2017 Programs

Public Utilities Section State Bar Meeting 2017
Mar 1 @ 7:30 am – 2:00 pm

Public Utilities Section State Bar Meeting

4.5 CLEs available.

Draft Agenda


Breakfast Presentation (8th Floor Skyview Banquest Room):

7:30-8:00              Buffet Breakfast Served in Skyview Room, 8th Floor

8:00-8:45              Breakfast Program Special Guest Speaker:

                               Scott Hempling, Preside or Lead? The Attributes and Actions of Effective Regulators”

** A copy of his book by this title will be given to each Breakfast Presentation attendee. **

Scott Hempling

Scott Hempling

Main Program (Auditorium):

Listen to Audio Recording of Entire Program
- Click on menu button () to find individual presentations within audio recording

Cynthia Smith

Cynthia Smith


Alex Mahfood

Alex Mahfood

9:00-9:05              Welcome and Introduction

Alex Mahfood, Assistant General Counsel, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

9:05-10:05           Annual update of activities at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

Cynthia Smith, General Counsel, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Presentation



Lawrie Kobza

Lawrie Kobza

Anita Gallucci

Anita Gallucci

10:05-10:25         Municipal Law Updates

Anita Gallucci, Attorney, Boardman & Clark LLC   Presentation

10:25-10:35         Break

10:35-11:00         Water Law Updates

Lawrie Kobza, Attorney, Boardman & Clark LLC   Presentation


11:00-11:50         Presentation by Scott Hempling: Regional Resource Planning

11:50-12:00         Break


12:00-1:00           Panel Discussion: Issues in Regional Resource Planning

Lauren Azar

Lauren Azar

John Moore

John Moore

Moderated by Scott Hempling



Bill Malcolm

Bill Malcolm

John Carr

John Carr



1:00-2:00              Networking Lunch

2:00                        Program Concludes


Program includes buffet breakfast, lunch and breaks, printed materials and, for those who attend Scott Hempling’s breakfast presentation, a copy of his book, Preside or Lead? The Attributes and Actions of Effective Regulators.”

fluno-center fluno-center-auditorium


Parking is available in the garage under Fluno and next door in UW Southeast Campus Ramp at Lake St. and W. Johnson St.




This program is hosted by the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute. WPUI is not responsible for the content of this program. Each presentation is the intellectual property of the listed author(s).



Washington Briefing
Mar 20 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

March 20, 2017, 8:00-9:30 am

Washington Briefing

The Pyle Center, Madison WI

Pyle Center 2017 








Sponsored by Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Hosted by the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute

Join Michael Best & Friedrich LLP for a special briefing from Washington D.C. about energy and environmental policy implementation within the new federal administration and Congress.

Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Madison WI is pleased to welcome two Michael Best Strategies Partners from its Washington, D.C., office for this unique opportunity. Denise Bode and Tom Schreibel will bring their experience and expertise to bear in this informative session.  Following their presentation will be time for discussion about what the changes in EPA and DOE may mean for Wisconsin.

The presenters:Denise Bode

Denise Bode:  Attorney and partner with Michael Best Strategies, former chair of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, former CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, and a former tax counsel to a member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Denise was also the CEO of the American Clean Skies Foundation where she worked with the wind, solar and natural gas industries and the environmental community to explore options for assembling a portfolio approach to address generation that can provide clean energy and air in a carbon-challenged environment.

Tom Schreibel

Tom Schreibel:  Partner with Michael Best Strategies. Prior to joining Strategies, Tom served as vice president of government and industry affairs at Sheehan Family Companies, a national beverage distribution company. There he developed and executed strategies surrounding the company’s business practices, managed tracking of relevant policy activity for 15 state legislatures and Washington, D.C., and managed relationships and communication with industry leaders, legislators, and elected officials.


 Moderated by:

Eric Callisto

Eric Callisto:  Partner with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. Eric is known for his extensive experience in energy and environmental matters, particularly the regulation of utilities at both the state and federal levels. Previously he served as chair of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, president of the Organization of MISO States (OMS), and was a member of the NARUC Board of Directors. He also served on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute.


Registration Required:  www.wpui.org

Registration Fees:  Free to WPUI members, $35.00 for non-members.

