2018 Energy Symposium - October 4, 2018
The Future of Alberta's Electricity System

Keynote Speakers:


The Honourable Christy Clark
Former Premier of British Columbia
Senior Advisor
Bennett Jones

The Honourable Christy Clark led Canada’s third largest province for over six years. Throughout her tenure, Clark demonstrated the strongest performance of any Canadian Premier for economic growth, fiscal management and job creation.
Clark’s vision focused squarely on improving the long term future for British Columbians. In her final budget, Clark’s government committed over $25B to infrastructure over the subsequent 3 years. This included $8B to build Site C, Canada’s largest new hydroelectric dam – a project that had been under consideration, but never started, by previous governments for almost 50 years. It will provide clean, renewable energy in BC for over 100 years, powering approximately 450,000 homes each year.

Arlene Strom
Vice President, Sustainability and Communications
Suncor Energy Inc.

Arlene Strom is the Vice President Sustainability & Communications at Suncor Energy Inc., a position she has held since March, 2013. She is responsible for Stakeholder and Aboriginal relations, reputation and brand, communications and issues management. She is also responsible for Suncor’s sustainability and outreach strategy, climate change strategy, environmental excellence support and for the management of the Suncor Energy Foundation. From August 2009 to March 2013, she was Vice President Communications & Stakeholder Relations and for six years prior to that she held various leadership positions within Suncor’s legal department.
Prior to joining Suncor Arlene worked for six years at Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP as a securities lawyer. She also taught securities law as a sessional at the University of Calgary law faculty for 3 years. During the first part of her career, Arlene held various positions in sales and marketing in the consumer packaged goods industry, working in cities from Vancouver to Halifax.
Arlene holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Trinity Western University and a Master of Arts in Political Science, as well as an LLB from the University of British Columbia.
Currently, Arlene is a member of the board of directors of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and is a community member of the EHS&S committee of the University of Calgary’s Board of Governors. She participates in the U of C Academy of Scholars program as a mentor. She represents Suncor on the CAPP Oil Sands Executive Policy committee, the strategy committee of the Oil Sands CEO Council and the steering committee for Oil Sands Community Alliance (formerly OSDG). In recent years, Arlene has also served a 3 year term as a public member of the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of Alberta, as a member of the Alberta Judicial Advisory Committee and was a member of the board of Calgary Opera.

Julia Pyper
Senior Editor
Greentech Media

Julia Pyper is a Senior Editor at Greentech Media covering clean energy policy, the solar industry, grid edge technologies and electric mobility. She previously reported for E&E Publishing, and has covered clean energy and climate change issues across the U.S. and abroad, including in Haiti, Israel and the Maldives. Julia holds degrees from McGill and Columbia Universities.


Jennifer Addison
Senior Vice President, Legal General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Jennifer Addison oversees the delivery of all Canadian legal services for EPCOR, as well as compliance, ethics and privacy functions. She is also responsible for corporate emergency preparedness and business continuity, physical security, facility management of EPCOR Tower and corporate supply chain / procurement. As Corporate Secretary, Jennifer works closely with EPCOR's Board of Directors. Jennifer joined EPCOR from Stantec where she worked for more than 10 years, most recently as Vice President and senior counsel for Canada and Corporate. Jennifer holds a law degree from Queen's University and is a member of the Law Society of Alberta.

Matthew Ayres
Market Surveillance Administrator 
Department of Economics, University of Calgary

Matt is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the university, who works full time as Chief Economist at the Alberta Market Surveillance Administrator (an agency that monitors the Alberta electricity market for breaches in rules and anti-competitive behavior).
Matt has also worked as expert consultant in the area of markets and electricity. His other work experience includes applied econometrics, forensic economics and teaching and research at U.K. universities. Matt has a BA and MA in economics and PhD from the Univiersity of Nottigham, U.K.

