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Join the conversation around financing strategies, business model shifts, demand and regulatory updates as leaders across the energy value chain decipher how these profound transformations will reshape power markets over the next 10-to-20 years.
Valerie Hannah is the Chief Operating Officer of TerraForm Power and is responsible for all operations, power marketing and regulatory affairs of the company. She also oversees human resources and information technology.
Ms. Hannah brings deep operating expertise to her role having held a number of leadership positions at Brookfield Renewable, where she helped the company achieve a track record of driving value through growth initiatives, increasing cash flows and mitigating risks. Prior to her current role, Ms. Hannah served as Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Integrations at Brookfield Renewable with a focus on TerraForm Power. She also served as the Chief Financial Officer, North America at Brookfield Renewable where she was responsible for all capital markets activities including accounting, financial reporting, treasury, and taxation in North America.
Ms. Hannah holds a Graduate Diploma from McGill University (Quebec, Canada) and is a Chartered Accountant.
RJ Johnson is the Vice President of Origination for NextEra Energy Resources. RJ and his team are responsible for market development, customer engagement and contracting of wind, solar and storage facilities in North America. Previously, RJ was a founding member of the NextEra Energy Storage team, and was responsible for commercial development of wholesale and distributed energy storage systems. RJ began his career at NextEra Energy as a wind developer leading cross-functional teams to develop facilities in California, the Pacific Northwest, Texas and the Mid-West. Prior to joining NextEra Energy Resources, RJ served as a Captain in the U.S. Army where he had roles as a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Adjutant and Assistant Operations Officer in the 4th Infantry Division.
RJ holds a degree in civil engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Laurie brings 14 years of hands-on wind and solar energy development experience to the Lightsource BP team. She leads the North American development team and enjoys working with the dynamic, innovative team on all aspects of successful energy project development including real estate, interconnection, feasibility analysis, environmental and permitting issues, and contract negotiation. She most recently lead the east coast distributed generation development team for SunEdison and before that was a developer for numerous wind energy companies.
Philip L. Bartlett II, J.D., was appointed to the Maine Public Utilities Commission in June 2019 by Governor Janet Mills. Prior to his appointment, he practiced law with Scaccia, Bartlett & Chabot. He also served in the Maine Senate from 2004 to 2012 and was elected by his peers to serve as Senate Majority Leader from 2008 to 2010. Bartlett chaired the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee as well as the Joint Select Committee on Maine's Energy Future and he served on the Government Oversight Committee, Natural Resources Committee and Labor Committee. He taught micro and macroeconomics at the collegiate level. Chairman Bartlett holds a juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School. He completed his undergraduate work at Tufts University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude majoring in Economics and Political Science. His term expires in March 2025.Philip L. Bartlett II, J.D., was appointed to the Maine Public Utilities Commission in June 2019 by Governor Janet Mills. Prior to his appointment, he practiced law with Scaccia, Bartlett & Chabot. He also served in the Maine Senate from 2004 to 2012 and was elected by his peers to serve as Senate Majority Leader from 2008 to 2010. Bartlett chaired the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee as well as the Joint Select Committee on Maine's Energy Future and he served on the Government Oversight Committee, Natural Resources Committee and Labor Committee. He taught micro and macroeconomics at the collegiate level. Chairman Bartlett holds a juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School. He completed his undergraduate work at Tufts University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude majoring in Economics and Political Science. His term expires in March 2025.
Nick is Chief Executive Officer of Alameda County’s new community choice energy agency, East Bay Community Energy (EBCE). Nick has been instrumental in all aspects of its formation, bringing with him over a decade of energy policy and legislative experience. Service to county businesses and municipalities launched in June 2018 with residential service for 11 of its cities following in November. Nick is also very active working on CCA issues across California as a member of the Board of the California Community Choice Association. Prior to EBCE, Nick served as Chief of Staff to Michael Picker, President of the California Public Utilities Commission and as a special advisor to Governor Jerry Brown focused on distributed energy resources. He began his career working in clean energy for Q-Cells, RenewFinancial, the California Public Utilities Commission and KEMA Consulting. Nick holds a MBA from Georgetown University and a BA in international relations from Tufts University.