Registration includes any printed materials and a welcome coffee.

Parking is available at the City of Madison State Street Campus Garage with entrances at 415 N. Lake St. and 430 N. Frances St.


This program is hosted by the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute.
WPUI is not responsible for the content of this program. Each presentation is the intellectual property of the listed author(s).
The Regulatory and Rates “Tango”
Jun 28 @ 8:15 am – 3:30 pm


Draft Agenda

 The Regulatory and Rates “Tango”
(and how it turned into a tangle)
6 CEUs


This program travels through history to understand the drivers and the outcomes of regulation and rates in Wisconsin, with a backdrop of what has happened nationally during the same period. We recognize how regulations often have translated into rate design and vice versa. We will also have a briefing on how cost of service has changed over time.


8:00-8:15          Registration check-in and welcome coffee

8:15-8:45          The Foundations of Wisconsin’s Regulatory Role  –  The availability of heat, light, and water service are central to modern life. For this reason, an individual, business, or local government that provides one of these services to the public is deemed a “public utility” and is subject to a system of state regulation designed to ensure availability of service and to protect the interests of consumers, public utilities, and their investors.  Zach Ramirez, Staff Attorney, Wisconsin Legislative Council
Zach Ramirez presentation  and Zach Ramirez memo  and Zach Ramirez video

8:45-9:30          Regulatory Intent:  From the First Oil Crisis Until Today  –  Surveying the last 40 years, this presentation looks at major state and federal regulatory developments, their principal drivers, and how states responded to and implemented federal energy policy changes.  Nate Zolik, Attorney, Godfrey and Kahn
Nate Zolik presentation and Nate Zolik video

9:30-10:15        Utility Response to the “Tango”  –  Thrust into a new role, conserving their product, how did utility programs respond to new initiatives from the public and regulatory spheres of influence?

Panel Discussion

Moderator:  Enrique Bacalao, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

10:15-10:30      Break

10:30-11:45      Economics and Engineering in a new Partnership:  Cost of Service  –  Much has changed in cost of service modelling over the past 40 years as regulation and rates adjusted to new market conditions.  Larry Vogt, Director of Rates, Mississippi Power
Larry Vogt Economics presentation

11:45-12:30       Lunch

12:30-1:15         Minimum Distribution Charges   Minimum distribution charges have caught the attention of some regulators.  What are they, and how can they help with cost/pricing issues in today’s market?  Larry Vogt
Larry Vogt Minimum Distribution presentation

1:15-1:30            Break

1:30-2:30            Public Perception of the “Tango”  —  Presentation of program options that were designed to meet new regulatory guidelines. What was the public expectation to these changes?  How did they perform?  What were the roles of pilot programs and market incentives?

Panel Discussion:

  • Thomas Content, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin
  • Sarah Barry,  Executive Director, Customers First! Coalition
  • Kathy Kunz, Executive Director, Cool Choices

2:30-3:15            Challenge or Opportunity:  It Started With Conservation and Now Includes Renewable Load Growth  —   How have regulators and utilities responded to revenue erosion?  How successful have their responses been?  How do these options fit with regulatory intent?   Dan Hansen, Vice President, Christensen Associates Energy Consulting    
Dan Hansen presentation

3:15-3:30             Closing Comments

3:30                      Adjourn



Note: The following programs have been designed as a series:

  • June 28, 2017 — The Regulatory and Rates “Tango”
  • July 21, 2017 — Regulatory Models, Version 2.0
  • Sept. 28, 2017 — Gas’s Pipeline to Sustainability
  • Oct. 26, 2017 — Powering a More Electric Economy

Registering for all four programs qualifies the registrant for a discounted registration fee. Registration for the series may be shared by up to four employees of the same organization. If you would like to inquire about this discounted fee, please email Sara at slangmack@wisc.edu.



Your registration fee includes printed materials, welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch. CEU certificates are available upon request.

Regulatory Models, Version 2.0
Jul 21 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Draft Agenda

Regulatory Models, Version 2.0
New Players, New Rules

6 CEUs 

This program examines Minnesota’s e21 Initiative for revising the social contract between regulators and the regulated.  We will explore the use of performance-based regulation in both retail and wholesale markets, and we will look at different regulatory and business models that are being discussed in various states.

