Alexandra Klass, University of Minnesota , click here for presentation slides
Warren Lasher, ERCOT, click here for presentation slides

Panel 4 – A Broader Perspective: The Relationships between Markets and Regulation
Mark Dreyfus, Austin Energy, click here for presentation slides
Brewster McCracken, Pecan Street (no presentation slides available)
Philippe Mugnier, EDF, click here for presentation slides
Jess Totten, Stratus Energy Group, click here for presentation slides

Conference Organizers

Sponsorship and Meeting Coordinator

David Adelman
UT School of Law
512-232-0877
dadelman@law.utexas.edu

Ross Baldick
Cockrell School of Engineering
512-471-5879
baldick@mail.utexas.edu

Varun Rai
Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs & Cockrell School of Engineering
512-471-5057
raivarun@gmail.com

David Spence
Red McCombs School of Business
512-471-0778
David.Spence@McCombs.utexas.edu

Michael Webber
Webber Energy Group & Cockrell School of Engineering
512-475-6867
webber@mail.utexas.edu

Hotel and Logistics

Gena Dawson
Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law & UT School of Law
512-475-9328
GDawson@law.utexas.edu

Accommodations

Hotels With a Room Block Available


AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
1900 University Avenue, Austin, TX 78705
Website: www.meetattexas.com
Phone: (512) 404-3600

 

 
Additional Hotels Without a Room Block Available

Doubletree
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotels
303 West 15th Street, Austin, TX 78701-1692
Website: www.doubletree.com
Phone: (512) 478-7000 

 

 mansion at judges hill

Mansion at Judges Hill
1900 Rio Grande Street, Austin, TX 78705
Website: www.mansionatjudgeshill.com
Phone: (512) 495-1857 
 

Four Seasons Hotel
98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, Texas 78701
Website:  www.fourseasons.com/austin
Phone: (512) 478-4500

 

 


Hilton Austin
500 East 4th Street, Austin, Texas 78701
Website: Click here
Phone: (512) 482-8000 


 

Hyatt Regency Austin
208 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Texas 78704
Website: www.austin.hyatt.com
Phone: (512) 477-1234





Omni Hotel Austin
700 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, Texas 78701
Website: www.omnihotels.com/austin
Phone: (512) 476-3700

 

The Stephen F. Austin Inter-continental Hotel
701 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701
Website: www.austin.intercontinental.com
Phone: (512) 457-8800

Sponsors

  Cockrell School Logo              Energy Institute Logo

   EMIC Logo

Law School Energy Center Logo

LBJ Logo      
     

ces logo        french embassy logo        eu logo

One of the continuing challenges facing regulators of (and participants in) competitive electricity markets is the problem of ensuring that there will be sufficient generating capacity and transmission infrastructure to meet future demand. Traditional public utility regulation addressed this problem by focusing only on the supply side of the equation, guaranteeing that vertically-integrated electric utilities would earn a fair return on their prudently made investments in generation and transmission capacity.

The move to competitive electricity markets in parts of the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere has changed the incentives facing prospective investors in new generation and transmission infrastructure. In theory, if electricity prices reflect the scarcity of electric power at its various locations on the electric grid, those prices ought to provide a sufficient incentive (i) for investors to build new generation and transmission capacity when and where it is needed, and (ii) for consumers of power to reduce their demand when and where it is profitable to do so.

However, practice has not always matched theory in competitive electricity markets. In some organized markets, system operators have established separate markets to procure new generating capacity, fearing that reliance only upon the energy price signal will result in sharply declining reserve margins in the coming years. New transmission is plagued by its own set of federalism and cost allocation issues which may be slowing investment in new lines. At the same time, federal and state regulators are grappling with the problem of designing market institutions that will provide the right incentives for consumers to provide an efficient amount of demand response, both in capacity and energy markets.

Page last updated: 3/3/2014