Vittoria Bellissimo
Executive Director
Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta (IPCAA)

Vittoria Bellissimo is the Executive Director of the Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta (IPCAA), a market, policy and regulatory advocacy organization that includes consumers from oil and gas, pipelines, agriculture, forest products, petrochemicals and steel industries. IPCAA is the largest electricity consumer organization in Alberta, and its members have an active interest in promoting a competitive electricity market.
Vittoria also serves as the Vice-Chair of Energy Efficiency Alberta, a government agency with a mandate to: raise awareness among energy consumers of energy use and the associated economic and environmental consequences; promote, design and deliver programs and carry out other activities related to energy efficiency, energy conservation and the development of micro-generation and small scale energy systems in Alberta; and promote the development of an energy efficiency services industry in Alberta.
Previously, Vittoria was a Project Manager in Market Structure at the Ontario Power Authority, and had roles in procurement at the Ontario Ministry of Energy, renewable energy research at the Scottish Parliament, and Construction IT at the University of Maribor, Slovenia.
Vittoria has a M.Sc. in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Engineering from Queen’s University, Canada. She is a licensed professional engineer (Ontario).

David Brown
Assistant Professor
Department of Economics, University of Alberta

David is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta's Department of Economics. His primary fields of interest are Energy Economics, Industrial Organization, Applied Econometrics, and Regulation. His secondary field is Health Economics.
His current research focuses on the impact of energy policies on the performance of electricity markets. His recent projects investigate the design of electricity retail tariffs in the presence of a growing penetration of demand-side management resources such as distributed generation in the form of residential solar panels and demand response mechanisms. In addition, he has several research projects that empirically analyze the performance of restructured electricity markets by measuring the degree of market power execution and inefficiencies in wholesale electricity procurement auctions. This research contributes to the ongoing debate over the performance of market-orient mechanisms in wholesale electricity markets. 
He has also written on topics associated with Child Healthcare Policy. In particular, this prior work contributes to a recently established Bayesian Imputation methodology used to correct for missing racial and ethnic information in patient-level data. This research illustrates the importance of accounting for racial and ethnic disparities when evaluating the performance of healthcare policies.

Jean-Denis Charlebois
Chief Economist
National Energy Board (NEB)

Jean-Denis Charlebois joined the NEB in 2006 and has held positions of increasing responsibility including Director and his current position of Chief Economist. He lead the analysis for a number of tolls and facilities hearings as well as public engagement initiatives. As a Director, he lead various multidisciplinary teams focused on public hearings, tolls and tariff matters and regulatory policy. Prior to joining the NEB, Jean-Denis worked at the Department of Finance in Ottawa and the Canadian International Development Agency.
Jean-Denis holds a bachelor's degree in commerce (finance) from HEC Montreal and a master's in economics from the University of Ottawa. He is also a CFA charter holder.

Kevin Dawson
Director, Market Design
Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)

Kevin Dawson is Director, Market Design at the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) and has been with the organization since 2010.
In this role he is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of AESO policies and market rules pertaining to the operation of Alberta’s wholesale electricity market, including the capacity market. Prior to joining the AESO, Mr. Dawson spent 12 years at TransAlta, holding progressively senior roles in the areas of market analysis, risk management, commercial and portfolio management and commodity hedging. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Economics and a Master of Arts degree in Economics, both from the University of Calgary. In addition, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder.

Meghan Harris-Ngae
Associate Partner, Climate Change, EHS and Sustainability Services

Meghan is an Associate Partner at EY and leads the Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCASS) practice. She has over 16 years of combined international and local experience in climate change, sustainability and international government relations. Meghan provides geo-political issue advisory and assurance services to multinational clients around the world in the public, mining, energy, utilities and consumer products sectors.

Sara Hastings-Simon
Managing Director
Pembina Institute

Sara Hastings-Simon is the managing director of the Alberta clean economy program with the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading energy think tank. Sara has expertise in clean tech, electricity grids and markets, and emissions reduction policy. She sits on the board of Emissions Reduction Alberta and was a member of the Alberta Clean Technology Task Force. She has worked with governments (provincial and national), utilities, renewable energy developers, financial institutions, and oil and gas companies. Her work has included development of a detailed model of the North American power sector, research on success factors in the cleantech industry, and development of international and domestic policy for climate change and emissions reduction. Prior to joining the Pembina Institute, Sara was the manager of the cleantech practice at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. She holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Geneva.

