There’s a rapidly-growing city in Texas that boasts one of the most renewably friendly energy programs in the country — and it’s not Austin. In 2015 Mayor Dale Ross announced that the city of Georgetown, Texas would be powered 100% by renewable electricity. In this episode Lacey and Melissa talk with Chris Foster, the Manager of Resource Planning and Integration, and a trained economist, who is in charge of, among other things, the city’s municipally-owned utility power supply.  He is best known for organizing and pioneering the successful transition of Georgetown’s power supply from a single source, 90% fossil fuel-based supplier to a 100% wind and solar plan with multiple providers.

Chris talks about how the city created a strategic plan for the future of its electricity supply that involved coordination with multiple city departments and input from the business community. The result was a focus on renewable energy sources that mitigates regulatory and economic risks while providing stable, long-term electricity costs to its residential and business customers. As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, there were several factors affecting the plan, including economic concerns, generation profiles of wind and solar power, negotiating with renewable power providers, serving the city’s demand curve, and other issues unique to electricity supply in the ERCOT region. Chris explores these issues and more in this episode.

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In this episode, Jeffrey Clark of The Wind Coalition shares his insights on how extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) will affect the wind power and storage sectors and what he sees on the horizon for the renewable industry in Texas and nationwide.

Clark is the executive director of The Wind Coalition, an industry trade organization focused on the growth of wind in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). He has enjoyed a 30-year career in the private and public sectors, with experience spanning multiple statehouses and the federal level. He is accomplished at revitalizing and rebuilding government affairs teams to effectively advocate for his clients.  We are thrilled to have him on the Renewable Power Podcast.

Show Notes

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Flag_of_Mexico.svgTom Foreman, executive director of the Gulf Coast Power Association (GCPA), joins the podcast to discuss the historic reform of Mexico’s energy industry and the opportunities and implications for U.S. power generation and transmission companies.

After amending the Mexican Constitution to allow for private investment and ownership in the wholesale electricity and hydrocarbon sectors, ending 80 years of state monopoly, the Mexican government is now crafting and implementing new regulatory framework.

The reforms set the Mexican economy on a path for growth, as they will substantially lower electricity and fuel costs for manufacturers. The reforms also present a significant opportunity for U.S. companies eager to rebuild Mexico’s energy infrastructure – most immediately, developers of gas and renewable power facilities.

gcpa-logo-in-jpegTom discusses economic, political and trade implications; how his organization is working with Mexican officials to execute reforms; and what the GCPA is doing to educate its members on this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Show notes:

– GCPA Spring Conference Agenda, April 12-13, 2016

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Kate Sherwood, SolarCity
Kate Sherwood, SolarCity

Kate Sherwood is passionate about the profitable implementation of renewable energy and sustainability solutions. As senior director and central project development manager with SolarCity, she leads the team helping commercial and public sector clients hedge and save on energy expenses.

She is a proven executive with 20-years’ experience leading successful go-to market strategies. In the renewable energy industry, she has held leadership roles with SolarCity, SunPower and Recurrent Energy. She has built high-performing teams, grown startup pipelines of up to $50 million, channel pipelines to over one gigawatt, and closed more than $150 million worth of business with clients such as Facebook, Kendall-Jackson Wines, Kaiser Permanente, Macy’s and Applied Materials.

In this episode, Kate discusses expansion of the solar industry in Texas and what excites her about the market, as well as the products and services that SolarCity brings to its customers.

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EPAIn 2014, the EPA, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, proposed a commonsense approach to cut carbon pollution from power plants. The Clean Power Plan, according to the EPA, seeks to maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment. Critics are afraid that it will negatively impact the economy, energy security and grid reliability.

Dr. David SpenceDiscussing the Clean Power Plan is Dr. David Spence. As a professor at the University of Texas, David, as he puts it, works at the intersection of law, politics and energy.

He teaches law, politics & regulation at UT at both the McCombs School of Business and the School of Law.

David is co-director of the Energy Management & Innovation Center at the McCombs School of Business and is co-author of the leading energy law casebook, Energy, Economics and the Environment.

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