Thursday • January 17, 2019
Thank you for joining us for our 8th Annual Renewable Energy Summit on Thursday, January 17th!
It was an energizing day as we connected with renewable energy industry experts, utility leaders, government officials, students, educators and advocates at Scaling Up for the Job Ahead. All programming in the Madison Ballroom was captured via Facebook Live and audio of all sessions will be available on the website in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out the video by Noof Designs and event photography by Bloodgood Foto and see slides of the day’s presentations.
If you didn’t submit an evaluation at the Summit, please take the time to complete a digital evaluation. Evaluations help us continue to make our Summit an inspiring and educational experience for the renewable energy community.
And save the date for next year’s Summit: January 16, 2020!
Welcome / Tony Evers' Opening Address / Year in Review
Plenary Panel: Policymakers
Renewable Energy Stories
Breakout Session: Biogas
Breakout Session: Utility Scale Solar and Wind
Breakout Session: Local Governments Lead the Way
Keynote Speaker: Mark Stoering
Breakout Session: Battery Storage
Breakout Session: Stacking the Benefits of Clean Energy
Breakout Session: Electric Vehicles
Plenary Panel: Scaling Up
Governor of Wisconsin
Tony Evers is the 46th governor of Wisconsin, where he began his term in January 2019. He previously served as the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction since 2009. With over three decades of public education experience, Governor Evers has dedicated his life to fighting for Wisconsin’s kids and serving the people of Wisconsin.
As a life-long educator, the governor believes in bringing people together to solve the problems facing our state and putting the people of Wisconsin first.
He began his career in 1976 and has served Wisconsin students, parents, and citizens all over Wisconsin in Tomah, Oakfield, Verona, and Oshkosh.
Born and raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Governor Evers graduated from Plymouth High School and earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, an educator. They are parents of three adult children, all public school graduates, and have nine grandchildren.
President of Xcel Energy Wisconsin and Michigan
Mark Stoering has been president of Xcel Energy’s Wisconsin and Michigan operating company, based in Eau Claire, since 2012. Previously he served as vice president, Portfolio Strategy and Business Development in Minneapolis, and was responsible for the company’s business portfolio management, including renewable energy strategy and the development of Xcel Energy’s renewable energy asset portfolio. He also had responsibility for corporate strategy development and corporate business planning processes. He has more than 28 years of experience in the electric and gas utility industry. Stoering earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in corporate finance from Iowa State University.
Morning Plenary Panel: Policymakers
Afternoon Plenary Panel: Scaling Up for the Job Ahead
Morning Breakout Session: Utility Scale Solar and Wind
Morning Breakout Session: Biogas
Morning Breakout Session: Local Governments Lead the Way
Afternoon Breakout Session: Stacking the Benefits of Clean Energy
Afternoon Breakout Session: Battery Storage
Afternoon Breakout Session: Electric Vehicles
The following organizations have registered to attend or sponsor our 2019 Renewable Energy Summit! Register for the Summit today so you can network with people from these organizations.
All Energy Solar
All Sky Energy, LLC
Arch Electric, Inc.
BIOFerm Energy Systems
Bloodgood Foto LLC
Boardman & Clark LLP
BOW Renewables, LLC
Brass Light Gallery
Chabad of Waukesha
Chequamegon Bay Renewables
City of Eau Claire
City of Fitchburg
City of Madison
City of Milwaukee
Clean Fuel Partners
Clean Grid Alliance
Convergence Energy, LLC
Crave Brothers Farm
CREATE Center – Madison College
CROPP Cooperative – Organic Valley
CURE Energy Solutions
Current Electric, Co.
Customers First! Coalition
Dairyland Power Cooperative
Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change
Duane T. Kexel Consulting, LLC
Eagle Point Solar
Earth Friendly Vehicles
Eau Claire City Council
EDP Renewables North America
Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc.
Energy Analysis and Policy Program (EAP) of UW-Madison
Energy Tech Innovations, LLC
ENGIE North America Distributed Solar
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Ethos Green Power
Eudai Energy, LLC
Faith Technologies, Inc.
