First day of TransForum East to feature speakers from ISO-NE, PJM, PSE&G, others

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TransmissionHub’s 2016 TransForum East will be held on Nov. 15-16 at The Capital Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C., and the first day of the conference will feature such speakers as Stephen Rourke, vice president, system planning, for ISO New England; Vincent Duane, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, with PJM Interconnection; and Kim Hanemann, senior vice president, delivery projects and construction, for Public Service Enterprise Group’s Public Service Electric and Gas.

Robert McKee, manager of Regulatory Relations & Policy, with American Transmission Co., and acting president of WIRES, will kick off the event, with a keynote presentation to be delivered on Nov. 15. As noted on WIRES’ website, McKee leads ATC’s efforts to promote, respond to, and otherwise affect federal regulatory and RTO policy, including those related to electric transmission planning, rates and cost allocation. He and his team also address tariff-related matters, as well as develop and implement plans to comply with federal regulatory requirements, according to the site.

Previously, McKee managed the company’s regional transmission planning team. Before joining ATC in 2005, McKee worked at Alliant Energy where he focused on corporate and industry research, demand side management and renewable energy programs, as well as strategic planning, the website added.

The panel, “Executive Perspectives,” will follow McKee’s presentation and will feature these speakers: James Fama, a consultant on cyber and physical security, business continuity and resilience, reliability, FERC regulation, NERC matters, federal agency energy policy, state public service commission issues, as well as other electricity sector policy and operational issues; Raja Sundararajan, vice president – regulatory services, with American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP); Clarke Bruno, senior vice president, Anbaric Transmission; and PSE&G’s Hanemann.

Hanemann is responsible for ensuring the on-time, on-scope and on-budget execution of the company’s large transmission construction projects, including overseeing project management, project controls, licensing and permitting, as well as commissioning. Hanemann is also responsible for managing key components of PSE&G’s Energy Strong program to increase the resiliency of 29 switching and substations, as well as to protect gas metering and regulating stations affected by the 2012 Superstorm Sandy or located in flood zones.

Additionally, Hanemann manages new competitive transmission opportunities for PSE&G and the FEMA hardening projects on facilities operated by PSEG Long Island.

Until last March, Fama served as vice president, Energy Delivery for the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). The Energy Delivery Group is responsible for supporting EEI and its members on all regulatory, operational, reliability, business continuity, and public policy matters related to energy delivery, including transmission-related matters before FERC.

Prior to joining EEI in 2002, Fama was senior counsel with the Washington, D.C. office of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae, where he represented various energy companies in mergers and other transactions, as well as in matters before FERC and the Florida Public Service Commission.

As noted in a Sept. 8 AEP statement, Sundararajan will be responsible for AEP’s regulatory activities before 11 state regulatory commissions and FERC. He is replacing Rich Munczinski, senior vice president - regulatory services, who is retiring in December, the statement noted.

Sundararajan has been vice president - transmission asset strategy and policy since March 2012, with responsibility for the oversight of all RTO, FERC, and state regulatory and strategic matters related to AEP Transmission and AEP’s Transource projects, according to the statement. He was previously AEP’s managing director - transmission business strategy, with responsibility for executing business plans for AEP Transcos and transmission joint ventures, according to the statement.

As noted on Anbaric’s website, Bruno oversees the company’s legal affairs and projects in the mid-Atlantic region. He has had nearly two decades of experience in the private and public sector in energy and environmental policy, project development, as well as litigation and regulatory law, the website noted.

As counsel to former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, he helped prepare the state’s energy master plan and provided legal and policy analysis on the state’s initiatives to upgrade the grid, spur renewable energy projects, redevelop brownfields, and increase public and private infrastructure investments. Before entering government, Bruno was a regulatory lawyer and litigator for nine years and clerked for a federal judge for one year, the website added.

Another Nov. 15 panel titled, “The changing landscape of the grid: A regional planning perspective,” will feature these speakers: ISO-NE’s Rourke; PJM’s Duane; Jody Holland, director, transmission planning, Gridliance; and Judy Chang, principal, The Brattle Group.

Rourke previously served as ISO-NE’s director, Reliability & Operations Services. A former manager of the Rhode Island - Eastern Massachusetts - Vermont Energy Control center (REMVEC) in Westborough, Mass., and former manager of marketing operations for Northeast Utilities/Select Energy Inc., in Berlin, Conn., Rourke has more than 30 years of experience in operations and planning of the New England bulk power system.

He is responsible for overseeing the regional and interregional planning process, including development of the biennial Regional System Plan, analyzing and approving new transmission and generation projects for New England, implementing the FERC‑approved generator interconnection process, developing ISO findings for transmission cost allocation, and operating and supporting the Forward Capacity Market in New England.

Duane is responsible for the legal function as well as the Regulatory Oversight and Compliance Committee at PJM, and serves as counsel and secretary to the independent PJM Board of Managers. Duane, who represents PJM before federal and state regulatory entities, including FERC, oversees corporate compliance with PJM's Code of Conduct as well as legal support for transactional, financial and commercial business at PJM. Duane has more than 25 years of experience in the electric power industry.

Holland has 14 years of management and engineering experience in the electric transmission industry. Prior to joining GridLiance, Holland served in various management roles at SPP, including manager, Steady State Planning, Economic Planning, ICT Planning and Tariff Studies, as well as an engineer within the engineering department.

