Law Seminars International Presents:

The 15th Annual Conference on

Buying & Selling Electric Power in the Southwest

Critical updates on resource development, regulatory changes, legislative action, and market operations

In conjunction with Energy News Network is a nationally recognized news publication featuring original state-based reporting, dedicated to keeping stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens informed about the important changes taking place within the transition to a clean energy economy.

August 6 & 7, 2018

Santa Fe, NM
(or anyplace you may be via webcast!)

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Program Overview

Who Should Attend

Attorneys, industry executives, governmental officials, customer representatives and anyone else involved with energy development in the Southwest

Why You Should Attend

This year we finally have some real clarity on the course of federal environmental and energy policy under the Trump administration. There have been a broad range of actions, including consideration of tariffs on imported solar panels, with the common thread of supporting production and consumption of fossil fuels. We now have a number of very concrete and specific actions to explore, such as the FERC's Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing Proceeding and Order 841 arising from the emerging viability of storage due to improving battery technologies and falling prices.

There are regulatory policies and then there are market realities. Customers are expressing a preference for cleaner power in a variety of ways and migrating off the grid.

States and stakeholders are responding to the changes, and pursuing their own agendas, in diverse ways. We have a lot of moving pieces and you can expect huge impacts on electric markets in the Southwest.

We have assembled a comprehensive group of topics and expert speakers to help you map out an effective adaptation strategy for your organization. You'll be able to hear insights from two former FERC commissioners, several state-level regulators, developers, leading practitioners, and regulatory economists.

We hope you will be able to join us.

~ Program Co-chairs: ~ Steve Michel, Esq. of Western Resource Advocates, Thorvald A. Nelson, Esq. of Holland & Hart LLP and Marc L. Spitzer, Esq. of Steptoe & Johnson LLP

What You Will Learn

  • ~ Federal energy resource development policy
  • ~ Market realities for coal and utility recovery of stranded costs
  • ~ The FERC's grid reliability rulemaking and other developments
  • ~ NERC activity on standards and enforcement, including cyber security
  • ~ Storage as the next breakthrough technological solution
  • ~ State regulatory policies in the Southwest
  • ~ Market and regulatory Impacts of customer preferences for cleaner power
  • ~ Developing successful customer/utility partnerships for renewable energy projects
  • ~ Market operations: Expansion of ISO's, RTO's, and EIMs
  • ~ Impact on ratemaking for utilities from customer migration away from the grid
  • ~ Getting steel into the ground for transmission to California markets

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs

  • "Such a great program. First class in every respect: planning, administration, facility, program content. Well done."
  • "Congratulations on a solid faculty & stimulating closing panel."
  • "As a representative of a municipality, this was wonderful information."

LSI Subject Area Expertise

We keep up on current and emerging issues by reading our media sponsor: Energy News Network, a nonprofit news site dedicated to keeping stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens informed of the important changes taking place in the transition to a clean energy system. It's available online at

Agenda Day 1

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Steve Michel, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Chief of Policy Development
Western Resource Advocates / Santa Fe, NM

Marc L. Spitzer, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Steptoe & Johnson / Washington, DC

Michelle Brandt King, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Holland & Hart / Denver, CO

8:45 am

Federal Energy Resource Development Policy

The federal emphasis on development of traditional fossil fuel energy resources

Thomas M. Hnasko, Esq.
Hinkle Shanor / Santa Fe, NM

Trade policy and the potential impact of the imposition of tariffs on imported solar panels: To what extent can we expect tariffs to slow the growth of solar and change market dynamics in favor of fossil fueled generating plants?

Judy Chang , Principal
The Brattle Group / Cambridge, MA

Tax policy: Impact of the anticipated expiration of the federal Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC); provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affecting energy production

Phillip G. Oldham, Esq.
Thompson & Knight / Austin, TX

10:30 am


10:45 am

Market Realities for Coal: Continued Plant Closures and Recovery of Stranded Costs

State government and consumer preferences for clean power; prospects for carbon taxes and expanded cap & trade markets; regional resource dispatch structures; resulting utility plans for accelerated plant retirement before renewable tax credits expire

Patrick Cummins , Senior Policy Advisor
Center for New Energy Economy / Denver, CO

Utility recovery of stranded costs

Matthew S. Larson, Esq.
Wilkinson Barker Knauer / Denver, CO

Noah B. Long, Esq. , Legal Director, Western Energy Project
Natural Resources Defense Council / Santa Fe, NM

