Renewable Energy Workshop - Feb. 19, 2019

​Renewable Energy Planning and Procurement Workshop

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019

Presented by the Texas Higher Education for Renewable Energy Committee (THEREC) of the Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS)

Texas public entities are collectively overspending millions of dollars each year on electricity. Many that want to consume renewable energy have not yet made the transition.

This workshop offers:

  • market trends regarding private and public sector procurement of utility-scale renewables, as well as distribution-scale solar in regulated energy markets of Texas;
  • information about a new public entity power purchasing option, the Texas Power Pool, which customers can use to reduce their energy expenditures in competitive retail areas as well as regulated cooperative and municipal utility regions through renewable energy purchasing.

The Texas Power Pool is offered by Texas Energy Aggregation, through a contract with the Comptroller's Statewide Procurement Division, and with marketing assistance from the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO)

The Texas Power Pool purchases can fix rates under 3 cents per kilowatt-hour for 12 to 20 years, adding long-term budget certainty, while the balance of load can still be purchased in traditional 1- to 5-year increments to take advantage of future market opportunities.

Inexpensive renewable Energy Credits (RECs) purchased for the balancing load are available for meeting a “100% renewable” goal. On-site solar and Demand Response programs can also be integrated into a simplified contract, reducing escalating regulated delivery charges and regulated energy charges.

This State Comptroller-approved inter-local contract negates the need for you to run your own request for procurement, and all requests are run on your behalf by a team of experts to maximize competitive bidding.

Location details:

Huston-Tillotson University
900 Chicon St.
Austin, TX 78702

There is no cost for this workshop. It is free and open to employees of any public and/or state agency.


Workshop objectives — 1 p.m.

The intention of the workshop is to support renewable energy champions in universities and colleges in the ERCOT region in advancing the conversation about renewable energy in their institutions. The workshop objectives are:

  1. To identify barriers to the purchase or generation of RE at colleges/universities.
  2. To identify ways to increase collaboration and trust in the renewable energy purchasing process.
  3. To offer solutions to renewable energy purchase/generation challenges.
  4. To highlight innovations and case studies of success, as well as shared learning experiences.

Session 1: Background — 1:15 p.m.

  1. An increased level of environmental stewardship is expected from our public institutions to be visibly responsible leaders.
  2. Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuel, and this could be a short window of opportunity to act.
  3. Incorporating renewables into an energy buy has become increasingly more complicated, along with the process of quantifying the value of multiple integrated opportunities.
  4. The state of Texas has already selected a qualified team to limit risk, simplify the process and achieve greater power through aggregation.
  5. Challenges and misconceptions remain in communication along the chain of decision makers.
  6. A high-level overview of the various RE procurement options/tools/barriers/benefits (on-site, off-site, PPAs, PPPs, etc.).
  7. Case studies.

Session 2: Topic deep-dives led by subject matter experts (select your topic in advance) — 2 p.m.

Attendees choose from the following table conversation topics:

  • What are the contracting options for renewable energy in competitive energy markets?
  • What are the contracting options for renewable energy in regulated energy markets?
  • What is the value proposition for behind-the-meter solar?
  • What’s the difference between RECs and PPAs?

Session 3: What are your challenges and solutions to renewable energy purchasing? — 3:30 p.m.

  • Attendees to speak about their challenges among themselves either in small groups or plenary.
  • Facilitator to group stated challenges into major buckets (e.g. creating internal alignment and support, gaining CFO approval, etc.).
  • Small groups identify solutions to challenges and share in the plenary.

Wrap up and summarize next steps — 4:45 p.m.

Adjourn — 5 p.m.

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T.J. Ermoian

T.J. Ermoian is the founder and president of Texas Energy Aggregation. His focus is on serving clients to simplify decisions regarding electricity choices while working to promote ethical standards in the industry.

T.J. is a pioneer of Texas deregulation and a driving force for cost savings, innovation and ethics. T.J. has empowered the largest state entities, schools, cities, universities and municipalities to take full advantage of electricity deregulation and has saved nearly $100 million for Texas taxpayers. He has served on the board of The Energy Professionals Association (TEPA), has spoken at the Aspen Institute Energy and Policy Forum and has contributed to many other local organizations and nonprofit groups. Over the course of three legislative sessions, T.J. spearheaded legislation and eventually shepherded passage of HB 1064, which was signed into law by Gov. Perry in April 2011. The bill has saved millions of dollars annually for small businesses, schools, churches, athletic and performing arts facilities throughout Texas. His involvement in additional legislation has yielded significant changes in billing and energy contract language to enhance consumer protection.

Mike Bendewald

Michael (Mike) Bendewald is the chief operating officer of Texas Energy Aggregation.

Prior to Texas Energy Aggregation, Mike was at Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit organization working on business-led solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy. He worked on business and finance solutions for implementing efficiency and solar in private and public facilities, consulting for Fortune 500 companies, the U.S. General Services Administration, the state of Connecticut and others. At Rocky Mountain Institute he co-launched an initiative to deliver near-zero carbon emissions development in the world's biggest construction market, China, now operated out of RMI's Beijing office. He also co-managed the RMI Shine Program, which aggregates rural co-op and university buyers to achieve low solar prices on one–10 MW solar arrays through a competitive procurement process.

Often asked to speak and facilitate discussions on clean energy, Mike stays abreast of the national and Texas trends in energy markets, the transition to clean energy and how Texas electricity buyers can benefit. Mike has spoken to and published for organizations including Urban Land Institute, CoreNet Global, US Green Building Council, Henry M. Paulson Institute and Association of Climate Change Officers.

Kevin Brehm
Kevin Brehm

Kevin Brehm is the co-op and municipal utility lead for the Shine Initiative at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). In his time at RMI, Kevin has focused on opening up underserved niches of the renewable electricity market.

Before joining the Shine team, Kevin was an associate with RMI’s Business Renewables Center (BRC). Kevin helped build the BRC from its inception to its current role as a market driver with more than 100 members. Currently Kevin enables rural electric cooperatives to reduce the price of solar by 30-40% by helping them execute effective procurement.

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