EME 801
Energy Markets, Policy, and Regulation

Lesson 11 Overview



The regulated electric utility model served the industry and U.S. consumers well for nearly a century. Costs and prices fell nearly continuously, and service expanded to nearly every corner of the U.S. While other countries experimented with their own regulatory systems, for the most part, these involved national electric utilities, not the regulated private enterprises found in the United States.

Beginning in the 1970s, the trend of falling prices suddenly reversed, and the decades of technological progress in power generation slowed. The rapid pace of technological advance had masked some fundamental problems with the way in which electric utilities were regulated. Dissatisfaction among electricity consumers grew, paving the way for the grand experiments in electricity deregulation and restructuring that continue to this day. This lesson and the following lesson will provide an in-depth discussion of how these new markets are structured and will describe some fundamental changes in how the price of electricity is determined. The basic market concepts will be discussed in this lesson, while the next lesson will examine how these markets are changing in response to the emergence of large-scale renewable power generation.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Discuss topics related to regulation and deregulation in the electricity industry
  • Explain which segments of the electricity industry have been “deregulated” and which have been “restructured”
  • Explain what a Regional Transmission Organization is, and how it is different from an electric utility
  • Calculate the “system marginal price” for a pool-type electricity market
  • Calculate “locational marginal prices” in a simple two-node electricity system with congested transmission lines

Reading Materials

  • The National Energy Technology Laboratory has created a nice series of primers on each of the regional electricity markets in the United States. You can download the ZIP file here: NETL series of primers
  • Lessons Learned from Electricity Market Liberalization, by Paul Joskow (2008) in the Energy Journal. This paper has some descriptions of electricity deregulation efforts throughout the world. 
  • Measuring the Benefits and Costs of Regional Electric Grid Integration, by Seth Blumsack (2007) in the Energy Law Journal. The first couple of sections of the paper contain an overview of electricity restructuring in the U.S. 
  • Interview with Trevor Lauer

    Please watch the following video interview (32:44). If this video is slow to load here on this page, you can always access it and all course videos in the Media Gallery in Canvas.

    Video interview with Trevor Lauer (32:44).
    Click here for transcript of Trevor Lauer interview

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Hi everybody. This is Mark Kleinginna, your professor for EME 801. And today I have the honor to talk with an old colleague and friend of mine and a Penn State graduate by the name of Trevor Lauer. I'm going to not try to mess up what you're doing right now, Trevor, and allow you to talk a little bit about your background and just first of all, really express my appreciation for your time today because because I know it's valuable. Tell us a little bit about yourself and from an educational perspective and your professional experience and that kind of thing.

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah, thanks Mark. And it is great to see you again. Undergraduate degree at Penn State, loved my time at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. I'm a mineral economics undergrad, a very proud mineral economics undergrad. And then once I got my graduate degree, I did at the University of Maryland. And I got an MBA at the University of Maryland a couple of years after I worked and then got my MBA while I was working. My wife and I now live in Michigan. We live in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, just north of the city of Detroit. I've got two boys, they both happen to be at Penn State right now. It makes me even a more proud stat. I've got one son in the computer engineering program and another one in the chemical engineering program. I'm a very proud Penn Stater. Currently, my job right now is I'm President and Chief Operating Officer of DTE Energy and my specific job is leading the electric utility, which includes everything from our nuclear generation to our renewable generation, renewable development, energy efficiency, safety, environmental regulatory affairs, a whole host of different activities here at the utility. And I've been with DTE now since 2005. Maybe one last thing, Mark, and you know some of this but for your students, I started my career with Honeywell in the Washington DC. Area. I was in Honeywell and then I was fortunate enough when I got my MBA to be part of three start-up energy businesses. Mark you and I met at the last one of those, which was one of the true joys of my absolute life at Strategic Energy. And I've now been here for 18 years, so been a great run.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Great. How did you end up in the energy business Trevor?

    TREVOR LAUER: That's a great question. When I graduated from college Mark, you didn't choose where you wanted to live. When you got a job offer, you were so honored that somebody who was willing to actually pay you that you took the job. And it seems silly when I say that, but Honeywell was the first person that offered me a job when I was graduating from Penn State. And I was honored and I wanted to be in the DC area because there was a big group of Penn Staters. But the real attraction to energy was the more I got involved in the energy efficiency side of the business with Honeywell, the more I recognize the absolute importance of energy and the energy markets. Not only to residential customers, but to all businesses across the United States. This is a macro and micro economic issue. When you think about the way energy affects consumers and businesses, I was very attracted to that as a business platform. And then when we got into the individual proprietor, owning businesses, I realized pretty quickly that you didn't have to be super successful in the energy markets to have a pretty big business. You only need to be really incrementally successful because there's so many transactions in the energy markets are so large and fluid. It's just been a fascination of mine ever since I was at Penn State.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Excellent. So what do you currently do at DTE?