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

FERC Update Following the Return of a Quorum

Policy priorities at the McIntyre commission; ratemaking authority to impose retroactive surcharges; Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing Proceeding; related NERC activity on standards and enforcement, including cyber security; other developments

Suedeen G. Kelly, Esq.
Jenner & Block / Washington, DC

2:15 pm

Storage as the Next Breakthrough Technological Solution: Utility Scale and Off the Grid Options

Developments leading to falling battery prices; FERC Order 841 and participation in RTO & ISO markets; interplay with resiliency

William H. Holmes, Esq.
K&L Gates / Portland, OR

Ensuring safe operations of new technologies: Update on storage safety concerns and progress towards resolving them in California

Arthur J. O'Donnell , Risk Assessment Supervisor
California Public Utilities Commission / San Francisco, CA

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Special State Policy Panel: The Interplay between State Energy Adequacy Policy and State Regulatory Policy in Light of Federal and Market Developments

Overview: Resource development and siting; conservation programs; ratemaking and other regulatory issues; how the state offices interact

Marc L. Spitzer, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Steptoe & Johnson / Washington, DC

Commissioner perspectives

The Hon. Sandy Jones , Commissioner
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission / Santa Fe, NM

The Hon. Boyd Dunn, Esq. , Commissioner
Arizona Corporation Commission / Phoenix, AZ

The Hon. Kara Brighton Fornstrom, Esq. , Deputy Chair
Wyoming Public Service Commission / Cheyenne, WY

4:30 pm

Customer Preferences for Cleaner Power

Nevada: Legislative and policy initiatives to deregulate supply and allow customers to buy power on the open market

Frederick J. Schmidt, Esq.
Holland & Hart / Carson City, NV

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Holland & Hart LLP and Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

8:30 am

Customer Preferences (cont'd): The Push by Local Governments for Customer Choice

Utah: The State's exploration of options for a path towards a clean energy future ranging from community aggregation to acquisition of utility facilities

Gary A. Dodge, Esq.
Hatch James & Dodge / Salt Lake City, UT

Colorado: Update on the City of Boulder's ongoing effort to municipalize its electric distribution system

Tom Carr, Esq. , City Attorney
City of Boulder / Boulder, CO

9:45 am

Customer/Utility Partnerships for Renewable Energy Projects

Key terms for creating win-win outcomes; drafting tips for getting the details right

Mark Valentine, Esq.
Keyes & Fox / Denver, CO

10:30 am


10:45 am

Regionalization of Market Operations: Expansion of ISO's, RTO's, and EIMs

Perspectives on how the politics and economics are working out; prospects for regional balancing of intermittent renewables so that they can take on more of the characteristics of base load generation; other key issues

Michelle Brandt King, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Holland & Hart / Denver, CO

Don Fuller , Director, Strategic Alliances
California ISO / Folsom, CA

Joseph P. Hoerner , VP, Energy Supply Management
Pacific Power / Portland, OR

Paul Suskie, Esq. , Executive VP, Regulatory and General Counsel
Southwest Power Pool / Little Rock, AR

Timothy B. Woolley, Esq.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association / Westminster, CO

Stephen J. Beuning , Director, Market Operations
Xcel Energy / Denver, CO

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Getting Steel into the Ground for Transmission to California Markets

A regional look at the most contentious siting issues; impacts on developer access to financing; creative problem solving to move projects ahead

Alan J. Statman, Esq.
Al Statman LLC / Santa Fe, NM

Scott Medla , Managing Partner
Ansonia Partners / New York, NY

Todd Fridley , Vice President of New Mexico Operations
Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) / Albuquerque, NM

Jason Smith , President
TransCanyon LLC / Phoenix, AZ

Nann M. Winter, Esq.
Stelzner Winter Warburton Flores Sanchez Dawes / Albuquerque, NM

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Individual Customer Choice: Trends in Migration Away from Reliance on the Grid and the Impact on Ratemaking for Utilities

Innovative energy products and understanding customer behavior: Examples from the US

Derya Eryilmaz, Ph.D.
NERA Economic Consulting / Washington, DC

Addressing the economic impacts on grid operations: Trends in how regulatory commissions are pricing backup services and addressing stranded distribution costs; potential interplay with tax reductions for utilities in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Judy Chang, Esq. , Principal
The Brattle Group / Cambridge, MA

4:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Michelle Brandt King, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Holland & Hart. She industrial and commercial electric retail customers, independent power producers, renewable energy developers, and municipalities throughout the Mountain West.
Her experience handling nearly all aspects of energy and utility regulation allows her clients to concentrate on the daily challenges of running their businesses while simultaneously achieving their goals. Michelle provides counsel and advocacy on her clients’ behalf in administrative proceedings in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming as well as before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and helps her clients thrive amidst an ever-changing energy industry. Michelle is a part of the public utilities regulatory team and frequently works with Thor Nelson, Fred Schmidt, Abby Briggerman, Nik Stoffel, Austin Rueschhoff, and Emanuel Cocian.

