Decision makers, developers of Texas transmission grid meet in San Antonio

The leaders and decision-makers responsible for reshaping the Texas transmission grid will meet in San Antonio January 29 and 30 for TransForum Texas, the latest in a series of transmission forums around the country presented by TransmissionHub.

A panel focusing on the recently completed Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission initiative will kick off the conference with a discussion of lessons learned.

“One of the keys to successfully completing our portion of the CREZ project was finding the right partners and contractors who were a good fit with the culture of our company,” Mark Caskey, president of Sharyland Utilities told TransmissionHub.

Rob Seiler of the Lower Colorado River Authority, Michael Hutson of RES Americas, and Glen Hodges of Pattern Energy will join Caskey.

The day will conclude with a discussion on transmission planning in ERCOT, including the challenges of ever-evolving technical requirements and the impact of oil field growth on the system.

Kent Saathoff, ERCOT executive advisor, said several standing and ad-hoc groups of stakeholders participate in defining short- and long-term system needs and defining the most cost-effective projects to meet those needs. Saathoff, Hala Ballouz, president of Electric Power Engineers, and Dr. Mandhir Sahni, vice president of PwrSolutions, will provide presentations and entertain questions.

Getting transmission involved in resource adequacy will open the discussion on the second day, with perspectives provided by Adil Caner Sener of ICF International, Sheila Keane of London Economics, and Dave Johnston representing the Organization of MISO States.

A panel on innovations in technology that are affecting the industry will follow, moderated by Carey King, assistant director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

Robert King, president and founder of the Texas Energy Storage Alliance, Jake Gentle with Idaho National Laboratory, and Becky Diffen with the law firm Vinson & Elkins are panelists.

Following the keynote address by U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the conference will conclude with perspectives provided by a pantheon of industry executives.

“CREZ has been a major focus for us for more than five years, and now that it’s done, we’ll be looking at what opportunities we have in front of us after CREZ,” Stuart Nelson, Vice President of Transmission Planning with LCRA, told TransmissionHub Jan. 23.

The session will be led by moderator Rick Frantz, director of grid development for ITC Great Plains. Kim Casey of Electric Transmission Texas (ETT), Ben Bosco of Quanta Services, and Michael Quinn from Oncor Electric Delivery will also share their views on the state of the transmission industry in Texas, its accomplishments to date, and the challenges it will face heading into the future.

Space is still available. For DistribuTECH attendees, the cost for registration is only $295, or 67% off the price for private companies and manufacturers.

TransmissionHub subscribers receive a 15 percent discount with the code “THUB15.”

Visit for more information and to register for TransForum Texas.

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