Industry Panels

Industry Panels at EPEC 2020

November 9th, 10th & 12th 2020

Virtual (Edmonton, Canada)

Industry Panel #1: Regional Grid Interconnections and Integration of Renewables

Date: November 10th, 2020 10:25 AM – 12.00 PM MST

Purpose

The panel of industry experts will discuss the development of domestic grid interconnection within Canada, cross-border interconnections and power trade between Canada and the United States for greater integration of wind and solar generation in North America. The cost/benefit analysis for enhanced regional interconnected power grid, the potential power grid interconnection opportunities that exist and the challenges that need to be overcome for the sector to get there.

Session Outline

Duration
(2 Hours)
Contents
Moderator: Ahsan Upal, Burns & McDonnell
Opening Remarks
10 minAhsan Upal, Burns & McDonnell
Panel Presentations
  Speaker Presentation 80 min (15min each)Panelists
Frank Qiankun Wang, Executive Director North America at GEIDCO
Francis Bradley, President & CEO at CEA
Amir Motamedi, Manager at System Planning AESO
Tim Eckle, VP, Asset Management, Planning and Sustainability at Saskpower
Philip Martin Duguay, VP Canada at Anbaric
Q&A Period
Q&A Discussion
30 min
  Moderated questions from the audience.

Industry Panel #2: Envisioning the Future Mix of Energy in Canada and The Role of Nuclear, Hydrogen and Others

Date: November 9th, 2020 10:25 AM – 12.25 PM MST

Purpose

What will the future of our energy mix look like continues to be a subject of evolving debate. As more and more intermittent wind and solar generation is integrated into the energy supply mix attention to finding lower emission high energy density firm resources has intensified. There has been much focus on nuclear Small Modular Reactors and hydrogen fuel cells. What promise do these technologies hold for the Canadian energy mix, our market and what is the technology development potential by 2030. What is the role of the existing plants and fuel sources during and beyond the transition? These questions and more will be addressed by the panel of industry leaders.

Session Outline

Duration
(2 Hours)
Contents
Moderator: Ahsan Upal, Burns & McDonnell
Opening Remarks
10 minAhsan Upal, Burns & McDonnell
Panel Presentations
  Brief Remarks 75 min (15min/person)Panelists
Theresa Dekker – VP, Corporate Development and Strategy at OPG and Co-President at Ivy Charging Network
Nicolas Pocard – Director Marketing at Ballard Power Systems
Keith Yasinski – Manager, Investment Optimization at TransAlta
Jeff Reid, Director, Energy Canada  at Burns & McDonnell
Q&A Period
Q&A Discussion
35 min
  Moderated Questions from the audience.

Industry Panel #3: Critical Infrastructure Enabling First Nations Empowerment

Date: November 12th, 2020 8:00 AM – 9.30 AM MST

Purpose

The development of basic and critical infrastructure such as power and broadband is fundamental to improving the lives of Aboriginal communities. It enables them to start and connect local businesses, bring educational programs to their youth, create employment and indigenous empowerment for their communities ultimately bridging social and economic gaps and creating a more equitable Canada. Hear from these pioneering Indigenous industry leaders who turned to technology by building and owning critical infrastructure on their lands as the sure way to create bright future for their communities.

Session Outline

Duration
(1.5 Hours)
Contents
Moderator: Ahsan Upal, Burns & McDonnell
Opening Remarks
10 minAhsan Upal, Burns & McDonnell
Panel Presentations
  Speaker Presentation 60 min (15min each)Panelists
Margaret Kenequanash – Wataynikaneyap Power, CEO
Guy Lonechild – President and CEO at First Nations Power Authority
Lisa Clarke – CEO at Clear Sky Connections
Shaun Willy – President & CEO at Des Nedhe Development
Q&A Period
Q&A Discussion
20 min
  Moderated questions from the audience.

Speakers

Ahsan Upal – Regional Manager, Burns & McDonnell and IEEE Industry Chair

Ahsan is the national business development leader with Burns & McDonnell, an EPC engineering firm specializing in all aspects of power generation, transmission and distribution, storage and renewables with 55 offices globally including in Calgary and Toronto.

Ahsan has 20 years of experience in engineering and projects leadership roles with an electrical transformer manufacturer, major electric and oil/gas pipeline utilities and consulting firms managing teams to execute major infrastructure projects in power, pipelines and utility telecommunication networks. Ahsan worked with AltaLink managing transmission projects in northern Alberta, with Enbridge leading development and execution of Canadian pipeline expansion projects and then consulted with the AESO on the 500kV Fort McMurray West Transmission project before joining Burns & McDonnell in 2015.

Ahsan is a professional electrical engineer and serves as the national chair of Industry at IEEE Canada and served on boards at The Alex Community Health and Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta (IPCAA). Ahsan is an active member of the Canadian Electricity Association and member of Calgary and Ontario Chambers.

Frank Qiankun Wang, Executive Director of GEIDCO North America Office

Frank (Qiankun)Wang is the Executive Director of GEIDCO North America Office based in New York City. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Research Division, Acting Director of Research also with GEIDCO.

