Sessions

Track 1 - Renewable Energy Developers

Track 2 - Landowners Track

Track 3 - Developing Urban Brownfields

Day One: Monday, June 12th, 2017

Time Session Description Speakers
8:30am – 9:00am Current World Trends The new century is still young, but it has already been marked by substantial change. Structural shifts in the economy and environment are reshaping the competitive landscape of the global economy. This level of comprehensive change taking place over such a compact period is the world’s hard pivot away from the ‘Old Normal’. But what is the ‘New Normal’? And how is North America benefitting from this global rebalance? Dan will present the big picture about sustainability’s past, present and future in this engaging discussion on energy, economy, environment, resilience and abundance in the new century and beyond. Dan French
9:00am – 9:40am Brownfields 101 Brownfields 101.   Learn the different categories of brownfields, how to easily determine which type you are considering, and why it matters to development. The speaker will explain the difference between perceived brownfields, RCRA, landfills, Superfund and the National Priorities List. Tom Barrasso
9:40am – 10:15am Innovative Ways to Pay for a Solar Development Understanding the ins and outs of using different financing mechanisms can make the difference between a profitable project and one that has marginal returns. Doing your due diligence and putting together different programs are essential. This session will discuss the keys and pitfalls of developing a pro forma and correctly gauging your tax burden while reviewing potential Brownfield (and other) incentives. Join finance professionals from Alterra Power Corp. and Advanced Redevelopment Solutions to discuss challenges and opportunities in Brightfield financing. Jon Schintler, Eric Helzer
10:30am – 11:15am The New Illinois Energy Bill and What It Means for Solar Development The Future Energy Jobs Bill will take effect June 1, 2017. This comprehensive energy legislation will accelerate clean energy adoption in Illinois. The legislation will allow for the advancement of wind and solar through various new programs and procurement events.   The development of a Long-Term Renewable Resources Plan for the state is underway, with an initial forward procurement in Q3 2017 for new utility scale wind and solar. The Long-Term Plan will include provisions for community solar and brownfield development. The Illinois Power Agency (IPA) procures power and renewable resources for Illinois utilities serving over 100,000 customers. Anthony will provide an update on the development of these new opportunities. Anthony Star
11:15am – 12:00pm Due Diligence and CERLA Liability: Process and Pitfalls of Phase I ESAs and AAI What is a Phase I Environmental Site Assesement (ESA)? Why is it an important due diligence step? Is the due diligence process different with a Superfund site?     Determining how to properly evaluate environmental risks at a brownfield site can be a daunting task, especially when some of the risks are unknown. This session will look at environmental due diligence from two perspectives: a consultant performing Phase I ESAs and an attorney representing those seeking liability protection under CERLA. TThe speakers will discuss the requirements of the Phase I ESA standard and the US EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) rule as well as common pitfalls and legal issues encountered during the process. Michael Butler, Matt Cohn
12:00pm – 12:15pm Risk Mitigation Strategies for Successfully Acquiring and Developing Contaminated Properties Understanding the environmental liabilities and building the necessary environmental due diligence, contracting, environmental insurance and risk strategies overall is an early development stage consideration and a strong deal differentiator. Through this presentation the audience will gain a better understanding about the magnitude of the environmental liabilities. By building the environmental risk management into the potential solar development at the earliest stage, the sophisticated solar developer can insure the environmental liabilities are managed, the property is market ready and the development planning and implementation is part of any environmental solution. Bryan Keyt

Day Two: Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Time Session Description Speakers
1:00pm – 2:15pm State Policies That Affect Brightfield Development State policies are crucial in determining the viability of a solar development. The unfortunate reality is that those policies differ drastically from state to state. Some states require utilities to procure renewable energy, some states have active SRECs markets, some states have unusual laws that affect solar development and some states provide incentives for the building of renewable energy on brownfields. The states leading the way with Brightfield incentives are Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and, recently, IL. Come hear the details about their state laws and learn how you can take advantage of these incentives for your next development. Adam Klinger, Tom Potter, Lisa Albrecht, Chad Farrell, Julie Baldwin, Adam Zellner

 

 

 

 

