2018 Programs

WPUI Member-only Event: Advanced Technology Panel and Networking Reception
Jan 25 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm





JANUARY 25, 2018

4:30-6:30 pm


4:30-5:30: Advanced Technology Panel featuring UW researchers

5:30-6:30: Networking opportunity with WPUI members





Advanced Technology Panel featuring UW-Madison researchers:

Dr. Kyoung-Shin Choi, Professor, Chemistry; runs the Choi Research Group that develops new electrochemical synthesis methods to produce a variety of solid-state materials as high quality polycrystalline electrodes for use in electrochemical and photoelectrochemical applications.

Dr. Todd Allen, Professor, Engineering Physics, and energy and sustainability lead at the Grainger Institute for Engineering, whose research focuses on the unique challenges involving high-temperature corrosion and radiation damage from high-energy particles.

Dr. Dane Morgan, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering and co-director of the Wisconsin Materials Institute; a major focus of his work is materials informatics and energy applications, including fuel cells, batteries, and nuclear materials, and he also works in the areas of electron emitter cathodes, high-pressure geoscience and defect properties in semiconductors.

Grid Modernization
Mar 1 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm


Draft Agenda


0.6 CEUs available

What exactly does “grid modernization” mean?
What is happening at the state, regional and national levels?
What impacts will this have for Wisconsin, regionally, and nationally?

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

8:30-8:45           Highlights on the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin’s Work on Grid Modernization – The PSCW conducted a survey last fall that showed the top five priorities of stakeholders on grid modernization. Chairperson Nowak will outline the PSCW’s goals for grid modernization in 2018.   Ellen Nowak, Chairperson, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin  Ellen Nowak presentation

8:45-9:45           An Overview of the Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative and their Multi-Year Program Plan — This session will encompass a summary of the overall Department of Energy Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium and the status of its multi-year plan, including a specific focus on the interoperability work area and objectives. As it becomes increasingly clear that changes in the industry are needed, what will these new business models for interoperability at the distribution level look like?
Michael Kintner-Meyer, Staff Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium, Department of Energy  Michael Kintner-Meyer presentation

9:45-10:00         Break

10:00-11:00       Regulatory and Public Policy Implications of Grid Modernization: MISO’s Efforts on Grid Modernization — Hear about MISO’s “work to develop a long-term plan to address changing system needs in light of an evolving resource mix.”  Laura Rauch, Director, Resource Adequacy Coordination, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) Laura Rauch presentation

11:00-12:00       State Policy Actions on Grid Modernization — Results of GridWise Alliance’s fourth Modernization Index will be discussed, including key findings on various state efforts to modernize the grid, as well as how GridWise Alliance’s efforts align with evolving national priorities – Steve Hauser, CEO, GridWise Alliance  Steve Hauser presentation

GridWise November 2017 report

12:00-1:00         Lunch

1:00-2:00           Making the Right Investment – New technologies are hitting the market rapidly. What are the right investments to make in new technology, and is there such a thing as a guaranteed payback? What needs to be done to facilitate the interconnection of customer-owned distributed energy resources? Baskar Vairamohan, Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Baskar Vairamohan presentation

2:00-2:15            Break

2:15-2:30            Interconnected Distributed Energy Resources in Wisconsin – Deb Erwin, Manager, Regulatory Policy, Xcel Energy, on behalf of Wisconsin Distributed Resources Collaborative (WIDRC) Deb Erwin presentation

2:30-3:30            Where Do We Go from Here?  Practical Implications for Utilities — Panel discussion

Moderator:        Deb Erwin

Panel:          Jerry Iverson, Transmission Strategist, Dairyland Power Cooperative
                     Adam Manty, Transmission Planning Engineer, American Transmission Company
                     Martin Day, Division Administrator, Energy Regulation, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
                     Jeff Ripp, Director of Regulatory Affairs – Wisconsin and Regional, Alliant Energy
                     Theodore Bohn, Electrical Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory


3:30                     Adjourn

Your registration fee includes welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch.

Public Utilities Law Update 2018
Mar 6 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Draft Agenda

Public Utilities Law Update 2018

Sponsored by the Public Utilities Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin

0.5 CEUs available.  CLE credits will be applied for.


This annual program highlights the regulatory and legislative changes over the past year.
It will include presentations from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin as well as attorneys familiar with these recent changes.


 Draft Agenda


8:30-9:00            Registration check-in, Welcome coffee, and Networking

9:00-9:05            WelcomeJustin Chasco, Attorney, Wheeler Van Sickle & Anderson, S.C.