Steve Michel, Steve Michel, Program Co-Chair, is Chief of Policy Development at Western Resource Advocates.

Marc L. Spitzer, Marc L. Spitzer, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson. He formerly served as a FERC commissioner and as chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Stephen J. Beuning Stephen J. Beuning is Director, Market Operations for Xcel Energy and works on energy market design and wholesale energy market policy issues.

The Hon. Kara Brighton Fornstrom The Hon. Kara Brighton Fornstrom is Deputy Chair of the Wyoming Public Service Commission.

Tom Carr Tom Carr is the City Attorney for the City of Boulder, Colorado.

Judy Chang Judy Chang of The Brattle Group is an energy economist and policy expert with a background in electrical engineering.

Patrick Cummins Patrick Cummins is Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for New Energy Economy.

Gary A. Dodge, Gary A. Dodge, a shareholder at Hatch James & Dodge, focuses on energy, regulatory and utility matters.

The Hon. Boyd Dunn was elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission in November 2016. He is a retired Superior Court judge, former Mayor of the City of Chandler, and served as an Assistant Attorney General.
During 2016, he served on the Commission of the Arizona Power Authority. “The role of Arizona Corporation Commissioner is very similar to that of a judge, to be an impartial decision-maker based on the facts presented to you on each individual case, regardless of personal feelings or outside influences,” said Dunn. “That is how I ran my court and that is how I will serve as Commissioner.” Dunn built a successful private practice for over 32 years, most recently with Yarbrough, Moll, and Dunn in Chandler. Dunn served on numerous boards of directors for regulatory authorities, nonprofits, and service organizations. He served as the treasurer of the Arizona Judges Association since 2011. He spent 24 years working in city government, 16 of those years as an elected official, serving as Mayor, Vice Mayor, and City Councilmember for the City of Chandler. He was President of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, served on the Maricopa Association of Governments executive committee, the Valley Light Metro Rail Board, and was a charter member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. A Valley resident for more than 47 years, Dunn graduated from law school at Arizona State University and has been a leader with a strong commitment to the community. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Chandler Boys and Girls Club, the United Way, and has been active in working with the Child Crisis Center, Ojo Rojo Lions Club and Rotary Clubs. Dunn has been married to his wife, Nancy, for over 33 years. They have two sons Andrew, and Kevin.

Derya Eryilmaz, Ph.D., Derya Eryilmaz, Ph.D., NERA Economic Consulting, is an expert in probabilistic dynamic optimization techniques and applied econometrics modelling.

Todd Fridley Todd Fridley is Vice President of New Mexico Operations for Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM).
He joined the company in 2017 and has more than 30 years of experience in the electric power industry. Todd oversees the transmission and distribution areas at PNM with responsibilities for new customer service, customer and grid reliability, planning, engineering, operations, construction, project management, asset management and business planning. Prior to his current role at PNM, Fridley held various leadership positions with Great Plains Energy, Incorporated and its operating company Kansas City Power & Light Company including transmission, generation, distribution, wholesale markets and regulatory compliance. Fridley earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri and is active in the industry with Edison Electric Institute Executive Advisory Committee and various national forums on energy and transmission policy.

Don Fuller Don Fuller is Director of Strategic Alliances at the California ISO.

Thomas M. Hnasko Thomas M. Hnasko is a partner at Hinkle Shanor and focuses on natural resource and environmental issues.

Joseph P. Hoerner Joseph P. Hoerner is VP, Energy Supply Management for Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp.

William H. Holmes William H. Holmes is a partner at K&L Gates and focuses on renewable energy and infrastructure projects.

The Hon. Sandy Jones The Hon. Sandy Jones is the Commissioner for the 5th District of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.