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah, sometimes I ask myself that same question, but I lead the biggest business unit here, we have about 6,000 employees that fall underneath my business unit, and it varies from our energy generation. We own a 1,200 Megawatt nuclear power plant. Our fermi nuclear power plant. We own 10,000 Megawatts of coal and natural gas fired generation. We just built the newest combined natural gas plant that was constructed and brought up in the United States. And then currently we own about 3 Gw, or 3,000 Mw of renewable generation, wind and solar. I also oversee our distribution system. We've got one of the largest electric distribution systems. And we're undergoing a rapid transformation of our electric distribution system. Not only for reliability sake, but also because of the penetration of electrification, electric electric vehicles. We have another group that works on electrification. I've got a renewable development team that's got 109 renewable development projects in some phase of development. We've got an energy efficiency team here that saves our customers about 250, $300,000,000, a year helping them be more efficient in their businesses. I'd say everything that surrounds the electric utility and then a lot of the regulatory and legislative issues that go with it. Yeah, we'll come back to some of that as we walk through this, but I know the students will be particularly interested in the renewable piece and talking about what maybe your portfolio is there and how that gets developed, as well as the integration issues that you've got. On the distribution side, obviously there were loads coming along with electrification of Transportation. But then at the same time, how to handle even solar that comes into the distribution system off people's roofs and commercials and things like that. We'll come back to that a little bit. We can go there. This is always very important. And I worked for utility a long, long time ago. But the thing, it was always, always stressed, first and foremost, was safety and reliability.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Can you talk a little bit about that with respect to how that works at a utility? It's quite different from what we might have done, a strategic energy or what we might have do as a consultant and how important that is, the distribution utility itself.

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah, thank you, Mark, for that. I can't begin to stress how important safety is and how much we talk about it at the utility. We start every day with safety briefs. We have pre-job briefs at every single construction site you're working on. And then you end your day talking about how you did with safety. And why do you do it? Well, the voltages that we operate, the distribution in the sub-transmission system are not ones that you can make a mistake with. If you make a mistake in our business, the chances are that you will die or you will cause somebody else to lose their life. It's really sad. We lost one of our employees in March of this year. In the electric utility, my substation, electrical, mechanical journeyman. There was a human performance error and he lost his life. Those are the worst days you could possibly have when you have to meet with somebody's family and spouse. And this was a gentleman that had worked for us for 28 years, was experienced, knew what he was doing. But the Swiss cheese, as we talk about with human performance all lined up one day and a mistake happened. We talk about safety a lot. We look at OSHA recordable injuries. We want to understand precursors to work to make sure that people are doing the right work. They're stretching. People laugh, But we encourage our people to stretch. In the morning, we ask our supervisors to get all the people in the field to stretch with them so that you can avoid injuries. We're really proud of our safety record here at DTE. We're in top decile safety, but there's a very little correlation between fatalities and top decile regular injuries. We're digging in really hard on the things -- we call it our sticky campaign, or the stuff that can kill you, and we're trying really hard to get our employees to pay attention when you're in a job with high energy enclosed spaces, lifting heavy loads and rigging. These are the times when you're in a sticky area or stuff that can kill you. We need to bring their attention focused on it.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: All right. Great. Now, thank you for that. It's so important that folks understand that we do pay a very lot of attention to safety, not just from a workers standpoint, but from the folks in the field as, as the customers as well. Talk a little bit as - I went to over safety - but talk a little bit about reliability as an electric utility and exactly what that means and how safety and reliability are different. And when you and I talk about reliability, we mean something by that so our students can understand what that means.