8:15-8:30          Registration check-in and welcome coffee

8:30-10:00        Minnesota’s e21 Initiative  — “The e21 Initiative aims to develop a more customer-centric and sustainable framework for utility regulation in Minnesota that better aligns how utilities earn revenue with public policy goals, new customer expectations, and the changing technology landscape. The initiative brings together key interests including utilities, consumer advocates, energy technology companies, other businesses, environmental and academic organizations, and government to accomplish this goal and enable Minnesota to continue to lead in shaping an electric system for the 21st century.”   http://www.betterenergy.org/projects/e21-initiative   Rolf Nordstrom, President and CEO, Great Plains Institute  Nordstrom presentation

10:00-10:15    Break

10:15-11:00     New Working Partnerships – What does the regulatory model look like that enables and encourages this kind of collaboration?

“Cities across the globe are using technology to not only improve services and infrastructure for citizens, but also address urban challenges – like energy and water usage, traffic, and waste.  They’re called smart cities – and Urbanova is one of the innovators in this movement, bringing together leaders in utility infrastructure, smart metering and communications, higher education, energy efficiency, population health, and urban planning to create a smart city technology proving ground in the heart of Spokane, Washington.” https://urbanova.org/#about   Curt Kirkeby, Technology Strategist, Avista Utilities  Kirkeby presentation

11:00-11:30     Performance-based Regulation (PBR) from Telecom to the Energy Industry — Fifteen years ago, PBR, based on a telecom model, was kicked around as an option for the energy industry.  However, this model failed in application to the energy industry.  Now there is a resurgence of interest in this option.  Why now, and what challenges lie ahead?  Mark Meitzen, Vice President, Christensen Associates Energy Consulting  Meitzen presentation

11:30-12:15         PBR in Retail Markets, Urbanova-style – Performance-based regulation asks, “What value do we want out of our utility system, and what are we willing to pay for it?”  In this session, we will review how PBR works and why it may be a workable model in the future for retail markets.  Michael O’Boyle, Power Sector Transformation Expert, Energy Innovation  O’Boyle presentation

12:15-1:00        Lunch

1:00-2:00          Compare and Contrast Other State Models

Questions that we will explore:

  1. What are the underlying principles that you are using in addressing model change?
  2. How will your plan provide value to all in the value chain?
  3. What have you tried that has worked, and what has not worked?

Panel discussions with presentations

Moderator:  Kira Loehr, Senior Counsel, Perkins Coie

Ellen Nowak, Chair, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin  Nowak presentation
Sadzi Oliva, Acting Commissioner, Illinois Commerce Commission Oliva presentation
Nick Wagner, Board Member, Iowa Utilities Board

2:00-2:30              Models for Rural Communities – Wisconsin’s electric cooperatives serve rural communities. They are owned and governed by their members. Cooperative members are interested in renewable energy for their homes, farms and businesses.  Learn about the policies, programs and projects that enable electric cooperatives of the Dairyland Power Cooperative system to respond to their members’ renewable energy interests and needs.  Craig Harmes, Manager of Business Development, Dairyland Power Cooperative  Harmes presentation


2:30-3:00               New Energy Initiatives in Wisconsin – Two new initiatives have been established to help grow the energy industry in Wisconsin. An overview of the recently completed “Supply Chain Opportunities in the Energy, Power, and Controls” report will be provided. This overview will include a brief demonstration of the Wisconsin Supply Chain Marketplace initiative. Furthermore, you will have an opportunity to learn more about the Wisconsin Biogas Council, including its development, goals, and future work.  Matthew Christman, Coordinator, Wisconsin Biogas Council

3:00-3:30              Understanding and Observing the True Nature of Destructive Competition: Analogies and implications for the electric utility industry At the outset, the products and services that will eventually disrupt a market are nearly always inferior to those offered by incumbents. But assuming that today’s inferior products cannot evolve is what allows disruptive competition to firmly take hold over time. As customer preferences shift and the products and services improve, the impact of the disruptors can ultimately be devastating for incumbent firms. Tracing the history of disruptive competition in other industries allows us to gain better insight as to the real long-run threats of competitive alternatives to grid service.   Steve Kihm, Principal and Chief Economist, Seventhwave

