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Infrastructure Resilience 

Ian Bramson, David Yonce, Jason De Stigter

In discussions cantered around energy resilience, several key themes emerged. One prominent point highlighted the critical need for improved communication and collaboration during energy crises. Participants emphasized the importance of coordination to manage issues such as demand surges and operational disruptions in pipelines effectively. Additionally, cybersecurity emerged as a pressing concern, with organizations urged to conduct thorough lessons learned sessions to identify vulnerabilities and prevent adversaries from exploiting weaknesses.

Another significant takeaway was the necessity of pre-planning for resilience. Infrastructure must be designed with worst-case scenarios in mind, requiring upfront evaluation and planning to ensure its ability to withstand various challenges. Moreover, the distinction between Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) in cybersecurity was discussed. While traditionally separate, the increasing interconnectivity between IT and OT systems presents unique challenges, particularly concerning critical infrastructure.

Lastly, attracting talent to the energy sector emerged as a persistent challenge. Despite the availability of advanced tools and technology, younger generations may perceive infrastructure-related careers as unexciting until failures occur. This highlights the need for proactive efforts to showcase the importance and appeal of roles in energy resilience and infrastructure management.

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Modernizing Power Plants

Kayla Messamore

Kayla discussed Evergy's approach to power generation planning in Missouri and Kansas, focusing on their Integrated Resource Planning (IRPs) to meet future energy demands. She detailed how Evergy balances traditional power sources and renewable energy, like solar and wind, with demand-side measures to create a cost-efficient and sustainable energy portfolio. Emphasizing resource adequacy and the impact of market dynamics, she highlighted Evergy's shift towards a more diversified energy mix by 2040, aiming for reliability and environmental sustainability.

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Investment in Energy Transportation

Miriam Bouallegue, Sejal Shah, Mark Piazza

The session explored the changing dynamics of energy transportation, particularly focusing on electric vehicles (EVs) and sustainability. Miriam Bouallegue highlighted the Metropolitan Energy Center's efforts in promoting alternative fuels and expanding EV infrastructure, linking better air quality to public health improvements, such as reducing pediatric asthma through cleaner transportation options. She showcased projects like electric buses and new EV charging stations across Kansas City, aiming to decrease environmental pollution and enhance community health.

Miriam also stressed the role of technical support, like the green fleet initiative, in transitioning to energy-efficient vehicles, which helps reduce gasoline use and greenhouse emissions. Mark Piazza discussed national energy policies, emphasizing the American Petroleum Institute's (API) 2024 priorities on infrastructure and low-carbon initiatives, advocating for robust policies to support sustainable energy infrastructure. Both speakers underscored the importance of collaborative actions and technological advances in fostering a sustainable future for energy transportation.

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Renewable Energy Integration

Joann Worthington, Jason Humphrey, Casey Cathey


The session addressed renewable energy integration and grid resilience, featuring insights from Joanne Worthington of Voltus on virtual power plants (VPPs), which enhance grid reliability through resource aggregation and market participation. Jason Humphrey from Evergy discussed their commitment to a carbon-free future by 2045, leveraging wind and solar resources to reduce emissions and stabilize energy supply. Casey Cathey from the Southwest Power Pool highlighted the growth of wind and solar energy, underscoring the importance of resource adequacy planning to handle variability and ensure grid stability. Together, these presentations emphasized the role of innovative technologies and strategic planning in the transition towards a sustainable and reliable energy system.

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Community-Based Initiatives 

Scott Rupp, David Springe


In his final appearance before leaving the Missouri Public Service Commission, Commissioner Scott Rupp stressed the importance of community engagement and active public participation, reflecting on the engagement challenges during his tenure. David Springe added insights on representing diverse viewpoints and employing innovative engagement strategies. The discussion addressed the complexity of involving a population often uninterested in utility matters, exploring the use of virtual formats post-COVID to boost engagement, and strategies to stay factually grounded amidst diverse opinions. They emphasized educating the public about regulatory impacts, enhancing dialogue through structured Q&A sessions, and adapting to the digital shift to foster broader and more informed participation.

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Warren Wood, Casey Cathey, Shaun Tuyri


The speaker discussed the complexities of energy management and resource planning, focusing on the effects of managed loads, distributed energy resources (DERs), and renewable energy integration on the grid. They noted an annual increase in loads by 10% to 13% in high-consumption regions like the southeast. The benefits of managed loads, such as reduced costs and lesser energy storage needs, were emphasized, along with the integration of solar energy and the managed charging of electric vehicles during daylight to maximize solar use. Challenges like grid saturation, transmission planning, and the high costs of upgrades were also highlighted. The speaker stressed the importance of a unified planning process that includes consensus among various stakeholders to tackle these grid challenges and the importance of community input in upcoming events focused on renewable energy deployment, underscoring the goal of maintaining grid reliability and cost-effectiveness amidst growing loads and integration demands.

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