Bonnie Hiltz
Director, Power and Utilities
Sussex Strategy

Bonnie Hiltz has over a decade and a half of experience working in Ontario’s electricity sector.
Since 2005, Bonnie has been intimately involved with the evolution of electricity supply policies, having worked at both the Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Power Authority (now the IESO). She has contributed to the design and implementation of the coal phase-out strategy and multiple supply procurements. She was also involved in contract management functions for billions of dollars of supply agreements with the OPA/IESO.
Bonnie left the public sector in 2014 to oversee Government and Regulatory Affairs for a major international utility and energy services provider. In this role she advised on supply and de-carbonization policies and assisted business development efforts across Canada.
In her current role Bonnie serves a number of clients in the energy sector as they navigate the complex government and regulatory environment.
Bonnie has served on the Boards of CanSIA and CanWEA, has served as a mentor for young professionals, and has volunteered her time for a variety of organizations focused on topics ranging from renewable energy education to newcomer services.
Bonnie has an M.A. in International Relations and Political Science from the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. She is fluent in French and has also studied in the United States and Switzerland.

Daniel Jurijew
Vice President, Government & External Relations
Capital Power

Daniel Jurijew is currently Vice-President, Government & External Relations for Capital Power. Prior to his appointment to this role in August 2017, Daniel served for three years as Vice-President, Regulatory & Environmental Policy. Daniel has been with Capital Power since its inception in 2009 and has over 17 years of experience in electricity markets.
Daniel is accountable and responsible for Capital Power’s government relations and stakeholder engagement activities, and all of Capital Power’s internal and external communications, in all of the Canadian and US jurisdictions in which Capital Power has assets in operation or development. This currently includes Alberta, BC and Ontario in Canada, and fourteen US states. Daniel’s team is also responsible for preparing Capital Power’s reports and submissions regarding sustainability-related issues, including Capital Power’s Corporate Sustainability Report.
Daniel has participated on behalf of Capital Power in numerous working group and stakeholder processes undertaken by the Government of Alberta, AESO and other market agencies regarding a range of issues, recently including the Climate Leadership Panel review process, the Coal Secretariat process, and the Alberta Capacity Market Design process. Daniel currently represents Capital Power on the Board of Directors of the Independent Power Producers Society of Alberta (“IPPSA”), and is currently serving as Chair of IPPSA.
Prior to Capital Power, Daniel was with EPCOR Utilities Inc. He was Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs from 2001 – 2005, and Director, Strategic Initiatives from mid-2005 to June 2009. In his latter role, Daniel was primarily responsible for evaluating and leading commercial efforts relating to emerging generation technologies of potential interest to EPCOR. From October 1990 – July 2001, he was employed with the Alberta Department of Energy in various capacities including Economist, Senior Economist and, at the time of his departure, Director, Natural Gas.
Daniel graduated from the University of Alberta in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), with a specialization in Economics.

Andrew Leach
Associate Professor
Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta

Andrew Leach is an energy and environmental economist and is Associate Professor at the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from Queen’s University, and a B.Sc (Environmental Sciences) and M.A. (Economics) from the University of Guelph. His research spans energy and environmental economics with a particular interest in climate change policies. In 2015, Leach was Chair of Alberta’s Climate Change Leadership Panel, and in 2012-2013 he spent a year on leave from the University of Alberta as Visiting Scholar, Environment Canada, where he worked mostly on greenhouse gas policy for the oil and gas sector. Outside of work hours, his free time is spent with his two kids, Will and Caroline, as well as tweeting, blogging, cycling, and running.

Steve MacDonald
Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA)

Steve MacDonald is CEO of ERA, the Alberta-based, board-governed not-
for-profit corporation with a mandate to invest in innovative technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support Alberta’s continued economic success in a low carbon future. Prior to taking the leadership role at ERA, Steve had an extensive career in the Alberta Public Service, serving in a range of ministries including Treasury Board, Energy, Human Services, Innovation and Advanced Education and Executive Council. During this time, he led major initiatives to guide and transform policy and delivery systems to improve outcomes for Albertans including Alberta’s Social Policy Framework and the Climate Leadership Plan. He also currently instructs part-time in the University of Alberta’s MBA and Executive Education programs and is a Director on the Board of the Canada West Foundation.

Darren McCrank
Director, System Operations

Darren is the Director of System Operations for EPCOR’s Distribution and Transmission business joining EPCOR in January of 2016.
Prior to joining EPCOR, he worked at TransAlta, the AESO and Nortel Networks. At TransAlta, Darren worked in both thermal and renewable power in operational, maintenance, engineering and support services roles. At the AESO, Darren worked in both grid operations and market design.
Darren holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Royal Military College and a MBA from the University of Alberta.