    TREVOR LAUER: Yes, reliability, we measure it really two different ways. But I tend to think of distribution reliability or making sure the lights stay on. Reliability is measured two ways. We measure safety or the frequency of outages. And then we talk about Kd, and that's the duration of outages. Here at DTE, we're pretty good at safety. We don't have a lot of outages. We're in the second quartile. We can obviously get better. We need to continue to get better, right? But we need to dramatically improve what I call Kd, or our duration. So we're in the process right now of adding automated devices, or these devices, we call them reclosers, all over our system so that from our systems operation center, if there's a fault on the distribution circuit, you can reroute power using these intelligent devices, and you can get 50 to 60% of your customers back into power without ever having a truck rolled out into the field. It also helps you identify exactly where the outage could be. A tree branch came down and came across two phases, you had a breaker open... . We can identify that a lot better with all these automated devices. So here's the other thing. I'd say mark reliability is probably the thing that customers notice the most about their distribution utility, right? Nobody wants to pay our bill. I get it. Nobody wants to pay any bill. But when your power goes out, now you're just flat-out mad. You don't think about your distribution utility. You expect perfect power, and our power is Six Sigma. We offer Six Sigma service. But when you lose it, even if it's for only 2 hours, you're really mad. And now it's a pandemic when people are working from home. Momentary outages? Momentary outages are classified as an outage less than 5 min. It may not mean a lot to the electric utility if you're sitting in my seat. But if I'm at home and I'm working on an important research paper and I don't have it saved, and all of a sudden I lose power and I lose everything for that 1 min outage, again, I'm pretty upset with my electric utilities. So again, reliability of the distribution system is a really big deal and we spend a lot of time talking about it. We spend Invest a lot of money right now. We're investing 1.5 billion dollar a year in our distribution reliability systems.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Wow. That's great stuff. Great stuff. Just to take it a little bit beyond that. And I could talk to you about reliability all day long because it's so near and dear to my heart as an old gas supply guy. But we'll just segue into that. What are current fuel markets doing with respect to the short-term and then long-term decisions you guys are making at DTE?

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah, it's interesting, the current fuel markets have been a little bit of a wild ride in 2022, at least for us. Nobody saw the blow up in the natural gas markets, right? So if you take a portfolio like ours where we burn natural gas as a fuel, we collect dollars from our customers. And it's called a fuel clause, well we under collected on our fuel clause, meaning we spent more than we got from our customers $450,000,000 because of the blow up of natural gas. Well, we were one of the best in the country. There were utilities in Florida that were undercollected by 1.2 billion. Right. That's a lot of cash not to be bringing into your business. So one of the things we've done was we started a hedging program for natural gas where we implemented a 36-month hedging program. We're layering in a 3% hedge every month. Take that volatility out. We're not trying to buy at the bottom right, what we can do is remove a lot of the volatility for our customers so that they don't see that blow up in price. Right? I think the other interesting one we're seeing in the current fuel markets - this may have more to do with the tax markets than it does the fuel markets, but we're accelerating our renewable build and our energy storage build based on the Inflation Reduction Act. And the tax credits that were given in the inflation, it's causing us to flip over our generation fleet faster than we were planning. We're de-hedging our way back out of coal. Right? We're shutting down, we own, we own one of the largest coal shipping terminals on the Great Lakes. We're shutting it down in 2025 as we move further and further into our renewables business.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Right. All right. So that'll take the renewables will take some of the volatility out because you don't you don't have a variable costs associated with the sun and the wind, so to speak, right?

    TREVOR LAUER: That's right.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: That's great. So talk a little bit about how power transmission is affecting what you guys do. And you guys have a sort unique, want to say unique situation. But it's somewhat different situation than we might face in different markets around the country. Because you guys are a peninsula, Florida is a peninsula. Things are a little different in Michigan than they might be in Pennsylvania or Illinois, or even California.

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah, so I'll start by saying I'm a big fan of transmission build out, but I also recognize how hard it is to build out transmission. The NIMBI issues are stronger in transmission than I think they are anywhere else. You mentioned us being a peninsula. 90% of the generation to have grid stability has to be in the state of Michigan. So transmission is a big issue for us, but I'll also say DTE, we spun out our transmission company as an independently owned transmission company back in 2003. So we're one of three transmission dependent utilities in the United States. So we depend on a third party to provide our transmission. So what's that practically mean? Well, there's three issues that I think we probably struggle with the most. One is renewable integration and interconnection. I like being able to build out the system the way I need to build it. And I can do that on the distribution side. If I announce a 300 Megawatt solar array, well, I now have to go to a third party and say, hey, when can you build that transmission for me. And transmission is an absolute monopoly, so I don't have the right to build it for them or have a third party. So transmission integration is number one. Number two, we have large customer loads as the electrification of transportation is happening. So if somebody comes and says in Michigan, we'd like to build a battery plant. We have this giant load. We want to sit down here. Well, if it's my distribution system, I tell every distribution engineer and all of our supply chain guys need to make that happen in here. It doesn't happen that way with transmission. Transmission, they called me and say, well maybe we can have it done in 36 months. And what you find is it's affecting our economic development and the competitiveness of our state on how quickly we can build that. Then the third is affordability. While I am a huge supporter of transmission build out, we also have to do it at very competitive rates. So we work with our local transmission company just to make sure that there... if there are other alternatives. Because an alternative to transmission could be generation, right? It could be energy efficiency. So, how do we think about understanding those alternatives so that we have the most affordable solution for our customers, right?