Mia collaborates with internal and external stakeholder groups to synthesize market insights and guide the prioritization of investments for the development of new market products. MISO’s markets clear more than $37 billion dollars in energy transactions annually. With an evolving fleet, market strategy focuses on what new products are needed to continue to drive non-discriminatory market efficiency and price transparency, aligned with grid reliability, and also send appropriate price signals to guide investment decisions. Prior to MISO, Mia worked at 3M in Corporate Strategy and in Global Sustainability in Corporate R&D on innovating new products to address major world challenges like climate change and water scarcity. Earlier experiences were gained at Gamesa in wind farm development and in management consulting for market strategy for clean tech and renewable energy clients. Mia has a Masters in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Communications and Swedish from North Park University.
Conor McKenna is a Senior Managing Director in CohnReznick Capital’s New York office. One of the earliest members of the firm, Conor focuses on M&A, corporate capital raising, and structuring, negotiating and financing tax equity and debt investments. Conor’s renewable energy expertise was honed over a decade working with strategic, infrastructure and financial service institutions. He has a strong relationship network and is adept at creating unique financing structures for energy companies, developers and power producers. Prior to joining CohnReznick Capital, Conor worked in the Renewable Energy Structured Finance Group at Evolution Markets, focusing primarily on Renewable Energy Credits and Bundled PPA’s. He was previously a member of EcoSecurities’ investment team, where he helped manage large carbon project portfolios. Conor received his MBA from Columbia Business School and his BA from Providence College. He is also a CFA charterholder.
David Kirkpatrick is a Director at Marathon Capital where he has led multiple project and company M&A transactions in the wind and solar industries along with capital raising for emerging growth and technology companies. Prior to joining Marathon Capital, Mr. Kirkpatrick worked for 20 years as an executive in the energy arena for companies including Ernst & Young, the Boston Consulting Group, General Electric Wind Energy, EDF-EN/enXco, Imperium Biofuels, and NRG Solar. Mr. Kirkpatrick has closed over $3 billion worth of transactions including company and project acquisitions and sales, venture investments, power purchase agreements, procurement of GW’s of wind/solar equipment, joint development agreements, land acquisitions, procurement of feedstocks and chemicals, rail/barge/and storage leases, and EPC contracts in the wind, solar, and biofuels industries.
Mr. Kirkpatrick completed his MBA at Harvard Business School, post graduate work at the University of St. Andrews as a Robert T. Jones Scholar, and his BA, cum laude at Emory University. Mr. Kirkpatrick holds his Series 63 and 79 licenses.
Cheryl Mele became ERCOT’s senior vice president and chief operating officer (COO) in January 2016. She oversees Grid Operations and Planning, Commercial Operations, and Governance, Risk and Compliance.
Prior to joining ERCOT, Ms. Mele served as deputy general manager and COO for Austin Energy, where she led its power operations, compliance and planning activities.
Ms. Mele brings 30 years of experience in the power industry to ERCOT. Her management and executive roles included both power generation and energy delivery before becoming COO at Austin Energy. Ms. Mele worked for General Electric as both an engineer and system programmer before joining Austin Energy in 1991.
A registered professional engineer in Texas, Ms. Mele has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and completed The Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho.
While at Austin Energy, Ms. Mele served on the boards of the South Texas Nuclear Operating Company, the Texas Public Power Association and the RMEL, an electric industry education and networking trade group. She continues to serve as a board member and chair of the Austin Science Education Foundation, where she has been committed to preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Brian is the Vice President Energy Solutions, part of Shell’s New Energies business - which focuses on two main areas: new fuels for transport and building an integrated position in power markets.
Brian leads the team building customer facing businesses in power, including consumer retail energy and ‘behind the meter’ distributed energy solutions. The team also looks for commercial business models to provide power for the 1 to 2 billion people who don’t have access to power, or have unreliable access today.
Brian joined Shell Australia in 1988. During his career, Brian has held technical, operational, strategic and business leadership roles in Shell’s downstream, trading and shipping businesses with exposure to most markets around the world.
He most recently served as VP Group Strategy & Portfolio where he worked with Shell Executive Committee and Board on corporate strategy, including the shaping of New Energies, which he is now part of implementing.
Brian holds a Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney. He is married with twins and enjoys travel and golf.
Melissa Seymour is Executive Director of Central Region Member Relations and Seams Coordination for the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). MISO is anindependent, non‐profit organization responsible for maintaining reliable transmission of power in 15 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. In this role, Ms. Seymour leads a team of customer and regulatory advisors who strive to understand and address the needs and issues of members, stakeholders and state regulators. Additionally, Ms. Seymour’s organization develops and coordinates MISO’s strategy with neighboring transmission system operators, and facilitates new member discussions and integrations.
