Microgrids 101 

Microgrids are autonomous local energy grids consisting of energy generation, storage, and control assets. Learn how customers and communities can use microgrids to provide backup power during emergencies, cut electricity costs, and help build resilient communities.

Steve Neiland, EnTech Solutions

Recent federal legislation opens a new chapter in the transition to a clean energy future. Learn how Wisconsin citizens, businesses, local governments, and schools stand to benefit from the clean energy opportunities in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Lauren Reeg: Rocky Mountain Institute, Associate – Carbon-Free Buildings

Large-scale solar farms are beginning to populate Wisconsin’s rural areas, and many more are anticipated over the coming decades. This buildout of large-scale solar is necessary to achieve Wisconsin’s zero carbon future, but the transition can be challenging if the needs and concerns of rural communities are not taken seriously. Learn how these installations can be more than just power plants by integrating regenerative agriculture into project design and by providing local investment and profit-sharing opportunities.

Cory Neeley: SolarShare Wisconsin Cooperative, Director 
Eric Udelhofen: OneEnergy Renewables, VP Development 
Josh Arnold: UW-Madison Office of Sustainability
Sam Rikkers: WEDC, Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer

This session will discuss how the Inflation Reduction Act can help Wisconsin school districts meet their sustainability goals and reduce carbon emissions.

Elise Couillard: Couillard Solar Foundation, Treasurer
Theresa Lehman: Miron Construction Co., Inc., Director of Sustainable Services
Megan M. Levy: US DOE CESER, SLTT Project Manager
Drew Dillman: HGA, Building Performance Specialist

Welcome and Opening Remarks
2022 Achievements
IRA in Wisconsin

The benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act for states are plentiful, but how will Wisconsinites access these benefits? While there are still many questions about implementation, hear from state leaders about what we know about IRA funding for Wisconsin and the resources available to use this legislation to navigate our clean energy transition.

Keith Reopelle: Wisconsin’s Green Fire 
Maria Redmond: WI Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, Director
Robin Lisowski: Slipstream, Director of Service Solutions
Adam Schurle: Foley & Lardner LLP, Partner

Renewable Energy Stories

Allison Sweere: Revitalize Milwaukee, Operations Manager
Hetti Brown: Couleecap Community Action Agency, Executive Director
Akinlana Abdalla: Ingeteam, Wind Turbine Specialist

It will take the whole region to build and connect all the solar, wind, and storage capacity necessary to decarbonize utility systems throughout the Upper Midwest, including ours in Wisconsin. The current wave of renewable generation slated for development in Wisconsin will easily surpass five gigawatts (5,000 MW) by the end of this decade, with many more gigawatts in the offing. Unlike most of the wind projects presently supplying local electric providers, most of this new generation will be solar-powered, paired with battery storage, and located within the Badger State. But there will be out-of-state generation in the mix, and MISO recently approved a new tranche of transmission lines to accommodate the reshaping of the regional electric system. Hear from industry experts about Wisconsin’s resource mix of the future and the complexities involved in designing the regional grid to accommodate this anticipated surge of renewable generation, as well as securing permits from state agencies and local jurisdictions.

Gregory Nemet: University of Wisconsin–Madison,
Professor Peder Mewis: Clean Grid Alliance, Regional Policy Manager- West
Jennifer Giegerich: Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Government Affairs Director
Chris Kunkle: Apex Clean Energy, Director of State Affairs, MISO

Wisconsin electric providers have set robust carbon goals tfor themselves in the coming years. Central station solar and wind projects will drive that transition, but distributed renewables will also have a role to play. Learn about the policies and technologies that can unlock distributed onsite and offsite solar to reduce operating costs while strengthening the grid.

Sam Dunaiski: RENEW Wisconsin, Executive Director
Steve Nieland: EnTech Solutions, Vice President of Innovation
Catie Malcheski: SunVest Solar, LLC, Project Developer
Dr. Amalia Hicks: Cadmus Group, Principal

Clean energy offers economic and health benefits to Wisconsin residents, but support for this industry is not a given. Hear from Wisconsin communications professionals about the nuances of talking to rural audiences, the challenge of detoxifying misinformation and propaganda, and the need to center diversity, equity, and inclusion when telling Wisconsin’s clean energy stories.

Mariah Lynne: Good Steward Consulting, CEO/Owner
Tonyisha Harris: Action for the Climate Emergency, Associate Director of Communications and Partnerships
Bob Lindmeier: WKOW-TV, Senior Chief Meteorologist
Jodi Jean Amble: RENEW Wisconsin, Deputy Director

Michelle Moore is the author of Rural Renaissance and CEO of Groundswell, a nonprofit that builds community power by connecting clean energy with economic development, affordability, and quality of life. A social entrepreneur and former White House official with roots in rural Georgia, Michelle is a relentless agent for change. Her accomplishments range from delivering programs that cut energy use by $11 billion and led to the deployment of 3.2 Gigawatts of new renewable energy production while leading sustainability for the Obama Administration; to developing LEED into a globally recognized brand as Senior Vice President of USGBC. Michelle currently serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the American Flood Coalition and the Boards of Directors for Australian nonprofit THI Studio and the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. Michelle’s work is rooted in her faith and the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers released Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Plan in 2022, and recent modeling work from Evolved Energy Research provides a state roadmap to Net Zero Economy-Wide emissions by 2050. With this groundwork in place, Wisconsin is poised to take advantage of myriad clean energy opportunities offered by the Inflation Reduction Act. Hear from Wisconsin leaders building Wisconsin’s clean energy future about how to turn a plan into progress.