 9:05-10:00         Annual Update of Activities at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Cynthia Smith, General Counsel, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin  Cynthia Smith presentation

10:00-10:30        Municipal Law UpdateAnita Gallucci, Attorney, Boardman & Clark LLC  Anita Gallucci presentation

10:30-10:45        Break

10:45-11:15        Legislative UpdateZach Ramirez, Staff Attorney, Wisconsin Legislative Council   Zach Ramirez presentation

Act 136 Memo      Act 137 Memo

11:15-12:00        Water Law Update Lawrie Kobza, Attorney, Boardman & Clark LLC  Lawrie Kobza presentation

12:00-1:00          Networking Lunch

1:00-1:45            Presentation on the Impact of Federal Tax Law Changes on UtilitiesEric Hansmann, Tax Manager,  American Transmission Company, LLC  Eric Hansmann presentation

1:45-2:30            Panel:  Changing Economics for Utilities

Moderator:        Justin Chasco
Panelists:          Greg Bollom, Assistant Vice President – Energy Planning, Madison Gas and Electric
                           Corey Singletary, Utility Analyst, Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin
                           Chuck Miessner, Manager Rates and Regulatory, Arizona Public Service
                           Michael Vickerman, Program and Policy Director, RENEW Wisconsin

2:30-3:00            Q&A

3:00                    Adjourn/Networking




Your fee will include a welcome coffee, break, lunch.

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).

Regional Transmission Organizations
Apr 19 @ 8:30 am – 3:45 pm
Draft agenda

Regional Transmission Organizations

0.6 CEUs

What is an RTO?
How has the RTO model changed?
What are the drivers that will be key in future RTO developments?


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

8:30-9:30            RTO 101 Overview – What are the RTOs? How and why were they created? What are the differences among RTOs? Who decides which RTO to join, and why isn’t there just one overall RTO?  Sudeen Kelly, Partner, Jenner & Block

9:30-10:30          FERC, the Independent Market Monitors, and the Regional State Committees — Who regulates what? Where does jurisdiction begin and end? How much weight does an individual state have?  Jay Matson, Bureau Chief, Office of Enforcement, Division of Investigations, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;  Michael Chiasson, Vice President, Potomac Economics; Marcus Hawkins, Director of Member Services and Advocacy, Organization of MISO States

10:30-10:45        Break

10:45-11:30        Resource AdequacyWhat is the interplay between states’ resource adequacy power per the Federal Power Act and the RTO’s Reliability Coordinator role? Is a state Integrated Resource Plan necessary anymore? How does the whole market accommodate state, regional, and national subsidies for select resources? Mitchell Myhre, Manager – Regulatory Affairs, Alliant Energy

11:30-12:15        Cost Allocation — The principle might be “the beneficiary pays,” but why should I pay when the line or the upgrade is not even in my state? Is it possible to measure all of a project’s benefits? Who should pay and how? What is the appropriate way to handle changes in the originally identified benefits over time?

Moderator:        Robert Camfield, Senior Regulatory Consultant, Christensen Associates Energy Consulting

Panel:         Andrew Siebenaler, Senior Engineer, Xcel Energy 
                    John Krajewski, P.E., JK Energy Consulting

12:15-1:00           Lunch

1:00-1:45            Seams Saga – The management of a web, more than a line between RTOs. What happens when there are organizations that are similar in function, but different in characteristics, and their seams touch and overlap each other? How do the RTOs manage to function effectively despite all the differences?  Megan Wisersky, Electric Planning Manager, Madison Gas and Electric

1:45-2: 30           Connecting to the Transmission Grid in Today’s World With the diversity of items connecting to the transmission grid, new generation devices are needed to act as buffers in order to help regulate the power flow such that transmission elements are not overloaded in real time. Hear about ATC’s experience with installing such a device and how it coordinates with MISO. Mike Londo, Transmission Reliability Administrator, American Transmission Company LLC

2:30-2:45            Break

2:45-3:45            “Can’t We All Just Get Along?  — Hear from a panel of RTO experts about their thoughts on the major issues facing RTOs in the near and long term, and join in the discussion on how those issues should be addressed.

Moderator:      Libby Jacobs, President, The Jacobs Group LLC

Panel:        Melissa Seymour, Executive Director, Central Regions, Customer and State Affairs, MISO
                   Bruce Rew, Vice President of Operations, Southwest Power Pool
                   Darlene Phillips, Director – Strategic Policy & External Affairs, PJM Interconnection LLC 


3:45                     Adjourn


Your registration fee includes welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch.

Hedging against Risk in Wholesale Energy Markets
May 17 @ 8:30 am – 3:45 pm
Draft agenda

Hedging against Risk in Wholesale Energy Markets

0.6 CEUs

Attendees will be introduced to the types of business transactions and risk associated with hedging in wholesale energy markets.
Participants will gain an understanding of the wholesale energy markets, the reasons for hedging and the financial tools available for risk management.

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

8:30-9:30              Wholesale Energy Markets – This session will provide an overview of the wholesale energy markets and the types of transactions that occur, how energy hedging differs from other industries, and which “risks” are assumed from participation in wholesale energy markets.  P.J. DiStefano, Partner, Deloitte

9:30-10:30            Financial Hedging – An introduction to financial hedging, including futures and options contracts and price convergence.