Suedeen G. Kelly, Suedeen G. Kelly, partner at Jenner & Blockis a former FERC commissioner and Chair of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
Ms. Kelly's knowledge of the national electric and natural gas industries includes significant experience in infrastructure development and operation, market structures and financial products, emerging technologies, federal and state laws and regulations, impending policy changes and domestic/international market interrelations. She is an experienced litigator on energy and environmental matters in federal and state courts. Nominated by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to three terms as a FERC Commissioner, Ms. Kelly resolved 7,000 disputes with published Commission decisions and personally authored 100 separate statements during her tenure. She is credited with spearheading change in numerous regulatory policies, including transmission interconnection and planning reform, integration and deployment of renewables and smart technology into the grid, the inclusion of smart grid demonstration grants in the stimulus effort, and natural gas quality standards. Ms. Kelly has served as chair of energy industry practices at two international law firms. She served as regulatory counsel for the California Independent System Operator, and in 1999, she worked as a legislative aide to Senator Jeff Bingaman, then the ranking member of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. For more than 15 years, she was a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law where she taught energy law, utility regulation, administrative law and legislative process. She also served as chairwoman and commissioner for the New Mexico Public Service Commission and was a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council and US Environmental Protection Agency.

Matthew S. Larson Matthew S. Larson is a partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer and represents utilities.

Noah B. Long Noah B. Long is Legal Director, Western Energy Project for Natural Resources Defense Council. He manages NRDC's Intermountain west and Pacific Northwestern clean energy work and coordinates a national network of advocates supporting strong and effective carbon standards for power plants.

Scott Medla Scott Medla is Managing Partner at Ansonia Partners. Prior to founding Ansonia Partners, he founded TAG Energy.

Arthur J. O'Donnell Arthur J. O'Donnell is Risk Assessment Supervisor in the Safety & Enforcement Division of the California Public Utilities Commission. He previously workde in the Grid Planning and Reliability Section of the CPUC's Energy Division. A former reporter and blogger, he has written for books focusing on energy issues in California.

Phillip G. Oldham Phillip G. Oldham is the firm-wide Government and Regulatory Practice Leader for Thompson & Knight.

Frederick J. Schmidt, Frederick J. Schmidt, partner at Holland & Hart, is a former Nevada Public Service Commissioner and Consumer Advocate.

Jason Smith is President of TransCanyon, President TransCanyon, a joint venture between Mid American Transmission and Bright Canyon Energy and General Manager, Bright Canyon Energy, an affiliate of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation.

Alan J. Statman, Alan J. Statman, Al Statman LLC, was a founder of Trans-Elect, Inc., North America's first independent transmission company.
He is an electric transmission and generation developer and acts as a consultant to electric utilities. He is also an affiliate partner at Lindsay Goldberg, a New York private equity firm. For 33 years he was a shareholder at Wright & Talisman, a Washington, DC-based boutique energy law firm where he represented investor owned utilities, electric transmission companies and natural gas companies in regulatory proceedings primarily before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. As a founder of Trans-Elect, Inc., North America’s first independent transmission company (ITC), he held various positions with the company including Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, from Trans-Elect’s inception in 1999 until 2005. He was senior advisor to the Chairman of the Board of Continental Energy Systems LLC, the former owner of Cap Rock Energy Corporation, New Mexico Gas Company, Inc., and SEMCO Energy from 2008 through 2014. He also was a Managing Shareholder of Wright & Talisman from 1993-2016, and prior to joining the firm, he was an associate at a major international law firm and clerked for federal judges on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Paul Suskie Paul Suskie is Executive VP, Regulatory and General Counsel for the Southwest Power Pool. Previously, he was Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission.

Mark Valentine is a partner at Keyes & Fox. He formerly served as counsel to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Nann M. Winter, Nann M. Winter, Stelzner Winter Warburton Flores Sanchez Dawes PA, focuses on the inter-relationship of incumbent utility practices and local government rights and powers.

Timothy B. Woolley Timothy B. Woolley is an attorney for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 12.7 New Mexico and 12.75 Washington MCLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


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Hilton of Santa Fe Historic Plaza Hotel

100 Sandoval Street in Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 988-2811

The conference will be held at the Hilton of Santa Fe Historic Plaza Hotel at 100 Sandoval Street in Santa Fe, NM 87501. For reservations, call the hotel at (505) 988-2811 and tell them that you are attending a Law Seminars International conference to receive our courtesy rate of $200 per night.This is on a first-come/first-serve basis, so register early.
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