2:15pm – 2:45pm PURPA: A National Policy and Its Impact on State Renewable Energy Development The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) is a US law passed in the 1970s. It was meant to promote energy conservation and promote greater use of domestic energy and renewable energy. PURPA compelled utilities to purchase energy produced by Qualified Facilities (QFs) if they were developed at cost equal or below what a utility would have to pay for a traditional power plant (avoided cost). From the late 1970s until recently, solar and wind energy were so expensive that no utility had to worry about them matching or besting their avoided cost. But circumstances have changed and, as a result, PURPA has become a significant driver in the development of utility-scale solar projects. The speakers will discuss the concept of PURPA across the US, explain how Michigan is working with the utilities to define avoided cost, and show how renewable energy developers have used PURPA in North Carolina to complete projects. Julie Baldwin, Sam Lines
3:00pm – 3:45pm Critical Considerations for Landfill and Capped Brownfield Sites Landfills and brownfield properties provide opportunities for solar development in urban areas where available land may be at a premium. Cover materials placed on landfills and some brownfields must be preserved during and after construction of a solar array. Proper cap assessment and racking design is crucial to ensuring landfill cover preservation. Development plans should include protection of other landfill infrastructure (e.g., monitoring wells) and account for any environmental restrictive covenant conditions. This session will cover racking design considerations for solar on landfill and environmental planning considerations. Dave Andrews, Lizzy Aldridge
3:45pm – 4:00pm Brownfield Grants Brownfield grants are available at both the National and State level. Come hear the latest about National Brownfield program funding and where to look for money from the State. This is the same talk as given in the landowner track on Monday morning. Margaret Renas
4:00pm – 4:30pm Permitting & Planning: Identifying Crucial Issues Before Choosing to Develop Selecting the right piece of land for your project is as important as having the best solar panels and racking systems. The time to screen your land is before you sign a lease and design your array. Understanding the physical features of the land and the associated regulatory permitting requirements is crucial to planning and executing your power purchase agreement (PPA) and setting your construction schedule. Issues that can limit developable space, such as wetlands and floodplains, must be considered and added to the equation. If obtaining permits to construct in these types of areas, adequate time to negotiate with regulatory agencies needs to be factored into the overall construction schedule, as well as the commissioning date in a PPA. The presence of threatened & endangered species can also impact both the schedule and the method of construction.   Understanding these potential issues in advance of design and scheduling will assist developers with successfully managing these extra burdens in planning and construction, or avoiding properties that cannot be brought to completion. Tim Gehring & Ginny Plumeau

Day One: Monday, June 12th, 2017

Time Session Description Speakers
8:30am – 9:00am Current World Trends The new century is still young, but it has already been marked by substantial change. Structural shifts in the economy and environment are reshaping the competitive landscape of the global economy. This level of comprehensive change taking place over such a compact period is the world’s hard pivot away from the ‘Old Normal’. But what is the ‘New Normal’? And how is North America benefitting from this global rebalance? Dan will present the big picture about sustainability’s past, present and future in this engaging discussion on energy, economy, environment, resilience and abundance in the new century and beyond. Dan French
9:00am – 9:45pm Is Your Brownfield Right for a Brightfield? As a brownfield owner or a municipality in charge of redevelopment, how do you determine if your brownfield is right for solar? How do you choose which of your brownfields would be best for a Brightfield development? Fortunately, the EPA has the RE-Powering America’s Land program to provide guidance. Come hear Adam Klinger explain how to determine the viability of your Brightfield project and where to find the resources you need. Adam Klinger
9:45am – 10:15am Structuring a Solar Development Solar projects are set up in a variety of ways depending upon the desired outcome. A municipality (or private company) may choose to lease or sell their land and then have no involvement with the development. Another municipality may want to purchase the electricity created but not own the system. And still others want to own the system, use the electricity but need a developer/financier to take advantage of the tax credits available. Come hear how brownfield owners around the US have handled the financing and development options. Jack will explain the ownership and financial structures most commonly used today. Jack Honor
10:30am – 11:00am From Idea to Reality: Let’s Hear From Municipalities

 

