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Jenner & Block Partner Suedeen G. Kelly spoke at a recent workshop that explored the growth of distributed energy resources (DERs), which are small-scale power generation sources that provide an alternative to traditional electric power grids. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute, the Wisconsin Energy Institute and the Organization of MISO States (OMS). MISO is a regional transmission organization (RTO) that covers 15 US states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. Ms. Kelly joined regulators, technology experts, academics and industry thought leaders for a discussion about the growing demand for DERs, which has the potential to affect state-jurisdictional utilities, the MISO transmission system and wholesale markets. The workshop was held on August 1, 2017, in Wisconsin.
Ms. Kelly is quoted and pictured in RTO Insider’s article about the workshop. “I think of this as potentially the creation of a new industry,” she observes, noting that DERs and microgrids are introducing electricity to far-flung regions of developing countries. “Is it going to be as dramatic a change in the U.S.? I don’t know yet. Are we going to move to a country of microgrids? Personally, I doubt it – but maybe. I think most of the decisions that state regulators have to make can fall into three categories: Who’s going to be allowed to own them? Who’s going to be allowed to dispatch them? How are they going to be compensated?”
Ms. Kelly is a highly recognized energy practitioner and co-chair of the firm’s Energy Practice. She is a former commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and chairwoman of the New Mexico Public Service Commission.