Focus on Energy
Foley & Lardner LLP
Full Spectrum Solar
Good Steward Consulting
H&H Group Holdings
H&H Solar Energy Services, Inc.
Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc.
Integrated Energy Services
J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc.
Keyes & Fox LLP
KL Engineering Inc
Legacy Solar Co-op
Local Productions LLC
Madison Gas and Electric Company
Madison Solar Consulting
McFarland State Bank
Medical College of Wisconsin
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)
Midwest Solar Power
Milwaukee Area Techinical College
Mother Earth News
Murphy Desmond S.C.
Neil Palmer & Associates LLC
New Energy Equity
Next Energy Solution, Inc.
Next Step Energy LLC
North Wind Renewable Energy
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
OPUS Brand Management
Oregon School District
Perkins Coie LLP
Pines Bach LLP
Positive Energy Alternatives, LLC
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
Quarles & Brady
Ranger Power LLC
Rapid Improvement Associates, LLC
Renew Now Facilities
Renewable Energy Consultant
Reynolds Transfer & Storage, Inc.
Shoreline Community College
Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter
Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust
SUEZ Advanced Solutions
Sun Badger Solar
Sustainable Engineering Group / HGA
Sustainable Madison Committee
TDS Custom Construction, Inc.
The Capitol Group
The Daily Reporter
The Natural Resources Defense Council
Town of Cross Plains
Town of Stark, Energy Planning & Information Committee
Trajectory Energy Partners, LLC
Trillfoot Energies Corp
University of Wisconsin – Madison
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
University of Wisconsin – Platteville
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
UW-Extension Center for Land Use Education
UW-Extension / University of Wisconsin
Vernon Electric Cooperative
Waukesha County Green Team
WEC Energy Group
Werner Electric Supply
WES Engineering Inc.
West Green Club
Wheeler, Van Sickle & Anderson, S.C.
WI Div of Energy, Housing & Community Resources
WI Sustainable Business Council
Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
Wisconsin Clean Cities
Wisconsin Conservation Voters
Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum
Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association
Wisconsin Energy Broadcast – WORT radio program
Wisconsin Energy Institute, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Wisconsin Environmental Initiative, Inc.
Wisconsin Green Muslims
Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group
Wisconsin Office of Energy Innvoation
Wisconsin Public Utility Institute
Wisconsin State Assembly
Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin State Senate
Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council
Wisconsin’s Green Fire
The deadline to sponsor the 2019 Summit has past. Please considering sponsoring next year’s Summit!
2019 SUMMIT SPONSORS
President and CEO
BIOFerm™ Energy Systems
Mr. Afghan has extensive experience in development of renewable energy projects and his fifteen years of management experience allowed for growth of financially successful markets. He has achieved great success working in corporate strategy and business-to-business sales management for multiple high-tech companies. In addition, he received his Bachelor of Science degree and Master in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University.
Growing up in Madison, WI Heather developed a deep appreciation for the natural environment and ultimately a career focused on science and policy. After earning her Master’s in International Environmental Policy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, she worked in Washington D.C. both at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and later at the Natural Resources Defense Council. In these roles she advanced international scientific cooperation, strategies to adapt to climate change, and efforts to promote access to safe water and sanitation around the world. After migrating back to Madison, she managed policy and programs for the Clean Lakes Alliance and served as the Legislative Analyst for the City of Madison and joined Renew in 2018.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters
Kate Beaton is an at large member of the Eau Claire City Council and the Western Organizer for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. Elected in 2016 at the age of 24, Kate ushered in a new era of local politics in Eau Claire of young, fresh, and progressive leadership. Since then, Eau Claire has emerged as a regional leader in civic engagement, sustainability, and arts and culture. In 2018 Kate championed a decision by the Eau Claire City Council to adopt a goal to pursue 100% renewable energy city-wide by 2050, leading the charge locally toward a clean energy future.
Wisconsin State Senator
Senate District 25 (D – Mason)
Janet was elected to the Senate in the fall of 2014 after serving two terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly. She is a member of the Senate’s Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges, Committee on Education, Committee on Insurance, Housing, and Trade and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.
Janet serves on the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority Board and is also a member of the Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations, the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and the Governor’s Council on Tourism. Prior to her first election in the fall of 2010, she served on the Ashland City Council for two years.
Government Affairs Director
Jim joined RENEW in December of 2017 because of its leadership role in the exciting changes that are happening in the renewable sectors of the energy industry. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked in the Wisconsin Assembly for 9 years. He also served as the Administrator of the Division of Policy Development at the Department of Safety and Professional Services. For most of his career he has worked in government affairs for Wisconsin’s largest construction trade associations. He represented the construction industry on many of the energy committees in the mid-2000’s and served as the Chairman of the Building Codes and Standards Work Group for the Governor’s Task Force on Energy Efficiency and Renewables in 2004. He is also very active in the lobbying community, having been elected to the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists Board of Directors for 10 years and President for two years.
Alex leads E&EI’s policy development and educational programming. Prior to joining E&EI he channeled his entrepreneurial spirit into developing rural energy projects in East Africa, and consulting on energy and climate policy for think tanks and a major development bank. He has also worked on several federal and gubernatorial campaigns for GOP candidates.
After 15 years in social services and nonprofit management, Becky Cooper changed course significantly. With the goal of improving relationships— between family members, coworkers, and members of the Milwaukee community— Becky and her husband, Ryan Clancy, opened Bounce Milwaukee in 2014. Her unique management style aims to challenge traditional business practices and ensure their business benefits employees, families, and the entire community. Becky is a graduate of Marquette University.
Director of Business Development
Mike has been passionate about renewable energy and energy management since building his first earth home in rural Sheboygan county that has passive solar gain heat. He recently installed a 7.37kW solar system on his Hartland home and eliminated over 90% of his electric bill. Mike’s memberships include the ReNew Wisconsin Board, Amicus Solar Co-op, Clean Energy Credit Union (link to CECU), and the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), Mike’s passion and background allow him to assist Arch customers achieve their goals of utilizing the energy of the sun and conservation in all areas of electric power, including lighting, cooling, heating, energy storage, and anything related to clean energy for households, businesses, farms, as well as municipal, educational, healthcare, and commercial enterprises. He is a NABCEP accredited solar advisor, and MREA Site Assessor, and a Wisconsin coordinator for the National Drive Electric Vehicle (NDEV) event held each September.
Crave Brothers Farm
Jordan is the Agronomy Manager and partner at Crave Brothers Farm L.L.C. located in Waterloo, WI. He is a graduate of the UW-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course Program. Crave Brothers milk 1900 cows at two different sites and raise all of their own replacements. Jordan is responsible for all of the manure and waste produced as well as the wastewater produced at the cheese factory. He also assists in managing the renewable energy business “Clean Fuel Crave L.L.C.” They produce electricity, animal bedding, heat, and fertilizer for our crops out of our dairy manure.
Assembly District 17 (D – Milwaukee)
Representative David Crowley was elected in 2016 to the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 17th District which encompasses much of Milwaukee’s Northwest side. Representative Crowley currently sits on the following Assembly Committees: Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Small Business Development, Workforce Development, Transportation, and Jobs and Economy. David attended the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, where he studied Community Studies and Educational Policies. He credits his passion for public service to the time spent as a young adult with the youth organization Urban Underground. While with Urban Underground, Crowley served as Community Justice Coordinator, making a name for himself as a community organizer. In 2010, David got his political start as the Statewide African American Organizer for U.S. Senator Russ Feingold’s Senate Campaign Committee. He has since worked as a Senior Aide at both the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors and in the State Senate to State Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd. David is a board member of the Milwaukee Chapter of the ACLU and also serves as Chair of the Milwaukee Delegation for the 2017-18 legislative session.
