SmartPower’s Brian F. Keane To Be Featured Speaker at Utility Conference Solar Marketing Expert To Speak On Challenges and Opportunities for Nations’ Utility Companies Scottsdale, Arizona — Public Utilities Fortnightly, the 100-year-old publication that has guided the electricity industry through most of its history, today announced that Brian F. Keane, President of the award-wining non-profit, SmartPower, will be a featured speaker at its upcoming Conference “Utilities In A Time of Change & Challenge” on November 17th and 18th. Keane is described as a man on a mission to bring solar power to every roof where it can be deployed, until solar has an equal position in the nation’s energy mix. Currently, his organization is conducting effective campaigns to increase rooftop solar in states from coast to coast – from Connecticut and South Carolina and from Rhode Island to Minnesota. “Keane is leading the advance guard in the revolution in clean power, which is both revolutionizing the electric utility industry and raising questions about the old business model for the industry going forward,” said Llewellyn King, Editor-at-Large of Public Utility Fortnightly. Keane’s organization also works with utilities, so he brings an important perspective. “We are delighted that he will be sharing his insights and has agreed to participate in this critical issues conference.” Keane may not have an easy time selling the brave new world of rooftop solar to many at the conference, some of whom believe it will harm the traditional utilities’ business models or believe that the grid will become uneconomic, a kind of Amtrak. Other major speakers include Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of the Southern Company, Susan Bitter Smith, chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission, and Robert Murray, chairman of the largest privately owned coal company which bears his name. While some utilities have worked with solar providers, others have been more apprehensive.
The concern is that solar will destroy the utility business model and weaken the utility grid, as prime customers become generators and use state laws on net metering to sell back to the utilities. “All the bits have to fit together, including the future of the grid, the elegant inclusion of solar and wind, the balance of generating in the demand cycle, and the development, in a timely way, of superior storage technologies,” continued Fortnightly’s King. “Brian will give as well as he gets, I can guarantee that, as I have debated with him in the past.” “We are thrilled to have Mr. Keane participate in our upcoming conference, Utilities in a Time of Change and Challenge,” said Joseph Paparello, Publisher of Public Utility Fortnightly. “The goal of this meeting is to facilitate a conversation about new technologies that are changing the traditional utility business model. And as we do in Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine, we want all sides represented. Brian’s presence helps us achieve that goal.” The Utilities in a Time of Change and Challenge Conference takes place in Scottsdale, Arizona on November 17th and 18th. For more information or to attend the conference, visit: http://pufconference.com ###