    MARK KLEINGINNA: All right. So when you say transmission, is that the transmission company ITC? That was with consumers that you guys are consumers? Is there someone else in that group as well or is it just you two?

    TREVOR LAUER: Well, us, consumers, and elite. The three that spun out. And ITC bought all three of those transmission companies last year. Two or three years ago, ITC sold themselves to Fortis, which is a Newfoundland, Canada-based company that now ITC and a couple of other utilities in the United States.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Right. Right. So for folks who are interested in the regulatory side of this, you find yourself... you find yourself intervening in their rate cases at FERC from time to time. 

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah. Yeah, We're constantly they're intervening at our rate cases at the state level, and we're intervening theirs at the federal level. Right. I will also tell you I have dinner with the CEO. Her and I are very good friends, right? We have dinner 3, 2-3 times a year just to make sure the companies are ... we need each other and it's important that we communicate, right? But without being vertically vertically integrated like most utilities are, it adds a level of complexity to our business that other utilities don't see.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: It's really interesting because vertical integration usually goes, you know, distribution, transmission back to the generation. But you guys kinda pulled the middle out where you're still owning generation and you still got distribution. But the link in the middle at a little bit different which makes your problem somewhat different from others, although they all tend to be somewhat the same. Great. Are there any other markets or conditions that are affecting your company that you might not have anticipated a couple of years ago?

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah, you know, there's a handful of things that came out of the pandemic that I'll say we're still struggling with. One is supply chain issues. If you would have told me that transformers could take me 18 months to get my hand on a transformer...we used to be able to much any size transformer we needed for our customers. Somewhere in the four to eight week time frame. Now we're buying transformers. I have teams that are scouring the world, finding other transformer suppliers, because transformers have become one of the most critical issues. I have a couple of customers where I haven't been able to interconnect them to the distribution grid because they don't have the right size transformers and I've never thought that we would have to tell a customer, I'm sorry, you have to wait four weeks to connect to our system so you can start to use our electricity. You can't buy transformers in the United States right now. The other interesting thing with supply chain is the quality of the work that third parties do for utilities like ours is really declined quite dramatically. We're having a new state built for our nuclear power plant right now, and we had it manufactured over at Belford, France. And the number of manufacturing defects that we've found ... so now, any highly engineered, highly manufactured part, I have 24/7 people at those factories watching the manufacturing and signing off on any deviation, due to the number of defects we've found in the supply chain. All of that is new since Covid hit. Something happened in the supply chain and we lost a little bit of quality. I think the other thing that's happened that's really impacted us and our customers is as interest rates have risen, the cost of debt was something we never really talked about at utilities, right? Because utilities borrow more money than they take in every year. A lot of people don't realize with our capital plans and dividends, but we're the largest, single user of the capital markets in the United States. Now, when interest rates have gone from 2.5% up to 6% right? You know, just at the electric utility, at DTE, it means my borrowing costs have gone up by almost $70 million annually. Well, that's a big deal when you're trying to hit your profitability numbers. You're trying to keep affordability low customers. That's also just a practical consideration that if you're buying a mortgage, you're buying a new car, you might think about it. But when you're operating at the scale we do, that number gets really big, really fast.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Yeah, absolutely. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing you guys in today's energy markets?

