17 September, 15 October, 5 NoveMber 2020

The Water sector could potentially generate far more energy than it uses.

Southeast False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility © City of Vancouver

About The Workshop

Distributed energy resource (DER) projects provide an exciting emerging opportunity for drinking water and wastewater utilities. DER energy sources available to utilities can include biogas, hydropower, thermal heat, gas to electricity, solar, and wind. Drawing on all these forms of energy the water sector can potentially generate far more energy than their systems require.

Increasing energy demand for water systems, increasing energy costs, advancement towards green energy and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation goals, and the impacts of climate change are all driving DER. Self-generation of energy may reduce costs, improve system resilience and reliability, and reduce emissions.

As utilities can store energy (e.g., as gas or water at elevation), and can often shift their own energy demands through time, they are an important potential element of a more renewables-based future energy grid. However, DER implementation challenges can be significant and overall costs versus benefits depend on site-specific factors, technology, policies, and regulations.

Having completed research on the opportunities for DER implementation, the regulations and policies impacting these opportunities, and recommendations for future actions, the Water Research Foundation is supporting a science to policy workshop to address the regulatory environment that poses a significant barrier to DER implementation, and the need for support for policies addressing DER and renewable energy.

Where

Online

When

September 17, 3pm to 5pm EDT
October 15, 2pm to 5pm EDT 
November 5, 2pm to 5pm EST

Participants

State of Nevada Climate Initiative
CSU InterFEWS Graduate Program
Focus on Energy
American Water Works Association
US EPA
Conrad Research Associates; Colorado State University
Water Research Foundation
Water Environment Federation
NY City Department of Environmental Protection
Fort Collins Utilities
FortisBC
CSU InterFEWS Graduate Program
Great Lakes Water Authority
Corix Utilities Inc
CORIX Utilities Inc
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory​

Stephen Hoyt

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
City Light & Power, Inc
Regulatory Affairs - Itron, Inc
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
National Grid
New York Power Authority
Great Lakes Water Authority
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
DC Water
CSU InterFEWS Graduate Program
Electric Power Research Institute
Santa Clara University School of Law
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
US EPA

A Few Words

About The Agenda

To advance the consideration of DER implementation in the water sector, a distributed renewable energy opportunities and policy workshop will be hosted as a series of three online sessions.

Participants will take part in multiple team based activities over those three days, with an overall objective in connecting science to policy to share experiences and knowledge on opportunities to successfully implement DER projects, specifically enabling bioenergy and solar energy opportunities, to consolidate lessons, best practices, and research outcomes into next steps to improve and increase success in working within the legal, regulatory and policy frameworks around DER.

There are also the broader aims to foster policy relevant research to ensure science better informs the decision-making process of resource recovery from water and wastewater utility systems.

The workshop proposes to utilize a science to policy approach that involves utilizing research outcomes to establish policy themes, challenging participants to relate policy themes to biogas and solar DER project development and outcomes (addressing barriers that hinder utilities from pursuing DER projects in a real-world context) and presenting their ideas.

For the workshop, participants will participate in activities designed to:

1. Communicate DER opportunities and identify key science to policy themes;
2. Hear from policymakers and outline the priority policy areas applicable to the water sector; and 
3. Create a fun environment for water, energy and related sector actors to share and learn options to Enable pathways for water/wastewater utilities to contribute to a renewable energy future;

Participants will gain:

• An appreciation of current DER science, regulations, and policy processes affecting DER projects
• Knowledge to discuss and defend DER opportunities in your organization
• Opportunity to interact and network with water and energy peers and policymakers

Results of the workshop will be summarized and reported in a project memorandum.

Workshop Schedule

Day 1

September 17, 3pm to 5pm EDT

COMMUNICATING THE SCIENCE – IDENTIFY THE POLICY THEMES

2:45 PM

Virtual Coffee

Join early for a virtual coffee meet

3:00 PM

Workshop overview

Speakers: Steven Conrad, Ashwin Dhanasekar,
Steven Kenway

3:10 PM

KEYNOTE POLICY OPENING

Speaker: Professor Catherine Sandoval

3:25 PM

DER POLICIES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Speakers: Steven Conrad, Steven Kenway 

3:40 PM

DER World Café

Table Facilitators: Steven Conrad, Steven Kenway, Ashwin Dhanasekar, Alice Strazzabosco

What are the Key regulatory / policy opportunities to enable greater uptake of renewable energy in water/wastewater systems?
4:45 PM

World Café discussion and CLosing comments

Day 2

October 15, 2pm to 5pm EDT

ADDRESSING THE KEY QUESTIONS/PRIORITY AREAS WITH A MINI TEAM EXERCISE

CREATING ACTIONABLE ITEMS

1:45 PM

Virtual Coffee

Join early for a virtual coffee meet

2:00 PM

Session 1 outcomes REview and session 2 objectives

Speakers: Steven Conrad, Steven Kenway, Ashwin Dhanasekar, Alice Strazzabosco

2:15 PM

context presentations - what has worked?

Speakers:
– Jane Atkinson Gajwani, Director, NYC DEP Office of Energy and Resource Recovery Programs
– James McCall, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
– Bipin Pathak, DC Water
– Rebecca O’Neil, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

3:00 PM

Identifying renewable Energy futureS

Exercise on renewable energy futures for water and wastewater utilities

3:15 PM

VIRTUAL COFFEE BREAK

networking opportunity

3:30 PM

TEAM BRIEFING

3:35 PM

Actionable items needed to Achieve renewable energy future

mini-team exercises backcasting renewable energy futures and identifying actions/elements needed to achieve it (within key theme areas from session 1)

4:30 PM

REport back

Group report back and discussion on priority actions

4:55 PM

NEXT STEPS

Next steps

Day 3

November 5, 2pm to 5pm EST

COLLECTING BUY IN ON THE POLICIES

1:45 PM

Virtual Coffee

Join early for a virtual coffee meet

2:00 PM

Welcome: session 3 objectives

Speaker: Steven Conrad

2:05 PM

Panel Discussion - learning from sucCess

Panelists:
Mayor Wade Troxell, City of Fort Collins, and Board member of the Platte River Power Authority, will join us to discuss city and regional DER strategies
Scott Gramm, Manager, Renewable Natural Gas with Fortis BC will be join us to discuss water to natural gas interconnection aspects and RNG programs
Joe Cantwell, Program manager for the Wisconsin Focus on Energy will discuss this statewide program for energy efficiency and market transformation

2:45 PM

SESSION 2 OUTCOMES REVIEW and discussion

Facilitator: Steve Conrad

Review and discussion of the 9 emerging policies for Enabling pathways for water/wastewater utilities to contribute to a renewable energy future

3:15 PM

VIRTUAL COFFEE BREAK

networking opportunity

3:30 PM

All in the details

Group exercises to identify implementation specifics for priority policies

4:30 PM

REport back and Discussion

4:55 PM

Workshop closing

Venue

The series of events will be hosted online and in coordination with this workshop series website.

Contact steve.conrad@colostate.edu if you have not received connection information.

In Cooperation with

Our Great Supporters