3:30                        Adjourn



Note: The following programs have been designed as a series:

  • June 28, 2017 — The Regulatory and Rates “Tango”
  • July 21, 2017 — Regulatory Models, Version 2.0
  • Sept. 28, 2017 — Gas’s Pipeline to Sustainability
  • Oct. 26, 2017 — Powering a More Electric Economy

Registering for all four programs qualifies the registrant for a discounted registration fee. Registration for the series may be shared by up to four employees of the same organization. If you would like to inquire about this discounted fee, please email Sara at slangmack@wisc.edu.



Your registration fee includes printed materials, welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch. CEU certificates are available upon request.

OMS DER Workshop: Retail Meets Wholesale
Aug 1 @ 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

 Thank you for your interest in this program.

Registration for this program is complete;

we are no longer accepting new registrations.




The Organization of MISO States (OMS) is leading the discussion of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) within the MISO footprint. The amount of distributed resources is increasing for a wide variety of reasons and has the potential to impact state-jurisdictional utilities and the MISO transmission system and wholesale markets. State regulators are uniquely situated to facilitate the exchange of information between MISO, the utilities, and the broader stakeholder community to develop policy on this issue. The workshop is intended to gather information, share ideas, and ensure any changes occur in an efficient and reliable manner.

Please join the discussion with regulators, RTOs, technology experts, academics, and industry thought leaders.
Additional information on this OMS-led initiative can be found here.



Please join us for a Welcome Reception
Mon. July 31, 2017, 5:30-7:00pm, in the Atrium of the Wisconsin Energy Institute.
This reception is open to all who register for this program.
Look for the invitation during the program registration process and indicate whether you will attend.



A note about transportation: UW-Madison is a very busy place in the summer. In particular,
thousands of incoming freshman, transfer students and foreign professional students visit
to tour campus. As a result, parking is at a premium; indeed, it is very likely that there
will be no parking available in the UW ramps/lots near the Mechanical Engineering building.

If you are staying in a hotel, we recommend that you use the hotel’s shuttle service or call
a cab/Uber. There is also the Madison Metro bus system which your hotel should be able to help you navigate.

If you are considering driving from home/office to campus, we suggest that you park away from campus
and plan to take a cab/Uber, a Madison Metro bus or even bike!



Wisconsin Energy Institute

Wisconsin Energy Institute

 Monday July 31

5:30 – 7:00pm

Welcome Reception hosted by OMS in the Atrium of the WEI building

  1552 University Ave | Appetizers will be served | All registrants are welcome!





Mechanical Engineering from University Ave.

Mechanical Engineering from University Ave.

Draft Agenda

Tuesday August 1

8:00am 4:30pm

0.6 CEUs

Mechanical Engineering Building, Rm 1106/Auditorium
1513 University Ave., Madison WI


8:00 – 8:30                 Welcome Coffee and registration

Mechanical Engineering south entrance

Mechanical Engineering south entrance

8:30 – 9:00                 Morning Keynote Speaker

  • Welcome to Wisconsin: Chair Ellen Nowak (WI)
  • OMS Welcome: Chair Daniel Hall (MO)
  • Morning Keynote: Lauren Azar – How States Take the Lead

Technological advances and customer preferences are increasing the use of distributed energy resources. DER is most often connected to the distribution system but, in greater numbers, can impact regional transmission planning, operations and markets. This workshop will explore the issues, concerns, and opportunities of DER at the intersection of state-jurisdictionally-connected resources that must be accounted for by federally-regulated RTOs.

9:00 – 10:30               Panel 1: RTO Perspectives

Moderator: OMS Board Member

  • Todd Ramey, VP of System Operations – MISO
  • Cheryl Mele, COO – ERCOT
  • Andrew Levitt, Senior Market Strategist – PJM
  • Jeff Billinton, Manager of Transmission Planning – CAISO

RTOs have broad responsibility in the areas of reliability, transmission planning, and ensuring efficient wholesale markets. The type and location of distributed resources can impact all of these areas, but are squarely within the purview of state regulators and local utilities. Proper planning at both the distribution and transmission-level will require appropriate sharing of information between the two. This panel will address the policies and structures that will be needed to accommodate greater amounts of local DER at the regional level while respecting the jurisdictional boundaries of all entities involved.

