2015 Deloitte Alternative Energy Seminar

Alternative energy moves into mainstream

September 28–30, 2015 | The Woodlands, Texas

Alternative Energy on the Move

2015 Deloitte Alternative Energy Seminar

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2015 Deloitte Alternative Energy Seminar brochure

View the 2015 Alternative Energy Seminar brochure for a detailed agenda of our plenary and elective sessions.

Plenary sessions

The Alternative Energy Landscape
  • Charlie Blanchard, Lead Natural Gas Analyst, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • Holly Rachel Smith, Assistant General Counsel, Exelon Business Services Company
  • Jonathan Traub, Managing Principal, Tax Policy Group, Deloitte Tax LLP
YieldCos—The Game Changer
  • Christian Fong, Chief Financial Officer, Renewable Energy Trust Capital, Inc.
  • Michael P. Starzan, Director, Head of US Technology and Alternative Energy Equity Capital Markets, BMO Capital Markets
The Future of Energy Storage
A Utility View—Integration of Renewables and New Technologies
  • Cris Eugster, Group Executive Vice President, Chief Generation and Strategy Officer, CPS Energy
The New Energy in the Home
  • Cory Byzewski, Vice President, General Manager, Direct Energy Services
  • Paul Keene, Vice President, Shared Solar, NRG Home Solar
North American Renewables
  • Mike O’Sullivan, Senior Vice President, Development, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC
Biomass-based Diesel—A Commercial Scale Industry and Still Growing
  • Daniel J. Oh, President, Chief Executive Officer, Renewable Energy Group, Inc.

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Charlie Blanchard

Lead Natural Gas Analyst, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Charlie Blanchard has overseen Bloomberg’s fundamental research on North American power and gas markets since 2011. He and his team have worked extensively on power sector economics and renewable integration. He has developed models that account for the intermittency of renewable generation to predict the effect of integration on economic dispatch and non-energy payments, or capacity payments. Bloomberg's research has identified which regions of the US and Canada are most attractive for wind, solar, or gas build, based on regional gas prices, weather, policy, and the capacity mix. Mr. Blanchard holds a Master of Economics from Columbia University and a bachelors from Dickinson College.

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Kirby Brendsel

Associate Director, Sustainability – Global Citizenship, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Kirby Brendsel is an associate director of Sustainability – Global Citizenship at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., where he supports the strategy, integration, and management of Starwood’s sustainability program into its 10 brands and three global divisions (over 1,200 hotels in 100 countries), including development; implementation; and global reporting of Starwood's sustainability goals, policies, and programs. He works collaboratively with the Global Citizenship (GC) community programs and the Starwood Foundation team on CSR strategy and reporting. His career has focused on strategy and operations, energy and resources, and sustainability, and his background has encompassed business process improvement, shared services, supply chain, marketing, strategy, information management, e-business, leadership development, training, as well as personnel and project management.

Mr. Brendsel graduated with distinction and honors from the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor of Arts in business and from the Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University with a Master in Business Administration.

Cory Byzewski

Vice President, General Manager, Direct Energy Services 

Cory Byzewski, who currently leads Direct Energy Solar, has been with Direct Energy for more than nine years. While in Direct Energy’s services business, he has had the opportunity to lead its retail HVAC, electrical, and plumbing businesses. Further, he has led its home warranty business, protection plan business, leasing business, and US water heater rental business, as well as its marketing function. Prior to working in services, he led the residential energy division of Direct Energy in the northern United States. Mr. Byzewski has more than two decades of energy industry experience and through these opportunities, he was in the fortunate position to gain experience in virtually every area in the industry.

Mr. Byzewski has a Juris Doctor from Capital University, a master’s in management from the University of Mary, and a bachelor’s in economics from the University of North Dakota.

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Gautam Chandra

Senior Vice President, Strategy, Business Development & Non-Utility Operations, WGL Holdings, Inc.

Gautam Chandra is senior vice president of Strategy, Business Development, and Non-Utility Operations for WGL Holdings and Washington Gas. In this role, he is responsible for the oversight of corporate strategy and corporate business development, including WGL’s program of investing in emerging clean and efficient energy technology companies and assets. In addition, he oversees all of WGL’s non-utility operating segments, consisting of retail energy marketing, commercial energy systems, wholesale energy solutions, and alternative energy investments.