Director of Center for Pollinators in Energy
As director of Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy, Rob helps accelerate the nation’s transition to use of clean and renewable energy. Davis’ work on pollinator-friendly solar has been featured in trainings by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Conservation Training Center, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Electric Power Resource Institute, and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center. Rob’s work in Minnesota was recognized by MnSEIA with the 2018 Excellence in Solar Policy Award. Along with a senior analyst from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Davis is co-chair of the research and outreach committee for NREL’s study into low-impact and pollinator-friendly solar development approaches.
Previously, Rob helped launch technology start-ups and created the international crowdsourced campaign that launched the Firefox web browser. His work has been highlighted in a Solar Power World cover story as well as featured in Scientific American, National Geographic, and Wired; referenced in the 25th anniversary edition of Trivial Pursuit; and included in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. City Pages, the alternative weekly of Minneapolis/St. Paul, called Rob “a good-natured but gravely determined change agent.” He is a two-time recipient of the Teresa Du Bois Exline Award for Best Practices in Communications and Marketing and a graduate of Macalester College.
Director of Public Policy
Amy is Director of Public Policy with Sunrun, which is the largest residential solar company in the country. Amy Heart works to protect and expand access to rooftop solar throughout Great Lakes states down to Texas. Prior to joining Sunrun back in 2014, Amy worked with City of Milwaukee on its solar program and also with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. Amy has served on Renew Wisconsin Board of Directors since 2015. Amy Heart is a graduate of UW-Stevens Point and Marquette University Law School.
Facilities and Sustainability Manager
City of Madison
Jeanne Hoffman is the City of Madison’s Facilities and Sustainability Manager. She is the team leader of city architects and engineers to remodel and construct the City’s inventory buildings in a sustainable manner. She also works with all agencies in helping them achieve sustainability goals. Jeanne works with community partners to help the community better understand sustainability. Prior to her work as the Facilities and Sustainability Manager, Jeanne was a Mayoral Aide to Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, where she worked on planning and development, environment and transportation issues. Prior to her work with the City of Madison, Jeanne was the Executive Director of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.
Manager, Renewable Development
Bobby is a project manager for Invenergy LLC, the developer of the proposed 300MW Badger Hollow Solar Farm in Iowa County, WI. In addition to his work on Badger Hollow, Bobby manages a portfolio of wind and solar projects in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Tyler joined RENEW Wisconsin as the organization’s 3rd Executive Director in June 2013. Since growing up in Iowa and being fascinated by wind turbines at a nearby middle school, he has pursued various ventures in the clean energy space, and is passionate about the transformation of our country’s energy system to renewable sources. After graduating in electrical engineering from the University of Iowa, he earned his Masters degree at Stanford University in the Atmosphere & Energy Program, where he also co-founded a major conference and student group called Energy Crossroads (now Stanford Energy Club) focused on the intersection between business, national security, and environmental interests in clean energy. Since then, he has been a consultant with ICF International working on energy efficiency projects with utility companies and the U.S. EPA, ran grant programs at the U.S. Department of Energy in low-income weatherization, and worked for the State of Wisconsin’s Division of Energy Services prior to joining RENEW.
City of Madison
Mahanth worked for nearly 16 years in New York City government as a fleet and operations professional. At NYC Parks & Recreation, he helped manage vehicle repair, collision tracking, waste collection, recycling, employee awards programs, sign production, and citywide emergency response. He helped create the city’s Parks Field Operations Manual, and launched the NYC Parks Greeter Corps volunteer program. Joishy oversaw the safety program for the New York City owned fleet of 30,000 vehicles. He worked on the City’s response to Hurricane Sandy, including a regional fueling crisis and the handling of thousands of flooded boats and vehicles. He was also a lead on the New York City Vision Zero task force to reduce fatalities and injuries on the road. He has done extensive work on vehicle safety technology and training, and outreach with private and non-profit fleets.
All Sky Energy
Keith has had a lifelong interest in battery technology, electric motors and electricity. He started in the electrical field in 1995 while in High School when he obtained his Master Electrical License. For many years he worked on large commercial projects at EPIC Systems, UW, WIMR, and many residential jobs. Keith formed All Sky Energy in 2011, installing Solar PV for residential and small commercial clients. In 2015, with help from friends and family, Keith and his wife, Lisa, completed the build of a 2500 square foot net zero home just outside of Baraboo. Last year, they sold that house and built an off-grid home that is 1150 square feet with a 10.5kw solar PV system and 48 kwh battery storage. March will mark one year in their off grid home and they are loving it!
