Energy Utility Basics 2016

September 26, 2016 @ 8:00 am – September 30, 2016 @ 12:00 pm
Room 235, Pyle Center
University of Wisconsin: Pyle Center
702 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53706
See Below
Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait (Sam)

About the Program and Draft Agenda

This program is endorsed by the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners and co-sponsored by the Energy Bar Association-Midwest Chapter

Energy Utility Basics is an intensive course on the fundamental concepts critical to being conversant in today’s energy industry. Course content is updated yearly as technology, regulation, competition and markets evolve.  WPUI has proudly presented this exceptional course each fall since 1983.

Course Summary: Over four and a half days, participants will receive an introduction to the electric and natural gas industries, insights into regulatory decision-making, and an analysis of the current issues facing both industries.  The dedicated gas course begins Thursday at noon and continues until mid-Day Friday

Benefits: Attendees will obtain practical knowledge of the operations and technology of the natural gas and electricity industries from extraction, whether from the ground or renewables, to the customer’s bill. Course registration covers a field trip to a natural gas power plant, daily lunches and breaks, printed course materials and UW-Madison CEU certification. 12.5 CLE credits have been granted.

Who Should Attend: The energy industry has undergone substantial changes – including changes in hiring practices. Twenty years ago, new utility staff would start out learning the ropes by working up through the ranks. In today’s fast-moving business environment, it is often advantageous to hire staff from other industries, bringing in outside talent that doesn’t yet have a working knowledge of the energy industry. Energy Utility Basics is intended for anyone working in the energy industry, including public interest groups, legislative staff, regulatory staff, state and local government personnel. The course is for energy professionals who want a better grasp of how all the technological, financial and political pieces of the energy puzzle fit together. Registration is open to the public.

What others have said:

“I came in new to the industry wanting to learn about how energy is made, distributed, and transmitted. I am leaving with a better understanding of all that and more.”

“The good mix of speakers and audience made for an excellent atmosphere to understand a complex industry from all angles.”

“I wish I could have taken this course right away when I entered the utility industry.”

“I appreciate the care in progressively building on the modules.”

“Plenty of beneficial information, good speakers.”

“As someone with only a couple years of utility experience, this was a great foundation”

“Covered as many of the topics as possible in an entertaining and informative way – could have been very boring, but it wasn’t.  Nice work!”

“Excellent overview and well-planned program.”

“Delivery of complex information in an easy to digest manner.”

“I loved getting to see the operators and getting to touch and see how it all works at the power plant”

“Variety of speakers, all were knowledgeable and able to break down the subject matter for those with a limited knowledge of the industry.”


Draft Agenda

September 26, Monday

Electricity: Industry Structure

Pyle Center, Room 235

Time Session Title Speaker (s)
7:30-8:00 Welcome Coffee/Tea
7:30-8:00 Registration
8:00-8:20 Introduction Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait Wisconsin Public Utility Institute
8:20-9:45 Why a regulated monopoly? Who’s regulated, why and how: The Federal and State Perspective  1600’s to 1985

  • Why a monopoly
  • What is a public interest
  • The role of federal level commissions
  • The relationship between the utility and the regulator
Enrique Bacalao Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
9:45-10:00 Break
10:00-11:15 Utility Regulation from 1985 to Today

  • Drivers of Restructuring
  • Wholesale Markets and Open Access
  • Renewables and Energy Efficiency
  • Pricing and Rate Changes
  • Current Trends
Nate Zolik Godfrey and Khan
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:30 The Public Service Commission-Roles and Rules, Balance of Power

  • PSC Authority and Jurisdiction
  • Organizational Structure of the PSC
  • A Case: Start to Finish
Cynthia Smith Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 3:00 Utility Company Models-Presentations and Panel Discussion

  • Utility Company Models-Presentations and Panel Discussion
  • Why was this form of a public service company formed
  • What do you own and operate–
  • How are you regulated or managed–(show differences for transmission, generation etc.)
  • Who are your stakeholders (stockholders for IOUs)
  • How do you secure power
  • How do you sell power (retail only, wholesale customers etc)
  • What other services do you offer customers
  • Who are your customers
Moderator:  Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait Wisconsin Public Utility InstituteBrian Rude Dairyland Power CooperativeAndy Onesti Manitowoc Public Utilities
3:00 – 3:15 Break  
3:15 – 4:00 The Independent System Operator

  • History
  • Responsibilities
  • Areas of influence
David Boyd MISO Energy
4:00 – 4:15 Break
4:15– 5:15 Transmission-The Overlooked Connection Until 1970

  • History 1970 to date
  • Order 2000 RTOs and then Repair Bill Order 890
  • The Underlying Driver for FERC
  • FERC Order 1000 and then the Repair Bill 1000-A
  • Right of First Refusal—Current Status
Flora Flygt Retired Utility Executive &  Advisor
5:15 Adjourn


September 27, Tuesday
Electricity: Industry Operations

Pyle Center, Room 235


Time Session Title Speaker(s)
7:30-8:00 Welcome Coffee/Tea
8:00-9:15 From Heat to Electricity-How we make Electricity in the U.S.

