Clean Energy Goes Mainstream

Speakers and Panelists

Keynote Speakers

Barbara Nick

CEO of Dairyland Power Cooperative

Mary Powell

Barbara Nick joined Dairyland in December 2014. Under her leadership, Dairyland Power Cooperative has begun an initiative to invest in renewable energy and diversify its electricity production.

Dairyland's new renewable investments include:

  • 98 megawatts of wind from the Quilt Block Wind Project near Platteville, WI, enough to power more than 25,000 homes

  • 15.5 megawatts of solar from 12 different projects across the state, enough to power more than 2,500 homes.
  • "Dairyland's growing solar and wind initiatives are key components of our strategic objective of Resource Diversification - essentially, less coal, with more renewables and less-emitting generation sources," said Nick in a press release announcing that they will purchase power from the Quilt Block Wind Project.

    Adam Browning

    Executive Director of Vote Solar

    James Tong

    Adam is the Executive Director of Vote Solar. He leads Vote Solar's team of advocates, experts, and staff working to bring solar to the mainstream across the U.S. Adam co-founded the organization in 2002 after he had so much fun working on a successful local solar ballot initiative that he decided to pursue solar advocacy full-time.

    His 15 years at the helm of Vote Solar have earned him the title of being the "Michael Jordan of solar policy." Prior to Vote Solar, Adam spent eight years with the Environmental Protection Agency where he ran an award-winning pollution prevention program.

    Adam grew up in Miami, and served with the Peace Corp in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa--experiences that taught him about the power of the sun. He's glad to now call Oakland home.

    Economic & Security Benefits of Mainstream Clean Energy

    Gregg Herman, Panelist

    Gregg Herman

    As a General Engineer for the Department of Defense, the nation’s largest energy user, Gregg plans and oversees execution of general construction and energy conservation projects for the 88th Regional Support Command of the US Army Reserve, which encompasses an area including 19 upper tier states from Ohio, west, to Washington. He recently oversaw design and construction of a 125 kW photovoltaic array on the US Army Reserve installation in Milwaukee. The 88th has over half a megawatt of solar arrays in progress in pursuit of DoD mandates which direct at least 25 percent of any DoD facility energy consumption come from renewable energy sources by 2025. He began his energy career in the US Navy nuclear power program as a submarine reactor operator.

    Stanley Minnick, Panelist

    Stanley Minnick

    As Energy Services Manager for Organic Valley (America’s largest Cooperative of organic farmers) Stanley’s primary responsibility is to facilitate energy efficiency and renewable projects for over 2000 organic farms across the United States. As part of the sustainability department he also works to address short & long-term renewable energy goals for buildings owned by the cooperative. Stanley’s industry experience also includes partnering with non-profits to oversee solar group buy programs and he has managed residential & commercial projects from origination through interconnection.

    Larry Ward, Panelist

    Larry Ward

    Larry Ward has been the executive director of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum since its founding in December of 2013.  He has been a longtime Republican activist and conservative leader in Michigan.

    Larry's leadership in the MCEF has recently led to a bipartisan comprehensive energy package in Michigan.  Larry’s dedication to political activism is matched only by his commitment to community, dedicating his time and energies as Past President to the Williamston Sunrise Rotary, and currently serving his 13th year on the Williamston Community School’s Board of Education.  In 2012, Governor Rick Snyder appointed Larry to serve on the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System Board (MPSERS).

    Amy Heart, Moderator

    Amy Heart

    Amy Heart is Director of Public Policy with Sunrun, Inc, the leading national residential rooftop solar firm. Based in Milwaukee, WI, Amy works to advance strong rooftop solar policy across the Midwest. Prior to joining Sunrun in 2014, Amy was the Sustainability Program Manager with Milwaukee’s Office of Environmental Sustainability, where she directed the city’s solar program, Milwaukee Shines. Amy has also worked with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Amy is a graduate of UW-Stevens Point and Marquette University Law School.

    Driving Wisconsin's Renewable Energy Markets

    Laura Caspari, Panelist

    Laura Caspari is the Director of Development for SoCore Energy. At SoCore Energy, she is responsible for the strategy and execution of solar projects in twelve states. In 2016, Laura was responsible for the origination and development of fourteen distributed solar projects with Dairyland Power. This project was the largest ground-mounted solar energy rollout in Wisconsin history, roughly doubling the existing amount of solar energy generated in the state. Laura views Wisconsin as a key market with significant opportunity for growth in medium to large scale solar.

    Jeanne Hoffman, Panelist

    Jeanne Hoffman is the Facilities and Sustainability Manager for the City of Madison. Currently Jeanne manages a staff of 12 including architects and engineers that are managing over $180 million of city building construction. These projects include many green features including solar with the City working toward zero-net energy buildings. Jeanne also works to encourage the Madison community to further embrace renewable energy through sponsoring Madison’s Group Buy and staffing the Sustainable Madison Committee.

    Jeff Ripp, Panelist

    Jeff is the Administrator for the Division of Energy Regulation at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing electric and natural gas utility rates and service as well as reviewing major construction projects for regulated natural gas and electric utilities. He previously served as the PSC’s Assistant Administrator for water utility regulation. His previous work experience includes the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources, the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau, and the Wisconsin DNR. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with an M.S. in water resource management (1998) and a B.S. in chemistry and environmental studies (1994).

    Teran Smith, Panelist

    Teran Smith is Associate Director, Origination and Power Marketing, for EDP Renewable’s Central Region, responsible for finding commercial opportunities for EDPR’s portfolio of wind and solar projects in the region, including structuring and negotiating power purchase agreements. Prior to this role, she was a Project Manager in Development at EDPR. In that role, Teran completed the development of a 300 MW wind farm in Iowa, led early and mid-stage development activities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Texas, and prospected new sites throughout the midcontinent. Various previous roles in the consulting, supply operations and the process industry round out a nearly 20 year career in energy. Teran has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Rice University.

    Doug Scott, Moderator

    Doug Scott is Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives at the Great Plains Institute. The changing utility business model is among his key areas of focus and expertise. Before joining GPI in February of 2015, Doug served as Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, and prior to that as Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Doug’s public service also includes a term as Mayor of Rockford, Illinois; three terms as an Illinois State Representative; and ten years as an attorney for the City of Rockford Legal Department. He earned a B.A. with honors from the University of Tulsa, and a J.D. with honors from Marquette University.

    Summit Logo

    Day & Time

    Thursday, January 19, 2017
    Registration starts at 8 AM
    Program: 9 AM - 4 PM, with reception to follow


    Monona Terrace
    1 John Nolen Avenue Madison, WI 53703


    Contact Katie Putz at (608) 255-4044 Ext. 3 or by email.