Assembly District 84 (R – New Berlin)
Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin) was first elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 2010, and is currently serving his fourth term in office. Mike serves on the following committees during the current legislative session: Energy and Utilities (Chair), Labor (Vice-Chair), Government Accountability and Oversight, Rural Development and Mining, Assembly Committee on Rules, and the Joint Survey Committee on Retirement Systems. Mike is a former small business owner and was a member of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (president), Wisconsin Bowling Centers Association (president) and New Berlin Chamber of Commerce (president).
Renewable Energy Project Developer
Dan Litchfield is a Solar Farmer and a Wind Farmer, working with landowners, rural communities, regulators and utility customers to develop and bring to reality utility scale renewable energy projects that generate affordable, clean energy and massive local economic development.
Development Project Manager
Darcy Lydum is a Development Project Manager at EDP Renewables with over five years of experience developing utility scale wind farms. In 2017, Darcy completed the development of the Quilt Block Wind Farm, a 98MW project located in Lafayette County, Wisconsin. She is currently developing three additional sites in the state and looks forward to the continuing expansion of wind energy in Wisconsin.
Good Steward Consulting
Mariah Lynne is President/Owner of Good Steward Consulting in Albert Lea, MN. She and her team specialize in rural communication and support cultivation for utility-scale renewable energy developments in the midwest. Mariah is a seasoned businesswoman, mother, and former farmer with extensive experience in marketing and communications. She passionately advocates for rural developments and their economic benefit to rural/agricultural communities. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato with a B.S. in Marketing.
Program Manager (electric vehicles)
Jane grew up outside Detroit, Michigan and moved to Madison as a student at University of Wisconsin. While in school, she studied Operations and Technology Management and Environmental Studies, was a pole vaulter for the Track and Field team and was a leader of the Ethical and Responsible Business Network. She was also the Executive Director of Wisconsin Microfinance, a Madison-based nonprofit that provides small loans to women in Haiti and the Philippines. She now serves on the Wisconsin Microfinance board.
Foley & Lardner LLP
Thomas has in depth experience across all regulatory aspects of the energy industry and provides counsel on contracts, mergers and acquisitions, renewable project development, and state and federal and ISO compliance issues. He has led regulatory proceedings and litigation before FERC and in state commissions across the country. Mr. Mullooly is head of the firm’s Energy Regulation Practice.
Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Clean Fuel Partners
Jessica joined Clean Fuel Partners in January of 2015. Her focus is on building bonds, engaging stakeholders and thinking about the business in non-traditional ways. Before joining CFP, Jessica’s career was rooted in marketing strategy and product development. She successfully led cross-functional teams to plan, develop and market new products in pre-employment psychological testing. Jessica holds and BA and MBA from Loyola University Chicago.
Wisconsin Public Service Commission
Ellen Nowak was first appointed to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) in July 2011 by Governor Scott Walker, and reconfirmed for a six-year term in 2013. Commissioner Nowak was named Chairperson of the PSC in March of 2015. In March of 2018 Governor Walker appointed her as Secretary of the Department of Administration. She served in that role until the end of the Governor’s term and was then reappointed as Chairperson of the PSC in January 2019. Ellen currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). Previously, Ellen served as the chief of staff to Waukesha County Executive, Dan Vrakas. From 2002-2006, she served as legal counsel and subsequent chief of staff to the Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly. She also later worked as the deputy director of School Choice Wisconsin. From 1998-2002, Ellen practiced business litigation at Mallery & Zimmerman SC in Milwaukee. Ellen has a law degree from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
Cari Anne Renlund
Vice President and General Counsel
Madison Gas and Electric
Cari Anne Renlund is Vice President and General Counsel at Madison Gas and Electric Company (MGE), a community energy company located in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the officer in charge of the Legal and Risk Management; Safety and Environmental Affairs; and Government Affairs divisions. In this role, Cari Anne also leads partnerships with external stakeholders, including a partnership with the City of Madison to help achieve common energy goals.