Ms. Seymour has over 20 years of experience in the energy industry. Prior to joining MISO, Ms. Seymour was the Director of Regional Markets and Regulation at Iberdrola Renewables, LLC, where she was responsible for advancing policy changes to better accommodate renewable energy into the power system and create business opportunities for the company. Before Iberdrola Renewables, she held various strategic planning, business development, and regulatory positions at the Bonneville Power Administration, PacifiCorp, Southstar Energy Services and Southern Company Energy Marketing. Ms. Seymour holds a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the University of Tennessee.
Eran Mahrer serves as Vice President of Market, Utility and Government Origination. He joined First Solar in 2014 and leads the company's engagement with utilities on solar planning and programming. In this role, Mr. Mahrer establishes and maintains relationships with utilities, engages in strategic planning, integrated resource planning and program design initiatives.
Prior to joining First Solar, Mr. Mahrer served as the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Programs for the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). He joined SEPA in 2012 and led the organization's efforts in driving utility and solar industry strategies and practices in support of solar energy. His experience also includes serving as Arizona Public Service Company's (APS) Director of Renewable Energy and Resource Portfolio Planning. In his 11 years with APS, he led the company's renewable energy strategy, renewable and customer program resource planning, regulatory interface on many renewable matters and implementation of all renewable programs.
Mr. Mahrer received his MBA from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, a Master of Science from Washington State University and his Bachelor of Science from the University of California, San Diego.
Becky Robinson is the Deputy Director of the Division of Economic and Technical Analysis in the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In this role, she helps lead a multidisciplinary group of FERC staff that evaluates the functioning of market rules and offers recommendations on potential policy reforms for Commission consideration.
Prior to her current role, she was a Technical Advisor to Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur for almost three years, where she advised on technical wholesale market matters generally, and in particular was responsible at various times for matters in PJM, the California ISO, the Western Interconnect, and the Southwest Power Pool. Before joining Commissioner LaFleur’s office in June 2015, Ms. Robinson served for five years as an economist in FERC’s Office of Electricity Policy and Innovation, where, in addition to working on a variety of issues in wholesale market design, she focused on revising Commission rules to facilitate the development of interconnection facilities supporting phased generation resources and clarifying the Commission's policy on merchant transmission. Prior to her time at FERC, she worked as an associate at LECG.
Ms. Robinson received an M.A. in economics from Cambridge University and graduated magna cum laude from Williams College with a double major in mathematics and philosophy.
Louis Ting is the Director of Power Planning and Development for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He is responsible for the overall Power System regulatory, resource, grid, and strategic planning. Since joined LADWP in 1992 after graduating from UCLA, he had the privilege of career diversifications and increasing responsibilities from Fleet Engineering designing utility-specific vehicles, Water System pipeline design and construction, including trunk line redevelopment projects. He then moved to the electric side of LADWP to manage major projects including renewables generation, hydroelectric, combined-cycle power plants, transmission line, and substation projects.
Melissa is the Director of Policy, Northeast for Cypress Creek Renewables - one of the largest utility and community-scale solar and storage developers in the US. She has over a decade of experience in the renewables market, including extensive government policy, regulatory, and political work, all scales of development experience, and technical expertise. She has experience advocating for and developing solutions on many key topics including ISO wholesale market structures and revenue streams, state RPS structures and REC systems, carbon pricing, compensating distributed clean energy resources based on value, and interconnection processes and standards, as well as experience with siting and property tax issues. She holds a BS from Princeton University.
Jonathan Adelman has been employed by Xcel Energy since 2002 and has worked in a number of areas at the Company including Commercial Trading Operations, Finance, Human Resources and Marketing. Jonathan is currently the Area Vice President for Strategic Resource and Business Planning. In this role, he oversees the Company’s long-term generation strategy and business planning activities for Xcel Energy four operating utilities, which includes facilitating and developing asset and financial plans. Xcel Energy, an electric and gas utility with service territory in eight Western and Midwestern states, serving 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers.
Prior to joining Xcel Energy, Jonathan worked in public accounting. He graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in Accounting with special attainments in Commerce and is an inactive Certified Public Accountant.