EPIC Energy Seminar: Panel Discussion on Renewable Energy Integration and Generation for Non-Investor Owned Utilities

September 25, 2018 - 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM


During the Fall and Spring semesters, EPIC presents the Energy Seminar Series with speakers from around the region. These experts share valuable information and their insight into trends and news that is related to energy. Seminars are FREE and are open to students, faculty, and the public.


David M. Barnes,Chief Legal and Ethics Officer, ElectriCities
David joined ElectriCities in January of 2013. Prior to joining ElectriCities, he was a partner at Poyner Spruill LLP, Attorneys at Law in Raleigh. He was employed at Poyner Spruill for 27 years in the areas of business litigation and government relations. Mr. Barnes received his Bachelor of Arts in Politics, cum laude from Wake Forest University in 1982 and his law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1985. Mr. Barnes is a certified Superior Court mediator since 1997 and a registered North Carolina lobbyist since 2001.


Ed Miller, General Manager, New River Light & Power
Ed has nearly 30 years of experience in the energy industry. He served as engineer and rate specialist with the City of Gastonia before taking a position as the Director of Electric Utilities for Greenwood CPW. For the last 22 years, he has been in some form of management in the electric utility industry.  In 2010 he returned to his hometown of Boone, NC, taking the role as General Manager of New River Light & Power.  Ed’s current focus is on the overall transformation of NRLP to meet emerging technology and customer demands as they relate to sustainability and renewable generation.

Steven McCachern, Director of Engineering Services, EnergyUnited
Steve graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1988.  He started work as an Engineering Intern at Duke Energy during the summers while in college.  In 1988, Steve started his career at Davidson EMC located in Lexington, NC as an System Engineer and later moved to Technical Services Coordinator responsible for system planning, substations and related systems.  In 1998 Davidson EMC and Crescent EMC merged to form EnergyUnited.  EnergyUnited has become the second largest distribution provider in the State of North Carolina and the largest Cooperative. Steve has served as Director of Engineering and Region Line Manager for the Lake Norman Region.  In his current duties as Director of Engineering Steve is responsible for System Planning, GIS, Dispatch, System Protection, and Substations.  In all he has over 30 years of experience working in the Electric Utility Industry.


Electric cooperatives, public (municipal) power utilities, and small privately owned utilities support renewable energy sources. In addition to proven resources such as hydro power and methane gas recovery, they support wind turbines, solar energy and biomass. Today they own renewable energy production facilities and/or they purchase energy produced from renewable resources. In North Carolina, as in other states, owners and managers of these utilities must balance competing factors in power generation to deliver safe, reliable, clean, and affordable power to their communities and their customers. Factors range from finding available and affordable power from renewable sources, to purchasing offsets, to aligning with community expectations, all the while focusing on the good of the community, the economy, and the environment. Achieving this balance will reveal differences between renewable energy advocates and traditional wholesale power providers. Finding common ground will help define the future of electricity generation in communities across NC and the nation. Panelists at this EPIC Seminar will describe their experiences in managing small utilities and the challenges and opportunities they face in integrating renewables into their energy portfolios.


Located on the campus of UNC Charlotte, EPIC is easily accessed via car or lightrail. Click here for details.