Mr. Chandra holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Johnson school at Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Cris Eugster

Group Executive Vice President, Chief Generation and Strategy Officer, CPS Energy

Cris Eugster leads the Generation and Strategy Group for CPS Energy, one of the nation’s largest municipally-owned utilities with over 730,000 electric customers and 325,000 gas customers. He is responsible for the overall operations, dispatch, and evolution of CPS Energy’s generation capabilities, which includes approximately 6,500 MW of traditional power plants—natural gas, nuclear, and coal—and 1,100 MW of renewables—wind, solar, and landfill gas. The Generation and Strategy Group includes energy supply and market operations to serve retail load and to support ERCOT wholesale transactions. Mr. Eugster also leads overall corporate strategy, integrated resource planning, new products and services, research and development, and environmental oversight, driving the transformation of CPS Energy into a strong, innovative 21st century power provider. He received his PhD and Master of Science in electrical engineering from MIT, focused on quantum transport research in nanostructures. He received his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University with magna cum laude honors.

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Christian Fong

Chief Financial Officer, Renewable Energy Trust Capital, Inc.

Renewable Energy Trust Capital, Inc. Co-Founder and Director, Christian Fong, chief financial officer, leads teams in project and corporate finance, accounting, as well as serving on the investment committee. In 2013, he led the submission of an IRS private letter ruling request for REIT-eligibility of solar photovoltaic assets, and subsequently participated in the original work underpinning the creation of the YieldCo industry. He remains an active industry leader in the evolution of the financing and portfolio management of renewable generation assets.

Mr. Fong holds a Master of Business Administration with high distinction from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in statistics, summa cum laude, from Creighton University.

Mike Grim

Executive Manager, Denton Municipal Electric 

Mike Grim is currently the executive manager of Denton Municipal Electric (DME) and possesses over 35 years of experience in the power industry—including nuclear, fossil-fueled, and renewable generation plants—with expertise in the areas of energy trading, power plant operations, regulatory and legislative affairs, market development, regulatory compliance, policy development, power plant systems engineering, project management, litigation management, sustainability, key accounts management, cogeneration development, media management, economic development, testimony before legislative bodies, and advocacy of industry positions. During his tenure at Denton, Mr. Grim’s accomplishments include, closing transactions resulting in over 46 percent of Denton’s power portfolio, now originating from renewable resources—wind, solar, and landfill gas—and DME’s winning of two American Public Power Association (APPA) and US Department of Energy Awards; the 2011 Public Power Wind Award and the Outstanding Community Service Award.

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Katherine Hamilton

Principal, 38 North Solutions, LLC 

Katherine Hamilton is a principal at 38 North Solutions, LLC, a public policy firm focused on clean energy and innovation. She served as a federal and state policy advisor for a number of years for Energy Storage Association, developing an expertise in that sector. Ms. Hamilton served as president of the GridWise Alliance, focused on smart grid. She was a policy advisor for Good Energies, Inc., a private investment company with a clean energy portfolio. She is part of The Energy Gang podcast through Greentech Media. Ms. Hamilton was named an ambassador to the Secretary of Energy’s Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) under the Clean Energy Ministerial, is assigned to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Electricity, and is president of the board of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. Ms. Hamilton holds degrees from Cornell University and the Sorbonne. 

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Paul Keene

Vice President, Shared Solar, NRG Home Solar 

Paul Keene is charged with building NRG Home Solar’s Shared/Community solar business across the US. Prior to his current role, Mr. Keene served as vice president and general manager of NRG’s Mass Markets business in the Northeast, where he led the business’s three retail brands to profitable combined growth of over 175 percent in two years. He joined NRG in October 2010 from Direct Energy, where he held a number of leadership roles. He has over a decade of international retail energy experience leading sales, marketing, customer retention, pricing, mergers/acquisitions, and financial and strategic planning functions. Mr. Keene graduated from Trinity University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Suffolk University Law School with a Juris Doctor, and from London Business School with a Master of Business Administration.

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Troy Miller

Director, Grid Solutions, S&C Electric Company

Troy Miller is the director of Grid Solutions at the S&C Electric Company. He has more than 25 years of experience in the power engineering industry, with in-depth insights into the application and implementation of all aspects of power electronics and power quality. He is the vice chairman of the board of directors at the Energy Storage Association (ESA) and is a member of the board at the National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries (NAATBatt). Mr. Miller is a speaker at industry events around the world, covering market trends, and economic benefit analysis. He has published numerous papers and articles in technical journals and media outlets. He currently has global responsibility for the Grid Solutions market segment at S&C Electric, which includes Energy Storage, VAR compensation, and Microgrids.