Before GEIDCO, Frank worked for a short period of time in the Research Department and Global Energy Interconnection office of State Grid Corporation of China, where he was responsible for Global Energy Interconnection research projects.

He started his career in 2008 in the State Grid Economic and Technological Research Institute, which evolved into State Grid Energy Research Institute (SGERI) later as a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China, where he served as Senior Program Manager at the  Research Department of New Energy and Energy Statistics.

Frank holds a BA in German Language and Literature, a Double BA in International Policies and Relations, and a MA in Educational Science from Peking University, China.

Francis Bradley, President & CEO at CEA

Francis Bradley is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA). Francis has worked at CEA for 33 years in a variety of roles, most recently as Chief Operating Officer since 2014. Francis is a frequent speaker on security, technology, industry transformation and the future of the electricity industry. He was a co-author for 5 years of the annual North American Electric Industry Outlook published jointly by the Washington International Energy Group and CEA.

Amir Motamedi – Manager, System Planning at AESO

Amir Motamedi joined the AESO in 2011, and he is currently manager of System Planning. Amir has over 15 years of experience in operation, planning, economic modeling and forecasting of power systems and electricity markets. Amir holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Calgary. He is an adjunct professor with ECE Department of the University of Calgary. Amir holds the designation of Professional Engineer with APEGA. He is also a senior member of IEEE.

Tim Eckle – VP, Asset Management, Planning and Sustainability at SaskPower

Tim Eckel became Vice-President, Asset Management, Planning and Sustainability in 2017 and previously served as Vice-President, Transmission Services since 2015. He has over 30 years of experience in various roles at SaskPower, including Engineering Supervisor and Manager, Asset Management and Field Services.

He holds a diploma in Electrical Engineering Technology from Saskatchewan Polytechnic, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Regina. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan.

Philip Martin Duguay – VP Canada at Anbaric

Philip Duguay is Vice President, Canadian Operations, working with provincial utilities, Indigenous entities, planning authorities, independent generators and various levels of government across the nation.

Prior to joining Anbaric, Mr. Duguay held strategic advisory roles managing energy policy issues for the Québec Government Office in Boston, and the Government of the Northwest Territories. He has also worked on international development initiatives in Senegal, Ethiopia, Indonesia and South Africa. Mr. Duguay holds law degrees from the McGill University, Faculty of Law, and a BA from Dalhousie University. He is based in Montreal, Québec.

Theresa Dekker – Vice President, Corporate Business Development & Strategy at Ontario Power Generation and Co-President at Ivy Charging Network

Theresa Dekker is the Vice President of Corporate Business Development and Strategy at Ontario Power Generation (OPG), accountable for development of OPG’s corporate strategy, as well as various elements of execution. This involves understanding how the energy industry is evolving and how OPG can continue to be a leader in that transformation to the benefit of all Ontarians. A key part of this work involves leveraging Ontario’s low-emitting electricity to drive down transportation emissions. That is why Ms. Dekker is proud to oversee OPG’s Electrification Development team and sit on the board of the Ivy Charging Network, as Co-President. Ivy is the result of a partnership between OPG and Hydro One to build and operate Ontario’s largest and most reliable EV fast charging network.

Ms. Dekker joined OPG in 2004 and has held a variety of positions throughout the company, gaining experience in Nuclear Project Management, Organizational Design, and Enterprise Risk Management.  In her most recent role as Director of Corporate Strategy and Planning, Ms. Dekker led the acquisitions of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy and Cube Hydro, expanding OPG’s hydroelectric portfolio into the U.S. Ms. Dekker holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of Toronto and is a Professional Engineer.

Nicolas Pocard – Director Marketing at Ballard Power Systems

Nicolas Pocard, Director of Marketing, brings to Ballard more 20 years of experience in business development and marketing at international level.

Nicolas Pocard joined the fuel cell industry in 2004 and Ballard Power Systems in 2012. In 2014, he was appointed Director of Marketing at Ballard corporate headquarters in Vancouver. Among his responsibilities, Nicolas looks after corporate market strategy, marketing activities and government relations for Ballard.

Nicolas Pocard is the Vice-Chair of the Board of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) and a Board member of the California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) and of the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC). He also represents Ballard with various Industry Associations and Government forums.

Mr. Pocard holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from ESCOM (Paris) and a Master’s of Science from The Ohio State University (USA).

Jeff Reid, Director, Energy Canada at Burns & McDonnell

Jeff Reid is director of Canada for Burns & McDonnell’s Energy Group, which is the company’s power generation division. Jeff oversees new generation opportunities, power generation upgrades, retrofits and related expansion activities across Canada. Over his 21-year career with Burns & McDonnell, Mr. Reid has been instrumental in fostering client relationships, developing and executing new generation projects, large-scale air quality control retrofits and a range of other plant upgrades to fossil-fuel power generation plants operated by the largest utilities in North America. He has been instrumental in developing the firm’s engineer-procure-construct (EPC) project delivery. More recently, he has helped the firm win several reciprocating engine power projects for utilities needing fast-start power resources to complement the addition of large-scale renewable generation.