10:30 – 10:45             Break

10:45 – 12:00pm       Panel 2: Utility Perspectives

Moderator: Comm. Mike Huebsch (WI)

  • TBD – Xcel
  • Joe McGovern, Director of Electrical Engineering – Alliant
  • Andrew Owens, Director of Regulatory Research – Entergy
  • TBD – WPPI

Increasing of smaller, distributed resources on local distributions systems is changing the way utilities plan for the future. Regardless of whether the change is occurring for regulatory compliance or the need to maintain reliable operations, utilities are adapting in a multitude of ways to the changing landscape. This panel will investigate the approach that each of these utilities is taking to adapt and how they are working with their regulator and RTO to reliably and efficiently integrate these resources at the regional level.

12:00 – 1:00               Lunch and guest speaker in Atrium of ME building

Afternoon Keynote: Tony Clark

1:00 – 2:00                Panel 3: Tech Talk

Moderator: OMS Board Member

  • Prof. Bob Lasseter – UW-Madison
  • Yeye Zhang – Nest Labs
  • Jacquie DeRosa, VP of Emerging Technology – CES
  • Troy Miller, Director of Energy Storage Business Dev. – S&C Electric

Rapid advancements in performance, communications, and declining costs have combined to make distributed resources more efficient, reliable, and cost effective. Although adoption rates vary, if these trends continue, what impacts and opportunities can be expected in the future? This panel investigates a wide variety of technologies and the factors that impact their deployment and performance on both the distribution and bulk electric system levels.

2:00 – 3:00                 Panel 4: Customer Perspectives

Moderator: OMS Board Member

  • Tyler Huebner, Executive Director – Renew Wisconsin
  • Greg Geller, Director of Regulatory Affairs – EnerNOC
  • Amy Heart, Director of Public Policy – SunRun
  • Jeff Rick, Executive Director, GL Envision – Gundersen Health System

Independent actions and the expectations of customers are increasingly shaping the utility business model. In most instances, a utility’s rate structure or other Commission policies can have a large impact. More than ever, utilities are working together with their customers to create and implement new approaches. This panel will examine the impacts of retail and wholesale policies on customer decisions that impact the deployment of DER.

3:00 – 3:15                 Break

3:15 – 4:30                 Panel 5: Policy Perspectives

Moderator: Chair Ted Thomas (AR)

  • Sudeen Kelly, Partner – Jenner & Block LLP
  • Sally Talberg, Chairman – Michigan PSC
  • Gary Radloff, Director of Midwest Energy Policy – WEI
  • Mike Bull, Director of Policy – CEE

Greater implementation of DER and the impact on the utility business model is forcing an examination of existing state and federal policies. The overlapping jurisdictional framework between states — retail rate structures, PURPA avoided cost determinations, and resource adequacy — and federal entities — regional transmission planning and operations and wholesale markets — complicates this process. This panel will investigate how to establish appropriate policies to govern the reliable and efficient integration of DERs within this jurisdictional framework.

4:30                             Adjourn


Included in your registration fee:  the Monday 7/31/17 evening reception, breaks and lunch during the program, and access to materials electronically.

To confirm whether your organization is a member of WPUI, please see our membership page.

Current Registrants

This workshop is a program of the Organization of MISO States.
It is co-hosted by the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute (WPUI) and the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI).
WPUI and WEI are not responsible for the content of this program.


Gas’s Pipeline to Sustainability
Sep 28 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Draft Agenda

 Gas’s Pipeline to Sustainability
Gas fits long-term emission reductions efforts, but where and how will the gas be used?
6 CEUs

If done properly, gas can be a trusted bridge to help us move to a more integrated and cleaner energy platform. Or it could become a gangplank to continuing a carbon-based energy portfolio. In this session, will will look at what the future holds for gas markets.  We will then discuss how gas can become the backbone to a competitive, sustainable, clean energy future.


