Event Profile

NWPPA/APA Pot & Power: A Growing Issue for Alaska Utilities

December 4, 2017
Anchorage Hilton
500 W. Third Ave.
Anchorage, AK 99501 
Not available
This event has a fee


The pre-registration is currently closed. If you would like to attend this event, please come to the NWPPA registration desk at the hotel, and our onsite coordinator will be happy to help you.

Who Should Attend:

General managers, policymakers, operations managers, key accounts managers and communications managers.

Workshop Overview:

Is your utility dealing with large load issues from marijuana growers? Are you working with growers to establish good customer relationships? Do you struggle with internal impacts such as cash on hand and other security issues as a result of marijuana legalization? Whether you are currently working through these issues or your utility will soon be facing these issues, you’ll want to attend this workshop to get answers to your questions about the growing issues facing the utility industry.

During this one-day workshop, NWPPA will host a series of speakers, including Kent Singer, executive director, Colorado REA; and Jeff Bauman, electrical engineer, Cowlitz PUD. In addition to the session speakers, a panel of CEOs/GMs will be on hand to discuss experiences they are facing in their utility: customizing loading and upsizing lines, custom transformers, whether or not growers and increased loads are here to stay, what happens to the business model if marijuana is legalized at the federal level and much more.

Workshop Agenda:

8-8:15 a.m. Welcome

    Crystal Enkvist, Executive Director, APA; and Jenny Keesey, Training Manager, NWPPA


8:15-9:15 a.m. The Utility Impact from the Marijuana Industry

    A presentation on marijuana growing operations and their impacts on the utility electric system and business processes. Legalization brings to light unique issues with serving these loads. This presentation is intended to share experiences with new recreation growers as well as the established medical growing industry.


    Speaker: Jeff Bauman, Electrical Engineer, Cowlitz PUD


9:15-9:45 a.m. Cannabis & Kilowatts: Is Marijuana Legalization a Boom or Bust for Colorado’s Electric Co-ops?

    Colorado’s electric co-ops continue to deal with the pros and cons of the legalization of recreational marijuana. Although new loads and revenues from grow operations have offset overall decreased demand, the monetary benefits may be outweighed by operational and safety concerns. From transformer overloads to power theft to large cash payments for electric bills, co-ops are dealing with new challenges that are directly related to marijuana growth and consumption. This presentation will explain why marijuana legalization hasn’t been a Rocky Mountain High for Colorado’s electric co-ops.


    Speaker: Kent Singer, Executive Director, Colorado REA


9:45-10 a.m. Break

10-11:30 a.m. Utility Professionals Panel Discussion

    Professionals from utilities with varying degrees of experience with the marijuana industry will talk about the issues they have faced and what’s to come.


    Moderator: Kent Singer, Executive Director, Colorado Rural Electric Association

    Panelists: Cory Borgeson, President and CEO, Golden Valley Electric Association; Linda Gott, Commissioner, Mason County PUD No. 3; and Tom Oliver, Director of Engineering, Consumers Power, Inc.


11:30 a.m.-noon Alaska Marijuana License Approval Process: Working with Local Governments

    The Alaska Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office monitors over 2,000 alcohol licenses and more than 150 marijuana licenses (and growing!) with a team of fewer than eight enforcement officers and four license examiners. The licensing process relies heavily on input from local governments and the public. Utilities can effectively contribute to this process by engaging concerns in a timely fashion and collaborating with other state agencies and local governments to ensure public safety and efficient stewardship of public resources.


    Speaker: Jedediah Smith, Local Government Specialist, Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office


Noon-1 p.m. Lunch

    Presentation: How the Municipality of Anchorage Crafted Local Ordinances to Regulate a New Industry


    Speakers: Pete Petersen and Amy Demboski, Assembly Members, Anchorage Assembly


1-2 p.m. What’s Happening in Alaska?

    Representatives of three of Alaska’s largest electric utilities will report on the cannabis industry activities in their respective service territories. Among other things, they’ll discuss the number of cultivation facilities locating in their service territories and how they’re working with these new businesses to meet their needs. They’ll also talk about the work they’ve done with local governance authorities and how their organizations are prepared to do business with this new industry.


    Speakers: Jeremy Forsting, Senior Engineer, Golden Valley Electric Association; Ed Jenkin, Director of System Operations & Planning, Matanuska Electric Association; and Phil Steyer, Director Government Relations, Chugach Electric Association


2-4 p.m. Alaska Cannabis Industry Issues

    2– 2:30 p.m. Cannabis Acceptance – the Inevitable Oxymoron
      A short history of cannabis and what will be necessary for the cannabis industry to reach the point of acceptance and normalization


      Speaker: Cary Carrigan, Executive Director, Alaska Marijuana Industry Association


    2:30–3 p.m. Operating a Cultivation Facility


      Speaker: Jordan Huss, CEO, Great Northern Cannabis


    3-4 p.m. - Alaska Cannabis Industry Challenges and Developments

      Discussion of issues surrounding power needs and the impacts on the Alaskan cannabis industry. How do these businesses plan for such needs? Plus, a brief regulatory overview of cannabis law in Alaska and how it has evolved over the past few years.


      Speaker: Jana Weltzin, Attorney and Principal Owner, JDW, LLC


4-4:45 p.m. Recap and reflection

    Speaker: Cory Borgeson, President & CEO, Golden Valley Electric Association


4:45-5 p.m. Evaluations and closing

Workshop Schedule:

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the workshop will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch, as well as morning and afternoon breaks, will be provided.

Workshop Location & Hotel Information:

Hilton Anchorage
500 West Third Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 272-7411

Room rate: $99 single/double

Please book your room as soon as possible, but no later than November 3, 2017, to secure this rate. Mention that you are with Northwest Public Power Association (group code NWPPD) when booking your reservation.

Workshop Fees:

Utility Member Early Bird (extended through 12/04/2017): $500
Utility Member Standard: $575

Associate Member Early Bird (extended through 12/04/2017):$750
Associate Member Standard: $825

Non-member Early Bird (extended through 12/04/2017):$1,500
Non-member Standard: $1,575

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations are accepted, with full refund, if request is made at least 30 days prior to the course. Within 30 days, fees are as follows: 15-29 days, $100; 1-14 days or "no show," 100 percent of registration fee. When possible, please send a substitute instead of canceling. NWPPA does not charge a fee for substitutions.

Continuing Hours:

This workshop qualifies for 6 continuing hours. Certificates are issued upon full completion of the event.

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Anchorage Hilton

For More Information:

To find out more about this course, to register, or to learn about other events, view the Training and Event Catalog.

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