2023 Clean & Affordable Energy Conference, Dec. 6 in Portland, OR!

Join the NW Energy Coalition for our 2023 Clean & Affordable Energy Conference!

Wednesday, December 6

8am – 7pm PT

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Portland

Join us on December 6 in Portland for our first in-person conference since 2019! Network with peers in the clean energy community, hear from expert panelists and keynote speakers, and stick around for our Clean Energy Awards reception. Panelists will discuss how utility planning should change to deliver equitable and affordable outcomes, the role of energy efficiency and distributed energy resources for vulnerable populations, and how the Bonneville Power Administration needs to modernize to drive forward the clean energy transition.  

Members of the NW Energy Coalition are encouraged to stay and join our Member Meeting on December 7 from 8am – 11am.

Panel 1: 9:10am – 10:25am 

Energy efficiency and distributed energy resources for vulnerable populations 

Northwest communities are facing economic challenges and rising utility costs that are increasing energy burdens, especially for the most vulnerable. Targeted deployment of energy efficiency and distributed energy resources (DERs), such as rooftop solar or battery storage, can create a more equitable and affordable energy system. How can we use energy efficiency and DERs to not only meet peoples’ energy needs, but also create healthier, more affordable, and more comfortable homes? Can clean electricity planning and programs be more targeted to help utilities, regulators, and policymakers prioritize energy efficiency and DERs for overburdened and vulnerable communities? 

Moderator: Charlee Thompson, Policy Associate, NW Energy Coalition


  • Linda Garcia, Policy and Outreach Director, Washington State Community Action Partnership
  • Veena Prasad, Program Director, Spark Northwest
  • Sam Baraso, Program Manager, Portland Clean Energy Fund
  • Sarah Hall, Resources and Program Development Manager, Oregon Public Utility Commission

Panel 2: 10:55am – 12:10pm 

Modernizing the Bonneville Power Administration 

As the owner of the majority of the Northwest’s transmission and marketer of the federal hydropower network, BPA’s policies and actions impact every aspect of our electric system. The electric system is rapidly changing, and we must restore salmon populations and advance decarbonization while modernizing the energy system to be more equitable and affordable. How can we ensure that BPA’s new 20-year contracts with its customer utilities and its investments in transmission and energy efficiency more effectively position the region for the future?

Moderator: Lauren McCloy, Policy Director, NW Energy Coalition


  • Nicole Hughes, Executive Director, Renewable Northwest
  • Les Purce, Council Member, Northwest Power and Conservation Council 
  • Emeka Anyanwu, Energy Innovation and Resources Officer, Seattle City Light
  • Aja DeCoteau, Executive Director, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

Community Cohort Roundtable Discussion: 1:20pm – 1:50pm 

The Community Cohort is a group of individuals from across Oregon with a shared interest in learning about energy and ways to advocate before the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC). Some of these cohort members have been involved since the Oregon Green New Deal Listening sessions in 2020 that ultimately created the Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity campaign which helped to advance HB 2021, HB 2475, and HB 2842. The group has met regularly over the past year to share ways to be more involved in PUC processes, understand regulatory and technical language of utility planning documents, and how to give meaningful public comments, among other activities. In the Roundtable discussion, a few group-members will reflect on their experiences simultaneously building a sense of community among members and capacity to engage with energy issues in Oregon. 

Moderator: Alma Pinto, Energy Justice Policy Associate, NW Energy Coalition


  • Alessandra de la Torre, Policy Associate, NW Energy Coalition
  • Nikita Daryanani, Climate & Energy Policy Manager, Coalition of Communities of Color
  • Maria Dolores Torres, Community Organizer, Adelante Mujeres
  • Salah Miller, Community Organizer, Sunrise Corvallis

Keynote speakers:

1:50pm – 2:10pm 

  • Senator Kate Lieber, Majority Leader, Oregon State Senate

2:40pm – 3:20pm 

  • Rich Glick, Principal, GQ New Energy Strategies

Panel 3: 3:40pm – 4:55pm 

Rethinking utility planning for equity and affordability 

For decades, utilities have developed comprehensive plans attempting to provide reliable and affordable energy for customers. However, outcomes have not always been equitable or affordable for vulnerable and frontline communities. Our energy system is rapidly and dramatically changing, and status quo planning will not effectively deliver tangible benefits to highly impacted communities without changes to how stakeholders participate, how we determine cost parameters, and the metrics utilities use to determine benefits and resource needs. How have planning expectations changed in our region? What best practices are we seeing to effectively increase participation of highly impacted communities, and to develop tangible community benefit indicators? How can the utilities and their governing boards and regulators manage rates for energy burdened customers as we invest in new resources and infrastructure to deliver clean energy. What changes to planning requirements should be made to ensure equity in our energy system? 

Moderator: Diego Rivas, Regulatory Counsel, NW Energy Coalition


  • Heather Moline, Section Manager of Energy Planning, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
  • Yasmin Abraham, President and Co-Founder, Kambo Energy Group  
  • Mariel Thuraisingham, Clean Energy Policy Lead, Front and Centered
  • Jenn Latu, Manager of Community Engagement, Portland General Electric

5:00 – 7:00pm – Clean Energy Awards Reception

Stick around after the conference for our annual Clean Energy Awards! Hors d’oeuvres will be served and drinks will be available for purchase.

We’re honored to announce our 2023 Award Winners (descriptions here):

Bob Olsen Memorial Conservation Eagle Award

  • Green Energy Institute (GEI) at Lewis and Clark Law School

Doug Still Memorial Community Organizing Award

  • Front & Centered

Headwaters Award

  • Todd True

Emerging Clean Energy Leaders

  • Wil Gehl
  • Makenna Sellers
  • Marli Klass