8:15-8:30            Registration check-in and welcome coffee

8:30-10:30         Update on Gas Markets   Valerie Wood, President and CEO, Energy Solutions

10:30-10:45      Break

10:45-11:30       The Environmental Profile of Gas  To Be Determined

11:30-12:15       Lunch

12:15-12:45        Wisconsin’s Gas Network: Is it time to change our gas pipeline?   How fast can gas plants ramp up with current technology? Why are the uncoordinated timings of market networking causing micro and macro problems? How do systems constraints affect gas markets?   Jeff Hicken, Manager Gas Trading and Dispatch, Alliant Energy

12:45-1:15         Dispatching Gas with an Optimization Approach – This presents research conducted at the University of Wisconsin to tackle the problem of stranded power, power that does not have a market and how to improve gas dispatch with coordinating gas and electric markets.  Victor Zavala, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, UW-Madison

1:15-2:15             Technology Update — From appliances to buildings.  Daniel LeFevers, Senior Program Manager, Gas Technology Institute, Invited

2:15-2:30             Break

2:30-3:00             End-users’ Concerns: Placing a bet on gas?  To Be Determined

3:00-3:30             MISO Perspective on Gas Needs   To Be Determined

3:30                      Adjourn


Note: The following programs have been designed as a series:

  • June 28, 2017 — The Regulatory and Rates “Tango”
  • July 21, 2017 — Regulatory Models, Version 2.0
  • Sept. 28, 2017 — Gas’s Pipeline to Sustainability
  • Oct. 26, 2017 — Powering a More Electric Economy

Registering for all four programs qualifies the registrant for a discounted registration fee. Registration for the series may be shared by up to four employees of the same organization. If you would like to inquire about this discounted fee, please email Sara at slangmack@wisc.edu.



Your registration fee includes printed materials, welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch. CEU certificates are available upon request.


Energy Utility Basics 2017
Oct 9 @ 8:00 am – Oct 13 @ 12:00 pm

Endorsed by NARUC 


32 CEUs are available.  11.5 WI CLEs have been granted.


 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 power plant, daily lunches and breaks, and printed course materials. University of Wisconsin Extension has made 32 CEUs available. 11.5 CLEs have been granted for attorneys practicing in Wisconsin.

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 2017

October 9, Monday

Electricity: Industry Structure

Time Session Title Speaker(s)
7:30-8:00 Registration and welcome coffee/tea
8:00-8:20 Introduction Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait
8:20-9:45 Why a Regulated Monopoly?
Who’s regulated, why and how?
The federal and state perspective from the 1600s 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 & Khan, S.C.
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:30 The Public Service Commission — Roles and Rules, Balance of Power

  • PSCW authority and jurisdiction
  • Organizational structure of the PSCW
  • 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 type of public service company formed?
  • What do you own and operate?
  • How are you regulated or managed (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 your customers?
  • Who are your customers?
Moderator:  Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait  

Brian Rude  Dairyland Power Cooperative
Andy Onesti  Manitowoc Public Utilities
3:00 – 3:15 Break  
3:15 – 4:00 The Independent System Operator

  • History
  • Responsibilities
  • Areas of influence
Midcontinent Independent System Operator
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 FERC Order No. 890
  • The underlying driver for FERC
  • FERC Order No. 1000 and then repair FERC Order No. 1000-A
  • “Right of first refusal” — current status
Flora Flygt  Retired Utility Executive & Advisor
5:15 Adjourn


October 10, Tuesday

Electricity: Industry Operations


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

  • Telling the difference between a power line
    and a phone line
  • Curtailments
  • Substations, boosters, inter-tie, DC lines
  • Line losses
  • Technical language used in the field
  • Line loading
  • Power flows
  • Buses
  • Transmission basics
  • Basics of LMP
  • Step-up & step-down
  • Congestion
  • Counterflows
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  WEC Energy Group – Business Services
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 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.
2:30-2:45 Break  
2:45 – 3:30 Performance-based Regulation:  For the past 100 years, we have used a cost of service regulatory model.  It used the costs of building infrastructure to cover the costs for the services that kept the lights on (reliability) at a competitively efficient, affordable cost. And for this goal, it has worked well.    Now, with shrinking sales, less need for large infrastructure investments, and the additional goal of adding sustainability to the utility responsibility, it falls short.  Today the regulatory/utility goal is to provide energy with a competitively efficient, affordable, sustainable, and cleaner portfolio.  Performance-based regulation is one route to this end. Mark Lowry  Pacific Economics Group
3:30 Pick up cookies & a beverage on the way out to the bus!  
3:30 – 3:45 Travel to Charter Street Heating and Cooling Plant
3:45 – 5:30 Field Trip: Power Plant Tour  


October 11, Wednesday  

Ratemaking for Electric and Gas Companies


Time Session Title Speaker(s)
7:30-8:00 Welcome coffee/tea
8:00-9:15 What Drives Utility Stock Prices?

