FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff Speaks at Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association Policy Luncheon

AUSTIN (BUSINESS WIRE) / Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) welcomed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, who spoke at the latest in a long series of informative TREIA Policy Luncheons on November 10th, 2011. The luncheon was hosted by Lloyd Gosselink, Attorneys at Law. The Geothermal Electric Subcommittee of TREIA coordinated Chairman Wellinghoff’s visit to Austin.

Russel Smith, TREIA Executive Director, said, “I was particularly interested in Chairman Wellinghoff’s strong support of state level renewable portfolio standards (RPS) as a primary means of developing markets. He speaks from experience, having authored Nevada’s 1997 25% by 2025 RPS, helped shape standards in six other states, and monitored RPS successes across the U.S.” Smith continued, “The Texas RPS has resulted in over 10,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity. It included a modest 500 megawatt non-wind target focused on spurring solar, biomass, geothermal, and hydrokinetic installations which still awaits successful implementation at the Public Utility Commission.”

FERC Chairman Wellinghoff is highly experienced in state level policy with a focus on the development of Geothermal/Geo-pressure, Solar, Wind and Biomass energy. He has published articles on the electrification of our transportation system, using consumer loads to improve the efficiency of the electric system (known as Demand Response), and the integration of renewable energy into the electric smart grid.

Referring to the need for a power system that can deliver greater efficiency and lower costs, while delivering reliability and sustainability Chairman Wellinghoff discussed the convergence of energy, communication, transportation and building systems. He talked about vehicle to grid (V2G) technology that would allow cars to become a resource to regulate smart grid variability and maintain smart grid balance during vehicle charging. The vehicle then becomes a source of income and lowers the cost of vehicle ownership. He discussed Demand Response technology in trial stages in office buildings and homes enabling buildings to regulate power usage to meet individual needs while responding to smart grid demand.

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