This workshop equipped renewable energy champions in higher education institutions with the tools, resources and information needed to begin preliminary conversations with key stakeholders. It provided a map outlining potential organizational challenges and opportunities. Attendees heard case studies from renewable energy procurement experts about other organizations that have successfully navigated the transition to renewable energy.
Dallas College (formerly Dallas County Community College District)
R. Jan LeCroy Center (Map)
9596 Walnut St.
Dallas, TX 75243
Workshop objectives — 9 a.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:
- To identify barriers to the purchase or generation of RE at colleges/universities.
- To identify ways to increase collaboration and trust in the renewable energy purchasing process.
- To offer solutions to renewable energy purchase/generation challenges.
- To highlight innovations and case studies of success, as well as shared learning experiences.
Session 1: Background — 9:15 a.m.
- An increased level of environmental stewardship is expected from our public institutions to be visibly responsible leaders.
- Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuel, and this could be a short window of opportunity to act.
- Incorporating renewables into an energy buy has become increasingly more complicated, along with the process of quantifying the value of multiple integrated opportunities.
- The state of Texas has already selected a qualified team to limit risk, simplify the process and achieve greater power through aggregation.
- Challenges and misconceptions remain in communication along the chain of decision makers.
- A high-level overview of the various RE procurement options/tools/barriers/benefits (on-site, off-site, PPAs, PPPs, etc.).
- Case studies.
Session 2: Topic deep-dives led by subject matter experts (select your topic in advance) — 10 a.m.
Attendees choose from the following table conversation topics:
- What are the contracting options for renewable energy?
- Risk primer — what are the risks of signing your own PPA?
- What is the value proposition for behind-the-meter solar?
- How can demand response fund new backup generators?
- What’s the difference between RECs and PPAs?
Lunch break — 11:30 to noon
Session 3: What are your challenges and solutions to renewable energy purchasing? — Noon
- 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 — 2:15 p.m.
Adjourn — 2:30 p.m.
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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.
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.