North America Smart Energy Week


September 20-23, 2021
New Orleans, LA In-person & Digital

General Sessions

The Role of Clean Energy in An Integrated De-carbonization Strategy

SPI, ESI, and North America Smart Energy Week, just like your business, are integrating smart technologies into its business model. Solar, storage, wind, and a broad range of distributed energy resources will benefit from pursuing an integrated market and political strategy that has the industry collaborating, rather than competing, for growth opportunities and market share. An integrated strategy would better position all the technologies and associated industries to compete for the attention of customers, state and federal policymakers, and other key stakeholders, leading to “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” successes.

Join us for the SPI, ESI, and North American Smart Energy Week general sessions to further dive into understanding the vision, strategy, and marketability of this industry.

Part I: The Vision for Solar + Supporting Technologies

WHEN: Monday, September 23, 2019
TIME: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
WHERE: Ballroom 355, Salt Palace Convention Center
WHO: General sessions are included in all registration types

What does the future of solar + other clean energy resources look like? This session will start by laying out the vision for how these technologies fit into a comprehensive decarbonization strategy.

The clean energy sector – particularly solar, wind, and storage – can credibly say that its growth prospects dwarf those of traditional energy industries, in terms of both capital investment and job growth. But we don’t act like it. Policymakers hear our industries and advocates speaking as individual voices rather than as a loud and persistent roar. The second part of this session will address how we can change that message and present policymakers with a comprehensive vision for a clean energy future that is affordable, reliable, sustainable, and represents a major growth engine for the U.S. economy.

SEPA Keynote:

Julia Hamm
President & CEO
Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)


Tom Starrs
Vice President of Market Strategy and Policy

SEIA Keynote:

Abigail Ross Hopper
President & CEO
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)



Stephanie Cutter
Political Strategist
Former Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama 2012, and Former Deputy Senior Advisor to President Obama

Brian Davis
Vice President of Energy Solutions
Shell New Energies

Paula R. Glover
President & CEO
American Association of Blacks in Energy

Part II: Innovation on the Regulatory Front

WHEN: Tuesday, September 24, 2019
TIME: 8:00 am – 9:15 am
WHERE: Ballroom 355, Salt Palace Convention Center
WHO: General sessions are included in all registration types

There is a desire to implement new technologies, grid innovations and clean energy programs. States have policy goals to increase the amount of clean energy and/or to promote innovation. Yet new efforts often take months or years to get approved – or ideas wither on the vine, leapfrogged by new technologies. Why? Because century-old state regulatory systems, created for one-way distribution of electrons and centralized power production, aren’t suited to handle the added complexity of today’s market.

During this general session, state regulatory commissioners will discuss ways they are evolving regulatory processes, practices and structures to keep pace with the dynamic energy industry while providing customers with safe, affordable, reliable, and clean electricity.

Regulatory Commissioner Panel:

Janet Gail Besser
Managing Director, Regulatory Innovation & Utility Business Models
Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Jennifer Potter
Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission

Brien Sheahan
Illinois Commerce Commission

Letha Tawney
Oregon Public Utility Commission

Closing Keynote: 

Daniel Simmons
Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Department of Energy