You’ve made the decision to go for it. You have the land, you’ve chosen a financial structure, you know who will buy the electricity, but now you need to get it built. This session will explain how to make your Brightfield dream a reality. What are the steps a landowner or municipality must take to make this happen.     Hear from a few groups that are currently in the middle of the process. This session will cover finding a developer or EPC, writing and issuing an RFP and choosing your partners. Dan French, Harvey Sheldon, Tom Barrasso
11:00am – 11:15am Economic Feasibility: Understanding the Financial Viability of Projects Market factors and governmental incentives can influence a developer’s decision (or your local government’s ability) to pursue renewable energy projects on brownfields in your community. Projects get built when the financial details make sense, and when the expected economic value of the project’s output-electricity and RECS-is greater than the cost to build. This session will cover the financial factors that developers consider before choosing land. Scott Simpson
11:15am – 11:45am How to be Prepared to Promote Solar: Local Permitting and Code Issues Development of solar power generation is as much a challenge for property owners and local governments as it is for developers. Local ordinances must be in place that allow for zoning and construction of electrical power generation facilities. Concerns such as line of sight, appropriateness of property use, and other questions are common during the permitting phase. Having a stakeholder engagement plan in place often eases the process and creates a proactive environment. By evaluating the preparedness of permitting requirements ahead of time and enacting ordinance changes in advance, you can more easily attract developers and support successful developments without delays. Doug Kilmer
11:45am – 12:00pm Brownfield Grants Brownfield grants are available at both the National and State level. Come hear the latest about National Brownfield program funding and where to look for money from the State. Margaret Renas

Day Two: Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Time Session Description Speakers
1:00pm – 1:45pm All About Land Leases and Power Purchase Agreements By this point in the conference, you have determined that your brownfield is perfect for solar, you have decided on the financial structure, written the RFP, chosen the the developer, and you’re finally ready to go. But wait! You still need the contracts. This session is for landowners to understand the basic tenants of a power purchase agreement and a land lease. Come hear what you need to know about these contracts that are standard in most developments. Jim Pryde
1:45pm – 2:00pm Design Process of a Solar Project on a Landfill/Brownfield Understanding the basics of design and layout of development on a brownfield can help you visualize and explain the idea to others. This will cover the fundamentals of design and construction including site selection, design parameters and installation procedure.   It will also touch upon the types of equipment needed for different types of brownfields. Eric Oetjen, John England
2:00pm – 2:15pm Successful Examples Need we say more? Eric Oetjen, John England
2:15pm – 2:45pm Help! My Developer Disappeared Imagine this scenario: your solar development has been discussed for years, the land is right for solar, a buyer for the electricity has been found, an RFP was released and a developer was chosen. You think construction is about to begin and then your developer backs out. What do you do now? This session will discuss what happens when a renewable energy developer leaves a project before it is completed. Paul will discuss why it happens and how it should be handled. He will provide real examples and where to look for red flags. Paul Curran, Jay Steffen
3:00pm – 3:30pm Understanding the Importance of National and State Policy State Policy is one of the major factors a renewable energy developer considers when choosing where to build. This session will explain why state policy is so crucial and give an overview of the most important elements that affect the building of renewable energy in a given state. Speaker will cover state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), solar carveouts, net metering as well as the national Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Adam Zellner
3:00pm – 3:30pm On to the Future: Community Solar, Storage and Microgrids Community Solar is a great way to provide clean energy access to a broad spectrum of community members including renters, shady rooftop owners, businesses, and low income residents. It’s an exciting time in Illinois, and in other states, with new opportunities and incentives for Community Solar. Combining solar + storage systems can reduce demand charges, improve power supply reliability, and offer additional revenue streams. The advantages of solar + storage systems are expected to increase as the electrical grid decentralizes in the coming years. Microgrids can be used to power remote facilities, or provide resiliency and emergency power to any facility or group of buildings like a campus or downtown area. Come learn how you can take advantage of these new technologies and programs. Tim Montague, Brian Haug, Marc Thrum, Justin Hardt
Time Session Description Speakers
1:00pm – 4:30pm Interactive Workshop:

Developing Urban Brownfields

This session on Developing Solar on Urban Brownfields will include a discussion of the issues and a charrette (or working case study) on the topic of developing solar on smaller urban brownfields.

This track will outline the major barriers to developing solar in urban areas and discuss progress being made across the country. On hand will be solar developers, attorneys, regulators, brownfield owners and local officials to offer their experiences in this challenging, but rewarding, niche of renewable energy.

We will also work through a case study or two in which participants in teams will take active roles in developing a fictitious urban brownfield solar development project. Think of this as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” exercise in which common obstacles will be introduced along the way that will force teams to work together to adapt and change the project for its ultimate success.

Look to share, learn and have some fun in this interactive, problem-solving session.

William Anaya; Thomas Bloom, Victo Greco, Reggie Greenwood, Prasad Gullapalli

MeLena Hessel, John Kinch, Chris Pressnall, David Singler, Bryant Williams

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