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Daniel J. Oh

President, Chief Executive Officer, Renewable Energy Group, Inc. 

For more than 25 years, Daniel J. Oh has led a diverse range of business and management organizations. Currently, Mr. Oh serves as the president and chief executive officer of Renewable Energy Group, Inc (REG). Prior to REG, Mr. Oh served as vice president and as a member of senior management at ABG, Inc., an agribusiness consulting and services firm. Prior to ABG, Mr. Oh was a leader in the Corporate Finance and Investment Banking area of Corporate Strategy and Business Development Group at Eli Lilly and Company, a global pharmaceutical company. Mr. Oh also served as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. Mr. Oh is a graduate of the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science in economics and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago with concentrations in finance, accounting, and strategic management.

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Mike O’Sullivan

Senior Vice President, Development, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC 

Michael (Mike) O’Sullivan is senior vice president of development at NextEra Energy Resources, the nation’s leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels and also the nation’s leader in wind and solar power generation. Mr. O’Sullivan received his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Notre Dame and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago.

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Prakesh Patel

Vice President, Capital Markets and Strategy, Stem, Inc.

Prakesh Patel is vice president of Capital Markets and Strategy at Stem, Inc. where he leads corporate finance and project finance activities. Mr. Patel has more than 15 years of experience in sourcing; evaluating; and closing deals in venture, growth equity, public opportunities, and leveraged transactions (including investments in senior, mezzanine, and high yield debt).

Mr. Patel also has significant experience in delivering financing solutions and exits for global sponsor-backed businesses through an investment banking career focused on structuring, negotiating, and closing over $80 billion in transaction value. Mr. Patel’s prior experience also includes structuring and closing over $500 million of project finance at the International Finance Corporation (The World Bank Group) focused on principal debt and equity positions in industrial and oil and gas businesses in South America and Africa.

Mr. Patel is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley and holds a Master of Business Administration from Yale University.

Roberto Rosner

Director, Commercial Hedging, Enel Green Power North America

Roberto Rosner is currently director of Commercial Hedging within Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA), the US subsidiary of Enel Green Power, a leading international renewable energy producer. He plays a key role in defining and implementing the market strategy and is a contributor in several market related projects for EGPNA. He has more than 12 years of experience in the energy industry, working across different roles from accounting to regulatory to trading and marketing of natural gas, power, and environmental attributes.

Mr. Rosner holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Turin in Italy.

Holly Rachel Smith

Assistant General Counsel, Exelon Business Services Company 

Holly Smith serves as the assistant general counsel to Exelon Business Services Company where she is primarily responsible for representing Exelon’s competitive retail business on both regulatory and compliance matters with a focus on the Mid-Atlantic region. Formerly, as the assistant general counsel of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), she was the lead energy attorney for state utility regulators on key federal energy issues. At NARUC, she was a member of the Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Task Force, elected to NERC’s Member Representative Committee, and argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University Of Oregon School Of Law in 1999. She also holds a Master of Public Policy from the College of William and Mary, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Doug Staker

Vice President, Global Sales, Demand Energy Networks, Inc. 

Doug Staker is an energy professional that has worked globally for 25 years. He has been a pioneer in the world of smart grid technologies, with a focus on smart metering and intelligent energy storage. He is currently the vice president of Global Sales at Demand Energy Networks Inc., a distributed energy management and storage company based in Washington State. Mr. Staker’s past experience in developing emerging energy technology solutions has helped utilities world-wide enhance their business systems and operational efficiency. For the past six years, Mr. Staker has worked extensively on how energy storage can help with the expansion of renewable energy systems. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho.

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Michael P. Starzan

Director, Head of US Technology and Alternative Energy Equity Capital Markets, BMO Capital Markets

Michael P. Starzan is a director and head of US Technology and Alternative Energy Equity Capital Markets for BMO Capital Markets. Mr. Starzan is a former attorney and 15-year investment banking industry veteran. He has led more than 115 equity and equity-linked transactions over the course of his career, raising more than $35 billion for his clients. Mr. Starzan’s experience includes serving as lead-left bookrunner for the IPO and subsequent follow-on offerings of Pattern Energy Group Inc. In September 2013, Pattern represented only the second alternative energy “yieldco” IPO in the US. Prior to BMO, Mr. Starzan held positions in the investment banking groups of Lazard Freres & Co, Piper Jaffray, and Robertson Stephens. Mr. Starzan began his professional career in the Northern California Tax Services Group of Deloitte. Mr. Starzan holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and earned both Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Notre Dame.

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