    TREVOR LAUER: Biggest challenges...I like to talk in three, so I'll give you my example. Yeah, I think number one is affordability of our product for our customers. As we redo our distribution grid to handle distributed generation, electrification of transportation, it's putting a lot of pressure on rebuilding your distribution grids. So we're putting massive amounts of capital into our distribution grid. At the same time, we've declared that we want to be net zero by 2050. So we're changing out our generation fleet at the same time, where we're also investing 1 billion plus a year of capital. That's all in an environment where you have little to no growth at the utility, meaning, for your students, there's no more money coming in than there was the year before because of these great energy efficiency programs we have for our customers, right? So how do you balance getting through this transition where we all see this future, where all this additional electrification is going to show up? Somebody's got to pay the bills. How do you manage between now -- and I keep saying 2032, or 2033, when we see a meaningful ramp of this electrification of load, right? Affordability, I think is the single largest challenge that we have. The second really large challenge I believe we have is with our employees. How do you make sure that our employees stay highly engaged as we go through this energy transition? Look, Mark, you and I've been kicking around these markets for a long time. The pace of change inside of our industry right now is unlike anything I've ever seen. I've never worked at a utility before I came to work here. It's stunning to me how fast things are changing. And our employee base says, well, at a utility, it's kind of interesting, but maybe I go to work for the solar developer. IBM runs these great commercials about the smart grid. And what I have to help them understand is, yeah, they're doing a piece of it, but 80% of all of that's happening at your electric utilities, right? We're building 80% of everything. We're the ones integrating the smart grid. How do you help them see the broad view that they can have a great career at a company like this? They can grow, prosper, and continue to advance their careers. Attracting and retaining that right level of talent is hugely important. Then I think the third challenge that we see is reliability, right? The city of Detroit was one of the first electrified cities, not only in the US but in the entire world, right? We have pieces of our distribution grid that have been operating since the 1920s. We pull cables out of the ground that are over 100 years old. We are racing against time to improve reliability and to invest in a scale and manner that is unheard of across the country. We need to do it better than everybody else because we're short on time and I need to do it more efficiently than everybody else. So this concept you asked me about earlier, distribution reliability, is the third one that really, those are the three that keep me up at night, right?

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Right. All right. So let's switch gears a little bit here and talk a little bit about your plans for transition to renewables. You said you had a 2050 net zero goal is that right?

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah, net zero.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Obviously, that's going to enable or and ensure some pretty significant commitment to renewables. So talk a little bit about that.

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah, At DTE we're really proud. We were the second utility in the United States to come out with a stated carbon reduction goal, and we did it very deliberately because we're the very environmentally friendly state, and we see renewables is just another great business. Back in 2008, we passed our first renewable portfolio standard here in the state of Michigan that required us to get to 15% renewables. We achieved that goal back in 2015, and we have been on a march since then. We now have the single largest voluntary renewable program where our customers can pay a small premium -- we have 85,000 residential customers and almost 20% of our overall load of buying on a voluntary renewable program, which is a really cool thing to do, right? But we got big goals ahead of us, Mark. So as we retire, it just so happens that we own the fourth-largest coal-fired power plant in the world. When we built it, it was the largest coal fired power plant, right? I've announced retiring, I have retired six coal-fired power plants in the last six years. We've announced the retirement of our Bell River coal-fired power plant in 2025 and we're going to convert that to natural gas so it serves as a peaker and allows us to do additional renewable integration. And our long-term plan requires us to build out 15 Gw of solar and wind in addition to the 3 Gw we have today. So it's a huge undertaking. The last thing I'll just add to it is this nuclear power plant we have... I can do what's called an extended power uprate, where I can add about 16% capacity to the nuclear power plant. So we're working through how to do the extended power upgrade because that's 100% clean energy that operates 100% at the time.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Right. All right. So when does, when does, how long is the license go on Furmi? Do you have another... another extension coming soon?

    TREVOR LAUER: We extended until 2045. We intend to try to extend it to 2065. We're starting that process. We'll start that process probably in the next five years. Just given how long it takes to work with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Absolutely, absolutely. So are there any roadblocks you see in the transition to renewable sources?

    TREVOR LAUER: Yeah. Yeah. Single largest roadblock to renewables is land use. We talked about nimbiism with transmission, renewables straight. Everybody loves it until I show up in your backyard and say, I want to build a 2000-acre solar farm that you're going to see every day driving, or until I'm building a 2000-acre wind farm. The land use issues are the most overwhelming issues. We used to talk about project mortality, and about 50% of our projects would have project mortality. That's now edged up to almost 70%.