Petr Musilek
Associate Chair and Professor 
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta

Dr. Musilek’s energy-related research focuses on the use of data analytics to support design and operation of future electric power grids. He studies the integration of renewables and distributed energy resources (DER) in the electric power grids, concentrating on energy management of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems combined with battery energy storage systems (BESS). He also examines how meteorological conditions impact the energy production and consumption patterns, and the characteristics and integrity of the power delivery infrastructure (dynamic thermal rating, ice accretion). To deal with the complexity and uncertainty of modern distributed energy systems, he often employs high-performance computing and methods of artificial intelligence, including reinforcement learning, deep neural networks, evolutionary computing, swarm intelligence, and fuzzy logic.

Jeff Reading
ATCO Innovation Team

Jeff is part of ATCO’s Innovation Team; whose role is to provide strategic leadership and direction to ATCO’s internal and external efforts to engage the new energy world.
Jeff has more than 35 years’ experience in the environmental field. He has worked in environmental and outdoor education with the North York Board of Education, Calgary Board of Education and provincially through the Alberta Teacher’s Association. Provided leadership to government with the City of Calgary’s Ecological Footprint Program and the Government of Alberta. Jeff has also been active in the not-for profit sector as VP, Social Enterprise at Climate Change Central (C3) and VP, Innovation and Business Development at Carbon Management Canada (CMC). He has also supported the build out of more than 20 energy and clean tech start-ups.
In addition, Jeff teaches at the University of Calgary; is the Chair for the Green Learning Canada Foundation (GLCF), co-founder and Board member of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE), an advisor with Carbon Talks Canada, a co-founding Board member with the Alberta Clean Tech Industry Alliance (ACTia) and sits of the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation Grant Review Committee.
When Jeff is not working, he enjoys international travel and wilderness adventures with his family.

Stacey Smythe
Executive Director of Markets Policy in Electricity
Alberta Energy

Stacey Smythe is the Executive Director of Markets Policy in electricity at Alberta Energy. She is responsible for the development and implementation of policy, regulation, and legislation for wholesale electricity markets in Alberta, including the design and implementation Alberta’s new capacity market. Stacey has served in wide range of roles for both the Alberta and Canada public services, including providing public policy advice on energy, economic development, Indigenous relations, health, and environment.
Stacey holds degrees from the University of Alberta and Simon Fraser University.

Carmen Velasquez
Vice President, Analytics
Darkhorse Analytics

Carmen Velasquez is Vice President, Analytics in Darkhorse Analytics. Prior to joining Darkhorse Analytics, she was the Executive Director, Energy Programs with the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta. Her role included co-leading the Centre for Research in Energy and the Environment, teaching, and developing new programs related to the Business School’s Natural Resources, Energy and Environment focus area. She has worked in the energy industry for over fifteen years. Her expertise covers fundamentals modeling and research across the energy spectrum of oil, natural gas, and power and throughout diverse geographical markets. Before joining the U of A, she was a Director of Crude Oil Markets for IHS Energy, based in Edmonton, where she was responsible for the development of short and medium-term market views related to Canadian energy markets. Before IHS, she was Head of Market Analytics for BP in Asia, based in Singapore, where she was responsible for creating analytics models to support short-term trading research, including refined product price outlooks. Ms. Velasquez also has experience in US and Canadian natural gas and power markets and previously held positions with BP and TransCanada in Houston and Calgary. She holds a BComm from the University of Calgary.

Justin Wheler
Executive Director of Regulatory and Compliance
Alberta Climate Change

Justin Wheler is the Executive Director of Regulatory and Compliance in the Alberta Climate Change Office. The Regulatory and Compliance Branch is responsible for implementation of the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation, including the associated emissions offset system, the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation, the Specified Gas Reporting Regulation, the Renewable Fuels Standard Regulation and the Bioenergy Producer Program. Justin is a Professional Engineer with a decade of experience in greenhouse gas regulation and policy. Justin is a proud alumnus of the University of Alberta (Civil: Environmental Engineering Option (Co-op)).

Tim Weis
Industrial Professor 
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta

Prior to joining the University of Alberta, Tim spent much of his career focused the interactions of technology, policy and business for renewable energy, including working for the Pembina Institute, the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the Government of Alberta. Currently, he is cross-appointed to the Centre for Applied Business Research in Energy and the Environment (CABREE) in the Alberta School of Business as the Executive Director of Electricity Research, where he is working on questions around the evolution of Alberta’s electricity market as it transitions off of coal to an increasing role for renewable energy, including the role for energy storage, wind energy price impacts and policy modelling.