  • How much energy do we use
  • What is the difference between energy and power
  • Creating electricity
  • AC/DC—what does this mean?
  • How does a generator make electricity
  • Start-up
  • Black starts
  • Who uses what
  • Cost of electricity
Jake Blanchard UW-Madison 
9:15-9:30 Break
9:30-11:15 Field Identification Guide to the Electric Industry•    Recognizing a power line from a phone line
•    Substations, boosters, inter-tie, DC lines
•    Technical language used in the field
•    Power flows
•    Transmission basics
•    Step-up & step-down
•    Counterflows
•    Curtailments
•    Line losses
•    Line loading
•    Buses
•    Basics of LMP
•    Congestion
Ken Copp American Transmission Co. 
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:30 A Day in the Life of a Distribution Company

  • The New Responsibility (Opportunity)
  • Physical characteristics
  • A typical day in 1990
  • A typical day in 2012
Merlin Raab Wisconsin Public Service Corporation/Integrys 
12:30-1:00 Break and pick up lunch
1:00-2:00 A Day in the Life of a Transmission Operator

  • What they do and why they do it
  • Scheduling
  • Forecasting
  • Selling into the market
  • Good days and bad days
  • Transmission investment decisions
  • Meeting renewable portfolio standards
  • Planning and cost allocation
 Mike Londo  American Transmission Co.
2:00-2:45 Demo – What happens to carbon with different generation portfolios?  Dealing with trade-offs and risks Scott Patrick Williams UW-Madison
2:45-3:00 Pick up cookies and a beverage on the way out to the bus!
3:00-3:15 Travel to Charter Street Heating and Cooling Plant

3:15-4:30             Field Trip: Power Plant Tour




September 28, Wednesday  

Ratemaking for Electric and Gas Companies

Pyle Center, Room 235

Time Session Title Speaker(s)
7:30-8:00 Welcome Coffee/Tea
8:00-9:15 What drives utility stock prices?

  • How do investors value utility stock?
  • What is changing about the utility’s business climate for earnings growth?
  • What are the implications of the changes on future stock value?
  • What are the value implications for utility investment in environmental infrastructure projects?
Steve Kihm Seventhwave
9:15-9:30 Break
9:30-10:45 Basics of Rate Setting

  • Cost of Service
Bruce Chapman CA Energy 
10:45-11:00 Break
11:00-12:30 Basics of Rate Setting

  • Traditional Rate Design
  • Dynamic Pricing and Rate Efficiency
  • Niche Designs
Bruce Chapman CA Energy 
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:45 Basics of Rate Setting: ConclusionChallenge of Renewables Cost and Pricing Bruce Chapman CA Energy
2:45-3:00 Break
3:00-3:45 Strategies for Addressing Fixed Cost Recovery Issues Dan Hansen CA Energy
3:45 – 4:00 Break  
4:00 – 4:45 One Utility’s Response to Changing Customer Expectations John Krueger Madison Gas and Electric
4:45 Adjourn



September 29, Thursday

    Electricity/Gas: Environmental Issues & Gas Markets

Pyle Center, Room 235


Time Session Title Speakers(s)
7:30 – 8:00 Welcome Coffee/Tea
8:00 – 8:45 Nuclear Future—The Base Load of the Future? Jake Blanchard UW-Madison
8:45 – 9:00 Break  
9:00 –12:30 Work Done Without (or with a small) Carbon Footprint and Enabling Technologies—Moderator Rich Hackner, GDS Associates

  • Introduction to Renewables – Rich Hackner, GDS (9:00 – 9:20)
  • Efficiency:  First, fix the holes in the bucket: Building CodesIsaac Elnecave, MEEA  (9:20 – 9:45)
  • Wind & Solar – Mitch Bradt, UW-Madison (9:45 – 10:30)
  • Break – (10:30 – 10:45)
  • Biogas Rebecca Larson UW-Madison (10:45 – 11:20)
  • Storage –  Bruce Beihoff, UW-Madison (11:20 – 11:50)
  • Supercritical CO2 – Mark Anderson UW-Madison (11:50 – 12:15)
  • Discussion (12:15 – 12:30)
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch  
1:30 – 3:30 Gas Markets  How do traders evaluate options

  • What do customers pay for in a therm of gas—production, pipeline and distribution?
  • Driving Factors in Gas Prices.
  • General outlook for supply
  • How has the gas market changed in the past 4 years?
  • The role of storage.
  • New LNG markets?  And its effect on domestic pricing
  • Short and long term pricing implications
  • Price outlook caveats
Valerie Wood Energy Solutions Inc.
3:30 – 3:45 Break
3:45-4:30 Legal Issues Facing the Utility Industry Brian Potts Perkins Coie
4:30 Adjourn


September 30, Friday

Gas:  Status and Operations

Pyle Center, Room 235

Time Session Title Speaker
7:30-8:00 Welcome Coffee/Tea
8:00 – 10:30 What Everyone Ought to Know About Gas

  • Where does natural gas come from
  • What is unconventional gas
  • How does the near term supply look
  • What about the future
  • Typical composition of a gas molecule
  • How natural gas is normally used-by time of day, coincident hourly demand, and month and by industry type
  • How efficient is natural gas as an energy source—and how clean is it compared to other fossil fuels
  • What is the natural gas production break-even point (Basin production cost per MMbtu)
  • Big picture of historical natural gas prices
Alan Carroll UW-Madison 
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:45 A Day in the Life of a Gas Company

  • Regulatory requirements
  • Trading
  • Forecasting
  • Dispatch
Sarah Mead Integrys Energy Group
12:00 Adjourn

Institute Member   $1,450.00
Non-Member  $2,250.00
Government (Non-Utility)    $700.00
Non-Profit, Member    $1,200.00
Non-Profit, Non-Member    $1,550.00

Your registration fee includes printed materials, meals/breaks and access to materials on our website post-program.

Parking may be available in UW-Madison Lot 46 and in the City of Madison State Street Campus Garage at 415 N. Lake St.




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