    TREVOR LAUER: It has to do -- Michigan's a state that has local control. Local municipal and township control. We don't have statewide zoning for each individual township -- we may span four or five townships with a project -- each of those have to have their own zoning and have to vote projects through. It's difficult, not unworkable. Is that is probably the most difficult thing that we're dealing with. And then the other transition I think is regulatory alignment. And how would I say this? I believe we need a little bit of everything, right? You can't be so pure and just saying I want 100% solar, I want you to have 100% solar and wind and nothing else. There's a transition that has to happen. So legislatively. There's a group of people that think they know exactly how to get there. At the regulators, there's a group of people at the regulators that are absolutely certain they know how to get there. And then there's us that actually run the business day to day, right, that think, okay, well, we're actually doing the work, we know how to get there also, So getting all those parties to align, right, may seem easy, but boy oh boy, is that hard on days.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Right. And then you get folks like consumer advocates and, and environmental advocates and maybe an industrial advocate or two. And they all have, they all have different, different ways to look at things too. I see you smile because you know exactly what I'm talking about.

    TREVOR LAUER: Well, we're doing our integrated resource plan right now, and I don't know if you've talked to your students, but it's how you design your assets for the next 15 years, right? We have 27 different advocates in our current integrated resource plan. I have to get to a negotiated settlement with 27 different parties. Everybody cares usually about one, maybe two things, but we have to care about everything. It's cobbling together all of these pieces, of these opinions and different studies. And by the way, a lot of these stakeholders are really smart. I appreciate what they bring to us. Yeah. But you've got to turn it into a workable plan, and that can feel very difficult at times.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Absolutely, absolutely. Let's ... putting it all together, what do you think the most important takeaways for our students are from this discussion?

    TREVOR LAUER: If I was a student and I was listed in discussion, what I would advise the students is to think about a couple of things. One is be curious. I meet a lot of people that are very principled in my business day in and day out. And when I say principled, they absolutely believe that you must move as fast as you can, and today you need to get there, and this is the crisis of the world. By the way, I believe that climate change is the single largest issue that our generation will face. And businesses like ours have to be in the middle of it. We have to. There's no way you solve climate change if we're not in the middle of it, right? But it doesn't mean I don't have to remain curious, and I have to listen to others. And I have to listen to their viewpoints. And I can't be so principled that I close myself off and I'm not hearing all the other really smart people that are in the middle of this debate remain curious is number one. The second thing I'd say to students is understand that there's people that pay the bills at the other end. All these decisions we make result in cost for customers, could decreased cost, or it could be increased costs. Right here for DTE, for my electric utility, we serve 6 million of the 10 million customers in the state of Michigan. I have a huge responsibility to the industrial customers and the residentials to make sure that we're doing this in a way that keeps bills and rates as low as we possibly can. While that means I may not move as fast as everybody would like me to, affordability really matters. I say that all the time. And then lastly, Mark, I'd say to students, all sources matter. It's a little bit of everything. I'd encourage them never to become so principled that they say it can only be solar, or it can only be nuclear. Because the great portfolios are going to come together and they're going to look like nuclear, they're going to look like carbon sequestration on gas, they're going to look like large solar, they're going to look energy storage with lithium-ion batteries. We happen to own the largest pump storage facility also in the United States. So it's a little bit of all these are the ways we're going to get there. That's how you become sustainable, that's how you become carbon neutral.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Right, Right. Great stuff. Anything else you'd want to add, Trevor?

    TREVOR LAUER: Well, look, I love Penn State. I'll add that I am so fortunate to say that I have a degree from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. It's set me up for an opportunity to be really successful. Mark, you and I've had the opportunity to work together. Everybody I know from Penn State is successful. So I just encourage your students, put your head down, you can do anything you want in this world ... it is just a great school and I'm so proud to be a Penn Stater.

    MARK KLEINGINNA: Well, thank you, Trevor. Really appreciate it.

    Interview with T. Lauer by M. Kleinginna © Penn State is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

What is due for Lesson 11?

This lesson will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Course Calendar in Canvas for specific due dates. Specific directions and grading rubrics for assignment submissions can be found in the Lesson 11 module in Canvas.  

  • Complete all of the Lesson 11 readings and viewings, including the lesson content
  • Complete Quiz 8
  • Project work - No deliverables this week


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum (not email). I will not be reviewing these. I encourage you to work as a cohort in that space. If you do require assistance, please reach out to me directly after you have worked with your cohort --- I am always happy to get on a one-on-one call, or even better, with a group of you.