10:30-10:45          Break

10:45-11:30          Understanding Risk and Regret in Hedging in the Wholesale and Retail Energy Markets – With hedging, risk can be mitigated, to a greater or lesser extent, and on a static or a dynamic basis. If hedging is imperfect, are regrets involved? If so, how does one factor regret into any hedging decision? How does one think about regret? Is it a real cost, or is it simply a bad mental habit?  Steve Kihm, Principal and Chief Economist, Seventhwave

11:30-12:15          Financial Transmission Rights (FTRs)/Auction Revenue Rights (ARRs) – How do you get them, how do they/can they change? This session will include a discussion of locational marginal pricing and focus on how hedging decisions differ for day-ahead and real-time markets.  Blagoy Borissov, Lead, FTR & Pricing Administration, Midcontinent Independent System Operator

12:15-1:00            Lunch

1:00-2:00              FTRs and ARRs, continued – Blagoy Borissov

2:00-2:45              Hedging Wholesale Power Market Risk: Practical Application from a Utility — Hear how Dairyland Power Cooperative manages its energy and capacity market risk. Also discussed during this session will be the similarities and differences between wholesale power markets and other “commodity markets.”  John Carr, Vice President, Generation, Dairyland Power Cooperative

2:45-3:00              Break

3:00-3:45              Examples, continued John Carr

3:45                       Adjourn

Your registration fee includes welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch.

Cost of Service Study
Jun 28 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Registration forthcoming.

Cost of Service Study

How one is done, how it is utilized in today’s world, and whether changes are warranted.

Your registration fee includes welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch. CEUs will be available.

Disruption in the Electric Industry
Sep 13 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Registration forthcoming.

Disruption in the Electric Industry

Threats and opportunities of disruptive competition, and whether and how traditional utility models may need to be adjusted.

Your registration fee includes welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch. CEUs will be available.

Energy Utility Basics 2018
Oct 8 @ 8:00 am – Oct 12 @ 12:00 pm


32 CEUs are available.

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 the course of a week, participants will receive an overview of the history of the electric and natural gas industries, insights into regulatory decision-making, and analysis of the current issues facing the energy industry

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, printed course materials and continuing education units (CEU).

Who Should Attend: The energy industry has undergone substantial changes – including changes in hiring practices. Twenty years ago, utility industry staff would learn about the industry by working their way up through the ranks. In today’s fast-moving business environment, often staff are hired from other industries, bringing along important skill sets but lacking a working knowledge of the energy industry.

Energy Utility Basics is intended for anyone working in the energy industry, including public interest groups, utility employees, legislative staff, regulatory staff, state and local government personnel. This course is for energy professionals, those new to the industry as well as those assuming new responsibilities, who want a better grasp of how all the technological, financial and administrative 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

October 8: Electricity  Industry Structure

Why a regulated monopoly? Who’s regulated, why and how: The Federal and State Perspective

  • Federal Roles, Rules, Spheres of Influence:  FERC and EPA
  • The Public Service Commission-Roles and Rules, Balance of Power
  • Transmission-The Overlooked Connection Until 1970
  • A Day in the Life of a Regional Transmission Organization:  A Primer
  • Utility Company Models-Presentations and Panel Discussion

October 9: Electricity  Industry Operations

From Heat to Electricity – How we make Electricity in the U.S.

  • Field Identification Guide to the Electric Industry
  • A Day in the Life of a Distribution Company
  • A Day in the Life of a Transmission Operator
  • Field Trip: Co-Generation Power Plant

October 10: Ratemaking for Electric and Gas Companies

What Drives Utility Stock Prices? What (Should) Keep Utility Execs Awake at Night?

  • Basics of Rate Setting
  • Dynamic Pricing and Demand Response
  • New Models for Pricing
  • Declining Revenues and Rate Response

October 11: Low to No Carbon Options

Work Done Without (or with a small) Carbon Footprint

  • Nuclear Future—The Base Load of the Future?
  • Balancing your Resource and Financial Portfolios
  • Where, How and Why Energy is Used in the US
  • Renewables Panel

October 12: The New/Old Kid on the Block: Gas

What Everyone Ought to Know About Gas

  • Providing Natural Gas Service-Wholesale
  • Providing Natural Gas Service-Retail
  • Gas Physical and Financial Markets



WPUI Member — $1450
Non-Member — $2250
Government (non-utility) — $800
Non-profit — $1450

Accommodations:    Lowell Center   610 Langdon St., Madison, 608-256-2621
                                         Graduate Madison    601 Langdon St., Madison, 608-257-4391


Your registration fee includes printed materials, meals/breaks and access to materials on our website post-program. CEU certificates will be emailed to you upon completion of the course.

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

Photos may be taken during this program. All attendees agree that WPUI may use all photos taken for promotional and marketing purposes.

Water Demand Forecasting
Nov 8 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Water Demand Forecasting

How to forecast future water demand for infrastructure and capital investment planning.

Your registration fee includes welcome coffee, breaks, and lunch. CEUs will be available.