Hoeven Announces Agenda for 2017 Great Plains & EmPower ND Energy Conference

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced the agenda for this year’s Great Plains and EmPower ND Energy Conference, which is taking place Tuesday, October 10, at the National Energy Center of Excellence at Bismarck State College. The conference is hosted by North Dakota’s congressional delegation and governor, Bismarck State College, Great Plains Energy Corridor, KLJ and the North Dakota Department of Commerce. 

“Due to our focus on promoting growth and innovation, North Dakota is a key player in America’s energy renaissance,” Hoeven said. “Our annual EmPower ND Energy Conference is an opportunity to look to the future of energy production in our state and highlight new technologies, as well as the policies we need to develop and implement them, that will help deliver energy security and a strong economy for our state and nation.”

Speakers and panels will focus on the latest developments in the state’s energy industry and how innovation and technology are ushering in the future of energy development, allowing the nation to continue to develop all of its energy resources with better environmental stewardship. Hoeven will kick off the day’s presentations by outlining his priorities for America’s energy policy. Immediately following, the senator will hold a press conference with Bill Brown, the CEO of NET Power and keynote speaker for the conference.

The full agenda below is subject to change:

7:45 am           Registration

8:05 am           Welcome from Dr. Larry C. Skogen, President, Bismarck State College 

8:10 am           Video Messages from:

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum

United States Senator Heidi Heitkamp

Congressman Kevin Cramer

8:20 am           All of the Above: The Big Picture in State and National Energy Policy

United States Senator John Hoeven

Moderator: Jason Bohrer, President and CEO, Lignite Energy Council

Despite ups and downs in the energy industry, North Dakota remains a leader in many energy sectors thanks to an abundance of natural resources and technological advances. Hear from U.S. Senator Hoeven on his top priorities in energy policy and his thoughts on major issues affecting the industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions during this session.

9:00 am           Press Conference with Senator Hoeven and NET Power CEO Bill Brown

                        National Energy Center of Excellence - Room #432 

9:50 am           Allam Cycle Technology Developments and Implications for North Dakota

Bill Brown, CEO, NET Power

Introduced by Wade Boeshans, President and General Manager, BNI Energy

The Allam Cycle is a potentially transformational power technology that can significantly impact electricity generation, oil, gas and coal extraction, and industrial gas industries in North Dakota and around the world. NET Power is demonstrating the natural gas Allam Cycle at a pilot plant in La Porte, Texas. During this session, Bill Brown will discuss the Allam Cycle’s progress, including pilot plant status, commercial development activities, and its potential role in North Dakota.  

10:50 am         Networking Break 

11:00 am         Drone Innovations and Impacts to North Dakota Energy Industry

Michael Lamb, VP Operating Services & Enterprise Transformation, Xcel Energy

Matt Dunlevy, President and CEO, SkySkopes

Knut Gustavsen, CVP & President North America, eSmart Systems

Moderated by Trevor Woods, Director of Safety, Northern Plains UAS Test Site

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology is making a significant impact in the energy industry, utilized for inspecting damage, preventative maintenance, and safety surveillance. Speakers will discuss how drone technology, data and research are impacting the industry, and how regulations are adapting to a rapidly increasing sector.

12:15 pm        Lunch

1:15 pm          State Actions Challenge Wholesale Market Changes 

Raymond Gifford, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Matthew S. Larson, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

Dave Farnsworth, Manager of ND Power Generation & Engineering, Great River Energy

Randy Christmann, Commissioner, North Dakota Public Service Commission

Coal- and nuclear-based power are exiting wholesale power markets across the country, and states are reacting in a variety of ways to mitigate potential impacts in the electric grid. Hear from Raymond Gifford and Matthew Larson on their research of states actions, and join in a discussion focused on state and regional impacts resulting from the changing markets.

2:45 pm          Networking Break 

3:00 pm          Technology and Oil Development Update

Dr. Brian Kalk, Director of Energy Systems Development, Energy & Environmental Research Center

North Dakota is home to the Energy & Environmental Research Center which has several major projects underway to support and increase efficiency of the energy industry. Hear how the EERC is working with partners to advance technology and support the future of oil and gas development in the state.

3:30 pm          Development of the ND Department of Environmental Quality Update

Dave Glatt, Environmental Health Chief, North Dakota Department of Health

Legislators passed a bill this year to separate the Environmental Health Section from the North Dakota Department of Health, creating the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). By July 2019, the new DEQ will have oversight for all existing environmental programs, overseen by a new 13-member Environmental Review Advisory Board. Hear from the current chief of the Environmental Health Section, Dave Glatt, on development of the DEQ and major goals of the new department. 

4:00 pm          Wrap-up

North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford