University of Texas at Austin
A man talks as others listen


McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

AEC Conference Details

The conference will be held at the AT&T Conference Center and Hotel in Austin, Texas. If you need an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact McKenzie Jackson no later than five business days prior to the event. Check out the event details below; a comprehensive list of keynote speakers, presentations, and conference sponsors is coming soon.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 >

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Women in Electricity Panel 

Zlotnik Family Ballroom 5 &6
AT&T Hotel and Conference Center
1900 University Avenue, Austin, Texas

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Panel - 5:00 p.m., Reception - 6:00 p.m.


Sano Blocker, Senior Vice President - Government Affairs, Vistra Energy

Becky Klein, Principal, Klein Energy LLC

Cheryl Mele, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, ERCOT

Marcie Zlotnik, Managing Partner, BZMZ Interests 



Thursday, April 4, 2019

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Outside of Classroom 105

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
*Coffee Break from 10:45 a.m -11:00 a.m outside of Classroom 105


Panel 1 Discussion:  Storage Integration Scenarios on Short & Longer-Term Time Scales 

Moderator: David Spence

12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Classroom 103


Lunch with Keynote Speaker

1:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Classroom 105
*Coffee Break from 2:45 p.m - 3:00 p.m outside of Classroom 105

Panel 2 Discussion:The Economic & Business Implications
of Storage

Moderator: David Adelman


4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Zlotnik Ballroom Prefunction Area


Friday, April 5, 2019

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Outside of Classroom 105 Breakfast 
9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Classroom 105
*Coffee Break from 10:00 a.m - 10:15 am. outside of classroom 105

Panel 3 Discussion: Electricity Storage Technologies
Moderator: Varun Rai

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Classroom 103 Lunch with Keynote Speaker
1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Classroom 105
*Coffee Break from 2:00 p.m - 2:15 p.m outside of classroom 105

Panel 4 Discussion: The System Operators’ Perspective of Storage
Moderator: Ross Baldick

3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Classroom 105 Wrap Up


PANEL 1: Storage Integration Scenarios on Short & Longer-Term Time Scales: As renewables make further inroads into the generation mix, what roles can electricity storage play to support renewable generation in the short term (e.g., on diurnal time scales)?  How do those roles differ across different time-scales and geographic regions? For example, how is the task of backing up utility scale wind generation in the Great Plains different from the task of supplementing rooftop solar generation in New England (perhaps with a Tesla Powerwall)?  Likewise, in jurisdictions that seek a rapid transition to a zero-carbon generation mix, how might storage support renewable generation over longer time-scales—for example, during extended wind or solar droughts that, while rare, may last days or weeks?  

Moderator: David Spence

Panelists: Frank Wolak, Melissa Lott, Lola Infante, Sony Dhaliwal

View the 2018 Panel 1 Presentations Here:
The Economics of Transactive Energy Distribution Platforms
PEV-Grid Coordination

PANEL 2: The Economic & Business Implications of Storage: Deployment of grid-relevant storage is still in its infancy. Much of the early uses of storage have focused on supplying ancillary services, in large part due to the economics (high costs) of current storage technologies. With the rapid and continuing declines in the cost of electricity storage, new business opportunities are emerging that move beyond such niche applications by taking advantage of spatial inhomogeneities of the grid and working with portfolios of existing or new generation sources, as well as demand-side management systems. Earlier business models of co-locating generation and storage are being abandoned in favor of strategies that exploit multiple complementary revenue streams or are developed as rated-based utility assets. This panel will focus on the emerging business opportunities for and evolving economics of grid-scale storage, including regional differences across the United States that are associated with the existing, and projected, generation mix as well as state and regional policies.

Moderator:  David Adelman

Panelists: Dave Tuttle, Jeremy Lin, Arne Olson, Andrew Bowman 

View the 2018 Panel 2 Presentations Here:
Panel 2 Overview
Forecasting and Operations
Forecasting and Operations II
Forecasting and Operations III
Wind Integration in ERCOT
Achieving High Renewable Penetration with Grid-Friendly Operations
Renewable Integration and Adapting to the Changing Resource Mix in ERCOT

PANEL 3: Electricity Storage Technologies:  “Energy Storage” is a very broad phrase, including, among other technologies, battery storage (various kinds), pumped-hydro, flywheel, molten salt, etc. Each technology has its own, powerful, story: in its own way, each technology is cost effective, flexible, customer-oriented, and the answer to most ills facing the electricity industry. The hypothesis of this panel is that no one storage technology is the answer to all the needs; rather, each technology is best suited within its own portion of the market. This panel will test this hypothesis by evaluating various energy-storage technologies face-to-face on commons issues of cost, flexibility, reliability, and holistic supply-chain issues. Is there a “Chosen One” or is it “All the above”? This is the central question that this panel will address.

Moderator: Varun Rai

Panelists: Wesley Cole

View the 2018 Panel 3 Presentations Here: 
Panel 3 Overview
Precision Price/Load Forecasts for Renewables-centric Grids
Seeing much more and better: Satellite imagery and algorithms for automatic detection of power system infrastructure
Advanced Analytics: Residential Solar PV Diffusion as a Social Process
Advanced Analytics to Understand Impact of the Integrated Customer

PANEL 4: The System Operators’ Perspective of Storage:  Storage provides flexibility at various timescales to system operators.  Differing hydrological endowments have meant very different amounts of hydro storage in the various systems, while new additions of battery and other forms of storage have varied between the ISOs.  This panel will explore system operators’ views of storage and what their expectations about future mixes of generation resources and demand will mean for the growth of storage.  What mechanisms—simple market forces, or mandated investments—will be used to enable this growth?  How will distributed storage affect the future path of the electricity sector?

Moderator: Ross Baldick

Panelists: Rahul Kalaskar, Yonghong Chen, Christopher Parent, Sandip Sharma, Eric Hsia

View the 2018 Panel 4 Presentations Here:
Panel 4 Overview
Cyber-Security Thoughts for Austin Energy Conference (A funny thing happened on the way to utopia)
Engineering Cyber Resiliency
Cyber Resilience


Conference Organizers

David Adelman
UT School of Law

Ross Baldick
Cockrell School of Engineering

Varun Rai
Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs & Cockrell School of Engineering

David Spence
Red McCombs School of Business and UT School of Law

John C. Butler
Red McCombs School of Business


McKenzie Jackson
McCombs Energy Initiative


Accommodations for the 2019 Conference


We have secured a special room block rate of $189.00 per night at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center. 

You may book your room by calling the hotel at 512-404-1900, or by booking online here:

You may refer to the Austin Electricity Conference hosted by the McCombs School of Business when you call to book. The room block rate expires March 3, 2019.

Conference Organizers

Headshot of David Adelman

David Adelman

UT School of Law

Headshot of Ross Baldick

Ross Baldick

Cockrell School of Engineering

Headshot Varun Rai

Varun Rai

LBJ School of Public Affairs & Cockrell School of Engineering

Headshot David Spence

David Spence

McCombs School of Business & UT School of Law