Waukesha County Green Team
Joanna specializes in engaging and mobilizing residents and organizations in environmental and sustainability initiatives. She is passionate about meeting people where they are at and tackling sustainability at the local level to initiate systemic change. Joanna has a Bachelor of Science from the UW system in Sustainable Management and certification in Civic Ecology from Cornell.
Clean Grid Alliance
As Executive Director of Clean Grid Alliance, Beth brings more than 15 years experience working with the electric industry in various capacities. At CGA she directs work in the areas of technical/transmission planning, state regulatory proceedings, legislative education and outreach. Ms. Soholt holds a seat on the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) Advisory Committee representing the Environmental Sector. She was also selected as one of three NGO representatives on the Stakeholder Steering Committee of the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative. Beth holds a law degree from Hamline University Law School, St. Paul, Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.
Dan is a Master Electrician and Certified Energy Manager, born and raised in Plymouth, WI. He currently lives in Plymouth with his wife and 5 boys, enjoying camping, fishing, and sporting events. He joined the Arch Electric Team in early 2018 after spending 14 years in Energy Efficient Design and Control. His past experiences in power monitoring, lighting, refrigeration, and automation combined with his passion for renewable energy has made him a great asset to the team and his clients.
Director of Government Affairs
Vanessa is responsible for developing and promoting favorable legislative and regulatory policy for renewable energy at the state level. EDP Renewables commissioned its 98 megawatt Quilt Block Wind Farm in southwest Wisconsin in 2017 which is now supplying power to LaCrosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative.
Director and Project Development
Eric works on OneEnergy’s project development team to shepherd projects from inception through construction. Eric manages prospecting and site identification, landowner outreach, permitting and interconnection processes, and customer outreach for utility-scale solar projects across the country. Eric has worked in renewable energy since 2007, when he started as a financial analyst for EDP Renewables (f.k.a. Horizon Wind Energy). While at EDPR, Eric managed financial analysis for a large portfolio of wind and solar projects, and was part of the team who led the US portion of the company’s 2008 IPO. He subsequently joined the Project Development team, working on developing wind and solar projects in diverse markets across the country, in markets from Arizona to Illinois, and Indiana to California. While at EDPR, Eric’s proudest accomplishment was completing development of a 100MW phase of the Meadow Lake project in central Indiana. In 2012, Eric joined H&H Solar, a Midwest solar EPC contractor, where he worked on sales, project development and construction management. Eric received his B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies from Carleton College in Minnesota.
Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs
Since graduation college in 2010 with a degree in Philosophy, Mark Walter has performed many different roles in the solar and renewable sector. He began his career in rooftop sales, installation, and business development in the Pacific Northwest before moving into advocacy as the Deputy Director of Renew Missouri. He is currently the Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for Tradewind Energy, which focuses on utility scale renewable development.
Dr. Kenneth Walz
Director of the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education
Madison Area Technical College
Dr. Walz earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, working on advanced lithium-ion batteries with Rayovac and Argonne National Laboratory. He also worked as a visiting scientist with the University of Rochester Center for Photoinduced Charge Transfer, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Since 2003, he has taught chemistry, engineering, and renewable energy at Madison College. Dr. Walz has been recognized as Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation, and as Energy Educator of the Year by the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education.
Director, Midwest Region, Climate and Clean Energy Program
Samantha Williams is the Midwest Director of Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate & Clean Energy Program, based in Chicago. Sam manages regional strategy for a team of state advocates covering Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, working at the regulatory, utility and state legislative levels to further policies that cut pollution emissions and accelerate the transition toward affordable, clean energy. Previously, she was a Policy Advisor at the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, where she assisted the Kentucky Energy Cabinet in developing a comprehensive energy efficiency policy, and prior to that litigated on behalf of citizens’ groups in California to enforce the Clean Water Act.