Steve Kihm  Seventhwave
9:15-9:30 Break
9:30-10:45 Basics of Rate Setting

  • Cost of service
Bruce Chapman  Christensen Associates Energy Consulting
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
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:45 Basics of Rate Setting: Conclusion

  • Challenge of renewables cost and pricing
Bruce Chapman
2:45-3:00 Break
3:00-3:45 Strategies for Addressing Fixed Cost Recovery Issues Dan Hansen Christensen Associates Energy Consulting
3:45 – 4:00 Break  
4:00 – 4:45 One Utility’s Response
to Changing Customer Expectations
Greg Bollom   Madison Gas & Electric
4:45 Adjourn


October 12, Thursday

    Electricity/Gas: Environmental Issues & Gas Markets


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 
8:45 – 9:00 Break  
9:00 –12:30 Getting Work Done with a Smaller Carbon Footprint and Enabling Technologies

Moderated by  Rich Hackner, GDS Associates

  • The History of Efficiency –  Rich Hackner  (9:00 – 9:25)
  • Wind:  Justin BarrettLakeshore Technical College (9:25 – 9:50)
  • Solar:      (TBD)     (9:50 – 10:15)
  • Biogas:   Rebecca Larson, UW-Madison   (10:15 – 10:40)
  • Break    (10:40 – 10:50)
  • Storage:   Bruce Beihoff,   UW-Madison  (10:50 – 11:15)
  • Supercritical CO2:   Mark Anderson,  UW-Madison  (11:15 – 11:40)
  • HVDC:   Bill Long, UW-Madison   (11:40 – 12:05)
  • Electrification:   Jeff Ihnen, Michaels Energy    (12:05 – 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,
    including 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 their 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


October 13, Friday

Gas:  Status and Operations


Time Session Title Speaker(s)
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, by coincident hourly demand, by 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
Steve Weston  Alliant Energy
Matt Longmier   Alliant Energy
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. Certificates for the CEUs and CLE credits will be available upon request.

Accommodations: Graduate Madison

Room Rate:  $169 – $179

Deluxe Rooms includes amenities such as transportation to and from the Madison Airport, hot breakfast and more.

Parking is available for hotel guests.

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

Powering a More Electric Economy
Oct 26 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

 Draft Agenda

Powering a More Electric Economy
Use More, Emit Less. Possible?
6 CEUs

Can (or should) we increase our dependence on electricity in order to reduce emissions? This may seem counter-intuitive, until you think about how renewables and end-uses like electric vehicles and other equipment can fit into a new power dispatch plan that provides more utility to renewable resources.  Although EVs may be the first big change to reduce emissions in the transportation sector, we will look at how other electrification options may play a role.

8:15-8:30       Registration check-in and welcome coffee

8:30-9:00      Achieving Emissions Reductions with Electricity?  The effect of moving to electric vehicles, both personal and fleet.   Paul Meier, Director of Engineering, Blumont Engineering Solutions

 Additional agenda details forthcoming.



Note: The following programs have been designed as a series:

  • June 28, 2017 — The Regulatory and Rates “Tango”
  • July 21, 2017 — Regulatory Models, Version 2.0
  • Sept. 28, 2017 — Gas’s Pipeline to Sustainability
  • Oct. 26, 2017 — Powering a More Electric Economy

Registering for all four programs qualifies the registrant for a discounted registration fee. Registration for the series may be shared by up to four employees of the same organization. If you would like to inquire about this discounted fee, please email Sara at slangmack@wisc.edu.



Your registration fee includes printed materials, welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch. CEU certificates are available upon request.