As noted on Brattle’s website, Chang, who is an economist with a public policy background, has expertise in the analysis of electricity power markets and advises clients on the financial and regulatory issues relating to renewable energy investment and procurement decisions.

Chang’s recent long-term strategic planning engagements have involved the development of future energy market scenarios and assisting utilities to make strategic decisions that balance regulatory requirements for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other demand-side resources, with the potential retirement of existing generation facilities due to various environmental regulations, according to the website. Those projects involved close analyses of relevant regulatory and economic issues surrounding system planning, including considerations for financial, operational, and market design issues, the website noted.

Following that panel, there will be three presentations:

·      “Meet the new boss: Can energy policy change in the new administration,” delivered by Michael Brairton, director, federal legislative affairs, for ITC Holdings (NYSE:ITC). Brairton represents ITC in Washington, D.C., on federal transmission policy; his career spans 19 years in Washington working in politics and developing policy. Before joining ITC in 2010, Brairton served as the deputy assistant administrator for the Power Marketing Liaison Office, representing three Power Marketing Administrations before Congress and other federal agencies. He also served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and worked as a senior advisor to the assistant secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Security, where he developed DOE’s partnership with the Western Governors' Associations to create the Western Renewable Energy Zone initiative

·      “Energy policy: Will DOE’s integrated interagency pre-application (IIP) process speed up the permitting process for long-haul transmission projects?” delivered by Julie Ann Smith, electricity policy analyst, DOE

·      “Energy policy: Update of DOE’s efforts to support international and interregional permitting of transmission projects in the United States,” delivered by Christopher Lawrence, an electricity policy analyst within the Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance (TPTA) division of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) at DOE. Lawrence manages the Department’s international electricity regulatory program and the review of applications under DOE’s section 1222 program. Lawrence also represents DOE on the interagency Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT), manages efforts to educate stakeholders and developers on transmission permitting requirements and provides assistance in implementing cooperative agreements related to clean energy with Canada and Mexico

Following those presentations, there will be panel, titled, “The complexities and challenges facing FERC Order 1000 projects,” which will feature these speakers: Steven Ross, partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Dan Belin, director – electric transmission, Ecology and Environment, Inc.; and Bill Babcock, managing consultant, PA Consulting.

Ross, who is a partner in Steptoe's Washington office in the firm's electric practice, previously served as practice group leader. Prior to entering private practice, Ross was an attorney with FERC, where he served as a trial attorney and adviser to a former commissioner. Ross represents electric utilities and other entities in the electric power industry subject to regulation under the Federal Power Act, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, and the Public Utility Holding Company Act.

Ross counsels clients in matters related to bulk power transactions and coordination agreements, transmission and interconnection access and pricing issues, electric utility mergers, and FERC’s Standards of Conduct. He has participated in matters involving the industry's current restructuring, counseling clients on matters concerning alternative structures, market rules, and state federal jurisdictional issues.

Belin offers 20 years of experience in natural resource inventory and impact assessment, and his experience includes aquatic and terrestrial ecology and natural resource management with special expertise in NEPA permitting, energy facility siting, and geographic information systems (GIS) analysis. As electric transmission sector lead, Belin directs E & E’s global efforts in electric transmission, including managing and directing projects and staff involving impact assessment, GIS and LiDAR analysis, habitat restoration, agency consultation, and public involvement strategies.

The last panel of the day is titled, “Finance matters: Incentives, joint ventures and risk,” and will include these speakers: Paul Kraske, partner, Skadden LLP; Karen Onaran, manager, federal regulatory affairs for the Energy Delivery Group at EEI; Boyd Nelson, Co-head of Scotiabank’s U.S. Power & Utilities Investment Banking practice.

Kraske represents clients in connection with the development, financing and acquisition of energy and infrastructure projects in the United States and abroad. He has experience preparing and negotiating all forms of relevant documentation, including joint development and ownership agreements, construction contracts, power purchase agreements, credit and investment documentation, as well as sale and purchase agreements. From 2000 to 2002, Kraske worked in Mumbai, India, as the general counsel of the Dabhol Power Project, where he had primary responsibility for legal issues arising out of the operation of an existing 740 MW power plant, as well as the construction of 1,440 MW of additional capacity and an associated LNG regasification terminal.

Onaran, who joined EEI in 2011 and supports member companies on FERC transmission planning and investment issues as well as wholesale market operations, works with EEI’s Environmental team on DOE initiatives for the coordinated siting, planning and permitting of transmission projects across multiple federal jurisdictions. She leads the production of EEI’s annual “Transmission projects: At a glance” report, which showcases a cross-section of major transmission projects planned and under construction within the next 10 years. In addition, Onaran led the development of EEI’s report “Before and after the storm,” addressing various hardening and resilience measures available for utilities and their regulators.

Nelson advises clients on strategic M&A transactions and financings; 2016 deal experience includes advising Fortis Inc. on its acquisition of ITC Holdings, including a 20 percent sale of ITC to Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. Other recent transaction experience includes advising Emera Inc. on its acquisition of TECO Energy Inc., advising Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., on its acquisition of Park Water from Carlyle Infrastructure Partners, and advising NextEra Energy on its proposed acquisition of Oncor Electric Delivery Co.

More information about the event, including the agenda and full list of speakers, can be found here.

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