Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017
The Energy Supply Task Force met in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Jan. 14-15. The meeting included a tour of a natural gas demonstration facility operated by Southwest Gas and a tour of Arizona Public Service’s trading floor. Task Force members also explored a range of topics including the challenges and needs of the U.S. energy infrastructure, how energy markets function, new technologies to improve efficiency and reliability, and much more.
Southwest Gas Demonstration Facility Tour
Task Force members met with representatives from Southwest Gas Corporation for a tour on natural gas safety, where they saw how employees are trained in safety, service and reliability. The tour included a short presentation about Southwest Gas and a demonstration of the emergency response facility.
Tour of Arizona Public Service Trading Floor
Task Force members met with senior leadership at APS to discuss utility resource management, including wholesale electricity marketing, transmission operations, diversity in energy portfolios, and the newest tools available in the energy trading space—including the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM). After the presentation, attendees explored the trading floor and witnessed real-time energy traders in action.
Making Sense of U.S. Energy Markets
The U.S. energy market is complex, varies by region, and is highly influenced by regulatory approach and state energy policy. The way a market functions plays a critical role in determining electricity prices, reliability, resilience and infrastructure build-out. This session looked at the way energy markets direct the generation and transmission of electricity, the role of state and federal policy and current market trends.
Addressing the Energy Infrastructure Challenge
A large amount of new energy infrastructure, including transmissions lines and pipelines, will soon be needed to modernize aging infrastructure and adapt to a changing resource mix. The rapid construction of new gas and renewable generation is challenging the capacity and efficiency of existing transmission lines while the tremendous increase in U.S. natural gas is straining the capabilities of pipeline infrastructure. This session examined efforts from state policymakers, federal agencies, the electric industry, and the natural gas industry to address challenges related to siting, permitting and financing upgrades to electric transmission and pipeline infrastructure.
Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017
2016 Election Roundup
This was a memorable election, not only at the top of the ticket, but across state legislative races, as well. This session highlighted election results from governors’ races, changes in state legislative chambers and a number of ballot initiatives.
New Energy Technologies
New technologies—such as heat pumps, combined heat and power and demand management advancements—offer efficiency, emissions and reliability advantages. Presenters discussed the benefits of these new developments and the steps that utilities and cooperatives are taking to implement these technologies.
Petrochemicals in the Energy Sector
Petrochemicals are the basis of today’s modern world, used in common items like plastic containers and in more complex compounds found in wind turbine blades and solar cells. This session examined the many uses of petrochemical based materials in our everyday lives and beyond, as well pioneering technologies in “green plastics”.