Spring Forum: Strategic Electrification



Explore the opportunities and challenges of strategic electrification


Event Date

4/10/2018 2:00:00 PM

Event Location

Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Hall
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Forum is from 2:00 to 4:30 with a happy hour to follow


Event Details

As the mantra to "electrify everything" intensifies, we'll need to develop a clear understanding of what that goal means and what it will take to get us there. Electrification may be our only practical pathway to decarbonization, but that doesn't reduce the need for a keen awareness of what we're undertaking.

To ensure solid steps in a logical sequence, while avoiding big or costly missteps, Minnesota's progress will need to be strategic and data-driven. Join us on April 10 when national and local energy experts will help:

  • Outline the potential for electrifying the economy to decarbonize
  • Dig into some key technologies driving this transition
  • Explore policy implications and regulatory efforts already taking shape

For the most informed perspective, you'll hear from a wide range of voices — from emerging tech to an evolving grid, and from ongoing natural gas reliance to electric innovations. 

Sheryl Carter, Director, Power Sector | Natural Resources Defense Council

Panel Presenters
Kate Desrochers | Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Ashley Horvat | Greenlots
Dan Lipschultz | Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
Richard D. Murphy | American Gas Association
Ben Schoenbauer | Center for Energy and Environment

Jessica Burdette | MN Dept of Commerce, Energy Resources
Megan Hoye | Center for Energy and Environment

Speaker Bios

Jessica-b100.jpgJessica Burdette, State Energy Office Manager, MN Dept of Commerce, Energy Resources. Burdette is responsible for the regulation of over 180 utility efficiency programs to achieve the 1.5% energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) through the Conservation Improvement Program. She oversees policy development related to demand-side and supply-side efficiency and combined heat and power under the EERS. Burdette also oversees a variety of public sector conservation programs and is accountable for more than $250 million in related federal, state, and utility spending. Burdette is an Iowa State University alumni.

Sheryl Carter, Director, Power Sector, NRDC. At NRDC, Carter promotes the development and adoption of energy efficiency and other clean energy strategies to reduce the public health, environmental, and global warming impacts of our energy production and use and to increase energy equity and affordability. She has represented NRDC in numerous regulatory proceedings, rule makings, and legislative efforts across the country, and she sits on the boards of the Electric Power Research Institute and the California Foundation on Environment and the Economy. 

Kate Desrochers, Senior Analyst, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. Desrochers specializes in the research and analysis of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems, with a focus on grid modernization and integration. Desrochers brings a deep understanding of distributed energy resources, their effect on the grid, and their value based on location, flexibility, and other attributes. Embracing a "total energy" perspective, her ongoing research includes exploring how increases in biomass heating and the electrification of heating and transportation sectors can be targeted to increase grid stability.

Ashley Horvat, VP, Public & Private Partnerships, Greenlots,  As Vice President of Public & Private Partnerships, Horvat leads a new infrastructure model for Greenlots, spearheading mobility projects that merge various sectors to advance electric mobility globally, nationally, and locally. She brings a decade of electric vehicle industry expertise and leadership to the company. Prior to Greenlots, Horvat served as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at PlugShare and the Chief Electric Vehicles Officer for the State of Oregon, where she led EV policy development. 

Megan Hoye, Engagement Manager, CEE. Hoye develops and evaluates energy pilot and demonstration opportunities for programs and utility services. Her work focuses on new construction, advanced energy district planning, and transitioning to electrified transportation, where she looks to increase access to energy innovation. She works with communities, developers, utilities, and policymakers to establish measurable learning opportunities. At its core, Megan’s work is user-centered, studying individual usability and market trends, so that customer engagement is an active part of testing solutions.

Dan Lipschultz, Vice-chair, MN Public Utilities Commission. Commissioner Lipschultz was appointed to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by Governor Mark Dayton in 2014, and appointed Vice Chair in 2017. He is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and has served previously as Chair of the Bar Association’s Public Utilities Law Section and its Communications Law Section. As both a public and private sector attorney, Commissioner Lipschultz has practiced law in the areas regulated by the Commission for over 25 years. 

Richard D. Murphy, Managing Director, Sustainable Growth, American Gas Association. Murphy works with AGA’s member companies to explore new business models and leadership strategies for natural gas utilities to deploy in an evolving energy economy. This role is responsible for leading priority initiatives intended to support growth for natural gas utilities as well as long-term value for its customers. Murphy earned his MBA degree from Northeastern University and a Bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts - Lowell.

Ben Schoenbauer, Senior Research Engineer, CEE. Schoenbauer has been with CEE since 2008. He conducts research on new and innovative technologies and ideas dealing with residential and commercial energy efficiency. This includes identifying new research opportunities, conducting studies, and disseminating findings. Schoenbauer’s areas of focus include water heater performance, service water heating, and residential HVAC systems. He earned his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. 


This event is free, but registration is required.

This forum is funded in part by The McKnight Foundation.
Image credit: Sarah via cc