Andrew Kell: RENEW Wisconsin, Policy Analyst
Maria Redmond: WI Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy, Director
Tyler Huebner: Public Service Commission, Commissioner
Taylor McNair: Gridlab, Program Manager

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed in November 2021 and will create jobs, lower emissions, and improve public health. This panel will discuss the need for effective implementation of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program, including the barriers to the holistic engagement of Wisconsin communities in our transition to clean transportation.

Jena Ginsburg: ChargePoint, Policy Manager, Midwest
Mark Bender: Godfrey & Kahn, Attorney
Deborah Erwin: Xcel Energy, Director of Policy and Program Planning for Clean Transportation
Brian Elliott: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Program and Policy Analyst Kaleb Vander Wiele(Speaker)WisDOT, DOT Officer

Counties and municipalities around our state are accelerating the shift to a clean energy economy. This session will discuss how local governments can leverage BIL and IRA benefits to best serve their communities.

 Lewis Kuhlman: City of La Crosse, Environmental Sustainability Planner
Scott Semroc: City of Sun Prairie, Sustainability Coordinator
Kathy Kuntz: Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change, Director
Pamela Ritger de la Rosa: City of Milwaukee Environmental Collaboration Office


Jennifer Bumgarner: Jennifer Bumgarner was most recently Senior Regional Director for the Southeast with Energy Foundation, where she led a team working to advance equitable climate and clean energy solutions across a 14-state region. Prior to her tenure at Energy Foundation, Jennifer was Assistant Secretary for Energy with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, where she administered more than $275 million in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and led efforts to integrate clean energy into the state’s economic development strategy. She also served as a Policy Advisor to Governor Michael F. Easley and as a Policy Advisor and Deputy Policy Director to Governor Beverly Eaves Perdue. A native North Carolinian, Jennifer holds a B.A. in Politics from Wake Forest University and a Master of Science in Social Policy from the University of Oxford in Oxford, United Kingdom, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

Chairperson Rebecca Valcq: Rebecca Cameron Valcq (Becky) was appointed by Governor Tony Evers to serve as a Commissioner at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) for a six-year term on January 7, 2019. Governor Evers also appointed her as Commission Chairperson effective through March 2023. Before accepting her role with the State of Wisconsin, Becky was a Partner at Quarles & Brady Law Firm in the Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources practice group. Previous to that position, Becky was Regulatory Counsel for Wisconsin Electric Power Company, where she advised management on all areas of regulatory law in multiple jurisdictions and compliance matters. As a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Becky serves on the Water Committee and the Select Committee on Regulatory and Industry Diversity. She previously served on the Advisory Committee of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), a Regional Transmission Organization which administers the wholesale electricity market in all or parts of 11 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Organization of MISO States (OMS). In 2013, Becky was named a “40 Under 40” by the Milwaukee Business Journal and received a Girl Scout Leadership G.I.R.L. award in 2019. She has served on several non-profit boards of directors, including Centro Legal, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, and the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. She was a member of the United Way’s Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Committee and Marquette University Law School’s Diversity Committee. Becky earned her undergraduate degree from Drake University and her law degree from Marquette University.

Supply chain issues and workforce shortages can be seen across all sectors of the U.S. economy, and renewable energy is no exception. As the speed of our renewable energy transition picks up, we will need pragmatic planning and smart solutions to these problems. Hear from industry experts about how Wisconsin can best overcome these challenges to gain all of the benefits presented by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Ken Walz: WIDRC, Renewable Energy Program Director
Kyle Sutter: Westphal
Melissa Gombar: Elevate, Principal Director of Workforce Development
Kevin Kane: Green Homeowners United, Chief Economist

Decarbonizing Wisconsin’s economy will not be achieved with renewable power alone. Learn about green hydrogen, carbon sequestration and other advanced technologies that will move our state toward a zero-emissions future.

Dr. Mark Daugherty is a founder and the Chief Development Officer at Avium, LLC. Avium is focused on developing non-precious metal catalysts and innovative coating technologies to improve the performance of electrolyzers producing hydrogen. Dr. Daugherty has over 25 years of experience in the management of start-ups, research, and product development. Prior experience includes Adjunct Mechanical Engineering faculty at the Milwaukee School of Engineering; Chief Technology Officer at H2scan; CEO and Board Member at Virent Energy Systems; Chief Scientist and Vice President at DCH Technology; Board member at RENEW Wisconsin; Principal Investigator at Los Alamos National Laboratory; Director of Product Development at Tormach LLC; and Manager of R&D at Superconductivity Inc. Dr. Daugherty has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Juris Doctor from the University of California-Berkeley.

Buildings are large contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will accelerate the market for building electrification, which has the potential to drastically reduce emissions by replacing fossil fuel use with electricity from clean, renewable energy. Learn about how the IRA incentivizes citizens and businesses to electrify their buildings, as well as the technologies that will reduce emissions, the unique challenges of retrofitting old buildings and building all-electric new ones, and the Wisconsin workforce that will decarbonize our buildings.

Francisco Sayu: RENEW Wisconsin, Emerging Technologies Director
Jacqueline Freidel: Focus on Energy, Future Focus Program
Abigail Corso: Elevate, Chief Strategy Officer
Travis Herzog: Midwest Heating and Cooling LLC, Residential Replacement Specialist