Second day of TransForum East to highlight transmission projects, election uncertainty

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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., with the final day of the conference highlighting such matters as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan; large transmission projects in the East; and post-election uncertainty.

Jeff Holmstead, partner, Bracewell Law, will kick off the day with a presentation titled, “The Clean Power Plan: Beyond the stay and the en banc review.”

Holmstead, former assistant administrator of the EPA for Air and Radiation, heads Bracewell’s multi-disciplinary Environmental Strategies Group, which includes environmental and energy attorneys, public policy advocates, and strategic communications experts. Under Holmstead's leadership, the group works on a daily basis to advise and defend companies and business groups confronting major environmental and energy-development challenges, both domestically and globally. Holmstead advises clients dealing with an increasingly complex regulatory, legal and public relations landscape, drawing on his experience in policy development, administrative and legislative advocacy, litigation and strategic communications. He has worked with clients in a number of industries on issues related to climate change, Clean Air Act policy and enforcement, and energy policy.

The next presentation of the day, titled, “Extension of renewable tax credits: Opportunity for transmission development,” will be delivered by Tim Fox, vice president and research analyst, Clear View Energy Partners.

Fox covers alternative power and energy efficiency and contributes to the firm’s power sector, regulated utility and environmental policy research. Fox has provided, for nearly a decade, forward-looking analysis of electricity markets, conventional energy resources and renewable energy policy. His prior roles include work as an energy analyst for an international wealth management and private equity firm, as well as senior manager for a state and municipal government affairs lobbying firm that provides representation on behalf of national trade organizations. Additionally, he has served as an analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Christopher Clack, founder of Vibrant Clean Energy, will deliver the presentation titled, “The case for a national HVDC grid to curb carbon emissions.”

Clack received his first class BSc (Hons) in mathematics and statistics for the University of Manchester in the UK, and he then went on to research applied mathematics and plasma physics at the University of Sheffield in the UK. During his PhD, Clack completed an area of study centered on nonlinear resonance theory within the framework of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) that remained unsolved for 20 years. He now leads the development of the National Energy with Weather System (NEWS) simulator and all its associated components.

After Clack’s presentation, there will be a panel titled, “Large transmission projects in the East,” which will feature these speakers: Marvin Bellis, senior counsel at Eversource Energy; Stephenie Harrington, transmission projects communications manager, Dominion Power; Kent Herzog, project manager, transmission and distribution, Burns & McDonnell.

Bellis is responsible for managing legal issues associated with developing, siting and building large-scale energy infrastructure projects including all permitting matters, real estate acquisition and management, development of contracting strategies and negotiation of agreements, community outreach, claims negotiation and resolution, as well as development of risk management strategies. He has worked on the company’s Northern Pass project since its inception. Prior to working at Eversource, Bellis practiced environmental and land use law at a Murtha Cullina, and was in house counsel to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Harrington is one of Dominion’s three communication consultants on the Electric Transmission projects team. In addition to developing stakeholder outreach plans for large infrastructure projects, she handles market research and departmental communication for the company’s various strategic initiatives. Harrington’s marketing management career spans 25 years in locations all over the country, now focusing in Virginia and North Carolina. Prior to joining Dominion’s Electric Transmission group, she was with McGraw-Hill educational publishing for nine years, where she served as national marketing manager for five product lines before being relocated to Richmond, Va., in 2004 as McGraw-Hill’s district sales manager.

Herzog is responsible for managing the complete life cycle of power delivery projects from planning through construction. Prior to joining Burns & McDonnell, Herzog spent 14 years at the Omaha Public Power District, where he worked in distribution planning, transmission planning, T&D project management, field supervision as well as transmission engineering and land rights. Herzog has experience managing programs and projects in excess of $1 billion dollars, including overhead and underground transmission, substation and distribution.

The last presentation of the conference is titled, “Post-election uncertainty,” and will be delivered by Frank Maisano, a senior principal, Bracewell & Guiliani LLP’s government relations and strategic communications practice.

Maisano has more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, and his focus is on media relations, crisis communications and strategic counseling services for U.S. and international clients, including wind developers, utilities, oil and gas drillers, refiners, cement companies, transmission builders and chemical manufacturers. Maisano has organized comprehensive media relations programs in the United States on a range of energy and environmental issues.

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

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