A civil engineer with a structural emphasis, Reid began his career at Burns & McDonnell in 1997, working initially in the oil and gas sector, and then on large retrofits, expansions and repowering of coal-fired power facilities prior to moving into a business development role in 2001. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1994 and master’s degree in 1997, both from Iowa State University.

Keith Yasinski – Manager, Investment Optimization at TransAlta

Keith Yasinski is professional engineer and registered PMP working for TransAlta in Alberta Canada.  He has spent the last 20 years working in power generation with TransAlta who owns, operates and develops electrical power in Canada, the United States and Australia.  As a father of 4 he plays hard and finds healing slower than it used to be.

Margaret Kenequanash – CEO at Wataynikaneyap Power

Margaretis the CEO of Wataynikaneyap Power, an electrical transmission utility, equally owned by 24 First Nations in partnership with Fortis and other private investors to bring grid connection to the remote First Nations currently powered by diesel generators. Prior to becoming CEO, Margaret held the position of Executive Director of the Shibogama First Nations Council from 2005-2017. Margaret received the “Executive of the Year” award at the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) Business Awards in 2008 and the Emile Nakogee award for “Outstanding Leadership” presented by Nishnawbe Aski Nation in 2016. Prior to joining Shibogama, Margaret obtained her post-secondary education in business, notably achieving and receiving an Academic Honour Roll award. Margaret has a vast wealth of knowledge gleaned over the past 20 years in various high level positions, including being on the Sioux Lookout Municipal Council from 1990-1994. Margaret carries the distinction of being the first female Chief in her northern home community at North Caribou Lake First Nation when she was elected in 1996 and is well known and respected throughout First Nation communities, and government Ministries for her remarkable work in promoting a better quality of life, and opportunities for First Nation peoples.

Lisa Clarke, CEO of Clear Sky Connections

Lisa Clarke BSc, BA, is from Norway House Cree Nation, Manitoba, and is the Chief Executive Officer for Clear Sky Connections. Lisa has worked for First Nations for many years in building leadership, self-governance, tripartite partnerships & community technological capacity. Specifically, for the Building the Manitoba First Nations Network of the Future initiative 12 years ago until today Lisa led the grassroots development of the eHealth-Information & Communication Technology long term strategy that the network is a key component of. Training at several Universities across Canada has led to various levels of certification, & the opportunity to observe other cultures & institutional thinking, how it has transformed Indigenous thought & more importantly – Life. The significance of working for First Nation communities & making sure future generations have the tools & knowledge for self-sustaining economic development & networks is constantly reinforced through the growth of her children and adopted children of the Youth ICT Committee. Lisa’s drive comes from the belief that First Nations must have the opportunities & supports to pursue anything that is available to all other Manitobans & Canadians. Her children, 10-year-old Gabriel, and 5-year-old twins Neepin (Summer) and Seekwun (Spring) are the roots to building a foundation for the forthcoming generations that will reap the benefits of Manitoba’s Network of the Future.

Guy Lonechild – President and CEO at First Nations Power Authority

Mr. Lonechild is a well-known advocate in creating new economic opportunities and serves as President and CEO of First Nations Power Authority connecting both Indigenous and Industry leaders in renewable and alternative energy development.  As a first of its kind organization, Mr. Lonechild heads the organization and serves the FNPA Board and provides leadership direction to the FNPA Team.

Guy served as Vice-Chief and Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (1999-2008 and 2009-2011), where he oversaw the 25-year Economic Development Strategy highlighting important work in Alternative Energy, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Tourism, Gaming, Housing and Community Infrastructure, Education, Health and Social Development.

Before entering politics, Guy served in various capacities as band administrator and private consultant to First Nations in Business and Community Development.  He holds a MBA in Strategic Leadership from Cape Breton University and Associates Degree in Golf Complex Operations Management. He and his wife Leah have one child, Darian Lonechild and enjoy quality time with friends and extended family.

Shaun Willy – President & CEO at Des Nedhe Development

Sean Willy was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Des Nedhe Development in August 2017 after a 20-year career in the resource industry and an extensive history in executive leadership, community development and human resources.

Willy joined Des Nedhe as Vice President in July 2016 and led numerous business development initiatives for Des Nedhe. His experience with Indigenous communities and corporations enabled him to establish strong ties between Des Nedhe companies and numerous Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners.

With roots in the Denesuline and Metis communities, Sean brings an understanding of the expectations and needs of Indigenous people. Growing up in a mining household, he experienced life in communities across the Canadian Shield – from the Northwest Territories to Nunavut to Alberta to Saskatchewan.

In his role as Director, Corporate Responsibility at Cameco, Sean developed the strategies and led all negotiations which saw Cameco build upon its successful track record with Indigenous peoples. This led to Sean building partnerships in Australia, the United States, and throughout Canada. Sean’s greatest career achievement was signing five community-based agreements in Australia and in northern Saskatchewan and completing the most unique legacy trust fund in Canada, the Six River Trust.

Sean also serves as co-chair of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, chair of the highly successful training partnership Northern Career Quest and a director of the Global Indigenous Trust.